Monday, July 14, 2014

Unitarian Universalism

   I want to share with you the church towards which my spiritual growth has nudged me during this past decade of my 76 years of life.  As you might have read elsewhere on my two blog sites, I was raised as a fundamentalist Christian, namely in Baptist churches and became very active over the years as soloist, choir director and Sunday school teacher. 
   A detour in my Christian belief occurred in my twenties when, while standing Coast Guard radio watch with a fellow radioman who was a devout Lutheran.  He asked me what I thought about the scripture which speaks about Holy Communion where the wine consumed turns into the blood of Christ and the bread turns into His body.  I replied that it is just symbolic and doesn't really become His blood and body.  He reminded me that I had touted I believed the words of the Bible were literally true!  Woowww... what that did to me drove me not to attend church for seven years and start numerous studies of spiritual type beliefs of all kinds.
   Then after seven years, I'm not sure why it happened, but as executive officer of a Coast Guard cutter stationed in Hawaii, while we were on a two month South Pacific cruise, and I made a new commitment to the faith of fundamentalist Christianity.
   I returned to the ministries of choir director and Sunday school teacher in Southern Baptist Churches which lasted until just before my retirement from the Coast Guard in the late 1970's when I opened up a Christian book store in a rural county in southern Maryland.  We joined the Assembly of God church there, then a Methodist pastor asked me to come to his church and start a choir.  Since the church was less than a mile from our home, I agreed.  In 1980, this Methodist pastor got a supervisory position in western Maryland and asked me if I would consider becoming a Methodist pastor of three churches simultaneously near Frostburg, Maryland if I agreed to attend 4 weeks of Methodist seminary each summer for several years; I accepted! I did that for three years.
   In the late 1980's, while I was an Addictions Counselor in a Maryland State 35-day inpatient rehab facility.  I was introduced to a thick book called "A Course of Miracles".  It started changing my fundamentalist belief system away from the Bible that had guided my life for so long.
   I was then guided into a Unity church for awhile which held to general spirituality modeled after several sources.  Then the Unitarian Universalist church came into my life and a lot of religious/spiritual practices rapidly began falling into place.

  The following is the quote of what the Unitarian Universalist Association  member congregations covenant to affirm and promote:

   "Unitarian Universalism is a denomination that celebrates diversity of belief and is guided by seven principles. Our congregations are places where we gather to nurture our spirits and put our faith into action through social justice work in our communities and the wider world.  

"1) The Unitarian Universalist Church of Annapolis(my church) is a self-governing church within the association of congregations in the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA).
2)We work with other churches in the UUA to support one another, but we have authority over our decisions, actions, finances, and even whom we call to be our minister.
3)Unitarian Universalism has seven principles which bind us together as we strive to live in right relationship with each other in our communities and in the world. We affirm and promote:
   a)The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
   b)Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
   c)Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
   d)A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
   e)The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
   e)The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
   f)Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

"Unitarian Universalism is open to multiple sources of inspiration, not just one or two. We strive to be open-minded to the various paths of others, and seek the paths that are most helpful in connecting us to meaning, truth, and love.

   "1)Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces which create and uphold life;
   2)Words and deeds of prophetic women and men which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love;
   3)Wisdom from the world’s religions which inspires us in our ethical and spiritual life;
   4)Jewish and Christian teachings which call us to respond to God’s love by loving our neighbors as ourselves;
   5)Humanist teachings which counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science, and warn us against idolatries of the mind and spirit;
   6)Spiritual teachings of earth-centered traditions which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature.

"Grateful for the religious pluralism which enriches and ennobles our faith, we are inspired to deepen our understanding and expand our vision.  As free congregations we enter into this covenant, promising to one another our mutual trust and support."

   In the UU Church, we have members who are athiests, agnostics, Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, gay/lesbian, etc, etc... all joined together in the spirit of the above covenant.  If you are not sure which church/religion you belong in but have a desire to explore or join with others of like-mind, try a Sunday morning service of a Unitarian Universalist Church near you.  The service is inspiring with sermon, choir, music and at least one fantastic loving pastor.  Many UU Churches have a Mindfullness Meditation Group based on Zen Buddhism teaching by such insightful teachers as Tich Naht Hahn; such group meets a couple of times a week and majors on teaching mindfulness meditation.  I am pleased to belong to such a group in addition to the other church activities.

   Please do not mis-understand this blog post.  I am not trying to convert you from your present faith (or non-faith).  But if doubt in your beliefs are beginning to creep in and you are looking for some spiritual understanding and direction, please consider trying Unitarian Universalism as a great place to explore or just to be comfortable in your present belief system with no pressure to change. 

 UU aims to make the world a better place through activism, love, inclusiveness and understanding.

John Potts
(Arriving Home at the Source)

You are invited to explore a blog post I recently posted about 
That link is:

You might also like to explore 700 of my photos for sale at:

All comments are welcome.  Would love to dialogue with you!  Share your spiritual experiences!

Monday, February 10, 2014





Today, Sunday, February 9,2014, began my second full week on this Magic Island of Kaua'i, aka LeMUria. I have decided to extend my stay here at least until April 1st, perhaps longer, so I will extend this Odyssey to 75 days or more to align with the 75 year milestone I came here to note and celebrate.

I am feeling, day by day, major shifts underway in every aspect of my BE-ing - BMS - Body, Mind, Spirit. I know that I have come here to re-member more about the Totality of Me (TOM) and restore more of IT into my conscious awareness as Ray in this Lifetime. Faith says I am "youthifying" before her eyes, which is a body/mind/spirit transformation. I am "seeing" it myself as I look at "me" in the mirror. Perhaps you can notice it as well in the pictures I am posting. Being on this Island for at least 8 weeks will allow completion, or at least anchoring, of the transformation process which is underway.

The Universe has offered me an opportunity to actually experience here the "SSSS" life of Seamless Simplicity, Solitude and Serenity that I was working to create in my Kentucky Paradise, but was nowhere near "done" with it - too much unnecessary "stuff" remains in that venue, and when (if) I return, it will be summarily dis-missed. I have here only what I have brought with me, and it is more than "enough" for a life of complete and comfortable simplicity. I bask in the Beauty and Ambiance of my surroundings, and enjoy Solitude whenever I want it. Transformation is underway, leading me to yet unknown new states of BE-ing. I am actually comfortable with the uncertainty of it all, trusting that the Universe will lead me, in perfect Divine Orchestration, to the "next" chapter in this incredible Journey... and KNOWING, to the core of my being, that EVERYTHING that happens is for the greatest good - for me and for All.

Here is the gift the Sky gave to me and Faith late this afternoon. The "Eye of God", (aka "God Wink") as I call these momentary sky openings which appear regularly to re-mind me that All Is Well, shone brightly as the Rays of Light beamed upward around it to embrace the planet, and us with the Light and Love of Being.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Religion vs God

"Religion vs God"

An Original Video by

Patricia Tate

I experienced this video (yes, it is an experience) this morning while watching it on YouTube.  It is brand new today and made by my new friend, Patricia Tate.  If you are here watching this, the timing is probably perfect for you.  It will make you think and you may experience a "love" change!
Please share it with others.

Your comments are welcome either on this blog or on the Facebook posting comment section.

Oh, you might want to see my art and photos for sale, about 700 of them divided into subject matter.  Framing included - Think Christmas Gifts!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Are You Looking for Me?

Are You Looking For Me?
Are you looking for me? I am in the next seat. My shoulder is against yours. You will not find me in the stupas, not in Indian shrine rooms, nor in synagogues, nor in cathedrals: not in masses, nor kirtans, not in legs winding around your own neck, nor in eating nothing but vegetables. When you really look for me, you will see me instantly you will find me in the tiniest house of time. Kabir says: Student, tell me, what is God? He is the breath inside the breath.

Kabir, 15th Century Indian Mystic

The I AmGreat Spirit Mama-Baba Goddess-God is to be found closer than most could ever imagine. The I AmGreat Spirit Mama-Baba Goddess-God is to be found within you. I Am Love, and so are you; start to allow that Sacred Love to flow freely and unconditionally to all you come in contact with.

My mantra:

I Am That I Am, All That I Am, and All That I Am Is Love!

Baba-Kundi Ma`at-Shambhala


Monday, November 25, 2013

Recreating Through True Awakening


Baba-Kundi Ma'at-Shambhala.


Recreating Through True Awakening
As I think about my life, everyone that has been in it and everything that has been a part of it, and every single aspect of my life was created by me. The abundance was my creation likewise so was the lack that was a part of my life; everything I believed I was worthy of I received, and everything that I felt was to grandiose for me remained elusive. When I wanted things and focused on those things without wavering in my belief that I was worthy of them I got them.  However, going back to worthiness the caveat was this, what I received was only the quality I felt worthy of. Why want for an old used up piece of anything when it takes the same amount of belief and energy to draw the best of that same thing to us? I have been guilty of that time and time again.

Everything we need is within us. It is taught that the Kingdom of God is within us. If that is the case, doesn’t it make sense that God is also within us? So why do we look to everyone, to everything, and everywhere for that which we need. Our Divine Source is within us in theKingdom, and that Divine Source has everything we need, with arms out stretched offering it all to us. If there were someone standing in front of us offering us a handful of one hundred dollar bills for the taking, would we turn and walk away?  Of course we would not do something as ridiculous as that. So why in heavens name do we do that with the One who is offering us everything there possibly is to have, both materially, and most important spiritually. We have been given everything from the very beginning of time, yet for some ridiculous reason, we turned our back on it all and then created the scenario where we needed a savior to rescue us from us. Many saviors have come, but not to save us in the way we think and want, they came to save us by waking us up to the Divine Reality that we are who and what we are in search of. Until we wake up to that reality we can be waiting for the return of Jesus or the bunny rabbit for that matter, and we will continue to wait for whoever or whatever, and they will never come. What is it going to take for humanity to get it?

Back to the Kingdom of Heaven/God within, such is not possible without a Sacred King and Sacred Queen. So why do so many people look at the Kingdom of Heaven and only see a Sacred King, only see God the Father? That is due to pure ignorance and laziness, just taking that which someone tells you is truth and reality, and not studying to show thyself approved, you and I entering into a Divine Understanding on our own. Those who believe that you are working your way to heaven; can you do that by way of what others tell you and what others do? Of course not, so why are you taking everything that another tells you as the gospel simply because they say it is. Why do you take a book that man has written and say it is the inerrant word of God, when his-story tells you that man is a deceiver and liar? There are many truths in the different holy books, but not one of them is without error; most of them are designed to control and deceive you. The bible does not only teach that the Kingdom of Heaven is within, it also teaches that we are gods. The spiritual masters came to teach us that by showing us what they were doing embracing that reality. They embraced the totality ofThe Divine, and guess what? That can only be done by fully honoring the Kingdom of Heaven/Paradise within, and to do that we must recognize both the Sacred Feminine and theSacred Masculine, we must recognize both Mama (Mother) and Baba (Father) Goddess-God. God the Father was dissected by insecure deceptive controlling men, and humanity due to laziness has been following that lie for eons. The laziness and ignorance of the human race is disgraceful to say the least.

Arise Ye Mighty Nation and fully embrace the Divine Reality that the Kingdom of Mama-Baba Goddess-God is within you, and within that Glorious Kingdom resides a storehouse with everything that we could eternally ever need; and it is there for the taking, because it can never be depleted. There is no thing to great for us to have, and no thing to great for us to share with each other and the whole of creation. Through the Mighty Oneness of The Divinewe are One, every person, every part of Earth Mother, and the entire Universe. Yes, we are all one; and there are no greater or lesser members of our oneness. Humans and no more important than the animal kingdom, nor are those who are fully in spirit form, we are all one and equal, just temporarily in different forms. This is a very big one for a lot of you, the so-called righteous and the so-called wicked sinful ones are equal in every way, no one, no not one is going to experience eternal damnation for what they did or didn’t do while in physical form here on this dense physical plane. Please think about this, if there were not those who did that which we see as pure evil, how could we learn the difference between that which we have labeled right and wrong, how could we come to appreciate Love if we did not know the opposing energies of Love? Could it possibly be, that those who have chosen to carry out the role of the wicked, will be blessed for taking on such a role? Everything comes from The Divine Great Spirit Mama-Baba Goddess-God, and means that everything will return to The Divine Great Spirit Mama-Baba Goddess-God. Hey, after writing that I realized that is not even so; it is just a figure of speech. We are and always have been in, a part of The DivineGreat Spirit Mama-Baba Goddess-God; to come from means to leave something and we have never left our Beloved Goddess-God.

So in essence, we must reawaken and recreate our reality, through fully comprehending the Divine Reality that we lack no-thing because we are one with Source, and within Sourcethere is to be found everything. We must surely start seeing ourselves as we truly are, totally one with Mama-Baba Goddess-God, and that makes us daughter gods and son gods, nothing more and nothing less. How else could we possibly create our own realities? Humans are the prodigal daughter gods and the prodigal son gods who are returning home to the Kingdom ofMama-Baba Goddess-God. Our Heavenly Parent Mama-Baba Goddess-God is saying; Welcome Home My Children, I Love You!

The following should be the mantra of us all because Mama-Baba Goddess-God Is Love!

I Am That I Am, All That I Am, and All That I Am Is Love!

By my friend: Baba-Kundi Ma'at-Shambhala (Spiritwalker)

Your comments are welcome!  Would love to hear from you about your views on Spirituality!
John Potts
Arriving Home at the Source (Dharma Name)

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Awakening 2013 - Compassion

The Awakening 2013 - Compassion

2013 The Great Awakening- letting down your guard and opening your heart to compassion,

 this is the true Awakening. 

One technique to achieve this is through the practice of the Bodhisattva,

 but its not the only way,

 there are many ways to do this in each culture.

 Ken Thornton shares his insights into the awakening and the bodhisattva practice. 

Music Jeffrey Gold and Mercedes Bahleda... photography Gabriel Lakey and Ken Thornton

   You are invited to watch the following short insightful video with humility and mindfulness:

Traditionally, a bodhisattva is anyone who, motivated by great compassion, has generated bodhicitta, which is a spontaneous wish to attain Buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings. According to Tibetan Buddhism, a Bodhisattva is one of the four sublime states a human can achieve in life (the others being an Arhat, Buddha, or Pratyekabuddha).

Friday, November 1, 2013


Pastel Chalk by John Potts


Quotes compiled by

John Potts

Arriving Home at the Source

Selfless Action

It is not an untrammeled market economy that is going to redeem our world.
It is not strategies of aggression, domination, and repression that are going to make us safe.
The secret to transforming the world, the key to security and safety, lies in cooperation and collaboration.
It lies in compassion for all beings in the wider web of life,
and in generosity
and love channeled into selfless action on behalf of people we will never know or see.

- Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi, "An Act of Conscience"

Pastel Chalk by John Potts
Can You Teach Compassion?

Stanford’s investment in altruism research, funded by the Dalai Lama.

We can be healthier, live longer, and make the world a better place by exploring our potential for compassionate behavior, according to neurosurgeon James Doty, founder and director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education, part of the Stanford Institute for Neuro-Innovation and Translational Neurosciences.
Where does your strong interest in compassion, altruism and empathy come from?
Having grown up in poverty with a father who was an alcoholic and a mother who was an invalid, I was exposed to suffering—lack of shelter, lack of food. Sometimes you would see people in positions of power or wealth who could intervene to help, and either would be silent observers or would turn away. And then you would see other people who would immediately reach out. Why is it that there are some who are immediately engaged, and others who turn away as soon as they see suffering because they don't want any proximity to it? That paradox stuck with me.
So much so that you founded the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University?
Yes. Later in life, when I got into a position in which I could more seriously think about this, I began conversations with my colleagues at Stanford which led to preliminary research efforts. I also wanted the Dalai Lama to come to Stanford to speak because I thought his message on the importance of compassion was compelling. He did come, and it led to individuals donating significant sums, and it began a research effort, which continues.
What is the goal of the center?
Its mission is to understand the neuroscience of compassion and altruism on a deep level, and the impact of these behaviors on health and longevity. One goal is how to maximize an individual's potential in these areas.

Why is that worth exploring?
We know that as a species we flourish and thrive when we care for others. Not only do you feel happier, but you live better, you feel better, you live longer. And it's a self-supporting activity in the sense that when you do those activities and they make you feel good, it makes you want to continue. It's a boon to humanity, but also to one's self.

Might some people still think you are simply saying "it's nice to be good"?
If we can show that you have the potential to increase your capacity for kindness and caring, and that this should result in dramatic improvements in your personal relationships, significant decrease in inflammation, improvement in cardiac function, increase in your telomere length (the DNA that protects the ends of your chromosomes), which increases longevity. ... If we can show you this proposition, then I think it is different to that.

Some people react with compassion when seeing another's suffering, and some don't. Is this divide a result of nature versus nurture? It's an open question, but most likely a mix. You can fall back on the happiness literature and say the nature/nurture split is 50–50. We know that genes have a significant impact on behavior. For example, with a female rodent who typically would be protective of her young, if we manipulate a particular gene by turning it off, then she abandons them. We also know that variations in gene receptors for oxytocin can result in individuals being less altruistic. I suspect that, like happiness, we will find a similar split between how one's DNA and environment affects their ability to be kind and caring.
Pastel Chalk by John Potts
Can we all become more compassionate?
There's a small subset of people on the side of extraordinarily kind, compassionate, and that's their baseline—Desmond Tutu, the Dalai Lama. And then there's a fairly small group who, no matter what we do to try to potentiate their capacity for compassion, don't have that capacity. Between those extremes are the rest of us, who can probably benefit from some kind of intervention or training when it comes to our ability to be altruistic or compassionate.

So how does CCARE try to intervene?
It has a program of compassion-cultivation training courses that includes both meditation and group-focused activities. There are also other institutions in the United States and internationally that have intervention or training programs of which a large component focuses on increasing compassion.

What effect are these measures having?
There's preliminary data that people who take our eight-week course show greater compassion. We also did some work with Stanford psychologist Jeanne Tsai in which individuals went through our training and then we studied how they responded to a scenario of writing to someone in prison for murder. Some think being compassionate means you give others a free pass regarding responsibility. But what was found was that no one gave this presumed murderer a free pass. They held them to be responsible but also encouraged them that they did have a future.

Could what is being learned about altruism help us tackle challenges such as war and injustice?
Research has shown that there is a tendency, based on evolutionary aspects, for us to define a tribe or an anchor, an in-group and out-group. Ultimately this doesn't work for the greater good. To overcome these natural mechanisms, certain techniques help: simply looking at that other group, whose members you would not normally feel kinship with, and saying, "Well, it turns out that they want their children to be educated like mine. They have the same interest in seeing X, Y or Z occur, just like me." It has a profound effect on how you perceive your responsibility to others. It gives you the realization of our shared humanity and interdependence. It changes how you interact.

The Dalai Lama donated to CCARE. Can a body funded by a religious leader do good science?
The Dalai Lama has had an interest in the neuroscience of meditation for more than 30 years, and which is more recently focused on compassion. But there is not one shred of evidence that there was ever any agenda related to the promotion of Buddhism. He has very specifically separated empirical science from religious dogma in his talks.

Where does the work of CCARE go from here?
I would like to create a virtual compassion gym, where individuals get a psychological profile which takes into account what resonates with them, be it spirituality or religiosity, or other types of philosophies. Additionally, we would incorporate what we have learned from online gaming and psychology on engagement. Based on that, we would create a plan so they can strengthen their compassion muscle and then show how they benefit, both mentally and physiologically. If we've done our work correctly, the results will be strong motivators for them to continue, hopefully making their lives and society better.
Pastel Chalk by John Potts
How hopeful are you that the world can become a more compassionate place?
I think that we're really seeing a sea change in how people perceive their place in the world. The millennium generation is the first to grow up with 24/7 access to global information. When you see the suffering of others, you realize that those individuals could just as easily have been you. It's much easier to say, "I can't let that happen—I feel their pain." That is how humanity is going to survive.
This article originally appeared in New Scientist.
Above quotes compiled by John Potts,
Arriving Home at the Source (Dharma Name)
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