…there are many spiritual paths to choose from, so how do you know which is right for you?… If you feel Loving present.
I found out about MSIA through Soul Dance at Prana, and in a roundabout way through USM. I had been a student at the University of Santa Monica (USM) and picked up a Soul Dance flyer in the lobby. Funny that I had been completely oblivious to the huge MSIA posters there– obviously the timing had to be right. About 5 months after graduating I ran across that flyer and decided to go.
As I walked into the beautiful white mansion, I felt how strong and beautiful the energy was there. It was a similar energy and spiritual high I felt at USM and now that my two-year program was done, I was grateful to find a place to keep in touch with that energy. I met Debbie Roth, the Outreach Coordinator at the time, and with her encouragement I signed up for Discourses that evening.
I started volunteering at Prana once a week that summer and shortly thereafter I was invited to join staff. I served as the Director of Human Resources for MSIA for almost 5 years. This experience was and is an immense blessing in my life.
On one hand, joining staff when I was so new on Discourses was like “being thrown in the deep end,” however I had been deeply involved with another spiritual path, Self-Realization Fellowship, all my life and was working at their world headquarters prior to my job at MSIA. So my early experience studying in MSIA is unique since I was then able to have so many resources available at my fingertips.
Most people assumed I was already an MSIA minister and initiate while working there, but I was actually going through an emotional struggle between my sense of loyalty to SRF (my religion of origin) and the inner and outer benefits I was receiving from MSIA. I had been previously initiated in SRF and felt I needed to be clear inside myself before committing to initiation in MSIA. Honestly, I felt very stuck.
Fortunately, through the tools I learned at USM (which I later found out was one of organizations J-R founded), I was able to engage in a healing process around my past with SRF and come to a place of peace. From there, I felt clear to move into deeper study with MSIA. I was one of the last few people to be personally approved by J-R for initiation and ministry before he passed in 2014.
Studying the teachings of MSIA has given me a spiritual tool kit to live my everyday life with more grace, loving, and neutrality. The teachings are immensely practical! I call J-R my spiritual translator because I have been able to take platitudes I’ve heard all my life like, “Love everyone unconditionally,” and actually get the “how to” behind it. Plus, I love J-R’s humor and authenticity in his approach to spirituality.
I have become intimately familiar with the Light through my S.E.s, and found it has expanded my ability to connect with others in different spiritual paths, since I feel that same spiritual energy present with them, too. In my current work, I serve as the Outreach Program Manager at Unity World Headquarters near Kansas City, Missouri. I am traveling and meeting Unity ministers and New Thought ministers all over the country, and participating with inter-faith events. That ministerial energy is the same wherever I go. The dedication to Spirit and service is the same.
My ministerial blessing has served as a guiding star for me. My personal innerphasings have helped me bring my Basic Self into cooperation, so I can make practical physical changes in my life. My inner relationship with the Traveler and Spirit guide me deeper and to new insights. I have a profound sense of peace, knowing that I am already spiritual and through studying and living the teachings of Soul Transcendence, I am simply becoming more aware of that.
My teachers Drs. Ron and Mary Hulnick mentioned once in class that there are many spiritual paths to choose from, so how do you know which is right for you?… If you feel Loving present.
With MSIA I have found that Loving– in this community, and more importantly, in me.
If you didn’t know, Cheri is a singer and has a beautiful voice. Visit her website cherijamison.com to hear her sing and to see what else she’s up to!