What is Center For Spiritual Living?
Centers for Spiritual Living supports positive global transformation through personal
transformation. Our founder Dr. Ernest Holmes’s work in the Science of Mind and Spirit is
recognized today as one of the leading viewpoints in modern metaphysics and New Thought. This
universal philosophy provides us with a personal spiritual path, an understanding of our
relationship with the Universe, and a connected and joyful approach to daily living.
What is New Thought Spirituality?
Once called the “religion of healthy-mindedness” by philosopher William James, the early New Thought movement was driven by the discovery that physical healing was possible through the power of mind and spiritual awareness. As that initial idea unfolded into successful application, practitioners of New Thought began to see that the power of an uplifted consciousness could also bring healing to negative circumstances and conditions in one’s personal life. As it evolves today, twenty-first century New Thought is driven by a far broader intention. Planetary healing through self-realization is emerging as the new promise of these teachings.
The Vision of Oakland Center for Spiritual Living is to joyfully reveal the Love and Oneness of God.
We are a welcoming and inclusive spiritual community dedicated to individual transformation and collective growth.
Our purpose is to love, inspire and serve our community and the world through education, music, prayer and play.
As part of the greater Centers For Spiritual Living organization, The Oakland Center for Spiritual Living is a “Global Heart” Community.” We operate according to the Global Vision, as set forth by Centers for Spiritual Living.
We envision a world:
- that is free of homelessness, violence, war, hunger, separation and disenfranchisement
- in which there is generous and continuous sharing of heart and resources
- in which forgiveness, whether for errors, injustices, or debts, is the norm
- which has renewed its emphasis on beauty, nature and love through a resurgence of creativity, art and aesthetics
- in which fellowship prospers and connects through the guidance of spiritual wisdom and experience
- in which we live and grow as One Human Family.
Our spiritual community is committed to bringing this vision forth through our ministries and our teaching.
At The Oakland Center for Spiritual Living We Believe…
- In the infinite goodness of Spirit
- In the spiritual nature of Mind, Body, Heart & Soul
- In the Divinity of all life, of all creation
- That love is the greatest power
- That the highest God and the innermost God is One God
- In the inherent goodness of ourselves and of each other
- That diversity is the nature of creation
- That we have the power to change our lives, and our worldDeclaration of Principles / What We Believe, by Ernest Holmes, was published in the first issue of Science of Mind magazine, October, 1927. This edited version uses gender-inclusive language.• We believe in God, the Living Spirit Almighty; one, indestructible, absolute and self-existent Cause. This One manifests itself in and through all creation but is not absorbed by its creation. The manifest universe is the body of God; it is the logical and necessary outcome of the infinite self-knowingness of God.• We believe in the incarnation of the Spirit in everyone and that all people are incarnations of the One Spirit.• We believe in the eternality, the immortality, and the continuity of the individual soul, forever and ever expanding.• We believe that Heaven is within us and that we experience it to the degree that we become conscious of it.• We believe the ultimate goal of life to be a complete emancipation from all discord of every nature, and that this goal is sure to be attained by all.• We believe in the unity of all life, and that the highest God and the innermost God is one God.• We believe that God is personal to all who feel this Indwelling Presence.• We believe in the direct revelation of Truth through the intuitive and spiritual nature of the individual, and that any person may become a revealer of Truth who lives in close contact with the indwelling God.• We believe that the Universal Spirit, which is God, operates through a Universal Mind, which is the Law of God; and that we are surrounded by this Creative Mind which receives the direct impress of our thought and acts upon it.• We believe in the healing of the sick through the power of this Mind.• We believe in the control of conditions through the power of this Mind.• We believe in the eternal Goodness, the eternal Loving-kindness, and the eternal Givingness of Life to all.
• We believe in our own soul, our own spirit, and our own destiny; for we understand that the life of all is God.
“There is a power for good in the universe greater than you are—and you can use it.” These words are part of the rich legacy of Ernest Holmes. They are the cornerstone of Religious Science—the culmination of his lifetime of study and contemplation.
Ernest Holmes was born on a small farm near Lincoln, Maine, on January 21, 1887. Ninth of nine sons born to William and Anna Heath Holmes, Ernest was named after a poetic young preacher of that area, Rev. Ernest Shurtleff. Although he dropped out of school at the age of 15, Ernest had an insatiable desire to learn the universal truths and imperishable ideas that manifested through the ages in literature, art, science, philosophy and religion. He spent a lifetime synthesizing his discoveries.
Ernest was deeply influenced by the writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson, one of the original Transcendentalists whose work impacted the early development of what became known as the New Thought movement. Another source of inspiration was the writing of Thomas Troward, a one-time English judge in Punjab, India. Then, while studying public speaking in Boston, Holmes became interested in the thinking of some of his fellow students who were Christian Scientists. He was especially intrigued by the healings they believed possible as a result of affirmative prayer.
In 1912, Ernest came to California on an exploratory tour and to visit his older brother Fenwicke, who had built a small, thriving church in Venice. Finding the Los Angeles area a place of progressive people, stimulating intellectuals and seekers of truth, Ernest stayed. He took a job as a purchasing agent for the city of Venice, which gave him time for study.
An engineer who frequented Holmes’ purchasing office became curious about his books on philosophy and metaphysics and invited him to his home to talk to a few of his friends. That first talk led to others, in the homes of other friends. Then one evening, a lady informed Ernest that she had told the librarian at the big Metaphysical Library that he would talk there the following Thursday. The hall rented for $1.00 a class, and the admission price per person was 25 cents. He decided to talk on Troward and the Edinburgh Lectures. Enough people showed up that he went home with a $5.00 gold piece after paying his rental.
That was 1916.
Within the next two years, Ernest was speaking to thousands of people a week in Los Angeles. Soon he began traveling around the country, developing a national reputation as a man who stimulated others to think for themselves. Wherever he went, people wanted to hear his message. They were ready for what he had already embarked upon: the great synthesis that would result in the book, The Science of Mind.
2017 Monthly Themes – Oakland Center for Spiritual Living
January – Spiritual Living
As we learn and practice our philosophy, the Science of Mind, we live principle-centered, Spirit-led lives and turn to our principles for guidance in all moments and all areas of our lives.
February – Spiritual Living as Diversity and Inclusivity
We value, embrace and celebrate the individual uniqueness and contribution of all people as they express through differences of gender, ethnicity, culture, history, experience, talents and sexual orientation.
March – Spiritual Living through Education and Continuous Improvement
We walk a path of awakening, growth and spiritual deepening through classes, workshops, seminars and spiritual practices that allow us to embrace education as a lifelong endeavor. We consistently welcome more and more of the Divine Nature to be realized within us and revealed through our relationships, our decisions and our contributions to the world.
April – Spiritual Living through Transformation and Evolution
We do deep inner personal work of self-discovery and healing to reveal the greater truth of our divinity, wholeness and freedom.
May – Spiritual Living through Creativity
We allow the ongoing activity of Spirit into our hearts, minds and activities to bring forth new forms and expressions to inspire and guide.
June – Accountability
We account for our activities, disclose them in a transparent manner and accept responsibility for our actions and the obligations entrusted to us.
July – Open Communication
We communicate openly with each other in an atmosphere of collaboration and inclusion.
August – Love, Compassion and Caring
We embrace Love as the Self-Givingness of God to all creation, moving through us into expression as compassion, caring, mutual respect and kindness. We express interest in and support for the well-being of ourselves and others. We express unconditional love when observing the suffering of others and do what we can to give aid and show compassion.
September – Community Service
We dedicate our time, talent, treasure and expertise to the healthy and joyful evolution of our spiritual community, the community in which we live and the greater community of the world.
October – Financial Health and Prosperity
We express order and balance in our finances and experience optimal financial well-being. Through the richness of our teaching and its application, we value the principle of abundance and its expression as prosperity as a means to provide resources to empower our personal and collective vision.
November – Love as Safety
We create a community-wide climate conducive to honest reflection and deep and direct communication.
December – Integrity
We embrace the quality of being honest and strive to let our inner convictions match our outer actions. We express wholeness, honesty and fairness in our relationships and activities.
2016 Themes and Inspirations
January – A World That Works for Everyone
We envision a world that works for everyone and for all of creation. We see all people, all beings, and all life as expressions of God. The One manifests Itself in and through all creation. We see a world in which people live in alignment with their highest spiritual Truth.
February – Awakening to Our Spiritual Magnificence
We believe in the incarnation of the Spirit in everyone and that all people are incarnations of the One Spirit. We see a world in which unity with God and connection with each other is emphasized. We believe in the unity of all life, and that the highest God and the innermost God is One God. We envision humanity awakening to its spiritual magnificence.
March – Realizing the Power of Mind
We believe that God is personal to all who feel this indwelling presence. We see a world in which humanity rediscovers the creative power of thought. We see a world in which individuals rediscover their personal power to create an individual life that works within a life that works for everyone.
April – Kinship with All Life
We believe that the manifest universe is the body of God. We see a world in which we live and grow as one global family that respects and honors the interconnectedness of all life. We see a world in which kinship with all life prospers.
May – Spiritual Guidance and Personal Responsibility
We believe that any person may become a revealer of Truth who lives in close contact with the indwelling God. We see a world in which spiritual guidance is valued. We belief that life is the logical and necessary outcome of the infinite self-knowingness of God. We see a world in which we are called to conscious action. We believe in our own soul, our own spirit, and our own destiny; and we understand that all life is God.
June – Freedom from Discord
We see a world in which personal responsibility joins with social conscience in the political, corporate, academic and social sectors. We believe the ultimate goal of life to be a complete emancipation from all discord of every nature, and that this goal is sure to be attained by all. We see a world in which people have enough food, homes, and a sense of belonging. We believe that we are surrounded by Creative Mind which receives the direct impress of our thought, and acts upon it.
July – Loving-Kindness and Forgiveness
We see a worldwide culture in which forgiveness is the norm. We see a world of peace and harmony, enfranchisement and justice. We believe in the eternal Goodness of life. We see our communities as being open, receptive, and welcoming of all people, all faiths, and all paths to God.
August – Beauty, Nature, Arts and Aesthetics
We believe in eternal loving-kindness. We see a world which has renewed its emphasis on beauty, nature, and love through a resurgence of creativity, art, and aesthetics. We believe in the eternal givingness of Life to all. We see a world in which resources are valued, cared for and grown, and where there is generous and continuous sharing of these resources.
September – Service to the World
We see our communities as being meaningfully involved with service to the world. We see a new light is coming into the world. We see our organizations as a global community that embraces peace, love, and compassion.
October – Global Transformation through Individual Transformation
We believe in the direct revelation of Truth through the intuitive and spiritual nature of the individual. We strive to assist individuals in their own evolutionary awakening process. We believe in one, indestructible, absolute and self-existent Cause. We encourage our community members to live courageous, fearless lives, and to be passionate about its possibilities.
November – Wholeness
We see a world with an understanding of wholeness. We believe that Heaven is within us and that we experience it to the degree that we become conscious of it. We see our communities as empowered with the realization of unity and wholeness from which flows the ultimate healing power of forgiveness and love. We believe in the eternality, the immortality and the continuity of the individual soul, forever and ever expanding.
December – The Living Spirit
We believe in God, the Living Spirit Almighty. We believe that the Universal Spirit, which is God, operates through a Universal Mind, which is the Law of God. We see our communities as beacons of peace, love, and power.