Another term has come and gone. With the completion of this term, I have completed two years of study in the Masters Degree program called Consciousness Studies. I am officially two-thirds of the way through this Graduate program. If all goes according to plan, I will graduate in 2013.
I got curious so I did some research on how many people in the US get a Masters Degree. According to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Educational_attainment_in_the_United_States), in 2009 7.62% of the population got a Masters Degree.
Wow. I was already feeling pretty special and privileged to be the recipient of such a good education, but now I really feel special. 7.2%?!?!? That’s not a very high percentage.
Now I am beginning to understand why, when I tell people I am in a Masters Degree program, I get mostly blank looks. They don’t have any comprehension of what that means. Maybe. Or maybe they just don’t care. Well, whatever. I still think it’s pretty special. And it says something about my organization as well. We are considered a church by many, although I think just as many consider us a spiritual organization (I fall into that category). We embrace all religions (in fact, as I am also required to take classes in all the world’s major religions, I am discovering that while the languaging is a bit different, the basic spiritual truths are true everywhere). That my organization took it upon themselves to design a powerful accredited program, so that their ministers could graduate and be on a par with any graduate from any theological seminary in the world is pretty impressive to me.
Since beginning school I have recieved training in psychology, quantum physics, body mind medicine, all from a spiritual or consciousness point of view. I have also taken oodles of classes in spiritual leadership (so many in fact, that I have more credits than I need in that category). I’ve learned to write curriculum and to teach. I’ve learned to conduct such rituals as weddings and celebrations of life (I am so happy that, as more and more folks witness me in action, the word is beginning to spread and I am getting hired more and more frequently). I’ve learned to work one on one with people as a spiritual coach and advisor, although that training began with my Practitioner training and now I’m even better trained!
I’ve also just received notification of a promotion. Soon, the Lake Tahoe Spiritual Living Center will be transformed into the Center for Spiritual Living Lake Tahoe, a formally affiliated Teaching Chapter with the Centers for Spiritual Living (http://www.unitedcentersforspiritualliving.org/). I am the Spiritual Director. Woo HOO! Stay tuned for notification of the new web site and calendar of events like discussion groups and classes. We are primarily a teaching order, and what we do is teach. The Centers for Spiritual Living have three basic types of Centers: There are the “churches” with Sunday services and all that goes along with that. These places still teach. Some of our Centers are huge, drawing thousands of people every Sunday in the bigger cities, although most range in size from 50 to about 200, and there are some smaller ones as well. Then there are the Teaching Chapters, which just teach. Teaching Chapters don’t hold Sunday services unless there is no Center nearby. Teaching Chapters have to be led by a Practitioner or a Minister. Then there are the Study Groups, which can be led by anyone. While we tend to have more Centers in the western part of the US, you will also find us scattered across the country and the world. You can find a Center, Teaching Chapter or Study Group by going to http://www.unitedcentersforspiritualliving.org/ and clicking on Find a Community.
I feel like a spiritual leader, and that is way cool.
I know my training is not yet complete. I know that there is more to learn, more to do, more internships, more classes, more travel, more papers to write, more research. I love it all. But I still feel like a spiritual leader. I still feel like I want to shout our message from the rooftops.
IF ONLY YOU WOULD JUST MEDITATE EVERY DAY YOU WOULD KNOW PEACE BEYOND YOUR WILDEST DREAMS! COME, TAKE A CLASS! COME, JOIN US!
Ok, I’m off the roof now….
Can you tell I’m excited? I love what I’ve learned. I love what I will be learning. By the way, my classes for next term are PSI Research, Diversity Issues, Managing a Spiritual Organization and Homiletics. I had to look up homiletics when I first saw it. Turns out it’s related to homily…giving talks. Dictionary.com defines it as the art of preaching. We don’t do much preaching around here but we’ve been known to give very good talk! I’ve already been giving talks and been told I’m quite good at it, so I’m excited to take this class and learn some more.
So, that’s it in my ongoing series of posts about my studies. If you are curious as to the journey thus far, each blog post I’ve done about my studies has been titled the same thing: Consciousness Studies.
I would love to hear your thoughts about all this!