Holidays are special times for many. At the College of Metaphysics, they are a magical place of growth and transformation evident in the lights on the Peace Dome and the inner light in each student's eyes. Here, Emily Ashley (COM 2011 grad) shares a journey of "peace on earth, goodwill toward men".
Jade was a first cycle student,
young in the School of Metaphysics lessons when she came for the Annual Breadmaking Experience at the College of Metaphysics. She was extraordinarily shy about expressing her real thoughts and emotions, and held them in. It was 6 o’clock in the morning and she was tired, hungry and tense.
Kneading her dough seemed to go on for hours and her wrists began to hurt. The dough was unyielding and hard—just as she was mentally and emotionally. Feeling exhausted, she finally asked the teacher to please look at her dough, desperately hoping she’d say it was done. Miss T grabbed the rocklike dough and said, “Oh, honey this needs work,” and within a matter of seconds, flipped the hard dough into a perfect soft consistency. “Now, work on it just a bit longer,” she added, smiling with great enthusiasm.
Jade began with a renewed inspiration that soon turned to sorrow as her dough became tough again within just a matter of minutes. Squinting her face and biting her lip, she asked for help a second time. Through coaching, persistence and a broken sweat, she finally got to the point where she was complete. This marked her first experience with breadmaking, which is the stage of growth called infancy – beginning without prejudice, and being wide open to learn and receive.
Afterwards, she sat and contemplated why the dough became hard again when she received it soft from her teacher. The thought dawned in her mind, “thought really is cause!” This was Jade’s first grasp of a Universal Truth—built through experience. Dazzled by this awareness, she saw that the tough dough was a reflection of the tension she held in her own body, and this was an incredible reflection of her bottled up emotions and thoughts. Through making this connection, she realized that she was the creator of her experience, and this empowered her.
Flash forward one year
Jade is back, this time participating as a college student. She is now in the stage of growth of adolescence and this is the time of experimentation. Jade remembers her technique from the previous year and this time is devoted to sharing any thoughts that come up with others instead of holding them inside. She lets her emotions pass through her like water and as a result she is calmer, has more energy, and overall greater success with kneading. She watches others in order to pick up pointers and finds that the kneading is going much faster and is an enjoyable event.
After breadmaking, she is given the opportunity to hand deliver the bread to all the neighbors. This opens her eyes to the greater importance of the tradition as she is able to bring light, joy and friendship to hundreds of neighbors. She intuits that this practice will aid in the outreach of the world at large. She is fulfilled by being out in the community, meeting people, and uplifting their holiday season.
Great story, huh! I know it well… because Jade is actually, me!
We learn in the classes at the SOM that our thoughts create our reality. The thoughts and attitudes that we choose affect the outcome of our experiences. We build Self mastery as we cause thought with awareness. This, I have experienced through the simple yet profound act of making bread.
Christmas 2010 marked my third year of bread-making at the COM.
This happening was even more rich and fruitful. The first year, I learned that our thoughts and attitudes effect everything we do, even making bread. Last year, I learned a great deal about the power of one person’s influence when I delivered bread. Having a positive attitude while making bread effects the quality of the gift we give to our neighbors. It also adds to the collective thought form that we care about all people.
For this reason, I called upon my authority in causing a productive and positive attitude inviting everyone I was with to join me as I participated in my third year of college breadmaking for the neighbors. We sang, we shared our gratitude and thankfulness, and we talked about how much of a difference we wanted to make in other people’s lives. We were awakened to the power of the moment because we were present minded—and happy to be! I felt a great sense of thrill in the process of creating, as we discussed the connections we were making between the seemingly physical "task" of breadmaking and all of the Universal Laws of creation.
This third year, I experienced the stage of growth called adulthood. Adulthood is marked by productivity, continual creation, and the ability to add to "what is" in the environment. My adulthood manifested this year as I shared the knowledge I gained from my past experiences and purposefully produced a growth-filled experience for the whole.
Now, I look forward to Christmas time 2011.
This will be the stage of growth for me called "wisdom". In speaking with the president of the SOM, Dr. Laurel Clark, she told me that wisdom is built through building understandings of qualities like: the power of truth, devotion, determination, or leadership. In The Four Stages of Growth, Dr. Daniel Condron describes building wisdom: “As the one gaining wisdom continues to teach and teaches on a higher and higher level the complete flowering of and fulfillment of wisdom is achieved… He or she gains more awareness of areas or possibilities of learning and soul growth of the Self for as you give so you shall receive.”
Stay tuned for the flowering.