My Love I Leave You by Rev. Carolyne Mathlin

My sabbatical, or spiritual renewal, is just around the corner. Preparing to be away from June 5 to September 5 has turned into a consuming part of my life these days. My impending departure seems to be on your mind too. I’ve been receiving many comments of support and some questions. The two top questions? What are you doing? Where are you going? I’m glad to say that I have an answer. I intend for this time period to be one of rest, retreat, spiritual renewal, empowerment for myself and the community, service, professional education, and spiritual education. What has come is a combination of many things, including just simply being home, meditating, practicing yoga, cooking, reading, and gardening. What has also come is a time of travel and retreat. During my sabbatical I will attend two retreats offered by Wisdom University:

Retreat 1: Sacred Number ~ the Matrix of the Universe the Fifth Liberal Art Arithmetica in Chartres, France with Jain, Carolyn Myss, Ruth Cunningham, Apela Colorado, Jim Garrison, Andrew Harvey, Karen Rivers, Peggy Rubin, and Banafsheh Sayyad.

Arithmetica is the study of the ancient wisdom within the energy patterns that create and unify all things and reveal the precise way that the energy of Creation organizes itself. On every scale, every natural pattern of growth or movement conforms to one or more numerical pattern of geometric shape. Following Pythagoras, the Chartrean Masters believed that study of Sacred Number was essential to the education of the soul.  They knew that these patterns and codes were symbolic of our own inner realm and the subtle structure of awareness. To them the “sacred” had particular significance involving consciousness and the profound mystery of awareness.

Retreat 2: Mystical Andalusia, Garden Amidst the Flames, Ibn Arabi, Rumi and the Dance of Oneness in Granada, Cordoba and Seville, Spain with Andrew Harvey, Banafsheh Sayyad, and Jim Garrison.

O Marvel! A garden amidst the flames.
My heart has become capable of every form:
it is a pasture for gazelles and a convent for Christian monks,
a temple for idols and the pilgrim’s Kaa’ba,
the tables of the Torah and the book of the Quran.
I follow the religion of Love: whatever way Love’s camels take me,
that is my religion and my faith.
—Ibn Arabi

Give me ecstasy
Give Birth to the Beloved in me, and let this Lover die!
Let a thousand wrangling desires become one blazing love.
—Jalaledin Rumi

These poetic lines from the two greatest Sufi mystics describe the longing that leads the heart to break open and give birth to the ecstasy of surrender to a deeper experience of truth. Surrender your heart to dance, music, poetry, and the teachings of Ibn Arabi, known as the “Greatest Master” by Sufis, who opened up the Path of Knowledge, and Rumi, who opened up the Path of Love inspired by his beloved Shams. Open your being through the Sama (whirling), deep listening with the heart.

Can you see why I was so called to these incredible opportunities? I am in deep awe and gratitude for the consciousness of our community to create the field of support that allows me to experience these rich offerings with internationally known Master Teachers. I can feel the delight in my soul as I prepare for my pilgrimage.

For those of you who take my classes and think I give too much homework, you get your revenge. I have 7 books, several essays and multiple pre-retreat calls as required pre-retreat assignments. Plus, apparently there are 2 post-retreat papers due. One 12-15 page paper is to focus on one aspect of Sacred Number that weaves together my understanding of the material, experience and art. The other is a 15-20 page paper that distills my understanding of how the teachings of Ibn Arabi and Rumi can serve as a model for our contemporary challenges. I promise to share these with you for those who are interested. Have I mentioned that I love spiritual study?!?

Rest assured, while in Europe I also plan on relaxing and having fun. I’ll be in Paris for a week delighting in amazing food and wine and inflicting my broken French on the locals. I even have tickets to see one of my all-time favorite bands Depeche Mode in concert. Food will feature prominently in my European travels.

As Juliet says to Romeo, “Parting is such sweet sorrow, that I shall say good night till it be morrow.” Yes, we will be apart for a while. And, I know the experiences and time away will be powerful for both of us. I am heartened by the work the Sabbatical Team has been doing. They have been in conversation consistently for several months now, making sure all the areas they can think to cover are addressed. All of leadership’s intention is for our community to feel supported and held in the sacred field we know Unity of Tustin to be. That is important because sometimes people can project that it is just the minister who creates or generates the church experience. It is so much more than me. I am but one piece. During the summer we will get to see and even cultivate more the reality that there are many incredible souls who contribute to the life energy of Unity of Tustin. I am also happy to know that my friend Gail Hamley will be returning to Unity while I am away. She will be speaking during most of the summer. Plus we have some stellar long-time friends and first time friends of Unity who will speak and lead workshops. Please make sure to check out the Invitation of Love and Summons to Love entries. Dr. Marj Britt and Andrew Harvey’s four-day intensive will be an experience to be remembered. You aren’t going to want to miss it.

Holy Week (the week between Palm Sunday and Easter) is near and transition has been on my mind. The stories from the time period Jesus prepared to enter Jerusalem to the Last Supper allude to an energetic field surrounding Him that was particularly charged and activated. After the Passover meal (what we refer to as the Last Supper) the disciples ask where Jesus is going and He answers that where He is going they cannot follow. He tells them that He is going to prepare a place for them. “In my Father’s house there are many mansions.” He also promises that God (the Father) will send the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, in His name to teach them all things and remind them of everything Jesus had taught. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27

As I begin the journey of saying goodbye, I’ve been contemplating what I want to leave with you all. While the tone, context and global implications of my departure are vastly different than Jesus’, I can’t help but look to his example as I make final preparations. Jesus left His peace and said the Father would send the Advocate, Comforter, Holy Spirit. I send the Sabbatical Team, the Board, Gail, Master Teachers, and YOU! I leave my love. My heart, passion, joy, sorrow, dedication, service and so much more has been focused practically all of my life on Unity of Tustin. It’s such an intimate and deep relationship it feels like one or both of us are going off to college and our relationship will never quite be the same next time we see each other. We’ll both change, mature, find ourselves and grow into the next evolution of who we are meant to be. The foundation of our relationship is Love and that is what I return to. My Love I leave with you. The morrow will be here before we know it.

True Prayer by Gail Hamley

Sufi poet, Rumi, gives food for thought in the following poem.

The disciple knocked at the door of the Beloved.
And a voice from within asked:
“Who is there?”
The disciple answered,
“It is I.”
The voice said,
“There is no room for two ‘I’s’ in this house.

– Rumi

This poem brings to mind a picture of Jesus knocking at a door, used occasionally by the Prayer and Healing Ministry at Unity of Tustin as a symbol of prayer and going within. It signifies Jesus’ instruction to go into our inner chamber and close the door. He also gave an example of prayer known to us as The Lord’s Prayer. And, as sometimes happens when a teacher gives an example, the example becomes the message. Somewhere in the translation and repetition its potency becomes lost. Prayer is so much more than words. Although I do not think there is a judging God who tosses out prayers not said just right. But Jesus had evolved to be One with His Father. His state of Being was one of Presence and this is the meat of his instruction about prayer. His life became His prayer.

Several months ago I had a dream where I saw Mary, Jesus’ mother, lying prone with arms outstretched above her head. Her fingertips were touching the feet of God, who appeared as a beautiful energetic field of Light. It was so beautiful that I woke up in tears. The feeling remained with me for days. I knew this dream was about prayer and about surrender. The dream gave me a picture or a touchstone to refer to that showed me to be one with God means the deepest surrender. True Prayer is about letting go. We let go of everything we think we know and sit silently in the Presence of Love (God). As we pray in this way, we change. That is what prayer does: It changes us. We let the world go and let the transforming spirit of God change us. Even when we are praying for someone else, we sit in the knowledge of their oneness in God. Then, there is no sickness, no guilt, no worry, no trying to change things, no scarcity, no sin, nothing but the Truth of Being.

There is a little booklet produced by the Foundation for Inner Peace called “The Song of Prayer” that says, “Prayer has no beginning and no end. It is a part of life…Everyone prays without ceasing.”

As a child I memorized my prayers and said them at bedtime. As I grew and experienced pain and hardship, I prayed many times throughout the day. For awhile, I stopped praying altogether. Mostly, prayer was something I did to ask for something. Then, through Unity, I learned the Fillmore’s Affirmative Prayer, which affirms the truth of our being. I learned that I was both human and Divine. This is where true prayer becomes a life choice. It is living Affirmative Prayer. I make the choice for God. I choose my Divine nature over my human nature, not negating it but aligning it. This is “the rest of the story” in Jesus’ teachings about prayer. He mastered His divine nature so perfectly that His mere presence healed. We have that capacity too. Have you ever sat with someone without speaking and somehow it was enough?

One day several years ago an inner voice said, “There is no other.” There is only God. If I truly know this, I forgive everything; I see the face of God in everyone; I accept whatever is going on in any moment; and I respond with Love. This is living true prayer. And I suspect that if we are like that disciple in Rumi’s poem who says, “It is I” there will be no response. There will be no other.

I am thrilled to be with you this summer! I am excited for Rev. Carolyne’s amazing sabbatical. May God within you thrive. See you soon!

More About Gail

Gail Hamley is a Licenced Unity Teacher and Ordained Ministerial Counselor through Pathways of Light. She is a hospice volunteer and facilitator of Transitions. She is a Reiki Master Teacher and published author of Life Expanded.

Gail’s passion is to help people discover their own power. Gail is a Native American (Chippewa) from the Turtle Mountain Reservation in North Dakota.
Gail will be speaking most of the summer on Sundays and offering classes focusing on prayer and meditation.

Introducing our Reiki Ministry

by Reiki Leadership Team: Marty Beery, Harvey Beery, Donna Evans, Susan Gilmore, & Rev. Carolyne Mathlin

Reiki is a Japanese form of Laying on of Hands that connects you with Divine energy. Once a Reiki practitioner has been attuned to receive the Reiki energy, they simply allow themselves to be a channel for its healing flow. The Reiki energy guides itself to wherever it is needed.

Reiki promotes relaxation and peace and reduces stress so that the body’s natural healing energies can flow freely and abundantly. Reiki is safe, non-intrusive, and works only for your highest good.

Reiki has been an important part of our community for many years now. It is offered by several of our Prayer Chaplains on Sundays after service (look for people wearing the green ribbon that says “Reiki”). It is also offered at our monthly contemplative Sacred Circle of Light service.

Because Reiki is such an important part of our ministry, we recently came together in prayer and vision to explore how we could serve Unity of Tustin even more through the practice of Reiki. While we have always had people doing Reiki on behalf of Unity, what came to us was the idea to create an official Reiki Team. Being a Reiki Team member means:

· You have at least a Reiki 2 certificate
· You are a member of the church
· You are willing and available to serve in the settings where Reiki is offered, namely at the monthly Sacred Circle of Light service on the third Monday of the month
· You are invited to participate in monthly Reiki sessions at Unity of Tustin
· You are willing to use Reiki best practices determined by the Unity of Tustin Reiki Leadership Team
· You communicate with one of the Reiki Team Co-Leaders if you have questions or need to step away from the team

If you are interested in serving in our Reiki Ministry, please contact Marty or Harvey Beery, our new Reiki Team Co-Leaders. You can also email and your inquiry will be forwarded to them.

We are so excited to step into this new opportunity to serve our beloved community through the practice of our Reiki Team.

The Light of Music & Art Illumines Our World by Amy Jahn, Music & Arts Ministry Director

“No one, when he has lit a lamp, puts it in a secret place or under a basket, but on a lampstand, that those who come in may see the light.”
– Luke 11:33.

I have been reflecting a lot recently on all of the ways and forms our Music & Arts Ministry has shown up over my 17-year tenure as your Music and Arts Ministry Director. From that reflection I was inspired to share some of my notes (pun intended) on not only the essence of our ministry, but on all the ways we currently serve you and our beloved community.

We talk about this as ministry and it truly is just that. The consciousness of ministry is first and foremost on my heart and mind as I set about my work and as participants engage in music ministry service. Our spiritual practice begins and ends in prayer, remembering it is ultimately not what we do but who and how we serve that matters. It is in that intention of egoless consciousness that we use our service as an act of devotion, stretching past old limits and ideas into the areas Spirit calls us.

Our ministry embodies music and arts as a universal and profoundly sacred language of the heart. Music and art lifts our spirits and connects us not only to our Divine Inner Essence, but to that Essence in all beings. Those who serve in the Music and Arts Ministry are especially amazing because in addition to the desire to share their musical or artistic skills they come to serve and be orchestrated by the Divine. We experience the shift from performance to ministry through seeking to bring joy and facilitate a deep sense of community through our offerings.

Whether you are conscious of it or not, music and art is woven into almost every aspect of our Unity experience. As director, I am in a unique position to see how it impacts and touches your lives. I often hear from community members how the music you hear on Sundays, in a special service (including our monthly Sacred Circle of Light contemplative service), at a community picnic, or any other setting where live music is offered touches your heart and facilitates your experience of the Divine. It touches my heart to know that the careful and prayerful planning Rev. Carolyne and I do for all the places we offer live music is making such a difference in your experience of worship. We continue to be blessed beyond words by the talent and steadfast presence of our beloved Carol Roman and Richard Jennings. Through music and art we seek to create a field during services which complements and fortifies the receiving and integration of the words and consciousness being offered.

A cornerstone of our Music and Arts Ministry is our Voices of Unity Choir. Our choir continues to offer the opportunity for deep spiritual practice. For some in our choir, singing publicly is not something they would have done before they joined the Voices of Unity. Nearly all of them will tell you the experience they get singing together for our community is beyond anything they could have imagined. We work hard on the music, but consciousness, spiritual focus and growth are always the priority. We open and conclude every rehearsal in prayer and we are invited into deeper and deeper levels of selflessness in our service. It’s so beautiful to see the willingness of the choir members to stay at a growing edge musically, without engaging the story telling part of the ego. Public performing is usually a very ego based activity, which is often totally appropriate elsewhere but in this spiritual practice the releasing of that attachment and ego is part of the practice. It’s amazing to behold the humility our choir members embody in this work.

Over the last several years I have watched as the vision on my heart for increased arts offerings has come to fruition. This vision included broadening the ways that every member of our community can share their passion, creativity and love for this spiritual life beyond the scope of just music alone.

You’ve seen that expanded vision applied to events such as our wonderful Stone Soup creative sharing night, our Artists’ Fair and even the conscious movement classes. That expansion has only served to stoke the creative fires by complimenting and uplifting the music that’s always been a cherished voice for spiritual devotion.

Just like every area of life, something thriving needs renewed energy and support. The heart and consciousness of service sustains us all and keeps our ministry vibrant and alive with Spirit, your spirit. Do you have a skill that is ready to share? I’d love to know about it! Maybe you play an instrument proficiently. Or maybe you appreciate music and want to serve the Music and Arts Ministry in more administrative ways. I’m personally holding the vision for a highly skilled bass player from within our community who wants to share with us and I’d love skillful help with some of the administrative work! If you have a skill or talent to share or are interested in joining the choir, please reach out and let me know.

It has been exciting for me to be a part of the journey some people have taken from community or choir member to Sunday service platform leader to soloist. As we’ve worked together developing both skillset and confidence, they have ultimately gone out to let their light shine on that leap of faith. Whether you are a professional, amateur professional or someone who has always loved music and wants to stretch yourself, there is a place for you. In the safe space of ministry, the qualities of willingness, trust, and growth make it possible to share your gift in the spirit of service to our community and the Divine.

In Invitation of Love

In June we will witness the birth of a long-held vision and dream. We will get to read Dr. Marj Britt’s book Your Soul’s Invisible Codes and join Marj and Andrew Harvey in a four-day intensive from June 9 to 12.

Have you yearned to:

• Be authentic to your own gifts?
• Birth your True Self?
• Have very deep Initiatory experiences?

During the four days you will be invited into the field of soul intimacy, a guide for guiding yourself. You will enter the realms of trust where you trust your heart as your way of being.

Andrew is not only a long-time friend of Marj’s, he is also a long-time friend of Unity of Tustin. Since 2001 Andrew has been coming to Unity for multi-day intensives that have changed many lives, including Marj’s! Hear some of the stories of how it works in this experience of a garden amidst the flames, Andrew’s revelation about Unity’s beautiful meditation garden.

There will be three love stories in one intensive. Like Marj’s forthcoming book, the intensive contains love stories. The first is of our sacred garden containing mysterious Codes for Co-Creation. They apply to your life, to the lives of everyone you know and even to the world. In the second sacred love story, Marj and Andrew will offer glimpses of their own lives as examples of how it works.

Most importantly, for you, will be your sacred love story, the one that you will discover and explore as you participate in the revelations and the initiations. There is a promise of transformation as you are offered the key to everything. Taking the deep dives could reveal your purpose and destiny, changing your life and potentially even impacting the world.
You are invited to this home-coming and a celebration launch into the world. The energy of initiation and realization are already alive in the field.

Andrew Harvey is the author of over 30 books on various aspects of contemporary mysticism and spirituality. Additionally, Andrew is profoundly sensitive to the global crisis of our time and founded the Institute of Sacred Activism, an international organization focused on inviting concerned people to take up the challenge of our contemporary global crises by becoming inspired, effective, and practical agents of institutional and systemic change in order to create peace and sustainability. For more, visit

Dr. Marj Britt is a mystic in the world, a Master Teacher, with consciousness and Love as the living flame of her life. Marj holds a doctoral degree from the University of Massachusetts School of Education with a focus in curriculum, psychological education and counseling. She attended seminary at Unity School of Christianity and was ordained in 1988. She has served on the Unity Institute Seminary Board, the Academic Governance Council, as well as in other national leadership roles. Marj served as Senior Minister at Unity of Tustin from 1993 to 2011. For more, visit