*This talked was presented on a very windy and rain soaked April Sunday at the Pittsfield Unitarian Church

It's really nice to be back on a somewhat typical early spring Berkshire morning..
When I was asked if I could come and do another talk I was simultaneously delighted and terrified.
The last time I was here I talked about my Hospice
experiences. But where do you go after death…..??

Well- I do have some thoughts about that- but Dick asked for something that might tie in with earth day,

So my life after death talk will have to wait. Maybe you can have me back around Halloween?

But I gotta tell you, a few days of trying to come up with a talk to tie into Earthday and I was ready for the after-life!
Then fortunately I turned on the radio just as the announcer said: "It is only though a change in consciousness that our world will be transformed"

I took it as a sign
Plus the whole subject of consciousness fascinates me

Do you want to know what I find really amazing?
That we're conscious at all!!

I'm tempted to make a political wise-crack- but I wont
This is supposed to be a positive talk

Anyway, as I was saying - I find it amazing that we're conscious at all.
We don't really even know what consciousness is

How is it that helium led to consciousness???
Okay, so it had a few billion years…I think.
But -think about it!

What a remarkable thing that helium and hydrogen would eventually lead to us-sitting here this morning and knowing that we're sitting here this morning -knowing that we're sitting here this morning…at least I think we know.

All because approximately 13.7 billion years ago this tiny, almost infinitesimal, extremely dense super compacted little dot the size of a pin head goes boom!

And from that, here we are
Well-there have been a lot of things in between-but eventually we did show up.
And ever since we did, some of us have been wondering how we did-why we did. And the B-I-G question we all come to in our life at some moment of reflection;
Why am I here???
Do you remember the first time you realized that you were here-an individual and separate from your mom, dad and family?
But are we really separate? Einstein said that the idea that man is alone and separate is a kind of optical delusion- of consciousness. In other words, what we see is not what is-
And quantum physics has been bearing this out, that at the subatomic quantum level where matter breaks down into waves there is no separation.

That reminds me- did anyone here see the movie…”What The Bleep Do We Know”?

For those that don't know about it or didn't see it, it was a little like 3 films in one-
Kind of combination pseudo documentary, cheesy story, and cool cartoon-all coming together to present a laymen's guide to quantum physics.
So on the documentary side of things, there are interviews with scientists, mathematicians-quantum physicists, college professors, philosophers-and a woman who claims to channel a long deceased warrior named Ramtha.
Then as if that wasn't enough to keep track of, there's a story about a woman who is very negative and angry person, fighting with life at every turn.
That part was a bit simplistic to me but it all served to illustrate this point: we create our own reality.
We create our own reality
Through our thoughts, beliefs and expectations!

So, exactly how powerful are our thoughts??-
The film showed the work of a Japanese researcher
Named Dr. Emoto- who had photographed ice crystals forming from water that had been exposed to loving positive thoughts and water that had been exposed to negative and angry thoughts.

Do you remember those? They were amazing!

Over here you have a picture of this beautiful, perfectly formed snowflake-like ice crystal with striking rainbow colors to it-
Then over here you have this dull brownish looking goop that has this anemic thing that looks like a flattened off snow flake!

Here-positive loving thoughts
Here-negative angry ones

The differences between the two was remarkable!

To me this offered the most compelling idea that, human thought and emotion can, and apparently does affect matter.

And if it does, just think of what this means to us-we're made up mostly of water-2/3rd's of our body weight is water

So what's happening to us if we're being exposed to things like Dr. Emoto exposed his water samples to???

And you know we are!!

Dr. Emoto had placed water samples in subway stations as people were rushing to work, exposed them to heavy metal music-one sample was even placed in a room with a TV running one of the 24 hour news channels-all of these exhibited the negative, dull, asymmetrical crystals

But these are things that millions of us are exposed to daily-
Makes you wonder might be happening inside of us, doesn't it?

But let's forget about us for a minute-what about the earth? Like us it's mostly water!!
There's hundreds of millions of people living in fear and poverty at this very moment-what is that doing to the planet???
And if changes are happening to the structure of water who's to say they're not happening to other things?

So this brings me to the title of this talk:
“changing your mind to change the world.”

Accepting that it is true-or might be true-
Or could be true-
That what we “put out” in our thoughts and feelings can alter the structure of things in our immediate environment-what do we do about it?

How easy is it to change your mind? Not very...
I heard someone compare our habits of thoughts to ruts in a field-whenever it rains the water's going to find that rut and end up at the same place it always ends up
If you want the water to go somewhere else you have to redirect it-fill in that old rut and dig a new trench. It's a lot of work!
Just like that water going to the same place it always goes to -unless we take action, our thoughts will always find their own groove to bring them to their usual conclusion!

How many of your thoughts are negative or fear based? Are you so used to them being that way that it just seems normal to you?

If our thoughts are able to affect reality, what might happen if enough of us begin to change the way we think. If we try to focus our thoughts on kindness, compassion and love?

Are you willing to do the work -to pay attention to where your mind is going?
Our mind is usually all over the place-it's in the past-it's in the future-but rarely is it where we are-unless something is going on -like an emergency. Well I think we might be approaching an emergency- if we don't change

The mind rambles on and turns out thought after thought-it's what the mind does. But if we pay attention we can choose the next thought.
When you start doing this and pay attention to what you're thinking you'll be amazed at how negative much of it is-
But you'll be able to stop that negative chatter and put something good there instead. If enough of us just did that- things would improve in the world.

It's said that the mind is like an undisciplined puppy-it'll bring you all kinds of stuff it digs up! You must be willing to train it.

In my opinion one of the best tools for training the mind is to practice meditation. This doesn't have to be some elaborate thing-keep it simple. Make a commitment to do it on a daily basis-just sit and notice your breathing -start with 5 or 10 minutes and work up-but build it into your daily routine.
There are tons of books out there on meditation-and I'd be happy to talk with anyone who wants to learn more. I also believe that meditation is one of the best things you'll ever do for yourself, your loved ones and the planet.

I was having coffee yesterday with my friend Ron and we were talking about how hard it is to change our mind.
Let me ask you: how would you feel about living communally-in a small self contained village-no cars-you bike or walk where you need to go? No more big supermarkets-just small local grocer-only in season produce. Non of the big chain stores-no more factory outlets-just little local shops owned by neighbors
Would you be willing to change your mind?
At first you might say, yes, I want help the planet and promote a sustainable community.
But let it sink in a little. How will your life change? Pretty soon your convinced it's impossible. How can you give up all those “things” you have now??? What'll I do without my orange juice? Do I really want to walk to work in the snow? Suddenly your answer becomes no, I can't do that

We have to know that changing our mind will be worth the effort it takes.

I think sometimes it's not a matter of willingness -its “have to-ness”
Sometimes we simply have no choice.

That may be a point we're approaching today.
We may finally have no option but to change.
We need look no further than the issue of global warming as an example.

But it's my hope that we will choose to change.

Within you is the same energy that powers the stars, that keeps the planets
Spinning in their orbits-the same energy that flows through our oceans and all of creation. This energy is everywhere and you are a part of it and it is a
Part of you.
Perhaps this is why our thoughts do have such power.
You might chose to think of this power within you as the life force or a higher power, god, spirit, source, divine mother/father, it really doesn't matter what you call it.

It is there whether you call it or not. But just as electricity is here in this room, that light overhead will not light unless someone goes over and flips the switch on. We have to be willing to connect our self to the power. Our thoughts and beliefs give us access if we take the time and direct our intention. A lot of the trouble and pain in our world today has come from our lack of understanding this fact. Let's learn how to use this power for our highest possible good.

As a matter of fact, this is one of the best requests we can make for anything-that it is for the highest good of all concerned

Today, we are more connected than at any time in our history. This is no accident. When anything happens anywhere on the globe we know about it almost instantly. Large numbers of people are waking up at this time on our planet-becoming aware of these same things I've been sharing with you this morning.

This will change things in our world. I believe that as human consciousness expands and develops we will rise up to fulfill our responsibilities to the planet. As the quote I began this talk with says: “It is only by a change in consciousness that the world will be transformed”. I believe that to be true and I hope that you may also consider the truth of it. We are responsible for what will happen here. No one is coming to save us. We do have the power within us to save ourselves. We owe it to ourselves, to our children and to our beautiful planet.
Gandhi said: we must become the change we wish to see in the world. If we want peace, we must become peace. Love, compassion and kindness breeds peace. Cultivate these in your thoughts and you will live them in your life. And that, my friends, will transform the world.