There’s Joy in it…


Within the first few months of seminary in 2013, I had the pleasure of taking an elective, and I was not quite sure what I was getting myself into. It was simply called the Peace Seminar and the description sounded interesting enough, about how we can create a world that works for everyone. Well, there were enough things happeninShaiff IMG_6723g in the world, that made me go hmmmm…. So how do we, who claim to follow in the footsteps of Jesus, engage in our world in a way that will allow us to shift to a higher way of being, doing, and having that alleviates suffering and the agonizing pangs of not enough-ness? It was a tough, challenging class taught by Dr. Shariff Abdullah, (center of photo) who has made his life’s work and spiritual practice all about inclusivity.  Shariff Abdullah says in his book, Creating A World that Works for All,

“My work is my spiritual practice, and Commonway Institue is my principal vehicle for that practice. The institute’s focus is inclusivity – – teaching the theory, philosophy, and practice of the inextricable linkage between our individual lives and The Other. The links already exist; we just help people become conscious of them…We humans have much more that unites us than separates us. Commonly helps people see that.” (Chapter 3 Inclusivity–Spirit and Practice, page 63)

Little did I know that this class and this work would dig down into the core of me and resonate so strongly, so that years later I am still passionate about what Shariff Abdullah and Commonway Institute are doing. Through much of 2013, 2014, 2015, however, I could not understand the disconnect of seeing symptoms in our society of great dis-ease, fragmentation, and exclusivity driving the actions and reactions in our nation, and on the other hand seeing basically no higher ground operatives ready to meet the challenge of this atmosphere head on.

So here we are in 2017, and I asked myself “what’s changed?” We are all praying, asking what is ours to do, and finding our vehicles for taking action in some form of spiritual social activism in our own way. The headlines continue to be hurled at us ceaselessly and endlessly. I often hear within my own heart, ” do what’s in front of you.” Wherever we are working along the spectrum of healing the world, it is ALL needed.

IMG_8500Maybe this work of inclusivity is not sexy or glitzy enough for everyone to jump on the bandwagon in droves. However, I believe when enough people get sick and tired of being sick and tired…they’ll wake up and realize that instead of hacking away at the symptoms that are manifesting on the surface, we’ll begin to also work the deeper work of shifting our collective consciousness and awareness to the underlying spiritual aspects and qualities of our humanity and our divinity. Then we can find that pearl of great price — our linkage, our spiritual heritage that allows us to live in unified, divine harmony in the beloved community and be as One.

I’ve prayed, I’ve asked what is mine to do, and one thing is to bring people together who believe it’s possible to live, collaborate, dialog and make changes that come from a place of inclusivity and not exclusivity. Are you passionate about taking some action and don’t know where to start? A good place to start would be to engage in Dr. Shariff Abdullah’s Shadow-to-Light workshops. Working on a personal/individualistic level is fine if that is all you can do, however, working on the collective, greater system and institutional level is very much needed as well.

My action and activity over the next 12 weeks is to facilitate Dr. Shariff Abdullah’s powerfully transforming workshops called the Shadow-to-Light (S2L) Program, starting Sept. 5 at Unity of San Leandro in San Leandro, CA. There’s still time to sign up if you want to join in shifting the energy on the planet from the shadows to LIGHT……I will be the local lead facilitator inviting 12 other transformation catalysts to attend who also want to see a world transformed to higher ground. We need people from all walks of life, no matter your race, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, or political affiliation. For more information and to sign up, go to: We would love to have the synergy of face-to-face dialog, but if you are not near this workshop in the Bay Area or in your area, go to the online version of the workshop: Online Solo S2L Course

Together – Let us embrace and usher in the LIGHT!

Peace & blessings,

Rev. Dinah


The Year in Review (2011)! Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! Here’s a re-cap….of 2011.

Last year started out for me very busy – – I had started recording my new CD in late 2010 and that project carried over into 2011. At the same time I was completing my Unity teacher practicum that called for teaching a class (Teach Us to Pray by Charles Fillmore) and at last, graduated from the Unity Leadership Program in April 2011. In the midst of all this, let us not forget I was and am still working a highly demanding full-time information systems auditing-type job, which called for me to travel to Atlanta, Washington, DC, and Cleveland within a month’s time (March-April). The fast-pace of constant auditing schedule continued all year long.

In 2011, three friends of mine passed away at my church, and in my own way, I could sense a change was coming in how I would approach and live my life in a more mindful way. Our days are truly numbered here on this planet. So, whatever it is we’re doing, we need to make it count for something and really be about our purpose.

Also in 2011, I also attended Prayer Chaplain training in Sacramento and helped train eight new prayer chaplains. I also took on developing a new member class for church as I continued to record the rest of my CD. I released my new CD “Rivers of Living Waters” in July and kicked off the release by introducing it at the Sound Connections music conference in Lee’s Summit, MO. The celebration was capped off at my CD release party at Tommy T’s Comedy Club in early August. For those of you who attended, all I can say is “WOW! Thank you. My cup runneth over.” You gave me wings to help me fly.

Hats off to all of you at Jai Josef’s Saturday songwriting workshops, of which I was a member over the last year. You all helped me improve my songwriting skills, and I know that I am still growing. So, thank you!

As summer came to an end, I turned my attention to singing and marketing my CD and closing out my teaching practicum, (making sure I completed my 10 toastmaster speeches and final book reports!).  It was time to have even more FUN! (I must say, when you are doing your passion and purpose, it’s usually fun anyway…doesn’t feel like work!)  Some really fun times with my family culminated when we all gathered for the festive celebratory event of the year as my niece Vanessa got married October 8. We were all so excited for her, and the icing on the cake (wedding cake) was seeing and being with family….sharing moments of conversation, laughter, photo-snapping and all! I was SO proud of my dad who took his first flight at age 80 to come to the wedding!!

Right after the wedding, I got news of a dear friend’s passing (God bless you, Zelma), four weeks later a friend since childhood passed away at 59 (God bless you, Vickie) and three weeks later my uncle (my mom’s brother) passed on at age 61 on December 7 (bless you Uncle Larry). My emotions have been on a roller coaster, or so it seems. Here I was at the end of the year thinking we need to make our moments count. I wrote a song on my CD called “Make a Life.” Let us not get so busy making a living that we forget to make a life. So, this past Christmas my focus was on “I am LOVING the ones I’m with! right here, right now.” I would encourage you to share love, share peace, share yourself, your dreams, your hopes, your vision with the rest of us. The LIGHT that has come into the world is still shining in each of us if we let it. Go in peace. I wish you every happiness this year (2012) and always. Have a wonderful year.

And have a wonderful Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. Over the Christmas holiday I traveled to Washington, DC and was able to see the monument. There I am in the photo bundled up in my coat.  It was beautiful.

Blessings, peace, and joy!