You and I are valued beyond measure.
We are not valuable because we are a member of a certain group or because we call the Creator a unique name.
We are not valuable because we follow a particular teacher, leader, guru or saint.
We are not valuable because of our spiritual discipline or special diet.
We are valuable because we are a spark of the Divine Creator and an expression of pure divine Love.
The Creator is only described two times in all of the Christian Bible; once as Love and once as Light. Scripture also says that we are made in the image and likeness of the Creator. Thus, we are Love and Light.
The only thing that gurus, priests, rabbis and elders can do for us to to point us back in the direction of home, our home is within, and fan that divine spark of Love.
History of The Seraphim Center
"THE TREE OF LIFE"
Starting with “The Vision of Chief Crazy Horse” (His Crazy Horse)
as told by Chasing Deer to Kurt Kaltrieder, husband of Dr. Joan Borysenko
the History of the Seraphim Center,
Concept, Vision and the Future.
Chief Crazy Horse, his true name was His Crazy Horse, was the leader of his people, but never a Chief. Before he allowed his people to be herded to the reservation he observed a vision quest, a hanblecheyapi, (a cry for vision) on the summit of Bear Butte, the most sacred mountain of the Lakota People, now a National Park in the South Dakota
He took with him only a few things: the flags of the Four Directions, his sacred pipe and tobacco of kinnikinniek and red willow, a buffalo robe, some sage, and a little food for the spirits. He purified himself according to ancient traditions and performed a complete submission of his ego. (pictures of BEAR BUTTE, South Dakota )
His Crazy Horse made a sacred circle with his tobacco. He covered the inside of the circle with sage and placed the flags of the Four Directions in their respective places: black to the West, white to the North, yellow to the East, and red to the South. He left his breechcloth and the food that he had brought for the spirits outside the sacred circle, carrying only his buffalo robe, his sacred pipe and tobacco inside with him.
He prayed the sacred prayers of his people. He prayed special prayers for the challenge before him. "Great Mysterious, have pity on me that my people may live" and "What should I and what can I do for my people?"
He cried to the Seven Directions, to the Seven Sacred Circles (circles of things to come), and the two remaining circles, the Circles that are unspoken. Wrapped in his buffalo robe he prayed all night until sunrise. He felt one with all and felt the presence of Wakan Tanka speaking to him. He remained this way for three days when a great thunderstorm came out to the West. The lightening and hail crashed within in feet around him, but he remained unmoved, untouched and unharmed. Though the Thunder Beings surrounded him, he was deeply at peace.
On the next morning he awakened to a brilliant beautiful morning. A sparrow hawk circled close above him and spoke directly to him in a way that was clear and unmistakable. At the hawk's direction, he arose and stood upon Bear Butte to receive one of the greatest visions of the future, ever entrusted to his People. His soul flew with the hawk as it showed him things to come.
He saw his people living in run down shacks on the outskirts of the white man's villages, hungry, despised and dispirited. He saw his brothers overcome by whiskey. He saw his people doing the chores of the white man, not with the joy of serving, but with a great weariness that seemed excruciating. His heart was sore, his spirit sickened.
From a brilliant light, a voice spoke to him: "This had to be," it said. "But it will pass away for all the people of the earth must gather together like the geese that fly together in springtime. . . . Watch now, and be alert to see!"
He turned his gaze to the boundless prairies. They were no longer the same. Much of the golden and green hair of Grandmother (earth) was gone. She was covered with great cobwebs (we know them today as high voltage power lines) and there were strange black rib bon s going in every direction that had not been there before (we know these today to be asphalt highways). He was very confused. As his vision intensified he saw small bugs upon the black rib bon s moving at great speeds. "What could this be?" His Crazy Horse wondered to himself. The bugs even carried people and, to his amazement, some were even Lakota.
Soon a great darkness spread over the Earth. He could hear the agonies of war, as young men died in a far-reaching battle, some were Lakota. He saw great agony and families weeping. He saw the wars over and great rebuilding. In the skies, he could see great silver birds, as he had never seen before, strange new birds that even appeared to have lights at night. People were living in square buildings and were unhappy. He wondered why they no longer lived in circles, for only in circles could they find happiness!
He then saw a second great war, a whole city destroyed in one great flash of fire and smoke.. The noises were deafening.
After this war things were better for his people. They were dancing and doing ceremonies and singing the songs that strengthened their hearts. Things were better but far from good. They had adopted many of the white man's ways, they lived in square buildings and there was still a strong wall between his Lakota people and white man.
Once again the Earth seemed shrouded in darkness, but this time there was a strong light slowly coming from the East and before it was the morning star with nine points. His Crazy Horse knew it represented the nine Sacred Circles of things to come. Destruction had covered the earth, but in the center of this desolation a sacred herb, of his People began to grow and it grew into a great tree. New life was emerging "with the branches full of flowers and singing birds" and the branches were filled with the sacred symbols of all the religions of the world. Spirit people blessed the tree. Below the tree in a circle "Spirit People and Totem Animals were dancing and singing as if they had all the joy in the world but could not contain it."
His Crazy Horse knew that this glorious world of life was the “World of Spirit”--the real world of his People. At the same time he saw the manmade world struggle and it was full of sorrow (Wasi'chu). While he watched some people of the manmade world began to stretch their hands, hearts and minds toward the spirit world. Those who saw the light began to proclaim it to others, but most would not listen and remained in their dull and morose state. But for those who were ready for “The World of Light”, beauty began to replace ugliness and joy and wonder returned to the Earth.
His Crazy Horse could see their faces changing, for under the sacred tree, they danced in the light, and true understanding was beginning to radiate from their beings. They were ready for the dawn of a new understanding, a NEW TIME, a new age. The people dancing under the tree were Lakota but also people of all colors (the colors of the four directions) and races and they were all radiating the joy that had returned to Earth. All of this His Crazy Horse could not understand, for in some sacred and wonderful way they were all united though different and he had never seen this before. The differences were distinct, yet they were all part of a greater circle. As he watched the circle as it was joined by more and more until it was so large that the sound of their singing was all that could be heard. He knew that this rebirth was a very good sign. The time of renewal had come, and the knowledge of this warmed his heart. His vision was complete and it was time to return to his People.
When Crazy Horse returned, Chief, Worm, insisted that all Indian People must unite and resist the white man. He believed in the vision of His Crazy Horse but did not feel others could be trusted until this new age had come. Then the old medicine carrier reminded this one what White Buffalo Calf Woman had told the People about this renewal long ago. The old medicine carrier instructed His Crazy Horse to teach the young men to be a strong example of Lakota manhood -- not only for their time, but for the time of renewal to come.
His Crazy Horse, the Lakota visionary and warrior that had miraculously won and survived 22 battles with the U.S. Army, became a teacher of peace. He taught that "being Indian was not the percentage of Indian blood in ones body, as there were full blooded Indians who had become like the white man in every way, but it is easy to know who a true Indian is, because it is a matter of the Heart." About a year later he was killed, in a deception, at Fort Robinson, Nebraska , in 1877, he lived barely thirty-three years.
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THE SERAPHIM CENTER STORY
In 1988, Rev. Dr. Janet Moore first received Divine Inspiration (channeling) that we could create a successful spiritual center in Gainesville. When asked, the “Beings of Light,” (or the “Brotherhood of Light”) that were communicating with her, they suggested that we name it SERAPHIM CENTER, after the Seraphim Angels, the highest order of angels, the angels that tend the Throne of God in the Bible Book of Isaiah. They saw it starting in a building with two pillars, with many good and spiritual souls being attracted and that it would, in time, have international influence.
After receiving more details, I sat down and rendered a drawing to use as a focal point for my meditations. It was a large oak tree, with the symbols of the 12 major religions of the world in its branches hanging as circular ornaments, angels and birds flying overhead, a rainbow over the tree, and a circle of "friends" dancing under the tree. I still have this drawing. It was so similar to the Crazy Horse vision that it gives me chills, every time I think about it, yet it was drawn before I had any awareness of Chief Crazy Horse, his vision and his prophecy.
Seraphim Center was officially established in January, 1998 by eight dedicated founder souls. Rev. Barbara , created a water color painting based upon my sketch, it has hung in our sanctuary almost since our beginning and it has been the focus of our Center. Our Center is based upon the Acceptance and Love of the Truth that expresses itself in all religions. Anytime an individual reaches to the cosmos, to the All, to God, for meaning in ones life, wanting to have a personal relationship with ones Creator, one experiences this Truth. We do not need to be of one belief system, nor of one religion. We do need to act on the Common Behavioral Ethic we all proclaim, which is the Golden Rule, which is stated in all the religions and spiritual movements of the world. Here are some examples, in alphabetical order:
A Course In Miracles, “You Give but to yourself.” What ever you give, be it Love or fear, you give but to yourself. We are all one, there is no separation one to the other. Separation is an illusion and has no basis in Truth.
Alliance of Divine Love, Seraphim Center, Look to each situation, circumstance, and scenario as an opportunity to demonstrate, project, extend and instill “THE GREATEST DEGREE OF LOVE.”
Baha'i "Desire not for anyone the things that ye would not desire for yourselves." -- Baha Ullah LXVI
Buddhism "Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful." -- Udana-Varga, 5:18
Christianity "All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them." -- Matt 7:12
Confucianism "Do not unto others what you would not have them do unto you." --Analects 15:23
Hinduism "Never do to others what would pain thyself." --Panchatantra III.104
Islam "Do unto all men as you would they should do unto you, and reject for others what you would reject for yourself." -- Mishkat-el-Masabih
Jainism "In happiness and suffering, in joy and grief, we should regard all creatures as we regard our own self." -- Lord Mahavira, 6th Century B.C.E.
Judaism "What is hateful to you, do not to your fellowmen. That is the ENTIRE LAW..." -- Talmud, Shabbat 314
Native American "Respect for all life is the foundation." --The Great Law of Peace
Sikhism "Treat others as thou wouldst be treated thyself." -- Adi Granth
Taoism "Regard your neighbor's gain as your own gain and your neighbor's loss as your own loss. -- T'ai Shang Kan Ying P'ien.
Zoroastrianism "That nature alone is good which refrains from doing unto another whatsoever is not good for itself." -- Dadistan-i-Dinik, 94:5
We pledge to celebrate our commonality and diversity instead of being concerned with our differences. We see our Creator as a Loving God who loves all people unconditionally and without reservations or restrictions. God is only defined in the Bible two times, once as “Light” and once as “Love.” That works for us.
People of all faiths lament that indifference, injustice, conflict and violence, "for God's sake" and in the “Name of God” has been, and continues to be practiced. But fearing internal conflict, spiritual groups often remain quiet or even seem to suppress dissent. Let us assert that we cannot remain quiet or inactive when we discern injustice, discrimination, violence, or a call for Love. We join together with others, moved into action, by the Golden Rule, God's, call to each of us.
Seraphim Center is unique in that it is one place where this kind of practical spirituality is taught and practiced. In Rev. Janet’s reading for Seraphim Center for the year 2002, it was stated that, “ Seraphim Center, and other places like it, are the places where True Christianity is practiced.” When asked, we tell folks unfamiliar with Seraphim Center, that it is the most “un-judgmental church they have probably ever attended.” We tell them that we are a “spiritual training center to help people become stronger in their own beliefs, because their beliefs can be based on universal spiritual principles instead of unquestioned blind faith.” With this comes personal empowerment and wisdom. We want to support each persons with a helpful, nurturing and inspirational environment, to back them in their quest of their own spiritual dream.
We physically started March 1, 1998 in the little 100 year old, 1600 square foot stone house on NW 6th Street, that had two pillars by the front door. (Aha!) We fixed and painted it up and it became a precious and sacred place, but we outgrew it immediately.
Two years later we moved to our present 8400 square foot facility on 39th Avenue. It was scary because of the financial commitment for such a large facility, but it has been a wonderful home.
Our The current lease was up in on March 31, 2004 . We are now on a month to month arrangement with our Landlord. Our rent, utilities, phone, insurance and operating costs amount to more than $5,000. a month. Because of the love and support of so many, we have always been able to make all our payments on time. However, it is felt by many of us that the time has come to start building equity in our own property and buildings, instead of paying rent to our wonderful landlord.
We lost our lease to this facility and due to a wonderful offer from Fr. Julian, of the St. Patrick's Church, we rented space in the Woodlands Executive Office Building, 412 NE 16th Ave, part of the Catholic Church complex. After about two years, we had to leave due to the building plans of St. Patrick's Church. For a year, and with the generosity of the FLORIDA SCHOOL OF MASSAGE, we met in their library.
As of Easter 2010 we moved into our present facility at 1234 NW 14th Ave, in Gainesville. We welcome you all to our cozy "Cracker House" nestled in a canopy of Live Oak trees.