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Natural Awakenings Rhode Island

Teen Spiritual Group Teaches Self-Awareness and More

Imagine growing up with a spiritual philosophy that encourages you to not only dream, but to dream big. The Science of Mind philosophy was conceived by Ernest Holmes in 1927. Based on a variety of teachings from the world’s great mystics, the core belief is that God is not a person but a universal presence or spirit and that we can co-create with Spirit to live the life we imagine.

Concordia Center for Spiritual Living (CSL), in Warwick, is a spiritual center that teaches kids, teens and adults to use the principles of the Science of Mind philosophy. Through the practice of positive thought, affirmative prayer and meditation, we can live peacefully and harmoniously with ourselves and each other—but quite often this takes a shift in our perspective and a lot of practice.

Each year Concordia’s teens raise funds to enable them to enjoy a week of summer camp in Idelwyld, California, as well as a weekend long regional winter camp in New Jersey. Six Rhode Island teens just returned from California where they practiced these spiritual principles with their peers from around the country and the globe. Like a typical summer camp, it is fun and engaging, with live music performances and loads of creative self-expression. Yet there’s also another deeper side—a side that encourages kids to go within and connect with Spirit.

Science of Mind Camp is based on workshops written and created by teens. Two Rhode Island teens, Dante and Jonas Echeandia travelled to California to participate in a three-day program of developing workshops. These workshops reflect the diversity of the teens and address the many challenges they face today, such as self-love, gender identity, suicide awareness and social anxiety.

“Teens today receive so many mixed messages that the world can be very confusing to navigate,” says teen Co-Director JoAnne Hanrahan. “They are constantly being told to ‘be yourself’ but what does this really mean? At camp they are each accepted for who they are without judgment—an experience where unconditional love prevails.”

 “Camp requires an incredible amount of mental energy and self-awareness,” says Sarah LaRosa, camp advisor and mother of two Rhode Island teens. “They practice honoring all of their feelings—good and bad—while learning how to support each other. Each day, as more layers are peeled away, the emotions run high and intense, but there is also so much joy, harmony and laughter. The consistent message throughout the week is that we cannot love and support each other without loving ourselves first.”

 Betty Kornitzer, teen co-director adds, “In this practice, we are not changing anything about these kids; they are perfect the way they are. They are simply being reminded that they have total access to their higher spiritual selves by going within and trusting their intuition.” Meditation, visioning and affirmative prayer are just some of the tools to help achieve this inner peace.

Concordia Center for Spiritual Living offers an on-going teen group twice a month on Sundays for ages 13 and older. Science of Mind for children is offered each Sunday at 10 a.m. during the summer.

For more information on the teen program, contact Betty Kornitzer at [email protected] or JoAnne Hanrahan at [email protected]