Rev. Celeste's guest for this episode is the Rev. Alex Escudero, Founding Spiritual Director of the Center for Spiritual Living DC. Rev. Alex takes to heart that we are all one. Alex worked for the United Nations and the Organization of American States (OAS.org). Her grandmother gave her the idea to be a citizen of the world. To get Alex going, she gave her a subscription to National Geographic (nationalgeographic.org).
Rev. Alex, like Buddha, was sheltered growing up, but she got involved in human rights in graduate school (John Hopkins University). Alex studied Amnesty International (https://www.amnesty.org/en/) and later became the Chief Operating Officer or immigration rights at Casa of Maryland (wearecasa.org). They serve immigrants from all over the world, including ex-offenders. Immigrants get help with jobs, housing and more. Alex felt like she couldn't sit still and do nothing. She was comfortable with both English and Spanish, so she had a way to help people who were not being understood.
Alex feels DC is an amazing place. She loves the diversity of DC. She particularly loves the King memorial (www.kingmemorialpark.com) and the King monument.
Rev. Alex mentioned that although Centers for Spiritual Living (csl.org) seeks to create a world that works for everyone, the world is not working for everyone. Alex became a diversity commissioner and brought her enthusiasm for celebrating diversity and her desire to build inclusivity. She currently manages the CSL Spanish ministries worldwide.
Rev. Celeste asked about the appeal Religious Science has to Spanish-speaking peoples. Rev. Alex explained that most feel deeply spiritual but want a new teaching and feel a yearning for the universal truth principles. Those who have found New Thought philosophies have come together as communities and then come together with people in other parts of the world who are already doing this great work.
Rev. Alex started a center in DC because she found New Thought philosophy (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Thought) at a low point in her life when she was struggling with a one-year old child. Her husband drank so she found Al-anon (Al-anon.org) She enjoyed a book by Louise Hay and wrote to Ms. Hay. Louise Hay directed Alex to a center 30 or 40 miles away. Alex started taking classes and letting go of her victim mentality. She went to graduate from ministerial school. She filed the paperwork in 2009 to begin the process to create the Center for Spiritual Living in DC (csldc.org). Celeste said she's grateful Alex did so because we need high vibrations in our nation's capital!
Alex was the daughter of a feminist who escaped from an orthodox Catholic family. Alex's mother took her children to the Unitarian Church where she learned about a lot of religions. The church she attended is now the home for a Buddhist mediation group run by Tara Brach (tarabrach.org).
During the pandemic, Rev. Alex compels herself to walk daily. She feels nurtured by the trees during the day and the stars at night where she feels the connection to God. She feels renewed and restored in infinite space and infinite time. Whenever she can connect with nature, she feels confidence and bliss. And she has an idea of what it feels like to be enlightened.
Rev. Alex encouraged us to support Doctors Without Borders (www.doctorswithoutborders.org). She donated her stipend to this organization because when she finds a place to give to, she feels better about herself. She also encouraged seekers to go to csl.org and find a Center for Spiritual Living near you and connect.
Celeste's poem "You and I" is in her book, "In Spirit In Love" and is available on Amazon.com.