Peggy Shinn is a bilingual Religious Science practitioner and passionate about the spiritual path she’s chosen.
Splitting her time between lakeside and Las Cruces, New Mexico, she is one of the organizers of the upcoming Center for Spiritual Living (CSL) annual convention, and she is excitedly gearing up for the July 17-21 event – the fifth year that Hotel Montecarlo in Chapala has hosted this renowned international, bilingual event.
The spiritual movement known as Religious Science was founded by Ernest Holmes (1887-1960), an American New Thought writer, teacher,and leader. Religious Science is part of the greater New Thought movement and Science of Mind is its spiritual philosophy and also the name of Holmes’ book, written in 1926. The church’s name, Religious Science, was changed eight years ago to Center for Spiritual Living (CSL).
Says Shinn, “Holmes came up with the motto, ‘Change your thinking, change your life.’ He believed there’s a power in the universe greater than we are, a power we can all tap into. This is done through service to others; being instruments of Spirit. It’s through this level of compassion and service that we’re building up our law of attraction frequency.”
Shinn felt inspired to embrace this particular spiritual path during the 1980s, after having just read the book, “You Can Heal Your Life” by Louise Hay.
“My brother-in-law was living in Atlanta, Georgia and dying of AIDS,” says Shinn. “He sent me Hay’s book, which he had been studying. The book really spoke to me, inspiring me to delve deeper into the teachings of Ernest Holmes and his New Thought philosophy. When I learned that these New Thought concepts were actually taught and practiced by organized groups of people, and that Louise Hay was a Religious Science practitioner and minister, I was all in.”
For many Spanish speakers, Hay’s books, which have all been translated into Spanish, were their first exposure to Science of Mind teachings and principles. Other well-known influences have included Deepak Chopra, Marianne Williamson – even Oprah Winfrey.
Shinn and her husband moved from Minnesota to Las Cruces in 1973. While starting to follow the Science of Mind principles, she also happened to fall in love with Mexico.
Says Shinn: “From Las Cruces we’d travel to San Carlos, a Mexican beach town. There, I fell in love the Mexican food, the people and the culture. I felt inspired to learn Spanish.” A few years later, divorced and with a small child to raise, she continued to learn Spanish and travel to Mexico whenever she could.
It was in 1992 when two friends inspired Shinn to visit Las Cruces’ Church of Religious Science, suggesting that she check out the church’s woman minister. “I attended my first Sunday service and never left. I eventually became a licensed Religious Science practitioner.”
Feeling a calling in the early 2000s to promote Science of Mind philosophy in Mexico, Shinn spent the next ten years promoting this philosophy throughout the country, finally setting her focus on lakeside.
I’ve spent the last four years of my Spanish ministry working with the Science of Mind group in Ajijic,” says Shinn. “A Mexican woman who was involved with a group in Mexico City invited me to their first lakeside convention in 2014. That was my first introduction to Ajijic, and I couldn’t wait to return!”
Tim and Arlene Schubert, who run Lake Chapala Center for Spiritual Living in Ajijic, invite Shinn to stay with them whenever she’s in town. Along with participating in their Center’s events, she leads workshops and book study groups, and teaches a Spanish-speaking class on Science of Mind principles.
Says Shinn, “Mexicans who follow the Science of Mind philosophy can still keep their Catholicism because this is simply a New Thought philosophy. Some actually choose to move from Catholicism to Science of Mind, such as the Mexican man I met in 2003 while attending a service in Mexico City. He told me he transitioned to Science of Mind because Catholicism felt like clothes that no longer fit, and it was time for new clothes.”
She continues: “Those who chose not to leave their Catholic culture often find themselves able to move into the more mystical side of Catholicism through Science of Mind. What Science of Mind teaches is that God is everywhere, God is in each of us, and each of us is God.”
Last year 120 attendees came together from all over the Americas to attend CSL Convention of The Americas, the majority of them Spanish speakers. For that reason, all the talks are simultaneously translated from English to Spanish into audio phones.
Reverend Dr. Kenn Gordon, spiritual leader for Centers for Spiritual Living globally, will be one of five keynote speakers. As a monthly contributor to Science of Mind magazine and author of Mind and Manifestation, Gordon is the founding minister of his own Centre for Spiritual Living in Kelowna British Columbia, Canada.
For information, see vidaespiritual.org/chapala. Day passes will be available.