Tag Archives: effortless

Live Effortlessly & Love Effortlessly

“Stop wasting your energy trying to love God. That will not do it for you. Stop wasting so much energy trying to learn how to love another. That will not do it for you. And for God’s sake, please refrain from all attempts to get anyone to believe that you love them!” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 7, Page 89)

Why would Jesus say such things? It is because when we “try,” effort is involved, and the new way of thinking, with the heart leading, is effortless.

We may find this hard to believe, because the ego has had us on a treadmill for a very long time. Yet we can believe it. It does take some adjustment on our part, because habit if strong. We are so used to struggling and striving that we don’t know what it means to relax in God’s grace. Relaxing in God’s grace is exactly what we are now called to do.

Do we wish that we could make other believe that we love them? This is wasted effort. When we center in ourselves, and just love—not “try” to love—we soon are blessed with the knowledge (and it is knowledge, not perception) that all is well, and that we living in a love-filled world.

Love, by itself, is enough to heal. And healing is what we need above all else. We can have this healing for the asking. Relax, don’t press, rest in God.

We have so much on our “to do” list. We prioritize, with effort. And then we mark off our accomplishments. This is the ego talking. Do we really think that marking off accomplishments on a “to do” list is the way to live? There is no end to it. That’s the rub. Live more internally. Let the next right thing find us.

If we cease our struggles always to “do the right thing” on our “to do” list, we will find that that right thing, miraculously, does find us.

Thought of Love in Form

You are here to remember that you are the thought of Love in form. (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 5, Page 59)

Allow God to live through us without restriction. He is doing so, of course, but our little or personal self can mess up the loveliest reality. Living in illusion, in the dream of a world that doesn’t really exist, we are trapped in matter that seems to hold us firm. But this way of viewing our lives is so defeatist. We are not trapped in anything when we let go and allow the Higher Power (think God) to have His way with us. Until that time, we make a thousand inroads into oblivion, lamenting our very existence on earth.

We are in form, and when we live with this form, we ultimately become the elevated Self of form (as A Course of Love says). We become this when we have allowed Christ-consciousness to spread throughout our holy minds. Our hearts will guide our minds to this better place. And the heart knows only Love. And Love is of God.

The way back is effortless. Sure, we don’t believe this now, but after Christ-consciousness has transported us to a new reality, we will believe it.

Allow God to make this difference in our lives today.

Walking Easily and Effortlessly along the Pathway

1 – First Place

“. . .[T]hose who have achieved ‘first place’ do so realizing that the elevated ‘place’ they briefly hold is of a finite nature and that others will soon do the same and that those who follow in time will do so more easily, with less effort, and with even greater success. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: A Treatise on the New, 2.12)”

2 – Jesus

This passage from the “Treatise on the New” echoes a similar statement by Jesus in the New Testament. He indicated that those who followed him would do even greater things.

3 – ACOL

In the same way, those of us who are coming to A Course of Love early on will eventually be surpassed by others who have greater understanding than do we. The world will have advanced, and so their speaking to a new audience will have more meaning in a later culture. It is perhaps too early for the Christ-consciousness of which Jesus speaks to take hold in a universal way. Elsewhere Jesus says in ACOL that soon the world will be peopled by those who were born in the time of Christ, and they will not need nor understand the ways of the time of the Holy Spirit.

4 – Holy Spirit / Inner Christ Self

Now we are caught between two worlds: the world in which guidance comes from the Holy Spirit (as A Course in Miracles relates), and the world in which Christ-consciousness rules (as A Course of Love relates). We will receive guidance through an inner knowing in the time of Christ, the new time. We will not, unwittingly, look outside ourselves for our guidance. We will know from observation, not from learning (an ACOL concept).

5 – Seekers

It is certainly helpful to those of us who have long been seekers, and with some effort, to know that the way of the future holds less need for effort. Life is meant to be lived peacefully, and while struggle may continue, it will lose its hold on us. We will live in peace, not so much from inner conflict, and more from a loving heart. May all of us work today to speed this “new day” on its way.

6 – Confidence

“Despite the necessity for a confidence that has led them to achieve their desired end, most who so achieve and become the first to set records, discover, or invent the new, are not aware of themselves as ‘better than’ for their goal was not to be better than anyone but themselves. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: A Treatise on the New, 2.12)”

7 – Ego

This is important. We who have discovered A Course in Miracles and/or A Course of Love all too often may be tempted to think that we are in the forefront, and the ego likes that. Yet those who break Olympic records are competing, if they are competing well, only with themselves. We need to realize that others who come after us will understand better than we do, for there will be more minds from which to glean ideas, minds which have studied and observed, and come to knowledge (rather than perception).

8 – Egotistically?

So in a sense we do lead the way now, if we stay true to the course that is set before us. But we do not do so egotistically, which would be a step backward. Jesus says in A Course of Love, in the Dialogues (to be read last in the trilogy), that those who have reached this far have relinquished the ego.

9 – Relinquish the Ego

If we haven’t yet relinquished the ego, let’s do so now. Right now. Pray about it.

10 – Short Way

The way is not lengthy when we are united with the Holy Spirit, as A Course in Miracles says or the inner Christ Self, as A Course of Love says.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I am frequently very much wanting to find the easiest and most effortless way to do my tasks. If “easy and “effortless” are called for, may they come to me today. And it is a blessing that those who come after me will enjoy this boon ever more often.

Thank you for making my pathway easy by your Grace. Even when times have been difficult, there is joy because You have helped the pathway to be smoother.

I would walk your way, all the way, today. I am seeking guidance, seeking reassurance that what I perceived this morning is indeed true. This is not a major life task, and there are other ways to achieve the goal, but I would go Your best way. Help me to find that best way. Keep me close to Your counsel.

Amen.

Effortless Ease in Learning A Course of Love

monet - sunrise“This is not a self-help course but just the opposite. This course has stated time and time again that you can not learn on your own and that resigning as your own teacher is the only way to learn a new curriculum. This course will not call you to effort of any kind.. . ..It merely calls you to sanity by calling you to let go of illusion in favor of the truth (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 4.1)”

Affirmation: “I will resign as my own teacher today.”

Reflections:

1 – Effortful Excursions

Jesus would have us recognize that the many effortful excursions that we have been on in our lives have been diversions. We didn’t recognize the insanity of the illusion in which we find ourselves. So we can not really help ourselves, try as hard as we may. We need guidance from our Self, and this guidance is informed by glimpses of the truth that Jesus is here conveying to us. There is no other valid way to learn.

2 – Not Self-Help

We have often heard that A Course in Miracles is a self-study course. Jesus says categorically that A Course of Love is not a “self-help” course, and I think by implication he would feel the same about ACIM. Self-study is a study of insanity, at least before we have experienced Awakening or enlightenment, or, as called in ACOL, Christ-consciousness.

3 – Read Leisurely

We do not need to be expending effort as we learn now. We read in a leisurely fashion, but always mindful that we are reading something that can change our lives dramatically. ACOL calls for less intensive study than ACIM. It is just not possible to retain the credo if we work at it too hard. Rereading in a leisurely fashion works best. And then the words will engrave themselves on our hearts.

4 – Memorizing Difficult

I have found it frustrating that the words of ACOL do not memorize as easily as the words of ACIM. I think that this has something to do with the fact that ACIM is iambic pentameter blank verse, a form of poetry (except in the very beginning of the Text). But the words of ACOL will be memorized as more time is spent with the volumes. And more time is needed, at least until we reach the 40 Days and 40 Nights of the Dialogues.

5 – Leave Insanity Behind

Let us leave behind our insanity today. We have been lost in illusions, and they have imperiled our way. May the way be smooth from now on. And communion with God will make it so, with Jesus, thus far, as our guide.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would do nothing effortful today, and that blessing will come about because I vow not to plan my day. I will look ahead a couple of hours, but no more. And thus far today, that determination has stood me in good stead.

May we realize that we don’t have to work hard to incorporate the blessings of A Course of Love. We do find that reading ACOL can be easy. We do not have to intensely study, and indeed it is counterproductive to do so. Help me to remember this blessing today.

Be with me throughout the day. May the day go smoothly for my brothers and sisters everywhere, and may the day go smoothly for me as well.

Amen.

No Struggle / Only Ease

paintings-by-hilaire-germain-edgar-degas-7“A first step then in learning to recognize when you are acting upon notions of who you think you are rather than on who you truly are, is the appearance of the struggle or resistance. A a swimmer quickly learns, the only way to return to ease of movement is to cease to struggle or resist. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Nature of Unity and Its Recognition, 4.6)”

Affirmation: “I would choose ease today as I follow ACOL.”

Reflections:

1 – Metaphor

The metaphor of a swimmer is used very well in A Course of Love. We are told elsewhere that we would not want to try to move in the water the same way that we move on land. Our movements are actually easier in water, but require an awareness that our environment is different from land. We move with more ease in the water, if we do not fight the water. This fighting would be a completely detrimental reaction, leading to major problems in swimming. And the same, in effect, with trying to live ACOL. We move with ease and not resistance when we don’t fight the words that have been given us. We soon feel much more ourselves, as the Christ Self will come through more and more over time, and we will be living our real Selves.

2 – No Struggle

We do not need to struggle anymore! What a relief this is! To give up struggle is something that we have wanted to do for a long time, but very likely we did not think giving up struggle was possible. And maybe we didn’t think that it was even desirable. We pit ourselves against forces beyond our control, thinking that we are building character. And we do, in fact, build some strength by struggling. But there is a better way. We give over our concerns to a Higher Power, and He paves the way for us. He is strong for us. In A Course in Miracles, this Power is the Holy Spirit. In A Course of Love, this Power is the Christ Self. Jesus declares elsewhere in ACOL that we were previously in the time of the Holy Spirit, but that now we are in the time of Christ. He is not here referring to the Jesus of 2,000 years ago, but to the Self that we all can inhabit.

3 – Time of Christ

Moving in water can be effortless, but it requires some practice. One may intuitively grasp the concept of swimming, but usually some training is required. And the same with what we are doing here. We are learning in the time of Christ. We are learning effortlessly, but we need some attention to what we are learning to assimilate all of it. And that new way of learning is by observation, not intense study (which would be very effortful indeed). We will learn, and we need to relax in the learning. One’s better life depends on mastering these concepts in A Course of Love (since we have chosen to use this as our means to Christ-consciousness), but we do not have to do so with great expenditure of effort. Indeed, to try that way would be counterproductive.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would learn a new way in the time of Christ. I would learn without trying to resist or to struggle, but I would learn with effortless ease. Sometimes to my personal self this seems too good to be true. But this evaluation comes only when my ego is rearing its head.

Learning now can be full of ease as well as joy. I do not have to pit myself against hard challenges. I ask You to pave the way for me. Tell me how to do my part. Tell me, guide me to do the right thing. May Your intentions for me win out always.

Be with all of us who still question if a new way is too easy. I know intellectually that a new way is not only possible but also easy, and I would bring my emotions in line with this knowledge. Thank You for being with me, for giving me the sense of Your presence.

Amen

Without Struggle or Effort

Dejeuner-canotiers - renoir“Ego desires cause one to think of a grand piano. Thoughts joined in unity hear music. Ego desires cause one to think of an elaborately framed painting. Thoughts joined in unity see beauty. You are used to thinking that if you do not have a tangible goal, such as that of music lessons or the purchase of a piano, you will never reach the goals associated with those tangible steps. Thoughts joined in unity create without goals or planning, without effort or struggle. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Nature of Unity and Its Recognition, 1.13)”

Affirmation: “I would hear music today.”

Reflections:

1 – Effortless Thinking

We perk up when someone, especially someone like Jesus, tells us that there is a way to live without struggle or effort. If we join our thoughts in unity, we will know that blessing of effortless thinking. But what does “joining our thoughts in unity” really mean?

2 – Unity

A Course of Love indicates that if we share our thoughts, our deepest thoughts with our Christ/Self, deep within our minds, and we share our thoughts with God, and with our brothers and sisters, then we are living in unity (an interpretation of ACOL). We are also living in relationship. In unity, the One is emphasized; in relationships, the differentiated mass of One is emphasized. The One and the differentiated mass are both of God, and there is truly no difference between them. There is just a difference in the way we are thinking and talking of them.

3 – Christ-Consciousness

May we hear music today. May we not struggle to pay for the piano, or to take music lessons, but let us rest in the assurance that all will come to us when we are ready. And that especially includes Christ-consciousness.

4 – Planning

We are not instructed to form comprehensive goals or to plan rigidly for the future. We do not, according to A Course in Miracles, need to plan at all, unless we are instructed, at the time, by the Holy Spirit. ACOL goes a step farther, for this work tries to tell us that the impetus to know what to do comes from the inner Self/Christ. We just know. And we are the better for it.

5 – Just “Knowing”

Just “knowing” is tricky at first. How do we just know? Largely this comes from feelings, or intuition. We do not judge what to do, because we are incapable of seeing the whole picture (from the Manual of A Course in Miracles). We cannot know all factors that impinge upon past events, circumstances, or goals; we cannot see all facets of the present; and we certainly cannot discern the future without help from God. We need to realize that the way of God is, in fact, easily distinguishable once we become attuned to listening to intuition. Of course, there are other ways that guidance comes to us, and I have an article in this blog entitled, “The Gift of Guidance,” which may shed some light on the question. (Search the blog under gift and guidance and hales.)

6 – Picture Frames

If we choose to give up elaborately weaving picture frames, we will know more. This image, by the way, is a direct correlation with one from A Course in Miracles. We need to realize that a picture, lightly framed and in light, will show the best image (from the Text of ACIM). This we can look at in certain fashion. And for this we do not need elaborate goal-setting and planning.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would see the picture today, not the picture frame. And I would hang all the pictures of my life in slender frames, framed in light. I would turn aside from jewel-encrusted, massive picture frames that obscure the real point–the picture itself. Thank You for this lovely image from A Course in Miracles.

May I walk through life in a relaxed, happy fashion. This is within my power, when You are with me, and I listen to You as You guide me. I would be finished with fear. As soon as fear crops up, let me turn it over to You and be done with it. The day is worth rejoicing. Thank You.

Amen.

Effortless Happiness

Reproduction-oil-paintings-Vincent-Van-Gogh005“You do not yet, but will soon realize the happiness that is ours.  Your mind cannot accept that happiness, as well as meaning, is due you through no effort of your own.  (A Course of Love, 25.9)”

Affirmation:  “Happiness is due me through no particular effort.”

Reflections:

1 – Free Gift

We do have happiness, when we have the type of attitudes that invite it.  We don’t have to “effort” to deserve happiness.  Happiness is a free gift of God, just as is His guidance.  He wants us to be joyous.  He wants us to live lives that are filled with all blessings that we will accept.  We must receive from Him, though.  We cannot think negative and depressing thoughts, not received from Him, and expect happiness to follow.  Natural laws still apply.  And common sense would tell us that we need to work with our minds to bring forth the goodness that God has in store for us.

2 – No Effort

Is this, then, “no effort”?  Yes, for it takes no struggle to sit quietly and envelope ourselves in God’s love.  This stillness will assure us that just below the surface of our negative thinking is the natural, uncomplicaated, and healthy habit of mind that ensures the sensing of happiness.  Just let go, and the healthy pattern will surface.

3 – Richard Carlson

The ideas in the preceding paragraph are informed, in part, by Richard Carlson, a psychologist and specialist in happiness who wrote a number of books about not “sweating the small stuff.”  Prior to that successful series, he wrote other books on alleviating depression and inviting happiness (some of which are out of print).  The natural, healthy sensations of happiness will arise easily when we allow the very unnatural habit of depressed thoughts to be eliminated.

4 – Happiness Will Bubble Forth

So let us take the effortless way to improve our attitudes so that happiness will bubble forth.  Just sit in the stillness with a clear mind not focusing on anything in particular.  See, by experiment, if Your sensation of God’s presence, which will come unbidden, does not alleviate depression and welcome a calmer, more peaceful feeling that can only be called the beginnings of happiness.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to understand that happiness is a laudable goal, and that it is my due, through no particular effort of my own.  I do need to fill my mind and heart with peace, though, and this will happen when we read and reflect on Jesus’s words.

May we reach out to others who do not feel happiness.  May we be their guide home to happiness.

Be with us as we seek Your way.  And may our pathway smooth before us.

Amen.