Tag Archives: meditation

Uproot the Weed of Fear

“Therefore, in truth, we come not to improve what you would be thinking of as the surface of the garden, the surface of the soil, but to strike at the root that resides deep within the mind, in the depth that I have called the heart or the soul.  All that we endeavor to do, then, is designed to uproot the weed of fear that has made a home in the depth of your being.  (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 12, Page 142)

We have a garden in the mind that has weeds.  The weeds are fears that need to be uprooted, not cut off above the root, but uprooted by plucking from the soil of our soul.  We can’t have Awakening or Christ-consciousness with fear engulfing our minds and bodies.  If we can’t get rid of fear, we can’t move into enlightenment.

This is something that we can believe God asks us to do, in preparation for His reaching “down” and uplifting us.  Get rid of the fear.  But not by resisting it, for resistance solidifies what we would avoid.  We just gently turn aside from the fear.  How to do that?

Meditation, someone commented on this blog, is the panacea for all ills.  Certainly Jesus thinks that meditation is helpful, for there is an entire workbook of meditations with A Course in Miracles (the second volume).  Meditation calms, and a calm mind is less anxious, and anxiety is one of the most common manifestations of fear. 

Let’s take a few minutes today to indulge our minds and bodies with meditation, for it is an indulgence, a healing.  Our very souls will thank us.

And fears will take a step backward.

Imagining Christ

“The message of this lesson, built upon the last, begins to translate the Truth into an action—very simple, very practical—so simple and so practical that you will be hard pressed to find a reason, an excuse, against it. For those of you so busy trying to take care of dealing with all the things life throwa at you, even you know that you can find five minutes. And those five minutes can be the beginning of birthing a whole new universe for yourself.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 9, Page 120)

The ”five minutes” refer to sitting five minutes imagining that we are a Christ. It isn’t an egoic thing, not at all. It is a form of meditation, but a very potent form. We need to take time out from our busy lives to just imagine what it would be like to have no problems, to let those that we do have rest lightly on our mind and heart, and to dwell with God.

That is what sitting as a Christ actually means: dwelling with God. We start slowly, with just the five minutes. We clear our minds and hearts of problems, and we know that when we put problems out of the way, we will live as an imagined Christ.

This is not hard. Only if we doubt its efficacy will we run into problems. Give it a day or two.

The results will speak for themselves.

Guidance

“A giant step forward in your case would be to insist on a collaborative venture. This does not go against the true spirit of meditation at all. It is inherent in it. Meditation is a collaborative venture with God. It cannot be undertaken successfully by those who disengage themselves from the Sonship, because they are disengaging themselves from me. God will come to you only as you will give Him to your brothers. Learn first of them, and you will be ready to hear God as you hear them. That is because the function of love is one.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-4.VIII.21:1-8)

Do we really believe that we can hear God? We hear him in silence, not in words. Our intuitive sense carries the day. It is true that from brothers and sisters on the Other Side, we can hear what are called “locutions,” words impressed on our mind when we are quiet and receptive. We do not necessarily hear anything audible at all, but the impression of a locution does seem very powerful, when it comes. God’s silence, also, speaks volumes. We can know what God is wanting of us, and that may be only an expression of Love. He does not always expect us to work for Him; the pleasure of His company is all that He sometimes asks us to receive.

In meditation, specifically insight meditation, the focus is not only a specific mantra, but on phrases that filter through the mind. Our mind speaks to us, and sometimes this impression seems a little beyond us, as though a Higher Power were speaking to us. Feelings work, too. And feelings are primarily how the Holy Spirit speaks to us. When we are on the right beam, we comprehend that we are, and nobody else can tell us we are wrong. We do need to test out our discernment, though, as anything that might be harmful to another is definitely not coming from the Holy Spirit.

Jesus wants us to engage with him. He is able, as spirit, to live anywhere and everywhere. His consciousness can engage with myriads of human beings are one time. If this seems farfetched, let us simply listen to his words. I think that they will allow for no other interpretation.

A short period of meditation, or, at best, two such periods, will calm us and take us to the Heaven that exists in our minds. We may not stay there, but the visit is so very therapeutic.

Our Tool Chest: Meditation, Yoga, Affirmations

“The word “need” and the word “dependent” are only words and words that would be inconceivable to you in the state of unity before you left it. Now, they are just tools, as are many other means of practice that assist you in bypassing your ego mind. Some practices more commonly thought of as tools might be meditation, exercises of the body such as yoga, or exercises of the mind such as affirmations. These tools are all means of releasing ego mind and inviting the one mind, or unity into the present moment. When seen as such, all these tools, including needs, can ignite the combination of learning and unlearning, the letting-go of one so that the other can arrive.” (ACOL, T2:9.2)

A Course of Love says that we need to return to unity, and this unity is of two types: a union with the Self, and a union of mind and heart to form wholeheartedness. Here, in the passage, we see that we are not left to make this unity come about out of thin air. There are tools, and implicit in giving us these tools, Jesus is asking that we use them—meditation, yoga, affirmations. Add to that the understanding that our needs are met at the point of recognition, and that we are one with all in interdependence, and we have quite a tool chest to draw upon. Our way home is clear; it is only our density of thought that holds us back. And our patience; we lack the patience to really work on ourselves. So we ask for the miracle that the art of thought really is; we ask for the patience to wait on God’s timing for our enlightenment. And we try out these tools as a way to remove barriers to the blessing of ultimate salvation that we really want.

This passage also reminds us that learning and unlearning appear together, one simultaneous effect of walking the right pathway. We are fast moving into the time when learning from authorities of the past is no longer recommended. Our lives, instead, are the fodder for release from egoic ideas. A way out of our insanity. We observe what happens in our lives, and this edges us forward, day by day, ever so slightly. In patience possess ye your souls, as we have heard. This observation of our lives and what happens in them is the tailor-made tool for undoing the ego. We unlearn the insanity (though this sounds hard to do), and in the unlearning, we are, at the same time, learning anew. Everybody has a different curriculum, one suited just for each of us. Our learning goals are the same, though: a return to the Christ Self, a joining of heart and mind. So, when we talk to others, we find that their pathway is similar to ours; just the details differ, for nobody else lives the same life, knows the same thing, or anticipates a like future.

We are encouraged to live in the present moment. This always sounds hard to us, for most of us have tried it, and failed. But we try again, and gradually longer and longer periods are actually attuned to the gift of the present. We see no reason to wander in the madness of the past, or to worry about the happenings of the future. We know that we are safe in the present, and in this truth, our self-fostered disinterest in remaining in the present just disappears.

Try some of the tools that Jesus gives in this passage for today. Let those tools lead the way. We want to turn aside from the ego, and time-tested remedies are always the best. Certainly meditation, yoga, and affirmations are well-known to most of us. They may have failed us in the past. But this is a new day, and there is hope for a better outcome, because the ego’s hold on us, for all of us, has been weakened.

Try Jesus’s tools a little right now. The benefits are there, when the mind and heart work together to heal the division between God and our persona.

Prayer

Many of us have long used the tools that Jesus point out today. But I am in a new era now, and though I might have had limited success with meditation, yoga, affirmations, in the past, I have no reason to believe that things won’t take a turn for the better. It is reassuring to know that this tool chest is familiar to me. It is familiar to many of us, and this very familiarity is a comfort. Thank You.

I would seek to walk the straight and narrow with ease today. I would not fear the ego, for Jesus tells me that it is gone. I seek to love, and in the love I find myself.

It is this way for everybody.

Amen.

We Are Never Alone

1 – Day 22

“You are life, and you are also surrounded by living forces channeling to you constantly. (A Course of Love: Dialogues)”

2 – The Other Side

We are not alone, ever. Not only is God with us constantly, but we have channeled help from what many call the “Other Side.” The next time you are in need, think on this. And the day will brighten.

3 – Channels

Day Twenty Two makes clear that all of us are channels to the unknown. We choose that which we express. The channeling goes on all the time. What each person expresses is unique to that individual. Each person can bring forth only that which is expressly his or hers to bring forth.

4 – Choices

Every choice is a mean of channeling. This makes clear the closeness of our world to other worlds beyond us. We are not, however, simply intermediaries between our world and other worlds. The channeling which we express would come into being only by our own choice, our own means of expression.

5 – God

We can know God better in this unique way. We can, through channeling, through expression of the unknown as we come to see it, make known the love of God to individuals in this world. When we do this, we are making known love in its purest form.

6 – Union

“It is clear, when looked at in terms of process, that there is no intermediary function involved in channeling, but a function of union. This is the very function that you have waited to have revealed to you, the function you have known you are here to fulfill, the function of direct union with God. (Dialogues of a Course of Love, Day 22)”

7 – Innermost Being

This quotation lets us know that God channels directly to us from our innermost being, our Being. He is One with us at all times. And we can call on this inner help when outer troubles threaten to overcome us. Do so now. Let the warmth of God’s love envelope you with a softness and a gentleness that maybe you have forgotten in the harshness of this world. Know that God cares, the innermost Being of yourself. You are never, never alone.

8 – Darkest Hours

So when we are in union with God, we channel His messages just all the time. We have to listen, though, for otherwise the personal self will engulf us and let us feel that we are all alone. Don’t let this egoic self rise again. The egoic self is over. But we can seem to flounder if we don’t turn within for assistance in our darkest hours.

9 – World

And these hours will come to us, still. We may mostly know happiness, but the world is still with us, and the world is a place of meanness and hostility, if we let it be that to us. The world can also be a place of loving care, especially when we reach out for help that is needed.

10 – Turn Within and Without

So: we turn within and we turn without. We know that there is no “other” self, that all of us are joined. Sometimes the Word of God comes to us in the message of another. Sometimes in a song heard on the radio. Sometimes in a song heard in our heads. It matters not from what Source we get God; but get Him we must, if we are to be happy.

11 – Let God Reach Us

We must be channels for God to reach us.

12 – Union

“You will feel as if you will burst if you cannot share the union that you touch when you fulfill your function of direct union with God. How do you let it pass through you to the world?

13 – Live Love

“The most simple, direct, and uncomplicated answer is that of living love. The simple answer is that you must express the unknown that you have touched, experienced, sensed, or felt with such intimacy that it is known to you because the knowing becomes real in the making known. (Dialogues of a Course of Love, Day 22)”

14 – Happiness

This shows us that living love is the only way to have happiness in this world. Even when all the world seems bent against us—for that is a fallacy. The world will only seem as hostile as our own minds are seeming at the time. If we soften, the world will soften. And birds will sing again in our little world.

15 – Alexandra Stoddard

Alexandria Stoddard, the interior decorator, has a series of books that intimate how loving has been the relationship that she has shared with her husband Peter. The books are a great inspiration, for if one keeps mind and heart in the right place, the relationships with which one is blessed will also remain in the right place.

16 – God’s Presence

If we wish to be in direct union with God, we have only to invite His Presence into our minds and hearts. We will feel alienated when hurt or angry, and His Word will be impossible to hear.

17 – Attune to God

Let your minds and hearts attune now to God. Let Him speak to you in great simplicity. He is there, waiting to be asked. He will bring you home, in salvation to remain. He would have us sustain the elevated Self of form.

18 – Love

“You realize that you have known a place where nothing but love exists, where there is no suffering, no death, no pain nor sorrow, no separation or alienation. (Dialogues of a Course of Love, Day 22)”

19 – Heaven

The quotation is apt. We do realize, however dimly, that there is a Heaven where there is no suffering, no death, no pain nor sorrow, no separation or alienation. And we can indeed have this Heaven on earth. It takes attentiveness to others, the direct manifestation of love in action. And when we have been inattentive, we know it and we suffer. But we can turn things aright by just the awesome power of our minds, which is God’s Source. We need to be in union with God to have a good life, to be separated (even in illusion) from Him no longer

20 – Heaven on Earth

We can create this Heaven on earth. We can use the power of our minds, in league with God, to do so. And prayers such as these are completely within His Will, and completely within His power to create.

21 – Time

Pay attention to the following quotation: “It is time to be a channel for the awareness of union with God that exists in every living thing. (Dialogues of a Course of Love, Day 22)”

22 – Christ-consciousness

“The awareness is what we have been calling Christ-consciousness, but what you call it now matters not. All the words that have been expressed here, that say so many similar things in so many different ways, are words that are simply calling you to realization of your union with God and to the new world you can create once you accept and make real this union. (Dialogues of a Course of Love, Day 22)”

23 – New World

Would we not want to create a new world? Would we all want Christ-consciousness, Awakening, enlightenment? Yes, of course. All of us.

24 – Awareness of Union

We need to realize that we are already one with God, and we need now to be aware of this union. That is the only thing standing between us and Christ-consciousness. Awareness of union.

24 – We Try

We try so hard. And we fall on our faces. But God sees our feeble attempts and our frantic attempts as well. And He smiles at us, and says, “Take it easy. There is nothing here that I can’t handle. All is well.” And if we relax in the goodness of His love, we feel a peace that is not of this world. We know joy in the midst of pain. And our moments of pain shrink as we stand watching them.

24 – Union

Union. Awareness of union. Keep that in the forefront of your mind. And you will create a new world, despite yourself.

25 – Feeling

“Remember only the feeling that a place of union exists in which you know God, in which you know love, in which you know of joy without sorrow, and life everlasting. This is the great unknown that you can make known. (Dialogues of a Course of Love, Day 22)”

26 – Bliss

We can know such bliss when we are intimately connected to God. We don’t have to struggle anymore to “understand.” We just rest in awareness that He is present, and that He is handling everything that we don’t know how to handle.

27 – Cease Struggling

Cease struggling. Come into God’s Arms with certainty that there alone is where He would have you be.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to be aware, constantly, of the impact of an unseen world on my own personal surroundings as well as this world in general. Thank You for the clear statement of this great boon. We are never alone. Forces from beyond reach out to us and comfort us.

Thank You.

May I discern wisely the channeling that comes to me. A Course of Love does not say that we have to discern spirits, but through the years I have believed that. Be with me as I assimilate the new insight of ACOL, and if I must discern spirits, please guide me rightly in this endeavor.

Amen.

Observation

renior - girl with red hat
“You may wonder rightly then, how those who have not learned by the Holy Spirit will learn. They will now learn through observation. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 18.1)”

Affirmation: “I would learn through observation today.”

Reflections:

1 – Observation and Mindfulness

This passage indicates that many of us have not learned all that the Holy Spirit would teach, and for those of us who are moving into the new age of Christ-consciousness, we will learn in a new way—observation. What does this mean? I think that “observation” is a synonym for mindfulness.

2 – Meditation

Mindfulness is a concept closely related to meditation, and meditation as such is not taught in A Course in Miracles, though the final days of the Workbook of ACIM seem to be akin to meditation. The quietness of these final lessons, and the paucity of words in the lessons, suggest that we turn inward in mindfulness and meditation.

3 – A Definition of Observation

What is mindfulness (or observation)? We pay attention to what we say and especially what we do, as we are doing it. We just let the world be, not trying to change anything. The concept is especially elaborated in books on Zen Buddhism, but here we are getting into perennial wisdom that spans the most mystical aspects of most religions in our world.

4 – Flow

Observation works. It is also part of that peace that passeth understanding, something that we all want and need. We slow down naturally, and we pace ourselves. We are in “flow,” which means that we intuit what to do next, relaxing into life and not worrying about what happens. We are serene.

5 – When Emotionally Overwrought

Observation won’t work if we are emotionally overwrought. That is also when guidance is most elusive, guidance both from the Holy Spirit and the Self within. We need to recognize as well how to calm ourselves. Taking a timeout, spending some time without speaking, and turning to prayer, will lead to a still mind. Then we will be observing mindfully again.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for this good day. I am grateful for the peace that a new day brings, the hope that is riding on a new flow to my day. If I listen to You, this is the day that will be given me—a day of flow and peace. May I truly listen, even when my own initiative threatens to interfere.

Thank You for the thought that seemed to merge “observation” with mindfulness. I pray that this linking in my mind is in line with truth. It is my own interpretation, and it is meaningful to me. Thank You for the ease with which You inform me, or at least that I think You inform me. Be with me as I seek to observe today through the mindful movement of thought and deed.

Amen.

Meditation / Yoga / Affirmations

_5236338_hf“Some practices more commonly thought of as tools might be meditation, exercises of the body such as yoga, or exercises of the mind such as affirmations. These tools are all means of releasing ego mind and inviting the one mind, or unity into the present moment. When seen as such, all these tools, including needs, can ignite the combination of learning and unlearning, the letting go of one so that the other can arrive. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Nature of Unity and Its Recognition, 9.2)”

Affirmation: “I will let go of the ego so that the Self can step forward.”

Reflections:

1 – Practices

The practices mentioned in A Course of Love, in this passage, are not mentioned in A Course in Miracles, though the final lessons in the Workbook are thought by some students/teachers to be meditative in approach. Here Jesus names the practices that will undo the learning that we have obtained heretofore, leaving us free to welcome the Self/Christ.

2 – Present Moment

We are asked to think of the present moment, an assertion that many, many spiritual practices have recommended. We release the ego mind in the present, so that we know unity–with Self as well as others. The unity is one of unity in relationship, the One reaching out to the many, and “unity and relationship” are hallmarks of ACOL.

3 – Meditation

I practiced meditation three times a day for years for 30 minutes each time. I was deep into my career of librarianship, and the work could be and often was, stressful, and this despite most people’s assumptions that libraries are stress-free environments. But I am no longer a librarian, and in recent years I have not kept up the practice of meditation. This ought to be changed in me. Meditation is enormously comforting and calming to the emotions, and the insight that comes as a result can sometimes be profound. All practitioners say the same.

4 – Yoga

I now practice yoga most mornings, first thing in the morning. I have a meditative routine that stills my mind and prepares me for the day, and I keep at it for about 20 to 30 minutes. The day gets started right, and, perhaps, in a way, this is a form of meditation for me now.

5 – Affirmations

And affirmations are particularly helpful when I am stressed. Norman Vincent Peale often recommended this form of learning. And he prepared compilations of biblical passages that are particularly well-suited to being converted to affirmations. One favorite is entitled, “Thought Conditioners.”

6 – Turn Aside from the Ego

We need to make a concerted effort to avoid egotistical thinking and actions. This is easily done if we catch ourselves in the moment and turn aside, not to resist but simply to make another choice. And in the unity that we will know when we are living in an egoless way will much understanding come to us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would choose today to practice all three of the learning techniques mentioned herein–meditation, yoga, and affirmations. I will be the better for it. No effort need be involved. I just drop the ego and decide to follow established practices that will better my mind.

Thank You for the sense of Your presence that I enjoy. I am desirous of enlarging the number of moments during the day that I sense Your presence, and I ask that You stay with me, not withdrawing and leading me into a dark night of the soul.

Amen

Dark Night of the Soul

“Child of God, you are alien here but need not be alien to your Self.  In your knowledge of your Self, all threat of time and space and place dissolves.  You may still walk an alien land, but not in a fog of amnesia that obscures what would be a brief adventure and replaces it with dreams of terror and confusion so rampant that no toehold of security is possible, and day turns endlessly into night in a long march toward death.  (A Course of Love, 4.6)”

Affirmation:  “May I know my Self today.”

Reflections:

1 – The Self

The Self (capitalized) is meant in A Course of Love to be the Christ who is in each of us.  Christ, as we know, is not limited to Jesus.  He paved the way, and is still leading the way, but he does not believe that he has anything that we cannot attain.  Even this sentiment is expressed in the New Testament, and certainly this sentiment finds a welcome home in both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love.

2 – Terror and Confusion Begone

The passage for today is particularly vivid in its metaphors.  We are told that we can see our lives here as a brief adventure, and we do not need to have dreams of terror and confusion.  But most of us do, and most of us still do–despite study of ACIM and ACOL.  We are all equals in the journey that we take, the “journey without distance” (quotation from ACIM).

3 – Clear Our Minds

When we are lost in the emotions of fear–terror and confusion, as herein described–we are not in a good frame of mind even to study ACIM and ACOL.  We need, perhaps, to clear our minds in whatever ways we have determined work for us.  Possible avenues are prayer (communion with God), meditation (if we are led to do so, but long hours of “contemplation” are specified citing by Jesus in ACIM as being “tedious”), conversation with significant others in our lives, counseling, even listening to music.  (These are personal recommendations, most not cited in ACIM nor ACOL.)  When we are lost in terror and confusion, it is hard for the Holy Spirit and Christ-consciousness to reach us.  We have temporarily lost our way, lost it to the ego that has not died within us.

4 – Dark Nights of the Soul

Seek calm and quiet and stillness in whatever ways work for you.  Stay relaxed, sure of your eventual emergence from this dark night of the soul.  Dark nights of the soul come to all of us on the way back to God, and they do not mean that we are the less for having them.  It is part of the journey, and it is also a time not to give up on our religion.  We will know comfort again.  In the meantime, we stay the course.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would have a good day today and every day.  Even when hard times come, I do not have to feel abandoned.  I know intellectually that You are here, even when I don’t feel anything.  And I pray to sense Your Presence in my daily walk about this world.

May the fearful emotions, the terror and confusion, not veil my eyes from the light of the sun.  May I know that anytime I experience fear, there is a dawn coming that will be better.  May I choose to be tolerant of myself when I am torn by conflicting emotions.  They are evidence of the human condition, not that I have lost my way–though it may feel that way.

Be with me today and always.  Help me to turn aside from terror and confusion without adding to the fear by my own thinking.  Let my heart, which knows of comfort, speak to me today and every day.  Be with me, be with us, as we seek Your pathway through this sometimes tragic world.

Amen.

For Inner Vision Close Your Eyes

“Close your eyes on all that you have become accustomed to seeing.  And you will see the light.

“In the light that comes only to eyes that no longer see, you will find the Christ who abides in you.  (A Course of Love, 3.5 – 3.6)”

Affirmation:  “Christ abides in me.”

Reflections:

1 – An Invitation to Meditation?

This passage seems almost an invitation to meditation, but it does stop short of recommending meditation.  Many people see in the concluding pages of the Workbook of A Course in Miracles a call to meditation.  And perhaps it is.  We ought not to invite controversy into our thinking.  We will just see what there are in both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love that we can take unto our hearts and live with in gladness.  Turn aside from anything that we seem unready yet to accept.  But read carefully, and contemplate in our hearts, and we will be well off indeed.

2 – Christ Abides in Us

Christ abides in us.  He/She is our Self, a Being deeper (or higher, depending on the concept that one has) within that guides us and comforts us.  Christ is in Jesus, of course, but in A Course of Love, Jesus makes clear that he has nothing that we cannot aspire to have.  And this is a great blessing.  Later on in the trilogy of A Course of Love, he will resign as our teacher, and become our true heart’s companion.  This is where we are heading in A Course of Love.

3 – Christ = Our Real Self

Christ is an all-encompassing term, meaning our real Self, a Self that we will later come to understand, in part, as our “elevated Self of form.”  Jesus has been stressing that the real world is not  seen with physical eyes, but with inner vision.  And there is no form that is truly real.  We do live in an illusion.  But in the illusion we experience form, and that is not a bad thing, nor a thing to be lamented.  God chose for us, as adolescents, to seem to depart from Him, because to hold on would be to deny free will.  Jesus compares this action to the action that parents take toward an unruly adolescent who would assert his/her freedom.  The parents let go, just as God Himself let go.  And only then did we realize how much we needed Him.

4 – See with Non-Physical Eyes

Return to God today.  See with non-physical eyes the vision that Jesus would have us see.  And all will be really well.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would forget the world for awhile today, reveling in the mysteries inside of me.  Thank You for reminding me that my physical vision, my physical eyes, do not see aright.  It takes inner vision to see the Self who I really am.  May that Self become ever more a part of my outer being today, so that I can let my light shine aright for You.

Be with us today as we walk together in this world of illusion.  May we quiet ourselves when such quiet seems warranted, and may we find in the quietness a holiness in ourselves that only You put there, and only You can lead us to see.

May I so let my light shine today that You can be seen by the others in my world.  And may I not let You down in any way.  May I not let my brothers and sisters down.  We all need to be good examples for each other, so when one of us slips, the other can catch his/her hand.

Amen.

Overcoming Anxiety

“When you are anxious, realize that anxiety comes from the capriciousness of the ego, and know this need not be.  You can be as vigilant against the ego’s dictates as for them.  (T63)”

Affirmation:  “When you are anxious, know this need not be.”

Reflections:

1 – Anxiety = Form of Fear

Anxiety is a form of fear, of course.  And fear and love are the primary emotions.  The phrase, “capriciousness of the ego,” can be a bit difficult, but essentially it is saying that our egos are wily, and we cannot trust where they lead.

2 – Pills

Just as with sadness, anxiety is an emotion that most of us experience–some of us for long periods of time.  Pills are not recommended long-term by physicians.  So in this sense our medical establishment is in line with Jesus’s explanation that pills are a form of magic that work because we believe in them.  Jesus implies that we would be better off without pills, if doing without would not raise our level of fear.

3 – Anxiety Overcome

Anxiety can be overcome by non-medical intervention, in many cases.  Certainly prayer is a great calming tool, for God’s Love for us becomes manifest when we turn to Him in heartfelt communion.  A Course in Miracles does not say a great deal about prayer, but it simply seems to be assumed that we will pray, or, as it is said in the opening pages of the Text, we will “commune” with God.  Many of the Workbook lessons appear to be a form of meditation, though this is a controversial interpretation for some students/teachers of ACIM.  Certainly the Workbook is filled with prayers to God, and so my personal interpretation is that we need to realize that there is a mystery about God that we will not know until Awakening, and not in its entirety then.  Some students/teachers of ACIM believe that God does not know about us, because we are lost in illusion, and He does not enter illusion.  My personal take on this,  though, is that God’s absence has not been my personal experience, except a few times when I was experiencing what has been called the “dark night of the soul.”

4 – Vigilance against the Ego

Vigilance against the ego’s dictates is a call to action, mental action.  We do not have to fall for the nefarious dictates of the ego, and we would do well to consider what some of those really are.  Certainly the ego is in control when we are anxious.  We need to consider whether or not this is really what we want.  We need to realize that other people and their attitudes toward us are not the essential point.  Our relationship to God is primary, and when we allow Him the upper hand, our anxiety about the opinions of others declines.

Prayer:

Dear Father,

Help me to eliminate anxiety from my mind and body.  If I am anxious because of what other people may do or say, help me to realize that this is false reasoning.  God’s way does not include fearfulness toward other people.

My anxiety may come and go without logical reason.  Help me to turn to You in such times, knowing that I have a helping hand always with me.

Amen.

A Safe Returning Home

ACIM Workbook Lesson 324 – for Sunday, November 20, 2011

Affirmation:  “I merely follow, for I would not lead.”

“So let us follow One Who knows the way.  We need not tarry, and we cannot stray except an instant from His loving hand.  We walk together, for we follow Him.  And it is He Who makes the ending sure, and guarantees a safe returning home.  (WB463)”

Reflections:

1 – The Holy Spirit’s Guidance

The “One Who knows the way” is, in A Course in Miracles, the Holy Spirit, also called the Universal Inspiration.  If we are flexible, if we vow to be remain flexible, we will follow the advice that we “hear.”  And that advice, that guidance, will invariably lead us home–and sooner rather than later.

2 – Final Lessons Meditative

All of the final lessons in the Workbook for Students are meditative, in that they encourage us to commune with God and His Teacher, the Holy Spirit.  Not only do these lessons have a common theme of communion with God, they also emphasize, systematically, the ideas developed in the Text and the Manual.  If we have had trouble with the intensity of the ideas in the Text, we can turn to the Workbook and then gain the great benefit that the more reverent words in the Workbook emphasize.  We will not go wrong when we seek reverence in our study.  And our prayers, our communion with God, will take on new meaning when we mean what we say.

3 – A Course of Love

Nobody gets anywhere in the spiritual life by theory alone.  We must buy into the ideas with our heart as well as our mind.  The idea of the heart’s involvement is developed overwhelmingly in the words of A Course of LoveACOL counsels “wholeheartedness,” which is another way of saying that A Course of Love is to the heart what A Course in Miracles is to the mind.  In another way of seeing this, the final lessons of the Workbook, as the year closes, lead us straight into the philosophy of A Course of Love.  This blog has considered two lengthy sections from A Course of Love, and these can be identified and read through taking a look at the months that the postings covered in the “About” section of the Menu Bar.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would return home today.  Thank You that this does not mean that I need to die.  We return home when our hearts and minds act as one in wholeheartedness.  Thank You for the guidance that You give to me.

May I incorporate the tenets of A Course of Love as I walk farther along the pathway.  There is a continuum that I would adopt in my daily study.  Help me to study diligently, and to understand what Jesus says to me.  May I keep an open mind as I compare A Course in Miracles to A Course of Love.

Amen.