Tag Archives: mind wandering

Mind Wandering

“The correction of fear is your responsibility. When you ask for release from fear, you are implying that it isn’t. You should ask, instead, for help in the conditions which have brought the fear about. This always entails a willingness on the part of your separated mind. At this level, you can help it. You are much too tolerant of mind wandering, thus tacitly condoning your mind’s miscreations. The particular result never matters, but this fundamental error does. The fundamental correction is always the same. Before you will to do anything, ask me if your will is in accord with mine. If you are sure that it is, there will be no fear.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-2.IX.5:1-10)

The most important sentence in this quotation, I think, is the following: “You are much too tolerant of mind wandering.” Is this not just about everybody’s problem?

We need to discover how to wipe clean our minds, put problems on the back burner, and (as A Course of Love says) let our inner Christ-Self come up to the surface with an Answer, a divine Answer. This is the same as looking to the Holy Spirit, Who is within us also. Of course, we need the patience to allow this to happen. If we persist in wiping our minds clean of pesky problems, letting a wiser Wisdom surface, the results will be the proof. We really will find that the Self knows better, for it draws from Divinity, God Himself, to lead us, ever so gently, to the resolution of those matters that threaten to disturb our peace of mind.

We need not be fearful, but it does take an ego-free mind to realize this. And many of us are not there yet. As we make decisions, if we allow Jesus to influence us, we will know that the process by which we come to a decision is divinely led. This may not completely remove the fear, for we are used to fretting over trifles, and sometimes we are confronted with more than trifles in this life.

Let guidance from within lead. It will not fail. And we will rejoice when we know that this is so.

Jesus: “Whenever You Are Afraid, It Is a Sure Sign that You Have Allowed Your Mind to Miscreate and Have Not Allowed Me to Guide it.”

“Whenever you are afraid, it is a sure sign that you have allowed your mind to miscreate and have not allowed me to guide it. (T29)”

Affirmation: “My I allow Jesus to guide my mind.”

Reflections:

1 – Mind Wandering

Elsewhere A Course in Miracles counsels against mind wandering. This mind wandering is exactly the way in which miscreation happens. We fantasize about horrors of the past, present, or future, and soon we find ourselves afraid–full of fear. The exact opposite of love. When we recognize that also, in this other passage, we learn that there are no idle thoughts, that they all create form at some level, we are brought up short, and we realize what a mistake we have made. We don’t know what these forms are, but we can imagine that some of them are probable realities (from Jane Roberts’s Seth), and we may get ourselves in very serious trouble if we allow the forms that we are creating to stand. Allowing these forms to stand is exactly the reason that we are becoming so fearful (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM). And fear is of the ego, always. Let us never forget that.

2 – Our Guide

When we allow Jesus to guide our thoughts, we do not know fear. This takes great deal of concentration in the beginning, an awareness of what our minds are doing. This kind of concentration usually does not come easily to us. But it can be done, when motivation is strong. Jesus also indicates that we only need to strengthen our motivation to learn A Course in Miracles, that once the motivation is strengthened, everything else will fall into place. We need to talk to Jesus as to a friend, to realize that he is actually near–when we have called to him. It takes very little deviation from science to know that a single object can be in more than one place at a time; this is current day physics. And Jesus, master that he is, can appear wherever and whenever he is needed. In addition, the Teachers of Teachers can help us, giving us their ideas when we falter (from the Manual of ACIM). If having either Jesus or a Teacher appear to us would be disconcerting or fearful, we can tune our minds and hearts to their words. It is not beyond reasonable consideration that we are guided every step of the way. And we do sometimes, even with clear minds and no mental illness, hear locutions (inner thoughts that we did not “think”) that guides our journey.

3 – Strong Fear

If the fear is strong, the motivation to change to a better way of living will be strong as well. We need at first attend only to the motivation to change, and then the remainder will fall into place without effort. This cannot be said enough. The motivation is key. And the more time that we devote to following Jesus’s words, the more desirous we will be to do so all the time. He does not want to make our decisions for us, though. Mari Perron, the scribe of A Course of Love, indicates that he told us just that in an internal monologue. At that time, she was depending on Jesus to make her decisions for herself, and he let her know that this was inappropriate.

4 – Monitor Thoughts

So let us monitor our thoughts. Let us turn inward when we sense fear rising. Let us not fall into miscreation, though we ourselves do not fully understand what we are miscreating. It is enough to know that mind wandering will miscreate, and we need a better option, a better way to spend our days.

Prayer:

Dear Father,

May I allow my miscreating mind to rest in Your power and strength. May I allow the Holy Spirit to guide my thoughts.

When my mind does not wander into fantasies, I am better off. Thank you for the wisdom that would lead me to eliminate miscreations of my mind and eliminate fear.

I have too long experienced anxieties from time to time, even frequently. I would leave this habit of mine behind me as I walk ahead on my pathway. Help me to do so. Help others to do so as well.

Amen.

No Idle Thoughts

1873 Dance School - degas
“There is no more self-contradictory concept than that of ‘idle thoughts.’ What gives rise to the perception of a whole world can hardly be called idle. Every thought you have contributes to truth or to illusion; either it extends the truth or it multiplies illusions. You can indeed multiply nothing, but you will not extend it by doing so. (W-16)”

Affirmation: “May I stop my mind wandering today.”

Reflections:

1 – Mind Wandering

I have been guilty of mind wandering, and this mind wandering does form illusions that, on some level, have a form of their own. These are idle thoughts that are actually not “idle” at all. We need to stop such displays whenever they occur. Just saying “Stop!” can do more than might be thought.

2 – Essence of Salvation

Jesus would not have us destroy our good mind with images of illusions. We live in a dream, at least until the real world is seen, but to us this world is quite real already. How can we navigate through this world best? We need to ask for guidance. We cannot do it alone, nor should we. The best advice that Jesus gives is included in the Manual, when he recommends giving up judgment to follow the guidance that comes to us. This alone will save us. It is the essence of salvation.

3 – Misuse of Time

Perhaps we all might recognize that mind wandering and “idle” thoughts are a misuse of our good time. We need to live well in this world, and we usually only succeed in scaring ourselves when we indulge in such fantasies. May we drop this foolishness from our repertoire of emotions today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for guiding me to the understanding that following Your guidance is the only way to live a life well. And I do try, though often I fall on my face. Help me to pick myself up and try again. Always to try again.

May I understand and act on the guidance that comes to me as it unfolds. May I never substitute ego-oriented thoughts, emotion-drive thoughts, instead of what is really best for myself as well as everyone I touch. May egoic thought die in me. Thank You for having the patience to show me the way when I am capricious and headstrong. Such attitudes have no place in my communion with You. I know this, and I pray to act upon this knowledge today and every day.

Amen.

Mind Wandering

“You are much too tolerant of mind wandering, and are passively condoning your mind’s miscreations” (T29).

Affirmation:  “I would keep my mind on track today.”

Reflections:

1 – Mind Wandering

This quotation appears early in the Text, in a section designed to help us to overcome fear.  The “miscreations” happen all too frequently when we let our mind wander over our day, our lives, and especially our futures.  Jesus bids us at this point to ask if our choice is in accord with his.  If it is, there will be no fear.

2 – Miscreations Are from the Ego

The miscreations are the things in our world that we “make” from the mind slant of the ego.  We live in misery, alleviated only from time to time, when we let the ego rule.  The ego in this sense is not quite what Freud defined.  It is a part of our understanding of ourselves, and it is regularly leading us away from God to the self-centered impulses of which we are all aware.  The stronger the ego, the more undone it will become as time passes.  This leads directly to an inferiority complex, because we are constantly brought up short to realize that we are not the center of the world, after all.  The ego champions  the illusions in this world, and it, as a part of our belief about ourselves, does not wish us well.  The ego sense that there is another part of us that is opposed to it; this brings up the matter of the Holy Spirit.  Love does not directly fight fear; it simply characterizes fear as untruth.  When we are in a loving state of mind, we are letting the real world speak to us, the world that God created with us in mind.  We do have moments when the ego is not noticeable to us, regardless of how far we still have to walk along the pathway home.

3 – Try to Settle the Mind

This teaching is one of the more difficult to apply in daily life.  Our minds jump around so much that settling the mind down, even in prayer, is difficult.  Cultivating relaxation prior to prayer can be very helpful.

4 – Jesus Is Near

This passage highlights the closeness of Jesus to our lives.  We can even imagine that he holds our hand as we walk along life’s pathway.  This is not idle fantasy, according to the Course (WB120).

5 – Keep the Mind Still

Nobody who has not awakened (meaning the vast majority of us) can eliminate fear entirely.  But following the teachings of the Course, especially passages such as the one cited above, can go a long way toward giving us the peace that we crave.  Try to keep the mind still, and let the Holy Spirit speak.  Over time, if we are patient and practice willingly and often, this stillness in our mind will virtually eliminate “mind wandering.”

6 – Try Praying Aloud

I have found that praying aloud, when alone, is helpful in keeping the mind and heart on track.  We are led to keep a coherent monologue going.  But, of course, prayer is listening as well, and it would be good to enjoy silence and ask God what He wants us to know.  We may then experience an inner knowing that gives us the next right step to make in our day.  We may feel calmer and even happier.  Communion with God is always meant to be peaceful endeavor, though a prayer that comes from struggling with some issue is heard as well.   We need to go with our natural inclinations, as long as they do not hurt another individual.  Mind wandering, believe it or not, can become a thing of the past.

Prayer:

 Dear Father/Mother,

 I would follow my own advice today and pray aloud whenever I am alone.  I thank You that You are inside of me, and that my projections from an ego-oriented mind may “make” a world, but that these miscreations are not real.  May I come to “know” as opposed to “perceive.”  May I see as You would have me see.

 I thank You that Jesus is near.  I do not understand how he can reach out to all of us, but there are many things that I cannot comprehend.  I do have the willingness to step out in regard to this belief.  And thank You for the fact that Jesus holds my hand today as I go about the sometimes meaningless things that I do.  Guide me to do the meaningful things.

 Thank You.

 Amen.

Perception Follows Judgment

ACIM Workbook Lesson 312 – for Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Affirmation:  “I see all things as I would have them be.”

“Perception follows judgment.  Having judged, we therefore see what we would look upon.  For sight can merely serve to offer us what we would have.  (WB456)”

Reflections:

1 – We Make the World We See

We do make the world that we see.  This is a reiteration of the oft-repeated refrain in ACIM that projection makes perception.  Surely this is an important point, since it is repeated so often.  It may be hard to imagine that we see the world that we have made, because it is our wish.  But A Course in Miracles says many things that at first glance are hard to accept.  This is one more.

2 – We Interpret What We See

We can have solace in a difficult world by recognizing that the lesson for today indicates that our sight includes our interpretation of what we are seeing.  We can choose the emotion that we will experience by being more careful about what thoughts we entertain.  Richard Carlson (author of Shortcut through Therapy and other Psychology of Mind books) says that feelings follow thought, though we do not often recognize this.  So, if we believe this and take it to heart, we need to be more careful about what we think.  The thought will generate the feeling or emotion that we experience.

3 – We Are Much Too Tolerant of Mind Wandering

Jesus himself in ACIM says that we do not watch our thoughts carefully enough.  We are much too prone to mind wandering (from the Text).  And everything that we think makes form at some level (an ACIM tenet).  We do not understand these levels, and ACIM is not specific about whether or not some levels are on other planes of reality (e.g., the Other Side).  We need to follow Jesus’s advice and say “Stop!” to ourselves when we realize that we have engaged in mind wandering.  It may be seen that much that we make is false and bad for us because we have entertained negative thoughts.  Even popular psychology agrees, in that we are made to understand the self-fulfilling prophecy.

4 – Try Not to Judge Today

Let us make a pact with our closest brothers and sisters not to make judgments today.  If there is someone whom you know who studies ACIM, contact them and ask that they join with you in a day judgment-free.  If not a day, try for an hour at a time.  The results will prove the point of today’s Workbook lesson.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would not judge today.  I would realize anew that what I judge against affects my perception, making an interpretation that is not true.  My interpretations are always wrong when informed by the ego.  And judgment is of the ego.  Help me to keep these thoughts in mind today that I may have a good day.

May I not fall into “mind wandering” today.  This is one of my worst habits.  I sometimes pray aloud to keep my mind from wandering.  Help me in any simple techniques today that will keep me on track when I talk to You, when I commune with You.  I would open my heart, my inner heart, and feel Your presence keenly.  May today be a banner day, filled with the sense of Your presence.

Amen.