Tag Archives: mindfulness

How This Day Might I Extend the Good, the Holy, the Beautiful?

“A creator, abiding in enlightenment, knows that all events are neutral, so neutral that they have no effect, except for those who choose to be caught up in illusions. The creator, awakened, merely creates out of devotion to the mystery of That which has created him or her. The mind of an enlightened creator does not arise in the morning and say, ‘How can I survive yet another day in this world?’ In the morning, when an enlightened creator arises, the question is:

“How this day might I extend the treasure of the good, the holy, and beautiful?

“How can I, right where I am, experience these treasures even within the space and volume of this body?

“How can I look lovingly upon what my physical eyes show me, so that I discern or extract the good, the holy, and the beautiful, and therefore, give them to myself?” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 10, Page 126)

A hallmark of The Way of Mastery is the phrase, “the good, the holy, and the beautiful.” These are indeed beautiful words, something we would all wish to emulate.

Often, though, we may wake up on a given day in a funk, deploring our lives, thinking of our crises for the day, fearful of what that day will bring. We know that this is no way to live, but we do it anyway. We really don’t know how to avoid thinking such negativity. Is there a way out?

There is. It is the oft-spoken maxim in Eastern circles, “Be willing to have it so.” This is what Jesus calls in WOM “allowance.”

“Acceptance” is a close synonym. If we don’t resist negativity, it loses its punching power. What we resist grows stronger; the force field increases. But when we surrender to God in allowing whatever might transpire, to transpire, we are paradoxically freed.

Of course, we don’t lie down in the dust and accept the bad as the “way things are.” We accept only while in the flow that God gives us. And the “flow” keeps us safe. It is another way of stating “mindfulness.”

Focus on the good, the holy, and the beautiful. Seek to expand those things, and all will be well with our day. Even if the days has things that go awry, we will know that we are in the flow with God.

And that makes all the difference.

Walking the Clear Path Ahead

“Mindfulness and wholeheartedness are but different expressions of the union of mind and heart. Mindfulness will aid you in remembering. Wholeheartedness will aid you in reconciling the laws of God with the laws of man. Through mindfulness you will remember who you are. Through wholeheartedness you will be who are.

“It is in this way that you will enter a time of miracles, put an end to suffering, and thus begin the return to love.” (ACOL, T1:5.14 – 5.15)

Mindfulness is the conscious decision to pay attention to the details of walking through a day. Wholeheartedness is an openness to the heart and our innermost feelings while retaining the mental agility of the mind as an egoless entity. (These are my own definitions.) Mindfulness and wholeheartedness do work together to launch us on the right pathway away from separation from God and into union with Him, with the inner Self Who is a part of Him. Mindfulness works first, by getting us to remember who we are, by clueing us in to the Self Whom we have always been, the Self Who has only to be recollected, for we never actually left that Self. Wholeheartedness then guides us to be ourselves, just to put on no airs, to be who we are, the Self Who is one with God and knows the right route to take on our pathway through this world and beyond.

With mindfulness and wholeheartedness, we will enter a new time, a new time of the art of thought, a time of miracles. Suffering will lessen and then end, and does this not sound like a good thing? If it sounds too good to be true, surely we are underestimating God. We are returning to love, and it is a Love Who is God Himself. Our futures indeed look bright, with such promises as this.

Walk through a day with mindfulness. This is an Eastern thought that has great relevance to us now, and Jesus uses the term a number of times in A Course of Love. Be attentive, for this is what mindfulness really means. Then listen to the heart, and let the ego fall away, leaving a clear mind that is ready to join with the heart in wholeheartedness. Our feelings are apt to become muddled if we rely on the heart solely, but with the mind, a freed mind, we are much more likely to understand what wholeheartedness promises us. We will walk without clouds in our eyes, mists that cover the footpath.

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to feel good today, as I practice both mindfulness and wholeheartedness. These two concepts, taken together, are my way into miracles, my way around suffering, and my way toward love. Let me not forget in my busyness today.

I thank You for these insights into what life has to offer, life when it is lived as it is meant to be lived. I need to realize that suffering is a wrongheaded notion that is usually accompanied by emotional turmoil. This I would leave behind, now and forever.

Amen.

Mindfulness Shows the Way

“The very word ‘remember,’ as well as the concept of memory, implies mindfulness and the ability to reproduce or recall both what has been learned and what has been previously experienced. This reproducing and recollecting are acts of creation. They do not bring back a reality that once was but transform that reality into a present moment experience.” (ACOL, 1.4)

We are remembering what we have always, on some level in our minds and hearts, known. The way back to God is a retracing of our steps, and this retracing is the memory that comes back to us. Our reality is not from the past, though, but a present moment experience. We live in the Now.

We are creating when we remember. We are living in the present moment, creating. This way of living is joyous in the extreme, for we do not dwell on past follies. We move ahead to a better future.
Jesus says that the retracing of our steps, as though on a carpet that will be rolled up, taking us back in time, is necessary to our transformation. And he corrects all mistakes that we, in this procedure, cannot correct. His way shows us the way. We recollect or remember what we need to recollect or remember in order to move forward into a new world, a new world that we are creating each day that we live.

We are to be mindful in our days. This mindfulness will pave the way to a better future. Just think about what you are doing as you walk through your day. Don’t do anything on automatic pilot. This exercise will give many blessings, the least of which is a better day, the most of which might be the bestowal of Christ-consciousness.

Ask today to have Jesus show you the way. He will not dally in answering your request.

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.

Practicing Mindfulness

pissaro - beside river

“The art of thought invites the experience of the new thought system by being willing to replace the old with the new.  While this will at first be a learned activity, and as such have its moments of seeming difficulty, it is learned only in the sense of your practicing the mindfulness that will allow the memory of it to return to you.  (Treatises of A Course of Love:  Treatise on the Art of Thought, 5.13)”

Affirmation:  “May I understand the art of thought today.”

Reflections:

1 – No Longer Struggle

When we practice the art of thought, we do not furrow our brow and study hard.  We read almost as though we were reading a story, for the pleasure.  We learn, therefore, effortlessly.  We no longer struggle to gain concepts.  We let the meaning be shown to us by gentle means.  We do not negate the idea that maybe revelation is showing us the way.  Revelation is not always recognized for what it is.  And A Course of Love indicates that it is with us more and more as we walk further along the pathway to Christ-consciousness.

2 – Gestures of Love

We respond to our outer environment when we practice the art of thought.  We do not take responsibility for others, but we do try to alleviate their needs.  Again, this is not a struggle, but simply gestures of love.

3 – Observation

And we learn by observation of ourselves and others.  Observation is the new way of learning in this new world we are on the verge of entering.  We observe, we reflect, and we come to understand.  Again, this is all effortless.

4 – Gain a Whole New World

Can so much be had for so little?  Can we gain a whole new world in such effortless ways?  Indeed, we can, for the pathway is not one of struggle any longer.  We walk into the sunlight, prompted by intuition, feelings, insight–any means of guidance that comes to us.  We are not alone.  That is a primary message.  We never have to do all of this work of salvation unaided.  Indeed, salvation is not work at all, but the most glorious child’s play possible (paraphrased from A Course in Miracles, which says that salvation is a game that happy children play).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would spend today in a relaxed mind and heart, listening for Your guidance and knowing that it will come when I have stilled myself so that I can hear.  Thank You for being here for me.  May I observe this world in a new way of thinking, by observation rather than intense study.  May I no longer be tempted to struggle through my days.  You do not mean this for me.

Help all of my brothers and sisters to have a good day.  You mean for all of our days to be good, even the ones that have some pain in them.  Pain in the present moment simply doesn’t occur; we are always seeing the past in our pain.  May pain never been turned by our minds into suffering.  You would choose for all of Your children to rest in Your blessings, to receive Your ease, and to solve any and all problems, with Your help, that have presented themselves and may be causing pain.  Guide us to know what to do when faced with less-than-desirable life circumstances.  May our stress remain low and our spirits high.

Thank You for Your presence, always, in our lives.

Amen.

Seek No More

images - ballet dancer“The first instruction I give to you is to seek no more.  All that you are in need of knowing has been provided within A Course of Love.  That your learning does not feel complete is not a failing of this course or of your self.  That your learning does not feel complete is the result of forgetfulness, which is the opposite of mindfulness.  Your further learning then is learning based on mindfulness or remembering.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  Treatise on the Art of Thought, 1.3)”

Affirmation:  “I remind myself that I need seek no more.”

Reflections:

1 – Why ACOL Was Written?

This first passage selected from the Treatise on the Art of Thought encapsulates what may possibly be one of Jesus’s primary reasons for channeling A Course of Love.  We who have studied A Course in Miracles quite a bit do not always feel complete.  For unknown reasons we have sought so long that we want to continue seeking.  But there comes a stopping point, and the only way to stop is to stop.  Jesus would have us stop our hankering for learning by giving us the assurance that we are The Accomplished, that we have learned all that we need to know for salvation,

2 – Seek No More

Our minds have been the troubling part.  Our hearts have always known more than the egoic mind.  And now we are encouraged to join our mind to our heart in wholeheartedness.  But to seek no more.  There is enough in us already.  We must just observe, not “learn.”  And in the observation of daily life we will be fulfilled (an interpretation, not stated in A Course of Love).

3 – Eastern Thought

The Eastern theories about mindfulness are relevant here.  Jesus calls mindfulness “remembering.”  We pay attention to what we do daily, hourly, and even moment-by-moment.  And we are fulfilled thereby.  We rest in the assurance that all is well, that the world is unfolding as it is meant to unfold.  Not that we can’t improve things, because we are not encouraged to forget others.  But we know that when we are peace, the world in which we live seems more at peace also.

4 – Time of Christ

We have forgotten much, and we will call to mind what we need to call to mind when we rest in God.  He will recall those important things to mind for us.  In A Course of Love, the time of Christ, it is no longer the Holy Spirit.  But the Christ/Self within that directs our every thought and mood.

5 – Remembering

We need to ask for remembering today, while we practice the mindfulness that is meant for us.  We think about what we are doing, but we do not analyze it.  Jon Kabot-Zinn has written Coming to Our Senses, a vast compendium of guides to mindfulness in our world.  If additional help in mindfulness is desired, this would be a good place to start.

6 – The Accomplished

But we do not need to “learn” more.  We are The Accomplished.  We do not fully understand this, and to be accomplished, we do not have to be perfect.  This is a major contribution in A Course of Love.  We just turn aside from those thoughts and actions that are less than what we want, and then the thought or action falls away.  That is all, but it is enough.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I take to heart what I wrote in my reflections today.  The basis of those remarks are mostly from Jesus, with some indication that religions other than Christianity have also spoken of mindfulness.  May I live in peace today, not reaching irritably after more and more.  I am enough, if I am living the Self within.  Help me to fully realize this Self within, sooner rather than later.

Be with all of us today as we embark on a new Treatise from A Course of Love.  May our reading inform our lives.  And may Jesus hold our hands as we walk.

Amen.