Tag Archives: “perfectly calm and quiet”

Quiet Mind

“I know that this sounds simplistic for you, but the way is easy and without effort.  Complexity is born of the world, and not from the Mind of God.  Therefore, continue well in that practice, and allow it to be the foundation from which the soil is prepared—the roots of fear are loosened—even in ways that you cannot comprehend with the thinking mind.  For the roots of fear are not merely ideas.  They are the effects of ideas.  They have been allowed to penetrate deep into the unconscious.”  (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 12, Page 143)

The Way of Mastery speaks often of how polluted our unconscious mind has become.  Our unconscious mind cries how for healing, and healing is on its way as soon as we make a nod in that direction.

We don’t have to “do” anything.  Doing will make for a busy mind, which is the reverse of what we seek.  The enlightened mind is quiet, thoughts slow down.  If we are to be comfortable with this new state of affairs, we need to begin somewhere.  We need to prepare the garden of our mind to welcome quietness.  In fact, A Course in Miracles says that a perfectly calm and quiet mind is where we are all heading.  Perhaps we don’t want that now, but that is because too much busyness has clouded our minds from what is the real good.

A friend once questioned “perfectly calm and quiet.”  She was quite a busy person, in work and in personal life.  She was so used to rushing around that we thought boredom would be her lot in life if she slowed down.

A quiet mind does take some getting used to.  But its advantages are many, and as we open to this healing, we will wonder why we used to run hither and yon all day long.  We will think that this rushing is an insane way to live.  And indeed it is.

Give calm and quiet a chance.  Let go of the stress that rushing about engenders.  Be willing to know that there is a better way to live.

When Not at Peace. . .

“I must have decided wrongly, because I am not at peace. (T90)”

This passage starts a sequence of helps to return us to a peaceful state of mind. A Course in Miracles says elsewhere that the first obstacle that peace must flow across is our desire to get rid of it. How true, if we stop to think! We are so used to drama and turmoil that we think that we are depressed when we get calm for a change. Yet calm and quiet are where we are headed (ACIM tenets).

I have a friend who questioned this “perfectly calm and quiet all the time.” I know from our long friendship that she is especially prone to drama, and she was letting me know that she liked it like that! Yes, but a little farther along her pathway, and she may change her mind. I certainly hope so.

This passage bears repeating as a lovely blank verse poem. If we are not at peace, we have made one or more errors. We are in charge in making the decisions that will bring us to peace. We can decide otherwise, and thus choose peace, moment by moment.

We do not have to feel guilty, because of the power and glory of the Holy Spirit. He can undo the consequences of our wrong action or thought–the error that made us lose our peace in the beginning.

Peace is a great blessing. All of us would choose it, rather than drama, if we would give it more thought. “Perfectly calm and quiet” is said elsewhere in ACIM as the direction in which we are heading. We may, actually, not welcome this now, because we are tied to our dramas, but as we choose more and more the peace that God grants, we will know the genius of this proscription.

“I made the decision myself, but I can also decide otherwise. (T90”

This puts us back in the hot seat as the decision maker, which we always are. We make the decisions about what reality we will encounter, though not in a simplistic fashion, for the dictum, “We create our own reality” has been much misunderstood. Taken in its worst light, this means that we see ourselves as victims, and we blame ourselves for the wrongs in our life that happen. It is not quite like that.

Our Higher Self makes many of the decisions about what we will experience, and the Higher Self sees a much broader view.

It is also cautionary not to blame another as a victim. We can’t see what their Higher Selves have in mind. What others are going through is not a conscious choice of the lower mind.

“I want to decide otherwise, because I want to be at peace. (T90)”

This moves us into deciding that we want to change our minds, because we want peace. We are being gently led down a pathway to greater peace. Jesus recognizes that our ego will offer some resistance.

“I do not feel guilty, because the Holy Spirit will undo all the consequences of my wrong decision if I will let Him. (T90)”

Do not feel guilty! You will be OK. Guilt is not the same as remorse. If we have erred, it is natural to feel some remorse. But we do not wallow in it, and all too often we wallow in guilt. This is insanity.

The Holy Spirit will undo the wrong. Don’t interfere. Let Him.

“I choose to let Him, by allowing Him to decide for God for me. (T90)”

We always choose God when we choose aright. We always feel better after we have chosen for God. And the way home is several steps closer by our so choosing.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to decide for peace, not drama. I am in charge of this decision, with the help of the Holy Spirit. If I am not at peace, I have decided wrongly. I choose now to change this decision to one of peace.

Help me to know the value of being perfectly calm and quiet all the time. May the Holy Spirit, day by day, lead me in this direction.

Amen.

Giving Up Nothing

Paul-Cezanne-Landscape-25122“Are you being asked to give up extremes? Yes. You are being asked to give up all that would take peace from you. But as you have been told before, you will be giving up nothing. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Art of Thought, 10.7)”

Affirmation: “I would choose peace today.”

Reflections:

1 – Eckhart Tolle

Eckhart Tolle in Stillness Speaks has a great deal to say about what is described in the passage for today. We are giving up drama, giving up extremes. And it is important to note that in so doing we are actually giving up nothing–nothing of any value. We are choosing God’s Peace over extremes, over drama.

2 – No Drama

Eckhart indicates that he does not have drama in his primary relationship. We can see his peace by listening to him on CD, CDs which are widely available. He has the light touch, the essence of an awakened individual. He also has a sense of humor, for he does not take himself too seriously. This too is a mark of an individual freed from the egoic mind.

3 – No Extremes

So we do want to ask ourselves very sincerely if we are ready to give up drama, to give up extremes in our daily lives. A friend of mind once doubted that being “perfectly calm and quiet all the time” (from A Course in Miracles) was the best way to be, whether or not it was the way that she wanted to be. I did not remonstrate with her, but I think that experience of calm and quiet makes the decision for us. We are happier when the extremes are gone, for then the ego is gone–and gone for good.

4 – Nothing Given Up

We are giving up nothing. We must come to understand this, or we will not be willing to give up drama or the extremes. And this understanding may come only gradually.

5 – Be Patient

Be patient. We will see that “perfectly calm and quiet” all the time is a desired state of mind and heart. We will know joy, and we will know ecstasy. These will become part of the calm and the quiet, and we will know that we are making the decisions that Jesus would ask of us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for letting me know that I will be giving up nothing when I give up extremes, give up drama. May I make this choice for all time today. May I give up extremes, give up drama. And may I walk home to You.

Thank You for the books which I read that help me. Thank You for the testimony of individuals who have already walked the pathway home to You.

And may I walk the entire pathway sooner rather than later.

Amen.

Choosing to Leave Pipe Dreams Behind

images“You have already succeeded in learning in this new way once or you would not be here.  This is your proof that you can do so again and again until the new way totally replaces the old and the art of thought leaves behind forever the need for what the ego-mind once but seemed to offer you.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  Treatise on the Art of Thought, 2.9)”

Affirmation:  “May I leave the ego-mind behind from now on.”

Reflections:

1 – Pipe Dream?

It surely seem a pipe dream that we can leave the ego-mind behind from now on.  But Jesus would not mislead us.  It is possible, and indeed probable, if we follow his advice.  We do not have to think egoistically.  We can “think” with our heart, which loves all others (and ourselves too, for we must not forget that we love our neighbor as ourselves).  The ego-mind has never given us anything that was a lasting peace.  We had flights of joy, but if these were ego-based, there was a low that followed the high.  We paid for those flights of joy with tears of pain.  And we would no longer have it so.

2 – Leaving the Ego-Mind

The change from ego-mind does not usually happen in one felt swoop.  We venture ahead, led by the heart, then take a step backwards into ego-mind, and then disown the ego-mind once again, choosing the heart instead.  This oscillation is common, and it should not be a cause for downheartedness.  We have listened to the ego-mind for eons, and now that we are leaving it behind, it does not go quietly.  We are constantly confronted with temptations of the ego, temptations to think more highly of ourselves than we ought to think.  And these temptations trip us up.  But we do not have to remain tripped up.  We ask for help, and the help is forthcoming.  Always.  When we ask help of God, He responds, gladly and quickly.  The solution is always with the problem.

3 – How to Have Lasting Joy

The ego-mind never gave us joy that was lasting.  But the heart, and the mind and heart together, do just that.  The joy is lasting.  There may seem to be some effort involved, but it is a peaceful effort.  And the peace that it gives soon makes the effort itself effortless.  There is no strain when we follow in God’s way.

4 – Perfect Calm and Quiet

We are just beginning to understand the art of thought.  It is totally alien to the ego-mind, and so there will be some difficulty in understanding.  But the difficulty will soon melt away.  And only perfect calm and quiet will remain.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Jesus has promised me that to think with my heart is a way that the art of thought manifests in my life.  I would have this new way of thinking encompass my living day to day.  Help me to understand enough to at least begin on this new way of living.  I would miss much in life, the full life that you want for me, if I still insist on listening to the ego-mind.

Help me to reach out to others in a way that is understandable.  We need each other in this world.  Let us reach forth our hands and join them in silent communion one to the other.  May we keep in mind that we first commune with You, and then we commune with the others whom we encounter.

Amen.

Joining = End of Illusion = Beginning of the Real

“What you join with becomes real.  As you take it into yourself you thereby make it real because you make it one with your real Self.  This is reality.  All you do not join with remains outside and is illusion, for what is not one with you does not exist.  (A Course of Love, 5.17)”

Affirmation:  “I would join today with that which is one with my real Self.”

Reflections:

1 – Fool’s Gold

This passage is a further elucidation of what was discussed in the passage posted yesterday.  “What you join with becomes real.”  We need to join with all that is laudable, and we need to refrain from joining with those things that appear shiny to the ego.  We need not to resist those things that satisfy the ego, for to resist is to make stronger in our concepts.  We just need to turn aside, and not give feeling, to those shiny objects of what is fool’s gold, not real gold.  The material is often only fool’s gold.

2 – Material Blessings

This statement does not mean that God does not want us to have material blessings.  He does indeed, and He will move to help us to acquire material things when we have so worked with our minds that we attract what we wish for.  But we must realize that the material, being outside of ourselves, is not real.  It cannot be brought within us, and joined with, and that is why the material is not ultimately satisfying.  We need the love, joy, harmony, tranquility–all of which are intangible and thus can be brought within ourselves, and there “joined with.”

3 – Perfectly Calm and Quiet

This interpretation means that we assent to the “perfectly calm and quiet” goal that Jesus would have us reach (from A Course in Miracles).  It means, in the words of Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now and A New Earth), that we no longer seek for drama in our lives.  Drama is distracting, and also very satisfying to the remnant of the ego that will always be a part of ourselves.  (The ego will not be destroyed, because we made it, but it will be deemphasized into insignificance.)

4 – Intangibles of God

Let us seek for the intangibles of God today, and join with those intangibles within our heart, our Christ within, our love within.  Then love has truly done its best to make us ready for Christ-consciousness.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would feel tranquility today.  I would turn aside from anxiety, regardless of what transpires.  I have this in my power, because of the cause-and-effect power of my thoughts, my mind.  I will “listen” with my heart today.  The heart knows how much better life can be when we do not become embroiled in the egoic.

Help me to leave anxiety behind from this day forward.  I do know what to do; I just have to implement.  I know what to do because You have shown me.  And Jesus has given words to Your Wisdom.

Amen.

Perfectly Calm and Quiet

“Peace is the ego’s greatest enemy because, according to its interpretation of reality, war is the guarantee of its survival.  (T79-80)”

Affirmation:  “Peace is the ego’s greatest enemy.”

Reflections:

1 – Attack Strengthens the Ego

When we are tempted to attack our brother, may we realize that it is the ego up to its old tricks.  The more we attack, the stronger the ego in us becomes.  Do we really want this?  I think not.  We can take a timeout, a break of any kind, exiting ourselves from the irritating situation.  We can say a mantra, breathe deeply, especially pray for calm–all of which are personal recommendations not cited in A Course in Miracles.  We are most likely to attack when we are stressed.  We are most likely to get angry when we are stressed.  So, if we reduce the stress, we are well on our way to reducing the ego in ourselves.  And what a joy that is!  We think that egotistical thinking helps to fuel our ambition, to lead us to greater heights of achievement.  But actually we are pulled down by the ego in exact ratio to how much we seem to be on a lofty plane.  The ego is always being undone.  We have set  it up that way (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).

2 – Drama Best Avoided

When we are peaceful, we may at first feel that we are not as “alive” as we would like to be.  This is the longing for drama in our relationships, and it is a sick longing.  Peace is actually the best thing that can happen to us.  Elsewhere the Course says that we are meant to be perfectly calm and quiet all the time.  This may sound extreme, but the things of heaven are obscure to us.  I have a friend who does not think that drama is all bad.  She indicated that she would not want to be “perfectly calm and quiet” all the time.  But lately she has been taking a prescribed mild tranquillizer, and she reported to me that she doesn’t go “over the top” anymore.  I plan to ask her eventually if “perfectly calm and quiet” is still not a goal that she would ever seek.  We are not living when we are caught up in adrenaline-producing drama.  We are riding the tide of the ego.

3 – Just Allow Peace to Be

When we allow peace to be, we reduce the size and complexity of the ego.  We reduce its influence on us.  Elsewhere we learn in the Course that the first obstacle that peace must flow across is the desire to get rid of it.  This sounds like a paradox, but if we reflect, we will see that the statement is true.  We too often want drama to make ourselves feel alive.

4 – A Better Way Shown in ACIM

The Course holds out a better way for us.  Invite peace in our daily lives, and we will soon know a joy that is boundless–even if everything is not perfect in this world.  We will know a mellow feeling that is close to the peace that passeth understanding.  And we must not seek to get rid of this mellow feeling, even though, when unused to it, we may rush toward a drama-filled scenario again.  Let’s don’t do that.  It is completely counterproductive to everything that A Course in Miracles says.

Prayer:

Dear Father,

May I long for peace in my life far more than I long for drama.  May I realize that drama only strengthens the ego, and this I do not want.  

May I have, today, the peace that passeth understanding.  May I not seek to rush back to some drama-filled situation out of boredom.  May I put my quiet times to good use.  And may I be a blessing to my significant others as I walk through my day today.

May I have Your inner calm and quiet.  This is the best way that I can come to know You, and it is this that I want.

Amen.

Calm and Quiet

“Can you imagine what it means to have no cares, no worries, no anxieties, but merely to be perfectly calm and quiet all the time?  Yet that is what time is for; to learn just that and nothing more. (T301)”

Affirmation:  “perfectly calm and quiet all the time”

 

Reflections:

1 – Calm and Quiet Is Ahead for Us

How different we will be when we have awakened!  “Perfectly calm and quiet all the time.”  This description is hardly what we feel now.

2 – Drama Turns Negative

Perhaps all of us would not wish “calm and quiet” as a universal experience.  We are so used to busyness, with its attendant drama.  Yet drama turns negative all too often, and peace, the peace of God, is found in calm and quiet.

3 – Are Calm and Quiet Desirable?

Perhaps we do not now think that to live in calm and quiet all the time would be desirable.  Perhaps we still think that drama will make us feel more “alive.”  If so, we would do well to test out this recommended calm and quiet.  Spend moments with God that are calm and quiet, and see if these new emotions don’t create a desire for a more frequent calm and quiet in daily life.  We will live better when we are not scurrying about, filled with adrenalin rushes.  We will accomplish more and accomplish better.

4 – Blessings of God

We must try to see for ourselves what the blessings of God would bring to us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for guiding me for a long time, long enough for me to know that being perfectly calm and quiet is desirable.  I do not always seek Your peace, but I do know that Your peace is a better choice than any other I have ever found.  

Help me not to escalate the difficulties that come with living in this world.  May I turn aside from self-created drama, and may I turn aside from the drama that my brothers and sisters try to engage me in.  I would not seek drama for any reason, knowing that to do so is to give up the peace that only You can give.

Be with me in the upcoming 24 hours.  Help me to be guided to the decisions that will bring calm and quiet to my significant others, all those who read this blog, any other people whom I encounter today, as well as myself.  Thank You for the love that You show to all of us irrespective of our own choice to seek You.  You seek us, whether or not we recognize Your seeking.

Thank You for being there for all of us.

Amen.

There Is No End to All the Peace and Joy

ACIM Workbook Lesson 355 – for Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Affirmation:  “There is no end to all the peace and joy,
And all the miracles that I will give,
When I accept God’s Word.  Why not today?”

“I need not wait an instant more to be at peace forever.  It is You I choose, and my Identity along with You.  Your Son would be Himself, and know You as his Father and Creator, and his Love.  (WB482)”

Reflections:

1 – Recommitment

This is yet another dedication of ourselves to God.  We need to realize that just accepting God once, or even myriad of times, is not enough.  Our acceptance of God and His Will has to be ongoing, a recommitment daily, and even moment by moment.

2 – “Create”

When we rededicate ourselves to God, we know peace and joy.  This is the great blessing.  We are at the point of “creating” rather than “making” our world.  We have accepted the Self/Christ Whom we are meant to be, and we are at peace.  What more could we really want?

3 – Perfectly Calm and Quiet

In the Text, we are told that we will ultimately want to be “perfectly calm and quiet” all the time.  Perhaps this did not seem a worthy goal at the time we first read it, but do we not see it now?  Have we not changed this much over the course of this year?

4 – An Ongoing Commitment

Let us accept God’s Word today, ultimately.  And then let us do the same tomorrow, and the day after.  There is no end to the joy and peace that we can know when we have accepted God’s Word as our own.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would know peace and joy, in quietness and calm, today.  I would not rush through this harried world at all.  Your way is perfectly calm and quiet, and that is what You intend for us to emulate.  Help me to emulate You today.

I would recommit to You today.  I know that You need me never to forget You, as I walk through my days.  Help me to remember Your presence.  Help me to feel Your presence in my heart.  With that felt presence, I know that all will be well with me.  Thank You.

Amen.

I Do Not Recognize God’s Gifts

ACIM Workbook Lesson 316 – for Saturday, November 12, 2011

Affirmation:  “All gifts I give my brothers are my own.”

“Father, I would accept Your gifts today.  I do not recognize them.  Yet I trust that You Who gave them will provide the means by which I can behold them, see their worth, and cherish only them as what I want.  (WB458)”

Reflections:

1 – “Perfectly Calm and Quiet”

Jesus says that where we are headed is to be “perfectly calm and quiet” all the time.  I have had a friend, a non-student of A Course in Miracles, question this.  Why would anybody want to be perfectly calm and quiet all the time?  My friend, I can speculate, believes that leaving out drama would not be a good thing.  (She was not specific.)

2 – Leave Out Drama

Yes is leaving out drama bad?  Isn’t it, after all, the drama that makes our lives turn full of conflict?

3 – Eckhart Tolle’s Response

Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now, A New Earth) says that he and his girlfriend do not have drama in their relationship.  (Eckhart is a spiritual teacher who has detailed his experience of Awakening at age 30, after years of deep depression and accompanying anxiety.)  I believe that as we come closer to God, we will become quieter.  We will not seek acclaim (an egoic notion) for ourselves.  We will be still.

4 – Gifts of God

Quiet and stillness are gifts of God.  He has many more gifts to give us as well, gifts specifically designed for what we really need and want.  Our desires are very personal, as our personalities are also different.  So no “one size fits all” in the universe.  Let us ask God today for the gifts that He has held in waiting for each of us, the gifts that will warm our hearts and give us the blessings, material and otherwise, that He has waiting for us.

5 – God Cares about Our Material Needs

It is a misreading of God to believe that He does not care about our material and/or physical needs.  They are as important as our emotional and spiritual needs.  He would answer both.  It is true that a big part of the answer may come from what we are guided to say and do by the Holy Spirit.  But the Holy Spirit does most of the work.  Our own way to God is easy and peaceful, effortless (an ACIM tenet).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would seek to recognize Your gifts today, knowing that I frequently am not able to understand and to appreciate those gifts as I should.  Help me to go as far toward understanding and appreciation as I can go today, given my spot on the pathway back to You.  I would drop drama from my list of emotions, as drama is frequently of the ego, and I would leave the ego behind.  Help me to be satisfied by the calm and quiet that only You can give.

Be with me today, as I seek to walk Your world in peace.  Be with me as I seek to understand what You would wish for me to have.  If I have material needs, help me to know what my part is in resolving this as a problem of mine.  Be with me through thick and thin, as I do know that You are.

Thank You for granting me the blessing of feeling Your presence.  You are all that I want.  You will see that everything that I need is graciously provided.  

Amen.

The Hush of Heaven Holds My Heart Today

ACIM Workbook Lesson 286 – for Thursday, October 13, 2011

Affirmation:  “The hush of Heaven holds my heart today.”

“Father, how still today!  How quietly do all things fall in place!  This is the day that has been chosen as the time  in which I come to understand the lesson that there is no need that I do anything.  In You is every choice already made.  In You has every conflict been resolved.  In You is everything I hope to find already given me.  Your peace is mine.  My heart is quiet, and my mind at rest.  Your Love is Heaven, and Your Love is mine.  (WB440)”

Reflections:

1 – I Need Do Nothing

“I need do nothing”:  This is what the Text says that we will recognize in an instant when we have reached home.  This is the one happy revelation.  Now the Workbook brings us to that point.  May we be ready.  Note that this prayer (above) says, “there is no need that I do anything.”

2 – We Do Not Need to “Merit” Salvation

May our hearts be quiet today.  We have sought and sought, and worked so hard, to merit our salvation.  We do not have to do such work, though we do need to relinquish our investment in the ego.  Any remnants of the ego (and there are many for most of us) will delay our Awakening.  We need to drop this part of our belief about ourselves.  It is not difficult to let it go, once the motivation is there.  And for those of us who have come this far in the Workbook, it is very, very likely that the motivation is there.

3 – Perfectly “Calm and Quiet”

Let us be “perfectly calm and quiet” today.  That is the blessing that we will ultimately come to appreciate, though addiction to the adrenalin rush is strong, and we may, for a long time perhaps, seek to retain drama in our lives.  It is not really so.  We do not want or need drama, and the more often we turn to God for communion, the more we will change to want this calm and quiet that Jesus holds out to us as the ultimate.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would be quiet today, assimilating the thoughts that You have given me in this lesson.  May I learn that to be perfectly calm and quiet is to live in Your love, peaceful in Your peace.  May I not seek drama, because this is only a diversion that will take me away from You.

Help me to know the truth of Your statements.  Thank You for reassuring me when I am disheartened, for holding me up when I feel down.  Your way is best.  I have always known this, and I would put into practice finding Your way throughout my pathway today.

Thank You for always being there when I call out.

Amen.

Ask of Your Teacher and Receive Immediately

“Ask all things of His Teacher, and all things are given you.  Not in the future but immediately; now.  (M71)”

Affirmation:  “If I ask, I will receive immediately.”

Reflections:

This passage is incredibly helpful.  We receive answers immediately to our questions and to our prayers.  “Now” may not be recognized by us, though.  We may not hear the Answer that we are expecting, leading us to believe that we are not heard at all.  But we are.

When answers do not seem to come immediately, go within.  Get calm and relaxed, or, as the Course says, “perfectly calm and quiet.”  Ask why there seems to be a delay.  And you will be told.  The answer will present itself.  If you are very upset, you may not be able to hear the response immediately.  Pray diligently, and then quietly go about your life.  When you are quiet within, the Answer will appear.  This is an assurance that this passage gives.

The fact that the answer is given “now” does not necessarily mean that we are in the frame of mind that can hear that answer.  Be patient with yourself.  We are not without limitations in this world (a Course concept).  Know in your deepest heart that the Answer you are seeking has been given, and in time, usually soon, the Answer will appear spontaneously in your mind and heart.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I know that when I ask, I will receive answers.  The Course says “immediately.”  But I know that Your time is not always mine.  When my faith is strong, though, the beginning of an answer to my problems does come immediately.  That much I know for certain.  Thank You.

Once again I ask for the strength and willingness to follow guidance always.  I have often said that I am much happier when I do follow these whisperings, and I ask for that willingness, that flexibility, today.

Amen.

Workbook Lesson for Day 82:

We will review these ideas today:

“The light of the world brings peace to every mind through my forgiveness.”

“Let me not forget my function.”