Tag Archives: presence of god

Practice the Presence of God

“A sense of separation from God is the only lack you really need correct.  This sense of separation would never have arisen if you had not distorted your perception of truth, and had thus perceived yourself as lack.  The idea of order of needs arose because, having made this fundamental error, you had already fragmented yourself into levels with different needs.  As you integrate you become one, and your needs become one accordingly.  Unified needs lead to unified action, because this produces a lack of conflict.”  (A Course in Miracles, FIP ed., T-1.VI.2)

Which of us would not want a lack of conflict?  We can realize, as the Workbook says, “There is another way of looking at this.”  There is also a way of thinking of God that will immediately quell conflict.  If we place our minds on the concept of God, Himself, we will know inner peace.  This is not the only way, of course, but this thought process is the most direct.  We quiet the ego by thinking of God, and in the quietude we live above conflict.  We will overlook the conflict.

We are very conflicted beings, very moody and very antagonistic, initially, to listening to what will give us peace.  After all, we have invested a lot in the ego, and the ego says that it will protect us.  This is not true, of course, because the ego and egotistical thought processes only lead to more conflict and turmoil—exactly what we need to move from.  We are not moving away from conflict now, because we all too often think that we are really living when the drama is high.  This is the insidious thing.

We need to practice the Presence of God in our daily lives, from moment to moment (when we remember).  This Presence does not have to be a constant thing for us, and indeed, it cannot be, for our minds are made of short-term attention spans.  Yet, the more we can welcome God’s Presence in our lives, the better our lives will become.

We are living on different levels, fragmented parts of ourselves that know no better.  We do not have to have multiple personalities to recognize that we partake of this phenomenon; this fragmentation is rampant in our culture, for we have forgotten God as our unifying Force.  He will solve the problems that we think we have; He will show us how to rise above the chaos of the world. 

How Is God’s Peace Recognized?

1 – Everlasting Quiet

“First, how can the peace of God be recognized? God’s peace is recognized at first by just one thing; in every way it is totally unlike all previous experiences. It calls to mind nothing that went before. . .The past just slips away, and in its place is everlasting quiet. Only that. The contrast first perceived has merely gone. Quiet has reached to cover everything. (M51)”

2 – Personal Experience

This morning, a Sunday morning, I am experiencing some of that peace of God told us in this passage. There is no preparation that is for certain; the peace comes out of the blue; prayer doesn’t necessarily precede it.

3 – Personal Experience II

I am sitting on my screen porch while the rain pelts down. The ambiance may have created some of the mood necessary to feel God’s peace.

4 – Surreal Peace

The quiet comes unbidden, but then it stays and stays, if we are lucky. The peace is almost surreal. It truly does feel like nothing experienced before, as the passage says.

5 – Presence of God

I know that this mood of mine, this Presence of God, felt, will not last. But while it is lasting, it is blessing me. And I hope that knowing it comes to anybody else can encourage a hope in you that the peace will descend upon you just as unexpectedly.

6 – Satisfy the Conditions

“How is this quiet found? No one can fail to find it who but seeks out its conditions. God’s peace can never come where anger is, for anger must deny that peace exists. (M51)”

7 – Avoid Anger

I am not angry at all this morning. Perhaps that is one key, as this passage suggests. If we seek out the conditions of this peace, what will we seek? We will strive to stay on an even keel with our moods (though sometimes this may seem impossible). We may pray without ceasing, and this too is calming to the mind and negates the ego’s striving to “get.”

8 – War

“How is the peace of God retained, once it is found? Returning anger, in whatever form, will drop the heavy curtain once again. And the belief that peace cannot exist will certainly return. War is again accepted as the one reality. (M51)”

9 – What to Avoid

The stress in these passages is to avoid anger, but I think that this does not mean that we suppress anger. We use our minds to get us out of the anger. We know that whatever we are experiencing is coming about because we don’t recognize another’s attack as the call for love and the call for help that it truly is. When we answer a call, we are no longer bound by the negative feelings that will come up if we don’t answer, if we just try to suppress.

10 – Mindfulness

Our own mindfulness, really noticing each thing that we do, will create conditions welcoming to the relief of anger. Mindful breathing and mindful walking are two techniques recommended by the well-known Buddhist teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh. Perhaps today we all need to take a cue from his teachings.

11 – Justified Anger?

“Who sees anger as justified in any way or any circumstance proclaims that peace is meaningless, and must believe that it cannot exist. (M51)”

12 – Call for Help

Anger, it is said elsewhere in the Course, is actually a call for help. It may also be viewed as a call for love. Our task is to run to our brother or sister’s side, and to offer solace–that help or love that is really wanted. We may not do this overtly if the other person is not receptive. We may only pray for our brother or sister, or smile at them, or even just make small talk. Ask for guidance in the thought or action that is needed. We must be sensitive to the plight of our brother or sister, and overt action may not be desirable.

13 – Take Peace to Heart

So we see that anger is never justified. Peace is not meaningless. God’s way is right, and peace can exist. These are wonderful concepts to take to heart.

14 – Retaliation

As long as the ego is in charge, we will be tempted to return attack for attack, but responding in this way is always wrong. Attacks is what Jesus calls a “magic thought,” and anger is thus not justified. We need to the inner quiet and calm that ensures that we will respond to magic thoughts of others (and ourselves) with compassion.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I immediately recognize anger on my own part and that of others to be a call for help, meriting compassion rather than anger. May I offer the help and love that is needed. May I be gentle to myself, and may I be gentle to others.

Peace is what I want above all else. I do not want to do anything that renders peace meaningless. Please help me in this.

Amen.

Perfectly Calm and Quiet All the Time

monet - iris3“When action is seen to be necessary, this is exactly when a time of stillness is needed.  You might think of this time of stillness as a time of consulting with your new identity.  Simply sitting quietly, and posing the question or concern that is in need of appropriate action will suffice.  (A Course of Love, 25.23)”

Affirmation:  ‘I will spend some time in quietness today.”

Reflections:

1 – Need for Stillness

We need to be still.  We need to practice stillness.  Reading this passage prompted me to stop typing and to be still.  I turned to some inspirational reading, and now I am back.  Perhaps the stillness will impact this blog posting.

2 – Solution Is with the Problem

This passage for today is another way of stating a truth from A Course in Miracles:  that the solution is with the problem.  We have only to state the problem, to ask for the solution, and to receive that solution immediately (normally).  When we expect quick answer, we normally get them.  This is, of course, not always true, but this does hold true more often than not.  Sometimes our emotions are so warm (even hot) that we need to cool down before the answer will come, the solution will come.  This is what the stillness of this passage is trying to say.

3 – Healing

We must realize that there is a solution to every problem.  If we are in need of healing, we may know that the healing may be emotional rather than physical–but emotional healing is often far more important, even, than physical.  We will be given the will to walk on.  We will know that God cares.

4 – Practice the Presence of God

We need to practice the presence of God in as many ways as we can.  Praying silently, and aloud as well, are two good ways to invite God’s presence to impress Itself upon us.  It is often thought that meditation does the same, though Jesus in ACIM does not counsel much time spent in contemplation.  He says that our way, with ACIM, is in our relationship to our brother (or sister).  And we who practice ACIM have long recognized the truth of this statement.

5 – Meditation

The final pages of the Workbook of ACIM do seem meditative, though.  And perhaps it is.  (There is a difference of opiiion among students/teachers of ACIM about this.)  We can let guidance lead the way–guidance of the Holy Spirit, in ACIM; and guidance of Christ-consciousness, in A Course of Love.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I sometimes need just to be still, to bask in Your warmth, to know that peace of that passeth understanding.  Jesus says in A Course in Miracles that we will ultimately choose to calm and quiet all the time.  This is a statement of the meek, who do not seek to self-aggrandize themselves.  May the moments of stillness and quiet that I have known today carry on throughout the day and evening.

Help us to understand that being perfectly calm and quiet is a desirable thing.  We are so used to drama, and that may be why our ego is not yet dead in us.  We crave drama, and with that often comes attack and anger.  I would not have it so in my life.  Help me to live Your way.

A moment spend reading is a moment well-spent.  Thank You for leading me to that conclusion.  I have read Jesus’s words in the New Testament today, and I thank You that we have that record.  Also I thank You for the blessings of A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love.

Amen.