Tag Archives: Quiet

Still, Small Voice

“Rest with me, and acknowledge that our minds are joined. As you rest, again, you might notice that thoughts seem to arise and pass away. But do you not sense them, now as though they were coming from a place where you are not, as though you had sunk more deeply to a place of quiet beneath the surface upon which thoughts flow back and forth without ceasing?” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 11, Page 135)

Being quiet, staying in our quiet corner, is a most powerful way to connect with the God within. If we let the hubbub of the world get into our mind and heart, we will find it very difficult to listen to the still, small Voice. And listening to the still, small Voice is exactly what we need to do.

What will that Voice tell us? Some of what we hear will be unique to each of us, for we are unique creations of God, with nobody else the exact duplicate of ourselves. But some of what we hear will be shareable with others, for they too will need the same message. Shareable when they are open to hear, for we do not want to force ourselves on anybody who is not ready to hear God’s message.

If we “rest” with Jesus, we will be well on our way to a new day in living. He would not have us anxious and tied in knots over anything. His Father is not reached that way. We make our own hell on earth when we let nervousness take over. So contemplate silently, or meditate. Still the mind and heart.

When the mind and heart are stilled, then flow happens. And flow is as close to following the Holy Spirit’s every nudge as we can come. We don’t get stubborn and seek to have everything “our” way. We listen to our inner guidance, and then we act. This best way to live is open to all of us, though not all of us are equally listening. For those who are, the message is clear and unmistakable.

Be still and listen for God’s prompting in our very soul.

We WILL hear, and we will not be disappointed in what we hear.

Quiet Our Minds

“What I am striving to help you see, once again, is that union isn’t achieved with a flash of light from above, but that it quietly infiltrates the dot of the self in its unguarded moments. I am attempting to help you to become aware and comfortable with the idea that, released of old patterns, the self will join with unity more and more frequently, until finally you will sustain Christ consciousness and live in the world as the elevated Self of form.” (ACOL, D:12.12)

This quotation is the pattern, how we will, most of us, reach Christ-consciousness. Most people don’t have a sudden descending of Awakening (some do). We will quiet our minds, let the Self of union infiltrate our minds (and hearts), and then the little, or personal self, the dot of the body, will know union, and this union is another way of speaking of Christ-consciousness.

Waiting can be frustrating. But it gets us nowhere. We can be assured that Jesus is as anxious for us to reach Christ-consciousness as we have ever been. He see the negativity in this world, and the turmoil and suffering that this negativity brings about. He wants this to change. He is channeling to many in this world, right now, to turn things around. When we cooperate by having quiet times, stilling our minds, we invite the Self of union to reach us in our form (though this is all a mystical experience).

God will Himself reach down, metaphorically, and lift us up. Yet this is actually coming from within, for God, our part of Him, is within, deep in our Self, the Self who is just now coming to its own in us. When we unite with the larger Self, the Self of union, we are uniting with all living things, including, of course, our brothers and sisters. And we will get glimpses of this union, probably, before it is maintained and sustained. The sustenance is what Jesus is aiming for, for without sustenance of Christ-consciousness, we are very unstable in our reactions.

Be gentle with ourselves. We have a long way to go, but we have also come a long way. And Jesus is always with us, holding our hand, when we ask for his presence.

Prayer

May this be a good day, free of neuroses. Neuroses are a form of insanity, and I would leave any and all insanity behind me in the dust below my feet. Thank You for offering me consolation always. I need solace often in the mornings. And You are here to give it to me.

Be with my brothers and sisters. May they have good days also. May we embrace each other with the arms of brotherhood.

Amen.

Spend a While in Quiet Reflection

“You have felt this shift coming and so has the world. This is the yearning we have spoken of as the proof of love’s existence and of your existence in a state of unity rather than a state of separation. This yearning called you to the limits of the state of consciousness that was the time of the Holy Spirit. This limit acted upon you as a catalyst to create desire for the new.” (ACOL, T4:1.22)

We do want changes in our world. We do want to create the new. We have become a little bored with the status quo.

But don’t choose new things in a willy-nilly fashion. Be discerning in what we create, for we do create our own reality—as New Age thought says. And this creation of the new, defined as Jesus defines it in this fourth treatise of A Course of Love, will create a world that is miles ahead of what we have had in the past. Things in the new era will get wonderfully better. We will welcome in a new world, not by struggle but by being all that we can be.

We don’t need to make elaborate plans about what to do to effect change. Just go along, watching for signs, for signs are discussed in ACOL in a very encouraging way. A Course in Miracles warned against planning that was not instigated by the Holy Spirit; our own planning would take us off the pathway back to God. Ask what we ought to do. Just ask. And then wait, in patience, for the Answer. We won’t have long to wait.

We have yearned for God’s nod. We have yearned for a better experience of living. And now the time is ripe for these yearnings to bear fruit.

Spend a while in quiet reflection. Ask, and we shall receive. Our probable reality can develop into quite a nice future in which to live.

Prayer

I thank You for the many blessings that have rained down upon me in this lifetime. Any pain has receded; any struggles, passed away. Now is the time of the harvest of what You have had me create. I hope that this harvest of good things will benefit my loved ones and the larger world as well.

Be with me today and always. I ask this just all the time, but it is a heartfelt request. When I feel Your warmth, I know that all is well in my little world.

Amen.

Being Calm and Quiet in Zen-Like Peace

“There is a core of peace at the center of your Self now and the issues that you choose to deal with will not affect that core of peace at all. While you may find this almost disturbing, you will not go to extremes to break this peace.” (ACOL, T1:10.1)

Throughout A Course of Love, Jesus encourages us with indications that we are advancing spiritually. And this passage is one such indication: We are more at peace, and though we may question this emotion, we will not do anything untoward to break our peace. For those of us who have studied A Course in Miracles, the allusion here is obvious: We are dropping the dramas that have consumed us so often and so badly for all of our lives, the part of our lives spent in egoic attachment. Elsewhere Jesus says that we will sometimes come close to lamenting this new placidity. We will think that we are really living only when we are caught in another drama, experiencing highs and lows that we have previously thought were evidence of true living. Others will still experience these highs and lows, and we will sometimes come close to envy of their way of life—a way of life that we used to enjoy.

But we have already had experiences like this, and we know, if we think about it, that the low that follows the high is so devastating to us that we would forgo the high. A Course in Miracles is also close in interpretation to this line of thought. We are told in ACIM that the purpose of life is to become “perfectly calm and quiet all the time.” Now, certainly when we first read that in ACIM, we doubted that this peaceful way of life would actually be desirable. We were still caught up in the highs and lows, the drama, of the ego, and we thought that what we were doing was really living.

If we have gotten this far in ACOL, though, we know better. We are happier when we stay on an even keel. We are happier when we are perfectly calm and quiet. And both ACIM and ACOL indicate that happiness is God’s great desire for us. It is one of our functions (along with salvation and forgiveness). We will no longer desire the high, because of the low. This does not, though, mitigate against peak experiences. Jesus says elsewhere that peak experiences are what we can look forward to in the way of life that he is pointing out. Peak experiences occur with great regularity once we are firmly set on the pathway toward ultimate salvation, which is Christ-consciousness. Maslow knew what he was talking about, and here Jesus reaffirms Maslow’s concept of peak experiences in A Course of Love.

Let’s choose to enjoy peak experiences rather than the egoic ideal of great drama. The ego has never given us anything that is lasting, except turmoil and unhappiness. Now is the time to know the genuine euphoria of peak experiences through a Self Who comes from God, deep within each of us.

Prayer

I long to experience peak moments, and I know that these will come more and more frequently when I get all of my Self aligned with You. Help me to do this. Help me to let go of even the little dramas that disturb my peace, that keep me less than soothed.

I would ask You to soothe me. This is the best way, and I appreciate that I have reading in A Course of Love that does just that—soothe. Be with me today as I seek to slow down and savor all of life. Life’s richness is just there waiting for me. Thank You.

Amen.

Perfectly Calm and Quiet All the Time

“Emotions speak the language of your separated self rather than the language of your heart. They are the forward guard of your defense system, always on the lookout for what might hurt or slight the little you that they deem under their protection, or the other little selves you deem under yours.” (ACOL, C:9.2)

Our emotions often deceive us, for our emotions often speak the language of the separated self. This separated self, also known as the personal or little self, will transform into a better personal self, the one that we will present to others, when we have moved beyond egoic preoccupation. It is when the emotions are under the sway of the ego that such dramatic highs and lows pull us under.

Contrariwise, our heart impels us toward calm and peace, a tranquility that is not of this world, but God’s world. Here the emotions don’t dash us against stones that lie under our feet. The emotions lift us up, for calm and peace are still. Some who experience this calm and peace for the first time think that they are depressed, because they feel little emotion. The tranquility takes some getting used to. We are not actually depressed, but we think we are because the dramatic shifts in mood have caused an addiction to riotous living, living of highs and lows.

If we don’t hasten back to some drama that threatens to engulf us, we will grow to like the new calm. We would not choose to be other than perfectly calm and quiet. But in the beginning we don’t know how fortunate we are to have a heart that speaks a serene language. We think that we are not truly living if we are without the drama.

We are living, and a better life indeed. We will no longer dread what our days will bring us, for highs always prompted lows, and the lows were very difficult indeed to handle. A calm, tranquil spirit invites the peace that passeth understanding, and none who experience this peace will wish for it to end. When it does end, we can know that it will come again. And because of this, we are blessed indeed.

We would do well to avoid being defensive about the life that we live. This is a primary theme of A Course in Miracles, and here Jesus emphasizes the same idea. Defense makes what it would defend against, and until we give up defense of the egoic personal self, we won’t know the peace that this passage for today offers us. God grants to us the peace that passeth understanding when we are wise enough to accept it without murmur. This means that our pseudo love affair with drama is ceasing.

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.

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.

When I Have Let Grievances Go, I Will Know that I Am Perfectly Safe

camille-monet-and-her-son-jean-in-the-garden-at-argenteuil-renoir-large“I am safe and nothing that I do or do not do will threaten my safety. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 13.8)”

Affirmation: “I cannot threaten my safety today.”

Reflections:

1 – Grievances and Safety

This passage for today is an echo of a significant passage from the Workbook of A Course in Miracles. ACIM say that when we have let all grievances go, we will know that we are perfectly safe. But here in A Course of Love, we are not even warned about grievances (but maybe because we are presumed already to have let grievances go). Nothing that we do or do not do can threaten our safety. We will in a safe universe.

2 – Peace and Quiet

Of course, that does not mean that the body will never feel pain. But our Self will never be hurt. Our core Self is always calm and at peace, quiet. The inner assurance that we can derive from believing this blessing is overwhelming. We can likewise allow pain, if it comes, but we ourselves have the wherewithal not to turn that pain into suffering. We are safe.

3 – Safety and Security

Safety and security are never unsought in this world. But when we are caught by the ego, we cannot know safety and security on a constant basis, because the ego is constantly being undone. Our flights of joy turn to chaos and tears.

4 – Our Only Security = God

In this world, we will live in a much more stable environment when we give up seeking security. Our only security is God, and He has always been there for us, though we have not always known this. If we seek to prepare for our material needs, we may find ourselves shaken, for sometimes we seem to have needs that go unmet. This is the illusory “reality” of this world. Yet God knows our needs, and our real needs are met. Our wants are not always met, and perhaps our Christ inner Self knows that it would not be good for us to have all of our wants met. We get in our heads some very strange wants.

5 – Needs and Wants

Be willing to wait on God’s timing for the satisfaction of wants. First may be a desire for safety, and this is a need that is met, even when we don’t see it that way. The needs are often inscrutable, for we so often confuse needs and wants. What God gives to us may be superior to what we earlier wanted. Let us trust Him enough to know what is best for us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I have clung to Your promise that when I let all grievances go, I will know that I am perfectly safe. I feel the truth of that promise just this moment. Thank You.

You know that we need safety and security in this world, and the only real security is found in You. Even when bad things happen (and they do in this world), I can know that my Self is not hurt. The inner Christ Self is never harmed, and that is truly the only self that we are. Our egoic personal self often knows flights of joy followed by the depths of despair, because the ego is a false part of belief about ourselves that is constantly being undone. I would let the ego go today. I would make that a priority, though I realize that I may pray this prayer tomorrow also. The ego dies hard. But it does die, and my glimpses of Awakening have shown me that.

Thank You.

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.

What Do We Really Seek?

“This Course may seem to have come far astray from what you would have it do, for you are looking for something specific from it, though you know it not.  You are looking for the rest and quiet joy that only comes from love.  You are looking for the safety and security of a loving home, even if it is one only of philosophy  You look for the soft assurance of certainty, not of your mind, but of your heart.  (A Course of Love, 12.5)”

Affirmation:  “peace, serenity, calm, tranquility”

Reflections:vangogh - blossoming almond tree2

1 – Blessings

All of us want the blessings so beautifully mentioned in the passage for today.  Some of us choose to turn aside from the quiet that could come from a genuinely spiritual attitude in life.  And perhaps that is not all wrong.  God is God of the secular, and He does not need our worship (though He does want our communion with Him, according to A Course in Miracles, the Text).  God does not have an ego with which to accept the praise that traditional religion has asked us to give to Him.  But we ourselves do need to be thankful for His generous blessings, and the fact that He is always here for us, even (especially) when we fail to recognize His Presence.

2 – What Do We Want in Life?

Today let us get very quiet within ourselves, and ask in genuine calm if Jesus doesn’t have it right here.  What do we really want in this life?  Jesus mentions rest, quiet joy, love, safety and security, and soft assurance of certainty in our hearts.  Jesus does not mention “success” as the world views success.  Is it not therefore likely that we are amiss when we seek for the successes that this world recognizes?  All blessings in the list are intangibles, even the reference made to “home” is considered to be metaphorical.  If we pray for the blessings in this list, are we not praying in God’s Will?  And will He not grant what is in His Will?

3 – Our Real Will and God’s Are Identical

Remember that our real will and God’s are identical.  He chooses for us what we really want.  But he does give us the free will to reject what He has offered, though He does set limits on our miscreation.  If He did not set limits on our miscreation, we would be lost indeed.  So let us be thankful that we can stray from Him just so far.

4 – Living in a Dream

Pain is the way that, more often than not, we know that we have strayed.  This does not mean that every illness is an indictment from God.  Certainly not.  We live in a world of dreams, and our Selves can choose illness for a myriad of reasons, most often being a way to learn.  Yet we can learn through rewards (an ACIM tenet), and we might spend some time today asking that our pains be reduced and our rewards be increased.  Learning through rewards is lasting, and learning through pain is not.  Sometime, somehow, we realize that there is another way.  And then we are ready to find it.  A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love are two courses that seek to set us on the pathway back to God and all holiness that, in our dreams, we have forgotten.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for the intangibles of rest, peace, certainty of the heart, and the like–intangibles that you have offered to me so freely.  When I seek for success as measured by this world, I often seek amiss.  But Your will is that I have these intangibles that are Your blessings.  When I ask for them, Your giving them to me is assured.  Thank You for the gentleness of Your response.

I would learn through rewards, not pain.  I would choose the way of Jesus, a way which is sure to be lasting.  Pain teaches, but only for a season.  We have to come to know, eventually, that there is another way to live, another way other than encountering pain wherever we look.  I would find that other way today.  And when I do so, I will  not cease to thank You for the joy that You are so desirous to give me.

Amen.

Quiet Listening

“Learn to be quiet, for His Voice is heard in stillness.  And His Judgment comes to all who stand aside in quiet listening, and wait for Him.  (M-15.2)”

Affirmation:  “Let me be quiet awhile today.”

Reflections:

1 – Benign Judgment

“His Judgment” is not bad; we only make mistakes, and these can be corrected.  If we cannot make amends with the person whom we have wronged, we can still ask forgiveness in quietness, and on some level we will be heard.  The Judgment of which this passage speaks is coming from the Holy Spirit, God’s Communicator with us.  It is always a benign judgment.

2 – Quiet

We cannot live well unless we live, at least from time to time, in quiet.  My quiet time used to be three times a day, which I spent in meditation.  This went on for ten years, and then six years ago I began to pray more, and I was quiet in that way.  Prayer works for me when I pray aloud, and frequently I do so when driving the car.  I do concentrate on the road, of course, but I am carrying on, also, a conversation with God.  Despite the noise of the car and the road,  I know this time as a particularly effective quiet time.

3 – Listening

We must try to follow God’s Way for us.  And we learn this Way in quiet listening.  Sometimes the Answer will come in a quiet “knowing,” and sometimes in just the next quiet words that come into our minds.  Sometimes we experience a feeling that we attribute to intuition.  There is no limit to the ways that the Holy Spirit can and does speak with us.

4 – Personal Experience

My favorite quiet time is early in the morning, before my husband awakes.  I slip out of the bedroom, and find an easy chair in our study.  There I sit quietly, thinking, sometimes, of the day ahead.  This time alone, before the day begins, is a very effective way to get close to God in my thinking.  If I miss this time, I know it.  So I try not to miss being alone first thing in the morning.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would be still and quiet a bit today, to hear Your Voice.  I would relax, so that my body accommodates to my wish to hear You.  I would listen with a warm and soft heart.  Help me to do all of these things, for without Your help I am lost.

Be with me today.  I have already done a good bit of work this morning, and I am already tired.  If I could relax during my work, I could get along better and for longer periods of time.  Help me to do this tomorrow morning.  And today:  Help me to relax today even as I continue to work.

Be with all my loved ones.  I cannot control their destinies, but I do turn them over to You.  And I turn myself over to You also.  As always.

Amen

When Not at Peace

“I must have decided wrongly, because I am not at peace.
I made the decision myself, but I can also decide otherwise.
I want to decide otherwise, because I want to be at peace.
I do not feel guilty, because the Holy Spirit will undo all the
   consequences of my wrong decision if I will let Him.
I choose to let Him, by allowing Him to decide for God for me.  (T90)”

Affirmation:  “I can decide for peace.”

Reflections:

1 – Choose Peace Moment by Moment

This passage is 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.

2 – Do Not “Study” the Ego

If we have already chosen wrongly, we may feel an ennui that is hard to describe.  This appears to be a time that we need to be especially protective of ourselves, but actually it is a prime time that we need to turn to the Holy Spirit for guidance.  We have seen or done something that has made for increased fatigue, either mental or physical, and until we get to the root of the problem, we will suffer.  We are not to study the ego, though!  Jesus specifically says in A Course in Miracles that the ego (this part of ourselves that has led us astray) approves our study of it, that this study seems to increase its importance to us (from the Text).  But if we find fatigue, an unnatural fatigue, steeling over us, perhaps we need to stop what we are doing and commune with the Holy Spirit.  He will respond with some quiet thoughts that will come automatically into the mind, when we have calmed down the agitation enough to listen.  (These are interpretations of ACIM, not stated therein.)

3 – Undoing Eliminates Guilt

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.

4 – “Perfectly Calm and Quiet

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 the Course 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.

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.

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.

Today the Peace of God Envelops Me

ACIM Workbook Lesson 346 – for Monday, December 12, 2011

Affirmation:  “Today the peace of God envelops me,
        And I forget all things except His Love.”

“. . .I would find the peace which You created for Your Son, forgetting all the foolish toys I made as I behold Your glory and my own.  (WB476)”

Reflections:

1 – A Reality Check

This passage is a reality check.  What is really important to us?  If we say the “peace of God,” then we will forget those “foolish toys” that the ego inspired us to cherish (and probably to spend our hard-earned cash on, if they are material things).

2 – The Felt Presence of God

We are at peace when we are feeling the presence of God.   When we are still and quiet, that peace envelops us.  And we do not hanker for things beyond our sphere.

3 – Commune with God

Spend time today in communion with God.  He will not fail us.  And that communion will bring happier days, beginning immediately and going full force into the future.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Today I would see as a quiet day.  I would not make waves.  I would know peace.  And this will be the day that You give me if I commune with You on a continual basis.  I would pray often today.  Guide me throughout this day.

May this quietness enfold me and give me peace without anxiety.  I would not ask for a solace that I would not extend to others.  May my peace enfold the brothers and sisters whom I meet along my walk today.

Amen.

This Is a Day of Stillness and Peace

ACIM Workbook Lesson 291 – for Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Affirmation:  “This is a day of stillness and of peace.”

“This day my mind is quiet, to receive the Thoughts You offer me.  And I accept what comes from You, instead of from myself.  I do not know the way to You.  But You are wholly certain.  Father, guide Your Son along the quiet path that leads to You.  Let my forgiveness be complete, and let the memory of You return to me.  (WB444)”

Reflections:

1 – To Forgive, Be Quiet and Still

This lesson indicates the primacy of forgiveness, if we are to find our way home.  And we need to be quiet if we are to find our way home; we need to still our minds.  Too much rushing about, and too much stress, will make emotional storms that will cause anger and attack to accompany us on our journey (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).

2 – The Memory of God Returns

We learn that the “quiet path” leads to God (see above prayer).  And when our forgiveness is complete, the memory of God returns.

3 – Studying the Workbook

As with much of the information in the second part of the Workbook, these prayer capsule the lengthier explanations given in the Text.  We would not be ready to champion forgiveness unless we had studied the Text (in many cases, though this is an interpretation of ACIM).  Jesus says that we must make our own choice of which to read and study first, though he does also say that we must go through the Workbook if we are to call ourselves “teachers of God.”  (He does not specify how many times, beyond one, that we ought to go through the Workbook.  Many students/teachers of ACIM make the decision to go through the Workbook year after year.)

4 – The Memory of God Returns = Awakening

The return of the memory of God is another way of saying that we have awakened.  And God Himself makes the choice of when we are ready for this blessing.  Our forgiveness of all is a prerequisite, as this prayer makes certain.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I move ever closer today toward Awakening.  I do not ask with pride or with haste.  You are the One Who makes the decision.  In the meantime, I am content.  I know the end of the pathway is assured us all.  May we walk with patience the path that is set before us.

May I learn all that You would have been glean from the Workbook.  Thank You for including many summary parts of the Text.  Thank You for the reverence of the passages, for they inspire my day a great deal.  Be with my brothers and sisters as we seek to remember You.

Amen.