In Stillness I Hear God

“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. When an answer comes to you, acknowledge that it is an answer from your new identity and express appreciation for it. While you will at times doubt that you have received an answer or that the answer you have received is correct, you will soon learn to trust this quiet process of discernment. You will know you have succeeded when you truly feel as if you have “turned the question or concern over” and allowed it to be responded to in a new way.” (ACOL, C:25.23)

Today’s quotation is a very precise and meaningful guide to guidance from within. Previously, we relied on guidance from the Holy Spirit, Whom we have seen as an intermediary between God and ourselves. Now, though, we are no longer afraid of God, and we can approach Him directly. This means that we look to the inner Christ Self, who is the part of God within each of us. We don’t sense that we are providing a buffer between God and ourselves. Instead, we are opening ourselves to the fullness of God, His glory and His grace.

Following guidance is so very necessary, and on some days it may seem so very hard. We doubt what we sense. We get stubborn. We fall by the wayside.

These are the times that we need the inner stillness ever more. When we quiet down, allow our sense of quiet to encompass us, we will cease the stubbornness about following that quiet inner Voice. We will grow mellow, and we will grow appreciative. Then we are open to having a very good day indeed. Stubbornness, without fail, produces a bad day. And we give ourselves many reasons to have bad days.

But we want good days. Always we want this. And we can have it, regardless of what is transpiring in our inner and outer world. We can rise above difficulties, rise above suffering and pain, and take our place as esteemed children of God who are following His way. This harmonious and gentle pathway will avail much.

If the day has started awry, we can always start over in our minds and hearts. We can just drop the stubbornness about having our way, especially when we realize, once again, that God’s way and our preferred way are actually identical.

Don’t delay a moment longer. Turn to an inner, quiet voice to discern what we are to do and say. The benefits are outstanding in all respects.

We will never regret this choice.

Dear Father/Mother,

Today, as every day, I ask to follow Your guidance. I no longer want to try to be independent, a being without needs, for I have many needs. And you solve them all. Thank You.

Help us to follow guidance, not to be stubborn about letting You take the lead. The day will unfold like an opening flower if we are attuned to Your Being.

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.

You Can Know without Knowing What to Do

pissarro - trees“As the dawn is unrestrained  in its bursting forth, so has been your time of innocence.  Not so the approach of day as the sun slowly rises and as slowly sets.  This is a time of being both guided and restrained.  A time of realizing that you can know without knowing what to do, and that this is not a mistake.  (A Course of Love, 28.10)”

Affirmation  “I will be patient today in my ‘knowing.'”

Reflections:

1 – Reassuring Passage

This passage is a reassuring gesture on the part of Jesus to us who are still learning.  We may have experienced a sudden relief when we realized that we truly are innocent, but as time goes on, the movement toward Christ-consciousness slows down–as the sun slowly rises and slowly sets.  While this slow movement is not always the case and does not receive the most attention, it is the most common way.  We see glimpses before Christ-consciousness can be maintained.  Indeed, maintaining the elevated Self of form is very rare indeed, at least at this time in our history.

2 – Commune with God

But we can commune with God, we can internally ask questions of Jesus, and we can read A Course of Love–all to get a roadmap to enlightenment.  Most of the outstanding examples of enlightenment in our history have been sudden experiences, but the very suddenness may have given rise to the awareness of the existence of these people.  A more gradual Awakening is kinder to us, for then the light does not suddenly dawn upon us, leaving us perhaps a bit frightened.  (These are interpretations based in part on both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love.)

3 – Rest in Stillness

When we “know,” but don’t know what to do, I think it would be wise to rest in stillness until we do know what to do.  We do not want to go off willy-nilly, making mistakes that will only set us back.  Ask for guidance, for the solution is always found with the problem.  We will always be answered, and my experience is that it does not take long for the answer to come.  Ask, and ye shall receive (from the Bible).

4 – Imaginary Bonds

We often strain at imaginary bonds that seem to restrain us.  We have learned so much from A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, and we are so eager, as a result, to walk the whole pathway to Awakening or Christ-consciousness.   Our eagerness with A Course of Love is greater than with ACIM, even.  This difference, this increase, is because we finally see that we have “learned” all that is needed, and we simply need to assimilate our learning so that it becomes knowledge rather than perception.  The knowledge cannot come until we let the ego die, and sometimes this dying is painfully slow–even when we wish it to happen fast (perhaps especially when we wish it to happen fast).  The knowledge will go with us on the whole pathway to full salvation.  And we need to rest awhile in peace, before we will know what our next steps ought to be.  We are not bade to evangelize the world, but we are bade to live in it as followers of Jesus.  At this point he is fast beyond our companion, our teacher no longer.

5 – Change in This World

Help us to assimilate this knowledge so that the change can happen universally in this world.  Life is at a crisis point (as life has always been), and we need to accomplish what we can to wish our brothers and sisters well in all of their activities toward salvation.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for the knowledge that will lead me to Awakening.  I would be ready sooner rather than later.  I would not delay by egotistical means.  I would drop the ego.  Help me to do so, today.

Be with us as we seek to have a good day.  This is a blessing, to have a good day.  May we enjoy our companions, including Jesus, if we can believe that he is always by our side.

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.

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.

The Stillness of the Peace of God Is Mine

ACIM Workbook Lesson  273 – for Friday, September 30, 2011

Affirmation:  “The stillness of the peace of God is mine.”

“We need but tell our minds, with certainty, ‘The stillness of the peace of God is mine,’ and nothing can intrude upon the peace that God Himself has given to His Son.

“Father, Your peace is mine.  What need have I to fear that anything can rob me of what You would have me keep?  I cannot lose Your gifts to me.  And so the peace You gave Your Son is with me still, in quietness and in my own eternal love for you.  (WB433)”

Reflections:

1 – Ever-Greater Serenity

Today we return to passages of greater serenity.  We wait in quietness for God to act.  We listen to the Holy Spirit, and we follow what He says.  And by waiting and by listening, we gain the peace of God.

2 – Disregard the Ego / Be Safe

This serenity is unassailable, regardless of what is happening in the illusory world of which we are a part.  As long as we disregard the dictates of the ego, we are safe.  And when we let all our grievances go, we will know that we are safe (from the Workbook).

3 – Let Us Rest Today

May we be in the spirit of forgiveness today.  May today be a particular day of rest in our journey.  We do not need to attack, to judge, or to make plans against contingencies to come.  If there are plans to be made, the Holy Spirit will so tell us (a Text tenet).

4 – God Goes with Us

We can indeed afford to be careful for nothing, knowing that God goes with us wherever we go (an ACIM paraphrase).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would rest today awhile, secure in the knowledge of Your love for me.  I would disregard the ego, because nothing that the ego says ever made any sense; it was constantly being undone.  The ego’s undoing is part of the honing of our Self in this world.  Thank You for letting me know this.

I thank You for the rest that You will give me today.  The world has been too much with me lately, and I need the respite that only You can bring.  Be with me today as I seek Your respite.

Amen.