Tag Archives: yoga

Our Tool Chest: Meditation, Yoga, Affirmations

“The word “need” and the word “dependent” are only words and words that would be inconceivable to you in the state of unity before you left it. Now, they are just tools, as are many other means of practice that assist you in bypassing your ego mind. Some practices more commonly thought of as tools might be meditation, exercises of the body such as yoga, or exercises of the mind such as affirmations. These tools are all means of releasing ego mind and inviting the one mind, or unity into the present moment. When seen as such, all these tools, including needs, can ignite the combination of learning and unlearning, the letting-go of one so that the other can arrive.” (ACOL, T2:9.2)

A Course of Love says that we need to return to unity, and this unity is of two types: a union with the Self, and a union of mind and heart to form wholeheartedness. Here, in the passage, we see that we are not left to make this unity come about out of thin air. There are tools, and implicit in giving us these tools, Jesus is asking that we use them—meditation, yoga, affirmations. Add to that the understanding that our needs are met at the point of recognition, and that we are one with all in interdependence, and we have quite a tool chest to draw upon. Our way home is clear; it is only our density of thought that holds us back. And our patience; we lack the patience to really work on ourselves. So we ask for the miracle that the art of thought really is; we ask for the patience to wait on God’s timing for our enlightenment. And we try out these tools as a way to remove barriers to the blessing of ultimate salvation that we really want.

This passage also reminds us that learning and unlearning appear together, one simultaneous effect of walking the right pathway. We are fast moving into the time when learning from authorities of the past is no longer recommended. Our lives, instead, are the fodder for release from egoic ideas. A way out of our insanity. We observe what happens in our lives, and this edges us forward, day by day, ever so slightly. In patience possess ye your souls, as we have heard. This observation of our lives and what happens in them is the tailor-made tool for undoing the ego. We unlearn the insanity (though this sounds hard to do), and in the unlearning, we are, at the same time, learning anew. Everybody has a different curriculum, one suited just for each of us. Our learning goals are the same, though: a return to the Christ Self, a joining of heart and mind. So, when we talk to others, we find that their pathway is similar to ours; just the details differ, for nobody else lives the same life, knows the same thing, or anticipates a like future.

We are encouraged to live in the present moment. This always sounds hard to us, for most of us have tried it, and failed. But we try again, and gradually longer and longer periods are actually attuned to the gift of the present. We see no reason to wander in the madness of the past, or to worry about the happenings of the future. We know that we are safe in the present, and in this truth, our self-fostered disinterest in remaining in the present just disappears.

Try some of the tools that Jesus gives in this passage for today. Let those tools lead the way. We want to turn aside from the ego, and time-tested remedies are always the best. Certainly meditation, yoga, and affirmations are well-known to most of us. They may have failed us in the past. But this is a new day, and there is hope for a better outcome, because the ego’s hold on us, for all of us, has been weakened.

Try Jesus’s tools a little right now. The benefits are there, when the mind and heart work together to heal the division between God and our persona.

Prayer

Many of us have long used the tools that Jesus point out today. But I am in a new era now, and though I might have had limited success with meditation, yoga, affirmations, in the past, I have no reason to believe that things won’t take a turn for the better. It is reassuring to know that this tool chest is familiar to me. It is familiar to many of us, and this very familiarity is a comfort. Thank You.

I would seek to walk the straight and narrow with ease today. I would not fear the ego, for Jesus tells me that it is gone. I seek to love, and in the love I find myself.

It is this way for everybody.

Amen.

Meditation / Yoga / Affirmations

_5236338_hf“Some practices more commonly thought of as tools might be meditation, exercises of the body such as yoga, or exercises of the mind such as affirmations. These tools are all means of releasing ego mind and inviting the one mind, or unity into the present moment. When seen as such, all these tools, including needs, can ignite the combination of learning and unlearning, the letting go of one so that the other can arrive. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Nature of Unity and Its Recognition, 9.2)”

Affirmation: “I will let go of the ego so that the Self can step forward.”

Reflections:

1 – Practices

The practices mentioned in A Course of Love, in this passage, are not mentioned in A Course in Miracles, though the final lessons in the Workbook are thought by some students/teachers to be meditative in approach. Here Jesus names the practices that will undo the learning that we have obtained heretofore, leaving us free to welcome the Self/Christ.

2 – Present Moment

We are asked to think of the present moment, an assertion that many, many spiritual practices have recommended. We release the ego mind in the present, so that we know unity–with Self as well as others. The unity is one of unity in relationship, the One reaching out to the many, and “unity and relationship” are hallmarks of ACOL.

3 – Meditation

I practiced meditation three times a day for years for 30 minutes each time. I was deep into my career of librarianship, and the work could be and often was, stressful, and this despite most people’s assumptions that libraries are stress-free environments. But I am no longer a librarian, and in recent years I have not kept up the practice of meditation. This ought to be changed in me. Meditation is enormously comforting and calming to the emotions, and the insight that comes as a result can sometimes be profound. All practitioners say the same.

4 – Yoga

I now practice yoga most mornings, first thing in the morning. I have a meditative routine that stills my mind and prepares me for the day, and I keep at it for about 20 to 30 minutes. The day gets started right, and, perhaps, in a way, this is a form of meditation for me now.

5 – Affirmations

And affirmations are particularly helpful when I am stressed. Norman Vincent Peale often recommended this form of learning. And he prepared compilations of biblical passages that are particularly well-suited to being converted to affirmations. One favorite is entitled, “Thought Conditioners.”

6 – Turn Aside from the Ego

We need to make a concerted effort to avoid egotistical thinking and actions. This is easily done if we catch ourselves in the moment and turn aside, not to resist but simply to make another choice. And in the unity that we will know when we are living in an egoless way will much understanding come to us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would choose today to practice all three of the learning techniques mentioned herein–meditation, yoga, and affirmations. I will be the better for it. No effort need be involved. I just drop the ego and decide to follow established practices that will better my mind.

Thank You for the sense of Your presence that I enjoy. I am desirous of enlarging the number of moments during the day that I sense Your presence, and I ask that You stay with me, not withdrawing and leading me into a dark night of the soul.

Amen