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The T(error)ist Within – Sunday, Sept 11th

 

Jon Mundy has kindly invited me to be his guest lecturer in his ongoing monthly class, Miracles in Manhattan, on the anniversary of 9/11.  Most of you know that I’m a New Yorker, born and bred. I was in the city at the time of the bombings and ACIM provided the Presence of Mind that saw me through. In this class, we heal the past by using the lens of Peace to see through the original error that produces the terrorist within.  Time: 1:30 – 4:30 pm. $20 per person in advance and $25 at the door. Seating is limited. No one turned away if you cannot pay – as long as seats are available.  Call CRS at 212-677-8621 to register and reserve your spot.  I am sooooo looking forward to being back in the city and seeing you all in person!

Sept 11 2016 Terrorist Within

A Great Blessing – Saturday, Sept 10th

I’m so happy to be visiting New York City in September!  What a pleasure to be invited by Yasuko Kasaki, founder of CRS, to join her for a screening of an inspirational documentary called A Great Blessing.  Let’s view this astonishing film together, and afterwards let’s discuss the miracle potential of every situation.  What better way to spend a Saturday afternoon?  2 – 5 pm with yummy sushi and snacks served after the movie.  Only $25 if you reserve in advance — call CRS at 212-677-8621 to register.  Seating is limited.   A Great Blessing

The Spark Is Still As Pure As the Great Light

Hey Sparky!

It’s been a while since I wrote, and you’ve been on my mind the whole time. I’ve been immersed in the Thought that each and every one of us has the spark of God within us, and share this so you can feel the Light within yourself:

The power of one mind can shine into another, because all the lamps of God were lit by the same spark. It is everywhere and it is eternal. In many only the spark remains, for the Great Rays are obscured. Yet God has kept the spark alive so that the Rays can never be completely forgotten. If you but see the little spark you will learn of the greater light, for the rays are there unseen. Perceiving the spark will heal, but knowing the light will create. Yet in the returning the little light must be acknowledged first, for the separation was a descent from magnitude to littleness. But the spark is still as pure as the Great Light, because it is the remaining call of creation. Put all your faith in it, and God Himself will answer you. (T-10.IV.7&8)

Please re-read the quote slowly and thoroughly. Read it out loud. Tell yourself, “I am a lamp of God. I am the spark within a Great Ray which streams from the Great Light. I am willing to put all my faith into the spark that I may hear God Himself answer me.”

The spark is the umbilical cord back to God. The Great Ray is the bridge you cross to your Source, the Great Light. The lamp is your body when you give it to God to use for His Purpose. The ego uses the body for fear, anxiety, tension, and death. If you would like some practical mysticism for undoing the ego’s darkness and discovering your spark, join “Undoing Anxiety,” a free MiracleShare Academy webinar series. Just click the pic below.

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Glowingly, Amy

Copyright © 2016 Amy Torres. All rights reserved worldwide.

Addiction to Spirituality: The Spiritual Bypass by Dr. Margaret Paul

I’m a longtime fan of Dr. Margaret Paul and her inner bonding work.  She has a way of explaining things simply and clearly.  Hope you benefit from reading her article below, Addiction to Spirituality: The Spiritual Bypass.

Are you using your spirituality as a “spiritual bypass” to avoid feeling your feelings and taking responsibility for them?

Lian had been meditating for many years before consulting with me for his depression. He had been part of a spiritual community that encouraged their members to turn to God through prayer and meditation whenever they were feeling any difficult or painful feelings such as anger, hurt, anxiety or depression. He had been taught that Spirit would transmute his feelings for him and bring him the inner peace he sought.

Yet Lian was depressed. “I have faithfully practiced what I’ve been taught, so why am I still depressed? What am I doing wrong?”

Lian was suffering from what is called “spiritual bypass.”

Spiritual bypass occurs when people use their spiritual practice as a way to avoid dealing with and taking responsibility for their feelings. Anything that is used to avoid feeling and taking responsibility for feelings becomes an addiction – whether it is alcohol, drugs, food, TV, work, gambling, spending, shopping, anger, withdrawal…or meditation. If, when a difficult or painful feeling comes up, you immediately go into meditation in the hopes of blissing out and getting rid of the feeling, you may be addicted to spirituality.

It all depends on what your intent is when you are meditating. People can meditate for two totally different reasons: to avoid pain or to learn about love.

If you are meditating to connect with yourself and your spiritual Guidance in order to learn more about loving yourself and others, then meditation is a good way to get out of your head and into your heart. It is a good way to connect with a loving part of yourself so that you can welcome and embrace your painful feelings and learn what you may be doing or thinking that is causing your own pain. When your intent is to be loving to yourself and take responsibility for your own feelings, then meditation can help you become centered and compassionate enough to do an Inner Bonding process.

However, if you are using meditation to bliss out and avoid your pain, you are using your spirituality addictively. You are using your spirituality to bypass learning about and taking responsibility for your feelings.

This is what Lian was doing. Because he was avoiding learning from his feelings, he was continuing to think and behave in ways toward himself and others that caused him to feel depressed. Then, instead of exploring what he was doing that was causing his feeling self, his inner child, to feel depressed, he was meditating to try to get rid of the feelings.

In his work with me, Lian discovered that he was constantly either ignoring his feelings or judging himself. The combination of ignoring his feelings – which he did primarily through meditation – and judging himself resulted in his inner child feeling unloved, unimportant and unseen. Lian saw that if he treated his actual children in the way he treated himself – ignoring their feelings and constantly judging them – they would also feel badly and maybe depressed. But Lian did attend to his actual children’s feelings and needs. It was his own that he ignored and judged.

Lian realized that he was treating himself the way his parents had treated him. He was a much better parent to his children than his parents had been with him, but he was parenting his own inner child the way he had been parented. He was not only treating himself the way he had been treated, he was treating himself the way his parents had treated themselves. As a result, he was not being a good role model for his children of personal responsibility for his own feelings, just as his parents had been poor role models for him.

In the course of working with me, Lian learned the Inner Bonding process. He learned to welcome his painful feelings during meditation. He learned to quiet the self-judgmental part of himself and to treat himself with caring and respect. He learned to take loving action on his own behalf so that his inner child no longer felt abandoned by him. It was the inner abandonment that was causing his depression. He discovered that his depression was actually a gift – a way his inner child was letting him know that he was not being loving to himself. With practice, Lian learned to take loving care of himself and his depression disappeared. Now his meditation practice was no longer a spiritual bypass.

Visit Dr. Margaret Paul’s website to see all her Inner Bonding work has to offer: http://www.innerbonding.com/show-article/4063/addiction-to-spirituality-the-spiritual-bypass.html

Message from Jonette Crowley

I want to share Jonette Crowley and her work with you.  Although she does not teach A Course in Miracles or non-duality, her work may resonate with some of you.  Visit her website to see her offerings, including spiritual pilgrimages and soul body fusion: http://centerforcreativeconsciousness.com/ … here’s a message from Jonette that may lift your heart:

“Many of you have volunteered to come to Earth to transmute ancestral karma from your family tree.  You basically told the Angels: ‘The Buck Stops Here!  I shoulder this burden, I heal it by healing myself.  I proclaim that I shall meet suffering with compassion and so stop it from spreading forward!!’

In some ways we are like Jesus, intending that through our mastery of our fate, we diminish darkness and hatred, leaving this world in a better state than we found it.”

~Jonette Crowley      P.S.  You deserve a medal!

8 Ways to Become A Good Listener – and Why You Want To

listen notHave you ever been talking to someone who is looking around the room while you speak? Or who interrupts you to say something on a completely different subject? Maybe you were confiding in a friend who seemed distracted and when you accused her of not listening, she said indignantly, “I was listening!” To prove it she parroted back the last phrase you had spoken.

There is a difference between listening and technically hearing what is said. Hearing what is said takes short term memory — it only indicates that on a surface level you took in their words but didn’t join emotionally with the person speaking to you. Listening is being receptive to your own inner wisdom, while emotionally attuned to the other person.

Men tend to be better listeners than women because generally they can tolerant silence better. Women are better listeners than men in that they are more comfortable sharing emotions. Men need to learn how to be more emotionally available and responsive. Women need to learn how to be supportive through their presence rather than talking too much.

Becoming a better listener means becoming a better person because it cultivates emotional maturity and generosity. Is it possible to become a great listener? Yes it is. Let’s look at eight ways you can develop great listening skills.

dog listening1. Be interested. Many people think listening means keeping quiet until it is their turn to talk. But true listening is a selfless act. Listening means giving your thoughtful attention to another person. This attention is non-judgmental, open-minded, respectful and curious.

2. Listening is receiving.  We are receiving the trust and vulnerability of another person. To be a receiver, let yourself be a blank canvas for the other person. Allow your friend to toss out ideas, feelings, contradictory thoughts, and whatever else is coming up. Let her be upset or illogical.

3. Indicate you’re listening with subtle cues. Let the person know that you’re interested by nodding your head, murmuring “mmm hmmm,” and softly echoing a word or short phrase here and there.

listen ears4. Attuning and matching. A good listener usually makes eye contact, but might also sit companionably side by side and gaze straight ahead, allowing the talker privacy and intimacy at the same time. Attune yourself to the person talking to you by noticing the degree of eye contact they are making with you and match them. For instance, if the person seems self-conscious and looks down or away a lot, drop your gaze as well from time to time. This way she will feel accepted rather than scrutinized. If she is animated and leaning towards you, lean towards her. Pick up on her rhythm, her body language. Psychological research has found that people feel understood when we use the same gestures they use. This helps them to feel safe and relaxed.

5. Wait for an organic pause. Try not to interrupt — it’s an amazing gift to provide enough space for someone to let it all out. When there is a lull, and the person seems to have unburdened themselves, that will be the time to speak. When I was a student in Gestalt psychotherapy training, I would eagerly jump in while clients were still talking and a fellow student told me that I wasn’t waiting for the “organic pause”– that natural breath between spoken thoughts that opens the door to another voice chiming in. I came from a cultural background where we were used to interrupting each other’s interruptions, and it wasn’t unusual for five conversations to be going on at the same time. Even if this is acceptable socially, it doesn’t work when someone really needs a shoulder to cry on, or in a work situation, if a colleague needs to resolve professional issues.

6. Acknowledge and empathize. Good listening is not complete silence. When the time comes to speak, briefly reiterate to the person what you heard them say. For example, if your friend tells you in a loud, excitable voice, “My boyfriend had lunch with his ex yesterday! He won’t tell me what they talked about. He’s shutting me out. Does he still love her? Should I break up with him before he breaks up with me?”  as a good listener, let her vent. Do not say, “Calm down. Relax. Everything will be okay.” That will only escalate her feelings because she will feel, rightfully so, that you cannot tolerate her being upset.

Instead, use some of her words, and say, “Okay, your boyfriend had lunch with his ex yesterday. Now you’re feeling shut out and scared that he may still love her and want to get back with her?” Your friend will feel “heard” because you actually were strong enough to hear her, instead of trying to get her to calm down on your timetable.  Chances are she will say, “Yes!” Then she may burst into tears, or talk some more, or quiet down.  You are now helping her productively process her feelings, rather than frantically obsessing over them.

“It sounds like you’re really upset with your boyfriend for having lunch with his ex. If I were you I’d feel the same way.” or “I know you really wanted that promotion and I don’t blame you for feeling it was unfair that the new guy got it.” By reflecting back to the person what they said in their own words, you are acknowledging you heard them accurately. And by saying you might feel the same way, you are putting your foot in their shoe and empathizing with them. The emotional tone of what you say should be responsive rather than reactive. In other words, while you’re listening take note of what’s coming up for you and put it on a back shelf. Sort out what is useful for the person who is confiding in you and, for now, keep your own emotions and opinions to yourself.

7. Don’t give unasked for advice. Most of us have not been listened to in the way I’m describing, so we’re not used to listening to someone else this way. We may consider ourselves very nice people and have all kinds of good ideas for the person speaking to us about their problem. What we don’t realize is that offering solutions before a person has expressed their upset feelings doesn’t work. Do you want to be told what to do while you’re venting?

8. Make an offering. After acknowledging and empathizing, you have the option of offering something more. It can be something simple like, “How can I help?” or “Would you like some feedback from me?” Chances are your friend feels relieved and solutions are starting to form within her now that she’s cleared a space inside herself. Don’t be surprised if your good listening facilitates her having a revelation about herself or the situation. She may tell you that you’ve done more than enough already! If she does want feedback, this is your opportunity to share your experience and offer advice. Timing is everything — wait until you’re invited.

good listener ribbonWhat’s in it for you? Great listeners are receivers — they receive trust, they are in an honored position in that way. They help people sort out their thoughts and feelings. Listeners offer solace and consolation. They celebrate and appreciate good news or achievements. And in the process, listeners receive the gratification of being there for someone else. Listeners have cultivated patience to wait until another person has talked themselves out — and have discovered that people often find their own answers to their struggles.

So, listening develops faith in us that people have an inner intelligence.  We don’t have to be mini-Gods and fix everyone’s problems by jumping in and talking too much or too soon. Listening requires patience, generosity, and humility.  Becoming a great listener is a process of maturing.  By developing great listening skills, we provide a mirror that reflects back to the person speaking what is inside of them, and that is powerfully rewarding for both of us.

Copyright © 2011 -2016 Amy Torres.  All rights reserved worldwide.

Five Keys to Forgiveness Workshop

Amy crosslegged whiteA Course in Miracles teaches us a new definition of forgiveness.  This new definition offers us an entirely different way of understanding ourselves and our relationships.  As the introduction to ACIM states, the Course offers us a forgiveness practice as a way of “removing the blocks to the awareness of Love’s Presence” which naturally leads to giving and receiving miracles.

In the Five Keys to Forgiveness workshop, Amy Torres shares tools and tales for understanding forgiveness in new ways, and ideas for applying these principles in our daily lives.  We cover:

*  Forgiveness is an undoing process, removing loneliness, fear, blame, anger, guilt and shame

*  Forgiveness contains the spiritual law that “giving is receiving” and offers us endless abundance.

*  Forgiveness is a natural outcome of the willingness to be undone by following the spiritual guidance of your Inner Teacher, the Holy Spirit.

*  Forgiveness brings inner peace, renewed faith, and lasting happiness.

*  Forgiveness instills a sense of purpose and life is truly meaningful.

*  Forgiveness changes our relationship with time, our understanding of death, and results in miracles.

*  Forgiveness teaches us not to take ourselves personally and restores our True Self.  Undoing leads to awakening.

*  And much more, because forgiveness is a giving practice that just keeps on giving and giving and giving 🙂

(These bullet points are material we cover — the five keys are revealed during the workshop itself.)

Bring a notebook and pen. Wear comfortable clothes. Be prepared to remove your shoes.
You do not have to bring your A Course in Miracles book with you for the workshop.

Click here to watch Amy’s video on  Five Keys to Forgiveness

If you would like Amy to give this workshop in your area, email miracles (at) amytorresacim (dot com)

Also, you can watch and hear Amy reading each ACIM Lesson on Youtube.  And check out Workin’ the Workbook, Amy’s online class which supports the ACIM Workbook practice. 

Copyright © 2012 Amy Torres. All rights reserved worldwide.

 

 

 

Where the Music Is …

It is a pleasure to share this article by the inspiring mystical teacher, Will Johnson:

“Take me to Church,” sings the Irish singer-songwriter Hozier (although his idea of “church” is not a house of worship, but the union of lovers).  What his song perfectly underscores, however, is that Church has always been where the music is.

As we enter the 21st century, music is everywhere, and the world’s young are more likely to be seen gliding along wearing Dr. Dre headphones than attending traditional venues of worship.

Forget about Esperanto.  Music is now the universal language, but its near ubiquity tends to make us forget that, up until the middle of last century, music was a sublime rarity and mostly only ever heard in the context of religious worship:  in Gregorian chant, the singing of Jewish cantors, the muzzein’s call to prayer, the earth shaking sound of a grand pipe organ, the ecstatic hymns of bhakti mystics and Southern Baptists alike.

The I Ching tells us that “music has power to ease tension within the heart and to loosen the grip of obscure emotions.”  This healing power is the action of real religion, and music is one of its most reliable actors.

If church is indeed where the music is, then the whole world now appears to have become an expanded church, promoting a gospel of the easing of tension, the loosening of emotional holding, the breaking through to the sublime, and this is happening as much on our city streets and in our dance clubs as in our more traditional houses of worship.

Joshua is recorded as having brought down the walls of Jericho with sound alone (they may have been real walls; they are certainly, metaphorically, the walls encasing our hearts).  Technologies like iAwake send binaural frequencies into our bodies through our ears, altering patterns of brain waves and even appearing to break up bodily tensions that keep the natural expression of our hearts enclosed (not perhaps unlike how blasts of ultrasound frequency break up kidney stones).

Young people dance together all night long at raves, their bodies reverberating to the sounds of drum and bass instead of a pipe organ.  The most sacred mass gathering I ever attended was my very first Grateful Dead show in 1969 at which I–and everyone else in the audience, in a single moment of exaltation–became a dancer.

When you sit in meditation and hum, the sound can be felt to vibrate through your entire body.  Take me to church indeed.

Many years ago, while visiting Malaysia, I saw a young man sporting a T-shirt that proclaimed “music is the weapon of the future.”  The music that is being so incessantly broadcast around the world today is music that makes our bodies want to move, and it’s going to be increasingly difficult to force-feed stale and hateful dogma to a young person whose body has connected with its impulse to move, to dance, to express itself with joy.

So let’s all become soldiers in this new army of peace, bombarding the world not with weapons of destruction but weapons that melt and dissolve hatred, creating healing in ourselves and others through every note we hear and play, giving our bodies permission to move whether we’re responding to the ear shattering beats in a club or the subtle rhythm of the breath as we sit on our meditation cushion.

Take me to church?  We’re already there.

You can explore Will Johnson’s innovative work at www.embodiment.net

A Present Love ACIM Conference NYC 2015

Come join me and about 20 other great
A Course in Miracles teachers on my home turf,
New York City

Friday – Sunday, April 17-19, 2015

Price includes Conference and Four All-You-Can-Eat Buffet Meals
Price increases as we get closer to the event so
the sooner you register the cheaper it is!
Jun. 3, 2014 to Jul. 31, 2014 – $449 — 36% savings
Aug. 1, 2014 to Nov. 30, 2014 – $499 — 29% savings
Dec. 1, 2015 to Feb. 28, 2015 – $549 — 21% savings
Mar. 1, 2014 to Mar. 31, 2015 – $599 — 14% savings
Apr. 1, 2015 to Apr. 11, 2014 – $645 — 7% savings
On and after Apr. 12, 2015 tickets may be purchased for the
“At the Door” price — $699 
(Travel and lodging are not included)

Click to Register

(and much appreciated if you put “Amy Torres” as the teacher who referred you)

CMCConferencePhoto

Presenters Include:
Amy Torres, David Paul & Candace Doyle, David Fishman & Lisa Natoli, Maria Felipe, Mary Gerard Lenihan, Scott Grace, Larry Glenz & Myron Jones, Jennifer Hadley,David Hoffmeister, Cindy & Gary Renard, Jon Mundy, Kathy Scott Perry, Deb & Paul Phelps, Tony Ponticello, Earl Raj Purdy, Kevin Rice & Tom Whitmore, Regina Dawn Akers, Jim White, Joe Wolfe, and Diederik Wolsak

Click here for more details: http://www.miracles-course.org/2015_conference.html

“A Present Love” 2015 is presented by Community Miracles Center and Rev. Tony Ponticello

Seattle ACIM Workshop, Nov 9th & 10th: How to Hear the Call to Joy

“When the ego was made, God placed in the mind the Call to joy.
This Call is so strong that the ego always dissolves at its sound.”

So what is the catch? Most of us want to be happy–or claim we do. Then what is preventing you from hearing the Call to joy? … It is your belief in the separate self; it is your belief that you are the body. Happily, “God has given you the means for undoing what you have made. Listen, and you will learn how to remember what you are.”

Let us come together in Truth, satsang, and open our minds to our True Identity. “In this decision lie joy and peace and the glory of creation.” If you are sincere about questioning every belief you have ever held, you will allow satsang to burn away what you are not and reveal the Light which is always within you. In a powerful hybrid of A Course in Miracles special relationship work, Gestalt psychotherapy, yogic self-inquiry, and organic movement, you will have a chance to accelerate the undoing process that leads you back to where you already are.

“Heaven itself is reached with empty hands and open minds, which come with nothing to find everything and claim it as their own.
We will attempt to reach this state today, with self-deception laid aside, and with an honest willingness to value but the truly valuable and the real.”

Lucky & Sharon’s Sanctuary
Saturday, Nov 9th & Sunday, Nov 10th
10 am – 4 pm
1215 NE 188th St, Shoreline, WA

$150 including
Lucky’s home-cooked free lunch!

To register, visit www.amytorresacim.com/call-to-joy Amy Torres is an interfaith minister, Gestalt psychotherapist, yoga instructor, and writes the popular Course in Miracles e-newsletter, The Unlearning Classroom, to which you can subscribe for free at www.amytorresacim.com. You can also read her column Ask Amy in Miracles magazine, read her articles on EzineArticles.com, watch her videos on YouTube, follow her on Facebook, and subscribe to her online class, Workin’ the Workbook, which supports all 365 lessons from the ACIM Workbook.

Note: All quotes are from A Course in Miracles.