Undoing the Ego

A Little Nothing Nobody

In 1992, I was working for an advertising industry trade magazine.  One aspect of that job was appearing on a monthly cable TV business show to review commercial campaigns.  This was a glamorous leap for me, who had never been in the public eye before.  After I had been doing this for a few months, a friend called to say he had seen me on TV.  He sounded quite impressed.

I heard myself say to him, “I know, can you imagine?  A little nothing nobody like me?”  We had a big laugh together.

Afterwards, I chastised myself for saying I was “a little nothing nobody.”  It was a time in my life when I was building up my self-esteem and I didn’t want to be self-critical.  Yet, oddly, calling myself “a little nothing nobody” felt very good.  There was a freedom and humility in it that was so relaxing and liberating.

cosmic heart infinityThis recognition is deep within all of us.  The Self knows it is no body and invites us to awaken to this Truth all the time.  “What is the ego?  Nothingness, but in a form that seems like something.” (C-2.2:1-2)

Even though I focused my attention, at that time, on building my self-esteem, for some reason I never forgot this phrase, “a little nothing nobody” and the quiet joy it delivered.  This remembering is the memory of God within.  We all have it; you just need to pay attention to inner messages and subtle cues that remind you of what you already know: You are not a body.  You are free.  For you are still as God created you.

On Thursday, I’ll be speaking with Jennifer Hadley about Miracles in Insight and Intuition.  If this topic interests you, please tune in on Sept 4th at 1 pm EST.  It’s free–just click the box to the right that says Allowing the Miracle Living A Course in Miracles :) .

Copyright © 2014 Amy Torres.  All rights reserved worldwide.

Is An Obsession with God Healthy?

dancing girl via bettina casimir clarkAbout 15 years ago, I realized that I was “obsessed with God.”  It was a healthy obsession which grew out of my immersion in A Course in Miracles.  God was in my thoughts day and night.  I looked “normal” and behaved “normally” but I was no longer alone in my thought process.  God was constantly with “me.”   Trust grew.  Fear lessened.  Miracles and blessings occurred daily.

I went through several periods of disorientation as my personal identity was uprooted but remained completely functional.  My personality still threw ego thoughts at “me” but interest in them waned as surrender to the Creator prevailed.  In other words, the personality and its demands became less and less riveting as God illuminated my mind.  This undoing process continues to this day.

I highly recommend the God obsession.  Many people are afraid that an obsession with God means they are having a break wivia Akasha Lightth reality or will turn into a monk or nun.  It’s the opposite.  A healthy obsession with God returns you to your right mind which puts you on the path to Reality.  And most people are not called to celibacy or a life of solitude, although if you are, it will be perfect for you.

The key element to a healthy obsession is tuning in to your Internal Teacher.  A Course in Miracles calls the Internal Teacher the Holy Spirit.  It goes by many names and can be found on countless spiritual paths.  Eventually the Internal Teacher makes Itself obsolete, as “you” disappear back into the nothingness from which you came, and Truth Presides.

Read Five Steps to Cultivating Your Relationship with the Holy Spirit to develop your own healthy obsession with God :)

Copyright © 2014 Amy Torres.  All rights reserved worldwide.

Why Attend “A Present Love”?

When I accepted the CMC’s invitation to be a presenter at A Present Love, the ACIM conference being held in New Yorkby pygmy palm5 City in April 2015, I also  agreed to promote the event.  But I really don’t enjoy promoting, so instead I’ll share with you what has motivated me over the years to attend events like this, and what I got out of them.  Just like me, you can:

oval blue dove*  Experience spontaneous miracles*
*  Clarify your understanding of ACIM concepts
*  Immerse yourself in an atmosphere of Truth
*  Find teachers who truly inspire you
*  Just be … just show up and allow Spirit to guide you all weekend
*  Use the event as a catalyst to heal your mind
*  Let A Present Love be a constant reminder to practice forgiveness each day
*  Meet like-minded people who are supportive of  your spiritual life
*  Allow the Holy Spirit to provide, even when money seems scarce

As soon as you sign up, you have begun to reap the benefits of the conference even though it is nine months from now.  This is because you have put your willingness into action.  You have planted the seed of awakening.  Your miracles begin here and multiply endlessly through you (even if it seemsRevised Final for CMC as though nothing is happening).

In my experience, signing up for conferences, workshops, retreats, intensives and other spiritual events has been a big opening for my healing and unlearning.  There is every reason for A Present Love to be that opportunity for you.  Here’s more info about the event: http://amytorresacim.com/wordpress/a-present-love-acim-conference-nyc-2015/ and http://www.miracles-course.org/2015_conference.html.  Also, feel free to email me questions at miracles@amytorresacim.com

HotelPennI look forward to seeing you there!  Please introduce yourself to me and let’s have a hug!  And if it feels right, check the “Amy Torres” box on the registration form:  https://www.miracles-course.org/2015_register.html

*If you need a free place to stay while in NYC, contact me at miracles@amytorresacim.com … this may be your first miracle :)

Copyright © 2014 Amy Torres.  All rights reserved worldwide.

Gatita Sparkles

gatita sparkles 8-8-14On July 12th, 2014, my darling, beloved cat, Gatita, emerged from the cocoon of the body and dissolved into timeless sparkles.  Many of you have expressed love for Gatita over the years, and I want to share some of the miracles that accompanied her “death.”

Gatita was 17 years old and the decline of her body had been going on for about three years.  During these years, she was the catalyst for many holy instants as I chose over and over again to purge fear and know Love in the present moment.

When the time came, overflowing with love for her, I held Gatita in my lap until her heartbeat ceased.  Then I gently handed her to Scott.  He felt a great relief escape from Gatita as she laid the body aside … and then a burst of joyous sparkles beyond anything words can describe as she effortlessly expanded into Limitlessness.  There was a clear sense she was still with us, not as a cat, but as Pure Being.  Scott and I alternated between tears of sorrow and of joy.  Weeping freely naturally served to release false beliefs and open us to Truth.

3 deerGatita was laid in the ground in a place I felt she had chosen and shown me a few days before.  Within the hour, a family of deer who often graze on the land around our home, walked along the path near where Gatita’s body was buried.  They seemed to know she was there.

After paying homage, they continued into our backyard as if carried by joyous sparkles, prancing and playing with each other.  Next, they rounded the other side of the house, pausing to munch on grass and bushes.  Eventually, the deer arrived on our front lawn, sat down and settled in.  Their presence was full of grace.  They sat in stillness for a long time.

deer sitting

The full circle that the deer completed around our house was unusual.  It symbolized to us that the essence of Gatita was Whole, Holy and fully present–and therefore, so were we.  The stillness and beauty of the deer was profoundly peaceful and undeniably confirming of timeless Love.

The next morning I learned that Gatita departed this world on Guru Purnima, the most auspicious day of the year for Self-realization.  “Gu” is Sanskrit for “shadows” or “darknesorange full moons” and “ru” means “he who disperses shadows” or “bringer of light.”  For ACIM students, the Guru is the Holy Spirit, your inner Teacher. “Purnima” means full moon.  The nights before and after Gatita’s passing were brightly illuminated by the fullest of full moons.  Darkness dissolved in this resplendent light.

It is said that the Guru principle is one thousand times more active on this particular full moon than any other in the calendar.  This is symbolic, of course, and that’s what miracles are: symbols of Truth.  The best time to awaken is always now.

“Today the promise of God’s Word is kept.  Hear and be silent.  He would speak to you.  He comes with miracles a thousand times as happy and as wonderful as those you ever dreamed or wished for in your dreams.  His miracles are true. … Hear Him today and listen to the Word which lifts the veil that lies upon the earth, and wakes all those who sleep and cannot see.  God calls to them through you.”  (W-106: Let me be still and listen to the truth.)

God calls to us through Gatita, Who cannot die because she, like you and me, is Life.  “There is no living thing that does not share the universal Will that it be whole, and that you do not leave its call unheard.  Without your answer is it left to die, as it is saved from death when you have heard its calling as the ancient call to life, and understood that it is but your own.” (T-31.I.9:2)

Gatita Sparkles is the second video from a series of conversations I had with David Hoffmeister and Frances Xu while they were in Florida.  Enjoy the video, and hopefully it will ease any grief you may be experiencing, and replace it with timeless Love instead.

If you are missing someone, you may find this article comforting: http://amytorresacim.com/wordpress/a-better-way-to-say-i-miss-you/

Copyright © 2014 Amy Torres.  All rights reserved worldwide.

A True Declaration of Independence

fireworks purple goldLet’s transform Independence Day, the July 4th holiday, into a mystical holy day by looking closely at what Jesus calls “independence” in A Course in Miracles.

In Chapter 4 of the Text, he offers us this prayer:

The Kingdom is perfectly united and perfectly protected, and the ego will not prevail against it.  Amen.

He says that it is a declaration of independence, and that we will find it very helpful if we understand it fully.

Here’s my translation for fuller understanding:  The Kingdom is our true Home. At Home we are all joined in one perfect, formless union.  We are perfectly protected at Home because as the Oneness we really are, there is nobody to attack, threaten or endanger anybody else.  The ego cannot defeat God’s Kingdom because the ego is a figment of our imagination, while our Home shines timelessly with absolute loving light.  And so it is!

Jesus also clarifies that the Bible says, “The Kingdom of Heaven is within you” but it should be, “The Kingdom of Heaven is you.”  In Chapter 5, we learn, “God is not in you in a literal sense; you are part of Him.”  Reminding ourselves that we are the Kingdom of Heaven helps us dis-identify as individual people and reconnect with Spirit.  Effortlessly, we rise above the battleground of the world.  Transcending the human identity doesn’t require a fight–just a change of mind.

This change of mind is affirmed in Lesson 31, “I am not the victim of the world I see” which explains that this idea is “the introduction to your declaration of release.”  As you grasp that you are not the victim of the world you see, you “remind yourself that you are making a declaration of independence in the name of your own freedom.  And in your freedom lies the freedom of the world.”  At first, this seems unrealistic, but with practice, miracles shift your perception from person to Presence.

Paradoxically, we come to realize our true independence relies on our complete and utter dependence on God!  Chapter 11 reveals, “Your whole creative function lies in your complete dependence on God, Whose function He shares with you.  By His willingness to share it, He became as dependent on you as you are on Him. … The belief in ego autonomy is costing you the knowledge of your dependence on God, in which your freedom lies.”

Another way of understanding this is that Jesus was able to lead because he was following the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  As Lesson 169 puts it, “The Son of God has merely disappeared into his Father, as his Father has in him.  The world has never been at all.  Eternity remains a constant state.”  The ego wants to be a self-governing entity, but the truth is, God “has included you in His Autonomy” and that is true freedom.

Happy Independence Day, Mighty Companions!

You might also enjoy:   How The Homeless Made Me Feel At Home

If you need help practicing the Workbook lessons from A Course in Miracles, sign up for my online class, Workin’ the Workbook.

Copyright © 2014 Amy Torres.  All rights reserved worldwide.

The Course Is Too Wordy

ACIM text verticalMost ACIM students get tangled up with the wordiness of the Text at times.  I have to admit that although the Course can be considered a sacred tome, living prayer, and mythic poetry, that I’m not a big fan of Shakespearean verse (as you may know, one of the miracles of ACIM is much of it is written in iambic pentameter, the meter Shakespeare used when writing plays).

Although many of its passages are beautiful, what really speaks to me through A Course in Miracles is its True Authority–the Voice for God illuminates its pages.  To paraphrase a line from Lesson 12, “Beneath these words is written the Word of God.”

Sometimes I’ve found it helpful to switch to another teaching in order to get the most out of A Course in Miracles.  Usually it is yoga.  Yoga introduced me to mantras, chanting and japa–the repetition of a mantra silently or aloud, by saying it, singing it, and, if you like, using prayer beads.

Here are five ways that mantras help me loosen the hold of the ego mind:

1)    Sanskrit.  Mantras are often chanted in Sanskrit and Sanskrit is primarily a vibrationally based language.  This means that the meaning of the words is not nearly as important as the healing hum that passes through you as you chant.*

2)    Faith.  When you are willing to repeat a mantra without translating it, you let go of control.  The faith that you demonstrate by releasing the ego’s instrument of language and opening your mind to Spirit reinforces your inner conviction that you are, indeed, a conduit for miracles.  In the Manual for Teachers, we are told that, gradually, we learn to use words in a new way–by letting the Holy Spirit choose them for us.  Mantra helps unlock a mental assumption we carry unconsciously–that we need words to communicate–and puts us back in touch with our Presence.

3)    Relief.  The ego is a mechanism of addiction and obsession.  The bottom line addiction we all suffer from is obsessional thinking.  When we allow the Holy Spirit to guide us, repetition of a mantra is a huge relief from ruminating endlessly about our worries, resentments, fears, regrets and sorrows.

4)    Simplicity.  All that’s required is to repeat a phrase.  I’m going to offer you the very simple, tried and true mantra: Om Namah Shivaya.  It is pronounced the way it looks–just sound it out.  Don’t be concerned with mispronunciation; there is a saying that God listens to you chant as a parent hears a baby’s first words–full of delight at whatever comes out.

5)    ACIM-Applicable.  If you find that mantra repetition appeals to you, select a phrase from the Course that comforts you, strengthens you, calms you, or inspires you.  Some that I love and depend on are, “God goes with me wherever I go,” “In quiet I receive God’s Word today,” “Into His Presence would I enter now,” “Love created me like itself,” “I am entitled to miracles,” “I am the light of the world,” and “I will step back and let You lead the way.”

You can keep them short but sweet–and often that has the most pure power.  But, you can also combine some of your favorites.  For years I’ve strung together quotes from the Course, “This holy instant would I give to You.  Be You be in charge, God.  For I would follow You, certain that Your direction gives me peace” with “I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as God created me” with “I am Spirit” and then added whatever my internal Teacher offers, such as, “I am infinite.  I am eternal.  I am formless.  I am.  Beingness.”  Trust your inner Teacher and let His words pop into your mind and out of your mouth.  You will find that they are Perfect for you.

*  If you must know what it means, Om Namah Shivaya can be translated as, “I honor the divinity within myself.” and “I bow to Lord Shiva.”  In ACIM- speak, “You are one Self with me, united with our Creator in this Self. I honor you because of What I am, and What He is, Who loves us both as One.”  (W-95.15:3)

You may enjoy these related posts from The Unlearning Classroom:   ACIM and Yoga and  Prescription for Inner Peace

If you need help practicing the Workbook lessons from A Course in Miracles, sign up for my online class, Workin’ the Workbook.

Copyright © 2014 Amy Torres.  All rights reserved worldwide.

You Can Learn to Awaken

Did you know that A Course in Miracles is a gentle alarm clock for a part of your mind which has deliberately hypnotized itself into a deep, deep sleep?  This sleeping part of your mind is called the ego.  But you are not the ego.  You are God’s ever-present, never-sleeping Child.

When I began studying A Course in Miracles, I had no idea I was sleeping.  Even though it said over and over that we are dreaming, it took years to filter through my many layers of unconscious denial and blossom into right-minded comprehension.  In the meantime, like most ACIM students, I was approaching the Course as a person, and applying its forgiveness practice to my relationships.

As I willingly chose to give all my relationships and self-concepts to the Holy Spirit, He stripped me down to practically nothing … and I found myself at a crossroads: to continue believing I was a person, or to awaken to the truth that I was not a body, I was free, I was still as God created me.

Ego doubt whispered that this kind of freedom was out of reach, that only saints and avatars  reached Self-realization.  “Sure,” it said, “Dedicated yogis, Indian sadhus and Tibetan monks have a small chance of awakening.  But you?  Ha ha ha ha ha!” Yet Jesus kept explaining that I was already awake, and the only reason I didn’t know this was due to my own active interference with that Knowledge.

The wonderful thing about willingness is that it snowballs into full faith.  The ego could roar menacingly, whisper sweetly, and laugh demonically, but it could no longer convince me that its dream was Reality.  I want you to be this clear and certain, too.

Let’s take a moment together, right now, to absorb this truth.  You are awake.  You are God’s Creation.  You are Beingness Being Itself, right now.  This only seems far-fetched and impossible to “reach” when you actively resist Knowing your True Identity.  Let’s face it.  The real reason we actively resist is not fear.  It is that we want to play God.

There is nothing wrong with this.  But as we all find out sooner or later, playing ego god is a very painful choice. “Tolerance for pain may be high, but it is not without limit.  Eventually everyone begins to recognize, however dimly, that there must be another way.  As this recognition becomes more firmly established, it becomes a turning point.” (T-2.III.3:5-7)   Hopefully, this essay activates your turning point.

Once you tire of playing God, awakening occurs naturally.  First there is some tossing and turning.  Then a bit of blinking.  There comes a sleepy insistence on “five more minutes.”  And then an Aliveness, an Awareness, and a simple Joy of Being takes over.  What seemed so real fades away in a holy instant.  What is Real prevails.  “Pain is but sleep; joy is awakening.” (W-190)

What a comfort to have Jesus tell us, “You are not yet awake, but you can learn how to awaken.”  And then he holds your hand every step of the way.  Every lesson in the Workbook gives you a daily instruction.  Chapter 30 guides you with Rules for Decision.  The Manual for Teachers devotes section 16 to how you should spend your day.  And all the pages in between are overflowing with the Holy Spirit’s Direction.  Make no mistake.  You can learn through the ACIM unlearning process if you so choose.

“You have chosen a sleep in which you have had bad dreams, but the sleep is not real and God calls you to awake.  There will be nothing left of your dream when you hear Him, because you will awaken.  Your dreams contain many of the ego’s symbols and they confuse you.  Yet that was only because you were asleep and did not know.  When you wake you will see the truth around you and in you, and you will no longer believe in dreams because they will have no reality for you.  Yet the Kingdom and all that you have created there will have great reality for you, because they are beautiful and true.” (T-6.IV.6:2-7)

You are beautiful and true,
and this Truth can spontaneously arise in you right now!

If you need help practicing the Workbook lessons from A Course in Miracles, sign up for my online class, Workin’ the Workbook.

Copyright © 2014 Amy Torres.  All rights reserved worldwide.

The Atonement Principle

Atonement is an essential topic in A Course in Miracles. Over the years, I’ve compiled a list of references to the Atonement in order to clarify it in my own mind. They are in no particular order, but I did try to keep them short so the point would hit home :) For longer explanations, read Chapter 2 and Chapter 9. Enjoy!

Jesus speaks, “Let me be to you the symbol of the end of guilt [Atonement], and look upon your brother as you would look on me.” (T-19.IV.B.6:1)

“The sole responsibility of the miracle worker is to accept the Atonement for himself.” (T-2.V.5:1)

“The sole responsibility for God’s teacher is to accept the Atonement for himself.” (M-18.4:5)

“When the Holy Spirit is permitted to look upon the defilement of the altar, He also looks immediately toward the Atonement. Nothing He perceives can induce fear. Everything that results from spiritual awareness is merely channelized toward correction. Discomfort is aroused only to bring the need for correction into awareness.” (T-2.V.7:5-7)

“Atonement might be equated with total escape from the past and total lack of interest in the future.” (ACIM, M-24.6:3 … and read the entire paragraph 6)

“The escape is brought about by your acceptance of the Atonement, which enables you to realize that your errors never really occurred.” (T-2.I.4:4)

“[The Atonement is] the acknowledgment that you are not in this world, for the world is unhappy.” T-6.II.5:7

“The full awareness of the Atonement, then, is the recognition that the separation never occurred. The ego cannot prevail against this because it is an explicit statement that the ego never occurred.” T-6.II.10:7-8

“Atonement corrects illusions, not truth. Therefore, it corrects what never was. Further, the plan for this correction was established and completed simultaneously for the Will of God is entirely apart from time. So is all reality, being of Him. The instant the idea of separation entered the mind of God’s Son, in that same instant was God’s Answer given. In time this happened very long ago. In reality it never happened at all.” (M-2. Who Are Their Pupils?)

“Any part of the Sonship can believe in error or incompleteness if he so chooses. However, if he does so, he is believing in the existence of nothingness. The correction of this error is the Atonement.” (T-2.VII.6:7-9)

“If the way seems long, let him be content. He has decided on the direction he wants to take. What more was asked of him? And having done what was required, would God withhold the rest?” ~M-22. How Are Healing and Atonement Related?

“Questioning illusions is the first step in undoing them.” ~T-3.III.2:6
(Atonement is the undoing of illusions)

“The best defense, as always, is not to attack another’s position, but rather to protect the truth.” (This is the Atonement.) ~T-3.I.2:1

“‘The wicked shall perish’ becomes a statement of Atonement, if the word ‘perish’ is understood as ‘be undone’. Every loveless thought must be undone, a wrod the ego cannot even understand. To the ego, to be undone means to be destroyed. The ego will not be destroyed because it is a part of your thought, but because it is uncreative and therefore unsharing, it will be reinterpreted to release you from fear. The part of your mind that you have given to the ego will merely return to the Kingdom, where your whole mind belongs. ” (T-5.VI.9:1-5)

The Atonement protects the truth. The Atonement denies guilt. The Atonement is the Love principle. The Atonement is the final Correction. “Atonement is the Word of God.” ~M-22.1:6
“Healing and Atonement are not related; they are identical.” ~M-22.1:1

“The teacher of God has taken accepting the Atonement for himself as his only function.” ~M-22.1:10

“The Atonement is but the way back to what was never lost.” (T-12.VIII.8:8)

“The Atonement gives you the power of a healed mind, but the power to create is of God.” (T-5.IV.7:1)

“… the Atonement which is the natural profession of the children of God is the purpose [of miracles].” (T-1.III.1:10)

Jesus says, “… I am the Atonement.” (T-1.III.4:1) [when I asked Jesus, I got, “Atonement is the resurrection.”]

“Atonement undoes all errors in this respect and thus uproots the source of fear.” (T-1.III.5:5 emphasis mine)

“But the Atonement restores spirit to its proper place.” (T-1.IV.2:10)

“The purpose of the Atonement is to restore everything to you; or rather, to restore it to your awareness. You were given everything when you were created, just as everyone was.” (T-1.IV.3:6-7)

“Accepting the Atonement for yourself means not to give support to someone’s dream of sickness and of death.” (T-28.IV.1:1)

Jesus teaches us that Atonement denies “the denial of truth” (T-12.II.1:5)

C-Intro: This is not a course in philosophical speculation, nor is it concerned with precise terminology. It is concerned only with Atonement, or the correction of perception. The means of the Atonement is forgiveness.

“The Holy Spirit has the task of undoing what the ego has made.” ~T-5.III.5:5

The sole responsibility for God’s teacher is to accept the Atonement for himself. Atonement means correction, or the undoing of errors. ~Manual for Teachers, 18. How Is Correction Made?

READ Lesson 139: I will accept Atonement for myself. (Lots of clarity and definition of Atonement.)

from Lesson 140: “Atonement does not heal the sick for that is not a cure. It takes away the guilt that makes the sickness possible.”

Miracle Principle #25: Miracles are part of an interlocking chain of forgiveness which, when completed, is the Atonement. Atonement works all the time and in all the dimensions of time. … a bit later in Chapter 1, III.9 it says, “Miracles are selective only in the sense that they are directed towards those who can use them for themselves. Since this makes it inevitable that they will extend them to others, a strong chain of Atonement is welded.”

Miracle Principle #26: Miracles represent freedom from fear. “Atoning” means “undoing.” The undoing of fear is an essential part of the Atonement value of miracles.

“ … the Atonement, which is the natural profession of the children of God, is the purpose [of miracles].” T-1.III.1:10

Jesus says in Chapter 1, “I am in charge of the process of Atonement, which I undertook to begin.” Read III. Atonement and Miracles for complete version.

“I am the only one who can perform miracles indiscriminately, because I am the Atonement. You have a role in the Atonement which I will dictate to you. Ask me which miracles you should perform. This spares you needless effort, because you will be acting under direct communication. The impersonal nature of the miracle is an essential ingredient, because it enables me to direct its application, and under my guidance miracles lead to the highly personal experience of revelation.” T-1.III.4

The Atonement is the only defense that cannot be used destructively because it is not a device you made. The Atonement principle was in effect long before the Atonement began. The principle was love and the Atonement was an act of love. Acts were not necessary before the separation, because belief in space and time did not exist. It was only after the separation that the Atonement and the conditions necessary for its fulfillment were planned. Then a defense so splendid was needed that it could not be misused, although it could be refused. Refusal could not, however, turn it into a weapon of attack, which is the inherent characteristic of other defenses. The Atonement thus becomes the only defense that is not a two-edged sword. It can only heal. ~T-2.II.4 read the rest of II. The Atonement as Defense

Chapter 9: The Acceptance of the Atonement

M-22. How are Healing and Atonement Related? “Accept Atonement and you are healed. Atonement is the word of God.”

People like to break the word “Atonement” into “at one ment,” but Ken Wapnick always protests strongly against this. His reasoning is that when we accept the Atonement for ourselves, we reach a state of at One ment which is the Unity of God’s Mind. In the meantime, Atonement is a tool and a reminder that Christianity distorted this idea and turned Atonement (and salvation) into punitive devices. Under the Holy Spirit’s guidance, we use Atonement as a loving Correction, the one “defense” that never harms because it is the Love principle–the reminder that the ego dream of separation has never actually occurred.

“Salvation is recognition that an error has been made. Atonement is acceptance the error has been corrected.” ~Helen Gordon, ACIM teacher, There’s Nothing Going On But Your Thoughts

What Is Easter, Really?

heart waterEaster, according to A Course in Miracles, is a purification of our thoughts.  Not in a sinful, guilty, watch-what-you-think way, but as a way to clear your mind.  In ACIM, Jesus offers us a mind training, which is another way of saying purification.

Lesson 151 mentions Eastertide and explains that purified thoughts lead to resurrection.  In Chapter 6, Jesus tells us, “Your resurrection is your reawakening. … rebirth itself is merely the dawning on your mind of what is already in it.  God placed it there Himself, and so it is true forever.”  As we clear the mind of false beliefs (that is, purify our thoughts), we uncover our true Identity, which is formless, infinite and eternal, without the need for crucifixion or human death. Remember, “The body neither lives nor dies, because it cannot contain you who are life.” (T-6.V.A.1:4)

Miracle principle #7 states, “Miracles are everyone’s right, but purification is necessary first.” Purification, in the Course, is a synonym for forgiveness. When we practice forgiveness, we discover that the Holy Spirit removes “all faith that you have placed in pain, disaster, suffering and loss.  He gives you vision which can look beyond these grim appearances, and can behold the gentle face of Christ in all of them.”  The gentle face of Christ is “the great symbol of forgiveness.” (C-3.4:5)  “Seeing” the face of Christ has to do with insight, not eyesight.  It is spiritual vision–the recognition that within, under and behind every form in the world of form lies formless Truth.

But, you have to give Him your belief in pain, disaster, suffering and loss.  This is both the purification process and the practical application of forgiveness–giving your thoughts to the Holy Spirit.  No rituals are necessary; no fasting, no self-punishing atonement.  All that is necessary is the willingness to follow Guidance, to think differently, to change your mind.  Clear directions as to how to do this are all throughout the Course, especially in the 365 lessons found in its Workbook for Students.  Helen Schucman once complained to Jesus that his course did not work!  He asked her to be honest about whether she was actually applying its principles.  Purification can only occur if we actually use the ACIM practices :)

Last but not least, let’s be clear that ACIM is a mind training–not brainwashing–program.  We chose to dream a dream of bodies and brains.  Mind training undoes the sticky attachment to the dreamer of this dream, to the ego’s hypnosis that you are a person.  Jesus says in the Course, “The message of the crucifixion is perfectly clear: Teach only love, for that is what you are.“  It is not the personal self that is teaching love.  It is opening the mind to God’s Thought and allowing It to move through what seems to be “you” at this point in your undoing that produces miracles by practicing forgiveness and results in recognizing Who you already are.  That is the Joyful outcome of the ACIM purification process.

Happy Easter!

water crown

Previous Easter posts from The Unlearning Classroom are:  From Crucifixion to Resurrection and It’s Easter–Time to Wake Up!

If you need help practicing the Workbook lessons from A Course in Miracles, sign up for my online class, Workin’ the Workbook.

Copyright © 2014 Amy Torres.  All rights reserved worldwide.

Practice Should Not Be Perfect

A Course in Miracles has an entire Workbook for Students which guides us through 365 days of spiritual practice. Let’s look closely at Lesson 95 which takes particular care in describing how to practice. Once we have reached this lesson, we must be almost four months into our Workbook study. We are told that five minutes of every hour has special advantages at this stage of learning due to our human tendency to let the mind wander. Jesus knows we need mind training because we lack mental discipline. We are forgetful and distracted. So short, structured, and frequent practice periods set us up for success.

Working with Lesson 95, we are advised to use the first five minutes of each waking hour to affirm, “I am one Self, united with my Creator.” We are cultivating a state of mind in which there is no doubt that this is true, saying with all the certainty we can give, “I am one Self, united with my Creator, at one with every aspect of creation, and limitless in power and in peace.” Then, with eyes closed, we say, slowly and thoughtfully, letting the meaning of the words sink deeply into our mind, “I am one Self.” Repeat this several times and feel the meaning of the words penetrate and saturate the mind, “I… am… one… Self.”

We are specifically told that if we forget or are unable to do our practice not to let this be a temptation to quit. “This should… merely be recognized as what it is; a refusal to let your mistake be corrected, and an unwillingness to try again…. The Holy Spirit is not delayed in His teaching by your mistakes. He can be held back only by your unwillingness to let them go. Let us be determined… to be willing to forgive ourselves for our lapses in diligence, and our failures to follow the instructions for practicing the day’s idea…. When you fail to comply with the requirements of this course, you have merely made a mistake. This calls for correction, and for nothing else.”

The ability to tolerate our human imperfection and strengthen our allegiance to the Holy Spirit’s correction is what the Workbook practice is really all about. The practice is about choosing again-choosing God’s Guidance. The practice is about loosening our grip on the ego as savior-undoing our attachment to our personal story and treasured wounds. The practice is about developing a positive obsession with God and running eagerly to practice every hour with a sense of joy and expectancy that we will be greeted with our Father’s Love and swept into His arms joyously.

Spiritual practice, whether it’s A Course in Miracles or any other path, is about becoming Mind-full of God’s Presence all day long and through our sleeping dreams as well. It’s not about ritualistically, superstitiously, and mindlessly repeating words–but if this is the best we can do for now, that is better than mindlessly worrying and fixating over the same old problems. If we try to perfectionistically control our spiritual practice, then we’re playing God instead of accepting His Guidance. For practice to make perfect, we have to be willing to connect to God’s Will and experience His Perfection.

If you need help practicing the Workbook lessons from A Course in Miracles, sign up for my online class, Workin’ the Workbook.

Copyright © 2014 Amy Torres.  All rights reserved worldwide.