Undoing the Ego

Coming Apart at the “Seems”

A Course in Miracles tells us that everything we think we see is an illusion.  It says there is no world, there are no bodies, and life as we know it is merely a dream.  Grasping this intellectually is the first gulp. After we swallow, we still need to digest this sublime wisdom.

One simple and effective way of digesting this is what I call coming apart at the “seems,” a play on “coming apart at the seams.”  It’s a spiritual way of falling apart which, paradoxically, reveals that you actually have it Together.

Who we areLet’s look at several instances of “seems” from the Course:

In Lesson 6: I am upset because I see something that is not there, we are told, “Today’s idea is useful for application to anything that seems* to upset you, and can profitably be used throughout the day for that purpose.”

Lesson 8 gives us a practice, “I seem to be thinking about [name of a person], about [name of an object], about [name of an emotion]. But my mind is preoccupied with past thoughts.”  Lesson 9 calmly points out, “It is difficult for the untrained mind to believe that what it seems* to picture is not there.”

In Chapter 31 we read, “Whatever form temptation seems* to take, it always but reflects a wish to be a self that you are not.”

Lesson 68: Love holds no grievances, begins with this:  “You who were created by love like itself can hold no grievances and know your Self. To hold a grievance is to forget who you are. To hold a grievance is to see yourself as a body. To hold a grievance is to let the ego rule your mind and to condemn the body to death. Perhaps you do not yet fully realize just what holding grievances does to your mind. It seems* to split you off from your Source and make you unlike Him.”

After practicing Course principles for some time, my language changed to include the word “seems” on a regular basis.  It was the outcome of mind training.  For example, I would tell myself,

“I seem to be upset that my phone bill is outrageously high!”

“I seem to be angry that my yoga practice seems to keep throwing my back out.”

“The hurricane warnings seem to be scaring me because I still haven’t gotten flood insurance.”

“I seem to be a person and my body seems to have a stomach ache.”

“The world seems very real and the atrocities occurring in it seem highly disturbing.”

This one word “seems” had a potent ability to tune me in to my Inner Teacher.  “Seems” changed everything.  “Seems” slowed my thought process down and provided holy instants of illumination.  Light streamed through the reasons I thought I was upset and unveiled that I’m never upset for the reason I think (see Lesson 5).  “Seems” allowed me to see that I was defaulting to the ego as my teacher.  Then it became easy to choose again–choose the memory of God within me (the Holy Spirit) as my Guide.

In Chapter 5, Jesus tells us, “The Holy Spirit has the task of undoing what the ego has made.”  You and I do not have to undo anything. We can leave undoing to the Holy Spirit. But we do have to choose to follow His Guidance.

open head w mechanical parts“Undoing” means uprooting the ego thought system.  This naturally leads to seeing through ego illusions to the Truth.  The ego thought system thrives on holding grievances. We do not have to try not to hold grievances. We simply need to become aware that we have chosen a “grievance” state of mind.  Once we realize that we are the dreamer of the ego dream of separation, and that grievances, guilt, fear, and punishment perpetuate the dream, then we can choose another teacher, the Holy Spirit, to undo our attachment to grievances.

Coming apart at the “seems,” for me, is the Holy Spirit’s undoing of “Amy.” Several years ago it came to me that I was thinning away, like the heel of a threadbare sock. The Course puts it this way:

“By focusing on the good in him, the body grows decreasingly persistent in your sight, and will at length be seen as little more than just a shadow circling round the good.” (T-31.VII.3:3)

This is one of the happy outcomes of coming apart at the seams. As Shawn Colvin sings in her song, Round of Blues, “it’s a new breakthrough, it’s an old breakdown.” If you’re sick and tired of your old breakdown, let’s have a new breakthrough together by coming apart at the “seems” :)   To the ego this is terrifying, but when you allow yourself to move your attention from the ego to the Holy Spirit, you find merciful detachment from this convincing, but false, terror.  Freedom awaits.

A Course in Miracles gives us concrete tools to apply to this seemingly material world while we believe we’re in it.  If you’re ready to join me in coming apart at the “seems,” please feel free to insert “seems” into every situation and emotion in your life that seems to be upsetting you.  And let me know how it goes.  I’d love to hear from you.

*Emphasis mine

You may also enjoy How to Take Yourself Less Personally.  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.

A Clean Slate 2016

It’s the first day of a new year — a clean slate.  clean slate with eraser

A clean slate is full of promise … and can be daunting, especially if you have tried and failed in the past.  So let’s apply the Course principle that there is no past, right now. Interestingly, the past and feeling guilty go hand in hand.

If you are willing to reassess a past failure as a worthy attempt, your heart is uplifted rather than downcast.  When your heart lifts, the chains of time are momentarily undone and the holy instant purifies your mind as you enjoy a glimpse of Heaven.  Maybe you have not paid enough attention when your heart lifts. Here’s your chance.

Say aloud, “On this clean slate let my true function be written for me.” and take a full inhale and exhale.  If your heart lifts, breathe through that feeling, enjoying it fully.  This connects you with your Inner Teacher, the Holy Spirit, the bridge to God.

If your heart sinks, know that you are feeling guilty in some way, and allow yourself to know more about what this sinking feeling represents. Don’t avoid it — plumb the depths with your trusty partner, the Holy Spirit, your Friend and Comforter.

As you become aware of the upsetting, disturbing, enraging, terrifying, shameful and destructive thoughts and feelings that result in your downcast heart, give them to the Holy Spirit.  Have a conversation with Him/Her.  Report your thoughts and describe your feelings aloud, giving each one to your Friend, your Inner Light, which cannot help but shine away inner darkness if you expose it in this way.

Now 2016 is truly a clean slate!

The phrase “a clean slate” is used in the audacious Lesson 65: My only function is the one God gave me.  Lesson 65 “offers you escape from all your perceived difficulties. It places the key to the door of peace, which you have closed upon yourself, in your own hands. It gives you the answer to all the searching you have done since time began.”

We’re getting a little ahead of ourselves, if you began the Workbook on Lesson 1 today. But the truth is, any lesson can take you all the way Home if you surrender to it fully. That’s why I sometimes refer to every lesson as “Lesson One” because essentially they are all the same.

Happy Clean Slate!

Copyright © 2016 Amy Torres. All rights reserved worldwide.

Mooji: Thunderbolts of Truth and Blessings to ACIM Students

“At a certain stage it will stop seeming auspicious to be a person. It’s a kind of grace that few will appreciate.” ~Mooji

On a rainy Saturday in October, with a feeling of baptism in the air, Mooji met with me in the breathtaking Ramakrishna Yurt which is perched on the edge of a precipice and has a view that silences the ego mind instantly.

Sri Mooji is a true Master, the living Christ, and points to the simple truth that you are, also. If you desire the deepest Truth, this video is for you. Mooji and I speak about Course concepts and his insights reverberate like thunderbolts! See for yourself.

You may also enjoy the conversation Bill Free and I had on his new internet radio show, Pure Presence.  If you missed it live, here’s the link: https://www.unity.fm/episode/PurePresence_100215

Copyright © 2015 Amy Torres. All rights reserved worldwide.

 

Six Messages Straight from the Holy Spirit

stairway to heavenImagine you are climbing a ladder to Heaven, rung by rung. Each rung gleams more resplendently as you draw nearer and nearer to Heavenly Light. The Holy Spirit is not shining brighter – you are drawing nearer as His Magnetism becomes irresistible. And when you reach the top you realize there is no individual “you”…   Enlightenment!

A Course in Miracles offers a workbook practice to help you reach Enlightenment.  The practice reconnects you with your Internal Teacher, the Holy Spirit.  This connection changes everything.  As you follow Spirit Guidance you are liberated from fear and empowered by Love.  But … sticking with this guidance can be tricky, as the ego may very well kick up a fuss as it senses its ultimate demise.

oval blue doveThis is why the Holy Spirit offers some very clear recommendations so you can stay on-track.  As you stick with Spirit, you develop more focus, faith and trust in your own experience which then strengthens your connection to the Truth which is already in your mind.  Here are some basic recommendations from the Holy Spirit as given by Jesus in ACIM:

Recommendations Straight from the Holy Spirit

★ Develop the good habit of practicing your workbook lesson as close to awakening, and going to sleep, as possible.

★ There is also a purification process involved, so it’s natural to experience unpleasant side effects at times. But remember, when swimming pools are disinfected, first the muddy, murky sludge that has gathered at the bottom is churned up to the surface. Only after the filter has been going for a while does the water become clear. In the same way, you are cleansed and purified through the workbook practice. After a while fear and darkness dissolve, and all that remains is the loving light You Really Are.

★ All the workbook lessons should be done in an unhurried manner. A comfortable sense of leisure is essential. With our busy lives, this often seems impossible. But if you ask the Holy Spirit to help you find the time, He will give you that miracle. After all, we’re told at the very beginning of the ACIM Text, in the 50 miracle principles, that miracles collapse time. They are nothing if not practical!

★ As you practice the idea for the day, use it totally indiscriminately. Do not attempt to apply it to everything you see, for these exercises should not become ritualistic. Only be sure that nothing you see is specifically excluded. One thing is like another as far as the application of the idea is concerned. This is important because it impresses on the mind the first miracle principle: “There is no order of difficulty in miracles.” When this becomes real to us, there is nothing else to do but naturally and effortlessly spend our lives extending miracles.

★ “The curriculum is highly individualized, and all aspects are under the Holy Spirit’s particular care and guidance.” ACIM, M-29. Isn’t it comforting and inspiring to know that the Holy Spirit is working with you individually?*

★ Open to the Holy Spirit’s guidance and feel His power surging Life and Love into you. Doing the workbook practice is like plugging in your cell phone – a powerful energy is charging you up! And there will be signs to boost your confidence along the way.

* There will come a day when you realize that you were working with the Holy Spirit, not He with you.  He helps you awaken to Reality, not dream a better dream.  When you choose His guidance, you are choosing against illusions and enlightenment is recognized as always here, always true. “The Holy Spirit must work through you to teach you He is in you.  This is an intermediary step towards the knowledge that you are in God because you are part of Him.” (T-7.IV.2:1-2)

For a long time, it seems as if your path is your own – very personal and filled with unique experiences. It is your particular set of experiences, relationships and understandings. This is because first you must become your self, and that readies you to realize your Self.  “A tiny moment of surprise, perhaps, will make you pause before you realize the world you see before you in the light reflects the truth you knew, and did not quite forget in wandering away in dreams.” (W-131: No one can fail who seeks to reach the truth.)

Now try it again: Imagine you are climbing a ladder to Heaven, rung by rung. Each rung gleams more resplendently as you draw nearer and nearer to Heavenly Light.  The Holy Spirit is not shining brighter – you are drawing nearer. And when you reach the top you realize there is no individual “you”… Enlightenment!

WtW Lauren crisp n clear

Workin’ the Workbook (WtW) is an online class that helps structure, clarify and support your Course in Miracles Workbook practice.  WtW also helps you persevere and stick with all 365 lessons. Many people quit before completing the Workbook and don’t get to experience the rewards of choosing the Holy Spirit rather than the ego.

You can begin at any lesson — start with Lesson 1 or resume where you left off.  The price is $37 a month (just a bit more than a dollar a day) and no one is turned away due to lack of funds (email me at miracles@amytorresacim.com to ask about scholarships).  The classroom is open to you for as long as it takes to finish all 365 lessons.

Let’s practice together!  Click here for more information and to sign-up for Workin’ the Workbook, my online class which supports the ACIM Workbook practice.  

 

Copyright © 2014 Amy Torres. All rights reserved worldwide.

Ask Amy: Tears of Joy

Guy QuestionQ:  I don’t know if my heart is being touched by God or if I am going nuts. I cry all through the day. There is no sadness, just a deep compassion and love present. This has been going on for a while now. I read A Course in Miracles and I cry. I hear beautiful words in my head that do not seem to be my own and I cry. I feel drawn to sit out in nature and see beauty all around me and I cry. What is going on with me?

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAA: The ego loves to say, “I don’t know” and “what if I am going nuts” to keep you endlessly distracted from, as you so nicely put it, your heart being touched by God. In ACIM, Jesus tells us in no uncertain terms, “The ego is insane.” (W-pII.12.2:1) and assures us, “The Holy Spirit will restore your sanity because insanity is not the will of God.” (T-13.XI.7:4)

Within your question is the answer to your question. Here are the telltale signs that you are having the best kind of meltdown:

* There is no sadness. Tears without sadness are joyful tears of awakening. The ACIM Text informs us, “There is no sadness where a miracle has come to heal.” (T-27.V.4:1)

* There is deep compassion and love present (holy qualities of your true Self). “In your heart the Heart of God is laid. He holds you dear, because you are Himself.” (W-197)

* There is constancy (you say, “this has been going on for a while”) rather than egoic roller coaster emotions or debilitating mood swings. God’s Mind is Changeless.

* You are moved by beauty and seeing beauty in everything. “This loveliness is not a fantasy. It is the real world, bright and clean and new, with everything sparkling under the open sun.” (T-17.II.2:1-2)

* You are recognizing your inner wisdom (as you read A Course in Miracles). “This course removes all doubts which you have interposed between Him and your certainty of Him.” (W-165)

* You are receiving beautiful words that do not seem to be your own. “Only God’s holy children are worthy channels of His beautiful joy, because only they are beautiful enough to hold it by sharing it.” (T-5.Intro)

Chronic crying without relief or resolution is very different than what you are describing. In your case, it sounds like you are open enough at this point in your spiritual unfolding to experience tears of joy.

Spiritually, tears of joy are a spontaneous recognition of your true Self. You are literally overflowing with love, compassion, and appreciation. These tears are Grace moving through you, purifying you, uplifting you, and confirming your true Nature. Not only is your heart being touched by God, you are discovering you are within the Heart of God.

This joyful crying is still an experience – a phase in your awakening. You do not have to wonder how long it will last, or try to recapture it if it ceases. Spiritual experiences are markers on the path, not a goal in and of themselves. You are well on your way to full awakening and God is in charge now.

For those of you who would like to be guided into this “tears of joy” state of Mind, Lessons 261 – 270 offer this experience.

This Q&A appears in the Ask Amy column from the Sept-Oct 2015 issue of Miracles magazine.  Miracles is a well-loved staple in the ACIM community.  For a subscription, email Jon@miraclesmagazine.org or call 845-496-9089.  To ask Amy a question, email miracles (at) amytorresacim (dot) com

Copyright © 2015 Amy Torres. All rights reserved worldwide.

Reasons to Keep Faith Even If You Don’t Hear God

The reason people get terribly discouraged when they pray and don’t hear God is because it seems as if God is not answering them. In order to keep faith, we have to open our minds to the idea that just because we believe “God doesn’t care about me” or “God doesn’t exist” doesn’t mean it’s true.

Here are five reasons to keep faith even though, right now, you think you can’t hear God:

1. God hears you even if you don’t hear Him.

In How You Can Talk With God, Paramahansa Yogananda tells us, “The trouble is not with Him, but with us. Our intuitive telephonic system is out of order. God is calling us and speaking to us, but we do not hear Him.” Even if you are convinced that God has not heard you because you specifically asked, and even begged, for something and did not get it, all that proves is that you were directing God to do what you thought best — rather than asking God for His guidance. We have to remain open to the possibility that what we think is best is not necessarily so. Our solutions may not be the Answer. Extend a little willingness to trust that God has heard you, even if you haven’t heard His reply – yet.

2. You have your fingers in your ears.

We don’t realize that we are deliberately plugging up our hearing, which, of course, interferes with receiving God’s messages to us. In order to hear God, whose call is there for us continuously, all day and all night long, we need to open ourselves to Him by releasing our desires, longings, and demands. The way to do this is to give everything to God. When we give God our desires, our wishes, our fears and sorrows, our resentments and jealousies, we are releasing blockages which clear our “ears” and makes it possible to “hear” Him.

3. Your eyes are closed.

A Course in Miracles tells us, “You believe that what your physical eyes cannot see does not exist. This leads to a denial of spiritual sight.” Many spiritual paths speak of a third eye. Located in the space between the eyebrows is the sixth chakra, the energy center of enlightened vision, which brings the body’s eyes together into one single eye — a spiritual eye which gives us God’s Vision. God speaks to us with symbols. It may be an inner voice, or visions, or a coincidence which is more than coincidence. Open your mind and ears and eyes will start to reveal Him to you. You can google “spiritual eye meditation” to find a specific exercise to help you open your spiritual eye.

4. You are asleep.

In the bible, the Adam and Eve story tells us that Adam fell into a deep sleep, but nowhere does it say that he awoke from this sleep. Again, more than one spiritual path tells us that this world is a dream or an illusion. A common reason that we think we can’t hear God is that we are in a deep, hypnotic sleep, utterly convinced that our dream is reality, when actually God is a reality beyond our human comprehension.

A compelling paragraph from A Course in Miracles states, “You are at home in God, dreaming of exile but perfectly capable of awakening to reality. Is it your decision to do so? You recognize from your own experience that what you see in dreams you think is real while you are asleep. Yet the instant you waken you realize that everything that seemed to happen in the dream did not happen at all. You do not think this strange, even though all the laws of what you awaken to were violated while you slept. Is it not possible that you merely shifted from one dream to another, without really waking?”

The question becomes, how can we awaken, and in that awakening hear what God has been whispering in our sleepy ear the entire time? There are many ways. One is to quiet the mind through meditation. Another is to ask God to guide us in His way without setting our own agenda. The main thing is to listen receptively.

5. Your seeds are germinating underground.

God is Love Itself, and you are God’s child. Trust that any time you turn to God that you are developing a relationship with Him. He is aware of you always. You are just learning how to recognize His communication, which comes in many varied forms and symbols. Every time you turn to God you plant a seed of love in the ground. They are germinating. The buds will poke out from the earth and start to rise toward heaven — your seeds will blossom. Let yourself believe this and you will find that God’s Voice was with you all along.

These are five reasons to keep faith even though you can’t hear God in this moment. Open your heart, open your mind, and let God surprise you. When we think too much we block our ability to receive God’s Thoughts. Try to relax, be it meditating, cleaning the house, fishing, or taking a bath – something calming that takes you out of your worried thoughts, and chances are better that God will reveal Himself in the very moment you least expect it.

You may also enjoy Five Steps to Cultivating Your Relationship with the Holy Spirit.  If you would like coaching to help you tune in to God, I am available for spiritual guidance. Just email miracles@amytorresacim.com

Copyright © 2011 Amy Torres. All rights reserved worldwide.

The Value of Great Listening Skills

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!” and 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.

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, “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 and we don’t have to be mini-Gods and fix everyone’s problems by jumping in and talking too much or too soon. 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 © Amy Torres 2011

The Challenge of Physical Pain and Disability

One of the challenges expressed during the recent Weekend of Freedom Retreat was the issue of pain and physical Skull Firedisabilities.  This deserves more attention and clarification than we had time for over the weekend.  It is also relevant to many, many people.  So let’s look more closely at how the ego consumes us with fear about pain and physical disabilities, and how to douse the flames of this ego fire.

Mooji smilingContemporary mystic Mooji asks, “Are you suffering your experience or experiencing your suffering?”

When you suffer your experience, you are identified with pain and helplessness.  Not only is your mind focused on the unpleasantness of what you are feeling, it is also fearing the future and imagining the worst possible outcomes.

When you experience your suffering, there is detachment from pain, helplessness and future outcomes.  There is also a knowing that all is well no matter what your circumstances.  You rest in God.  Having placed yourself in His Hands, the body is now used for His Purpose, as a communication link tuned in to His Channel.  Pain may be felt as sensation, in varying intensities, but when unidentified with, it loses its psychological power.

Physical pain may seem different from psychological pain, but it is actually a variation on psychological pain.  From A Course in Miracles perspective, all pain boils down to psychological pain.  It is the meaning you assign to pain that makes it seem real, important, and a valid distraction from finding out Who you really are.  If you use pain as a reminder to turn to God, it can be an accelerated path to awakening!  Ego will tell you that the pain is all-consuming and overwhelming, but the clue that this is not true is that unless you are unconscious, no matter how agonizing the pain, it is observed.  This Observer is the Holy Spirit, your Inner Teacher, Who is always here for you to choose instead of the ego.

violet lightI am not minimizing your physical experience; I am empowering you by inviting you to turn your attention away from righteous immersion in the pain and back to your Source.  Again, you may protest that you want to turn your attention away but you cannot.  This is why I use the word “righteous.”  Righteousness may be disguised as helplessness or self-pity, but it is really a way of maintaining ego identity.

You may also feel ashamed or guilty about no longer being physically healthy and independent.  This, too, is the ego talking.   There is no greater power than God and when you depend on Him, He will assuage your fears about human dependencies.  Many enlightened masters encountered physical pain and suffering as part of their karma.  Ramana Maharshi and Nisargadatta Maharaj both died of cancer, as did Helen Schucman.  Don’t cop out by telling yourself that you are no enlightened master.  Jesus tells us in the Course that we are no different than he, “There is nothing about me that you cannot attain.” (T-1.II)

Remember, the most meaningful prayer is to request to recognize what you already are — not a request for physical healing.  Use the ACIM forgiveness practice to give all pain to the Holy Spirit.  This empties you of false personal identity and restores the connection with your true Self.  The natural outcome is Peace and Freedom no matter what the condition of the body.

yogi jcJesus tells us in Chapter 9, “An individual may ask for physical healing because he is fearful of bodily harm.  At the same time, if he were healed physically, the threat to his thought system might be considerably more fearful to him than its physical expression.  In this case he is not really asking for release from fear, but for removal of the symptom that he himself selected.  This request is, therefore, not for healing at all.”  It may be hard to swallow that you selected your symptoms, but Jesus means this in the general sense that we all chose to believe we are separate from God.

He goes on to say, “The Bible emphasizes that all prayer is answered, and this is indeed true.  The very fact that the Holy Spirit has been asked for anything will ensure a response.  Yet it is equally certain that no response given by Him will ever be one that would increase fear.  It is possible that His answer will not be heard.  It is impossible, however, that it will be lost.  There are many answers you have already received but have not yet heard.  I assure you that they are waiting for you.“*

The body has an expiration date.  This is inevitable.  The pain and dysfunction of the body can go on for many years before that date arrives.  The ego uses the time-body to testify that pain is real.  The Holy Spirit uses the body for the purpose of awakening.  Which do you prefer?

Once you choose the Holy Spirit as your guide, pain is tranformed.  It may still be there, but as you give it to your Father, it is used for a healing purpose.  The pain in your body is not only yours.  It is a human condition shared by many!  Be a living demonstration of grace under pressure by surrendering to the Holy Spirit’s guidance.  Not only will you be used as a conduit for miracles, you will awaken to Who You truly are.  In this way, you will discover that all is well.

thank you beachFew do it, but it is possible to say “thank you” to pain and physical disabilities.  This “thank you” is a grateful surrender to not knowing anything; in the big picture this pain may be seen very differently than you do now.  Perhaps it is the motivator that forces you to your knees and helps you complete your awakening.  Perhaps it breaks through complacency and personal identity.  If good health had motivated you, you wouldn’t be intimidated physical health issues now.  Therefore, now is a perfect time to open your mind to hearing the answers to your prayers which are waiting for you to receive them!  Let me know how it goes (email miracles (at) amytorresacim (dot com)

* * * * *

For more on illness and the body, please visit https://www.facebook.com/ACIMBodyImage.  Also, You may also benefit from reading Ego says, “You need me.”

*  Emphasis mine.

Copyright © 2015 Amy Torres. All rights reserved worldwide.

 

Ego says, “You need me!”

Are you ready to be ego-free?  It is possible.  You must look within, but the ego will tell you this is a very bad idea :) dont look under the bed

Ego says, “You need me!  How will you function without me?  Who will you be without me?  Without me, you will lose your loved ones, your income, your pleasures, life itself!”   Are you still falling for that? 

Let’s get something straight:

miracle sparklesYou are Life.  You are Love.  You are Innocence.  You are Infinite.  You are Timeless.  In this recognition, all worldly problems recede and are resolved in the brief interval you remain in the body to Shine on your brothers and accept the reflection beamed back to you.  This is your function as the light of the world. (W-61, W-62, W-65 and countless more references throughout the Course.)

Jesus tells us in an early chapter of A Course in Miracles, “Because I am always with you, you are the way, the truth and the life.  You did not make this power, any more than I did.”  Take this statement to heart!  Trust …

He goes on to say that the memory of God is within us and, “It is our function to remember Him on earth, as it is given us to be His Own completion in reality.”  Yes, you are God’s Completion.  Do not accept the predictable ego tirade about how you are not worthy or capable or maybe someday after countless lifetimes but not now.

Jesus comforts us that we do not have to repeat his extreme experience of crucifixion saying, “The Holy Spirit is glad whenJesus Hand you can learn from mine, and be reawakened by them.”  This is bad news for the ego, which does crucify you every single day that you allow it — the crucifixion looks different in the 21st century, but all torment boils down to psychological torment.

Though the body of Jesus was on the cross, Jesus’ God-Mind was not.  You, too, live within the Mind of God.  It is insanity to think you don’t; the ego self-concept is imagined with the Mind of God so “you” can’t somehow exist outside of God-Mind.  Just pay attention to what you think and what your senses show you.  As you develop personal self-awareness, little by little you stop taking yourself personally.  Eventually, you stop taking others personally.  Finally, self-awareness leads to Self-awareness.

In the ACIM Psychotherapy supplement, Jesus asks, “And what more transcendent aim can there be than to recall the way, the truth and the life, and to remember God?”  We could say “the way” is willingness to tune in to the Holy Spirit, your Inner Teacher.  We could say “the truth” is the empowerment that arises when communication with your Inner Teacher is established.  We could say “the life” is the realization that you are Bodiless, Identity-less Being — Unified, Un-conceptual, Image-less, Non-sensory.  Perception and projection completely undone reveals That Which You Are.

pink backgroundIf you would like to explore an ego-free life more deeply click here for info on private sessions with me or email me at miracles (at) amytorresacim (dot com)

Copyright © 2015 Amy Torres. All rights reserved worldwide.

 

Ask Amy: Death of Child

Guy QuestionQ: In a workshop, I heard you say that the loss of a child could be the best thing that ever happened. Initially I was shocked. I don’t see how a parent could ever think this, but being a Course student for five years, I keep an open mind. Can you explain?

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAA: Your question cuts to the quick, and therefore offers huge potential for healing. First, notice how ego changes what was said just a little bit, so little it seems inconsequential. The actual phrase used was, “Every moment, no exceptions, is the best moment of your life.” Ego distorts, misinterprets and misses the point – that’s its job. It does this to maintain its false identity.

Your open mind provides the space for the miracle. “It is to this unsealed and open mind that truth returns, unhindered and unbound.” (T-31.V.17:3) The “best moment” is a timeless moment. The timeless moment is what the Course calls a holy instant.

“The holy instant is this instant and every instant. … Delay it not. For beyond the past and future, where you will not find it, it stands in shimmering readiness for your acceptance.” (T-15.IV.1:3-8)

The holy instant reveals you are not the body but the One Eternal Formless Self. There is no pain or loss here. There is no memory here. There is no personal identity here. There is no “untimely death” here. Jesus tells us 20 times in the Course, “Brother, there is no death.” and who is better qualified to assure us of this than he?

To the ego, this is outrageous and heartless. When in the throes of grief, this may seem impossible to grasp. But this is the perfect time to rely on the Holy Spirit. Give Him your tears, your shattered dreams, your rage, your guilt, your agony. This clears a space to receive the miracles that surely follow. You may or may not recognize them, depending on the openness of your mind. Either way, healing occurs.

The ego believes in loss; the Holy Spirit reminds you that you are Whole. The ego declares you are form; the Holy Spirit reminds you that you are Spirit. The ego wants you to witness to form: obviously you are a body. Jesus witnesses to Content: obviously you and your child are deathless Life. “The holy instant is the Holy Spirit’s most useful learning device for teaching you love’s meaning. For its purpose is to suspend judgment entirely.” (T-15.V.1:1-2)

A Course in Miracles is about shifting from the human point of view, which we take for granted as the only point of view, to recognizing what you really are. You are not a person; you are Spirit. God is not other than you; God is your Self. This is revealed in the holy instant, which offers us glimpses of Timelessness. Glimpses eventually stabilize as Vision. The Holy Spirit uses time for holy instants until they culminate in the Atonement – the final undoing; the recognition that the separation never occurred.

“There may come a time when you thank God for your difficulties,” says the contemporary mystic, Mooji, “because that pain led you to God.” The death of a child can be viewed as a devastating tragedy or an opportunity to awaken.

Please feel free to continue this inquiry with me; more questions may arise as your contemplation deepens.

Recommended Reading: Self-Concept versus Self (T-31.V); The Holy Instant and Special Relationships (T-15.V); The Bridge to the Real World (T-16.VI); This Is the Best Moment of Your Life by Amy Torres

This Q&A appears in the Ask Amy column from the Sept-Oct 2015 issue of Miracles magazine.  Miracles is a well-loved staple in the ACIM community.  For a subscription, email Jon@miraclesmagazine.org or call 845-496-9089.  To ask Amy a question, email miracles (at) amytorresacim (dot) com

Copyright © 2015 Amy Torres. All rights reserved worldwide.