Undoing the Ego

The Ignition of Love by Stuart Schwartz

Timeless Sky Satsang w Stuart
Breath is
 the ignition of consciousness,
a gift of love
Feel the open lightness
of possibility with no need
to shift anything
No matter what
circumstances life presents,
your nature precedes
in perfection
Just as when you
turn your car key,
power roars
 You are the power
before cognition assumes
control
and steers you around
Back up, don’t pass over
 the joy of oneness
Breathe in
the gift of love
~~~
Thank you for giving me permission to publish your poem, Stuart!  For more poetry from Stuart Schwartz click here: http://www.satsangwithstuart.com/writings/poetry/

Receiving Is Giving

It used to be easier for me to give than to receive. There were rewards for giving. People were happy when I gave them what they wanted–be it a cup of tea, a comforting hug, a pep talk, some sympathy, money, loaning my car, etc. And I felt needed, useful.

However, after studying A Course in Miracles for a while (along with 12-step work and psychotherapy), I began to realize that giving on human terms was supporting conditional love rather than unconditional love. It was also enabling me to maintain control rather than developing faith in relying on my Inner Teacher.

“The bringer of miracles has need that you receive them first, and thus become the joyous giver of what you have received.” W-192

In the above quote, the “bringer of miracles” refers to the Holy Spirit, your Inner Teacher. Miracle principle #5, at the very beginning of the Text, states that miracles “should be involuntary. They should not be under conscious control.”  This is because miracles are being channeled through you by the Holy Spirit when you open to His joyous guidance.

As long as you select and direct who you love, who you are nice to, who you are generous with, who you pray for and what kind of healing you want, you are allowing the ego to play god instead of relaxing into God’s plan for salvation. God’s plan is communicated to you and through you when you allow yourself to receive the Love, Peace and Joy which is your true nature by opening as a clear conduit for miracles.

You cannot do this if you are constantly giving.  Constant giving is controlling and lacks humility.  It is busy egoic action and ultimately remains divisive and limiting.  You must open to receive what the Holy Spirit has to give you with no agenda whatsoever.  This is the path to an ongoing flow of miracles.  And remember, miracles are not for human gratification.  The purpose of miracles is to remind you of Who you really are–Spirit.

To hear more on this topic, tune in to my discussion on “Giving Is Receiving,” on Saturday, October 18th at 10 am EST, when Corinne Zupko interviews me.  To register and for more info, see Upcoming Events in the right hand column, or click here: http://amytorresacim.com/wordpress/miracleshare-virtual-conference-2014/

AmyQuote

Copyright © 2014 Amy Torres. All rights reserved worldwide.

Gaze on your Self

My Sufi teacher told me I had the penetrating gaze
I turned this gaze on many and it helped them dissolve

One day the Inner Voice imparted,
“Turn this gaze on your Self.”

The Beacon of Light annihilated all that was-not
And what remains simply Is

Copyright © 2014 Amy Torres. All rights reserved worldwide.

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.  The program was free for 48 hours.  If you missed it, it’s available to purchase.  Just click the box that says Allowing the Miracle, and scroll down until you see Amy Torres, Miracles in Insight and Intuition.

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.