Ask Amy

Ask Amy: Are You Spiritually Sponge-able?

Q: Can you explain more about how we need to use the body to undo our belief in the body?

A:  Spiritual sponge-ability is a whole new way of using your body.

Stay with me: sponges are porous and absorbent.  The spiritual law “giving is receiving” only works if you are also able to receive.

You must be able to sponge in God’s Love if you want a loving life.  Ask yourself:

  • Is your heart porous, in the sense that you’re able to receive and accept love?
  • Are your lungs porous? Are you able to inhale and exhale fully, enjoying the sensuality of your breath?
  • Are your muscles and interconnective tissue porous?  Can you feel energy humming and tingling through your torso?
  • Is your brain porous?  Is possible for you to allow your eyes to soften and melt back into your head, releasing your brain to float softly within your skull?

A Course in Miracles tells us, “…all sickness is mental illness….”*  So it is the mind which must be healed.  However, while you believe you are the body, Jesus advises that you ask the Holy Spirit to use the body for Her** divine purpose. This choice is crucial to your happiness, peace of mind, and ongoing sense of well being.

Up until now, you have probably been experiencing your body as flesh and blood — dense, contracted, possibly pain-riddled, and almost always not looking as good as you would like. You physically experience guilty feelings, heartache and body tension (often in the form of headaches and upper body pain such as TMJ, neck and shoulder tension, etc).

Probably no one has told you what the body feels like when it is free of excess tension, and is a free-flowing extension of God’s Will.  What does this mean?  When you allow the Holy Spirit to use the body for Her purpose you become a conduit for miracles. In other words, your body is experienced as an energetic transmitter of Loving Light.  God’s wisdom (you could say “good vibrations” or “energy”) runs through your body using it like a clear instrument. Your body becomes a hollow flute for God to play with His Fingers.

If you are sponge-able, you allow yourself to receive God’s formless, timeless Love, and then you effortlessly give that Love through your natural radiance.

If you are not sponge-able, you can give, give, give to the people around you and it’s still ego-driven. Giving without sponge-ability (the ability to receive) is just another form of ego control.

Sponge-ability connects your will with God’s Will.  You are illuminated with His Great Light, absorbing and squeezing out (to stick with our sponge metaphor) the radiant Great Rays that Great Light creates.

 

*ACIM supplement: Psychotherapy: Purpose, Process and Practice.

**I’m using the Divine Feminine to refer to the Holy Spirit, as modeled in the Hebrew version of ACIM (read Shekinah, Divine Feminine and the Holy Spirit).

Check out my series: How to Use the Body While You Think It’s You and http://facebook.com/acimbodyimage

Ask Amy: I Don’t Want to Reincarnate

Q: I think it’s likely that I will reincarnate because I have a lot of baggage and don’t see it getting all sorted out in this lifetime. Can you help me deal with the fear I have that I will reincarnate? I don’t want to come back here again, it’s been so painful and difficult.

A: There’s a parable called, “How Many Lifetimes Will It Take?”

Briefly paraphrased, in reply to a veteran meditator’s question as to how many lifetimes he has left before Enlightenment, God shows him a tree with three leaves on it. The man is terribly distressed that he has three more lives to go.

A new meditator, overhearing this, asks God how many lives she has left. God points to a tree with thousands of leaves on it. She runs up to the tree singing, “Thank you, God! Thank you, God!” As she dances round the tree, the leaves start falling from the branches until there are none left. She reaches Enlightenment then and there.

Clearly, her faith and gratitude are immensely powerful. But how to access faith and gratitude when feeling burdened, perhaps to the point of despair?

First, you may be comforted that A Course in Miracles says this about reincarnation, “There is no past or future, and the idea of birth into a body has no meaning either once or many times.” Therefore, “In the ultimate sense, reincarnation is impossible.” (M-24)

But even if the above statement offers you relief from the fear of returning to a future miserable human existence, it is not a solution, right? Because you’re still saddled with all the baggage that is too much to sort out in this lifetime. Jesus calls this our “personal repertory of horrors.” (W-14)

Guilt holds the ego in place like cement until we entertain the possibility that we can forgive and be forgiven. The way out of suffering is to investigate your suffering with Spirit. Being Witnessed compassionately is the antidote for fear, which thrives in secret.

As Sri Mooji says, “Step into the fire of self-discovery. This fire will not burn you. It will only burn what you are not.”

Second, sometimes anger can be redirected as a positive tool for overcoming fear. Rather than feeling hostile towards others, or beating yourself up, point the fire energy of anger at fear. You will gain some distance and detachment from fear; you will learn to tolerate feeling fear and yet carry on.

Best of all, you will assign new meaning to fear: it can be used as an alarm clock, alerting you each time you choose ego, and inviting you to choose again. Look within. Ask for Help. Listen, even briefly, for Guidance. Notice what happens. Read Physicians’ Untold Stories by Scott J. Kolbaba, MD to help you recognize the signs and signals you are being given.

Third, read and practice Lesson 14 in the ACIM Workbook.

Fourth, read Chapter 15, The Holy Instant, where Jesus acknowledges, “How bleak and despairing is the ego’s use of time! And how terrifying!” (T-15.I.6:1-2) and gives us an alternative:

“Begin to practice the Holy Spirit’s use of time as a teaching aid to happiness and peace. Take this very instant, now, and think of it as all there is of time. Nothing can reach you here out of the past, and it is here that you are completed absolved, completely free and wholly without condemnation. From this holy instant wherein holiness was born again you will go forth in time without fear….”

Follow these four steps and experience your faith strengthening, your gratitude increasing, and all dread dissolving in the light of Truth.

 

Ask Amy: Oneness in Anxiety

Guy QuestionQ:  My mom and I were “one in anxiety” during my childhood. Even though I am now 63 years old, I notice that there is a hidden benefit in anxiety because it protects my loved ones.  Ego says that if I stop feeling anxious, I will abandon my family. I am really afraid of what I might do if I feel better. Can you help me see this differently?

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAA:  Your question addresses a deep, underlying deception that the ego plays on all of us, one way or another. Your phrase “one in anxiety” is very insightful because the ego mimics and distorts basic truths, like Oneness, to use for its own fearful purpose of usurping God’s Love.

Now that you have uncovered this core belief, you have also exposed the ego’s strategy to use anxiety as a “protective” bond between you and family members. Perhaps your family members are chronic worriers, ruminating, complaining and commiserating about worldly dangers. Ego tells you that if you disrupt this foundation of family “security,” you may just abandon them entirely! What might you do if you abandon anxiety instead?

“If you want peace, you must abandon the teacher of attack. The Teacher of peace will never abandon you.” (T-14.XI.14:1-2)

The truth is that as you abandon the ego, your Inner Teacher illuminates your life. As you permit the Holy Spirit to enlighten you, trust and faith increases. You discover you cannot NOT love your family. You may limit your conversations or visits with them, your behavior may change, but the natural Love which is your essence (and theirs too, even if they don’t know it) must imbue all your relationships because Love is all-encompassing.

“The opposite of love is fear, but what is all-encompassing can have no opposite.” (T-Intro)

Share your fear and guilty feelings with the Holy Spirit. Hold nothing back. Explain you are afraid you will abandon your family entirely as you join with Him. Lean on Him; He is your Comforter and your Guide. As you trust your Inner Teacher, you will find you naturally follow Him. Following Spirit leads to miracles of release from the imprisoning thoughts which now bind you. Your family may remain exactly the same, but the shift in your perception will reveal we are all United, and that you can never abandon or harm another when your Source is One Love.

“The single vision which the Holy Spirit offers you will bring this oneness to your mind with clarity and brightness so intense you could not wish, for all the world, not to accept what God would have you have.” (T-14.VII.7:7)

This Q&A appears in the Ask Amy column from the Sept-Oct 2016 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.  Click here to purchase digital copies.  To ask Amy a question, email miracles (at) amytorresacim (dot) com

How to Use the Body While You Think It’s You

How to Use the Body While You Think It’s You was originally a workshop which I gave at  the “Who Are You Really?” Course in Miracles conference in Cleveland, Ohio in 2012. Little by little, it has grown into a library of articles, essays, video, a Facebook page and other stuff (as it keeps growing).

The topics (see list below) include how to use the body to practice forgiveness, facing fears about death, not having to have perfect body health to spiritually awaken, how falling apart can be the best thing you can do, and more.

Here are some tantalizing quotes about the body from A Course in Miracles:

“And you have done a stranger thing than you yet realize.  You have displaced your guilt to your body from your mind.”  ~T-18.VI.2:5-6

But luckily, ” … the body is a learning device for the mind.”  ~T-2.IV.3:1

So, “The body is beautiful or ugly, peaceful or savage, helpful or harmful, according to the use to which it is put.”  ~T-8.VII.4:3

Reassuringly, “Health is the result of relinquishing all attempts to use the body lovelessly.”  ~T-8.VIII.9:8

Last but not least, “The body is the means by which God’s Son returns to sanity.”  ~W-5. What Is the Body?

Topic List:

Are You Sponge-able?

Take Yourself Less Personally

The Purpose of the Body (essay) and The Purpose of the Body (video)

Death Is Just A Belief (essay) and A Happy Conversation About Death – Interview with Jon Mundy (video)

Coming Apart at the “Seems”

Body Health Is Not a Measurement of Unfolding

The Spark Is Still As Pure As the Great Light

Flossing and Feldenkrais

A Course in Miracles and Body Image (Facebook page)

God Is In Your Smile

A Better Way to Say, “I Miss You”

This Is the Best Moment Of Your Life

Ask Amy: Forgiveness – Am I Doing It Right?

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ACIMBodyImage/

Living the Language of Love, Harmony & Beauty (work-in-progress)

ACIM teaches us that the Holy Spirit’s purpose for the body is to use it as a vehicle for learning, as a communication device.  After many years of working with the Course, the body feels less like “me” and more like a beloved car–a great vehicle in which to get around; a “thing” that I do my best to treat well and maintenance regularly.

In my personal curriculum, yoga has been one way the Holy Spirit has reached my mind through the classroom of my body.  Through my personal trials and tribulations with the body, I have tried all kinds of alternative healing.

On the physical side, there’s been cranio-sacral therapy, myofascial release, visceral manipulation, Feldenkrais, every kind of massage you can name (yes, I’m a massage junkie).  Body-oriented psychotherapy has included what I call expressive-release work (see bioenergetics based on Wilhelm Reich’s work, emotional somatic healing, and EMDR (uses eye movement).

Spiritually there’s been qi gong, tai chi, Afro-Cuban motion, belly dance, Indonesian latihan, EFT and much more.

How to Use the Body While You Think It’s You is a fascinating subject, especially since the Course tells us the body isn’t even real.  But while we identify with the body, happily there is a way to use it for true healing, miracles, and the Holy Spirit’s pure loving purpose. I call this practical mysticism and embodied spirituality.

 

Ask Amy: Is ACIM Against Meditation?

Guy QuestionQ:  I’ve heard that the Course is against meditation.  Is that true?

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAA:  The Course is not against meditation.  Sometimes people misunderstand the passage where Jesus says, “Nor is a lifetime of contemplation and long periods of meditation aimed at detachment from the body necessary.” Taken out of context, that sentence might seem to be against meditation.

But in context, Jesus is telling us that fighting sin and temptation are actually ways of staying engaged with the ego. He explains that ritualistic meditation is counterproductive: “Routines as such are dangerous, because they easily become gods in their own right, threatening the very goals for which they were set up.” (M-16)  In other words, the ego is only too happy to cleverly take over meditation for its own goal of “doing” rather than surrendering to the much happier realization that “I need do nothing” but allow the Holy Spirit to completely take over.*

Throughout the entire Course, Jesus advises that we develop a taste for spending quiet time with God. There are many meditations throughout the 365 lessons in the workbook, but usually they are called exercises or practice periods (see www.facebook.com/acimeditations). The Workbook starts off with meditations that are just a minute or two and builds to a point where we are told that we will eagerly await being able to devote time solely to God. The Text and Manual for Teachers also have meditations, and they are called holy instants, recommendations to be still and listen, wait in silence, spend a quiet moment opening to His Correction and His Love, among other phrases.

Interestingly, forgiveness, the cornerstone of the Holy Spirit’s practice, can be considered an “outward” meditation. ACIM teacher Don Giacobbe, in his book, Christian Meditation Inspired by Yoga and A Course in Miracles, proposes, “Forgiveness is meditation applied outwardly toward others. … Forgiveness and meditation have a reciprocal relationship. Since forgiveness is meditation applied outwardly, the inverse is equally true: Meditation is forgiveness applied inwardly toward yourself.” How beautiful and profound to discover that the Course offers us both internal and external meditations to access direct experience of our Innocence which is our true nature. “For now we seek direct experience of truth alone.” (W-Pt.II.Intro)

It could be said that prayer and meditation are the same thing. Both require a willingness to release belief in the body and personal identity. If we can do this for just one moment, time collapses and “the memory of God shimmers across the wide horizons of our minds.”

The ego would have us form a special relationship with meditation so that the ego can feel expert and masterful. Jesus and the Holy Spirit would have us relinquish all control and discover that meditation is the doorway into our natural Self. When we do this, day and night becomes an ongoing mindful meditation as we find, “How quiet is the time you give to spend time with Him, beyond the world.” (W-164)

* Mooji’s video, “Is It Important to Devote Time to Meditation?” may help you understand.

This Q&A appears in the Ask Amy column from the July-August 2016 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.  Click here to purchase digital copies.  To ask Amy a question, email miracles (at) amytorresacim (dot) com

Ask Amy: How to Run Harmonious ACIM Study Groups

Guy QuestionQ:  I recently started an ACIM study group and am upset to find that one person is kind of taking over the group. He talks over other people and speaks as if he really knows what the Course is saying. There are about nine of us and it’s clear some folks feel irritated by his comments. Now the rest of us are inhibited to share because we don’t want to be criticized or corrected by him. How can I sort this out?

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAA: A book could be written on this subject, but for the sake of brevity, here are three pointers on how to apply the forgiveness practice in your study group.

1. DEFER TO THE HOLY SPIRIT
In the Preface to A Course in Miracles, Jesus tells us, “The Holy Spirit speaks with unmistakable clarity and overwhelming appeal.” To hear His Voice in your study group, the members have to be willing to listen. As facilitator, you must have the ability to set boundaries firmly and kindly.

Phrases such as “Let’s be mindful of the time so more of us get a chance to participate,” and “Let’s do as little storytelling as possible and find the deeper question within the story,” keep group members internally-focused and humility-based. If anyone takes umbrage, encourage them to communicate using I-talk (sharing personal experience by speaking in the first person, i.e., “I,” “me,” “myself”).

When interactions become tense or heated between study group members, the facilitator can de-escalate the situation by calling for a few moments of silence to help everyone step back and allow the Holy Spirit to lead the way. “Gradually [the teacher of God] learns how to let his words be chosen for him by ceasing to decide for himself what he will say.” (M-21.4:5) When the group defers to the Holy Spirit, you give yourselves the opportunity to let your words be chosen for you.

2. HAVE A SPIRIT OF COOPERATION
“Salvation is a collaborative venture.” (T-4.VI.8:2) An ACIM class or study group is not a debating platform. Nor is it a place to preach to the converted–quoting the Course at each other is not loving; it is just the ego showing off.

Students who sincerely choose to practice A Course in Miracles should use study groups to apply forgiveness and experience miracles. “Healing is the effect of minds that join…” (T-28.III.2:6) If participants are willing to drop their own agenda and be receptive, the Holy Spirit’s pearls of wisdom will fall from your lips. Pay attention to them! They are not for “someone else” – they are for you.

3. CLARIFY THE PURPOSE OF YOUR STUDY GROUP
All throughout ACIM, Jesus asks us to clarify our purpose. Is your goal to remain separate or discover you have always been Unified? To identify as a body or Mind? To dream or to awaken?

The purpose of an ACIM study group should be to recognize what you truly are. If each member is non-judgmental, humility will prevail. The group leader needs to intercede if students get caught up in storytelling, complaining, pontificating, advice-giving, criticizing, etc., and remind them that practicing forgiveness is their purpose.

It takes grace, maturity and courage to run an ACIM group. With the Holy Spirit’s guidance, you cannot fail.

This Q&A appears in the Ask Amy column from the March-April 2016 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.  Click here to purchase digital copies.  To ask Amy a question, email miracles (at) amytorresacim (dot) com

Ask Amy: Is Awakening a Feeling?

Guy QuestionQ:  Is awakening a feeling? Having suffered from depression most of my life, I always envy people who appear to be having blissful experiences (like a girl in my yoga class who remains in meditation longer than the rest of us). I’m looking forward to having a direct experience in this lifetime, although I don’t think it’s guaranteed. I want it very much and know I’ll never be the same afterward. I bet there are no words, but I hope I could pick up on the feeling.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAA: You are not alone in envying that girl in your yoga class – the ego loves for us to believe that only others are capable of having blissful spiritual experiences. Despite the  persuasiveness of the ego, Jesus assures us in ACIM, “God indeed can be reached directly, for there is no distance between Him and His Son.” (M-26) Yogini Adi S

If there is no distance between God and His Son, not only is direct experience guaranteed, it is your Reality right now!

Let’s go slowly because there is a huge opportunity here. The reason you are unaware of your formless Self is because you believe you are the physical body. Yet, you wouldn’t be studying A Course in Miracles unless your inner wisdom was surfacing. Take a breath and allow a click of recognition to confirm that you know, deep down, you are not the body-person.

DIRECT EXPERIENCE

spiritual eye tunnelTake a moment, this instant, to be the Formless Space in which the sky and cosmos reside. Without knowing how, drop all your beliefs. Don’t think. Just let your Mind’s Eye open like an infinite telescope….

NEVER BE THE SAME

Your question, “Is awakening a feeling?” may seem unnecessary now. It is true that once you see through the previously uncontested belief that you are a body-person, you are never the same. More accurately, you stop pretending to be different and separate from God. For it becomes clear that it is not the person who awakens; it is the changeless Spirit that has believed Itself to be a contracted form called “person,” which is now emerging from a self-imposed dream state.

THE ONE WHO AWAKENS

The one who awakens is not the “you” you take yourself to be. Awakening to your God-Self is simpler than waking up in the morning. Sometimes, when you’re sleepy, you feel groggy upon awakening, but eventually your head clears and you know you’re awake. You don’t have to keep pinching yourself to believe this.

The Lady muted eyesSimilarly, spiritual awakening is completely natural. Lesson 109 supports the idea of effortlessness. It says that the thought “I rest in God” has the power “to wake the sleeping truth in you, whose vision sees beyond appearances to that same truth in everyone and everything there is.”

Awakening is not a feeling; awakening is a recognition which occurs in the Mind. This recognition may be felt in the body as physical sensations such as vibrating, shaking, tears flowing, etc. Mental effects may include expansiveness, relaxation, and clarity. Emotions such as love, generosity, peace, joy and freedom are also common. Sanity prevails, and along with it, contentment, assurance, fearlessness, and inspiration.

THERE ARE NO WORDS

As you said, there are no words. “Oneness is simply the idea God is. And in His Being, He encompasses all things. No mind holds anything but Him. We say ‘God is’ and then we cease to speak, for in that knowledge words are meaningless. There are no lips to speak them, and no part of mind sufficiently distinct to feel that it is now aware of something not itself. It has united with its Source. And like its Source Itself, it merely is.” (W-169)

This Q&A appears in the Ask Amy column from the Jan-Feb 2016 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.  Click here to purchase digital copies.  To ask Amy a question, email miracles (at) amytorresacim (dot) com

Ask Amy: Forgiving Others Is Forgiving Yourself

Guy QuestionQ:  I have prayed and prayed but find it very hard to forgive my family for what they did to me including abandonment, and verbal, physical, and sexual abuse. Can you please help me understand how forgiving others is forgiving myself?

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAA:  A Course in Miracles provides tremendous relief for its students because it relieves us of the burden of forgiving. As you have seen for yourself, sometimes our most sincere efforts still do not work. The missing link is your relationship with your Inner Teacher, also called the Holy Spirit.

Forgiveness arises as you cultivate a relationship with the Holy Spirit because it is His job to undo our errors. “The Holy Spirit has the task of undoing what the ego has made.” (T-5). When you place yourself in the Holy Spirit’s Hands, He purifies you by removing everything that is not-Love, and therefore only Love remains. Only Love remains because we are One, unified in formless Truth. Until this is experienced, it is merely a concept. So for now, your job is to practice forgiveness the way Jesus directs in ACIM.

The Course teaches that forgiveness is not given by one person to another (or to yourself).  Forgiveness is the practice of giving. When you give everything, your whole life, to the Holy Spirit, you empty yourself of all resentments, wounds, grievances, sins and suffering. Then you are a clean slate. On this clean slate, the Word of God is written: Love. You need not understand how, but eventually, as you empty yourself of all personal grievances, it will become clear that forgiving others is forgiving yourself … and forgiving yourself is forgiving others.

Jesus sets the standard when it comes to forgiveness: “Condemn and you are made a prisoner. Forgive and you are freed.” (W-198) In case you are tempted to believe that Jesus is better than you, he is also very clear that, “There is nothing about me that you cannot attain.” (T-1)

If we did not feel like victims, we would see everybody who hurts us as terrified and in need of love (including ourselves). That’s how Jesus saw his persecutors. In Chapter 2, Jesus explains, “The statement, ‘Father forgive them for they know not what they do’ in no way evaluates what they do. It is an appeal to God to heal their minds. There is no reference to the outcome of the error. That does not matter.” In Jesus’ case the outcome was torture and murder and it does not matter. “The message of the crucifixion,” says Jesus, “is perfectly clear: Teach only love, for that is what you are.” (T-6)

Bodies can be physically injured. Egos can be psychologically injured. But Spirit, being Love, does not harm Itself.  Forgiveness is a mind-healing. This mind-healing can be attained no matter what situation you are in because no one can imprison your mind. You can allow your mind to be intimidated and manipulated until you learn you have the choice to turn your mind over to the Holy Spirit. Then, oppression ends. You reclaim your mind.

Jesus guides us, “… the only meaningful prayer is for forgiveness, because those who have been forgiven have everything.” Even Jesus was forgiven by God. Forgiven in this context means undone. In this undoing is the discovery that you are not human, you are Being. Then, the rest of your days on earth are heavenly, for you spend them being a conduit for God’s Love.

“You and your brother are the same, as God Himself is One and not divided in His Will.” (T-25.II.11:1)

For more on this topic, watch

and read Five Steps to Cultivating Your Relationship with the Holy Spirit

This Q&A appears in the Ask Amy column from the Nov-Dec 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

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

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