Spiritual Psychotherapy

W-47: God is the strength in which I trust.

Commentary (full lesson beneath commentary)

“God is your safety in every circumstance.  His Voice [the Holy Spirit within] speaks for Him in all situations and in every aspect of all situations, telling you exactly what to do to call upon His strength and His protection.”  I notice that His Voice does not tell us what to do, but what to do to call upon God.

dont look under the bedIn Chapter 2, Jesus explains, “The correction of fear is your responsibility.  When you ask for release from fear, you are implying that it is not.  You should ask, instead, for help in the conditions that have brought the fear about.  These conditions always entail a willingness to be separate.  At that level you can help it.”  It is difficult to believe that we are afraid because we have actively chosen to be afraid.

Fear is an effective ego defense against God’s Truth.  As long as the ego distracts itself with fear, it need not know it doesn’t really exist.  As the memory of God emerges from the shallow roots of the ego, which seem deep but in truth are not, there is the opportunity to shift our attention from distrust to trust, and weakness to strength.  How?

Call upon God.  Use the daily lesson to call upon God.  Every day Jesus spells out for you how to call upon God.  Use his tools.  Today we are given, “God is the strength in which I trust.”  When we practice this, we find out that God truly is our safety in every circumstance because circumstance is illusory and Reality is formless.

This kind of trust reminds me of a game my father played with me as a child — read my blogpost, “Who Is My Father?”.

LESSON 47

God is the strength in which I trust.

If you are trusting in your own strength you have every reason to be apprehensive, anxious and fearful. What can you predict or control? What is there in you that can be counted on? What would give you the ability to be aware of all the facets of any problem, and to resolve them in such a way that only good can come of it? What is there in you that gives you the recognition of the right solution, and the guarantee that it will be accomplished?

Of yourself you can do none of these things. To believe that you can is to put your trust where trust is unwarranted, and to justify fear, anxiety, depression, anger and sorrow. Who can put his faith in weakness and feel safe? Yet who can put his faith in strength and feel weak?

God is your safety in every circumstance. His Voice speaks for Him in all situations and in every aspect of all situations, telling you exactly what to do to call upon His strength and His protection. There are no exceptions because God has no exceptions. And the Voice which speaks for Him thinks as He does.
Today we will try to reach past your own weakness to the Source of real strength. Four five-minute practice periods are necessary today, and longer and more frequent ones are urged. Close your eyes and begin, as usual, by repeating the idea for the day. Then spend a minute or two in searching for situations in your life which you have invested with fear, dismissing each one by telling yourself:

God is the strength in which I trust.

Now try to slip past all concerns related to your own sense of inadequacy. It is obvious that any situation that causes you concern is associated with feelings of inadequacy, for otherwise you would believe that you could deal with the situation successfully. It is not by trusting yourself that you will gain confidence. But the strength of God in you is successful in all things.

The recognition of your own frailty is a necessary step in the correction of your errors, but it is hardly a sufficient one in giving you the confidence which you need, and to which you are entitled. You must also gain an awareness that confidence in your real strength is fully justified in every respect and in all circumstances.

In the latter phase of the practice period, try to reach down into your mind to a place of real safety. You will recognize that you have reached it if you feel a sense of deep peace, however briefly. Let go all the trivial things that churn and bubble on the surface of your mind, and reach down and below them to the Kingdom of Heaven. There is a place in you where there is perfect peace. There is a place in you where nothing is impossible. There is a place in you where the strength of God abides.

During the day, repeat the idea often. Use it as your answer to any disturbance. Remember that peace is your right, because you are giving your trust to the strength of God.

Let’s practice together!  Watch and listen to Amy reading each ACIM Lesson on Youtube.  Also, check out Workin’ the Workbook, Amy’s online class which supports the ACIM Workbook practice.

 

W-46: God is the Love in which I forgive.

Commentary (full lesson beneath commentary)

arms thrown out“As you condemn only yourself, so do you forgive only yourself.”  Bit by bit, the One Who identified as “Amy” gives all resentments, all grievances, all attachments and desires to the Holy Spirit.  It is an uncluttering process.  Thought by thought, ego thinking is cleared from the imaginary mind.

As space is cleared, the memory of God within becomes obvious, Shining and True.  Quiet Mind is encountered.  Speech is unnecessary.  “Forgiveness thus undoes what fear has produced, returning the mind to the awareness of God.”

God is the Love in which I forgive.  This is a right-minded “I.” There is a melting and expansion in the richness of this Truth.  “God is the Love in which I forgive” carries the day.  Beneath our tears, our fears, our anger, our shame, we are Perfect and Whole.

God is the Love in which I forgive “you.”  God is the Love in which I forgive “me.”  God is the Love in which the grand illusion dissolves, for there is nothing to condemn since God Is Loving Harmony.  Enveloping, Expanding, Extending.

LESSON 46

God is the Love in which I forgive.

God does not forgive because He has never condemned.  And there must be condemnation before forgiveness is necessary.  Forgiveness is the great need of this world, but that is because it is a world of illusions.  Those who forgive are thus releasing themselves from illusions, while those who withhold forgiveness are binding themselves to them.  As you condemn only yourself, so do you forgive only yourself.

Yet although God does not forgive, His Love is nevertheless the basis of forgiveness.  Fear condemns and love forgives.  Forgiveness thus undoes what fear has produced, returning the mind to the awareness of God.  For this reason, forgiveness can truly be called salvation.  It is the means by which illusions disappear.

Today’s exercises require at least three full five-minute practice periods, and as many shorter ones as possible.  Begin the longer practice periods by repeating today’s idea to yourself, as usual.  Close your eyes as you do so, and spend a minute or two in searching your mind for those whom you have not forgiven.  It does not matter “how much” you have not forgiven them.  You have forgiven them entirely or not at all.

If you are doing the exercises well you should have no difficulty in finding a number of people you have not forgiven.  It is a safe rule that anyone you do not like is a suitable subject.  Mention each one by name, and say:

God is the Love in which I forgive you, [name].

The purpose of the first phase of today’s practice periods is to put you in a position to forgive yourself.  After you have applied the idea to all those who have come to mind, tell yourself:

God is the Love in which I forgive myself.

Then devote the remainder of the practice period to adding related ideas such as:

God is the Love with which I love myself.
God is the Love in which I am blessed.

The form of the application may vary considerably, but the central idea should not be lost sight of.  You might say, for example:

I cannot be guilty because I am a Son of God.
I have already been forgiven.
No fear is possible in a mind beloved of God.
There is no need to attack because love has forgiven me.

The practice period should end, however, with a repetition of today’s idea as originally stated.

The shorter practice periods may consist either of a repetition of the idea for today in the original or in a related form, as you prefer.  Be sure, however, to make more specific applications if they are needed.  They will be needed at any time during the day when you become aware of any kind of negative reaction to anyone, present or not.  In that event, tell him silently:

God is the Love in which I forgive you.

Let’s practice together!  Watch and listen to Amy reading each ACIM Lesson on Youtube.  Also, check out Workin’ the Workbook, Amy’s online class which supports the ACIM Workbook practice.

 

W-45: God is the Mind with which I think.

Commentary (full lesson beneath commentary)

Yogini by MoojiLesson 30 was “God is in everything I see because God is in my mind.”  Now Lesson 45 explains “God is the Mind with which I think.”  The progression of lessons circles and builds.  God is the Mind with which I think.  God’s Mind thinks me.  God’s Thought is un-worded.  It is a pulsating radiance ever-reaching.

I am God’s pulsating radiance ever-reaching as He creates … we are “Thinking” together.  In the now-ness of Now, there is no how, when, where or why.  I am What I am.  I am That I am.  I am.  This is not the same “I” which seems to be “me.”

God is the Mind with which I think.  God is the Mind with which I am Thought.  Let God Think me.  Let God Breathe me.  In this surrender, ego-identification dissolves and One is discovered as All That Is and No Thing No Body.

In gladness, it is realized that there is no separation between God and Who We Truly Are.

LESSON 45

God is the Mind with which I think.

Today’s idea holds the key to what your real thoughts are.  They are nothing that you think you think, just as nothing that you think you see is related to vision in any way.  There is no relationship to what is real and what you think is real.  Nothing that you think are your real thoughts resemble your real thoughts in any respect.  Nothing that you think you see bears any resemble to what vision will show you.

You think with the Mind of God.  Therefore you share your thoughts with Him, as He shares His with you.  They are the same thoughts, because they are thought by the same Mind.  To share is to make alike, or to make one.  Nor do the thoughts you think with the Mind of God leave your mind, because thoughts do not leave their source.  Therefore, your thoughts are in the Mind of God, as you are.  They are in your mind as well, where He is.  As you are part of His Mind, so are your thoughts part of His Mind.

Where, then, are your real thoughts?   Today we will attempt to reach them.  We will have to look for them in your mind, because that is where they are.   They must still be there, because they cannot have left their source.  What is thought by the Mind of God is eternal, being part of creation.

Our three five-minute practice periods for today will take the same general form that we used in applying yesterday’s idea.  We will attempt to leave the unreal and seek for the real.  We will deny the world in favor of truth.  We will not let the thoughts of the world hold us back.  We will not let the beliefs of the world tell us that what God would have us do is impossible.  Instead, we will try to recognize that only what God would have us do is possible.

We will also try to understand that only what God would have us do is what we want to do.  And we will also try to remember that we cannot fail in doing what He would have us do.  There is every reason to feel confident that we will succeed today.  It is the Will of God.

Begin the exercises for today by repeating the idea to yourself, closing your eyes as you do so.  Then spend a fairly short period in thinking a few relevant thoughts of your own, keeping the idea in mind.  After you have added some four or five thoughts of your own to the idea, repeat it again and tell yourself gently:

My real thoughts are in my mind.  I would like to find them.

Then try to go past all the unreal thoughts that cover the truth in your mind, and reach to the eternal.

Under all the senseless thoughts and mad ideas with which you have cluttered up your mind are the thoughts that you thought with God in the beginning.  They are there in your mind now, completely unchanged.  They will always be in your mind, exactly as they always were.  Everything you have thought since then will change, but the Foundation on which it rests is wholly changeless.

It is this Foundation toward which the exercises for today are directed.  Here is your mind joined with the Mind of God.  Here are your thoughts one with His.  For this kind of practice only one thing is necessary; approach it as you would an altar dedicated in Heaven to God the Father and to God the Son.  For such is the place you are trying to reach.  You will probably be unable as yet  to realize how high you are trying to go.  Yet even with the little understanding you have already gained, you should be able to remind yourself that this is no idle game, but an exercise in holiness and an attempt to reach the Kingdom of Heaven.

In the shorter exercise periods for today, try to remember how important it is to you to understand the holiness of the mind that thinks with God.  Take a minute or two, as you repeat the idea throughout the day, to appreciate your mind’s holiness.  Stand aside, however briefly, from all thoughts that are unworthy of Him Whose host you are.  And thank Him for the Thoughts He is thinking with you.

Let’s practice together!  Watch and listen to Amy reading each ACIM Lesson on Youtube.  Also, check out Workin’ the Workbook, Amy’s online class which supports the ACIM Workbook practice.

 

W-44: God is the Light in which I see.

Commentary (full lesson beneath commentary)

dancing girl via bettina casimir clarkYesterday we learned that salvation is the undoing of what never was.  Today, Jesus tells us that, “Salvation is your happiest accomplishment.”  He says we need to have a sense of the importance of what we are doing when we practice this lesson; we need to have a sense of its “inestimable value” and an awareness that what we are attempting is very holy.

Sinking down and inward, observing passing thoughts without involvement, yes, there is an immediate relief and relaxation.  Thinking of light comes with a pleasant magnetic pull in all directions.  Then utter stillness.

World-free, burdenless, spaciousness.  God is the Light in which I see.  God is the radiance which spreads through me.  God is Vision beyond 360 degrees!

Light spreads and pulsates, Light illumines and emanates.  Light is peaceful, quiet and full.  Light is giving, for giving in dancing girl via bettina casimir clarkform.  Light spills before us Guiding us Home.  Light is ever-present, all-knowing Glow.

Gleaming, gleeful, gallant and Large … “Step on my back and let me carry you across.”  Believe not in death, for death is nothing more than darkness.  Dispel the darkness and discover quietly dancing Lightbeams of No Thing, No Body.

LESSON 44

God is the Light in which I see.

Today we are continuing the idea for yesterday, adding another dimension to it.  You cannot see in darkness, and you cannot make light.  You can make darkness and then think you see in it, but light reflects life, and is therefore an aspect of creation.  Creation and darkness cannot coexist, but light and life must go together, being but different aspects of creation.

In order to see, you must recognize that light is within, not without.  You do not see outside yourself, nor is the equipment for seeing outside you. And essential part of this equipment is the light that makes seeing possible.  It is with you always, making vision possible in every circumstance.

Today we are going to attempt to reach that light.  For this purpose, we will use a form of exercise which has been suggested before, and which we will utilize increasingly.  It is a particularly difficult form for the undisciplined mind, and represents a major goal of mind training.  It requires precisely what the untrained mind lacks.  Yet this training must be accomplished if you are to see.

Have at least three practice periods today, each lasting three to five minutes.  A longer time is highly recommended, but only if you find the time slipping by with little or no sense of strain.  The form of practice we will use today is the most natural and easy one in the world for the trained mind, just as it seems to be the most unnatural and difficult for the untrained mind.

Your mind is no longer wholly untrained.  You are quite ready to learn the form of exercise we will use today, but you may find that you will encounter strong resistance.  The reason is very simple.  While you practice in this way, you leave behind everything that you now believe, and all the thoughts that you have made up.  Properly speaking, this is the release from hell.  Yet perceived through the ego’s eyes, it is loss of identity and a descent into hell.

If you can stand aside from the ego ever so little, you will have no difficulty in recognizing that its opposition and its fears are meaningless.  You might find it helpful to remind yourself, from time to time, that to reach light is to escape from darkness, whatever you may believe to the contrary.  God is the light in which you see.  You are attempting to reach Him.

Begin the practice period by repeating today’s idea with your eyes open, and close them slowly, repeating the idea several times more.  Then try to sink into your mind, letting go every kind of interference and intrusion by quietly sinking past them.  Your mind cannot be stopped in this unless you choose to stop it.  It is merely taking its natural course.  Try to observe your passing thoughts without involvement, and slip quietly by them.

While no particular approach is advocated for this form of exercise, what is needful is a sense of importance of what you are doing; its inestimable value to you, and an awareness that you are attempting something very holy.  Salvation is your happiest accomplishment.  It is also the only one that has any meaning, because it is the only one that has any real use to you at all.

If resistance rises in any form, pause long enough to repeat today’s idea, keeping your eyes closed unless you are aware of fear.  In that case, you will probably find it more reassuring to open your eyes briefly.  Try, however, to return to the exercises with eyes closed as soon as possible.

If you are doing the exercises correctly, you should experience some sense of relaxation, and even a feeling that you are approaching, if not actually entering into light.  Try to think of light, formless and without limit, as you pass by the thoughts of this world.  And do not forget that they cannot hold you to the world unless you give them the power to do so.

Throughout the day repeat the idea often, with eyes open or closed as seems better to you at the time.  But do not forget.  Above all, be determined not to forget today.

Let’s practice together!  Watch and listen to Amy reading each ACIM Lesson on Youtube.  Also, check out Workin’ the Workbook, Amy’s online class which supports the ACIM Workbook practice.

 

W-43: God is my Source. I cannot see apart from Him.

Commentary (full lesson beneath commentary)

angel skyGod is my Source.  I cannot see apart from Him.  I rest in his Love.  I float in His Womb.  I nestle in Him.  I snuggle in Him.  I bask in His Light.  God is my Source.

When I stop my mind wandering, I perceive nothing without Him.  When I give what the ego made to His Holy Spirit, perception leads to Knowledge.  Bing!  Home-free.  Home.

I love the idea that we can be fully dependent on God.  Yesterday we learned, “God is my Strength.  Vision is His gift.”  I do not have to pretend to be strong.  Better if I realize my weakness is relying on the ego and turn myself over to my Source.

Lesson 43 tells us, “In God you cannot see.”  This means that God doesn’t have eyesight and isn’t looking around at the world.  God is a State of Mind.  God is Beingness.  In God we Be, not see 🙂

Also, this lesson gives us a good definition of salvation.  Salvation is the undoing of what never was.  Salvation uses perception for a mighty purpose–for us to see our brother through God’s spiritual Eye.  Reflected back to us is the pure Light we are.  

LESSON 43

God is my Source.  I cannot see apart from Him.

Perception is not an attribute of God.  His is the realm of knowledge.  Yet He has created the Holy Spirit as the Mediator between perception and knowledge.  Without this link with God, perception would have replaced knowledge forever in your mind.  With this link with God, perception will become so changed and purified that it will lead to knowledge.  That is its function as the Holy Spirit sees it.  Therefore, that is its function in truth.

In God you cannot see.  Perception has no function in God, and does not exist.  Yet in salvation, which is the undoing of what never was, perception has a mighty purpose.  Made by the Son of God for an unholy purpose, it must become the means for the restoration of his holiness to his awareness.  Perception has no meaning.  Yet does the Holy Spirit give it a meaning very close to God’s.  Healed perception becomes the means by which the Son of God forgives  his brother, and thus forgives himself.

You cannot see apart from God because you cannot be apart from God.  Whatever you do you do in Him, because whatever you think, you think with His Mind.  If vision is real, and it is real to the extent to which it shares the Holy Spirit’s purpose, then you cannot see apart from God.

Three five-minute practice periods are required today, one as early and one as late as possible in the day.  The third may be undertaken at the most convenient and suitable time that circumstances and readiness permit.  At the beginning of these practice periods, repeat the idea for today to yourself with eyes open.  Then glance around you for a short time, applying the idea specifically to what you see.  Four or five subjects for this phase of the practice period are sufficient.  You might say, for example:

God is my Source.  I cannot see this desk apart from Him.
God is my Source.  I cannot see that picture apart from Him.

Although this part of the exercise period should be relatively short, be sure that you select the subjects for this phase of practice indiscriminately, without self-directed inclusion or exclusion.  For the second and longer phase, close your eyes, repeat today’s idea again, and then let whatever relevant thoughts occur to you add to the idea in your own personal way.  Thoughts such as:

I see through the eyes of forgiveness.
I see the world as blessed.
The world can show me myself.
I see my own thoughts, which are like God’s.

Any thought related more or less directly to today’s idea is suitable.  The thoughts need not bear any obvious relationship to the idea, but they should not be in opposition to it.

If you find your mind wandering, if you begin to be aware of thoughts which are clearly out of accord with today’s idea, or if you seem to be unable to think of anything, open your eyes, repeat the first phase of the exercise period, and then attempt the second phase again.  Do not allow any protracted period to occur in which you become preoccupied with irrelevant thoughts.  Return to the first phase of the exercises as often as necessary to prevent this.

In applying today’s idea in the shorter practice periods, the form may vary according to the circumstances and situations in which you find yourself during the day.  When you are with someone else, for example, try to remember to tell him silently:

God is my Source.  I cannot see you apart from Him.

This form is equally applicable to strangers as it is to those you think are closer to you.  In fact, try not to make distinctions of this kind at all.

Today’s idea should also be applied throughout the day to various situations and events that may occur, particularly to those which seem to distress you in any way.  For this purpose, apply the idea in this form:

God is my Source.  I cannot see this apart from Him.

If no particular subject presents itself to your awareness at the time, merely repeat the idea in its original form.  Try today not to allow any long periods of time to slip by without remembering today’s idea, and thus remembering your function.

Let’s practice together!  Watch and listen to Amy reading each ACIM Lesson on Youtube.  Also, check out Workin’ the Workbook, Amy’s online class which supports the ACIM Workbook practice.

 

How to Stop Mind Chatter

distracted

The ego mind is a weapon of mass distraction.  Distraction is destruction, when it comes to peace of mind.  That’s why it’s imperative to learn how to stop mind chatter.

Peace of Mind is God-Thought — a Oneness joined as One.  Absolute God-Thought does not contain words or images, shapes or forms, time or space; It just Is.  It is Life — Unborn, Undying Being.

Ego-thinking, on the other hand, is a dreamer of a false identity within God-Mind.  It is an attempt to split and limit what is Unified and Limitless.  It is imaginative but not Creative.  The descent from Oneness to personal identity contains layers of veils to prevent you from remembering your True Self.

“Never allow purity to remain hidden, but shine away the heavy veils of guilt within which the Son of God has hidden himself from his own sight.” (T-14.V.4:4)

How do we nip ego-mind chatter in the bud?

Jesus tells us as early as Chapter 3, “You are much too tolerant of mind wandering, and are passively condoning your mind’s miscreations.”  And in Lesson 43, he says, “Do not allow any protracted period to occur in which you become preoccupied with irrelevant thoughts.”

yogi jc

It is a turning point when you are able to catch irrelevant thoughts and use mind chatter as a reminder to choose again.  The tool Jesus provides in Lesson 43 is to repeat, “God is my Source.  I cannot see apart from Him.”  It is one of countless expressions of God choices.  You can simply say, “Holy Spirit, help me!” or “I am Spirit” or “God, God, God.”

I’ve found that a powerful alternative that fits perfectly with A Course in Miracles is to use Sanskrit, which is primarily a vibrationally-based language and only secondarily meaning-based.  For a better understanding of what I mean by this and how it works, watch Prescription for Inner Peace.

Let’s practice together!   My 3 mindfulness meditations on http://cdbaby.com/amytorres stop mind chatter in 10 minutes or less for only 99 cents each.   Also, check out my dear friend Corinne Zupko’s free webinar http://www.acimindfulness.com

 

W-42: God is my strength. Vision is His gift.

Commentary (full lesson beneath commentary)

Ideas that stand out for me in this lesson are:

“Your passage through time and space is not random.  You cannot but be in the right place at the right time.  Such is the strength of God.  Such are His gifts.” It brings to mind Section 9 of the Manual for Teachers, “Changes are required in the minds of God’s teachers. This may or may not involve changes in the external situation. Remember that no one is where he is by accident, and chance plays no part in God’s plan. It is most unlikely that changes in attitudes would not be the first step in the newly made teacher of God’s training. There is, however, no set pattern, since training is always highly individualized.”

“You may, in fact, be astonished at the amount of course-related understanding some of your thoughts contain.”  I have had the experience of being astonished by words that have spilled out of my mouth, clearly God-given, and in saying them I was forced to hear them and receive the same Guidance I was giving … with this lesson my thoughts are simple and pure.  In addition to “Vision is His gift,” I kept thinking, “His Voice is His gift.”  The Voice for God is His gift.  The Holy Spirit is His gift.  Impeccable Guidance is His gift.  Total Love is His Gift.  Safety and Protection is His gift (as long as I believe I need safety and protection because obviously they are unnecessary in the Mind of God).  God is my strength.  I do not have to rely on my own strength, or lack thereof.  God is my strength and it feels delicious to be invited to lean on Him.

“You may … reach a point where no thoughts at all seem to come to mind.  If such interference[s] occur, open your eyes and repeat the thought once more while looking slowly about; close your eyes, repeat the idea once more, and then continue to look for related thoughts in your mind.”  It’s interesting that Jesus refers to “no thoughts” as “interference.”  Other spiritual paths often seem to make “no thought” a goal.  Strikes me as funny — that can go on the “related thoughts” list, ha ha.

LESSON 42

God is my strength.  Vision is His gift.

The idea for today combines two very powerful thoughts, both of major importance.  It also sets forth a cause and effect relationship that explains why you cannot fail in your efforts to achieve the goal of this course.  You will see because it is the Will of God.  It is His strength, not your own, that gives you power.  And it is His gift, rather than your own, that offers vision to you.

God is indeed your strength, and what He gives is truly given.  This means that you can receive it any time and anywhere, wherever you are, and in whatever circumstance you find yourself.  Your passage through time and space is not at random.  You cannot but be in the right place at the right time.  Such is the strength of God.  Such are His gifts.

We will have two three-to-five-minute practice periods today, one as soon as possible after you wake, and another as close as possible to the time you go to sleep.  It is better, however, to wait until you can sit quietly by yourself, at a time when you feel ready, than it is to be concerned with the time as such.

Begin these practice periods by repeating the idea for today slowly, with your eyes open, looking about you.  Then close your eyes and repeat the idea again, even slower than before.  After this, try to think of nothing except thoughts that occur to you in relation to the idea for the day.  You might think, for example:

Vision must be possible.  God gives truly.

or:

God’s gifts to me must be truly mine, because He gave them to me.

Any thought that is clearly related to the idea for today is suitable.  You may, in fact, be astonished at the amount of course-related understanding some of your thoughts contain.  Let them come without censoring unless you find your mind is merely wandering, and you have let obviously irrelevant thoughts intrude.  You may also reach a point where no thoughts at all seem to come to mind.  If such interferences occur, open your eyes and repeat the thought once more while looking slowly about; close your eyes, repeat the idea once more, and then continue to look for related thoughts in your mind.

Remember, however, that active searching for relevant thoughts is not appropriate for today’s exercises.  Try merely to step back and let the thoughts come.  If you find this difficult, it is better to spend the practice period alternating between slow repetitions of the idea with eyes open, then with eyes closed, than it is to strain to find suitable thoughts.

There is no limit on the number of short practice periods that would be beneficial today.  The idea for the day is a beginning step in bringing thoughts together, and teaching you that you are studying a unified thought system in which nothing is lacking that is needed, and nothing is included that is contradictory or irrelevant.

The more often you repeat the idea during the day, the more often you will be reminding yourself that the goal of the course is important to you, and that you have not forgotten it.

Let’s practice together!  Watch and listen to Amy reading each ACIM Lesson on Youtube.  Also, check out Workin’ the Workbook, Amy’s online class which supports the ACIM Workbook practice.

 

W-41: God goes with me wherever I go.

Commentary (full lesson beneath commentary)

We find out today that our problems are not real.  We are also reassured that what we think are our problems is merely foolishness.  Those of us who do find this comforting know that A Course in Miracles is our path.  Others may be offended by this idea–this is an opportunity to burn off the beliefs that add up to feeling offended.  But if there is no motivation to do so, then you will be at war with A Course in Miracles 🙂

The lesson says that deep within we are perfect and ready to radiate this perfection through us and out into the world.  We can never be alone, deprived or joyless because our Source is always with us. Nothing can destroy our peace of mind because God goes with us wherever we go.

Photo: Scott Johnson

We are given an image of a dense and heavy cloud which obscures the Light within us.  The exercise today helps us pass through this cloud and arrive at the Light.  We enter deeply into our mind, sinking downward and inward, past all foolish thoughts of the world, leaving appearances behind and approaching reality.

Reaching God is the most natural thing “in the world” and instant success is possible.  We are advised to concentrate on the unfailing companionship that goes with us and the complete protection which surrounds us.  That will make it easier to laugh at our fear thoughts.

If you’d like to practice together, click here for my “God Goes With You” mindfulness MP3.

LESSON 41

God goes with me wherever I go.

Today’s idea will eventually overcome completely the sense of loneliness and abandonment all the separated ones experience.  Depression is an inevitable consequence of separation.  So are anxiety, worry, a deep sense of helplessness, misery, suffering and intense fear of loss.

The separated ones have many “cures” for what they believe to be “the ills of the world.”  But the one thing they do not do is to question the reality of the problem.  Yet its effects cannot be cured because the problem is not real.  The idea for today has the power to end all this foolishness forever.  And foolishness it is, despite the serious and tragic forms it may take.

Deep within you is everything that is perfect, ready to radiate through you and out into the world.  It will cure all sorrow and pain and fear and loss because it will heal the mind that thought these things were real, and suffered out of its allegiance to them.

You can never be deprived of your perfect holiness because its Source goes with you wherever you go.  You can never suffer because the Source of all joy goes with you wherever you go.  You can never be alone because the Source of all Life goes with you wherever you go.  Nothing can destroy your peace of mind because God goes with you wherever you go.

We understand that you do not believe all this.  How could you, when the truth is hidden deep within,  under a heavy cloud of insane thoughts, dense and obscuring, yet representing all you see?  Today we will make our first real attempt to get past this dark and heavy cloud, and to go through it to the light beyond.

There will be only one long practice period today.  In the morning, as soon as you get up if possible, sit quietly for some three to five minutes, with your eyes closed.  At the beginning of the practice period, repeat today’s idea very slowly.  Then make no effort to think of anything.  Try, instead, to get a sense of turning inward, past all the idle thoughts of the world.  Try to enter very deeply into your own mind, keeping it clear of any thoughts that might divert your attention.

From time to time, you may repeat the idea if you find it helpful.  But most of all, try to sink down and inward, away from the world and all the foolish thoughts of the world.  You are trying to reach past all these things.  You are trying to leave appearances and approach reality.

It is quite possible to reach God.  In fact it is very easy, because it is the most natural thing in the world.  You might even say it is the only natural thing in the world.  The way will open, if you believe that it is possible.  This exercise can bring very startling results even the first time it is attempted, and sooner or later it is always successful.  We will go into more detail about this kind of practice as we go along.  But it will never fail completely, and instant success is possible.

Throughout the day use today’s idea often, repeating it very slowly, preferably with eyes closed.  Think of what you are saying; what the words mean.  Concentrate on the holiness that they imply about you; on the unfailing companionship that is yours; on the complete protection that surrounds you.

You can indeed afford to laugh at fear thoughts, remembering that God goes with you wherever you go.

Let’s practice together!  Watch and listen to Amy reading each ACIM Lesson on Youtube.  Also, check out Workin’ the Workbook, Amy’s online class which supports the ACIM Workbook practice.

 

W-40: I am blessed as a Son of God.

Commentary (full lesson beneath commentary)

quiet-mind-hears-inner-voiceIn Lesson 40 we are instructed to repeat the central idea, “I am blessed as a Son of God,” every 10 minutes, a form of  mindfulness.  I think of mindfulness as good self talk.

Good self talk is an internal process — a way of thinking.  Most of us have an ongoing mental stream of self-criticism or discontent with others.  We don’t even know there is another way to think.

On the human level, good self talk is kind, encouraging, comforting and loving.  The results include increased confidence, calm and empathy.  I first came across it in yoga during savasana, the deep relaxation at the end of the asana practice.  My teacher, Dharma Mittra, guided us to express gratitude to our organs, like so, “Thank you, heart.  Thank you, kidneys.  TSavasanahank you, liver.  Thank you, stomach.”

This was completely novel to me, and my heart embraced loving myself and the greater Intelligence that made the body work.  Spontaneously, I felt more connected to myself and something Greater as well.

Jesus tells us, in Lesson 40, that we are going to begin to assert some of the happy things to which we are entitled, “being what you are.”  Because we are Happy, Peaceful, Love, Contentment, Calm, Quiet, Assured, Confident, we are to remind ourselves of this Fact every 10 minutes.  We are not talking ourselves into trying to believe that we are Happy, Peaceful, etc.  We are shifting our attention from the ego to the Truth.

Then, we are invited to add attributes we associate with being a Son of God to this list.  Sometimes I like to think of “Son” as “Sun” because it follows naturally that I am an extension of God’s Loving Light.  I am one of God’s Great Rays.  I am Radiant, I am Innocence, I am Whole, I am Safe, I am Fearless, I am Relaxed, I am Luminous Love.

“I am blessed as a Son of God. I am innocent, fearless, Whole. I am fulfilled, nourished, radiant with Purpose.” Often I figure out my attributes by noticing what I don’t want: I don’t want to be hungry, I don’t want to be driven by body needs, I don’t want to have body pain, I don’t want to make demands on others, I don’t want to have expectations of others, I don’t want others to suffer, etc.

Who we areThen I translate: I am full with the Love of God. I am formless, changeless, Spirit. I am whole and free. I am at peace, fulfilled, content. I need nothing because I am that I am.  I am relaxed, happy, at peace, filled with purpose, filled with love.  Therefore, we are all Whole, Unified, at Peace and Joyful.

Lesson 40 is a potent, uplifting lesson.  Jesus tells us that this exercise is possible to practice “quite well under any circumstances, if you really want to.”  This means that I can say it in my mind while talking on the phone, working with clients, teaching students, interacting with shop keepers, driving, etc.

How beautiful to be looking at another and saying to myself, “I am blessed as a Son of God.  Therefore you are blessed as a Son of God.  We are happy, peaceful, unified, innocent, fearless, content.”  If you’d like to practice together, click here for my mindfulness MP3s.

LESSON 40

I am blessed as a Son of God.

Today we will begin to assert some of the happy things to which you are entitled, being what you are.  No long practice periods are required today, but very frequent short ones are necessary.  Once every ten minutes would be desirable, and you are urged to attempt this schedule and to adhere to it whenever possible.  If you forget, try again.  If there are long interruptions, try again.  Whenever you remember, try again.

You need not close your eyes for the exercise periods, although you will probably find it more helpful if you do.  However, you may be in a number of situations during the day when closing your eyes would not be feasible.  Do not miss a practice period because of this.  You can practice quite well under any circumstances, if you really want to.

Today’s exercises take little time and no effort.  Repeat the idea for today, and then add several of the attributes you associate with being a Son of God, applying them to yourself.  One practice period might, for example, consist of the following:

I am blessed as a Son of God.
I am happy, peaceful, loving and contented.

Another might take this form:

I am blessed as a Son of God.
I am calm, quiet, assured and confident.

If only a brief period is available, merely telling yourself that you are blessed as a Son of God will do.

Let’s practice together!  Watch and listen to Amy reading each ACIM Lesson on Youtube.  Also, check out Workin’ the Workbook, Amy’s online class which supports the ACIM Workbook practice.

W-39: My holiness is my salvation.

Commentary (full lesson beneath commentary)

First we have to agree that guilt is hell.  For many of us, guilt is the signal that we have a conscience, an ethical center.  If we gave up guilt we might run amok, rampage, loot, steal, binge, and have orgies.  Hmmm.  Most of us have had the experience of doing things we know we shouldn’t even though we feel guilty 🙂  From a Course perspective, guilt keeps us believing we have separated from God by telling us we’ve done something wrong.

If we’re not guilty then we are innocent.  Innocence, from a Course perspective, is an attribute of via Akasha LightkjhgGod’s Mind.  Innocence is Oneness and Oneness is Holiness.  Recognizing my holiness saves me from the misinformation the ego offers.  Recognizing my holiness “returns” me to an undifferentiated State of Mind — a state of Wholeness in which sin, guilt, fear, punishment and death are impossible and do not exist.

And, of course, if my holiness is my salvation, that is how my holiness blesses the world (Lesson 37).  This makes me think of wounded healers.  I became a psychotherapist because I was emotionally wounded and therapy healed me beyond the personality; it led to a series of spiritual awakenings.  I felt drawn to others who wanted to undergo deep self-examination.

I was, as the Course says, teaching what I wanted to learn (Introduction to the Manual for Teachers, “The course … emphasizes that to teach is to learn, so that teacher and learner are the same.” and Miracle Principle 16: “Miracles are teaching devices for demonstrating it is as blessed to give as to receive. They simultaneously increase the strength of the giver and supply strength to the receiver.”)

At some point, this phrase was given to me, “Amy teaches self-awareness which leads to Self-Awareness.  God takes it from there.”  This teaching is an unlearning; it is a dis-identifying with the person; a “learning” to not take ourselves and others personally.  If you’re interested, read: How to Take Yourself Less Personally

LESSON 39

My holiness is my salvation.

If guilt is hell, what is its opposite?  Like the text for which this workbook was written, the ideas used for the exercises are very simple, very clear and totally unambiguous.  We are not concerned with intellectual facts nor logical toys.  We are dealing only in the very obvious, which has been overlooked in the clouds of complexity in which you think you think.

If guilt is hell, what is its opposite?  This is not difficult, surely.  The hesitation you may feel in answering is not due to the ambiguity of the question.  But do you believe that guilt is hell?  If you did, you would see at once how direct and simple the text is, and you would not need a workbook at all.  No one needs practice to gain what is already his.

We have already said that your holiness is the salvation of the world.  What about your own salvation?  You cannot give what you do not have.  A savior must be saved.  How else can he teach salvation?  Today’s exercises will apply to you, recognizing that your salvation is crucial to the salvation of the world.  As you apply the exercises to your world, the whole world stands to benefit.

Your holiness is the answer to every question that was ever asked, is being asked now, or will be asked in the future.  Your holiness means the end of guilt, and therefore the end of hell.  Your holiness is the salvation of the world, and your own.  How could you to whom your holiness belongs be excluded from it?  God does not know unholiness.  Can it be He does not know His Son?

A full five minutes are urged for the four longer practice periods for today, and longer and more frequent practice sessions are encouraged.  If you want to exceed the minimum requirements, more rather than longer sessions are recommended, although both are suggested.

Begin the practice periods as usual, by repeating today’s idea to yourself.  Then, with closed eyes, search out your unloving thoughts in whatever form they appear; uneasiness, depression, anger, fear, worry, attack, insecurity and so on.  Whatever form they take, they are unloving and therefore fearful.  And so it is from them that you need to be saved.

Specific situations, events or personalities you associate with unloving thoughts of any kind are suitable subjects for today’s exercises.  It is imperative for your salvation that you see them differently.  And it is your blessing on them that will save you and give you vision.

Slowly, without conscious selection and without undue emphasis on any one in particular, search your mind for every thought that stands between you and your salvation.  Apply the idea for today to each of them in this way:

My unloving thoughts about ____________ are keeping me in hell.

My holiness is my salvation.

You may find these practice periods easier if you intersperse them with several short periods during which you merely repeat today’s idea to yourself slowly a few times.  You may also find it helpful to include a few short intervals in which you just relax and do not seem to be thinking of anything.  Sustained concentration is very difficult at first.  It will become much easier as your mind becomes more disciplined and less distractible.

Meanwhile, you should feel free to introduce variety into the exercise periods in whatever form appeals to you.  Do not, however, change the idea itself as you vary the method of applying it.  However you elect to use it, the idea should be stated so that its meaning is the fact that your holiness is your salvation.  End each practice period by repeating the idea in its original form once more, and adding:

If guilt is hell, what is its opposite?

In the shorter applications which should be made some three or four times an hour and more if possible, you may ask yourself this question, repeat today’s idea, and preferably both.  If temptations arise, a particularly helpful form of the idea is:

My holiness is my salvation from this.

Let’s practice together!  Watch and listen to Amy reading each ACIM Lesson on Youtube.  Also, check out Workin’ the Workbook, Amy’s online class which supports the ACIM Workbook practice.