Workin’ the Workbook

W-10: My thoughts do not mean anything.

Commentary (full lesson beneath commentary)

Some of the intriguing sentences in this lesson are, “The emphasis is now on the lack of reality of what you think you think.” and “To recognize this [that your mind is a blank] is to recognize nothingness when you think you see it.”   New students to the Course may find this scary and disorienting — trust that this is a good kind of scary and disorientation.

Let’s practice together.  Here goes:

My thought about not being a good Course student do not mean anything (ha ha). This idea will help to release me from all that I now believe.

My thought about pest control poisoning my front lawn, not to mention the entire planet, does not mean anything.  This idea will help to release me from all that I now believe.

My thought about … practicing this exercise is very relaxing … I’m having trouble stringing words together … again “little me” asks: Is the return to a wonderfully un-thought-filled state?  Or is the ego lulling me to sleep?

My thought about the ego lulling me to sleep does not mean anything, tee hee.  This idea will help to release me from all that I now believe.

My thought about how mischievously adorable the cats are does not mean anything.  This idea will help to release me from all that I now believe.

This lesson helps me to recognize that what I call thinking is really not-thinking.  It is helping me to understand that each of “my thoughts” is just another brick in the ego wall which keeps me Mindless.  In this world of opposites, thinking is not-thinking and thoughts are blockages to real Thought (which is Unified Love).  My thoughts are an “oddly assorted procession” which seem to have great personal meaning to “me” but who am I really?  Lol.  Five practice periods, one minute each.

There is a powerful shift stirring in the mind.  I love how I don’t need to try to understand it.  And even if I think I understand it, that doesn’t matter.  All that matters is practicing.

LESSON 10

My thoughts do not mean anything.

This idea applies to all the thoughts of which you are aware, or become aware in the practice periods.  The reason the idea is applicable to all of them is that they are not your real thoughts.  We have made this distinction before, and will do so again.  You have no basis for comparison as yet.  When you do, you will have no doubt that what you once believed were your thoughts did not mean anything.

This is the second time we have used this kind of idea.  The form is only slightly different.  This time the idea is introduced with “My thoughts” instead of  “These thoughts,” and no link is made overtly with the things around you.  The emphasis is now on the lack of reality of what you think you think.

This aspect of the correction process began with the idea that the thoughts of which you are aware are meaningless, outside rather than within; and then stressed their past rather than their present status.  Now we are emphasizing that the presence of these “thoughts” means that you are not thinking.  This is merely another way of repeating our earlier statement that your mind is really a blank.  To recognize this is to recognize nothingness when you think you see it.  As such, it is the prerequisite for vision.

Close your eyes for these exercises, and introduce them by repeating the idea for today quite slowly to yourself.  Then add:

This idea will help to release me from all that I now believe.

The exercises consist, as before, in searching your mind for all the thoughts that are available to you, without selection or judgment.  Try to avoid classification of any kind.  In fact, if you find it helpful to do so, you might imagine that you are watching an oddly assorted procession going by, which as little if any personal meaning to you.  As each one crosses your mind, say:

My thought about _______________ does not mean anything.
My thought about _______________ does not mean anything.

Today’s thought can obviously serve for any thought that distresses you at any time.  In addition, five practice periods are recommended, each involving no more than a minute or so of mind searching.  It is not recommended that this time period be extended, and it should be reduced to half a minute or less if you experience discomfort.  Remember, however, to repeat the idea slowly before applying it specifically, and also to add:

This idea will help to release me from all that I now believe.

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

 

W-9: I see nothing as it is now.

Commentary (full lesson beneath commentary)

I only see the past.  My mind is preoccupied with past thoughts.  These previous lessons lead to this one: “I see nothing as it is now.”  What I seem to see is not really here.

All Jesus asks is that we apply the idea by doing the exercises.  We don’t understand, that much is obvious.  And if we did understand we wouldn’t need this workbook.  Jesus says, “Each small step will clear a little of the darkness away, and understanding will finally come to lighten every corner of the mind that has been cleared of the debris that darkens it.”  Practicing is as wonderfully, comfortingly mundane as cleaning out our closets.  As I practice, clutter is removed, space is opened, and light dawns.

As usual, we are told that when doing the exercise, “remember the need for its indiscriminate application, and the essential rule of excluding nothing.”

Here goes:

I do not see this _____________ as it is now.

I do not see this blog as it is now. I do not see these fingers as they are now.  I do not see this book as it is now.  I do not see these crystal pyramids as they are now.  I do not see this whirling dervish statuette as it is now.  I do not see this glass of water as it is now.  I do not see these reading glasses as they are now.  I do not see this waste basket as it is now.

Cleaning out closets, uncluttering my mind.  Little by little.  My heart feel light and care-free.

LESSON 9

I see nothing as it is now.

This idea obviously follows from the two preceding ones.  But while you may be able to accept it intellectually, it is unlikely that it will mean anything to you as yet.  However, understanding is not necessary at this point.  In fact, the recognition that you do not understand is a prerequisite for undoing your false ideas.  These exercises are concerned with practice, not with understanding.  You do not need to practice what you already understand.  It would indeed be circular to aim at understanding, and assume that you have it already.

It is difficult for the untrained mind to believe that what it seems to picture is not there.  This idea can be quite disturbing, and may meet with active resistance in any number of forms.  Yet that does not preclude applying it.  No more than that is required for these or any other exercises.  Each small step will clear a little of the darkness away, and understanding will finally come to lighten every corner of the mind that has been cleared of the debris that darkens it.

These exercises, for which three or four practice periods are sufficient, involve looking about you and applying the idea for the day to whatever you see, remembering the need for its indiscriminate application, and the essential rule of excluding nothing.  For example:

I do not see this typewriter as it is now.
I do not see this telephone as it is now.
I do not see this arm as it is now.

Begin with things that are nearest you, and then extend the range outward:

I do not see that coat rack as it is now.
I do not see that door as it is now.
I do not see that face as it is now.

It is emphasized again that while complete inclusion should not be attempted, specific exclusion must be avoided.  Be sure you are honest with yourself in making this distinction.  You may be tempted to obscure it.

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

 

W-8: My mind is preoccupied with past thoughts.

Commentary (full lesson beneath commentary)

This is getting funny now.  The lesson says no one really sees anything, we’re just “seeing” our thoughts projected outward.  I comprehend this through a swooping suction-y feeling, as if the content of my mind is being sucked through my forehead and vortexed forward and out.  There it goes, what I believe, outpictured and accepted as reality.  Yikes.

The lesson goes on to say that the only true thought about the past is that is doesn’t exist, therefore what we call thinking is actually in a state of blankness.  Today’s exercise begins to train the mind to recognize when it is not thinking at all.  That might make meditating easier.  I could close my eyes and think about how all those passing thoughts are the past and my mind is actually blank.  The thoughtless ideas I call thinking actually block the Truth.  The Truth is there, but preoccupation with the past (Jesus is kind here — “obsession” is often more accurate)  blocks the Truth.

This is important:  Jesus says, “The purpose of the exercises for today is to begin to train your mind to recognize when it is not really thinking at all.”   Stop.  Let’s take that in.

The practice is: “I seem to be thinking about _________.” Fill in the blank and conclude with “But my mind is preoccupied with past thoughts.”

The purpose is to train my mind to recognize when it is not really thinking at all.  The practice is to examine my thoughts.  Purpose.  Practice.  Purpose.  Practice.

Here goes:  I seem to be thinking about having a snack and worrying that, at this rate, I’ll just get fatter and fatter.  I seem to be thinking about my taxes and, oddly, feeling a sense of pleasure at being able to afford them.  I seem to be thinking about that background noise: is the cat throwing up?  I seem to be feeling irritated, but the exercise said that’s okay as long as I note my feeling.  And anyway, all that’s actually happening is that my mind is preoccupied with past thoughts.

I am more the breath than I am the body.  If I undo the body, I get back to the breath.  The breath is invisible … except when it mists in cold temperatures.  The breath is the bridge to Formlessness.

If God’s name is the sound of the breath, as I’ve learned more than once from various spiritual teachings, identifying with the breath takes me closer to God … I’ve also heard it said that when God exhales we inhale, and when God inhales we exhale.  I’ve been invited to let God breath me.  To put an end to my effortful breathing, my tense, constricted breathing, my shallow, inadequate inhales and overly depleting exhales and to just let myself fall into God’s flow, God’s rhythm, God’s breath of Life.

There’s been too much striving and trying for me.  Even worse than perfectionism, all that trying.  My mind is preoccupied with past thoughts, but something is budding, Something is making Itself felt.   In spite of myself, thank God, the Truth shines on and Its Gleam within me glows softly, dimly, increasingly.

The lesson directs the practice for today, “I seem to be thinking about ______________.”

I seem to be thinking about my vision–there seems to be no comfortable distance from which I can read clearly.  With contacts or without contacts, with reading glasses or without reading glasses, everything is mostly blurry and I feel sad about that.  Many times I feel irritable, the texture-y anger and helpless that I call frustration.  Right now I feel sad because I’m so engrossed in reading and writing these days and would like to enjoy reading and writing smoothly and effortlessly.  But what’s really going on is that my mind is preoccupied with past thoughts.  Right now :)

I seem to be thinking about  …

But my mind is preoccupied with past thoughts.

Four to five times of practice is suggested for today … unless the lesson is irritating me, lol.

LESSON 8

My mind is preoccupied with past thoughts.

This idea is, of course, the reason why you only see the past.  No one really sees anything.  His sees only his thoughts projected outward.  The mind’s preoccupation with the past is the cause of the misconception about time from which your seeing suffers.  Your mind cannot grasp the present, which is the only time there is.  It therefore cannot understand time, and cannot, in fact, understand anything.

The one wholly true thought one can hold about the past is that it is not here.  To think about it at all is therefore to think about illusions.  Very few have realized what is actually entailed in picturing the past or in anticipating the future.  The mind is actually blank when it does this, because it is not really thinking about anything.

The purpose of the exercises for today is to begin to train your mind to recognize when it is not really thinking at all.  While thoughtless ideas preoccupy your mind, the truth is blocked.  Recognizing that your mind has been merely blank, rather than believing that it is filled with real ideas, is the first step to opening the way to vision.

The exercises for today should be done with eyes closed.  This is because you can actually not see anything, and it is easier to recognize that no matter how vividly you may picture a thought, you are not seeing anything.  With as little investment as possible, search your mind for the usual minute or so, merely noting the thoughts you find there.  Name each one by the central figure or theme it contains, and pass on to the next.  Introduce the practice period by saying:

I seem to be thinking about __________.

Then name each of your thoughts specifically, for example:

I seem to be thinking about [name of a person], about [name of an object], about [name of an emotion],

and so on, concluding at the end of the mind-searching period with:

But my mind is preoccupied with past thoughts.

This can be done four or five times during the day, unless you find it irritates you.  If you find it trying, three or four times is sufficient.  You might find it helpful, however, to include your irritation, or any emotion that the idea for today may induce, in the mind searching itself.

For more on “I seem to be thinking about …” read Coming Apart at the “Seems”.

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

 

W-7: I see only the past.

Commentary (full lesson beneath commentary)

I see only the past and that is why everything makes no sense and I can’t understand it.  Not to mention I’m not really seeing anything.  And as I look around and apply the idea, very specifically and yet not excluding anything, I begin to lose the ability to remember the names of objects.  “I see only the past in that mouse pad.  I see only the past in that TV.  I see only the past in the wire thing.  I see only the past in that … thing.  I see only the past in … that.  I see only the past … ”  Not sure if this is me really getting into the spirit of the exercise (or the Spirit of the exercise in me :) ) or whether the ego is throwing in some interference.  Either way it’s nice to know that what never happened is over.

Okay, here I go again:

I see only the past.
I see only the past in my precious book Unified.
I see only the past in the tree outside my window.
I see only the past in this glass of water.
I see only the past in the veins on my hands.
I see only the past in my highlighter pen.

Then Lesson 7 reviews how the statement “I see only the past” is the rationale for all six preceding lessons:

I see only the past is the reason why nothing I see means anything.
Because I’m filtering everything I see through the lens of the past.
Because in seeing the past I don’t see the present.
Because ego-seeing is an outpicturing of a false thought.

I see only the past is the reason why I have given everything I see all the meaning it has for me.  I’m the one assigning meaning to the past.  I’m the one assigning meaning to what I “see” which is not actually seeing at all.  I’m the one hurling a thought out of my Mind and calling that “seeing.”  I like what Raj/Jesus (http://www.nwffacim.org/) pointed out about the sentence in the Course which says,”Fear not that you will be abruptly lifted up and hurled into reality.” T-16.VI.  Raj says we could interpret this to mean that we do not have to fear being hurled into reality because reality is gooooood.  Come to think of it, if we originally hurled a thought of our Mind, then, technically, we would be unhurling :)

I see only the past is the reason my thoughts do not mean anything.
My thoughts are always out of date.  Like spoilt milk–not fit for consumption.  False thought can imagine a past, but True Thought simply extends from the Father through His Son–us.

I see only the past is the reason why I am never upset for the reason I think.  If I’m always immersed in the past, I don’t know what is actually upsetting me in the present.  Nothing would be upsetting me in the present.  The present is Beingness Itself.

I keep myself hypnotized by seeing only the past.  In that way I keep from my awareness what is actually upsetting me … which is that I’m believing I’ve managed to separate from God and can never get back to Heaven and I’m expecting to be punished by God as well.  Seeing the past is a delusion in itself.  The ego makes up the past by saying something has happened which has not.

The ego says we have separated from God’s Mind, even though we have not.  The ego psyches itself out by telling itself its pretend game has become real.  It takes the idea that the pretend game has become real seriously and that is the beginning of  beliefs, of its fearful belief system.  “Fearful” because it is full of fear, similar to the fullness of God’s Mind, but opposite in the feeling of fear rather than Love.  The ego mimics God’s Mind but in a distorted manner–it has double “vision”/seeing, and makes duality out of non-duality/Absoluteness.

If the ego did not psych itself out, and did not take itself seriously, we could still play the “pretend-we-are-separate-from-God-game” and enjoy it.  We could dress up in God’s robes, and play with the power of His mind, and enjoy the puzzle pieces we threw onto the floor until we solve the puzzle, or until we grow tired of the puzzle, and then, in a blink, release the fantasy, open our Spiritual Eye, and return to the Reality from which we Come.

I see only the past is the reason why I am upset because I see something that is not there.  I feel the undoing process … I feel the mind quiet.  Jesus’ insistent logic is loosening the ego hold … my thoughts slow, I feel peaceful.  I do not  understand anything at this point.  This does not feel like ego sleepiness.  Here is the peace of God.

LESSON 7

I see only the past.

This idea is particularly difficult to believe at first.  Yet it is the rationale for all of the preceding ones.

It is the reason why nothing that you see means anything.
It is the reason why you have given everything you see all the meaning that it has for you.
It is the reason why you do not understand anything you see.
It is the reason why your thoughts do not mean anything, and why they are like the things you see.
It is the reason why you are never upset for the reason you think.
It is the reason why you are upset because you see something that is not there.

Old ideas about time are very difficult to change, because everything you believe is rooted in time, and depends on your not learning these new ideas about time.  This first time idea is not really so strange as it may sound at first.

Look at a cup, for example.  Do you see a cup, or are you merely reviewing your past experience of picking up a cup, being thirsty, drinking from a cup, feeling the rim of a cup against your lips, having breakfast and so on?  Are not your aesthestic reactions to the cup, too, based on past experiences?  How else would you know whether or not this kind of cup will break if you drop it?  What do you know about this cup except what you learned in the past?  You would have no idea what this cup is, except for your past learning.  Do you, then, really see it?

Look about you.  This is equally true of whatever you look at.  Acknowledge this by applying the idea for today indiscriminately to whatever catches your eye.  For example:

I see only the past in this pencil.
I see only the past in this shoe.
I see only the past in this hand.
I see only the past in that body.
I see only the past in that face.

Do not linger over any one thing in particular, but remember to omit nothing specifically. Glance briefly at each subject, and then move on to the next. Three or four practice periods, each to last a minute or so, will be enough.

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

 

W-6: I am upset because I see something that is not there.

scary shadow tim burton

Ego “seeing” and ego “thinking” are forms and perceptions.  Forms and perceptions are illusory.

Reality is Content and Truth, not form and perception.  Content and Truth are formless.

Without a body, there is no perception and no need for perception.

Communication is Immediate, Natural and flows without obstruction directly from God-Source.

It is the ego which obstructs communication with upsets, grievances, wounds, perception, duality and other insane ideas which seem indisputably convincing when you’ve chosen the limitations of ego-time-body-mind, but, as The Everly Brothers sang, Wishing Won’t Make It So.

Our treasured wounds keep us upset.  At first it is unthinkable that we would treasure our wounds.  But as you contemplate your wounds, you can discover many ways that they serve you.

Wounds maintain loyalty bonds, the perverse power of victimization, inertia, procrastination, excuses for avoiding life, justifying failure, etc.

It’s well worth discovering what your wounds are and how they have served you — if you’re ready to shed your self-imposed shackles.

LESSON 6

I am upset because I see something that is not there.

The exercises with this idea are very similar to the preceding ones.  Again, it is necessary to name both the form of upset (anger, fear, worry, depression and so on) and the perceived source very specifically for any application of the idea.  For example:

I am angry at ____ because I see something that is not there.

I am worried about _____ because I see something that is not there.

Today’s idea is useful for application to anything that seems to upset you, and can profitably be used throughout the day for that purpose.  However, the three of four practice periods which are required should be preceded by a minute or so of mind searching, as before, and the application of the idea to each upsetting thought uncovered in the search.

Again, if you resist applying the idea to some upsetting thoughts more than others, remind yourself of the cautions stated in the previous lesson:

There are no small upsets.  They are all equally disturbing to my peace of mind.

And:

I cannot keep this form of upset and let the others go.  For the purposes of these exercises, then, I will regard them all as the same.

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

W-5: I am never upset for the reason I think.

Commentary (full lesson beneath commentary)

Fear, guilt and death keep us involved in ego “thinking” … in other words, the ego is playing us.

00-Smooth-Youve_Been_Played_(Menace_II_Society)-(CDM)-1993-(CD)-hlmTo be “played” is urban jargon for he/she used you for his/her own personal gain until he/she got what was needed and dumped you. Guys do it, spies do it, gals do it, cops do it, gangstas do it, mobsters do it, even people with angel-faces do it – you get the picture.

And guess who is the original player?  The ego.  The inventor of play — as in mind games.  Play in which the fun is short-lived at best.

Lesson 5 makes it very clear that we are never upset for the reason we think.  Listen to “That’s Not the Reason Why” and notice the lyrics.

The only reason we are ever upset, really, is we’re afraid of uncovering the truth of what we really are because then the personal identity disappears.  The ego tells us that to be without personal identity is death, but that’s simply not true.  And you can function in this dream realm, within the time-body, for a while longer after personal identity is gone … as Mooji says, it’s like turning off the switch on a fan.  The fan continues whirring for a while until it comes to a complete halt.

LESSON 5

I am never upset for the reason I think.

This idea, like the preceding one, can be used with any person, situation or event you think is causing you pain.  Apply it specifically to whatever you believe is the cause of your upset, using the description of the feeling in whatever term seems accurate to you.  The upset may seem to be fear, worry, depression, anxiety, anger, hatred, jealousy or any number of forms, all of which will be perceived as different.  This is not true.  However, until you learn that form does not matter, each form becomes a proper subject for the exercises for the day.  Applying the same idea to each of them separately is the first step in ultimately recognizing they are all the same.

When using the idea for today for a specific perceived cause of an upset in any form, use both the name of the form in which you see the upset, and the cause which you ascribe to it.  For example:

I am not angry at ______ for the reason I think.
I am not afraid of _______ for the reason I think.

But again, this should not be substituted for practice periods in which you first search your mind for “sources” of upset in which you believe, and forms of upset which you think result.

In these exercises, more than in the preceding ones, you may find it hard to be indiscriminate, and to avoid giving greater weight to some subjects than to others.  It might help to precede the exercises with the statement:

There are no small upsets.  They are all equally disturbing to my peace of mind.

Then examine your mind for whatever is distressing you, regardless of how much or how little you think it is doing so.

You may also find yourself less willing to apply today’s idea to some perceived sources of upset than to others.  If this occurs, think first of this:

I cannot keep this form of upset and let the others go.  For the purposes of these exercises, then, I will regard them all as the same.

Then search your mind for no more than a minute or so, and try to identify a number of different forms of upset that are disturbing you, regardless of the relative importance you may give them.  Apply the idea for today to each of them, using the name of both the source of the upset as you perceive it, and of the feeling as you experience it.  Further examples are:

I am not worried about ___________ for the reason I think.
I am not depressed about _____________ for the reason I think.

Three or four times during the day is enough.

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

To ask Amy a question, email miracles@amytorresacim.com

W-4: These thoughts do not mean anything.

Commentary (full lesson beneath commentary)

This lesson asks us to look at our thoughts – watch them parade by, and apply today’s idea, “These thoughts do not mean anything” to thoughts that are crossing our minds.  It explains that what I consider “good” and “bad” thoughts are really neither, since they are often contradictory, which is why they don’t mean anything.

Ramana Maharshi says the same thing in Regina Dawn Aker’s book, The Teachings of Inner Ramana, “If all of the concerns for one day are written down, it may be seen that concerns and imagined solutions conflict with one another, so that no true peace can be found with the mind.”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Lesson 4 goes on to say that good thoughts are “but shadows of what lies beyond, and shadows make sight difficult.  The ‘bad’ ones are blocks to sight, and make seeing impossible.  You do not want either.”  After reading this, Bowl of Saki arrived in my email with Hazrat Inayat Khan’s daily commentary, “When you stand with your back to the sun, your shadow is before you; but when you turn and face the sun, then your shadow falls behind you.”  Synchronicity — reinforcement of The Message.

Turning towards God, towards the Light, towards the idea that we are all one in His Sonship shifts the position of the shadow we have placed between ourselves and God — from there, God lifts us Up.  In time, this seems to be a process, although in Reality, there is no time nor shadow at all.

Good thoughts are the way the ego keeps us tempted to stick with it and bad thoughts are the way the ego keeps us narrowly consumed with a problem, therefore endlessly distracted from our True Nature.

Towards the end of Lesson 4 Jesus says, “Do not, however, examine your mind for more than a minute or so.  You are too inexperienced as yet to avoid a tendency to become pointlessly preoccupied.”  This makes me bust out laughing.  Feels good to be understood, doesn’t it?

LESSON 4

These thoughts do not mean anything.  They are like the things I see in this room [on this street, from this window, in this place].

Unlike the preceding ones, these exercises do not begin with the idea for the day.  In these practice periods, begin with noting the thoughts that are crossing your mind for about a minute.  Then apply the idea to them.  If you are already aware of unhappy thoughts, use them as subjects for the idea.  Do not, however, select only the thoughts you think are “bad.”  You will find, if you train yourself to look at your thoughts, that they represent such a mixture that, in a sense, none of them can be called “good” or “bad.”  This is why they do not mean anything.

In selecting the subjects for the application of today’s idea, the usual specificity is required.  Do not be afraid to use “good” thoughts as well as “bad.”  None of them represents your real thoughts, which are being covered up by them.  The “good” ones are but shadows of what lies beyond, and shadows make sight difficult.  The “bad” ones are blocks to sight, and make seeing impossible.  You do not want either.

This is a major exercise, and will be repeated from time to time in somewhat different form.  The aim here is to train you in the first steps toward the goal of separating the meaningless from the meaningful.  It is a first attempt in the long-range purpose of learning to see the meaningless outside you, and the meaningful within.  It is also the beginning of training your mind to recognize what is the same and what is different.

In using your thoughts for application of the idea for today, identify each thought by the central figure or event it contains; for example:

This thought about __________ does not mean anything.  It is like the things I see in this room [on this street, and so on].

You can also use the idea for a particular thought that you recognize as harmful.  This practice is useful, but is not a substitute for the random procedures to be followed for the exercises.  Do not, however, examine your mind for more than a minute or so.  You are too inexperienced as yet to avoid a tendency to become pointlessly preoccupied.

Further, since these exercises are the first of their kind, you may find the suspension of judgment in connection with thoughts particularly difficult.  Do not repeat these exercises more than three or four times during the day.  We will return to them later.

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

To ask Amy a question, email miracles@amytorresacim.com

W-2: I have given everything I see all the meaning that it has for me.

Commentary (full lesson beneath commentary)

This morning I did Lesson 2 while seated in a swivel chair. It was fun to slowly turn 360 degrees and apply the exercise to anything my eyes lit upon. This reminded me of whirling dervishes — when I do the Sufi turn, the eyes are kept open and eyesight is transformed to unseeing Vision as forms melt away and merge in Joy.

blue whirler zhikr

LESSON 2
I have given everything I see in this room [on this street, from this window, in this place] all the meaning that it has for me.

The exercises with this idea are the same as those for the first one. Begin with the things that are near you, and apply the idea to whatever your glance rests on. Then increase the range outward. Turn your head so that you include whatever is on either side. If possible, turn around and apply the idea to what was behind you. Remain as indiscriminate as possible in selecting subjects for its application, do not concentrate on anything in particular, and do not attempt to include everything you see in a given area, or you will introduce strain.

Merely glance easily and fairly quickly around you, trying to avoid selection by size, brightness, color, material, or relative importance to you. Take the subjects simply as you see them. Try to apply the exercise with equal ease to a body or a button, a fly or a floor, an arm or an apple. The sole criterion for applying the idea to anything is merely that your eyes have lighted on it. Make no attempt to include anything particular, but be sure that nothing is specifically excluded.

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

To ask Amy a question, email miracles@amytorresacim.com

W-3: I do not understand anything I see.

Commentary (full lesson beneath commentary)

Lesson 3 states, “The point of the exercises is to help you clear your mind of all past associations, to see things exactly as they appear to you now, and to realize how little you really understand about them.”

cosmic heart infinity

We are asked to keep an open mind and suspend judgment.  In the world, if I keep an open mind and suspend all judgment, couldn’t I get into trouble?  But when Jesus firmly suggests that I follow his instructions and have my own experience, how can I refuse?  I gaze around the room and find that my mind softens … I, who love precision, have no desire to even assign words to what I’m seeing … there is a blur of familiar objects devoid of names or relevance.

My heart eases in my chest as some internal pressure I live with daily abates.  Something widens expansively, moving through the heart, the lungs, the arms, and radiates beyond the body.  Here is the love, peace and joy the Course promises.

LESSON 3

I do not understand anything I see in this room [on this street, from this window, in this place].

Apply this idea in the same way as the previous ones, without making distinctions of any kind.  Whatever you see becomes a proper subject for applying the idea.  Be sure that you do not question the suitability of anything for application of the idea.  These are not exercises in judgment.  Anything is suitable if you see it.  Some of the things you see may have emotionally charged meaning for you.  Try to lay such feelings aside, and merely use these things exactly as you would anything else.

The point of these exercises is to help you clear your mind of all past associations, to see things exactly as they appear to you now, and to realize how little you really understand about them.  It is therefore essential that you keep a perfectly open mind, unhampered by judgment, in selecting the things to which the idea for the day is to be applied.  For this purpose one thing is like another; equally suitable and therefore equally useful.

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

To ask Amy a question, email miracles@amytorresacim.com

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

To ask Amy a question, email miracles@amytorresacim.com

W-1: Nothing I see in this room means anything.

Commentary (full lesson beneath commentary)

The first time I did the A Course in Miracles Workbook, this lesson was disorienting and a little scary.  But as I practiced, I felt a child-like sense of wonder and a good not-knowing.  Now when I review Lesson 1, it’s amusing, relaxing, and freeing.  To be told that nothing I see anywhere means anything, is to be offered a whole new experience of life.  An experience which is free of pain, loneliness, inadequacy, guilt, sin, fear, and death.  To absorb this lesson is to begin to know that everything I have held as meaningful is meaningless.  This is not a mockery of me–it is a clarification of how I’ve been thinking.  “Jesus can be snippy,” someone said to me the other day with pleasure, and I agree.  What a relief to have Jesus be a bit impatient with a thought process which is driving all of us crazy, and for no reason!

magritte personal values

The purpose of this exercise, we are told, is to be indiscriminate, and to begin to experience everything as equally the same.  “A comfortable sense of leisure” we are told, “is essential” to doing this lesson successfully.  I get a kick out of this because one of my bigger challenges is to slow down and relax, and my spiritual teacher, Jesus, knows me so well.

We are advised, “Do not attempt to apply it to everything you see for these exercises should not become ritualistic.”  We might think that if we apply “That [object] does not mean anything” to absolutely everything we see that we could erase our entire thought system right then and there.  But that is a fear-based approach, superstitious (similar to avoiding stepping on every crack in the sidewalk) and compulsive, (in order to this exercise well, I will overdo it, that is, do it totally and completely and double check myself afterwards), as well as perfectionistic (God doesn’t really know what the instructions for this exercise should be–I’ll show Him how to really do it well).  Ha ha ha!  Do it for yourself and find out that He really does know what He’s doing ;-)

LESSON 1

Nothing I see in this room [on this street, from this window, in this place] means anything.

Now look slowly around you, and practice applying this idea very specifically to whatever you see:

This table does not mean anything.
This chair does not mean anything.
This hand does not mean anything.
This foot does not mean anything.
This pen does not mean anything.

Then look farther away from your immediate area, and apply the idea to a wider range:

That door does not mean anything.
That body does not mean anything.
That lamp does not mean anything.
That sign does not mean anything.
That shadow does not mean anything.

Notice that these statements are not arranged in any order, and make no allowance for differences in the kinds of things to which they are applied.  That is the purpose of the exercise.  The statement should merely be applied to anything you see.  As you practice the idea for the day, use it totally indiscriminately.  Do not attempt to apply it to everything you see, for these exercises should not become ritualistic.  Only be sure that nothing you see is specifically excluded.  On thing is like another as far as the application of the idea is concerned.

Each of the first three lessons should not be done more than twice a day each, preferably morning and evening.  Nor should they be attempted for more than a minute or so, unless that entails a sense of hurry.  A comfortable sense of leisure is essential.

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

To ask Amy a question, email miracles@amytorresacim.com