Today’s Miracle: Keep that smile on your face!

True Story: I just called T-Mobile to check out why I was going to be charged for using the MiracleShare Q&A phone line. My customer service person, Wendy, explained very well. As we said goodbye, she said, “Keep that smile on your face, Amy!”

I know from my advertising days that a smile can be seen over the radio, but still, it was pretty incredible! I said, “You keep smiling too, Wendy!” and she replied, “From the moment you said hello, I could just tell that you are a happy person and it put a smile on my face, so I wanted to tell you to keep on smiling.”

Wow! Ordinary miracles rippling through the phone lines 🙂

“You made my day, Wendy!” I said (and that’s huge because each presenter on MiracleShare today has been making my day). Wendy replied, “You made my day, too!”  I guess that holy relationship stuff really works.

You’re smiling right now, aren’t you?

Today’s Miracle: I love your hair!

It’s my birthday and I’m entering Stater’s, my local supermarket, pushing my shopping cart and feelin’ good. As I step into the store, a beautiful very pregnant woman dressed all in white, with two angelic small children at her side, beams at me and says with true delight, “I love your hair!”

“Thank you!” I say, open to fully receiving her love and my whole body does a little happy dance as I spin off down Aisle 5 for some toilet paper.  As I look at the delectable array of tempting brands Quilted Northern, Charmin, Scott, and feel so grateful to live in a place with plumbing and great water pressure (I never take this for granted), a very handsome young man comes up to me and says, “I like your look! Your gray and white pants go so well with your hair! You look sharp.”

My Lord, it’s a very shiny bright happy birthday indeed.  Or, as I like to think of it, Unborn Day 🙂

You know, a person easily could have dismissed those comments, or misinterpreted them, or even been offended — if the ego was in charge. But see how wonderful it is to be 62 years of age with silvery white hair when, as A Course in Miracles puts it, “Around you angels hover lovingly” and “What was a place of death has become a living temple in a world of light.” (T-26)

Thank you, everyOne, for your beautiful birthday wishes. May you become aware of miracles rippling through your everyday life, starting right now!

Today’s Miracle: Do We Choose Our Thoughts?

This 16 minute video from Rupert Spira helps to clarify how ego thought functions and what Freedom really is.

Today’s Miracle: Hummingbird & Bird of Paradise

bird-of-paradiseWorking from home suits me perfectly, as does spontaneity. This morning, more than one student reached out to me, asking if I was available for a session. Yes, my calendar shows there is time in the day 🙂 So out I go, cell phone in hand, to my backyard.

To call it a backyard actually does it a disservice, as it is more of a Zen sanctuary, with a swimming pool that looks like a curvaceous pond, and a small forest of trees on a hill which cloisters the garden, giving it privacy.

I climb into a zero-gravity lounge chair and commune with God, opening as a clear conduit to do my job as a miracle worker (in its formal capacity — being a miracle worker or the recipient of miracles, when needed, is a full time endeavor).

A hummingbird buzzes through the air, the blue sky surrounding it crackles with vitality. As I turn my head to follow the hummingbird’s flight, a huge bird of paradise blossom fills my view. The California sun glitters brightly as my phone rings, and the work of recognizing our True Nature continues with the beautiful soul on the other end.

Today’s Miracle: The Body of Presence

What a joy to discover Ellen Emmet’s work, dissolving the identification with the body.

Copyright © 2016 Amy Torres.  All rights reserved worldwide.

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.

 

Today’s Miracle: Warm Kitties

blissful-brothersWaking up as the sun rose, two warm kitties dozing on my bed, I watched the sky gently fill with morning pink suffused with gold.

Birds chattered from time to time, and when they did, my cats switched from sleepy to alert in an instant.

Smudges, the orange creamsicle, came and purred in my lap for 20 minutes or so.  Then he moved and Awesy, the oreo cookie, took his place but positioned himself a bit higher, on my chest, and gazed into my eyes.

So blessed, so loved, so timelessly present.

The Path of No Path by Peter Russell

Spiritual teachers with non-dual leanings often say that there is no path to enlightenment. There is nowhere to get to; you are already enlightened, you just do not know it. There is no need for a technique or practice; they will only keep your mind trapped in the illusion of relative phenomena. Do not meditate; do nothing.

There certainly is a profound truth embedded in such statements. When awakening occurs, there is the realization that there really was nowhere else to get to, no higher state of consciousness to achieve. The world remains as it is, and your experience remains as it is. What shifts is your relationship to experience, or rather your non-relationship to it. The identification with a constructed sense of self is no longer there. “You” are not thinking, seeing, breathing; thinking, seeing, and breathing are just occurring. It is obvious that it always was this way; but all our wanting, striving, clinging, avoiding, and self-identification obscured this simple fact.

In this sense there is nothing to do. The very opposite: it is our doing that is the problem. When we let go of all attachments as to how things should or could be, we wake up to the truth of what is. Even the word enlightenment is misleading; it implies some other, “higher”, state of consciousness. This is what makes the statement “you are already enlightened” so confusing. But to say you are already awake, but not awake to your own wakefullness, or you are already aware, but not fully aware of awareness, makes more sense.

From the awakened perspective, it is true that there is nowhere to get to. This is why many teachers say: Do nothing. Stop. Don’t meditate. Don’t try and get somewhere other than where you already are. There is nowhere to go. Nothing to do. There is no path.

And yet… Many of these teachers did tread a path. Some spent years investigating the true nature of our apparent “I-ness”. Others followed a path of total surrender, or a deep deconstruction of experience. My own glimpses of the truth have come in periods of deep meditation, when the mind is totally relaxed and still. Then I see so clearly that there is nothing to do and nowhere to go. And yet, if had not followed a path that allowed me to drop into a deep stillness and let go of my habitual mode of experience, I would not have fully appreciated this truth.

So from the unawake perspective—which is where I am most the time, and probably most of you are most the time—there are paths to follow. And, until such time as they are no longer needed, the paths that help the most are those that develop the skill of letting go, allowing the mind to relax, releasing all effort, all trying to get somewhere. So, do not meditate with an intent to reach some enlightened state of being. But do take time to let the “doing mind” die away, to sink into your own being. Take time to learn to do nothing.

I recently took Peter Russell’s online meditation class and highly recommend it.  Click here to explore Peter Russell’s teachings.

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

The T(error)ist Within – Sunday, Sept 11th

 

Jon Mundy has kindly invited me to be his guest lecturer in his ongoing monthly class, Miracles in Manhattan, on the anniversary of 9/11.  Most of you know that I’m a New Yorker, born and bred. I was in the city at the time of the bombings and ACIM provided the Presence of Mind that saw me through. In this class, we heal the past by using the lens of Peace to see through the original error that produces the terrorist within.  Time: 1:30 – 4:30 pm. $20 per person in advance and $25 at the door. Seating is limited. No one turned away if you cannot pay – as long as seats are available.  Call CRS at 212-677-8621 to register and reserve your spot.  I am sooooo looking forward to being back in the city and seeing you all in person!

Sept 11 2016 Terrorist Within