Lesson 4 – These thoughts do not mean anything. They are like the things I see.

Arrange your body for optimal breathing. Lengthen up so your lungs and heart are free to function. Settle your butt into what you’re sitting on, and if you’re in a chair, meet the ground solidly with the soles of your feet, spreading them like peanut butter on a piece of warm bread. You are plugging yourself into a spiritual socket and tapping into the God-current.

Become aware of your thoughts. Let them roll by and notice what they are without becoming involved in them. Just for a minute or two.

Now — use Lesson 4: These thoughts do not mean anything. They are like the things I see in this room, from this window, in this place.

Breathe … allow the meaningless to separate from the meaningful. The Course in Miracles mind training reveals to you, sooner or later, that underneath good thoughts (shadows) and bad thoughts (blockages) is Real Thought.

Some of us are very attuned to our bodies and feel every twitch and flutter. Some of us are prefer to disregard bodily gurgles and pains and pressures. In order to become spiritually embodied, which may sound oxymoronic, but is actually crucial to recognizing you are not the body, breathing and muscle relaxation is key. Breathing and relaxing muscles unlock psychological barriers. All humans develop brilliant creative adjustments (defense mechanisms) beginning in early childhood and continue to accrue some more throughout adulthood when jarring and traumatic events occur.

Lesson 4 offers a shift in perception regarding thoughts. We learn that thoughts are internal objects. This can be a powerful, and perhaps disorienting, insight. Jesus tells us, “This is a major exercise…” Even though it is major, that doesn’t mean it has to be deadly serious. In my experience, a playful attitude is the easiest way to navigate our way through A Course in Miracles.

For those of you who are longterm ACIM practitioners: This morning I asked Jesus what a veteran Course in Miracles student, who has done the Workbook more than once, is to make of the following statements in Lesson 4: “When the lesson says it is ‘a first attempt’ and it is ‘…the beginning of training your mind’ and ‘You are too inexperienced…’ and ‘…these exercises are the first of their kind…’

The reply came, “Those statements do not dismiss the work you’ve done before. That past work has, seemingly, led to this moment.* Do not interpret anything I say as criticism or chastisement, but instead, become present to your current experience as if you are a patch of blue sky emerging from clouds.”

* Read Coming Apart at the Seems