Welcome to From the Christ Mind Search…
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We will conclude this supplementary teaching with a series of practical exercises whose purpose is to train and focus the mind. Each exercise is a lesson on an important theme or idea whose aim is to help bring about deeper understanding and, if possible, direct experience of the Truth which the idea represents.
There are twelve lessons given, each with very specific instructions on how, when, how long, and how often to do them. It is suggested that each lesson be done daily for one week. A total of twelve weeks of practice is thus required to receive their full benefit. It is recommended that you stay with the one lesson a week for twelve weeks guidelines, each done daily without missing any days if possible. Both the weeks’ duration of practice for each lesson, and the completion of all twelve in order, are needed to achieve the maximum positive effect.
Those readers who are students and teachers of A Course in Miracles will recognize the similarity of these lessons to the lessons in the workbook of the Course, and they share the same goal: to help bring about direct spiritual experience that will ultimately return your mind to the Self, the Christ, that is What and Who you are.
Let yourself be guided as to whether you do these lessons or not. As has been previously stated, the lessons, like this teaching as a whole, are intended to support and supplement A Course in Miracles. For those who are not practitioners of the Course, the lessons can be a good introduction to some of the ideas presented in the Course, and may inspire you to take up the study and practice of A Course in Miracles. May all who read these pages and do these lessons, if so guided, find the spiritual help that is always waiting and available to those who truly desire it.
Sure it is that the world does not understand real forgiveness or its results. To the worldly mind, forgiveness is a gift from you to your brother, often unmerited, given out of the goodness of your heart. Yet deep down there remains the memory of the grievance, and the bitterness that is a part of it.
Real forgiveness arises from a very different understanding; always it is based on the recognition that your brother deserves it, no matter what the ‘crime’. To truly forgive, you must accept that whatever the appearance, your brother is not guilty, for in a dream no one is really doing anything to anyone. In your dream last night in which you were perhaps threatened or attacked, made to suffer loss, did that really happen? Did you suffer loss or injury? If the figure in your dream was someone you know, when you awoke, did you blame him for what was done while you were dreaming?
The world you see in the ‘waking’ state, is just as much a dream as your nightly dreams. As in sleeping dreams, all you see around you is the projected imagery of your own mind. You assign yourself a role as you do with everything that appears, and whatever happens is what you have asked for. In dreams, no one is guilty, for nothing that seems to happen is real.
Simply put, this is why neither you nor your brothers are guilty. You are not bodies nor are you what the body appears to do and say in dreams. All are worthy of complete and total forgiveness. Only through this understanding and acceptance, by putting this into practice always, will your mind be healed of its belief in your guilt.
The terrible stain of guilt hidden deep in your mind, keeps you a prisoner of fear for guilt demands punishment. You must project the guilt and the need for punishment onto the world around you, for the pressure and discomfort within is unbearable. Through this constant projection do you relieve temporarily the inner pain, but never do you actually release or heal it entirely. Like a swollen wound that is periodically drained to relieve the pain it is causing, yet is the wound never healed for its cause is left untreated.
The only cure for what ails you is to renounce guilt entirely in all its forms, wherever it appears, no matter the circumstances. Deny that anyone is ever guilty. Forgive yourself and everyone and everything; only then will Love return to reclaim your mind and set you free from fear and guilt.
This exercise, like the ones that follow, will have two parts. The first part should be done twice a day, morning and evening. It can be done one or two more times each day if you feel comfortable, but do not overdo it. If there is a sense of strain or tension, you are overdoing it.
As soon as you can after waking in the morning, sit quietly where you will not be disturbed. Repeat the idea for the day several times silently to yourself with eyes closed. Completely relaxing your body, let all tension go. Follow this by relaxing your mind also; let the sense of inner awareness be calm and untroubled. Let go all thoughts of the future or the past, letting the mind be silent. Then, without straining, without a sense of struggle, gently search your mind for examples of unforgiveness. Any slights or hurts remembered, anyone you do not like, or any situation that causes you anxiety or discomfort, are all good candidates. For each one that arises to awareness, pause for a few moments and feel your unforgiveness. It may be slight irritation, anxiety, or even strong anger or rage. It does not matter. If there is any upset or negative feeling, there is unforgiveness. To each example of unforgiveness say:
In this situation regarding ________, forgiveness will set me free.
Fill in the blank with the person’s name or the situation you are forgiving. Remember you are not only forgiving your brothers, you are forgiving the world and all situations, events, and circumstances that upset you. Where there is upset, no matter the cause, forgiveness is needed.
If the practice is going well, you should feel a sense of release, of relief at the conclusion of the exercise. Start with three to five minutes, no more. As the week progresses, you can increase the length to eight to ten minutes if you feel comfortable. If you seem to run out of examples, sit quietly and repeat the lesson for the day slowly to yourself. When examples occur that need forgiving, go back to the exercise. Remember to do it slowly, with no sense of hurry or strain. It is particularly helpful, if you can, to feel the upset that needs forgiving for a few moments, then repeat the lesson and move on. Repeat this exercise again in the evening. Always begin by reading the entire lesson including the exercise instructions.
During the day, remember the lesson frequently, several times an hour if possible. Close your eyes and say it silently to yourself. Be sure to use it in this form immediately if anything upsets you:
Forgiveness will set me free from this.
Today’s idea, if truly understood and accepted, will free you from the awful burden of judgment you have laid upon yourself. You think that to judge another is your right. That it will bring you benefit, and help you set the world right by offering correction where it is needed. The world does not need correction, being the effect of your own thinking. Correction does not deal with effects; it must be applied to their cause.
Judgment is a weapon you use against your brother. What you do not realize is that this weapon is really directed at yourself. You think you can judge your brother without harming yourself, that you will escape the effect of your own condemnation, for to judge is to condemn. Do not forget the principle of salvation: whatever you give, you give yourself. Always this is true regardless of person, situation, or circumstance. This can also be stated thus: Whatever I do, I do to myself. All doing, no matter the apparent object of action, has its desired effect on myself though that may not have been its intent. There is no evading the effects of any action I may take.
As to judge is to condemn, and to condemn is to attack, all judgment, though meant to be an attack on my brother, is an attack on myself. The purpose of attack is to inflict harm; I will receive the pain that was my intention to inflict on my brother. If you were aware of this, truly believed and accepted it as fact, you would give up judgment altogether. No one would persist in doing what clearly causes him great pain.
There is an additional price to be paid for careless judgment. Being an attack on another, it cannot but increase my sense of being guilty. The guilt in my mind must be healed if I am to return to Truth. Every judgment I make is an attack on Truth, an attempt to delay salvation, and a needless prolonging of pain and suffering. Clearly I gain nothing from judgment despite my belief to the contrary, and through the projection of judgment, I lose everything of real value including peace of mind.
Judgment is the function of the Holy Spirit Who alone has the knowledge to judge truly. His judgment on the Son of God does not change. God’s Son is forever guiltless, innocent, and loving, and deserving of his Father’s Love. Turn all judgment over to Him and cease this attempt to usurp a function not your own. It was the attempt to usurp a function not your own that led to a world of illusion and all the misery it contains. Lay down this sharpened sword you hold against your own throat.
Today we will attempt to do just that. Two or three exercise periods of ten minutes each are suggested. As usual, it is best to do one in the morning, one in the evening, and one in between if you are so motivated. You can shorten this time if you find yourself feeling uncomfortable.
Sit quietly to begin with eyes closed and body relaxed. Repeat today’s idea silently several times. Then calmly and without strain, search your mind for situations, people, and behavior where you are accustomed to judge. If you look honestly, you should have no difficulty finding examples of judgment. Look calmly at each example, briefly reviewing your reasons for judging, then say to yourself:
Judgment will bring me only pain.
It is not my function to judge.
Then move on to the next. After some minutes of this, stop and sit quietly for a few moments. Say the idea for today silently two or three times. Then go on gently searching your mind. Conclude the exercise by again repeating today’s idea slowly two or three times. As you go through your day, try to remember today’s lesson frequently, several times an hour at least. Do your best not to go a long period of time without repeating today’s idea. This regular remembering has a very beneficial effect on your mind and strengthens your commitment to Truth. If you find yourself in judgment of anyone or anything, stop immediately and remind yourself:
Judgment will bring me only pain.
Upon first glance, this statement surely seems to be but madness. In the forgetting of the role you play in making and maintaining the world, it does appear as if there is something there before you, apart from you, beyond your control and functioning according to its own laws quite independently of your existence. Experience brings conviction, whether it be of the Truth or illusion.
Do not rest content with the belief in the reality of experience in separation. What you experience here is what you have chosen to be your reality; your experience then ‘proves’ it real. Everything you see represents your belief in and commitment to separation. All apparently different forms and forces are but variations on the one belief in separation. You choose what you want to believe, then send perception out to witness to its reality. It is but the play of imagination, fueled by desire, nothing more.
Today we will try a different approach. We will let reality be what it is, and use perception to discover what is true. All perception is illusion, even the unified perception of the vision of Christ. Yet does Christ’s vision show you the reflection of Truth in the world of dreams. Thus is perception brought so close to knowledge that knowledge can flow across the little gap between them, and restore your mind to Truth.
Your mind is not in your body, your body is in your mind as is everything you see and experience. The world you see is the projected imagery of your mind, nothing more. It does not exist independent of your mind; it cannot for it is your invention. Today we will try to have the experience of the non-separateness of all things. We will try to take an important step that will begin to show us the Unity that is our Mind and Being.
Today’s exercise require three practice periods of six to eight minutes each, one in the morning, one in the evening, and one in between when it is convenient. Begin by sitting quietly with eyes closed, in front of a window if possible. Repeat today’s lesson silently to yourself once or twice. When you are ready, open your eyes and slowly look around the room. As your glance naturally falls upon a certain object, say slowly to yourself:
This chair is in my mind.
This book is in my mind.
This wall is in my mind.
Look around unhurriedly and avoid deliberately picking out what you would see. Do not choose anything in particular and do not exclude anything. After you have looked around the room for a little while, close your eyes and repeat today’s lesson. Then open your eyes, look out the window and repeat the exercise, looking slowly around.
This person is in my mind.
This tree is in my mind.
This house is in my mind.
This fence is in my mind.
And so on. Again, no deliberate choosing; just repeat to yourself that whatever object you see is in your mind and do not deliberately choose or exclude anything. After looking at a number of objects, close your eyes and slowly repeat today’s lesson several times. To conclude, sit quietly and let your thoughts bring to mind persons or events. To each one say:
This person ________ is in my mind.
This situation involving _______ is in my mind.
Be sure to name them. Finally, open your eyes and say the lesson one or two times slowly followed by this reminder: Nothing that I see is separate from me.
During the rest of your day, each hour, remembering as often as you can, close your eyes and repeat the lesson slowly. Then open your eyes, slowly look around and repeat it again if the situation allows. If you can, do both parts of this exercise. If you cannot, merely do it with closed eyes or open eyes, one or the other. Set your intent to remember. Tell yourself you are doing something very important and beneficial. Try to remember. Please try. We are attempting to open your mind to the fact that it is not contained by the body or limited in any way. Your mind is everywhere.
I Am The One Self
The idea of One Self that is the Self of all, does not make sense in a world where everything that appears seems to be a form, an image, separate from other forms and complete in itself. Each one thus appears to be a separate self; there seems to be an almost unlimited number of selves, each separate and different from all others. Such is the world of illusion, in which those who would be separate from their Creator and their Self, come for a little while to pretend they are what they are not until they tire of their childish game and turn their minds toward Truth.
There is One Self that is the Self of all; It is not affected by the apparent confusion of those who would forget. Yet the awareness of It has been lost to the sleeping mind. Is there a greater tragedy than this? To lose the awareness of what you are, Its Love, Its peace, and wander alone in a strange and barren land, populated by many isolated figures, each as lost and alone as you. If you could but realize the enormity of your loss, you would rush back to the Self.
The One Self is what you are. In It, you are joined with God and everything created. Even now you are still the One Self, joined with everything you see or think of. As the Self, you are Spirit, Mind, Love, and Light. Nothing in your experience here can ever take the place of your One Self. Happiness cannot be found in separation from the Self. The Christ is happiness and joy. You need not seek for them outside yourself. Only by returning to the awareness of the Self will happiness and joy be restored to you.
The exercises for this lesson will be a little different from what we have attempted so far. All that you need is already deep within you. We will attempt to reach That which is our only Self. In That lies our salvation. When once you actually experience your One Self, doubt will vanish and certainty will take its place. Do not allow doubt to hinder your progress along the way. Doubt is one of the weapons that ego uses against the Truth; it will not prevail against your single purpose.
For the longer practice periods, begin as usual by sitting quietly with eyes closed after taking a minute or two to deeply relax mind and body. Two practice periods are recommended of about ten minutes each, one in the morning, one in the evening. Begin by saying silently to yourself:
I am the One Self.
My Self is always with me.
Today I would reach my One Self.
Then let your awareness turn deeply within. Let it sink past all the thoughts, the steady stream of unnecessary noise that usually fills your awareness. Sink deeply into your mind below the steady chatter of superficial consciousness. Let your attention, your sense of self awareness, gently sink until you feel a sense of stillness and depth. Rest quietly there. Let your mind be open, receptive, not doing anything, simply resting as awareness itself. If thoughts come, do not pay attention to them. Let them come and go like shadows, passing across the surface of mind. Rest quietly beneath and beyond them, and let the One Self reveal Itself. If you should become distracted by thoughts moving across the mind, simply let them go, relax again and return to resting in simple awareness. You need do nothing; simply be present, open, rest and receive. The Holy Spirit will do the rest.
If you are doing the exercise well, you may feel a deep sense of stillness, of silence. You may feel a depth, a place in your mind that is completely empty, yet filled with strength and Presence. Or you may simply feel a sense of peace. Even if you do not feel anything in particular, this exercise is still very beneficial, and you may be sure you are receiving the benefits. When your practice period is over, quietly come back, gently open your eyes and repeat today’s lesson once more. Sit quietly for a minute or so before you get up and go about the business of the day.
The shorter practice periods should be frequent throughout the day. Remember as often as you can; you will gain much thereby. If you can, close your eyes and repeat today’s idea, and spend a minute or so in silence. If that is not possible, just repeat the idea silently to yourself.
My Brother And I Are One
In the world in which you see yourself, your brothers appear to be separate from you. Like you, they seem to be bodies that walk and talk and move about, each with his own thoughts, goals, and aspirations, that are for him alone. Joining, except in the most superficial way, is clearly impossible in such a condition. The mind that believes in separation thinks it is part of the body, and is unable to see that in itself, it is something entirely other than a body. So long accustomed to identifying with what you are not, to being limited to a particular location occupied by a body, you do not know the limitlessness and freedom that are yours.
Your Mind extends everywhere and contains everything. Though your brother appears to be separate from you and you from him, this is but a choice you make, not a fact. Your mind and his are continuous, unseparated by the bodies that your eyes see. If you would have him be separate, that will be your experience. If you would recognize the Truth and overlook what the body’s eyes see, your mind will be freed of its false containment and will extend everywhere. By learning to see with the mind as it truly is, you will understand that nothing separates you from your brother; he is in you and you are in him. You and your brother are One, joined in the One Self that is God’s Holy Creation. Nothing separates you, even in the dream, unless you want it to be so.
Today we try to turn these words into experience, for it is through experience that conviction comes. The Oneness that is you and your brother, is not so difficult to reach if you are willing. One longer practice period of about ten minutes is required for this lesson, preferably at the beginning of your day. If that is not possible, any suitable time will do.
Begin by sitting quietly with eyes closed. After relaxing body and mind, repeat today’s idea silently to yourself three or four times. If you notice any resistance in your mind to repeating today’s idea, stop and go on to the next phase of the exercise. With no sense of strain and no attempt to search for anyone in particular, sitting quietly and attentively, let the name or image of someone in your life rise to awareness. Hold this brother gently in your mind and say silently to yourself:
My brother ______ and I are One.
Fill in the blank with the name of the person you are addressing. Repeat this idea once or twice, then let the mind go blank until the next person appears in your awareness. If no one occurs to you, sit quietly and repeat today’s idea once or twice, then wait. If you feel resistance to including a particular brother in your Oneness, stop for a moment, take a deep breath, relax and try again. If resistance still arises, stop, relax, and go on to the next person.
Anyone whom you would exclude is someone you do not want to forgive and thus extend your Love to. It is particularly helpful in these cases to release the resistance if you can, and include them in the exercise. If you cannot, do not fight with yourself but move on. You can try again the following day if you are willing. It is very important to do this exercise in a relaxed and unhurried manner; do not struggle or force yourself. Conclude by repeating today’s idea slowly several times.
In the shorter practice periods which should be done frequently throughout the day in all kinds of situations and circumstances, two variations are suggested: take a minute and merely repeat today’s idea slowly and silently to yourself once or twice with eyes closed, then wait in silence for a short time before you open your eyes and go about your day. Alternate this if you will when feasible, by looking at a brother who is in your vicinity and saying silently to yourself:
My brother ______ and I are One.
If you don’t know the name, just use the original idea. Then smile and move on.
We are attempting with this exercise to take a giant step towards the day when you will indeed directly experience the Oneness you and your brother share. You may even, during the practice periods or in between, have a glimpse or a short experience of no separation, of Oneness. Be very grateful if this occurs, for it means you are drawing near to the goal of awakening.
To be told that to hear something I must listen, seems too obvious to need be stated. Yet it is the obvious that is obscured and covered over by the complexity that burdens and clouds your mind. How often do you really listen to anything that is said to you? Too often is listening marred by inattention, by a distracted and wandering mind. The untrained mind has very little control over itself. Much time is spent lost in the wandering and constantly changing movement of thought that is unceasingly active. To listen well, no matter to whom, requires that attention be stable, that you be self aware.
To listen inwardly is a different kind of listening, just as being aware inwardly is a different use of awareness. It requires a quietness of mind, a stability and openness that must be learned. To actually be willing to hear the Voice for God requires keen interest, sensitivity of mind, and the intention, even if partial, to receive guidance. This implies a measure of trust, and the recognition that help is needed. The motivation to hear God’s Voice must come from you. You must make that decision, just as you decided long ago to listen to the voice of separation, the ego, and you have been faithful to that decision ever since.
To learn to listen to the Holy Spirit, and be willing to receive His communication and act on it, is an important and fundamental step on the road to freedom. Today we begin to practice taking that step. No one can take it for us; it is our decision alone.
Begin today’s exercise by sitting quietly for a minute or two with eyes closed, completely relaxing the body and letting the mind become quiet. Two formal practice periods are required, morning and evening as usual, of about ten to twelve minutes each. When you feel relaxed and receptive, begin by repeating today’s idea quietly to yourself two or three times. Allowing yourself to relax deeply in body and mind, rest your sense of attention in awareness itself, completely open and receptive. Let your awareness sink deep into the stillness that lies beneath all the surface chatter, the unceasing busyness of the mind. Rest in the stillness and without strain or effort, listen inwardly. What is needed is a still and quiet mind, sensitive to the movements within it. If you feel your mind wandering, becoming busy with extraneous thoughts, relax again and repeat today’s idea once or twice, then return to the exercise.
If you are doing this well, you may feel a sense of contact with something deep in your mind, or a subtle feeling may arise that may translate itself into thoughts you can hear. If you are very receptive and ready, you may hear a gentle, still, small voice. Listen to it carefully. You may continue this exercise longer if you feel moved to do so and have the time. Conclude by repeating the lesson for today.
To hear God’s Voice I must listen.
For the shorter practice periods, as often as you can remember, close your eyes and repeat the lesson silently to yourself. Then wait quietly for a minute, or whatever amount of time you have, for God’s Voice to speak to you. You cannot remember this idea too often. What you are trying to do is very important and very holy. You are trying to open the communication channel to God’s Answer to the separation and every problem you may perceive in your life. You will succeed if you try sincerely with an open heart and mind, and persevere till communication is attained. The Holy Spirit is always communicating with you, ever ready to help. You must simply open the channel at your end. The Holy Spirit is in your mind, and nothing is more natural than this communication.
Sure it is that I am Love, created by Love to be Itself. God is the Source of all Love; there is no Love but God’s Love. Through the extension of His Love I was created, and through the extension of Love, I create. God created me to extend His Creation. Love is the motivating force through which everything that is real is created. Nothing exists that does not have Love as its Source. Love is what I am, what I have been, and what I will always be. In that, I have no choice.
Yet in the world I have invented to take the place of Truth, Love is absent, banished by my choice of fear, and appearing only in sickly forms limited by my unwillingness to give. Fear has become the great motivator driving behavior and determining the conditions of human life. How can that which I have invented as substitute for what God created, assume Love’s role and drive It from my mind? Only in dreams could this be so; if dreams are my reality in separation, then fear is real and Love is absent.
The dream world of separation was made real in my imagination through the choice of fear and the rejection of Love. To reverse this error, I must reject fear and return to the Love in which I was created. Today it is my intent to begin to feel the Love hidden deep within me, and to choose that Love over the fear that darkens my mind and makes happiness impossible.
For today’s lesson, three exercise periods are recommended, one in the morning soon after waking, one in the evening shortly before retiring, and one in between at anytime that is convenient. Each should last approximately eight to ten minutes; you can take longer if you are comfortable and feel so motivated.
Begin as usual by deeply relaxing mind and body while sitting comfortably in a quiet, undisturbed place. With eyes closed, repeat today’s idea silently to yourself two or three times. Then, in a calm, unhurried manner, search your mind for situations in which you have acted unlovingly. The form of unlove does not matter, just the fact that love was absent is enough to warrant correction. Briefly review each situation in your mind but do not linger too long on any one example. Say slowly and quietly to yourself:
In this situation involving _____, I chose fear,
but I would choose Love instead.
The Love of God is what I am.
Fill in the blank with a brief description. Then go on to the next example. Sometime during this exercise, pause and let your awareness sink deep within. Gently try to feel the peace and Love of God within you. If you feel something, something that seems real, stay with that feeling until it fades. Then go on as before. Conclude the exercise by repeating today’s idea quietly to yourself several times.
Today’s lesson should be remembered frequently as you go about your day. If you can, close your eyes and stay with it for a minute or less. Let this idea permeate your mind and fill you up. If you are in a situation where this cannot be done, merely repeat the idea slowly and silently to yourself. Try to feel the truth of it. You are Love, created in the image of God. You are merely trying to experience the Truth within you, the Truth that is you.
Within you is the One Light that illuminates the universe. There is nothing this Light cannot do. It can heal all pain and sickness, erase all sorrow, and end all suffering. The Light within you can lift you up to Heaven; It is the same Light that shines there.
In this world, you do not see this Light for It is denied entry. Like Love, the Light must be denied in a world of separation built on fear. Fear excludes the Light as surely as it excludes Love. The Light, like Love, is One and all-inclusive, a part of all that God created. Yet what is One and given to all cannot enter where giving is partial and limited.
To a world shrouded in darkness, the Light comes to shine away all that is unreal. All who live in separation long to see this Light. It still lives in everyone as a tiny point of Light unseen beneath the heavy veil of ignorance that covers it. Your brothers look to you to show them the Light of Heaven. They have forgotten It long ago. You must bring the Light to all those lost in the darkness of despair and misery. But first you must reawaken It in yourself, until It shines so brightly that all sin and ignorance dissolve in Its Presence.
In the real universe that lies far beyond all illusion, all is Light, for only the creations of Light are real. This Light can be reflected here in the minds of all who love Truth, and would give all assistance possible to their brothers. You are a Light bearer, you who have chosen to serve your Father’s Great Plan. But first you must awaken to the Light within you, that your mind be healed of the darkness of sin and guilt. As your mind is purified, the Light within shines more and more brightly, until It goes before you, illuminating the path you must walk. From your mind can this Light be rekindled in other minds, spreading from one to another in a long line of transmission, until the whole world stands revealed in the One Light.
Today we take a giant step in this direction as we turn our attention to the Light within us. It cannot be difficult to reach that which has always been a part of us since we were created. We need only try with firm determination and the certainty given us by the Holy Spirit.
Two practice periods are recommended for today of about ten minutes each, though you may do more if so inclined as the week unfolds. It is best to do one in the morning before you start the activities of the day, and one in the evening after you conclude the days’ activities.
In a quiet place free from distractions and disturbances, say the lesson to yourself three or four times silently with eyes closed. Try to say it slowly and with conviction. The Light is in your mind and today we will try to reach It directly. Relax your body and mind completely. Turn your attention within, and let your awareness extend itself deep within, past the constant activity of thought, past all worldly concerns, deep, deep within. Let it rest in the deep silence that prevails in the depths of your mind. Rest there in a state of quiet attention; let thoughts come and go, without giving them your attention. If you remain quiet, resting your attention in awareness itself, the stream of passing thoughts will slow down and will not distract you.
Have no expectations or ideas of what to experience. Just rest in awareness; quiet, attentive, and open. If you are ready, you may actually see a Light with your inner vision. It may be brief or It may last a short while. It may even be very bright, like an inner sun. You may feel something like a force, a movement, a vibration, like a kind of energy. This experience may be very subtle, or may feel very bright, or you may feel nothing but a sense of peace or deep relaxation. Whatever you experience is good. End the exercise by silently repeating the lesson again three or four times.
Throughout the day, repeat the lesson frequently to yourself. Try not to let long periods of time go by without remembering. Frequent repetitions are more helpful than you realize. Close your eyes, say the lesson slowly to yourself once or twice, then go on with your day. Remember, the One Light shines within you as you.
The lesson for today is liable to bring up resistance in one form or another. There is nothing more threatening to the ego than today’s idea. The ego’s purpose is to replace God; thereby it thinks it secures and maintains its existence. The absurdity of this belief, that a cowering and frightened little idea of existence, can by arrogance and bluster replace the Creator of the universe, is apparent to any sane mind.
However, the mind lost in separation is not sane. Crippled by fear and distorted by false purposes, it believes and adheres to the most fantastic ideas with which it has replaced Truth. Foremost is the belief that something not created by God, Who is the Source of all that is real, can exist. This belief is closely tied to the idea that I am responsible for my own creation. If I create myself then I am complete, and need answer to no one nor follow laws I did not make. This is what you believe when you usurp authority that is not yours. All the madness of this world then follows. Selfishness, greed, judgment, guilt, sin, attack; all these and more proceed from the insane idea that you created yourself, and are justified and entitled to do whatever you please without concern for others. All the laws invented to regulate human behavior, are attempts to control the chaos resulting from this authority confusion.
Truth is not affected by chaos and confusion, nor has God been dethroned from His role as Creator of all that is. You who live, move, and have your Being in God, cannot be apart from Him except in dreams of madness. Everything that is, cannot be apart from Him. Ideas leave not their source; everything created is a Thought in the Mind of God, and still remains where it has always been.
Today’s idea is why the world you invented is but idle dreaming. It is why fear and separation, sin and guilt, pain and suffering, do not exist. They were not created by God and invested with His Being, therefore they are not real. Only what God has created exists, and what is not created by God does not exist. Only what lives in Him, in Truth, is. Therefore we say:
Only God (Truth) is.
For the practice of today’s idea, one longer practice period of about fifteen minutes is recommended. If it is going well, you can extend it a little longer. If you encounter resistance or discomfort, shorten it accordingly. Begin by sitting comfortably with eyes closed. Put a little smile on your face and say:
Only God is.
Only Truth is.
Repeat this slowly to yourself three times. Then sit quietly and let thoughts relating to your life, its conditions and problems, pass through your mind. State each condition or problem briefly in this form:
This _______ does not exist in God, therefore it does not exist at all.
A suitable list of thoughts might be:
This house does not exist in God.
This problem with _____ does not exist in God.
My conflict over ______ does not exist in God.
My fear about _____ does not exist in God.
This sickness _________ does not exist in God.
Do not limit your thoughts to what may be considered negative. Include neutral or even positive references.
My new car does not exist in God.
This snowstorm does not exist in God.
My coming trip to ____ does not exist in God.
This sidewalk does not exist in God.
Be sure to follow each example with:
Therefore it does not exist at all.
After several examples have been considered, repeat today’s idea. Then move on.
Spend half of today’s practice period with this exercise, then stop and sit quietly. Repeat today’s idea and let your mind be still. See if you can feel a sense of vastness, or of Light unlimited. Perhaps you will feel peace, or a deep sense of relaxation. In any case, sit quietly and let Truth come. If your mind begins to wander, repeat today’s idea once or twice, then return to stillness.
For the shorter practice periods which should be done once or twice an hour, close your eyes and repeat the idea for today. Then spend a minute or so in silence, letting Truth be. If you are not in a situation where this can be done, simply repeat today’s lesson slowly once or twice, eyes open or closed. That is enough. Open your mind and heart to Truth today. Let your Father’s Voice speak to you.
To the mind lost in the darkness of illusion, today’s idea makes no sense. In fact, to the mind of ignorance, asleep to the reality of its own Being, this is madness, a thought not even worthy of serious consideration. In the midst of an experience of life characterized by fear, misery, and chaos, subject to pain, suffering, and death, any thought of God does indeed seem superfluous. The mind of separation does not realize it has banished God from its world, and fears and hates its Creator. How otherwise could the world you see have arisen unless God was absent from the mind that invented it?
Today we attempt to bring God back to the world that thought it could expel Him, and expunge even His memory. God is not mocked. He is still everywhere and in everything forever. He cannot be absent from your world because He is in your mind and you still abide in His. Actively kept from your awareness however, He cannot be experienced nor can you receive His help until you change your mind.
The Holy Spirit’s goal is just this change of mind, that you be made ready and willing for your Father’s return. The mind must be purified and emptied of all that obstructs the awareness of God’s Presence. The fear of God that lies deep in your mind, must be brought to the Light of awareness and released, that the way be clear for the reunion of the Father and the Son.
We will take a big step today towards the time of that reunion. What is important for the success of this exercise is the awareness that you are attempting something very holy. You are attempting to reach your Father, the Creator of all that is, and welcome Him back to your awareness. We will not let old ideas of fear or unworthiness interfere with our single purpose. We will remember that we are His Creation, a part of Him that can never be separated. Our holiness mirrors His, all that we are is His gift, and we have no life but what we share with Him. God is not far away from us; He can be reached if the mind is clear and quiet and the heart sincere.
For today’s longer practice period, fifteen to twenty minutes is recommended. Make sure you are in a place that is very quiet, where you will not be disturbed. Remember who you are and your real relationship with your Creator. Put aside all worries, considerations, plans; let all extraneous thoughts go. Sit comfortably with eyes closed, body relaxed, and breathing slow and even. Repeat today’s idea slowly and gently to yourself several times. Let your mind be completely open and receptive. Gently turn your attention inward and let it rest in the core of your Being, in the heart of you. In the silence and stillness of Being, rest quietly without effort. Let be what would be. If you are disturbed by extraneous thoughts, repeat today’s idea slowly several times, then return to silence. You need do nothing, just allow what needs to happen to occur. If you are doing today’s exercise well and are ready, you may feel a sense of deep peace, or happiness, perhaps even a feeling of subtle presence. In any case, no matter what happens, today’s exercise sincerely done, will help pave the way for the return of the awareness of God’s Presence.
For the shorter practice periods which should be done several times an hour or more, close your eyes and repeat today’s idea slowly and with feeling. Try to get a sense that this is not just an idea, this is true, a fact of your existence. Spend a minute with eyes closed, feeling the Truth of what you are. If you cannot, due to circumstances or time constraints, just repeat to yourself quietly:
I live in God.
And I am glad that is so.
This is the question that is seldom asked in a way that illuminates the mind that asks it. The mind of separation seldom asks itself questions that would induce serious consideration of motives or the values on which they are based. Typically, you see something that attracts you be it a person, situation, activity, or thing, and you react to that attraction. There may be some consideration of the goal in a superficial way, but your response to attraction, to desire, is automatic and self justifying. Seldom is it seriously examined or understood.
Why do I want it is never asked. To do so would require a serious examination of values, and what they are designed to hide. The sleeping mind does not want to disturb its comfortable slumber. The many wants and desires you have, have very little to do with what you really need. And what you really need is what you really want.
Today we will attempt to uncover what you really need. When that question is answered, you will know what you really want. In truth, to want and to need are the same. To bring them together as one will make salvation possible. All the things you think you want are but a smoke screen to keep what you really need from your awareness. Their result is the continuation of a life based on illusion, chasing shadows with the ego as your guide.
For today, one longer practice session is recommended, preferably at the start of your day. If that is not possible, whenever you can find the time will do. Start this exercise of fifteen to twenty minutes by sitting quietly with eyes closed. When you feel relaxed and ready, repeat today’s idea to yourself, then watch as your mind responds with a long list of things that have no meaning. Let all your desires, all your wanting of what you think you do not have, of what you think you need, be revealed. Do not censor or resist, but let all wanting, regardless of its nature, present itself to you nakedly. You may, for example, experience thoughts such as these:
I want a new ____ .
I want a better relationship with ____.
I want to achieve ____.
Fill in the blank appropriately. It does not matter what the nature of the desire, let it come up. After each example, ask yourself this question:
Is this what I really want?
You may find as the exercise progresses that this question will make you uneasy, for it is asking you to look deeply at what you value and give importance to. You are questioning part of the foundation of your life, that which gives it meaning and purpose. If uneasiness occurs, stop the questioning process and sit quietly for a minute, then resume the exercise. If discomfort persists, discontinue and sit quietly, eyes closed, for the remainder of the exercise period, watching your thoughts and letting them go one by one. If uneasiness does not persist, continue with the exercise. When no more examples are forthcoming, ask yourself once again:
What do I really want?
This time, try to go beyond the more superficial level of answers and let your mind reveal itself. Listen carefully to what you hear. Your deepest yearning is for peace, happiness, and Wholeness. You want to love and be loved, not partially but completely. Deep within, you long to be reunited with your Father. You long to know once again His Love for you and your Love for Him. Do not be concerned if you are unable to receive these deeper answers to your question. By doing this lesson, you are taking a significant step in their direction. The real answer to your question will be given you, perhaps now, perhaps later. It is the answer you really want, the only answer you truly need. For the shorter exercise periods which should be done throughout the day, once an hour at least, close your eyes and ask once again:
What do I really want?
Then spend a minute or two in silence waiting for the answer. It will come.
No one living in this world realizes there is only one need just as you do not realize there is only one problem. Fulfilling your only need is the solution to your only problem. The Truth Itself is very simple. It is the ego, the mind of separation, that is complicated and convoluted. The many problems arising from complexity and confusion cannot be solved on the level on which they manifest. They can only be resolved on the level from which they originate. The mind is the origin of all problems. Its belief in separation gives rise to all the problems you think you have. As long as the belief in the reality of illusions persists, your life will be marked by a constant parade of problems that call for a response. As soon as one situation is resolved, another will arise to take its place. And so it will go, on and on until you are ready to recognize the single nature of what appears as many. The one problem you have is separation from God, your only Source, and thus separation from the Truth of what you are. If the one problem is thus one of lack, then the answer is to fill that lack.
To return to God is your only need. In Truth, you have never left your home in your Father, yet in a world of dreams it does seem as if He is absent from your experience. Your experience then becomes one of lack and loss, and the constant struggle to find and keep what you seemingly lack, and prevent the loss of what you think you need. In this condition, peace and happiness will elude you, and fear will be your constant companion in one form or another.
There is one solution to all that ails you; it is the one thing you really need. God is your only need. When you return to the full awareness of His Presence in you, the direct knowledge of your real relationship with Him, the world and all its problems will vanish, and you will be again as you have always been.
Today, with the exercise we do, we will take a step towards conscious reunion with our Father. Our longer practice period of fifteen to twenty minutes can be done at any time during the day when convenient, although using it to begin the day is best. While sitting quietly with eyes closed, repeat today’s lesson slowly and clearly to yourself several times:
God is my only need.
Sit quietly and let the truth of this statement dawn on your mind. Let your mind go deep, beneath the surface consciousness, beyond the flow of thoughts and images that dominate it. Let it sink into the depths where peace and stillness prevail, where the memory of your Father waits but for the opportunity to return to your awareness and set you free.
In the shorter practice periods which should be done throughout the day, several times an hour if you remember, close your eyes briefly and repeat the lesson silently to yourself:
God is my only need.
Try for a few moments to feel the truth of this. Let it penetrate your mind.
Timing data exists for this session. Please confirm that you want to modify the existing timing.