Lesson 125

I leave for work at 6 am. My commute is 20 miles of mostly freeway. Houston is a busy place at 6 am. This morning it was extremely foggy. In my little car, in the dark and fog, at 70 mph, surrounded by others doing the same speed or faster, I was thinking about A Course in Miracles.

In fact, the whole point is that if you see things differently, your whole world will be different. If I control my thoughts and decide which one I want to have, then my whole world will be different. The main problem most of us have is with the other people. So I must see them differently in order to be happy. This other vision which sees other people differently overlooks the physical and sees beyond to the truth of that person\’s being. This vision or way of seeing, which doesn\’t use the body\’s eyes, is called \”Forgiveness.\”

I love the Course in Miracles text. It is so full of beautiful words; a treasure trove of new thoughts. Below is Lesson 125 from the work book. It is so comforting to me to embrace it in meditation as well as let it embrace me. It is totally possible for me to be peace while at work.

LESSON 125
In quiet I receive God\’s Word today.
Let this day be a day of stillness and of quiet listening. Your Father wills you hear His Word today. He calls to you from deep within your mind where He abides. Hear Him today. No peace is possible until His Word is heard around the world; until your mind, in quiet listening, accepts the message that the world must hear to usher in the quiet time of peace.
This world will change through you. No other means can save it, for God\’s plan is simply this: The Son of God is free to save himself, given the Word of God to be his Guide, forever in his mind and at his side to lead him surely to his Father\’s house by his own will, forever free as God\’s. He is not led by force, but only love. He is not judged, but only sanctified.
In stillness we will hear God\’s Voice today without intrusion of our petty thoughts, without our personal desires, and without all judgment of His holy Word. We will not judge ourselves today, for what we are can not be judged. We stand apart from all the judgments which the world has laid upon the Son of God. It knows him not. Today we will not listen to the world, but wait in silence for the Word of God.
Hear, holy Son of God, your Father speak. His Voice would give to you His holy Word, to spread across the world the tidings of salvation and the holy time of peace. We gather at the throne of God today, the quiet place within the mind where He abides forever, in the holiness that He created and will never leave.
He has not waited until you return your mind to Him to give His Word to you. He has not hid Himself from you, while you have wandered off a little while from Him. He does not cherish the illusions which you hold about yourself. He knows His Son, and wills that he remain as part of Him regardless of his dreams; regardless of his madness that his will is not his own.
Today He speaks to you. His Voice awaits your silence, for His Word can not be heard until your mind is quiet for a while, and meaningless desires have been stilled. Await His Word in quiet. There is peace within you to be called upon today, to help make ready your most holy mind to hear the Voice for its Creator speak.
Three times today, at times most suitable for silence, give ten minutes set apart from listening to the world, and choose instead a gentle listening to the Word of God. He speaks from nearer than your heart to you. His Voice is closer than your hand. His Love is everything you are and that He is; the same as you, and you the same as He.
It is your voice to which you listen as He speaks to you. It is your Word He speaks. It is the Word of freedom and of peace, of unity of will and purpose, with no separation nor division in the single Mind of Father and of Son. In quiet listen to your Self today, and let Him tell you God has never left His Son, and you have never left your Self.
Only be quiet. You will need no rule but this, to let your practicing today lift you above the thinking of the world, and free your vision from the body\’s eyes. Only be still and listen. You will hear the Word in which the Will of God the Son joins in his Father\’s Will, at one with it, with no illusions interposed between the wholly indivisible and true. As every hour passes by today, be still a moment and remind yourself you have a special purpose for this day; in quiet to receive the Word of God.

Post Traumatic Knee Disorder

lol!

In November, in a fluke walking incident, I strained my ACL. I didn\’t know what was wrong, and running wasn\’t affected too much. I didn\’t know if it was something that would heal on its own. But finally in January, I decided to see a sports med doctor. The guy didn\’t know alot, but I did get an MRI. Then this sports med doctor said I had a mild ACL strain. But go see a knee orthopedist.

Yesterday, that finally happened. The ACL is healed. There is another problem with my knee cap, which is damage from when I was growing up. Nothing to do about it now except stay off stairs as much as possible and don\’t do anything like squats or lunges or wall sits; or ride a bicycle with the seat down too far. The ortho doc asked if I was a runner, then didn\’t bother to tell me to stop running. He knew I couldn\’t do that.

Well, if I\’m to have this problem, it is a good thing I now live in Texas where there are absolutely no hills to run on.

So, as an endurance athlete, I continue with my life of working out. Today, I jog/walked for 4 hours. This is the longest time I\’ve done in a month. As I lay on my bed this afternoon, I was contemplating my afternoon workout and my run tomorrow. It is impossible: my legs are a bit sore, my left heel is screaming as usual and I am planning more.

What is wrong with my brain? Why do I do this? Why do I sign up for 12 hour races when I know full well that my legs will be painfully tired from it?

After much contemplation, I can\’t say it is for glory as it used to be. It is not for a spiritual reward as it used to be. It could be for the experience of camaraderie I feel in such lap type endurance runs. It could be just to be. It could be for nothing. It could be a retreat into peace.

Post ACL, I feel more tentative; even as I watch the force of my will inexorably drive me forward.

Problem Solved

Does God solve problems? Probably not.

But, I can see things differently and in that is my world changed. I can ask for help in seeing things differently. The Holy Spirit is who saves me with Christ vision.

A Course in Miracles states the non-existence of guilt. And this is because God, being Love, could not have created anything other than love. Created love cannot be guilty any more than God can be guilty.

Anyway, I broke the rules of non-thinking obedience at work yesterday. I woke up in the night feverish with guilt, shame and \”I-am-not-good-enough-to-work-at-this-great-place.\” I mean really, I was attacked by negative emotion from all sides. I tried to project it out onto the company and its gate keepers. hate loomed.

Yet this morning, as I studied the ACIM text, I was reminded to let the Holy Spirit solve my problems for me. Ummm…yeah…I asked the Holy Spirit to help me with \”this problem.\” I did my morning workout engraving in my thoughts, \”I will accept forgiveness for myself.\” Forgiveness is overlooking, or looking beyond this world to the one of peace and light which is the real world of love. The function of the miracles worker is to accept salvation for themselves because in that they stop projecting their guilt onto others and all are seen as innocent, creations of love.

Today at work, nothing was said.

One of the first things that happened was I had an unexpected cup of coffee with 3 colleagues I don\’t normally see. But I got validation from them about my feelings related to stupid and inefficient work requirements. Then the first class I had was relatively interesting. Then the morning slipped quietly away. I got some work done and then the afternoon class slipped quietly away. Then I drove home on traffic-less streets in record time.

I kept saying thank you to Whomever. \”This problem\” has been solved and not by me.

My lessons tomorrow are so relaxing and freeing for me (remember, some of the following words are re-defined by ACIM): \”Salvation is my only function here.\” and \”God\’s Will for me is perfect happiness.\”

I am perfectly happy to surrender to the function of salvation as it means seeing things differently. and I am totally willing to have God\’s will of happiness for me; which I will have if I accept it.

Do You Love God?

It seems to me that if God is love, He doesn\’t notice Fat Tuesday or Ash Wednesday because all He knows is love.

I think that the idea of guilt free eating plus 40 days of penance throws shit into the face of love. Now love doesn\’t care if you throw shit into its face. But how do you feel about it?

I mean why do you over indulge and then retreat into the desert alone with God, deep into the heart of Love? (A Biblical theme for Lent).

I agree with a life as steady as possible, without distractions, focused on Love everyday. Not just special occasions. And I also mean that one can have inner God focused peace even when the world seems in turmoil around you. This is what surrender (total self gift) achieves.

\”Return to Me…..with all your heart….\”

Surrender

A work related temptation has been bugging me all weekend. I\’ve been trying to give it up to the Holy Spirit. This morning, in my spiritual study, I finally found the conviction needed. And so I first spontaneously said the 3rd Step Prayer from AA. And then a prayer from A Course in Miracles.

\”Holy Spirit, I offer myself to You to do with me and build with me as You will. Relieve me of the bondage of self that I may better do Your will. Take away my difficulties that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Your power, Your love and Your way of life. May I do Your will always. May I at last abandon myself utterly to You.\”

\”This holy instant would I give to You. Be Thou in charge that I may follow You certain that Your direction brings me peace.\”

After this, it is my job to keep a quiet mind and listen to the intuitive Voice for God.

Beliefs Are Not Truth

We people believe what we want to believe.

3 weeks ago, when I first went to the sports doctor, I came away thinking I had a torn meniscus. Since I believed it, I acted like it. Then I had an MRI. Then I went back to the sports doctor for the results. The report said I had a mild ACL strain but no meniscus problems. The doctor approved me for any exercise that was not a side to side or twisting stress on the knee.

So, besides my ex-machines, I ran alot. This week, I ran 50 miles. Yesterday, I slogged out a 2.5 hour jog in the pouring rain. Today, after a 15 mile LSD, my knee is not swollen. But my point is that I am still behaving like I believe whatever the doctor said. I changed my beliefs based on what an authority figure told me.

In the mean time, my knee was getting better regardless of what the doctor said.

So the next step is to realize that my beliefs about God and reality itself, humankind itself and so on, are products of what I have heard plus choices. I may hear something but I choose whether to believe it. My choices are based on what I want. Often, I want someone else to suffer so that I can be victor. Yes, tis true. Every one is like this but few admit it.

I may not have any beliefs that come straight from God.

People believe the Bible (or other spiritual works) because the have been told that they are the truth, the WORD of GOD. But there is no proof of this. There is only a long standing human tradition that makes it so.

Last night, as I meditated quietly, I allowed my dark companion to surface. My dark companion is fear. My companion can point to a situation and tell me to be afraid. Looking deeper, I see that the fear came first, then the situation was pointed out. The basis for all my beliefs is this fear. I am better off allowing the fear to surface than to pretend it is not there. See, A Course in Miracles teaches that we can learn to see things differently, perceive things differently, choose something else.

If I want to know the truth, I\’m sure I need to step aside from what humans teach, mainstream society, religion as we know it.

In the town where I live, a banner went up over main street advertising race weekend. As I drove under it today, I sort of teared up. See, I am entered in 2 half marathons in 2 days for race weekend. It looks like I am ready to complete the Pelican Challenge.

The Cliff

It is a point of contemplation: I am on the brink of my Friday evening workout. Why am I doing this? I am not exactly and ultra-runner at this time. I have no need for training per se. But yet again this week, here I am about to spend 2 hours on strength and aerobics.

And so I pause, on the brink and become very still. I compose myself into a contemplative statue. Quiet inside and out. I ponder and wait. Silence descending into my being is the greatest gift. Silence is my fuel. Silence is the language of my inner power and motivation.

Slowly, the elliptical begin to turn. I start to work on my thoughts. I allow the days annoyances into my consciousness that I may work on them.

Daily life begs a declaration: Let me not forget my function.

I can\’t afford to attack with my thoughts. I cannot afford to allow my thoughts to spiral around the temptation to hate. And so I declare: Love holds no grievances. Grievances, attack thoughts, the temptation to hate are all one thing: my ego diverting my attention from Love and Silence. I cannot afford this. And so I repeat my declaration: let me not forget my function.

Dis-establishment…

…..of the ego and the body as the basis of my reality.

My mind hold only light and it shines out.
My mind is part of God\’s and it is holy.

On the weekends, the people I see are random people, chance meetings. I always have pleasant feelings. Like early this morning, as I stood just inside the door of Home Depot mystified at where to go, an orange aproned associate actually asked me. I said I want aisle 42 but I see nothing like that. She pointed out what part of the store and laughed with me about how confusing the place was.

Then in Target, the cashier called me sir (which they all do and he wasn\’t the first just in that store); but then apologized. I told him not to worry. Then he said he just got yelled at because a complaint had been filed against him. Poor guy.

Well, I share these things because I saw the holiness of these random people. And, seeing it once, it can be seen in all. Sitting here, I can pick out someone who annoys me and then choose to see their holiness.

After my chore of shopping, I did an indoor exercise fest. I burned up more calories doing that than running. Since I use exercise machine where I don\’t need to see to keep my balance, I love to shut my eyes, plug my ears and lose my mind in ACIM lessons. I mourn the loss of the Sunday long run, but my legs are more tired from what I did today. Running is not the be all and end all.

Lesson 34

I could see peace instead of this.

1 The idea for today begins to describe the conditions that prevail in the other way of seeing. Peace of mind is clearly an internal matter. It must begin with your own thoughts, and then extend outward. It is from your peace of mind that a peaceful perception of the world arises.
2 Three longer practice periods are required for today\’s exercises. One in the morning arid one in the evening are advised, with an additional one to be undertaken at any time in between that seems most conducive to readiness. All applications should be done with your eyes closed. It is your inner world to which the applications of today\’s idea should be made.
3 Some five minutes of mind searching are required for each of the longer practice periods. Search your mind for fear thoughts, anxiety-provoking situations, “offending” personalities or events, or anything else about which you are harbouring unloving thoughts. Note them all casually, repeating the idea for today slowly as you watch them arise in your mind, and let each one go, to be replaced by the next.
4 If you begin to experience difficulty in thinking of specific subjects, continue to repeat the idea to yourself in an unhurried manner, without applying it to anything in particular. Be sure, however, not to make any specific exclusions.
5 The shorter applications are to be frequent, and made whenever you feel your peace of mind is threatened in any way. The purpose is to protect yourself from temptation throughout the day. If a specific form of temptation arises in your awareness, the exercise should take this form:

I could see peace in this situation instead of what I now see in it.

6 If the inroads on your peace of mind take the form of more generalized adverse emotions, such as depression, anxiety or worry, use the idea in its original form. If you find you need more than one application of today\’s idea to help you change your mind in any specific context, try to take several minutes and devote them to, repeating the idea until you feel some sense of relief. It will help you if you tell yourself specifically:

I can replace my feelings of depression, anxiety or worry [or my thoughts about this situation, personality or event] with peace.

Holiness

I went in a half marathon today. I walk/jogged for the first 9 miles (2 hours) and then ran the last 4.1. I was saving my knee, since my doctor doesn\’t think running at this point is a really good idea. I see him again on Wednesday. I had an MRI last Wednesday.
Then, this afternoon, I was looking at the web page of the convent I used to live at. One of the young sisters has started wearing a veil. I would kill to hide myself in a holy garment; not that she is, that\’s just what my ego wants.
Then, sweeping the floors of my Texas palace, I thought about the mental difficulty I have with being nobody. I listened to my ACIM lesson for the day: \”I have invented the world I see.\” And then I must laugh. If I take ACIM seriously, I see that I invented the perfect circumstance for me to give up the ego\’s thought system and take on the Holy Spirit\’s thought system.
Beside having my slowest time ever in a half marathon today, I enjoyed being one of the other walkers. I got to put another medal on a wall of my palace. This wall is coming to symbolize my story in Texas.
Quietly running. Quietly working out. Quietly drinking my green smoothies. Quietly cleaning my house. Quietly going about my work. It is all nothing. And so I know, the ego\’s world is nothing. 
There are some reasons why I want to love quiet and nothingness. Like the sisters veil, it is my sign of holiness. The wall with the medals is a symbol of holiness. The quiet solitude of my palace is a symbol of holiness.