The Eternal Now

THE ETERNAL NOW: IT’S HERE! IT’S HERE!

Be Still and Know

Graphic by Deposit Photos

Article by Rev Reja Janaki Joy Green*
~*~*~*~*~*~

Regardless of whether the body appears to be getting out of bed in the morning,
going home at night, or sitting reading a book, it is unavoidably now.
The fact that it is always now never can be changed.
It is impossible to make it be not-now.

Dziuban, Peter Francis Consciousness Is All: Now Life Is Completely New (p. 114).
Blue Dolphin Publishing, Inc. Kindle Edition.


When we were younger, my twin sister used to say that being with me is like looking at the sun. She was implying, in a not too veiled way, that I am an intense person and sometimes it is uncomfortable to be with me. I took it as a compliment.

I suppose I recalled the memory of this observation just ‘now,’ because I am venturing to write about a subject that is, for the most part, ignored—much like the fact that we are all going to die some day.

To visit the NOW might be like looking at the sun for some people. If we are going along, living our lives based on an imagined past and an inevitable future, the Present Moment of NOW might be viewed as something that would only gum up the system.

In fact, it stops the system.

Thus, when an idea challenges our reality, there is fear. We may not know how we got to this life, but we have developed ‘by now’ a way of coping with where we find ourselves. We have mitigated the fear of the unknown by building beliefs about what is so. These are the beliefs that are sacrosanct and not to be questioned, because to question these beliefs is to question our sanity.

However, you are reading these words. Something peeked your interest and brought you here. There are no accidents. When a person comes into our lives, or a book, a song, a movie—we have the opportunity to see it as a gift from our Soul, and pay attention.

There are no accidents in salvation. Those who are to meet will meet because together they have the potential for a holy relationship. They are ready for each other.

~ A Course in Miracles Original Edition [ACIM OE M], Manual for Teachers #3. Par 1

Every decision we have ever made has brought us to this MOMENT.

For me, right NOW, the moment is a beautiful March morning on my loft in which I have time to type and share my thoughts.

If you stop a moment to take notice, right NOW, you too can describe the MOMENT for you.

Yet it is always and forever, NOW. And that’s a beautiful thought. It doesn’t have to produce fear. There is strife only when we hold onto anything. In the letting go and accepting what is, there is PEACE.

In the ACIM Study Group I attend, which has been meeting every Sunday for several years here in Omaha, Nebraska, there is a gentleman who reminds us often of something he learned from his experience. He tells us the key to Peace, or to any difficult situation, is ‘Surrender’. This gentle person had a shift in consciousness and experienced himself as Pure Conscious Awareness. He ‘knows’ It is what HE IS NOW, what I AM NOW and what YOU ARE NOW. It never changes. When we surrender to what is, there is PEACE.

Be still and KNOW—God. [Love, Peace, Joy]

Years ago, many of us took the Werner Erhard Seminar Training [E.S.T.] and I often recall that the bottom line was, after two weekends of sitting in a hotel ballroom on a fold-up chair with very little food or sleep — “What IS, IS. And what isn’t, isn’t.”

How profound is that! Perhaps we could go further and ask ourselves these questions:  Are we aware of this moment? Is the moment NOW? Is the moment HERE? Can we change this moment of NOW to not be the moment, to not be NOW, or to not be here?

Which brings us to the main focus of this essay: It’s HERE – It’s HERE.

As little girls, my twin sister and I had devised a game at the same time, yet unbeknownst to each other. When one of us shared with the other what we were doing, we were both stunned. We had each felt that the experience was our own discovery.

The process was to stare at an object, any object, and say to ourselves, “It’s here. It’s here.”

Soon, we were acutely aware of the moment of time in which we were looking at the object. The object faded from our attention, which was now placed in the present moment. Our full attention was on Presence, i.e. Pure Conscious Awareness.

And this was fine, for a while. It was fine until we tried to stop the game, and discovered “it’s here”. Ok. Well, that is all good, but now I want to get back to other things, and “it’s here.” Cool. I get it. Time to return. “It’s here.” Yikes. This is a tiny bit scary. I can’t seem to stop this presence. “It’s here.” But won’t it stop at some point? Won’t I find the end? “it’s here.” Isn’t there a place outside of Presence, outside of the NOW? “It’s here.” But now it seems like a dream I can’t wake up from. “It’s here.” When I do seem to wake up, I’m still here! It’s beginning to feel like a light show, or a kaleidoscope that keeps opening and opening and opening and never, ever stops! “It’s here.” There is no end! There will never, ever be an end! It is eternal! I have touched the face of infinity! The NOW has never started and it will never end. “It’s here.” Let me out!!

Even though it took quite a bit of words to describe this process, the experience itself took less than a minute. Time was ‘there’, as usual, with one minute seemingly coming after the other, and then it wasn’t. Or rather, it was there all at once. It was there AND not there. It was All AND Nothing. It was the Alpha and Omega.

Eventually, at some point, my sister and I had to force ourselves to forget what we were doing. By ‘now’, we were terrified. We were like a caged animal, trapped in a never-ending dream. With each attempt to escape, we were faced with another instance of the Moment, which we resisted. And it was this resistance that caused our pain and suffering.

Instead, we could have asked ourselves if there were actually something to resist or fear? Could we surrender to the truth of this experience? Could we accept what Is, Is, and what isn’t, isn’t? Could we open to the knowing of Who We Are as Pure Conscious Awareness, which will never die, and extends Itself forever?

[Lesson 67] Love created me like Itself.

I am in the likeness of my Creator. I cannot suffer, I cannot experience loss, and I cannot die. I am not a body. I would recognize my reality today. I will worship no idols nor raise my own self-concepts to replace my Self. I am in the likeness of my Creator. Love created me like Itself.

~ ACIM OE Workbook Lesson 84 Review of Lesson 67

What could this ‘knowing’ mean for us?

Could it mean that nothing we have ever done in ‘time’ has changed Who We Truly Are?
We give all the meaning our experience has. What if we found the courage to experience the essence of Pure Conscious Awareness? What would that be like? How would it inform our perceptions and our experience here in ‘time’?

What actually gives meaning to our experience if not the ground of BEING, which is Pure Awareness?

Only when I align my True Self with Pure Conscious Awareness am I able to open to the idea — I AM the Perfect, Sinless, Child of God.

This is Forgiveness [opening to that which is REAL, here and now]. This is Salvation [opening to that which is REAL, here and now]. This is the Atonement [opening to that which is REAL, here and now].

There is no other path. And so we celebrate what IS—Love IS! God IS! We ARE!

As we learn in A Course in Miracles:

51 The journey to God is merely the reawakening of the knowledge of where you are always and what you are forever. It is a journey without distance to a goal that has never changed. Truth can only be experienced. It cannot be described, and it cannot be explained. I can make you aware of the conditions of truth, but the experience is of God. Together we can meet its conditions, but truth will dawn upon you of itself.”

~ ACIM OE Text CH 8 VI

In this beautiful MOMENT of NOW, shall we open to Who We Are and will forever BE. Can we open to knowing that these words I am typing are from the very center of my Being, which is your Being as well?

There is ONE Extension of the One Creator and Thou Art That!

And so it is!
AMEN ♥

========================================

*Reverend Reja Joy Green is one of the founding members of the Course in Miracles Society [CIMS]; She is the CIMS webmaster, eMagazine editor and producer of the Daily Lesson Mailings [example of mailings]. Rev. Reja Joy facilitates the Course in Miracles study group in Omaha and is ordained as a Community Miracles Center minister.  Rev Reja Joy facilitated the 2013 free ACIM DAILY Lesson Conference Calls along with Rev. Pamela Whitman.

As a registered Yoga Instructor, Rev. Reja Joy teaches through her RejaJoy-Yoga-Studio from the perspective of A Course in Miracles and hosts several social media groups for those who share this journey. Rev. Reja Joy currently resides with her loving husband Chris Green in Omaha, NE.

Course in Miracles Society (CIMS) is an international group of Course students and teachers organized to discover, authenticate and propagate the divine teachings of A Course in Miracles. As students, we seek to increase our knowledge of Jesus’ words and to deepen our experience of his teaching. As teachers, we work to circulate the message of A Course in Miracles throughout the world by our words, by our deeds and by the example of our lives.  Jcim.net

Finding My ACIM Family

My Experience of Finding

My ACIM Teleconference Family

By Rhett Billings*

Graphic by © Deposit Photos

            For many years, the almost overwhelming love and wisdom contained within the pages of A COURSE IN MIRACLES were more than I could take in. I sensed there was something there I REALLY wanted, but I resisted it strongly, without knowing why. Periodically, I’d pick it up and put it down again, like so many others have… until now!

It was as if studying it on my own was not only difficult, but perhaps… lonely, or that part of me KNEW it needed to be studied and practiced in another way. Even my weekly ACIM class wasn’t quite locking it in for me. Although I eagerly looked forward to and deeply enjoyed my class each week, it always went by so fast, leaving me wanting and hungry for a whole week. Eventually, I became keenly aware of an almost desperate need for more. I loved studying under Harrison Blackmond’s leadership and with my classmates, but I seldom studied between classes. Studying alone left me with an empty feeling. Maybe one meeting per week just wasn’t enough for me.

Then, my landscape changed and I’m so very thankful it did! My weekly Course instructor, Harrison, sensed I was longing for more, so he invited me to join him in the mornings on two daily ACIM teleconference calls.

Hearing the Course’s writings read by the many voices I met there did something miraculous for me. My loneliness gave way and I felt safe to share in the comfort of our common longing to know our true Selves again. Their different voices, filled with love and passion for the writings, brought out the Light in such engaging and delightful ways! After we read, we are invited to freely share what came up for us. The rich and deep wisdom, born from living experience within each member, brings the Truths and Principles to LIFE, which unleashes and captures even more treasure for me!

One of these calls, facilitated by a fun and spirited minister named Rev. Pamela Whitman, from New Jersey, focuses on studying the Workbook for Students. Into our daily study and practice sessions, she wisely builds in some meditation time, as the Author suggests. It’s astonishing how beneficial this group silence is for me. There’s a trust and reverence that begins to build. Rev. Pamela’s opening prayer and centering is AWESOME and her closing prayer just makes me want to jump up and go practice my forgiveness training in the theater of the “real” world. She is amazing! She also allows two volunteers from our group to facilitate on Thursdays and Sundays, something I love to do. To me, she is a wise and loving Truth Warrior who inspires me to stretch out, open wide, and bite off more of my forgiveness potential!

The other call was wonderfully facilitated in 2014 by Carl Lammers and focused on the Text. I find his soothing, deep, rich voice to be so comforting, encouraging me to expand. He has mastered the art of leadership in a particular way, making me feel so safe and secure. To aid in the digestion of the material, we read each paragraph twice, slowly and deliberately, with a different reader on each to extract more “juice” from the grape. All of us have voiced our deep appreciation to Carl for this method of study, which he borrowed from a group out in the Oregon/Washington area. Carl and his wife currently live in Lexington, Kentucky.

Both calls encourage use of “A Course in Miracles Original Edition” [ACIM OE], published by Course in Miracles Society [CIMS]. This edition is the unedited manuscript, as it was completed by the scribes Helen Schucman and William Thetford.

We are blessed to also have Lee Flynn, a CIMS member, on both calls daily. Lee contributed his efforts to the invalidation of the copyright, which was inadvertently instrumental in bringing the scribe’s original shorthand notes to the world.

Within days of “meeting” my group members on the phone, I felt like I had known them forever. I felt so loved and accepted, marveling at how they could identify a caller dropping in with so few words. Even a little chuckle or a, “Good morning, family”, is enough to identify Carla, for example. Many of us also enjoy a Skype and Facebook group forum for further communication.

Before finding this group, I was not aware that the rich and useful nuggets of living Truth contained within the pages of this MIRACULOUS book just begged to be experienced daily within the embrace of a loving, supportive community. I feel that being unable to see each other’s body is actually an advantage, as it robs my ego’s eyes of yet another avenue to judge. The Course teaches that judging others is how we separate ourselves from God.

As Harrison says, “In order to really GET what the Course is aimed at achieving (undoing our attachment to the ego’s thought system), we have to be bathing our minds in this material 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. That’s the only way it will actually take hold.”

I believe Harrison is right. This world is a tough place to “BE REAL”, and I need a daily dose of love from this community to keep my strength and dedication fortified. I cannot believe how rapidly my spiritual muscle and vision are growing. My ability to forgive myself and others is like nothing I ever dreamed possible, not to mention my ability to love all of my brothers and sisters in the world, despite their seeming shortcomings. It is flat-out astonishing to me!

Taking in and digesting the Course now is effortless and I can hardly wait for the start of each day to reunite and go digging some more with my Truth-seeking spiritual family. In fact, starting my day without it now seems almost incomprehensible. I just LOVE listening to the recordings later in the day, as I always seem to pick up more yummy stuff I missed on the live call.

The profound concepts in the writings, sometimes couched in complex sentence structure, can be a little challenging at times, leaving me scratching my head. That’s when this community comes in so handy. All I have to do is voice my confusion and someone makes it so simple for me to understand. There are several members who have been teaching and studying it for many, many years. They are like ministers of Light to me and, when the “light bulb” comes on, I am frequently filled with so much excitement and gratitude that I can’t help but cry, so I do… and I let it roll. It’s very cleansing for me and the group seems to appreciate it.

Since my junior year of high school (I’m 50 now), I’ve been passionately interested in self-help and have enjoyed years of deep therapeutic work, but I could never afford group therapy (in the world’s view, the ultimate powerhouse of psycho-therapeutic healing). To me, these conference calls are almost like group therapy, only better. I am bathing my mind in the Truth, and this causes what I’ve been hiding in the dark to become exposed and surface. If I then choose to ask the Holy Spirit to show me who I really am and find the courage to share my insights with my Course family, I am engaging in the purification process and removing these obstacles to my awareness of Love’s Presence. SHARING, I now believe, is the most essential ingredient in healing. Perhaps this is one of the reasons group therapy is so effective.

By sharing ourselves with others we come to: sense the heat of Love aching to be released from within our crusty, defensive shells; contribute to the growth of others; feel and rekindle the blessed awareness of our Oneness with the community of the Whole; and, ultimately, return to Love by remembering Who we really Are—extensions of the pure Love of God.

For me, tears and laughter are like the 1-2 punch when it comes to deep, lasting healing. They are a common experience for us during the calls. AND IT’S FREE!!! Well… almost. I do choose to make a weekly tax deductible donation [love offering] to support Rev. Pamela in their life-enhancing ministry.

I will forever be grateful to Harrison for leading me to these TOTALLY LIFE-CHANGING Conference Calls, and for his AMAZING leadership. Were it not for the compelling demonstration of his own work and healing through the Course, and through the love and joy in his eyes and laughter, I very much doubt I would have found this treasure chest of fulfillment!

If you, or someone you know, feels frustrated or lonely when studying A Course In Miracles, please consider my invitation to step into the Light provided by this welcoming, enlightening community. The Holy Spirit heard me calling for more… more love… more clarity… for a better way. Ask and you shall receive!

Please feel free to drop in and visit our community anytime. We will welcome you to our circle of Love and Truth when and if the time becomes right for you!

Namaste

Join fellow ACIM students from around the world.

The ACIM Conference Call Number in 2015 is 712-775-7035
• DAILY LESSON CALL 8:00-9:00 am EST code: 150777#
• M-F TEXT READING CALL 9:15-10:30 am EST code: 974635#
• TU TEXT STUDY CALL 7:30-9 pm EST code: 150777#
• SAT APPLICATION CALL 9:15-10:30 am EST code: 974635#
• LINE AVAILABLE 24/7 code: 974635#

More info: http://www.jcim.net/Pages/DailyConferenceCalls.html

* RHETT BILLINGS comes from a long line of Swedenborgian Convention ministers, but later in life discovered his true faith home in the contemporary scripture contained within A Course In Miracles. He received his B.A. in Social Service from Urbana University in 1992 and, while filling out the application to the Swedenborgian seminary, felt guided to wait until the second half of his life. Rhett lives in Troy, Michigan (a suburb of Detroit) with his wife, Karen, and younger son, Jesse (20). His older son, Reece (23), lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, near his Mother, Anna (Rhett’s former wife, also a loyal member of our Conference Calls). Rhett works for WOW! Internet, Cable and Phone as a multi-dwelling unit sales rep and hopes to one day become an ACIM minister (with a Swedenborgian background).

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Course in Miracles Society BOOKS

CIMS-Products

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Lady Gaga’s JUDAS and ACIM by Corinne Zupko

Lady Gaga’s JUDAS and
A Course in Miracles

by Corinne Zupko*
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

[As it appears in the April 2012 Newsletter]

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

http://www.innerbalanceliving.com

“Judas was my brother and a Son of God,
as much a part of the Sonship as myself.
Was it likely that I would condemn him
when I was ready to demonstrate
that condemnation is impossible?”

~ A COURSE IN MIRACLES, ACIM OrEd.TX.6.20 


       I am a fan of Lady Gaga. I love her for her messages of choosing love, acceptance, and non-judgment, over hate, exclusion, and judgment. And I believe she often listens to her Inner Guidance System, which is what “A Course in Miracles” (ACIM) is teaching us to do.

Being that my operating system is A Course in Miracles “one-point-0,” I tend to look at everything through the lens of ACIM. When I first watched Lady Gaga’s video, “Judas”, I didn’t get it. But as I watched it over and over through my ACIM lens, I ended up being moved to tears. If you haven’t seen it check it out on YouTube.

To me, the lyrics of “Judas” speak to the state we find ourselves in this world. The song is about the split we feel in deciding between truth versus illusion, or love versus fear. We know that it is love that is good for us, and yet, we persist in choosing fear. In the song, Jesus represents love, truth, and Oneness. Judas represents the ego, which, according to the Course, is the part of our mind that WANTS to be separate from Oneness. Another way to describe the ego is fear.

♫ “I wanna love you,
but something’s pulling me away from you,
Jesus is my virtue,
but Judas is the demon I cling to” – Lady Gaga’s “Judas”

Our true state is one of Love. We are eternal, and we are One. And yet, according to “A Course in Miracles” we had the “tiny mad idea” that we wanted to experience ourselves as separate from our Source. And so we chose to enter earth school – this state of seeming separation that we believe is really happening. We chose to listen to the ego rather than to Love. And so the ego coaxes us to follow it, but all it offers us is dissatisfaction, loneliness, and pain. We know that Love is our virtue and will make us happy, and yet we cling to the ego to hide from Love. We really believe the ego has something to offer us.

♫ “I’m just a holy fool, and baby it’s so cruel
but I’m still in love with Judas, baby.” – Lady Gaga’s “Judas”

We are holy fools! The Course constantly likens us to spiritual children. We think we know everything. We think we know what is best for us. We think we know what makes us happy. And we think a love affair with the ego brings joy. Yet, we’re mistaken. Nothing here in this world really satisfies us or lasts forever.

The ego’s motto is, “Seek but do not find” (~ACIM).

How many times have we said, “when I get that better relationship, then I will be happy” or “when I get that new job, or those new clothes, then I will be happy.” When we achieve that which we were after, maybe we’re satisfied for a minute. Then we’re off searching for the next thing.

The only true place to find happiness is within. Nothing outside of us can make us happy. The only thing that will really satisfy us is our connection to Spirit. With that comes a knowing of WHO we really are – that we are love, we are never alone, we are whole, and eternal. Being a channel for Love is what will make us happy.

CONTINUED READING FROM NEWSLETTER

And then the ego sings:

♫ “I’ll bring him down, bring him down, down.
A king with no crown, king with no crown.” – Lady Gaga’s “Judas”

When I intently watched the video and listened to the lyrics, seeing the forceful swoop of the dancers hands as they motioned bringing Jesus “down” I couldn’t help but feel emotional. In Jesus’ example, his persecutors (those who were identified with their ego) wanted to bring him (Love) down. Yet, we still do this over and over every day when we choose to listen to our egos and block out the Voice of Love. Judging one another and attacking one another are all various forms of wanting to bring love down. They are not acts of love, they are calls for love.

According to ACIM, our egos are not our friends. The ego actively wants to keep love out. It doesn’t want you looking within, because if we really find what we are, which is love, we would stop believing in the ego. So the ego wants to take down Love. It wants to kill it.“The ego is therefore capable of suspiciousness at best, and viciousness at worst”(~ACIM).

And yet, the Course also teaches that the ego is really nothing, and it is certainly nothing to be afraid of! It is just a dream with no power to change love at all.

“Where there was darkness now we see the light. What is the ego? What the darkness was. Where is the ego? Where the darkness was. What is it now and where can it be found? Nothing and nowhere. Now the light has come…” – A Course in Miracles

Where love is, the ego is not. And when we choose to identify with Love, the ego has no power over us. This makes me think of this “Judas” lyric:

♫ “Forgive him when his tongue lies through his brain
Even after 3 times, he betrays me” – Lady Gaga’s “Judas”

Jesus forgave everyone. Even his crucifiers. The ego’s actions had no power over him.

I watched a documentary on the Gospel of Judas recently, and was struck to learn that according to that gospel, Jesus instructed Judas on what his part would be. According to this gospel, Jesus actually told Judas that he should turn him in. Judas had a key role to play, so Jesus could demonstrate with an extreme example that love, which is what we are, cannot be destroyed.

In the Course, Jesus states:

“I elected, for your sake and mine, to demonstrate that the most outrageous assault, as judged by the ego, does not matter.”

No matter what awful picture the body seems to go through, Jesus’ resurrection showed us that we cannot kill love.

We are not asked to be crucified. We are simply asked, in much less extreme situations, to be willing to see with the vision of Love, rather than with fear. We cannot choose to see with love on our own, we need to call upon our Inner Guide that is within each and every one of us, for help. For this Inner Guide knows the way to love. We don’t. Learning to remove the blocks that we’ve put up to love and discover the beauty that is already within each of us what “A Course in Miracles” is all about.

~*~

*Corinne Zupko, Ed.S., M.A., C.P.C., is a speaker, adjunct professor, coach, writer, and meditation teacher. Corinne began her work with the Course in 1996 after struggling with debilitating anxiety and panic attacks. By practicing the Course principles, “what appeared as terrifying and  Love or Fearunresolvable, ended up being one of the most growth-enhancing experiences in my life.” Her growth and healing journey led her into a career in the helping professions where she is passionate about helping others find and connect with their inner truth.
For more information, Corinne is a regular contributor at  www.twitter.com/CorinneZupko

Website:

 

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Closing the Gap ~ Daniel Tipton


Dare to Be Happy

By Daniel Tipton*

CLOSING THE GAP

[as it appeared in the April 2012 Newsletter]

CLOSING THE GAP

There is a gap we all experience but may not always be aware of. It is the gap of time between a grievance and a miracle. It is the time spent in hell. It is the time spent on the cross before the resurrection. It is this period of time that the Course is trying to get us to pare down to the holy instant.

“I seem to have problems only because I am misusing time. I believe that the problem comes first, and time must elapse before it can be worked out. I do not see the problem and the answer as simultaneous in their occurrence. That is because I do not yet realize that God has placed the answer together with the problem, so that they cannot be separated by time. The Holy Spirit will teach me this if I will let Him.” (OrEd.W.90.5)

By practicing A Course in Miracles, we are attempting to close the gap between grievance and miracle (or forgiveness). We start with a grievance at the beginning of a period of time and have to struggle to reach the miracle at the other end. As we all know, this period of time can be minutes, hours, days, or even years. All the while, we allow ourselves to suffer in that period of time.

[78] Let miracles replace all grievances.
5 “By this idea do I unite my will with the Holy Spirit’s and perceive them as one. By this idea do I accept my release from hell. By this idea do I express my willingness to have all my illusions be replaced with truth according to God’s plan for my salvation. I would make no exceptions and no substitutes. I want all of Heaven and only Heaven, as God wills me to have.” (OrEd.W.89.5)

The time spent in unforgiveness is the time we are attempting to do away with. It is the only reason we have time in the first place. No matter how big or small grievances seem to be, God would not have us misuse time in this way. We attempt to close this gap by being mindful (Mind the gap! 😉  ) and practicing the Course. The gap will eventually shrink down into nothingness, which I believe is the holy instant. We can track our progress by how long we stay with a grievance. It may be particularly helpful to compare the times spent with similar grievances.

“Do not be concerned with time and fear not the instant of holiness which will remove all fear. For the instant of peace is eternal because it is wholly without fear. It will come, being the lesson God gives you through the Teacher He has appointed to translate time into eternity.” (OrEd.T.15.17)

“This course is not beyond immediate learning unless you prefer to believe that what God wills takes time. And this means only that you would rather delay the recognition that His Will is so. The holy instant is this one and every one. The one you want it to be it is. The one you would not have it be is lost to you. You must decide on when it is. Delay it not. For beyond the past and future, in which you will not find it, it stands in shimmering readiness for your acceptance. Yet you cannot bring it into glad awareness while you do not want it, for it holds the whole release from littleness.”  (OrEd.T.15.35)

“The necessary condition for the holy instant does not require that you have no thoughts which are not pure. But it does require that you have none that you would keep. Innocence is not of your making. It is given you the instant you would have it. Yet it would not be Atonement if there were no need for Atonement. You will not be able to accept perfect communication as long as you would hide it from yourself. For what you would hide is hidden from you.” (OrEd.T.15.43)

My favorite thing about the Course is that is has all responsibility fall on us. How long do we want to stay in hell? It is our choice. This is not saying that forgiveness becoming immediate is easy, but it is saying that it IS possible if we want it. Yet our wanting it is the little bit of willingness that Jesus asks for. All he wants is for us to lay down our swords and our shields, and ask him: “Jesus, there must be a different way. Please, show me”. That IS all.

“The Holy Spirit asks only this little help of you. Whenever your thoughts wander to a special relationship which still attracts you, enter with Him into a holy instant and there let Him release you. He needs only your willingness to share His perspective to give it to you completely. And your willingness need not be complete because His is perfect. It is His task to atone for your unwillingness by His perfect faith, and it is His faith you share with Him there. Out of your recognition of your unwillingness for your release, His perfect willingness is given you. Call upon Him, for Heaven is at His call. And let Him call on Heaven for you.” (OrEd.T.16.69)

                                               CONTINUED FROM THE NEWSLETTER
I think we can track our progress by being aware of the time we spend with a grievance. It can be anything but it might help to choose something we are faced with over and over. (The re-occurrences are probably a sign that it’s time to move on anyway). For instance, I used to get pretty upset when my roommates were sloppy. It was more or less a grievance I carried around with me all the time, and one I used to deploy passive mental attacks. As I prayed and progressed, I noticed the time spent being bothered became less and less. It started only coming and going. Then, it would only last about an hour. Then, a few minutes, until I got to the point when I was able to shake it off almost immediately. It  comes. I see it. I shake it off. This lasts maybe 3 seconds now. I say “shake it off” because I usually shake my head to take me out of that thought and onto whatever else. This is not a form of denial because I address the issue if I feel I need to. It is ridding myself of unnecessary attack thoughts.I hope to apply this to all areas of my life. There are many I’m still working on, but I have noticed as I focus on them, and pray, I do progress. There is always something I can work on. It’s not hard to find new projects once one has been brought to a comfortable level. May we all shorten the time distance to miracles. May we all close the gap.

Blessings to all.

Daniel


*Daniel Tipton resides in Omaha, NE and is a member of the Course in Miracles Society study group. He is in his second year of the 2 year ACIM Ministerial Program offered by the Community Miracles Center; Daniel attended the 2011 Annual ACIM Conference in San Francisco and is currently working on a masters degree in Counseling at UNO. He will be assisting at the 2013 ACIM Conference which will be held in Chicago. Daniel TiptonMore Conference Information here

Note of Gratitude by Karen Bentley

On Tues, Mar 6, 2012 at 1:13 PM, Karen Bentley, Author of  “THE POWER TO STOP”, wrote:

All versions of the Course work to change your mind and enable you to experience yourself as Love. That said, the ACIM original edition is the message Helen Schucman and Bill Thetford intended to put out into the world, and it speaks to me deeply. Just like less food processing makes for healthier food, less word tinkering makes for a more wholesome and less engineered reading experience. I also very much like that the hard cover edition of this book is built to last. As all Course people know, once you start reading the Course, you never stop. That’s why these seemingly inconsequential hardy physical features are important. Many thanks to the ACIM Original Edition publishers for making such a high quality book available to the world and to the Community Miracles Center for distributing and selling it at a discounted, affordable price. With gratitude. Karen Bentley

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Karen Bentley is the author of 17 books including The Power to Stop, an ACIM-based program that teaches stopping as the path to self-love, personal power and enlightenment. http://www.powertostop.com/

Finding Fulfilling Employment ~ Daniel Tipton


Dare to Be Happy

By Daniel Tipton*

FINDING FULFILLING EMPLOYMENT

[as it appeared in the March 2012 Newsletter]

FINDING FULFILLING EMPLOYMENT

DANIEL TIPTON:

I asked: “How important is matching your career up with your spiritual life (Course principals)? Does anyone have experience with working your spirituality into your career? Or how about changing your career to be more in line with your spirituality? I’m making a career change in the hope that I will enjoy work more. However, there is fear that I will run into the same problem if I don’t make more of a fundamental change. I know so far that I am thoroughly enjoying my counseling classes. (I’m enrolled in a Masters program in Community Counseling so that I can be a licensed counselor.)”

NOTE: I graduated from the culinary institute and work in food research but was bored. It wasn’t supporting me in what I really want to do. I’m now at UNO in the Master’s program for Community Counseling and am hoping this is the right choice.
When I was working as a legal secretary and feeling very unfulfilled, I prayed sincerely to God to give me meaningful work and the first thing that happened was He told me I was an undercover minister and was a source of Light for everyone at the law firm where I was working–from the biggest executives down to the mail-room guys. I was astounded as I thought everyone there had more than me (I was single, no children, very lonely, not living up to my potential, etc) … but then there was the shift in perception and I “got” that it was true that I could be their undercover minister. I accepted that quiet role and let myself glow around the office [:D] The next thing that happened was I was guided to go back to school and become a Gestalt psychotherapist (I was in therapy at the time and healing a lot from it) so I did! I excelled in school in a way I never had before–everything came easily, I did really well. It was four years of demanding schoolwork and financial obligation but I managed it and began my private practice in my 2nd year of school (most people waited until after they graduated). My career has been very rewarding emotionally. … Hope this helps!

CORINNE ZUPKO:

I’m happy to share my experiences as well! I was led into the counseling field when I was in college. Through my own healing in therapy, I knew it was my calling to help others (though I later realized this was all about healing MY mind.. i.e. “The sole responsibility of the miracle worker is to accept atonement for himself.”). I ended up working as a licensed counselor for 10 years in a busy counseling center. Although there was really no way to openly talk about Course principles, I found that I practiced these principles whenever I could, to find my own sense of inner peace (the job became increasingly stressful over the years with an escalating amount of crisis situations occurring). There were definitely some clients who were into exploring their spirituality, and it was really fun to work with these folks. But by far, most of the Course work I did in that job was not verbal but was IN ME (willingness to see my clients differently, willingness to hand over the judgments, what I thought was best for them, willingness to recognize them as my “brothers”, etc.).
                                               CONTINUED FROM THE NEWSLETTER

It’s funny as I ponder your question… because as I think about it, I  don’t really see the job I had as a counselor as lining up with my spiritual principles at all! It was totally stressful and “of the world” like any other job! Instead, I see it as exactly where I was supposed to be at that time in my life for my best learning, my “training ground.”  Whether that training ground was counseling, or working in some other profession, it isn’t about the form as much as the choice that I am making in every moment to follow my ego or to follow the Holy Spirit.

Having said that, I grew increasingly unhappy in this position as a therapist. I had a job that had all the appearances of being glorious (the setting I worked in was a very competitive setting AND I had the summers off!) The “picture” seemed perfect, but my discontent slowly grew. The job just didn’t “fit” me anymore. It was almost 2 years ago now, that I “knew” I needed to do something different (guidance was coming in so strongly to quit that I was thrown into anxiety and panic trying to not  listen to it out of fear of losing my steady salary). But I HAD to do something more in line with my spirituality. It almost felt like it was killing me not to.

I was guided out of that position and stepped into a role that IS more in line with my sense of spirituality. I’ve been writing about and teaching ACIM – and this is just something I didn’t feel that I could safely do when I was in my former job. I’m now teaching as an adjunct faculty member in a Community Counseling MA program which pays the bills (and which I love!), and writing about and teaching the Course which FILLS me up!! I’m simply where I’m supposed to be right now, and in that is  peace.

This is the beauty of the counseling profession – you can do SO MANY things with your degree!    So after all that, I guess I would say that practicing the Course doesn’t mean you need to have a job that appears to be in line with it. You’re exactly where you’re supposed to be right now. But if you feel a pull to enter the counseling profession, honor it! Your lessons will come no matter where you are or what you’re doing.  I’m psyched to hear that you are enjoying your classes!

DANIEL:

Since receiving these comments, I’ve had time to consider my work situation some more.

I’ve realized that moving on can sometimes be running away from a chance to heal. This is my second time working at my current job because I left for “something better”. I found out there were the same problems, but worse. Luckily, they hired me back for a part-time position while I go to school. It wasn’t long after returning here that the feeling of discontent and resentment crept back in. This has made me think that there is probably a different way of dealing with this discontent. I started to pray for clarity on how I can be content with my job since I will need to work for at least three more years in a non-counseling field.

What I am beginning to see is that much of my discontent was due to some harsh criticism of almost everyone I worked with. I saw something wrong with almost everyone. This led me to believe that my work relationships might need healing. So I began to pray for guidance on how to improve and forgive my work relationships. After a while, I noticed that I started feeling compassion for people that I had never felt before. I also started feeling more accepting of everyone. This has led to a much happier work day

I don’t think these changes in feelings toward people would have shifted by changing jobs. My harsh criticism had made my work environment full of guilt and fear. I am getting along a lot better at work now and am finding more purpose. Letting go of my judgments of other people has been key. It has taken me much time and suffering to see this but I think I am finally getting it.

On the other hand, I still have a passion for counseling. I will stay in school and finish my degree because I am finding the coursework interesting. However, I feel that this inner work is crucial no matter what I decide to do. Without it, I might go into a counseling career with thought patterns that not only cause me misery but prevent me from excelling in the very career I think is best for me.

are giving you all of their attention and seem to understand exactly how you are feeling. Imagine how honored you feel, how loved you feel, how much you love them for giving you their attention, which is totally at their own discretion. It is not always easy to be a good listener, but it might do wonders for our relationships. Simply taking our attention off of our own thoughts for a minute to really hear somebody might be one of the most rewarding acts we can perform with the least amount of effort.


*Daniel Tipton resides in Omaha, NE and is a member of the Course in Miracles Society study group. He is in his second year of the 2 year ACIM Ministerial Program offered by the CommDaniel Tiptonunity Miracles Center; Daniel attended the 2011 Annual ACIM Conference in San Francisco and is currently working on a masters degree in Counseling at UNO. He will be attending the 2013 ACIM Conference which will be held in Chicago. More Conference Information here

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