My daily practice consists of the mind training of A Course in Miracles. This is an on-going practice of relinquishment of self-identity through the workbook lessons brilliantly organized by the author.
In Eckart Tolle’s book, The Power of Now, he describes the mind that is ego. He also makes you stop and look at your own thought processes which keep you bound to ego mind. The most helpful thing I found with this book was that you had to not just read it, but become aware of the thoughts of ego mind and realize that this is your entire problem. The mind in separation, the pain body, all this is helpful to look at and think about. Several times he refers to A Course in Miracles, but doesn’t expound on it. It is a wonderful book and confronts you with the real problem of human existence at this time, This requires something more than a theory or a way to look at things in a different way. You need something that will completely change the way you think entirely. It is time we really take a look at the Course in Miracles and see that the blueprint for the awakeninng human consciousness is now here and is working perfectly.
Why do you need the workbook of A Course in Miracles? Without a mind training, the ego mind continues to observe itself and project its own misidentity onto the “external” world. An idea never leaves its source, so the source, the ego mind, which is you, needs to be annihilated. This means you have to be completely undone. You have to awaken from this dream of separation. It isn’t a doing, it’s really an undoing. Observation is not the answer, more theories about enlightenment are not really helpful. Release is. Why? Because enlightenment is not a change at all. Heaven is not a place or a condition. It is all conditional. It is your whole mind which is part of a divine, loving Creator Who knows not of your silly dream. In truth, YOU are IT, and IT is not lost. It is what you are! But do you experience it? Or are you still caught in the dream trying to find your way out?
The fact is, you need an alternative to the dream that you made up. And it is right here.
How does it work? The Course lessons are designed to facilitate the release or your self-identity: through surrender, relinquishment, and letting go. First you must stop judging, stop blaming and take total responsibility for your own thoughts. I have been in the practice of these daily lessons for many years. Each day the course suggests you look within, find the thoughts that keep you bound to fear, and practice a new idea. What happens is that the Mind that you share with God becomes more real to you than the ego mind. Over time, you start to laugh at how ridiculous it is to be afraid when love and light are all around you, and in fact, what you are! It is a miraculous occurrence, and therefore, is a true Mind training that frees you from fear. It amazes me that it is still not widely known as a true path to enlightenment.
If you really take the time to look within and find those thoughts that keep you suffering and in pain, you then have an opportunity to become aware of the fear underlying this pain. But becoming aware of it wasn’t my problem, I knew I was afraid, and I wanted it to go away!
Why so much fear? Why depression? This is what brought me to the Course, I couldn’t find the answer to the question: Why am I so afraid? Psychologists couldn’t help me, hypnosis couldn’t help me. I found, to my astonishment, no one knew how the mind works. Even the academics know that we still know very little about the mind. This was stated recently in a lovely documentary called Spiritual Revolution. Which also did not include people doing the mind training of A Course in Miracles, strangely enough.
When I opened the Text of A Course in Miracles way back in 1989, the explanation, although written in religious terminology, was very clear and very simple: You think you are separate from your Creator and this has made you very fearful. You made up this idea, or illusion of a separate state and you think it is real. Your entire world revolves around this one central idea and luckily for you, you are mistaken. You are asleep in a dream. There is a way out, but you must awaken to the truth by letting go of all you made up. One idea after another. Luckily, there is a proven method involved which requires the simple discipline of doing one lesson per day. Then you apply this lesson to everything that happens during that day.
The action of relinquishment is a practice and yet, it happens in spite of you. In my experience, the mind is very devious. You may decide you want to become enlightened, and even dedicate yourself to a practice which brings you into quiet every day. However, without a mind training which releases the thoughts of judgment, fear and attack, you are still observing a mind that is afraid. What is the point? Without the miracle, there is no hope. So, luckily, the Course is here and is aimed at saving you time. You don’t have to sit for long periods contemplating ideas, watching thoughts without a solution. This is mind wandering. And you are much too tolerant of mind wandering!
Lesson 7, which is key, states “I see only the past”. This is amazing when you really get it experientially. Every thought you think is about the past. And the only thing keeping you from experiencing this present moment is this preoccupation with your past. AND IT IS OVER. Isn’t that weird?
That is why you are in pain. Your painful thoughts about the past is what makes up your self-identity. It isn’t even there! It is already gone. But you maintain it with your insistence that it is still happening. Who would you be without it? Ask yourself this question. Every day. Every moment.
You see, for me, it has to be practical. I want to feel it, know it on a gut level. I need to feel and know that fear is not real. It isn’t there. Lesson 6 is “I am upset because I see something that is NOT THERE.” Practice that all day long and see what happens.
This brings me instantly into a state of mind where only now exists. The light dawns upon me. There is so much support around me that gives me this glimpse into reality. Which is heaven, which is love, and it is what I am. God didn’t abandon me! I am HOME right here and NOW.