Thursday, February 25, 2010

Course Note #49: Healing is the Release from Fear.

 Hi
I was reading on a spiritual chat list this morning related to A Course in Miracles (ACIM) and came across a post on healing.  The post quoted "Raj" who is a spiritual channeler. For the original post see:

Raj wrote: Do not let any spiritual/metaphysical theory or thought system delude you into
abandoning the requirement for practical proof of its value here and now! Indeed,
disease, death, and “demons” are illusions, but the one suffering from them is not.
And to acknowledge that they are not real, but continue to suffer from them is not
only spiritual barrenness, it is pure insanity.


I wrote: This post caught my eye this morning. Amen to the quote above. I've been a chiropractor for 25 years now and have seen a lot in regard to health and disease and could share countless stories here, which I won't. thank God - haha!

But yes, I hear that a lot: "It's not real. It's all illusion", nevertheless the person continues to feel a lot of anger, worry and fear about what they deem "not real".

When I read this from raj I recall a story about students at some sort of spiritual retreat and the Teacher (aren't they all Zen masters or something like that? ;) was dying of cancer. At times in the middle of the night students could hear him in pain. One student came up to him and said to the effect of, I don't know if I want to be here because you obviously aren't very good at this spiritual stuff since you are suffering and dying of cancer.

The teacher replied, "I may be dying of cancer, but I am not suffering."


Raj wrote: “Well, the cancer is still there, but I know I am healed.” “My child is anti-social,
in and out of trouble with the law, but I know (s)he is the perfect expression of
God, and that’s all that matters.” No! That is not healing, and that is not all that
matters. Healing is the absence of observable disease, and what “matters” is the
evidence of behavior which identifies the perfect expression of God!
I wrote: I feel that much spiritual tyranny comes from these sort of statements. Many "spiritual" people point fingers at those with illnesses wondering what's wrong with their God connection. All humans suffer from one thing or another from body issues to chronic money and relationship problems -- it's all the same. We suffer until we remember that we can let go of suffering.

I've observed physical healing in myself and others in my many years with spirituality and as a doctor.  But I also I have to say that I've observed people recover (heal) from cancer, for example, but continue on to live their lives in worry, anxiety, bitterness and fear...and then get some other sort of illness.

On another note, I've seen many people come to a great sense of aLIVEness within and after an illness. A dear friend had a brain tumor and while in the hospital at one point he felt that he had experienced a deep spiritual healing. We all thought, of course, that he was going to be healed, at least healed in form as we qualify it, but he died two weeks later. He died in peace and was an amazing inspiration to all of us who knew him. And whether you believe in this sort of thing or not, his wife had a couple of dreamlike visitations with him where he told her that he was better than ever. He also sent a message to her through someone else that only she could have understood, that signified that he was happy and at peace.

And then there's the comment about, "my son is..." Like now "spiritual" people are responsible for the life choices of other people?

I have a son who for many years had myriad of problems. I see him as my greatest course teacher because for many years my inner work encompassed learning to see him as a healed child of God and continue to keep my love and forgiveness for him in the forefront of my mind. I learned through my son, to be at peace no matter what was going on in form. To me, that was a real miracle! ha! My son in the last 3+ years has, no shit, miraculously transformed his life. Was it because I'm a Course student? Maybe in part, who knows? As he said to me in recent years, maybe what ACIM did for you is help you stay, because a lot of people would have left. (This comment most likely came from that I am his stepmom and have raised him with his dad since he was 9).

So even if all A Course in Miracles did for my son was help me be there for him, that was evidently enough. And it's true, without ACIM I would have left, or be in prison for knocking his block off! haha

So "healing" comes in all shapes and sizes, but the "healing" that ACIM speaks of is peace. The Course tells us that healing is the release from fear. When we can come to peace no matter what is happening in form, to our bodies, our bank accounts, etc. -- that's something, and that's a miracle.

Nevertheless, when our lives aren't going well we can look at our thoughts and see a cause and effect relationship -- and so, it follows that as we align our mind with Truth, this does reflect in our lives. I've seen this running a business for 25 years, when I become mesmerized by form and fall into thoughts of fear and lack this *cause* leads to *effect* --I see an immediate shift when I bring my mind back to truth: I am blessed as a child of God. I am thankful that this is so. :)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Course Note #48: The Struggle to Remain the Same

In today’s “Oh My God! I’m Free!” session I talked about the struggle to remain the same. 

Most of us have areas in our lives where we experience a combination of frustration and struggle, or what I call “fruggle”.  In Michael Singer’s book, The Untethered Soul he writes that in order to grow, we must let go of the struggle to remain the same.  I read this book about a year or so ago and this spoke to me then as it does now – in order to grow, I must let go of the struggle to remain the same.

I thought that fruggle came from continually trying to change something about myself or about my life, and being unable to do so.  I’ve come to realize that struggle and frustration comes from thinking that I am not as God created me. 
The Truth is not: I might be as God created me; or, I will be as God created me if I read the Course a few more times – the truth is that I am as God created me.  Our sense of struggle comes from the attempt to forget reality.

The other day I was reading book reviews on Amazon and came across one that so spoke to me about my own condition that I printed it out.  It was a review written on a book called The Wife’s Tale.  As I came across it this morning, HS used it to reveal more truth to me.

            “What an amazing person Mary Gooch is regardless that she has a weight issue but because of it.”
           
This part can speak to all of us in that no matter what our “issues” may be, we so often let them distract us from the truth that we have already been given everything, and keep us continually focused on what we are not.  For many years, I have asked Holy Spirit to help me use these stuck places to come closer to Divine Love rather than using them to push Love further from my awareness.  Consequently my “stuff” has been useful to bring to an ever-increasing awareness of who and what I am.

The review goes on to say: “She is indicative of every one of us as we all have some demon that chases us, some fear we pretend doesn’t exist and issues we try to ignore. When Mary looks in the mirror, she doesn’t see her full figure but instead she sees her beautiful, warm and glowing personality that has been hidden not behind the weight but behind her fear of showing the world how beautiful she really is.  No one can teach you this or show you how to love yourself, but once you do, there is no stopping whatever goal you set for yourself – they are achievable simply by being yours.”

            What do you see when you look in the mirror?  Do you see your full figure, those wrinkles; do you see all those things that tell you that you are not enough?  Or do you look into your eyes and see the beauty of your spirit?  Unfortunately, we look in the mirror and see ourselves as bodies; we see ourselves through the eyes of ego, which is basically seeing through: “Not Good Enough!”   

            The struggle to stay the same – the struggle to see what isn’t there.  It is a continual struggle to continue to block the flow of God’s will in our lives.  We look in the mirror and see the flaws that we’re hiding behind.  HS brought to my attention this morning that yes, I am hiding behind excess weight.  Why am I hiding here?  

Why are you hiding behind your anger, loneliness or whatever it is that you perceive as imprisoning you?

            Yet, it’s not really the weight I’m hiding behind; it’s not really (insert your own), that you are hiding behind, we’re hiding behind our fear of standing forth in the world as the beautiful beings that we are.
            What am I afraid of?  Well A Course in Miracles tells me that I’m afraid of you, God and myself!  I can ask Holy Spirit to reveal to me the Light that I am.  Or we can ask those dark places to be revealed to us, and trust that Light will be with us as we do it.  Nothing’s going to come up that we’re not ready to see.

            I did a talk on Valentine’s Day on: Playing Hide & Seek with love (www.sherylvalentineaudio.blogspot.com), yes, we are hiding out from love in bodies.  One of my favorite passages in the Course is that I must seek and find within myself all the barriers that block Love’s presence.  The willingness to look at our thoughts around other people and ourselves helps us to seek and find these barriers within ourselves.

Our fruggle comes through trying to keeps things as they are, as we see them now:

I am not as God created me
I am limited
I am lacking
I am not good enough

And yet, these fruggle thoughts are just that – thoughts.  They are not reality. Frustration and struggle stem from stomping my foot on the garden hose of Life.  As I let go and surrender, I learn to be free.

Ego uses our body as tool of limitation, and Holy Spirit can use it as a tool to see us free.  Michael Carluccio wrote a wonderful poem called, “My Body” that says in part:

Body's new form,
a chalice to hold the nectar of God,
a chalice holding
Infinite Wisdom and Potential.

I am Light, my True Form,
yet, I perceive the chalice
knowing it as real,
holding, housing Light.

            I love it! Viewing the body as a chalice holding, housing Light.  Let me not forget that I am Light.  I am Light in body, mind and Spirit. I am Light. 

I was brought back to the section in NTI this morning on resistance:
            “Your resistance (fruggle), is nothing more than your desire to keep things the same, to keep things as you see them now. And you desire this because you desire safety.”
            We’re hiding behind our addictions and compulsive behaviors because of fear. On some level we do believe that if things change we will no longer be safe. And this is so because we have identified with ourselves as a body, a form of limitation.  It seems that we do find some perverse sense of safety in identifying with what we are not. 
This is why ego seeks to keep us mindless through focus on the body because it is in our mind where we recognize that fear; frustration and struggle are simply thoughts.  We can look at these thoughts with Divine Love and let them go.

I read a post recently on the NTI study group and in it, Regina wrote about a friend in the group who is addicted to stealing.  When they were reading particular passages in NTI about thoughts, group participants asked her what her thoughts were before she engaged in stealing. She didn’t know. They asked her what her thoughts were after she steals, and she said that she felt safe.  It was also shared in the post that she has fears about going to jail again, but yet she is engaging in behavior that could again place her in prison.  She’s jailed and imprisoned by her thoughts, but she thinks that she is safe.
How different is she from you and I? We are all the same on some level.  This post spoke to me because for quite a while now I have been bringing awareness to my thoughts before engaging in compulsive eating.  I didn’t necessarily relate to feeling “safe’ after I eat, yet through much inner work I am privy to the fact that on some unconscious level, I must think that excess keeps me safe from shadows from the past. Even so I am fully aware that I have nothing to be afraid of in the present, and yet, the pattern remains.

Just like the woman who feels safe after she steals, we feel safety in the prisons that we’ve made for ourselves. And like Mary in the story, we all think we have some demon chasing us.  Some fear we pretend doesn’t exist, and issues we try to ignore.
In this way healing is a process. I’ve experienced healing from many patterns in my life through my years with the Course, but as I am willing to continually go deeper, I find even more barriers within myself that block my awareness of who I am as Love created me. 
Healing is found in our willingness to surrender to the flow of life.  I have been hiding behind my body, and that’s what you’re hiding behind too.  The body is a symbol of limitation, separation and fear. But we can choose again and see the body as a chalice holding the nectar of God; a chalice holding infinite wisdom and potential, a chalice holding, housing Light.  Oh ye—ah.
The problems that we are fixated on are simply smokescreens to hide from us the truth. We can stay focused on the problem and thus never see the solution within us. What is the solution?
I step back in the present moment and invite Divine Love into my awareness.  In this awareness there is no room for fruggle. There is only peace. 
A Course in Miracles teaches that we will identify with what we think will make us safe.  Up until now, many of us have thought that what would make us safe is identifying with what we are not.  Let us become increasingly willing to let go of the struggle to remain the same. We have identified all too long with the belief that we are safe in hiding.  Holy spirit tells us that our safety is found in truth, not in lies. 
            We don’t know what the thoughts are that keep us believing in lies because while we listen to them, believe them and act on them, we don’t hear them. In the present we can stop to hear the truth.  The Course tells us this:

Your safety is found in truth,
and not in lies.
Love is your safety.
Fear does not exist.
Identify with love, and you are safe.
Identify with love, and you are home.
Identify with love, and find your Self.

As we learn to hear our thoughts in the present moment and choose again, we come to know the peace of God.  We don’t come into knowing peace through frustration and struggle.

            As you go about your life this week do not be confused about what needs to be healed:

Holy Spirit,
I have forgotten what I really am
For I mistook my body for myself.
But I am not a body and
in this remembrance,
I am free.
Help me accept the Truth about
What I am,
Let my mind be wholly healed today.
Amen.

As usual, the synopsis I give here is only a small part of what went on in the 90-minute session.  We had a wonderful discussion on lack as related to money and jobs and economics.  
You can enjoy it all on the audio that is 1 hour and 27 minutes.
MP3 File


If you'd like to find more of my blogs and audios on the "Oh My God! I'm Free!" Sessions, please visit: http://www.gifttomyself.blogspot.com

Note: prayer at the end is paraphrased from workbook lesson 136 in ACIM.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Course Note #47: Love has...freed me









I have learned so much from God
that I can no longer call myself
a Christian, a Hindu, a Muslim, a Buddhist, a Jew…

The Truth has shared so much of Itself with me
that I can no longer call myself
a man, a woman, an angel, or even a pure soul.
Love has…freed me
of every concept and image my mind has ever known.
                     14th-century Persian Sufi poet Hafiz


I can so relate to the words in this poem as I too, have learned so very much from God.  In the stillness, God reminds me, and you, of our true identity as creations of a Source of light, laughter and love.

I especially love the line, Love has…freed me.  Yes, awareness of Divine Love as the guiding force in my life, has freed me in so many ways.  I am free to choose love over fear, peace over anger, and happiness over despair.  Every day I ask Spirit to help me be not just a “clanging cymbal” or a loud noise, but an expression of Love.

Through our willingness to serve in love, we are transformed.  We return to the remembrance of our perfection as Love perfects us through service to our fellow humans.  I’ve discovered that God changes us while we are being used. We don’t have to wait to get it all together, all we have to do is be willing to let Love set us free.  Love sets us free to look upon one another beyond classifications of religion, race, sexuality or gender.  Love sets us free of seeing one another through the lens of fear and hate. And Love works in and through us in service to one another.

If you feel that you have not been given enough love, decide today to be a giver of Love. It sounds simple to decide to be a loving person, but of course, we know that it is not.  You don’t have to love everyone today; instead, each day; decide to love one more human being.  Hold a door open for someone, smile at another, a “thank you” to someone else.  Love need not be complicated.

The ultimate goal of humanity is to love one another.  Your consistent willingness to choose love is the pinnacle of spiritual maturity.  It’s the mountaintop, it’s what you are here to learn.  You won’t learn to love over night, you’re not supposed to.  Learning to love is the task of a lifetime.

God is not looking for perfect people to do his work.  If so, let’s face it, he’d have a very small work force. Every one of us is needed.  The love of God can only be extended on this earth through people who become willing to extend it.  Take this idea seriously and you will come to know that Love truly is power – and, it will set you free.

And so as you go about your life this week, recognize that the time to love is now.  If not you, who?  If not now, when?  Each day become willing to ask and heed the question, “How can I love today?” 

Love will begin to permeate and embrace your life.  Practice love on purpose as if your life depended on it, it does.


Happy Valentine's day! Much Love to you! 


This Audio was recorded on 3/1/07 and is 44 min.
called:
Love has Freed me
or 
Send me someone to love


MP3 File


Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Course Note #46: "...it's people I can't stand!"

Hi there
The other day, while driving to work I saw a man walking his dog.  Spontaneously I thought about how much I love Dogs. I have this thought practically every time I see a dog.
            As I watched the dog joyfully scamper next to his owner, I realized that I've never had a thought about how much I love people.  In fact, for many years I totally resonated to Linus of "Peanuts" fame who said, "I love humanity, it's people I can't stand!"
            Many years ago I had a revelation that there is nothing more important than learning how to give and receive love.  I made a decision then and there that I was going to figure out this love thing.  Since then I have learned quite a bit about love, although I readily admit to being remedial in the practice of it.  Nevertheless, I've come a long way baby! I actually no longer feel that I can't stand people. HA!
     Learning to love can be frustrating because while we are often told to love other people, no one tells us how. It was a big turning point when I realized that no one could tell me how to love.  Before we can truly love other people and ourselves, we must first bring awareness to why we don't.


A Course in Miracles says that  my task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find within myself, all the barriers that I have built against it.  Therefore, learning how to love requires a willingness to uncover our obstacles to love.


Love is God's territory. We are taught how to love through the Spirit of Love that lives within us.


The primary block to love is fear.  Our conflicts stem from an unconscious fear of love.  Ego = Fear = Separation.  When God's Spirit is invited into our relationships, they can be used to reveal our fears and return us home to Love. Holy Spirit = Love = Union.
                Feelings of negativity toward anyone, from a clerk in a store to your mate, offer opportunities to seek help and healing.
Holy Spirit,
help me see this person
through the vision of Love
rather than through my eyes of 
judgment and fear.
Thank you.


My responsibility is to ask for help. Only the loving tutelage of your Inner Teacher can heal you, and thus your relationships. With Spirit as your teacher, relationships become a classroom where you can learn the lessons of love.

Although honestly folks, I don't know if I'll get to loving humans more than dogs in this lifetime, yet I persevere.    


      And so as I go forth today to join with fellow humans, I have a choice...which t-shirt shall I choose?  For in that choice lies heaven or hell.  ;)


And yes, the pic of the dog is my beloved dog, Max. ;)

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Course Note #45: Asleep as Ego's Surrogate?

Hi there,
Sometimes it's difficult to give you a synopsis of the latest "Oh My God! I'm Free!" session because we go into so many ideas. Much more was shared then presented here. For more audios and information on these sessions go to my other blog: http://www.gifttomyself.blogspot.com/

            I started out with talking about how ego keeps us mindless with a focus on the body -- the body being the great distraction.  A Course in Miracles speaks about how we project our guilt and fear onto our bodies, other people and the world at large to keep us from looking at the real problem -- the thought that we are separated from our Source.
             We are not at home here and on some level we do know this, and so we project this sense of lack into our world, which includes our bodies. This is why no matter how attractive one is in form, he or she may still feel lacking.  The ways we project our separation (lack consciousness) are seemingly infinite, i.e., lack of money,health love...  When I am feeling a sense of lack in some aspect of my life, it helps me to remember that I must turn within to be fulfilled, not out there.
                  The ego's plan for freedom is always to fix something out there...a fruitless search of seeking, but not finding.  The thought of separation is in the mind, not the body, and so it is there we must return to heal.


   Over the weekend I watched the movie Surrogate.  The idea was that people could buy surrogates, which are robots that look and feel human.  They could design them any way they wanted, so for instance, an 80 year old man could walk the world as a young beautiful woman.  The "humans" were home in bed living their lives through these robots. When the surrogates are eventually destroyed, we see dazed humans coming out of their homes in pajamas and bathrobes.
They had literally been sleeping away their lives.
    I thought about how we're kind of like that, sleeping, yet walking the world as ego's surrogate. In order to walk in the world as Love's surrogate, we must awaken to the truth that we are Love and that we are guided from within.  Yet we are told in the Course that it's not sleeping that terrifies us, but waking up.


     Since these OMGIF sessions are about dealing with addictions and compulsions, we can give them to Holy Spirit to use for healing.  Divine Love cannot take what we are unwilling to give it.  "Do not hide suffering from the sight of Love, but bring it gladly.  Let Holy Spirit heal you. Do not leave any spot of pain hidden from the light, and search your mind carefully for any thoughts you may fear to uncover.  For HS will heal every little thought you have kept to hurt you and cleanse it of its littleness, restoring it to the magnitude of God." (T-13.III.7:3 paraphrased)
                This week we can work with inviting HS into our addictions and compulsions.  Remember that we're not just talking about behavior patterns, but also the addictions to self-pity, anger, and the like.  And of course, we all have the compulsive pattern of listening to ego! ha!
             So how do we do this inner work? Simply ask, Holy Spirit (Divine Love), join with me that I may see myself and my body differently. Or, ask your inner teacher to show you a practice that works for you.
              In this way, we allow our inner teacher to teach us that we are not bodies, we are Spirit.  We can learn to observe what we do and say and think, and yet not identify with it.  We then come to identify with our true Self as our identity, Love as our identity, rather than identifying with our bodies and walking the world as ego's surrogate -- asleep and thus unconscious.
    As I go about my life this week,
Holy Spirit, 
teach me the right perception of the body 
so that I may experience the freedom of You. 
Amen.
*******************************************
The audio is one hour and 7 min.

MP3 File