Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Course Note #110: Questions about the Body


Hi,

I did not write a blog on this one because I taught mostly from a few messages given to Regina Dawn Akers on the Body, and from a section in The Holy Spirit's Interpretation of the New Testament (NTI).
   The messages that I share in the audio can be found on her website: http://www.reginadawnakers.com
in the "monthly archive" section.
   The messages looked at are:  "Questions about the Body" August 5, 2005
                                                 "How Can I Need Nothing?"  December 18, 2005
                                                  "You like having the body to blame" December 10, 2007

    We enjoyed a powerful teaching session today! Thank you Holy Spirit!

                               The audio is 55 min. long:
Questions about the body

  



Course Note #109: Looking at Unworthiness

Last year I received a message that essentially said, whatever it is that’s holding you back from making this particular change, is also holding you back in every area of your life.  And then that night, over-and-over throughout the night I heard, “What’s holding me back?  What’s holding me back?”  In the wee hours I heard the answer when the inner voice replied, unworthiness.
            I was somewhat surprised by this because while I could certainly recall having “I’m not good enough” feelings throughout my life, that didn’t seem to be driving me at that time.  Once I realized the belief in my unworthiness was alive-and-well within my mind, I turned within for healing.  Especially in the past year, I am amazed at what has been revealed to me.  Yet, I feel to address it once again because as I watch my thoughts, I see the remnants of this belief hanging out in my mind. 

Through deeper understanding I can see how this belief in unworthiness is inherent within most of us, albeit unconsciously.  Unconscious beliefs must be looked at if they are to be healed.  Through watching the thoughts in the mind, we begin to bring what was unconscious into the light of day.
Basically, the reason most of us are driven by this false belief is because it stems from the umbrella belief in separation.  We have forgotten what we are, and we have fallen into listening to the voice of what we are not.  The thoughts that we identify with come from the voice of our unworthiness.

            “This belief has a voice within your mind.  Its voice you call your thoughts.  Only because you do not question this belief, you do not question these thoughts that you claim as yours.  If you did question them, you would see that they are not loving thoughts. …they are based on the belief that there is something inherently wrong with you as a separate entity.  These thoughts doubt your worth, and in fact, they deny your worth entirely.  Thoughts that deny your worth also deny the Voice of Worth, which is the Holy Spirit.”   (NTI Lk 1v57-80.10-19)

One may feel a sense of unworthiness for a myriad of reasons, and we’re mostly familiar with it when we compare ourselves with others and feel that we come up short.  What often goes unrecognized, however, are the subtle ways this belief lurks within the recesses of the mind.  Consciously or unconsciously one may feel that in order to feel worthy:
I must look a certain way.
I must do certain things.
I must have or own this or that.
I must be perfect.

            So you see, we can be driven by the belief in our inherent unworthiness even when we don’t feel unworthy.  Our projections that other people think they are better or more important, etc., are thoughts stemming from a belief in unworthiness.  So many of the thoughts that we hold about other people stem from this false belief.  Only through the lens of our perceived unworthiness can we see unworthiness in others.
           
            How do I let go of unworthiness?

            A practice I have found particularly helpful is to ask Spirit Within to reveal to me the errors in my mind.  We cannot be shown what we are unwilling to see no matter how glaring it may be. 
            Recently, I was thinking thoughts about someone, and specifically my perception of their self-importance.  I heard the Inner Voice, “Sheryl, that is a thought of unworthiness.”  Aha!

Holy Spirit,
Thank you for showing me this false belief.
I am willing to let go of my belief in unworthiness.
I give it to You.
I trust that you will correct it for me.
Amen.

~

            When I woke up that morning with the recognition that what is holding me back is unworthiness I was prompted, once again, to NTI Luke, Chapter 8.  This section is so incredibly valuable for healing.
           
“You are looking at yourself now and seeing what you believe is your unworthiness.  As you compare yourself to others, you note that you are not good enough.  You do not give enough or practice enough.  In your own judgment, you are never enough.
            “Let’s review what I have asked of you.  I have asked you to trust that you are worthy.  I have asked you to let your sickness (thoughts of unworthiness and self-hatred) rest.  I have promised that we would look at these thoughts together, and I have asked you to nurse your willingness with gratitude.
            “Now is the time for gratitude and rest.  Be grateful that you have been willing to bring your sickness to Me. Rest, as we look at it together.  For it cannot be healed if it is hidden from healing.
            “Focus on your gratitude.  Let the guilt and feelings of unworthiness rise.  Remember that you are being healed, even now. Do not nurse your sickness.  Let it come up, but choose to nurse your willingness to be healed.
            “Let all things serve the purpose of healing.  Do not avoid healing because you do not want to look at the pain of sickness.  We must look at it together if you are to be healed.  Do not be afraid. I am with you, even now.”

            So many times over the past year when I have let my mind focus on false thoughts and beliefs, Spirit Within has reminded me of these words: “Sheryl, let’s review what I have asked of you…”
As I watch my thoughts, increasingly I ask myself, “Does this thought of unworthiness, or limitation or guilt, feed my resistance to healing or does it nurse my willingness to be healed?”
            With such practice, we can create new experiences as we let go of the false beliefs that were creating previous experiences.  I now see that I have been creating experiences of unworthiness, lack and limitation for decades based only on believing something that is not true!  With awareness, I am learning to choose what I truly want, instead of continuing to choose what I don’t want.

This is so exciting!

You are worthy.
Do not let doubt tell you that you are not.
Feel grateful for your willingness.
It will herald all healing for you.
(NTI Lk 5.27-32)


**************
The audio was recorded on 4/26/11 and contains so much more than I shared in this blog. 


 
 

 
    MP3 File
 




Saturday, June 25, 2011

Course Note #108: Practicing Remembrance

Hi,
When it comes to the practice of remembering who we are, of course, there are a myriad of practices we can use.  Our Inner Teacher has a way of tuning us into the practice that is best for us at any given time during the process of awakening from our slumber. 
In this blog I am inspired to write about how to practice, why practice is important, and what to do when we forget to practice.

            How do I practice remembrance? 

A Course in Miracles, The Holy Spirit’s Interpretation of the New Testament (NTI), and the Bible are chock full of practices that facilitate the remembrance of who we are.  In fact, in the Course the word “practice” appears 290 times, showing up mostly in the workbook, which gives us 365 practices for remembrance.   

I came across a message recently that contains a wonderful teaching on practice, listing three ways to practice.*
“The simple way is the way of realizing that all ideas are in the mind.  The easiest way is the way of realizing that all experiences come from you.  And the best way is to remember what you truly want, then choose all your ideas from the place of this knowing.”

At first I didn’t think that I practiced the “simple way” because I wasn’t even clear on what it meant, but I taught on these ideas a couple of times recently and was given more clarity on it.  As I expound on these ideas, you will probably recognize the ways that you practice them as will. 

The simple way is realizing that all ideas are in the mind.

When I watch my thoughts and see a thought of lack, I remind myself that lack does not exist out there but is, in fact, an idea in my mind.  Once I recognize this, I can also remember that belief in lack and limitation, unworthiness or guilt, are false beliefs that I no longer want.

My first run through the workbook of the Course enabled me to see that my mind was filled with anger, attack and defense.  I really had no idea; I thought I was a happy person! Yet, just prior to starting the Course, I had frequent conflicts, and soon became aware that the common denominator in these conflicts was me!  When I first got together with my husband, he used to say that I was so defensive, and honestly, I didn’t even know what he was talking about.
As I practiced remembering Truth through doing the lessons each day, I noticed that I was no longer having as many conflicts, I began to feel a sense of peace, and my husband stopped telling me that I was “so defensive”.

Look within and see what’s there, and then you’ll know why you see what you see out there.  The world I see really comes from the thoughts and ideas I hold in my mind.

The easiest way is the way of realizing that all experiences come from you.

        This is similar to the Course teaching that tells us that the secret to freedom is this: You Are Doing This to Yourself.

We know that we can have the same experience, and yet experience it in different ways.  Two people may experience the same illness, for example, but one person feels victimized by it, and the other sees it as a learning opportunity to practice remembrance.
If my mind is filled with fear and lack, then I experience that in my reality, and I see fear and lack in the world.  But when I see those thoughts and beliefs in my mind, and let them go to Spirit Within for healing, then my experience changes.

The best way is to remember what you truly want.

        This is reminiscent of the teaching in the Course that tells us in every situation to ask, “What is it for?”  “What do I treasure and how much do I treasure it?”   Fear or Love?  Peace or conflict?

While I regularly use all three practices described here, the “best way” is the practice I have most resonated to in the past year after teaching and learning on NTI James.  There it says: “Be a conscious-minded teacher of yourself.”  Holy Spirit reminds me of this all the time.  The way we do this is to bring increased awareness to what’s going on in our mind.

“What is the test that you shall give unto yourself to see if you are currently following the beacon of your true desire?  Ask only this:

What do I want now?

           “If you find that you want anything other than ‘Know thy Self,’ you have also discovered that you have veered off course.  Take this moment to reconnect with your truth, and you shall also be redirected in the direction that you shall go.”  (NTI James 3)

          The teachings in NTI James have been truly life changing for me in the past year.  If you are interested, I wrote on this more in depth in “Course Note” #84.

And so you can see how all these ways are practical.  Let’s say that I am feeling attacked.  I can practice remembrance in this way:

“I am seeing and feeling attack, but attack is only an idea in my mind.  I am experiencing attack and unworthiness, and these experiences come from me, from my choice to believe what is not true.”
As I remember to ask myself, “What do I want now?”, I am guided back to my true desire of, Know thy Self.

Why is it important to practice remembrance?

“Do not take My words lightly without practice.  For to listen and to agree, but not to practice, is not to have heard.  And one who will not hear cannot be healed.”  (NTI Matthew 7.v6)

           This is one of my favorite passages, and one that Holy Spirit reminds me of all the time! Practice is important because through it, we experience healing, which is the remembrance that I am as Love created me, unlimited and free.

           What shall I do when I forget to practice remembrance?

        When we forget to practice, we normally do what? Beat up on ourselves.  Especially when I was new to the Course, whenever I got angry I felt that I was flunking the Course.  Finally, I realized that the purpose of its teachings was to undo guilt, not pile it on!
           We are taught that in any moment, as we notice the thoughts of separation and fear, we have the choice to choose again.  Healing occurs in the present, and in the present moment we can choose again.

         My favorite teaching in the Course (well I have many, ha!), is this:

            “In every difficulty, all distress, and each perplexity Love calls to you and gently says, ‘My brother, choose again.’”

          That’s it. Holy Spirit says, “Choose again.”   Ego says, “You are not practicing enough!  You need to do more!  You are such a failure!”

         In workbook lesson 95 we are asked to forgive ourselves for our lapses in diligence.  Through willingness to tolerate these lapses we learn to overlook them, but when we focus on our seeming failures, it’s just a distraction from the practice of remembrance.
      
          Holy Spirit says the same thing in NTI Luke 11:

            “Whenever you are not listening to My thoughts, you will know, because you will not be at peace and you will not be happy.  This is not a time to chastise yourself, for chastisement is not among the thoughts that I give.  If you are tempted to chastise yourself for forgetting Me, you must again be listening to your own thoughts…  This is a time of forgiving your own thoughts by laying them aside and again opening your heart to Me.”

            When I am not feeling peace and acceptance, I am listening to ego, the voice of my unworthiness – I am listening to the voice of the false self. 

            “Let all these errors go by recognizing them for what they are.  They are attempts to keep you unaware you are one Self, united with your Creator, at one with every aspect of creation, and limitless in power and in peace.  This is the truth, and nothing else is true.”  (ACIM WBL 95)
           We may often feel that we take two steps forward and three steps back, but we cannot unlearn what we have learned, just as we cannot go back to childhood.  We can, however, delay our healing and release from pain.  This realization can remind us to choose again.
   As a friend said, "When you forget to practice...practice."

~

          So, the way to be “a conscious-minded teacher of yourself” is to be willing to look at your mind and to be honest with yourself. 

         What do I want now?  Do I want to continue to experience lack and limitation, or do I want the peace of God?

Holy Spirit,
In this moment,
 I am willing to let go
of the belief in lack and limitation.
I am willing to give it to You.
Gently correct my mind
and lead me to the remembrance that
I am Love.
Thank You.

~

          I want to leave you with another passage from the “zero code” message that I find so incredibly beautiful:
 
                 “You have forgotten yourself, and you see ideas of illusion through this veil of forgetfulness. This would be an experience that would forever keep you lost if it were not for one fact.  And that fact is Me.  That fact is the part of your mind that has never chosen to forget itself.  It is the remembrance of that part of your mind…that is what I am. 

I am the Voice of your inability to forget, that which is always true.
I am your remembrance of you.

            “As that part of you, I am always with you.  I cannot leave you and I cannot be lost… As you awaken to the remembrance of the truth of what you are, lean on Me as your guide.  Ask anything of Me and I shall step forward to help… Remember your desire to know only you.  Be patient, and in trust call on Me.”


* Regina Dawn Akers was given messages from Holy Spirit, and this one is called, “Zero Code is Zero Code”.  It can be found at her website: http://www.reginadawnakers.com 
On the right you will see “Holy Spirit Guides, weeks 71+", click on that go to week 114 for a copy of the message.



******************
The audio was recorded on 6/19/11 and contains a lot more
than what I have shared here.

 
 

 
    MP3 File
 


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Course Note #107: Letting go of Struggle

Through talking with people over the years I have observed that most of us, if not all of us, have at least one area in our lives where we continually feel a sense of frustration and struggle.
            For fun I looked up the definition of struggle, “to make great effort.”  I laughed and thought, “Yeah, and frustration stems from feeling that all this ‘great effort’ comes to naught!” 
            Usually the areas where we feel frustration and struggle are those where we  continually engage in trying to fix something, like: our bodies, relationships, finances, career…insert your own.  This sense of struggle is an indicator that we are listening to ego, the voice of the small limited, not-good-enough self.

            Since we have forgotten that freedom and happiness are found within, we look elsewhere and continue to search and struggle, as the ego’s maxim is “seek but do not find.”   And then sometimes, we find happiness: perhaps we meet that special person, or achieve a certain goal…but after awhile we feel that something’s missing and we’re on the search again.
            We have all lived this, haven’t we?
           
In my willingness to go deeper and really look at these areas of frustration and struggle, I was guided to see the loops of habitual thoughts that have kept me stuck year-after-year.   
            I had written a blog on this idea in 2009 and recently was prompted to look at it again.  In it, I wrote this sentence: “Struggle and frustration come from thinking that I am not as God created me.” 
If you’ve been reading my blog then you know that I have been working with letting go of the “thinking mind”, and with that in mind as I came to the aforementioned sentence, all I could see was: Struggle comes from thinking!  Aha!

            The other day I was on a walk with my dog, and my mind kept spinning down thinking trails that I didn’t want to follow.  I asked Spirit Within, “Give me a thought that will help me now.”  Immediately I heard: “Let all things be exactly as they are.”
            When feeling a sense of struggle, I am not accepting things as they are, but trying to fix them, and all my efforts come to naught.   
SQT ~157~

Ease is the way of life,
because life unfolds as a flow.
There is no struggle
in following the flow of life.
In the decision to follow,
you are carried.

The struggle comes from fighting the flow,
from wanting this and that to be your way.
But your way is not an answer
to the flow of life.
Your way is the desire
to make of life a slave.

            I love this sentence: In the decision to follow, you are carried.  This carries a much lighter image than that of swimming upstream – going against the flow.  Going with the flow is surrender to what is.  Resisting what is is a struggle. 
           
            In Michael Singer’s book, The Untethered Soul, he writes:

In order to grow,
you must let go of the struggle to remain the same.

          Wow!  The flow of life is constant movement.    In order to keep the future continuous with the past, we must be stagnant and resistant to change, and in doing so, we do indeed, struggle to remain the same.

            Why would we want to remain the same? 

            “Your resistance 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, and you think there is safety in the security you have made.”     (NTI Luke 11v29-32)

            One morning while feeling much resistance and frustration, I was led to that passage, and as I read it, I felt yet another scale fall from my eyes.  I was then prompted to open A Course in Miracles to this:

            “You will identify with what you think will make you safe.  Your safety lies 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.”   (ACIM WB.Part II.5)

            Within the struggle to remain the same, we are strongly identified with ego.  We have been believing lies for far too long.  Consistent willingness and vigilance to look at the thoughts that keep us stuck in the same ruts, those thoughts of worry, fear, guilt, struggle, will ultimately lead us to know our freedom.
           
One of my favorite teachings in NTI says, “No more work or struggle to see what isn’t there.”  (NTI Revelation 18v21-24.4)

I turned to that page one day while caught up in struggle, and realized, Yes, it is work and struggle to continue to see the false as true.  It is work and struggle to continue to deny the truth of who I am rather than entering into the ease of the flow of life.

As I stated previously, struggle comes from thinking.  More clearly every day, I see how “thinking” keeps me stuck in old ruts.  As I watch the shenanigans of the “thinking mind” I am learning that it is time to let it go.

            So how do we let go of struggle?

            “Whenever you notice the feeling of struggle, you know that the desire for resistance has taken hold.  Rest yourself a moment, and remember that willingness does not struggle.  Let the struggle fade away, and return yourself to the true desire of the Heart.”  (NTI Revelation 15v1-4)

Holy Spirit,

I rest in You.

I have been resisting what is,
and now I am willing
to let all things be exactly as they are.

I am willing to let You heal me.
My true desire is to know thy Self,
unlimited and free.
Amen.


            Holy Spirit responds,

Relax and give Me your trust.
The path can be easy if you give Me
your trust each step of the way.
It can seem difficult if you choose
to fight Me. (Ha. Ha.)

But know this:
I am not fighting you
My child.
I am holding you lovingly in My arms
as you struggle with yourself.

When you tire of struggling,
I am there with you,
ready to proceed.
                                               (NTI Acts 7.v1-8)

~
Thank You.

********************

SQTs can be found here: http://www.ReginaDawnAkers.com

**************************

The Audio was recorded 6/14/11 and is 57 min.
Much more is shared on the audio than here.


 
 

 
    MP3 File
 



Thursday, June 09, 2011

Course Note #106: No Longer a Victim

No Longer a Victim: Reversing Cause and effect
            
At one point I realized that every significant breakthrough in my life occurred only after I realized, on some level, that I was the problem.  Thus the title of my book:  “Oh My God. It’s Me!”  This is probably why I find the most helpful teaching in A Course in Miracles to be, without a doubt, this one:

~ You are doing this to yourself. ~

            The Course also tells us to beware the temptation of seeing ourselves as unfairly treated, and that we are responsible for what we see.  Some have felt more blame and guilt through this message, but I find it liberating and empowering because, if I am aware that I am doing something to myself, ideally, I can stop doing it to myself. 
  
            I cannot choose to awaken from a dream that I think someone else is dreaming for me, which is why freedom lies in the recognition that I am the dreamer of my dream. 

The “tiny mad idea” that the Course speaks of is the choice to have the experience of being something other than what we are created to be.  We are unlimited, powerful and free creations of God, and on a level that I don’t totally understand, we desired to have an experience of what it would be like to experience lack, limitation and powerlessness. 
           
Over the years I’ve observed that in the areas in our lives where we feel a sense of frustration, struggle, or pain, if looked at more deeply, we will see that we feel victimized by forces outside our own mind.  Ironically though, we are always and only victimized by our own false thoughts, beliefs and desires.  These false thoughts, beliefs and desires are cause, and our life experiences are effect. 
           
            Owning a business for the last 25 years has been a great classroom to learn an infinite number of lessons!  Over all those years I have learned that business is affected only by what is going on in my mind, however, this is a lesson that I continue to learn over-and-over again, presumably because that’s one area in my life where I am easily mesmerized by the world of form.
            In the whole of my life I have not been one who has felt victimized or who has seen myself as a victim; nevertheless, over the years I have come to see those pockets in my mind where I think victim thoughts. 
About ten years ago or so, I was angry about changes in the health insurance industry and I was also angry about never-ending renovations that were going on in the office building I was in.  I felt that both of these circumstances were affecting my business and thus my income.
            One day as I was driving to work I had a sudden revelation: “Sheryl, you are playing the victim to insurance companies and your office building.”   This came as a rude awakening because I had not heretofore seen myself as “victim” of anything, but on that day I saw it loud-and-clear.  The thoughts that limit us can be subtle but once recognized, they are quite glaring. My business increased immediately as I realized that I had only been victimized by my thoughts.
Recently, and once again, I saw how easily I fall into feeling victimized by insurance companies.  And of course, I can point to all kinds of evidence that this is true, however, this world was set up to look that way.  The worldly lament: Look what is happening to me!  Nevertheless, I have observed time-and-time-again that when I change my mind, form changes as well. 

I am aware that this particular form of feeling victimized stems from the belief in lack and limitation. 
“Ah… I see it again, I am falling into feeling victimized and lacking because of something going on in the world, but this is only an opportunity to remind myself that my purpose is healing, my purpose is Know thy Self as God created it, unlimited and free.

I came across a wonderful message and teaching from Regina Dawn Akers* a few weeks ago that enabled me to see the next step.  The message is called, “’Victim’ is a carefully crafted experience.”  I go through the whole message in the audio but for the sake of simplicity I will share only parts of it here.

“Not choosing to be victim is choosing to remember, but not choosing to be victim is not attacking the root.  To get to the root, you must look at your judgment.  This is the cause of all guilt, and it is guilt that spawns the anesthesia of victim.”

A source of frustration has been that while I can quickly step out of these victimizing thoughts, I didn’t understand why I continue to so easily be pulled into them.  When I heard Regina teach on this message, I had one of those Aha! Moments. 
Since I had just had the experience of thinking those victim thoughts, and had chosen to remember that this was not the truth about my reality, I saw why this was not enough.  I had not gotten to the root of these thoughts and feelings, which is why they continue to return.

The message goes on to say: 
“Notice the judgments in your own mind.  In this moment you are experiencing the false, believing it and following the pattern of this belief.  This is a time to stop and recognize clearly what you are doing.  If you look with honesty you will see what you need to see.  You are not a victim.” 
And so, when I look to the world and momentarily feel that insurance companies or the economy affect my business, in that moment I have made a judgment of lack and limitation, and I believe in that moment that the world is at cause and I am at effect. 

“You are judging and choosing and your experience comes from you.” 
I make a judgment about lack or unworthiness, I see these thoughts, and then I have a choice.  I can hold onto those thoughts and beliefs, or I can let them be an opportunity to remind me that I am free. 
Our inner work must be on willingness to look at these false beliefs and desires so that we can let them go.
Holy Spirit,
I see this thought.
I see that this thought comes from a false belief.
I see that this belief comes from the false desire
to know myself as separated from Truth.

I no longer want this.
I want to focus on my true desire,
that of healing,
and remembrance.
 I am as God created me,
unlimited and free.
Amen.

As we focus on our true desire instead of allowing ourselves to be driven by false desires, we create a future different from the past.  Through willingness and vigilant practice we come to know ourselves as free. 

“Nothing has happened but that you have put yourself to sleep, and dreamed that you were an alien to yourself, and but a part of someone else’s dream.  The miracle does not awaken you, but merely shows you who the dreamer is.  The miracle teaches you there is a choice while you are still asleep, depending on the purpose of your dreaming.  Do you wish for dreams of healing, or for dreams of death?  A dream is like a memory in that it pictures what you wanted shown to you.  The choice is yours to make between a sleeping death and dreams of evil or a happy wakening and joy of life.”  (ACIM T-28.II.2:4, T-27.VII.9)

Do you wish to dream of your brother’s kindnesses, or dream of his mistakes?
Do you wish to dream of a world where you are at cause, or at effect?

I am not a victim of the world I see because the world I see can be changed when I change my mind.  Practice letting your Heart lead in all that you do and you will be led directly to where you need to go.

****************************************
The audio was recorded on 6/6/11 and contains much more than is shared here.
This is a powerful teaching from Spirit Within to Me and you ;)  





 
 


 
    MP3 File
 



*This message and audio can be found at: http://www.reginadawnakers.com
under “Holy Spirit Guides 71+” and it is week number 116.  If you enjoy this blog and my audio, you will want to listen to hers as well because we have vastly different life experiences and Holy Spirit uses us to teach in different ways.  

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Course Note #105: Letting go of thinking - Part deux

Hi Friends,
Much interesting conversation arose various places on the net in regard to my previous blog: “Why should I let go of thinking?”  I get it because over the years I have read discussions regarding letting go of the thinking mind, and I thought, “Huh?  How do we give up thinking?!”  There are 86,400 seconds in a day, and so it would seem that we think at least that many thoughts! 
            So first, if you have a problem with letting go of the “thinking mind”, don’t let words get in the way, think of it as letting go of ego, which is the voice for the belief in separation.  If you begin to really listen to this voice and look at your thoughts, you will see that this is true.

            In the previous post on “thinking” I wrote about a recent experience when my mind was spinning on grievances and resentments that I could not seem to let go of.  I heard the Inner Voice break in and remind me to focus on resting the mind, trusting the healing process and being grateful for all that is, and then I was led into prayer. 
On first note, however, the grievances, the reminder from Spirit Within, and the prayer would seem  to be coming from my “thinking” mind.  Yet, when my thinking was caught up in grievances and resentment I felt a sense of heaviness and agitation; and then when I momentarily tried to stop thinking with my thinking mind I experienced more of the same!  When I rested my mind and focused on my willingness to trust and be grateful, I felt a sense of lightness and peace. 

Until recently, I had not thought of “thinking mind” as being synonymous with ego.  As a student of A Course in Miracles I now recognize that every single lesson in its workbook, as well as the many prayers throughout the Course are practices for letting go of the ego thinking mind. 

A question came up this past week over the idea of letting go of thinking: “If we give up our thinking mind how can we reason, read, write or study the Course?” 
While studying the Course, NTI, the Bible… most of us have come across passages that we did not understand.  There were times when I spent hours thinking about what something meant, only to end up confused. 
Ultimately I learned to turn to my Inner Teacher and ask for an experience that would help me to understand.  Each time I did this, within three days I would receive understanding either through a book, audio, an insight, conversation…  The answer didn’t come through thinking, it didn’t come through trying to figure it out, it came through surrender, it came in stillness, it came when I was not seeking it.  In my experience, we can study anything a whole lot easier with the Inner teacher of wisdom leading the class rather than the teacher of confusion.

            “Single Quiet Thought” ~105~ speaks of this:

Beyond the thinking mind,
within the heart,
there is reason and knowledge
that guides you.

When you are lost from the heart,
caught up within the stories
of the thinking mind,
you are lost from this reason
and from this knowledge

This is why you suffer.
You do not know your Self.

Let go of the stories
By not believing them
And listen intently
to the silent reason
and knowledge
of the heart.

            The thinking mind does not know who I am and does not know Truth.  The stories running through our mind with the plot themes of attack and fear, worry about the future, and conflict with our brothers…are these stories helpful?  If not, why do we listen to them?  The inner work involves learning to stop listening to these stories that are not true. 

Throughout spiritual literature we are taught:

Be still…and know.

            I’ve never read anything that said, “Think…and know.”  But that’s what we think right?  The more I think the more I’ll know.  Be still…and know.
~
            Over the years I experienced much healing in literally every aspect of my life through practicing the principles I learned in the Course, and I see that throughout those years I was learning to undo the ego.  I had learned how to still the ego mind, I had learned how to choose peace, but to a great extent, and unbeknownst to me, I was still identified with the thinking mind. 
A few years ago my Inner Teacher began to have me look at the thoughts going on in my mind all day long, like when driving or shopping…those seemingly innocuous thoughts that we pay no attention to.  As I was taught to look at them I saw that they were all judgments. 
         
   Then I was led to The Holy Spirit’s Interpretation of the New Testament (NTI), and specifically to NTI Luke which gave me deeper understanding of this process.  I began to understand that this voice I think of as “my” thoughts is really ego; it is the voice of unworthiness, the voice of separation – and all this time I thought it was me!  Yikes!
            It’s taken a couple more years to work through my resistance, and to increase my willingness to let go of what I once thought was me.  For fun, I began to think of this voice as the Toxic Chatty Cathy.  I didn’t realize it initially, but when I started calling the voice chatty Cathy, I had switched from being the “thinker” to the observer.

             Sometime go back to the workbook of the Course and read the “first review” which is a review of the first fifty lessons, and you will see that these ideas are all there.  Many of us took umbrage to those early lessons that told us our thoughts were meaningless.  Remember that? 
From lesson 51.4:
            “The thoughts of which I am aware do not mean anything because I am trying to think without God.  What I call “my” thoughts are not my real thoughts.  My real thoughts are the thoughts I think with God.  I am not aware of them because I have made “my” thoughts to take their place.  I am willing to recognize that my thoughts do not mean anything, and to let them go.  I choose to have them be replaced by what they were intended to replace.  My thoughts are meaningless, but all creation lies in the thoughts I think with God.” 

            Despite how much healing I’ve experienced over the last twenty plus years, there are areas in my life where I continue to remain stuck. And now I see why.  In those areas I think thoughts of lack and limitation, I think thoughts of unworthiness, fear and guilt…
        I have learned to see those thoughts, and question those thoughts, and thus I have learned that the thoughts I think stem from beliefs and desires that I no longer want.  When I am willing to rest the thinking mind, then I hear thoughts that remind me of who I am.
           
            In the last few months with rising gas prices, I noticed that I had let go of focusing on personal lack, but then focused on those people who most likely have to choose between gas and food.  As I looked at those thoughts, and recognized them as stemming from a belief in lack and limitation, I questioned them: “Sheryl, is this what you want to teach your brothers?  Do you want to teach them lack and limitation?” 
“No, I do not.”
Holy Spirit,
 I see these thoughts and beliefs in my mind
and I am willing to let them go. 
Please take them from me
and correct them for me. 
I know that only truth
will correct all errors in my mind.
Thank You.


Willingness to focus on the truth of our Being is the most helpful thing we can do for one another.
I know how difficult it can be to walk through the 86,400 seconds in a day and keep our mind focused on Purpose instead of mesmerized by all that’s going in our lives.  Nevertheless, we can let everything be an opportunity for the healing of our mind.

            “This is something you must be willing to do:

 You must be willing to rest the thinking mind
at every opportunity given you.

            “Learn to recognize your opportunities to rest the thinking mind.  When you feel to go into prayer, rest and let a prayer rise from the Heart.  When you feel to answer a question in the mind, rest and let the answer find its way into your awareness.  When you feel tired and unsure as to what to do, rest and let a feeling of what to do enter you.  When you feel inclined to speak and don’t know what to say, rest and let what to say be given.  And when you feel upset or saddened or afraid, rest and let illusions fade.  When the thinking mind is rested, the Vision of Spirit is given.”  (NTI Revelation 20.v1-3)

            What I love about this paragraph is the many times that it says: rest and let…
Rest and let the truth within teach to you and through you.

                        We remember who we are through the willingness to listen to the Voice that remembers who we are.  Stop and rest your mind, and simply let.
           
I have something wonderful to share with you.  Some of you may remember Michael Carlucci, who wrote such inspired spiritual poetry before he passed from this realm.  By chance I came across this poem recently:

Rest, Accept, Trust

I think, “Wouldn’t it be terrific if…
Then my life would be so great
And then my spirits would elate.
All my problems would be gone.”

And then a fear creeps in.
It also says, “What if…”
And then I must begin
Other thinking tasks to win.

A whisper in my mind says, “Trust.
What if all your need has been supplied
And trusting mind need not resist
Whatever comes your way.”

With that a peaceful rest
Finds calming spot in thinking’s place
I know that thinking ‘bout is gone
That grace has taken every space.

~ Thank you Michael ~
           

            I love it, the “trusting” mind versus the “thinking” mind.  We can readily see how the thinking mind chatters about how our lives will be better if this or that happens, or it shrieks about the fearful things that could come along in the future.  It spins all kinds of tales about the future and the past, always taking us out of the present.  Trust says, in this moment, all is well. 
            So how do we let go of thinking mind? 

Through willingness to do so.  And our willingness is, indeed, everything.  Through our willingness we will experience healing.  It is time to make a decision to commit more fully, and more deeply to listen to one Voice, the Voice that speaks from Love.
           
            “When you prefer love to conflict, you will begin to listen to Me.  When you prefer oneness to separateness, you will ask Me how to think.  When you are tired of loss, lack and suffering, you will give yourself to Me to be made complete.  All this you can choose, and in all this, I am with you.”  (NTI Matthew 24v32-35)

~ Thank You ~

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Single Quiet Thoughts (SQTs) can be found at: http://www.reginadawnakers.com

The audio was recorded on 6/5/11 and contains much more than is here, it is 57 min.
How to Let go of thinking



 
 

 
    MP3 File