Thursday, September 29, 2011

Course Note #122: Enjoy playing the Game!

            I have been doing a series of teachings on the “Holy Spirit Guides” messages on “Be Watchful with Me.” *  This one is on joy and learning to look at the beliefs that cause pain before they cause pain.

            Recently I saw the movie Moneyball, and it begins with a quote by Mickey Mantle: “It’s unbelievable how much you don’t know about the game you’ve been playing your whole life.”

            So true!  Well here’s to learning more about how to play the game!

            The message begins with Holy Spirit speaking on artificial joy, which is joy based on the world and certain outcomes.  In other words, if my happiness is dependent on things being a certain way, this is not perfect joy because it follows that if things aren’t a certain way I will not be happy. 

            HS: “One must watch the mind for signs of artificial joy.  All of the beliefs that cause pain are hidden within the search for artificial joy.  In order to know true happiness, one must free the mind of beliefs that cause pain.  In order to free the mind of these beliefs, one must see them and recognize them.  However, one need not experience pain to see and let go of the beliefs of pain.  One can mind-watch during periods of artificial joy and release beliefs that are the cause of all pain.

           “First, one must be willing to be aware of artificial joy as it is experienced.  One must be willing to question the mind.

Am I happy because another person is saying, or doing a specific thing?
If the situation were different, would I feel differently?

Am I feeling secure because I have or attract certain situations or things?
If these situations or things were no longer available to me,
would I feel secure?"
            An example that comes to mind is the changes in the economy over the last few years.  Thinking of life as a classroom is an idea that I find very helpful.  I am here to learn who I am in truth; that I have already been given everything, and that I am a creation of God, free and unlimited, lacking nothing.  How can I really learn this if I put my faith and trust in a retirement plan or a job or something else? 
When I think that security lies in something outside of me, I am building my house on sand.  “House” is symbolic of our consciousness – does your consciousness rest on the sands of illusion, or on the rock of truth?
            We can probably all see that if we had a retirement plan, relationship, health or something else that made us happy, and it was lost in one way or another, of course, initially at least, we would probably feel unhappy.
On the day that I was planning to teach on this message, I woke up feeling that I didn’t want to teach on it because I didn’t fully understand it.  As I pondered skipping it, my inner teacher began to explain it to me.
We are not being asked to project lack and pain into the future, but to look now at the false beliefs that create pain.  We can look at false beliefs while feeling happiness so that we don’t have to create from those false beliefs in the future.

If I had a healthy retirement plan and felt happy because of that, but looked at my mind to see that I would feel unhappy if I lost it, I can see that I have false beliefs about where my future security lies.  This has been an interesting one for me to look at in the last few years because many people have told me about losing a large portion of their retirement plan.  I don’t even have one, and yet, I have not felt fear about that.  I’m on the “let go and let God” retirement plan. We'll see how that works out.  ;)
This doesn’t mean, however, that I have not had to look long and deep at the false beliefs that my financial well-being lies out there.  Since I have increased my willingness to let go of the belief in lack and limitation, I have seen long held thoughts of lack fade away.

So as I look at my life and notice that I would feel unhappy if certain things changed, my inner teacher told me to ask this:  “What would I have to believe to feel unhappy if…?  What would I have to believe to feel unhappy if I had less money, health, beauty, love…?

HS:  “When this question is asked, basic beliefs within the mind will rise to the surface to be questioned.  For example:

I am lacking in myself.

I am unworthy.

There is something inherently fearful within existence
that I must be protected against.

 “When one sees that specific outcomes or temporary joy are a cover or mask over these beliefs, one sees how one has built a house on shifting sands.  For as long as these beliefs are held to within the mind, they must at some point manifest within the experience."

The question came up during the teaching, “Could you be happy if you had no money in the bank?”  I can readily see that I would experience unhappiness if I had no money in the bank, and all I am being asked to do is to look at this fact, and then, look at the false belief underlying it. Obviously the belief in lack and limitation is at play here.  Do I believe that I am not a child of God, and that I cannot really trust that I will be led to some other avenue of income, sustenance or abundance?  We aren’t asked to pretend to be happy when we are not, more profoundly, we are simply asked to look deeper.

HS: “As one questions the mind during times of joy, one may uncover such thoughts if the joy is based on artificiality.  This is a wonderful use of time.  For when one uncovers fear thoughts at the base of artificial joy, one may choose to release those thoughts before they manifest as pain.  In this way, one creates more joy within experience by removing the cause of pain and the perceived need for specific outcomes in order to be joyful.” 
               I love this: “this is a wonderful use of time” – we can use time to uncover false beliefs.

~ Have fun! ~
The audio of this teaching was recorded on 9/25/11
and in it I share much more than I was able to here.


    MP3 File

* This message is called “BE watchful with Me, part V”, dated January 20th, 2007,and can be found on this site: under “monthly archives”.  Also on this blog, in Course Note #119, I have archived all the audios in this series.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Course Note #121: Why do we listen to the ego?

The short answer to “why do we listen to the ego?” is, because we want to.  Over the past few months I have had more difficulty quieting the ego than I have experienced in a very long time.  Through my ongoing willingness to quiet the ego, I have been led to deeper insights on acceptance and trust, as well as to teachings on the practice of mantra and surrender.  In the past few weeks I have been guided back to teachings on mind-watching and letting go of ego. 
The way we begin to let go of the ego is to look at it, and through looking at it we see that it is not who we are.  Ego is only the belief in separation, and yet, it has a voice – the voice we think of as “my thoughts”.   For me anyway, this realization was a rude awakening!
We listen to the ego because we believe it is who we are, and now we are learning to hear it so that we will realize that we don’t want to listen to it any more.  If we are honest with ourselves, listening to the ego, believing what it says, and acting on it has only brought us pain.  Listening to "my thoughts" is truly the cause of suffering.

In this blog I will be sharing excerpts from a message in the “Holy Spirit Guides” series on: “Why do we listen to the ego?” *

HS: “Begin to release the ego by accepting that you choose everything it says to you.  Look at every fear and at every accusation it places in your mind and say to yourself, ‘I chose this thought because I wanted to know the experience.’  Then ask yourself, ‘What do I want now?’”
See, in our freedom, we were given the right to experience ourselves as something other than we are in truth, what A Course in Miracles calls “the tiny mad idea”.  We wanted to experience lack and limitation, unworthiness and victimization to see what it feels like, but of course, within these experiences, we suffer. 
If I feel victimized or unworthy because I believe that some person, place or thing did something to me, then I have projected the thought of victim out there so that I don’t have to see it in my own mind; nevertheless, I will still feel the pain of it.   But once I see the thoughts, I see that I am playing the victim in a certain situation because I wanted to have that experience.  Once I own this, then I have a choice: Okay, I wanted to have the experience of victim, but what do I want now?

HS: “Don’t ask yourself this question too lightly.  Don’t let the answer come too quickly from the surface of your mind. Take the time to go deep within to the center of your true heart and ask, ‘What do I want now?’  When you find the answer to this question you will know it, because it will rise up with a recognition that will cause every cell in your body to stand with attention and sing.”

I’ve done this and found that what makes my heart sing is the desire to know my Self as God created it, unlimited and free.  To know my Self as Love.  To know only Love, to be only Love and to extend only Love.
HS:  “Once you have the answer to the question ‘What do I want now?’ look back at the content of the ego thought in your mind.”

I’ll give you a current experience from my own life: I have been feeling that somebody did something to me.  I feel victimized.  I feel that the person has no consequences for his actions, and I feel that I am stuck with his actions.  When HS says that I listen to the ego because I want to, in this situation I understand why I have had such a difficult time letting it go, because I really believe that the person did something wrong and so, I am unwilling to stop listening to the part of my mind that affirms this – ego. 

HS: “What is it (ego thought) trying to teach you?  Is it teaching you what you want to learn?  If not, it is not a thought you want now.  It is the residual thought of an experience you chose before, but an experience you are choosing against now.”

            So when I look at the content of the ego thoughts, I see that they are teaching me that I can be unfairly treated and victimized.  Is this what I want now?  No!  Do I want to continue to create experiences where I feel lack, limitation, unworthy or unfairly treated? No!  But in the past I did.  As I look at my mind, I see these residual thoughts from a past choice, but one that I don’t want to choose now.

          As we look deeper at the content of the ego thoughts in the mind, the content of fear, lack, limitation, unworthiness, guilt…we recognize that all the ego thoughts teach the same thing – that we are not who we are; that we are separate from our Self and one another; they all teach that we are separate from our Source.

HS: “With this realization in mind, remember that everything you experience comes to you through your choice.  Remember how you truly want to experience now, and with the power and love of God that backs every decision you make, look at the thought you do not want and say, ‘I do not choose this thought today.  This is a thought I do not want now because this is not how I would experience myself any longer.’”

What do I want now?

To know my Self as God created it,
unlimited and free.
I want to know my Self
as Love.

              When I set my heart’s desire next to thoughts of lack, limitation and unworthiness…I can readily see what I want to experience now.  This is how we come to truly see that the ego, and the world we see through its eyes, are not real.  As we choose to have the experience of truth, we begin to experience the world through the vision of truth, and thus we come to see that nothing the ego tells us about ourselves, other people or the world is true. 

Here we see the power in mind-watching.  The practice enables us to see how and why we create our life experiences.  I find this realization to be incredibly empowering and exciting!  Remember, it is through our freedom that we have the gift to experience who we are, and who we are not.  Which experience will I choose today?

I am all that I am,
and that is all I am promised to be.
But I cannot limit myself through fear,
and know all that I am.
I choose to release the limits
I have chosen for myself.
In their release,
I see that I am.

“Make this the constant prayer in your heart.  In purpose, step forth unto your release.”  (NTI 2 Timothy, 2v11-13)

The audio was recorded on 9/20/11 and in it
I speak on much more than was shared here. Enjoy!


    MP3 File

* This message “why do we listen to ego?” can be found at:
in the “monthly archives” dated, August 3, 2007.  You can also hear Regina teach on this if you go to the site and to the right it says “Holy Spirit guides, weeks 71+” this teaching is week 94.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Course Note #120: Letting go of the ego

In a recent teaching I shared a message from “Holy Spirit Guides” on letting go of the ego.*  Over the years I have learned many ways to let go of ego, through meditation, prayer and focusing on a thought given by Spirit Within.  This message highlights 6 steps for letting go of the ego through the practice of mind-watching.

Step one: Watch the thoughts in your mind.  Do not fall asleep and accept them without seeing them.
            Here, the word “accept” can be synonymous with the word believe.  To sleep, is to believe the thoughts in the mind without seeing them.  Even though we don’t see them, we still listen to them, believe them and act on them.  Let's say I have a thought about not having enough money.  I listen to this thought, and if I believe it is true I may then act on it by feeling more fear, or feeling that I must do something to fix the situation. However, through mind-watching I come to see the thought of lack, and then I realize that I don’t have to accept such thoughts as true.
            I’ve found it helpful to notice that even though it seems like I think about many things, there is often a theme for the day, which could be one of lack and limitation, unworthiness, guilt, fear, attack/defense or feeling victimized.  Once I see the content of my thoughts, then…I can more readily let them go.
Step two:  Choose to let ego thoughts rest and fall quiet in your mind.  Give no additional power to them.
            I’ve learned several practices over the years to let ego thoughts rest, but recently I have been prompted to the practice of mantra and surrender (see previous blogs on this).  As I began the practice I was guided back to these messages on watching the mind.  I have found that taking deep breaths and practicing the mantra very slowly has been so helpful in resting the mind and quieting the ego thoughts: I am that I am.  I am as God.
In this way I cease giving power to the ego thoughts.

Step three:  Ask Me for My Thoughts, and hold them Dear in your mind.  Repeat them.  Contemplate them.  Feel gratitude for them.
            This step harkens to the practice of surrender as taught in The Teachings of Inner Ramana, which I wrote about in “course note” #116.  So at this point, I have watched the thoughts in my mind and quieted my mind, now I can ask: What am I to do/see/think now? 
            A prayer that has been helpful for me is this:
Holy Spirit,
Help me see this person/situation
through your vision of Love,
rather than through the eyes of
judgment and fear.
            Of course, the workbook of A Course in Miracles contains 365 practices of mantra and surrender, and even though I didn’t think of the lessons this way previously, they were still powerful tools to redirect my mind.

Step four:  Turn to your willingness.  Cherish it as your Strength.
            “If you will focus your willingness on the part of your mind that wants the truth above everything else, you will find that willingness will grow.”  (NTI Galatians 5v2-6.4)

                “Within the quiet mind, you first want to find your willingness.  Rest the mind and call to your willingness.  You know it is there.  It has led you to this moment of asking for it.  Your purpose now is only to bring it more fully into awareness.  Focus on it, that it may stream more fully within you.  Your focus gives it flight, so as you give it focus, it fills you.”  (NTI Galatians 6v1-5.9-15)

Focus on your willingness as if it is your truth,
because it is.

Focus on your willingness as if it holds the answer to all questions,
because it does.

Focus on your willingness as if it is everything to everyone,
because it is.

Focus on your own willingness.
That is Love Alive within the world.
                                                                        (NTI Galatians 5v7-12.31-35)

            I certainly have nothing to add. ;)

Step five:  Follow My Guidance in peace and confidence, for you are truly being led.  There are no accidents.  Everything works together for good.
            Through learning to stop listening to the ego, we become available to hear and follow inner guidance.  Trust the healing process.  Trust that you are being healed, even now.

Step six:  Watch the thoughts in your mind.  Remember that you have a choice as to what you will believe.
            Here we are again…watch the thoughts in your mind.  When I see the thoughts, I realize that I then have a choice:  Do I want to believe these thoughts of unworthiness, or lack and limitation?  Do I want to believe these thoughts of victimization, or thoughts that I am guilty?  Do I want to teach my brother through these false thoughts and beliefs?  No.  I am willing to choose again.

            The message ends with this: “This is all I ask of you.  This is the process that will usher in miracles, which will carry you to your point of full willingness.  Do not worry as to when.  Worry is of the ego.  Let the worry rest.  Be patient and love yourself, even as I love you.”

             Wow, is this a wonderful message or what? Here’s to ushering in miracles! Cheers!
            In the audio I share more on the steps, and also on a message called “The Bus Analogy” which is more on mind-watching and resting.** 


    MP3 File


* This message is called “Letting go of the ego” and can be found at:
in the “monthly archives” dated, November 20, 2005.  She also has an audio on this teaching that can be found on her site under “teachings” and it’s called: “Breaking the habit of listening to ego, part 1”
** This message can be found in the “monthly archives” dated December 8, 2007.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Course Note #119: Be Watchful with Me

I will be sharing a series of audios here on messages received by Regina Dawn Akers from Holy Spirit called, "Be Watchful with Me" (see below for more info as to how to find them).  I am guided to share quite a few teachings in the coming weeks on this very important practice of learning to watch the mind. 
8)Recorded on 10/2/11
Be Watchful with Me --  Practicing Stillness
In this one I talk about the importance of practicing stillness.  I also go into how to quiet in our mind when something that causes upset is in our face every day.


    MP3 File


7) Recorded on 9/25/11
  Be Watchful with Me -- This one is on joy and learning to look at the beliefs that cause pain before they cause pain. Linked to course Note #122 (see link below)


    MP3 File

6) Recorded on 9/20/11
Why Do we Listen to Ego?
This is linked to "course note" #121 found here;


    MP3 File

5) Recorded on 9/18/11, 55 min.
Letting go of the ego
This is linked to "course note" #120 found at:


    MP3 File


4) Recorded on 9/11/11  53 min.
Be Watchful with Me, part 3 -- Mind-watching through pain
this is linked to Course Note #131:
    MP3 File

3)Recorded on 9-4-11, 57 min.
Be Watchful with Me, part 2
In this audio I shared the BWWM messages part 2 and 3 in the series.  
This is linked to "course note" #125 and #126, found here on this blog.


    MP3 File

2) Recorded on 8/30/11, 59 min.
Focus on the Focus and Be Watchful with Me, part 1:  
In this teaching many things came up: Dealing with distractions, how to deal with both physical and emotional pain, and how we should look at doing things in the world.  Good stuff!  


1) Recorded on 8/23/11 on the very important practice of mind-watching.
How do I practice Mind-Watching?



The actual "Be Watchful With Me" messages can be found at:
in the "Archives" section beginning with January 6, 2007.  She has also taught on this series and has 2 different teaching on these messages, filed under "Holy Spirit Guides", one set was recorded on 7/24/07, and the other is under the same section beginning with "week 82".  We share completely differently on these messages so if the topic is of interest you may want to listen to my audios as well as Regina's. 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Course Note #118: How do I let go of the past?

Recently I did a teaching on a “Holy Spirit Guides” message called, “How do I let go of the past?”*

            The message begins with a question:
            “I am realizing how much I hold onto the past, and I want to learn to let it go.  Letting go of the past seems challenging.  I keep seeing the past in the faces that I come into contact with.  Will you share some tips to help me get better at letting go of the past?”

Answer: “Letting go of the past seems difficult because you have an earthly memory.  Don’t think of letting go of the past as letting go of your memories.  That is not realistic for you at this time.  Think of letting go of the past as releasing it from your present moment, and therefore, from your future.
            “First of all, you feel guilty because you think you live too much in the past.”

            I can relate to this in the sense of feeling guilty for holding onto judgment and grievances, even after many years of spiritual practice.  We may not always recognize that these grievances are a way of holding onto the past.  In A Course in Miracles we are taught: Look at the past, but don’t dwell there.  Most of us have not only looked at the past, we’ve pitched a tent there!
            The Course speaks of “shadow figures”.  We react and relate to people in the present through the lens of past experiences, and in this way, we make the future continuous with the past.                      
In the message, HS goes on to teach us that it is impossible to live in the past because the only time is now.  We are not “living” in the past, we are “thinking” of the past.  The good new is that we can make another choice, now.  We are free to choose a different thought or reaction now.

“Secondly, when you are reviewing the past in the present, think about your memories as a diet.  We can call it a soul food diet.  The diet that you select determines what you will grow in to.  If you decide to feast on a diet of ego memories, you are building a future like your past.  You are urged not to do this.  This is what is meant by letting go of the past.  However, you can select different memories as your diet and build a different future by reviewing those memories now.  Choose to remember the times that you have felt your closeness to Me.  Choose to remember the times that you were in your right mind.  Choose to remember the helpful thoughts I have shared with you.  Choose to feast on uplifting memories.  Use your past to build you up and bring you closer to Me.”
We can use our past to learn that we are free.  Let’s say you have a difficulty with a certain person, and every time you see or think of him or her, your grievances come up.  An example came up that I delve more into in the audio, but for brevity I’ll give you the nutshell version. 
Years ago, there was a particular family member who trigged a lot of grievance for me.  I was determined to heal this relationship, and it was actually a process that took a few years.  But on a particular holiday I decided to prepare in advance, and I did much forgiveness work in the weeks leading up to the holiday.   As we traveled to our holiday destination, about ten minutes away, I began to think of everything this person had done to piss me off.  Suddenly I heard the Inner Voice say: “Sheryl, that all happened in the past.  She can be seen anew in this moment.”  I acknowledged the truth in that, and from that moment on, I never felt an ounce of tension in her presence, and our relationship was healed.

I am reminded of a very poignant “single quiet thought” #67: **

Forgiveness frees us
from the burden
of our own thoughts.
            The thoughts that we hold onto from the past are burdensome.  Forgiveness is the practice of letting them go.  I’ve been listening to a particular story in my mind that has a theme of feeling victimized by a particular person.  As I became aware of this, I thought, “Do I want to create future experiences where I feel victimized and unfairly treated?”    
As I look at the thoughts in my mind and recognize thoughts of lack and limitation, do I want to create experiences of lack and limitation in the future?  No!
No, I don’t want to continue to create a future based on the past.  Then…I must be willing to let go of those false beliefs today, and let Holy Spirit heal these errors in my mind.

The message goes on to say: “Letting go of grievances is important.  I’m sure that you can see from what I have already shared that when you bring a past grievance into the present, you have another opportunity to let it go.  However, do not think of the past as only the distant past.  If a brother says something to you that does not seem to come from Love, the moment he has said it, it is already in the past.  You can choose again now.  The past occurs rapidly, yet now is with you always.  As you become skilled at letting go of the past immediately, you will find that you can be at peace always.”

I have found that the practice of the mantra is a great way to let go of the past in the present.  I practice is slowly: 

I   Am   that   Am.  I   Am  as  God.

Often when I practice in this way I am taken into profound stillness, and this occurred as I practiced this during the teaching.  Through the practice I was taken into the present moment.

“Love the present moment.
  Cherish it as your opportunity
to know your Self.
This present moment is a gift.
It is a gift that is always with you,
given by Love.
Feel gratitude for the gift.
Treasure it.
It is your peace,
and like your peace,
it can never be taken away from you.”

~Thank you~
I Am that I Am.  I Am as God.

The audio on this teaching was recorded on 9/13/11 and is 54 min.
How do I let go of the past?


    MP3 File

* “Holy Spirit Guides” are messages given to Regina Dawn Akers, and they can be found on her website at:   This one is from March 7th, 2005

** “Single Quiet Thoughts” can be found on Regina’s website.