Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Course Note #131: Mind-watching through painful experiences

Recently I heard a story about a man who owned a factory.  Suddenly, or so it seemed, the machines in the factory were breaking down and employees were having accidents.  The owner kept trying to figure out what was going, and his mind was caught up in thinking about how to solve the problem.  A rival company had made an offer to buy his business, and he was thinking of selling because it had become such a headache.
One night he went to the factory at midnight.  He took a chair up to the top floor of the factory and sat down to watch. As he watched the factory from above, he saw vandals and saboteurs enter the factory.   He watched as they did things to the machinery that would cause breakdowns and accidents to occur.  He later found out that the rival company had sent the intruders to encourage him to sell his business.

The point of the story is that he didn’t solve the problem by thinking about it and trying to figure out a solution, he solved the problem by simply watching from above.

As we watch the mind from above with Holy Spirit, and see the saboteurs and intruders that cause us pain, we realize that they are just our thoughts.  When we believe the story running through the mind that tells us something outside of us as causing our pain, then, we cannot hear the voice of Truth because we’re mesmerized by the thoughts that tell us we have a reason to be in pain.  Pain is part of the story.

Awhile back, my mind was caught up in such a story, and it was around this time that my inner teacher introduced me to the practice of mantra and surrender as taught in The Teachings of Inner Ramana.  If you’ve been reading my blog, then you are privy to how much I have gained from the incident because in my willingness to stop listening to the story, I learned practices that are taking me deeper within. 

In fact, recently I woke up one morning and heard thoughts about that story and immediately had this thought, "OMG, I am so bored with this story!”  I had to laugh.  Now when thoughts about that particular story come up, I immediately see that the thoughts are truly meaningless, as are the thoughts about all the stories that try to run through the mind.
 This morning I had a deep meditation, and then went on a walk with my dog.  During most of the walk I focused on the mantra practice, but then thoughts began to come up about my childhood, thoughts that I had not heard in a very long time.  I saw the meaninglessness of the thoughts, and thought, “Sheesh! I’m going to be 55 in a few days. It’s definitely time to let go of that story.”  It was obvious that ego, the voice of separation, was just throwing a curve ball into my peaceful mind.  I returned to my mantra practice instead of listening to a story, and soon, the story dissolved back into the nothingness from which it came. 

In this blog I will be sharing from a message from the “Be watchful with Me” series called: “Mind-watching through pain”.*

When a time of pain comes upon you, Holy Spirit in this message asks us to pay careful attention to the thoughts that rise through the pain, such as:

I am victim.
I am afraid.
Something is wrong with me.
There is no God.
I hate myself.
There is only loss.

                   I can certainly relate to having thought all of these thoughts in various moments of emotional pain, and I can certainly recall the desire to believe them as true.  I am thankful that I know now that such thoughts come from the voice that speaks from who I am not. 

                 HS: “Watch the thoughts that arise, and remain aware that you need not accept these thoughts.  In observing the thoughts that come up through the pain, without slipping into accepting the thoughts, you release many false thoughts from the mind.”

The way the word “accept” is being used here is synonymous with the word believe, as in believing that the thoughts are true.  I feel to make this clarification because there is a difference between accepting thoughts as true, and accepting that right now the thoughts of fear or loss are in my mind.  When I see the thoughts in the mind, and recognize that they are the cause of my pain, I can then give willingness to let them go to healing; but to believe them and accept them as true, is to keep them.  In keeping a tight hold on such thoughts I continue to create experiences of pain.

When we are willing to do this mindful work, we begin to wake from our slumber.  I now find it amazing that an incident that occurred in my life that caused me much emotional pain, is something I now see as a gift that has led me to deeper healing.  It was through my willingness to let go of the painful thoughts that seemed to bombard me that I allowed myself to be guided to see thoughts of victimization and unworthiness that were triggered by the incident.  I gained a deeper look within.  And thus, I came to a deeper understanding of acceptance (see course note #111 and 115).  Then I was guided to the practices of mantra and surrender, which are without a doubt, the most helpful and powerful tools I have come across.

HS: “Use your pain to free yourself, by choosing release from the thoughts that are the basis and cause of all pain.”

Let your pain be a gift that sets you free from the prison you have made for yourself.  It is truly our thoughts that enslave us.  Even though we need not grow through pain, we often do as we hold onto ideas that cause pain. 

“It is time to look within at the darkness that blinds you to your awareness of Life.  You will see many things, all of which are false.  Hold My hand, and know it is your own truth that you hold to as we look together at all you are not.”  (NTI 2 Timothy 1v1)

            NTI 2 Timothy has been incredibly instrumental in helping me do this.  Through my work with the teachings, I have discovered that when I have been really willing to look at the pain, it’s not that painful!  I mean it is for a moment…but pain becomes joy as we look at it from above the battleground, with the vision of Holy Spirit, and there we can release it to Love for healing.

“The overlooking of the battleground is now your purpose.  Be lifted up, and from a higher place look down upon it.  From there will your perspective be quite different.  Here in the midst of it, it does seem real.”  (ACIM T-23.IV.4:5)

          It can be difficult to practice mind-watching when going through emotional pain, because it is a time when we can become more self-absorbed, and stuck in our story.  But be willing to entertain the willingness to let the pain become a gift.

Take this moment to be quiet
and to ask Me
to look at your pain with you. 
I am with you always,
but through inviting Me
 you acknowledge My presence within you.

In peace we will experience your pain together.
Through peace,
 we will joyously let it go.

Healing is your only purpose.
Do not be distracted.
You enjoy the process as you come to recognize its reward,
and the reward you recognize is
That Which you truly Are.
                   (NTI 2 Timothy 4v16-22)

To enjoy additional audios on this mind-watching visit: http://www.sherylvalentine.com and click on "audio Library" 

The audio was recorded on 9/11/11 and is 53 min.
and delves into more than I have shared here.


    MP3 File

* The message can be found in its entirety at: http://www.reginadawnakers.com in the monthly archives dated 1/19/2007.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Course Note #130: Living a Thanks-in-Advance Life!

Happy Thanksgiving! 

Yes, there is Much to be Grateful for.

A few years ago while reading the biblical account of Jesus feeding five thousand people with a few loaves and fish, I was struck by the fact that he first gave thanks to God, and then, he proceeded to feed the people. Not only was there enough to feed them, but there were many basketfuls left over!
If I were in that situation it would probably go something like this: “Oh My God!  There are 5,000 hungry people here, and I have only 4 loaves and 4 fish! What do I do? God, can you help me out here?” 
Suddenly, loaves and fish rain down from the sky, enough to feed everyone. “Wow! Thank you!”
This is how most of us live our lives: Thanks-after-the-fact.  Coming from a consciousness of lack and need, we don’t trust that our needs will be met, and when they are, it seems like a gift from God. 
The biblical example, however, reveals how to live a Thanks-in-Advance life.  We have already been given all that we need to live a full, abundant and meaningful life.  You may not think that this is true if you currently have more bills than money, or covet something sparkly and new.  The truth is that we don’t know what would make us truly happy.  We can learn to live our lives with a consciousness of gratitude and trust, and then Life has a way of leading us to how we can best serve in the world, and supplying what we need to do so.   

There are two ways of looking at the world: Through the eyes of fear, anger and “there’s not enough!” or through the vision of appreciation, acceptance and trust.  We will see out there that which we feel within. If anger and fear encompass our thoughts, then we see a world that shows us many things to be angry about and fearful of.
The good news is that if trust and thanksgiving embrace our mind, we look upon a world that shows us many things to be grateful for. What would you see? The choice is yours.

Let’s apply this to needing a job. The mind filled with fear may tell you that you need a job for security and to pay your bills; or it may tell you that there are no jobs to be had.
How would a heart filled with Thanksgiving see it?  I am thankful that I have been given what I need to serve, may Love show me how I can be used today.  

Let Love Guide You.

To a certain degree, abundance and poverty have nothing to do with the numbers in your bank account, but have everything to do with thought. Thoughts of gratitude recognize inner riches and abundance, while thoughts of complaint and “I don’t have enough” are poverty.  Looking at the world through the eyes of Trust and Love changes the way we live – it opens the door to seeing what was there all along. 
Living a Thanks-in-Advance life is about remembering that as Love created you, you have everything, right now!

And so:
Look well to this day,
for it is life,
the very Best of Life!

In its brief course lie all
the realities and truth of existence,
the Joy of Growth,
the Splendor of Action,
the Glory of Power!

For yesterday is but a memory,
and tomorrow, only a vision
but Today well lived
makes every yesterday a memory of happiness,
and every tomorrow a vision of hope.

Look well therefore to this day.
                                                                     Ancient Sanskrit poem

On 11-19-09 I gave a 50 minute talk on this topic. In it, I cover much more than I have written here.  Enjoy!
Living a Thanks-in-Advance Life!
MP3 File

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Course Note #129: Distractions, Practice & Devotion

              Do you ever beat up on yourself for being distracted and forgetting to practice?  Actually, I don’t do it near as much as I used to, nevertheless, it is something that I can fall into, although now, it’s much easier to step out of as I recognize that I am listening to ego.  Ego loves to beat up on you for being what it deems, a bad spiritual student! – telling you that you should be nice and loving, all the time.
            The thing is though, A Course in Miracles is not about being nice and loving, all the time, it’s about looking at the ego.  So we can see why the ego would rather have us focus on how other people or ourselves are not being “nice and loving”, because looking at ego is the way to let go of it.

            I’ve been feeling lately that I am moving into the “next step”, and have been guided to study the teachings in NTI on the empty shell (see previous blogs).  It seems that I’ve had days where I have been more distracted as I move into this deeper level of practice.
            I’m reminded of a passage in ACIM where it says that when you respond with love, your ego will react viciously.  You know how it is, you have a very loving or peaceful moment, and the next thing you know you’re screaming at someone in a parking lot!  And as one of my friends says, “Yeah, the church parking lot!”  LOL. 
            It’s been many years since I’ve had one of those episodes, but what I recognize in my own practice at this time is that, the more I desire to know my Self as Love, and to extend that Love, the ego does become vicious. 
            A friend was talking to me about her recent ego sneak attacks and said, “Ego finds the loose thread and tugs at it until we separate.”  So true.  Ego knows what our weaknesses are, because ego is who we think we are!  By watching the mind and observing ego in action, we begin to recognize that this voice is not who we are, and we learn to stop listening to it.  As long as we think this voice of separation is who we are, it’s easy for it to distract and attack us. 
While I have used many practices over the years, I have found the mantra practice to be such a wonderful tool to break away from listening to this voice.  Just this morning, I let the mantra take me deep into stillness, something I had never experienced until I started this practice.  Later, on a morning walk, it was again helpful to quiet the mind.  I feel such gratitude to have been guided to this practice.

In my talk on Sunday I talked about distractions, practice and devotion, and I’ll share some of that here.


            “There are many distractions that come to keep your mind from Me.  Remember that distractions are temptations put forth by your resistance, and resist the distraction instead.  I have said before that it is not important what you do, but why you do it.  This is an invitation to do all things for Me.  If each distraction becomes an opportunity to hear My Voice, you are doing well on the path to healing.”  (NTI Luke13v22-30)

               This past week I’ve found myself distracted by thoughts about the future, internet conversations and assorted other things.  In my recognition that I am allowing ego distraction, I was then able to use the distractions as opportunities to look at ego in my mind. 
When we are asked to “resist the distraction”, this doesn’t mean necessarily that we resist the activity that we see as a distraction, but once looked at with Holy Spirit, we may be guided away from that activity or, we may be guided simply to see it differently.


            This was up for me this week as I noticed that some days I remember to practice the mantra throughout the day, and on other days I forget.  Willingness is everything.  In the moment that I notice that I have forgotten to practice, I give my willingness to remember more.  It’s ego that tells us we must do more, Holy Spirit asks us to practice when we remember.  I often pray in this way:

Holy Spirit,
I give you permission to remind me throughout the day
to remember You.


Holy Spirit,
I give you permission to correct errors in my mind
throughout the day.

            I find that when I do this, I do remember to practice more frequently throughout the day.


            “You will seem to have many temptations.  You will seem to forget My thoughts completely for a time.  Do not let that distress you.  The thinking you do apart from Me cannot hurt you.  It can only delay your healing for a little while. So when you have forgotten, shake off the past… Now is a new moment!  You help yourself by choosing My thoughts again now.”  (NTI Luke 10v1-24)

                Healing occurs in the present.  In any present moment that we remember to let go of ego, and instead, listen to the voice of Truth, in that moment, we have stepped forward once again. 
In any moment that we fall into berating ourselves, a helpful hint: Remember that you are listening to ego – choose again.  We can learn to listen to the Voice that does not crucify.


“A great leader has compassion, and you are the leader within your mind.  Be gentle with yourself in your own awakening… Listen within for the gentle Voice that encourages.  Let that be your example.  Be with yourself as that Voice is with you, and you lead yourself steadily to your own awakening.”  (NTI Hebrews 5)

          I love this passage because before I ever began a study of NTI, my Inner Teacher had spoken to me frequently about being a leader in my own mind.  This came from a passage in the Bible: 2 Corinthians 10:5, which asks us to take every thought and purpose captive, and lead it into alignment with Love.

            A question came up from someone asking how we could lead ourselves to awakening?  These teachings speak to our willingness to let go of ego.  Holy Spirit cannot take from us what we are unwilling to release. 
In any moment that we recognize that we fell back in to the ego, in that moment, we are awake.  Before we awaken fully, we have many moments of awakening.  Anytime we choose to listen to the Inner Voice that encourages, that is a moment of awakening.
When you notice that you’ve fallen back into ego, in that moment, you are awake. 

For you do not notice slumber when you are deep within it.
 If you are noticing now,
 now must be a state of awakening. 
Rejoice, and use now to practice awakening. 
                                   (NTI Hebrews 5v11-14)

               Look at all the years we didn’t even know that we were sleeping; we didn’t even know that we were doing it to ourselves ~ Now we know. 
               Ah ha!  I don’t have to use my slip back into ego as an opportunity to berate myself; instead, I can use it to remind myself that I am waking up.
             So often in spiritual communities we see, what I like to call, spiritual tyranny.  People are judged by themselves or others, for being angry, upset, judgmental, afraid, sad or worried… Ego loves to do this, but it is just more ego. 

A Course in Miracles is not a book that teaches us how to love,
 more profoundly, it teaches us why we don’t.

               Whenever we use now to recognize that we are mesmerized by form, and we see that we are mesmerized, even if we choose to not turn away, at least we are now aware of what we are doing.  Let us remember all the years when we didn’t have a clue that we were dreaming our own nightmares!

            “The guilt [unworthiness, fear…] that you feel feels eternal within your soul, but it is not.  These feelings rise repeatedly to your awareness for one reason: It rises as a reminder of your desire to heal. 
              “You have not healed yourself because you do not fully recognize your desire to heal.  You remain somewhat distracted by dreams.  But your attention is turning from the distraction you have made to the desire for the remembrance of God.”  (NTI Hebrews 10v1-7)

              That’s why we read and listen to spiritual material; that’s why we have the desire to go deeper within…because we have chosen the desire to remember our truth.  What a switch it is for me now to be able to see that feelings of guilt, lack or unworthiness are opportunities for me to remember that I am now willing to let go of false beliefs and desires.  It’s so life-changing to truly see that all the stuff we do to ourselves can be used for spiritual practice.  I see the desire to know my Self as Love created it, unlimited and free, is growing everyday.


                  In The Teachings of the Inner Ramana, devotion is defined as the practice of slowing the mind and pulling focus inward.  We can do this with the mantra, with prayer, with meditation and contemplation. As I end, I’d like to share a “Single Quiet Thought”*


Devotion is an act of silence.
It is a decision
to stop the flow of thoughts
and return to the wisdom of stillness.

Thoughts shall start again,
and your attention will drift to them,
if you are interested.

But if you are also interested in devotion,
you can again make the decision
to return to the Heart.

In this decision,
thoughts are not fed.
That which is not fed
must eventually die.

~From our Holy Spirit

The Audio was recorded on 11-20-11 and is 57 min.
In it, I share so much more about what to do when we
forget to practice than I was able to share here.


    MP3 File

* Single Quiet thoughts can be found at: http://www.reginadawnakers.com

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Course Note #128: Becoming an empty shell - part deux

               I’ve written much about focusing on true desire, and how to let that lead our lives.  While there are various ways to express this, what speaks most to me is the desire, the purpose to be only Love, to know only Love and to extend only Love ~ to know thy Self as Love created it, unlimited and free.
            In this blog, I will be sharing on part two of “how to become an empty shell”[i].  In lieu of my true desire, I would like to include this entry from NTI 1 Corinthians, Chapter 13:

Why should I become an empty shell?
            “Become as an empty shell to know Love.  That is your reason.  That is your true desire.  To look on the world and divide it by judging is not Love, and so it is not what you want.  Lay down what you do not want, and accept joyfully that which you do.”

How do I become an empty shell?
            In the previous post I shared on practices that are helpful and here I will be delving further. 
            “When you do not seem to know how to become an empty shell, it is because you are focusing on your head, or better said, your thinking mind.  Your thinking mind will not teach you how not to think.  Your thinking mind is interested in its own survival, so it will take the time you give it to think some more.
            “Your Heart, being of love, knows one purpose, and that is Love.  Your head, being of thinking, knows many purposes, because that is “thinking.”  Let go of the confusion of the head and focus yourself on the purpose of the Heart.  Focusing on one purpose leads you clearly in one direction, but focusing on many purposes does not lead you at all.”
            I remember the self-help-junkie days when I focused on setting and achieving goals and doing affirmations.  I recall thinking that there simply was not enough time in the day to do affirmations for all those goals!  What a relief it was when I arrived to A Course in Miracles to find that I only needed to focus on one goal: God. 
It’s been over twenty years since I decided to focus on one purpose, and what I ride it’s been!  While it hasn’t been a straight line, I can see how I have been steadily guided in one direction, rather than continuing down the road-to-nowhere, which is where I was headed when I focused on many worldly goals.  I am grateful that I am continually guided to go deeper into living this purpose of Know thy Self.

“Your mind is willing for distractions, because your mind is split.  This is why you must focus on the Heart and the leadership that is found there.”

I love this sentence: This is why you must focus on the Heart and the leadership that is found there.  Yes, our true desire definitely leads us in a new and exciting direction!
Here, I’d like to bring up the twin practices of mantra and surrender.  It’s been interesting since I started writing and speaking on that topic.  I’ve received emails from friends who are very interested in it and love the teachings, and I have friends who are not feeling guided to the practices and wonder if I am moving away from ACIM. 

As I let my Inner Teacher guide me, I have been shown how all the teachings work so well together.  Both the practice of mantra and surrender are wonderful tools to refocus the mind from the head to the Heart.

I see the mantra practice as very similar to what we are taught in the workbook of ACIM, as we are urged to practice the lessons throughout the day.  The mantra practice, however, has taken me to the next level, that of letting my life become a meditation. It’s a tool to use throughout the day, and I’ve found that I can talk or listen to someone, pay bills, drive, etc., and let the mantra roll slowly through my mind.  It is a tool that keeps me from focusing on the meaningless stories the ego/thinking mind is constantly spinning. 
It has become increasingly clear to me that listening to and believing these stories, really is the cause of suffering and pain.  The practice of surrender is a way to live in the world and yet release our attachment to it.

“Everything is permissible, but do you still seek that which is untrue?  If your answer is “no”, then why do you still go after it by partaking of illusory thoughts?  That which you think is that which you experience.  If you have tired of the experience that is untrue, stop feasting on its thoughts.  Let them pass by without tasting them.  In this way, you become an empty shell, free of the experience you no longer want.”

Everything is permissible…as free children of God, we are also free to experience any experience that we want.  When I come to the realization that I no longer want to have experiences of lack, limitation, attack or guilt, it then becomes important to look at the thoughts I am feasting on because, those very thoughts are my experience.  Through the practice of mind-watching I have learned to see the thoughts, and through the practice of mantra I have learned to let them go without tasting them.

Keep what you truly want in your mind.
Let true desire be your guide.

            I find that these teachings on the empty shell are leading me to the next step to be increasingly willing to let go of the belief in separation, and to be increasingly willing to stop listening to the meaningless stories in the mind.

            “Surrender is a practice I will continue to emphasize, because it is one of the most helpful of all spiritual practices.  One may argue that surrender is not the only path of awakening, but this is more of an emphasis than truth.  The only path of awakening is to deny the false.  And the false must be denied completely.” [ii]

“Surrender is a means of doing this while still moving about in the world.  Without surrender, one many deny the world by withdrawing from it.  This is also a path that has worked.”
            “The mantra and surrender are gentle means that allow you to break the attachment to mind while living the life that mind has given you to live.” [iii]
I find it interesting that I was lead to the practices of mantra and surrender before I was guided to go deeper with the teachings on the empty shell, as both are great tools in order to do this.  By the way, in “Course note” #116, I expound on the practice of surrender, and in the audio that accompanies this post I shared a lot more about how to practice both mantra and surrender.
Sometimes we may be led to teachings that will take us to the next step, but decide not to go there because it doesn’t fit with what we are already doing.  In this way we are being led by the thinking/ego mind instead of by the Heart.
As I have let Holy Spirit guide me all these years, I have been led to ideas and practices that “Sheryl” would never have been interested in, but through my willingness to listen, I recognize that I am being increasingly guided to Know thy Self. 

“Trust in Me is trust in your Self.  You do not give trust to something that is not you, for I am you.  This is why you can trust Me.  I am you, and I see you.  Because I see you as Me, I know you.  I am not the illusory self who leads you through blindness and fear.  I am the true Self who leads you through Light and through knowledge.  I will never make you suffer, because I know you cannot suffer.  You can only be free.  And through our freedom, I share My freedom with you.”

A problem we can have with surrender, comes through not knowing who or what we are surrender to.  This can bring up fear.  But if we recognize that in surrendering to Holy Spirit, we surrender to that who is our true Self, we can trust more fully.
I have felt that if I truly surrender to Holy Spirit I will be asked to do something I don’t want to do, or give up something that I don’t want to give up.  Yet, when we realize that Holy Spirit is the Voice of true desire, our true Self – we can trust that will be guided to our true joy.  

On a recent morning I was having a conversation with my husband about business and certain things, and I was feeling fairly negative.  I realized that I was feeling negative because I was listening to thoughts that are false, as I let them go, I suddenly felt rich!  I saw that this feeling came from listening to thoughts that are true.  As the Course teaches us, the miracle denies the false, and affirms that which is true.

“Resting in faith and trust is the answer to all that arises.  In willingness, and through true desire, prepare to become the empty shell.”[iv]

As we empty the mind of everything but trust, we become the empty shell.  We become empty so that we may be filled.

Become an empty shell
To know Love.
That is your reason.
That is your true desire.

The audio was recorded on 11/13/11 and is 57 min.


    MP3 File

[i] Unless otherwise noted, quotations are from The Holy Spirit’s Interpretation of the New Testament aka NTI, 1 Corinthians
[ii] The Teachings of Inner Ramana page 31
[iii] The Teachings of Inner Ramana page 43
[iv] NTI Revelation, chapter 16v16

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Course Note #127: Fire your Bodyguards!

Recently while visiting my dear friend Regina, I picked up one of her books by Mooji entitled Before I am and read this**:

            “Be bold and fire your bodyguards, for they cheat you out of real freedom while appearing to be your protectors.”
            I am reminded of a favorite passage in A Course in Miracles that tells us that we must seek and find within ourselves the obstacles to the awareness of the Love that we are.  The false thought and beliefs we harbor are like bodyguards in that we feel protected by them, but yet, they are indeed the obstacles to knowing ourselves as free.
            A month or so ago I had a realization that I am hiding from something, and then a day or so after reading this passage in Mooji’s book, in meditation I asked, “What am I hiding from?”  I heard, “Your unattached Self.”
            At first, I wondered what that meant, as I had expected something more profound, and then I realized that it is profound.  The unattached Self is the true Self that we meet through our willingness to fire the false bodyguards that rob us of our true identity. 
When I returned home from my trip I was prompted to delve deeper into the teachings in NTI 1 Corinthians on becoming an empty shell.  I now see that in my willingness to practice this I meet my unattached Self.  So in this blog, and more fully in the attached audio, I share teachings on: What, Why and How.*
What is an empty shell?

            “Your self is to be given to Me now, that any self that is not your truth may be left behind.  Choose not to cling to your self as you perceive yourself to be.  Choose instead to lay your self aside and to become like an empty shell.  That which is emptied shall be filled by Me, and one who is filled by Me shall know his own fullness.
            “As an empty shell, you are filled by Me.  As an empty shell, you witness the reason that is your own.  Lay down your self in service to Me, that you may serve Me and come to know your Self.”

            These teachings are similar to those in Eastern philosophies on the empty rice bowl.  The idea being that if you come to the table with a full rice bowl, you cannot receive, but with an empty rice bowl you can be filled by truth.
            “I ask you to lay your thinking aside.  This is to make yourself an empty shell.  An empty shell is not the absence of you.  An empty shell is the absence of delusion, which you are not.  In the clarity of your emptiness, free from the delusion of false thoughts, you are free to hear your real thoughts.  These are the thoughts that you recognize as Me.”

            Why should I become an empty shell?

            “That which has opened itself to the Spirit of God by becoming an empty shell has made a statement unto the mind that is its own.  It has said, ‘I know I am not this thing I thought I was, as this thing cannot be my truth.  So I put aside that which is false, that I may be open to receive only that which is true.
            “When that which is false is put aside and that which is true is received and accepted, the mind listens to its truth.  In its own memory, it recognizes its Self.  Unto itself, it bids its Self welcome.”

            How do I become an empty shell?
            “Do not worry about your brother’s thought.  For the thought you think he thinks is a thought within your mind.  Look after your own thoughts, that you may be freed of your belief in the world.  To be freed of the burden of belief is to be open to the realization of knowledge.”

            This is such a great teaching!  One morning several months ago, I was at the gym thinking about what I thought a friend thought of me.  My “thinking mind” was in full gear as I thought about how I was going to set her straight.  I like listening to audios while I’m getting ready for work, and that same morning I happened to listen to Regina teach on this very passage. 

            How often do we fall into doing this without realizing that we are spinning the whole tale ourselves.            We are listening to our own thoughts – the voice of the belief in separation.
            For the sake of brevity I am not including all the quotes here, but it goes on to tell us that when our mind is filled with disagreements and temptations we are believing in that which is not true.

            “Practice is the answer until you know yourself to be an empty shell.  Know there is an effective method of practice and there is a method that will seem to make the practice less useful to you.  The effective method is to clear your thoughts by letting them pass upward.  The less effective method is to press them back down into the place from which they seemed to rise.”

            Letting our thoughts pass upward is looking at our thoughts with Holy Spirit.  A great example came to mind on this:
            An incident happened in my life where I felt victimized and my thinking mind was in an uproar about it for many months.  In the scheme of things it wasn’t that big of a deal, however, I was upset about it.  I then had thoughts that I needed to let it go because so many people have worse things going on, and so I felt guilty for the thoughts.
            I saw the thoughts with Holy Spirit and was reminded that by thinking that I didn’t have a right to feel the way I did, because other people had bigger problems, I was actually pressing the thoughts back down, which means, ultimately they will rise again in different form. 
            My inner teacher right then said, “Stop! Look at those thoughts.  Accept that this is the way you feel right now, and that’s okay.” 

Holy Spirit,
I see these thoughts of attack and victimization.
I accept that my mind is filled with such thoughts right now.
I am willing, Holy Spirit,
to let You
correct all errors in my mind.
I am willing, Holy Spirit,
to be healed.

            But if I were to think, “Oh No! I shouldn’t feel this way!  Look at all the people who have worse problems! Right then I have repressed and denied and not looked at the thoughts of guilt, fear, attack or unworthiness, and therefore, what happens?  We continue to have similar experiences in the world where we feel attacked, afraid or guilty.

            To become an empty shell is to be willing to look at the thoughts with Love, and be willing to let Love heal them and correct them for us.  This is the effective method.

            “To let the thoughts pass upward, you must remember to trust in Me.  I have said that you are innocent.  If you trust in Me you will be able to look at your thoughts and let them pass upward, out of the shell, leaving the space within the shell empty.
            “But if you do not trust Me, you will fear your thoughts, and you will repress them.  In this way, the shell is not emptied, and there is pressure within the shell from where the feared thought is hidden.”

            In the aforementioned book, on that same page, a person in conversation with Mooji spoke about how it’s easy to feel the truth while there, but when returning to the world it was more difficult.  He replies:
            “If I tell you a hundred times that you are one hundred percent truth always, that you are one hundred percent free, that your nature is joy, freedom and peace, you will be delighted to hear it a hundred times, and a hundred times you will forget it.  Why?  Because for thousands of times, you have embraced the idea that you are not free, not yet, that you’re not ready, not worthy, that more needs to be done.”
            This is so true!  We may sit in meditation for a few minutes in the morning, or read spiritual books and pray spiritual prayers, but many more hours of the day we find ourselves mesmerized by the world, other people, our perceived problems…  We push these thoughts down instead of seeing them for what they are and letting them pass upward.
            In the Course we are told to be vigilant for the Kingdom by being vigilant against the ego.  The shell is the ego, the thinking mind, and in our willingness to let it be empty we come face-to-face with the unattached Self ~ the truth of who we are.

Take the door off the hinges.
Pull down your walls.
Allow yourself to be completely undressed by grace
so that you may begin seeing
with the eyes of God.

The audio is 59 minutes and goes into more than was shared here.


    MP3 File


** page 20 and 21
* All quoted teachings on the empty shell come from The Holy Spirit’s Interpretation of the New Testament aka NTI, 1 Corinthians.