Following Spirit's Lead

Developing Single Minded Perception

In the golden age of “multi-tasking” the goal of developing single minded perception might not sound like the most beneficial skill to develop. However when we learn that single-minded awareness is the most natural and productive state of mind, we can start to see the value of narrowing down our scope.

In essence, multi-tasking might be useful at the office, but it’s extremely detrimental for those on the spiritual path. The reason is because “multi” by definition means “more than one” and contradicts our natural mental state of single unified awareness, or “oneness.”

The “Tiny Mad Idea”

A Course in Miracles explains that it was the acceptance of a “tiny mad idea” of being special and separate at some stage in our cosmic evolution that was the original cause of this contradiction and as a result, caused a psychological split from oneness that led us onto a collective “detour into fear.”

This “perceived” departure from oneness resulted in our current dualistic nature that today causes us to constantly battle with ourselves and each other, much like the story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Based on A Course in Miracles, the only way to heal this mental split is by developing single-minded perception.

So how do we go about developing single-minded perception when our entire experience has always been based on dualism, individualism, uniqueness and opposites?

The fact is, although this ego attitude feels normal to most of us, it is a completely un-natural mental state and must first be “undone” before we can return to our natural state of oneness awareness.

Five Steps for Undoing the Ego

Willingness – Undoing the ego is not an easy process, however A Course in Miracles says that when we have even a small amount of willingness it is the first step to giving a higher part of our mind permission to step in and help us to see things from a new perspective.

Forgiveness – This process is based on a high form of love and offers an exceptionally useful technique for overlooking grievances and upsets that could potentially block us from the awareness of our oneness with God and each other. Forgiveness saves time by helping us to simply “overlook” all that is not love.

Practice – In order to develop single-minded perception we must learn to consistently choose love over fear, happiness over sadness, truth over illusion, etc. When we commit to looking at everything from our highest intention of love, peace and joy, opposites and grievances simply start to fall away.

Trust – Developing trust in your inner-teacher that you are being carried to just the right place at just the right time will help you to release your doubts and fears that keep you blocked from the awarness that love is your only reality.

Miracles – A Course in Miracles calls the miracle a shift in perception from fear to love. Receiving this shift in awareness is normal and natural and begins to happen more and more frequently as you choose to see only love until eventually everything else falls away…

http://www.awakenmiracles.com

© 2014, Pathways of Light. http://pathwaysoflight.org
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A Course for the New Age

We live in complicated times, and the search to find true peace, love and joy is often more confusing and restrictive than we anticipate or desire. But if you are serious about finding happiness there is a course for the new age that offers a spiritual path of awakening that is no less than miraculous!

A Course in Miracles is a phenomenal spiritual text written for those who have finally had enough of blame, guilt and fear and are ready and willing to “wake-up” by choosing to look at the world from a different perspective. It can be summed up this way: “Nothing real can be threatened, nothing unreal exists. Herein lies the peace of God.”

The entire “curriculum” of A Course in Miracles is based on this cosmic truth and sets the stage for the ultimate peace that comes along with the acceptance of this underlying principle. From there, it features a theoretical text, 365 daily lessons, a Manual for Teachers and a Clarification of Terms that work together to help unravel our limiting mental perceptions that have kept us and keep us from joy.

A Course in Miracles addresses this limited part of our mind as the ego and explains how it causes us to suffer because it believes we are separate from God and each other. The Course helps us to “undo” the ego through the practice of replacing fear with love and uses a radical form of forgiveness for achieving this goal a little at a time.

Why “Radical” Forgiveness?

Forgiveness as taught in A Course in Miracles is different from the everyday form of forgiveness in that it doesn’t acknowledge that a concrete “wrong” has ever actually occurred. In fact, A Course in Miracles teaches that we are impervious to pain or attack. This can be from us to another or from another to us.

This form of forgiveness is considered radical because it teaches us to simply “overlook” what may have “seemed” to happen in time, but that never actually happened in ultimate reality. Of course this form of “seeing” takes a great deal of practice and letting go at this level requires a great deal of faith. But with continued practice, forgiveness holds the key to a whole new way of thinking and being in the world.

Beyond the Veil of Illusion

Because A Course in Miracles is a metaphysical work, it challenges our perceptions by acknowledging a form of reality beyond the purely physical and mundane activities of the world. From this perspective, the teachings view our “everyday” struggles and strains as something other than pure love (reality) and therefore classifies them into the category of illusion (not real).

Although this approach can cause some mental turbulence, in the long run it helps us to see through a different pair of glasses by removing the blocks to the awareness of love’s presence in our lives. This new awareness of love as the only reality can result in more peace, love and joy in our life, work and relationships making it not only a spiritual, but a highly practical course for the new age.

For more information about A Course in Miracles visit The Foundation for Inner Peace at http://www.acim.org or www.awakenmiracles.com

© 2014, Pathways of Light. http://pathwaysoflight.org
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Love’s “Dirty Little Secret”

We think and talk a lot about love in our culture. In fact, those special people, or that one special person we can’t live without is usually an integral part of life. Yet, this “special” form of love that we revere so highly comes with a price. It’s actually love’s “dirty little secret” and until we understand its principles, we will never know true love.

Why are we so in Love with Love?

Historically, the idea of love was never as prevalent as it is in our modern society. People got married for money, status, power or convenience. Many marriages were arranged without the couple ever actually meeting in advance. Children were raised to run the farm or take on the family business. Parents were supported into old age out of obligation or cultural respect for elders.

It’s only been during our more modern era that “love” has taken on such a prominent role in our lives and dreams. Much of this has been brought on by romantic themes in stories such as those written by Shakespeare, or the great poets. Or more currently, the romantic thrill of the Hollywood “silver screen” and the great “crooners” such as Frank Sinatra, Bobby Darin and Perry Como.

The Truth about “Special” Love

For most of us, there has always been some form of special love in our lives. A “one-off” love for our parents perhaps, or for our children. We might have had a best friend in high school with who we shared our deepest, most intimate secrets. But for most people, there is usually that ONE special relationship with that ONE special person with whom we plan to spend the rest of our lives.

Is it wrong to have a special love? It’s not that its “wrong”, but according to A Course in Miracles, special love is not all it’s cracked up to be. This is because “special” love is not “true” love. As opposed to true love, special love has a dirty little secret. In other words, unbeknownst to us it has a hidden agenda that the ego uses for strictly selfish purposes.

Love’s “Dirty Little Secret”

Although on the surface, love can seem grand, as we carefully peel back the veils of tender smiles, loving gazes, gentle words, warm embraces and even passionate love-making, “special love” comes with a sub-conscious, non-verbal conditional contract that says, “You must always meet my needs no matter what.”

“You complete me.” Jerry Maguire, filmed 1996

Think about it, as long as there is, patience, kindness, flowers, gifts, compliments, etc. our special love relationship remains in-tact. However, as soon as the other person fails to meet their “agreement” the special relationship falls apart. This is because our contract with our special love partner also states, “There is something missing in me that you MUST fulfil and if you don’t, you will pay!”

True Love is Unconditional

Contrary to special love, with its hidden agendas and conditions, true love has no hidden secrets. It does not demand anything from anyone. It is already “complete” unto itself. It gives freely to others with no expectation of anything in return. It accepts anything and everything. It is not jealous, envious, needy, clingy or conditional and it never, ever reserves itself for only one person.

True love is all around. It’s everywhere all the time. It comes from a place of fulfilment and wholeness and it blankets itself on everyone and everything in equal measure. A Course in Miracles says, “All expressions of love are maximal.” In other words, true love is all the same. It could never be lacking, or hold itself back for one “special” person, or thing. It is a Universal gift from God.

True love must be recognised, not to lend it any credibility, but so that we can become fuller expressions of our own true nature. True love is what we are. Once we begin to come from a centre of self-fullness, we can finally become free of the need to “be completed.” We can come to an acceptance that we are already complete and that we are in fact free.

http://www.awakenmiracles.com

© 2014, Pathways of Light. http://pathwaysoflight.org
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Why Should You Practice Ahimsa?

Did you know that in the United States alone 10 billion animals a year are killed for food consumption? That’s 58 billion animals each year worldwide. We are talking 58 billion fish, chickens, turkeys, pigs and cows killed and eaten by human beings. Based on this insanity, you should stop and ask yourself: Why should you practice ahimsa?

What is Ahimsa?

Ahimsa is a Sanskrit word and a beautiful philosophy of life meaning ‘to not injure’. The word is derived from the Sanskrit root hiṃs – to strike; hiṃsā is injury or harm, a-hiṃsā is the opposite of this, i.e. cause no injury, do no harm. Ahimsa is also referred to in Hinduism as nonviolence and pure love and it applies to all living beings including our animal friends (Wikipedia).

Although the word “Ahimsa” itself is Sanskrit, it is an ideal that crosses over numerous religious, spiritual and personal boundaries. Ahimsa is a multidimensional concept inspired by the premise that all living beings have the spark of the divine spiritual energy and therefore to hurt another living being is to hurt oneself.

In other words, this idea is in accordance with some of our most basic life principles and values such as, “treat others as you wish to be treated” and “giving is receiving.”

Why Ahimsa for Animals?

Although ahimsa refers to non-violence in all physical and mental forms, practicing it via refraining from animal consumption gives us a particular opportunity to engage this principle daily because meat is something some people eat everyday. For example, if a person eats three meals a day, plus snacks, which include some form of meat or dairy, you are actively participating in the harming of animals on a daily basis.

Plus, like children, domestic animals are, for the most part, completely defenceless. They rely on their human brothers and sisters for their food, care and keeping and it is our God-given responsibility to honour that role. In addition, the sheer quantity of animals killed for “food” is mind-blowing and much of this death and cruelty is simply for the luxury of eating meat and for profit.

Following Spiritual Examples

For those of us on the path of spiritual development and enlightenment, it’s foolish to think that we can do whatever we want to other humans, animals and/or the planet and simply believe “it’s all an illusion” and therefore our behaviour has no real consequence. In the spiritual text, A Course in Miracles we are taught that to be gentle and harmless are important “characteristics of the advanced teachers of God.”

We are also taught that attack in any form is never justified. Although this reference is speaking of attack in mental or psychological terms, it only makes sense that we should not attack in physical form either. In fact, A Course in Miracles says, “we must hold out our hand to bless all living things and see their holiness (T-24.V7).”

Why Should You Practice Ahimsa?

When walking your spiritual path it’s important that your heart, mind and actions are in harmony. If your path is based on the “law of love”, which any spiritual path worth its salt should be, all that you think, say and do should come from that place of universal love.

Practicing Ahimsa gives you a unique opportunity to physically and emotionally demonstrate your love through gentleness, kindness and compassion toward all life. It is thinking and being in this loving and harmonious way that ensures you are carried along by the highest good of the Universe, thus opening your heart and mind to more light, peace and joy.

Ultimately, on the road to faithfully practicing ahimsa (non-violence) in all forms, refraining from eating meat is probably one of the easiest steps you can take each day, not only for your health, but for your peace of mind and the healing of the planet. Think about it and take some time to ask your Inner Guide if ahimsa is something you wish to consider more deeply?

Today I learn the law of love; that what I give to my brother is my gift to me.

A Course in Miracles

© 2014, Pathways of Light. http://pathwaysoflight.org
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Developing Trust in the Future

The future is always touted as a magical, mystical place filled with hope and possibility. For the young, it holds the promise of potential. For the old, a time of rest and renewal. But for many people it represents a big source of anxiety, worry and fear… So how can we start developing trust in the future and know for a fact that we are always safe and secure?

What is the future?

The future is an interesting topic, because it’s one that’s actually difficult to define. For example, if you were to ask yourself, what is the future, what would you say? Most people would say, it is a “time to come” that hasn’t previously existed and therefore holds unknown possibilities, and this is true. However, as Shakespeare once wrote, “Therein lies the rub.”

For in that unknown “possibility” our future could be wonderful, but alternatively it could be treacherous. For that reason fear of the unknown is common. After all, no one knows what could happen in ten minutes from now, nonetheless ten years. At the end of the day, it is this fear that causes us to project our ideas onto it based on our past experience.

Creating a “Past” Future

The fact is, like picking up our wallet or handbag in the morning, each and every day we all carry the experiences from our past along with us. It is this past “experience” that we use as our safety-device to protect us from the things we have previously “learned” are potentially threatening or dangerous physically, emotionally and psychologically.

In other words, we totally rely on our past experience as a solid basis by which to navigate the unknown waters of everyday situations and circumstances that we perceive could potentially hurt us, or help us. The problem with this set up is that we are constantly creating our future based on our past. But why is this a problem?

The Problem with the Past

In essence, the problem with the past is the same as the problem with the future: It doesn’t exist. Because the past is gone and the future has not happened, when we focus on either of them, our minds are actually blank and everything is unclear. Trying to operate from this unstable platform is bound to make anyone feel insecure.

In addition, if we’ve had negative or limited experiences from our past, by relying on those experiences to create our future we are simply assuring that our present and future will be no different from what we’ve already had and done. In other words, “if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always have what you’ve always had.”

Developing Trust in the Future

So how do we go about letting go of our past baggage and fears and begin developing trust in the future? The answer is easy. We must begin by letting go of our reliance on past experience and start to let each moment be fresh and new. Being guided in this way allows us to be open and receptive to new opportunities rather than fixed in a pre-set paradigm.

The next step is to fully understand that WE have no idea of what the future holds, but to also understand that doesn’t mean the future is unknown. This realisation requires us to take a giant leap of faith by letting go of our fears about the future and placing it firmly in the Hands of the Universe that always has our best interest at heart.

Finally, we need to practice trusting that according to Cosmic Law everything within the Universe runs according to Divine Order. Developing trust in the future is all about having faith that we are loved and cared for and that all things are ALWAYS moving forward for our good.

When we let go of our false sense of control over the future, we allow it to unfold naturally and free ourselves from all anxiety, pain and fear.


“What worry can beset the one who gives his future to the loving Hands of God? What can he suffer? What can cause him pain, or bring experience of loss to him? What can he fear? And what can he regard except with love? For he who escaped all fear of future pain has found his way to present peace, and certainty of care the world can never threaten.” A Course in Miracles

© 2014, Pathways of Light. http://pathwaysoflight.org
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Gospel of Peace Diet

There are a lot of diets out there and I have tried my share of them. Why have I tried so many diets? Well first, it’s important for me to feel healthy and “well” without a lot of fuss and as a Virgo I’m drawn to eating vibrant, living foods from the earth. As a result, I have finally found my perfect way of eating in the Essene Gospel of Peace Diet.

Who Are the Essenes?

The Essenes were an ancient Jewish Community written about in the Dead Sea Scrolls who practiced a simple lifestyle, non-violence to all living creatures and were dedicated to helping people and healing the sick. Among other things, they only wore white and as a result of their dedication to healing, it is believed their local healing centres were the pre-curser for our modern day hospitals.

Some say Jesus and his family were Essenes.

What is the Gospel of Peace?

In his 1923 book, The Discovery of the Essene Gospel of Peace, linguist, philosopher and psychologist, Edmond Bordeaux Szekely, tells how he was allowed access to 25 miles of secret bookshelves beneath the Vatican which contained lost scrolls, parchments, manuscripts and codices, including the original Aramaic translation of a long lost book called the Gospel of Peace of Jesus Christ.

This precious little book is just part of the complete English translation produced by Szekely and details Jesus speaking to a crowd of sick and dis-eased followers desperate for healing. Along with explaining to them the importance of living in harmony with the “Earthly Mother” and “Heavenly Father”, he also explains how we should eat for healing and long term physical and mental health.

Principles of the Diet

If you would like to go deeper with the full spiritual and health benefits of the diet, I recommend you get yourself a copy of the book (Essene Gospel of Peace of Jesus Christ book One). However I’m grateful to outline the key principles of the diet for you here:

Eat “living” food: If you cook your food, you kill your food (heated above 116 F.). In other words, cooking kills valuable enzymes that your body needs to gain the maximum nutritional value from your food. “Live” food means fresh “raw” fruits, vegetables, sprouts, nuts and seeds.

STOP eating meat: Eating dead animals is not only bad for your physical health and energy; it ultimately harms animals and the planet. True peace is all about non-violence and respect for all sentient beings. Besides, most plant foods are an excellent source of proteins and healthy fats.

Enjoy dairy: It’s OK to drink/eat cow, sheep’s or goat’s milk as long as it’s raw. Typically this is pretty hard to get, so you can take it or leave it. Some modern Essenes eat yogurt because of the living cultures and vitamin B12, however you must be sure the animals are well cared for and grass fed (free-range is best).

Regularly Fast: Regular fasting (combined with prayer/meditation) is excellent for the system. It gives it a rest, cleanses and detoxifies, helps to renew your energy levels and brings you closer to God and the angels. If you can, try to fast at least once a week, preferably on a Sunday.

No fermented products or alcohol: Obviously yogurt is fermented, so use your judgment. However fermentation is in essence “rotted” food and is not great for increased energy. I am personally partial to red wine and the occasional cocktail (no one is perfect )

Is this Diet for You?

Obviously no diet is right for everyone, but many of the health and spiritual benefits of this diet are perfectly clear. You don’t have to be a genius to understand that fresh, organic fruits and vegetables are good for you. Or that cutting back on booze is a good idea. Many people report that aches and pains go away, etc. However, I find that some of the overall benefits are much greater than I ever expected.

For example, weight loss, better sleep, zero anxiety, greater mental clarity, crazy happiness (for no reason), focused and calm, less guilt, more energy, compassion for our animal friends, deeper appreciation of nature and I easily forgive myself when I fall off the wagon…

At the end of the day, we are not our bodies; we are spirit and perfect in every way. However, it would be counter-productive to pretend that we are completely unaffected by the “experience” of physical reality at our current level of evolution. Let’s face it. Food has an effect on our bodies and minds. Still, always do what’s right for you… Personally, if Jesus recommends it, that’s good enough for me!

*Always do what’s right for YOU and remember to consult with your physician before starting any new diet or exercise programme.

© 2014, Pathways of Light. http://pathwaysoflight.org
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Living Grace through Behaviour

Contrary to many spiritual beliefs, it is impossible to earn God’s grace because it was given to us freely as a gift when we were created. There is a beautiful lesson in A Course in Miracles that says, “I need do nothing.” This refers to the need to strive in any way to gain God’s love and approval. Yet, living grace through behaviour is how we demonstrate we have accepted that gift is ours.

What is Grace?

Many people wrongly believe that grace is an undeserved gift from God that saves or sanctifies us, and that we must prove we are worthy of receiving such a blessing. But in truth, “grace” is a pure blessing or state of pure blessing, given us by God, which makes no demand on the receiver. It is a heavenly state of mind in which everything is freely given us and there are no difficulties, struggles, guilt or burdens.

There is another beautiful quote in A Course in Miracles that says, “Can you imagine what it means to have no cares, no worries, no anxieties, but merely to be calm and quiet all of the time?” Unfortunately not many of us can. However this gift of calm and joy is already ours when we simply graciously accept and bathe in its nourishing light.

Why is Behaviour Important?

Although we acknowledge grace is a heavenly “state of mind,” once we come to embrace God’s grace in our hearts, demonstrating our acceptance of that gift by living grace through behaviour is a natural next step. In other words, once we experience the inner spiritual transformation of God’s grace our thoughts, words and actions will become transformed as well.

A Course in Miracles says that once we begin to awaken to grace, ‘the world will still see us as one of its own, yet we will smile more frequently and our forehead will be serene.’ It is through this visible demonstration of having accepted God’s grace that others will know we have accepted God’s peace and be inspired as well.

Living Grace through Behaviour

On the spiritual journey it is not only important that we learn and understand spiritual truth, but also live that truth in all that we think, say and do. In other words, eventually we need to ‘walk our talk.’ It doesn’t matter which spiritual road you choose follow, if it is a path of love, you have accepted God’s pure light and pure blessings in your life.

Remembering each day to think, speak and act with love, kindness, peace and harmlessness toward all life including the smallest of creatures, is what living grace through behaviour means. Accepting God’s grace is not just a mental exercise where we just see all of life as an “illusion” and carry on with our usual ego games. Our thoughts, words and deeds send out ripples that have an effect on everyone.

Ten Steps for Living Grace

Always remember to laugh.
Love yourself and take care of yourself.
Be kind to people, animals and the planet.
Forgive everyone and everything, every day.
Commune with Spirit, pray and meditate.
Do something helpful for other people.
Release judgments of yourself and others.
Tell your friends and family you love them.
Live simply and release material attachments.
Stay on your spiritual path. Ask each day?

© 2014, Pathways of Light. http://pathwaysoflight.org
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