One of the many things I love about A Course in Miracles is that there are so many ways to practice. It is practicing that helps us to take the concepts deeper into our Right Mind and be guided by Holy Spirit.
Practicing ACIM has been a spiritual force that has guided me for many years. I started with the Workbook lessons over 20 years ago I still read a lesson every morning and try to remind myself of it throughout the day. I close my day with it before I close my eyes at night.
This is not a “chore” for me anymore but perhaps it was in the beginning. When I started the Workbook in 1994, I heard the comparison that doing the lessons is like lifting weights. I didn’t have to enjoy them or believe them. However, I was taught that if I was willing to do the lessons every day, throughout the day, I would get spiritually stronger.
That sounded really good to me. What did I have to lose? I worked at doing lessons despite often having resistance to what I was being taught. I was going through my divorce and had moved out of my home. Learning about forgiveness, sinlessness, and guiltlessness was certainly challenging while my life turned upside down.
It took me two years to get through the Workbook in the first years but there was vigilance to my efforts. I would also occasionally read the Text by myself at night a little bit at a time. I remember thinking, “I have no idea what this means” as I read the Text. But I kept coming back to it.
Without understanding it, I had the strong feeling that what this book was saying is the Truth. It would take time to seriously consider that my “life” was not the Truth. It would take practice to recognize forgiveness opportunities and to embrace them as such. Learning that I am God’s perfect Son takes practice.
I practiced primarily on my own. Well not really on my own — just my book, Holy Spirit, and me. I was reluctant to talk about it. And even with those I love most, I avoided discussion of my spiritual path out of fear of their possible criticism or disapproval. After all, these concepts are radical to the world’s view, as I perceived it.
I started to read what others were saying about the Course. The Internet provided me with ACIM communities that were studying the Course together. I was hesitant at first to join any of these groups. I had read books by Course authors like Marianne Williamson, Ken Wapnick, and Jon Mundy.
I was somehow drawn to Pathways of Light. I started their Ministerial Training courses with really no overt desire to be an ordained minister. Now I was practicing ACIM principles with a facilitator — a spiritual partner with whom to share my deepest fears and thoughts. I started using these spiritual concepts in my history classroom, in my athletic coaching, my parenting, and even into my little gig as a bartender.
Once I finished the ministerial courses and became a Pathways of Light minister, I served as a facilitator for others taking the courses. I also started taking the ACIM Practitioner courses that are specifically designed to help us take the Course principles even deeper. Then I started facilitating these courses as a Mind Healing Partner for others. This is what I call practicing.
Upon my retirement from teaching high school history classes, I started to search for study groups in my area on Long Island. After attending several different ones, I settled on one with which I was most comfortable. I joined with groups online as well.
I felt guided to start my own study group on Tuesday nights at my home in Long Beach. That has continued now for 8 years with a steady attendance of 5-10 people. I keep finding new ways to practice.
Practicing is not effortless for me but I certainly do not see it as a chore. I am drawn to it. The more I practice, the easier it becomes for me to accept the Atonement for myself. If I didn’t feel this stirring in my heart when I practice, I am sure I would have stopped long ago.
The more I practice ACIM, the more love I seem to accept into my life. The hard times are not as difficult. The good times appear more numerous and powerful. It is this experience that encourages me to keep connecting to Spirit.
Thank you, Holy Spirit, for being here now. I continue to feel Your strength within me. And I’ll keep practicing.
© 2016, Pathways of Light. http://pathwaysoflight.org
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