Issue 12 - March 2007
Quarterly Newsletter of the Australian Centre for Inner Peace
*A Full Heart and an Empty Mind
*Books and Audio Materials for Sale
Welcome to the TWELTH issue of the Australian Centre for Inner Peace Newsletter.
If you wish to read previous issues please go to http://www.acfip.org/newsletterarchive.html.
If your email address ends with .au I put your address on my Australian list for advance warning of workshops I am giving in Australia. If you do not want to be on this list please let me know. If you reside in Australia and want to be on this list, but you address does not end in .au, please email me and I will include it.
If you are new to the Course you might find my summaries of help. You can them at http://www.acfip.org/sum.html and http://www.acfip.org/art4.html
A Full Heart and an Empty Mind
The title for this article comes from a book by J Krishnamurti.
There is no path to truth, it must come to you. Truth can come to you only when your mind and heart are simple, clear, and there is love in your heart; not if your heart is filled with the things of the mind. ....This means that you must strip yourself of all those things and allow truth to come into being; and it can come only when the mind is empty,when the mind ceases to create. Then it will come without your invitation. Then it will come as swiftly as the wind and unbeknown. It comes obscurely, not when you are watching,wanting. It is there as sudden as sunlight, as pure as the night; but to receive it, the heart must be full and the mind empty. Now you have the mind full and your heart empty."
from The Book of Life: Daily Meditations with J. Krishnamurti
This quotation contains important help on our path of spiritual awakening which I will explore in this article. An analogy found in other spiritual paths is connected with a bird flying. It cannot fly without two wings. In the same way we need to cultivate our heart qualities as well as quieting our minds. Perhaps if a bird had only one wing it would fly in circles - something to ponder on!
There is a story that illustrates the need for both kindness and insight. One day kindness and insight were walking along a river bank when suddenly a baby came floating past them. Kindness immediately jumped into the water and rescued the child. They continued their walk until a second baby was seen floating past. Again, kindness jumped in and rescued the child. No sooner had kindness and insight started to debate these strange happenings when a third child came floating by. At this moment insight ran off along the river bank. "Where are you going?" exclaimed kindness. "I am going to see who keeps throwing them in" replied insight.
A story told by Ramana Maharshi also illustrates the need for balance. A famous guru was particularly adept at quieting his mind for long periods. He had the ability to stay without thoughts for days at a time. One day he announced to his disciples that he was going into a trance for a long time and ordered water to be brought to him. However, before one of his disciples could return from the river he was already in deep meditation. As the days went by his disciples became bored and started to leave him. Eventually all deserted him. One day a few weeks later the guru came out of his thought free state and exclaimed with irritation "Where is my water!"
It is possible to achieve pleasant quiet states of mind in meditation but until the underlying judgements and grievances we all carry are exposed and forgiven the noisy mind will always return once our meditations have ceased. There is, of course, value in starting the day quietly with God. The Course recommends this in the section "How should a teacher of God spend his day" (M-16). Starting the day this way helps us when we meet our first forgiveness challenge, which usually happens fairly quickly after the meditation ends!
When I was 16 my perception of myself and the world drastically changed. It's as if I took off my-rose coloured spectacles and saw the nature of myself and the world clearly. I was shocked to see how little love there was in me and in the world about me. Everyone seemed to be locked into there own self-interests. People said they fell in love but I clearly saw they were falling into needs. As long as those needs were met they stayed 'in love' otherwise they separated. Many years later I was to read about these dynamics in A Course in Miracles. Whilst Jesus described them in horrifying detail it was also obvious he had no judgement against the ego and its dynamics. However, my teenage awareness and insights were not tempered with kindness and compassion and I grew bitter and cynical with the world. This is an example of what the Course calls "making the error real". I was trying to fly on one wing through life and it was making me unhappy and isolated. Everyone here is looking for happiness, usually in the wrong direction, and I lost the opportunity then to extend kindness, gentleness and compassion to others as well as myself. I may have been right in my observations but certainly not happy as the Course points out (T-29.VII.1:9)
My religion is very simple.
My religion is kindness.
An Empty Mind
Empty your mind of everything it thinks is either true or false, or good or bad, of every thought it judges worthy, and all the ideas of which it is ashamed. Hold onto nothing. Do not bring with you one thought the past has taught, nor one belief you ever learned before from anything. Forget this world, forget this course, and come with wholly empty hands unto your God. (Lesson 189)
To learn this course requires willingness to question every value that you hold. Not one can be kept hidden and obscure but it will jeopardize your learning. No belief is neutral. (T-24.in.2:1-3)
The memory of God comes to the quiet mind. It cannot come where there is conflict, for a mind at war against itself remembers not eternal gentleness. (T-23.I.1)
Identification with our thoughts is very strong. Without awareness and vigilance we will not get the insights we need to break the stranglehold of thought. Vigilant awareness leads to insight. When a child is first drawn to the beauty of a candle flame it is unaware of the dangers. It reaches out to touch the flame and is surprised and distraught at the pain it feels. The insight is immediate. She makes the connection between fire and pain and does not repeat the action. She does not turn to her mother and ask to read a book on how not to touch candle flames. She does not sign up for a workshop on the dangers of candles. She knows not to do that again. That is the power of insight. No one asks the how question after an insight. This is why all genuine spiritual paths stress the need for awareness - to watch yourself without judgement, what the Course would call forgiveness.
Forgiveness ... is still, and quietly does nothing. .... It merely looks, and waits, and judges not. (W-pII.1.4:1,3)
People caught in "how" questions can also fall into the trap of the "Yes but" mind game. No matter how many how's are given them to help their problems they are reluctant to change and continue to ask for more how's. But if they experience insight brought about by vigilant awareness of their activities there is no need for hows anymore. They simply won't repeat what's painful.
As insight develops the mind naturally becomes quieter and emptier. If you directly see that holding judgements and grievances cost you dearly in peace you will will start to drop them. As space starts to be created in the mind truth has room to enter and guide your life.
You have no idea of the tremendous release and deep peace that comes from meeting yourself and your brothers totally without judgment. (T-3.VI.3:1)
If you but knew the glorious goal that lies beyond forgiveness, you would not keep hold on any thought, however light the touch of evil on it may appear to be. For you would understand how great the cost of holding anything God did not give in minds that can direct the hand to bless, and lead God's Son unto his Father's house. (T-29.V.6:1-2)
The realisation how little we know of importance leads the way to humility. Yes, we may know much about the ego's world of separation and how to 'succeed' here but what do we know about a lasting joy and peace that is not dependent on anything in this world? As we start to experience humility we allow the presence of the Holy Spirit to guide us out of our dream of separation and back to the awareness of our spiritual reality.
You do not know the meaning of anything you perceive. Not one thought you hold is wholly true. The recognition of this is your firm beginning. You are not misguided; you have accepted no guide at all. Instruction in perception is your great need, for you understand nothing. Recognize this but do not accept it, for understanding is your inheritance. Perceptions are learned, and you are not without a Teacher. Yet your willingness to learn of Him depends on your willingness to question everything you learned of yourself, for you who learned amiss should not be your own teacher.
If you are willing to renounce the role of guardian of your thought system and open it to me, I will correct it very gently and lead you back to God.
Love begins when thinking ends.
A Full Heart
As you come closer to a brother you approach me, and as you withdraw from him I become distant to you. Salvation is a collaborative venture. It cannot be undertaken successfully by those who disengage themselves from the Sonship, because they are disengaging themselves from me. God will come to you only as you will give Him to your brothers. (T-4.VI.8:1-4)
Let me not think that I can find the way to God, if I have hatred in my heart. Let me not try to hurt God's Son, and think that I can know his Father or my Self.
The above two quotes highlight the truth that you cannot return to peace in isolation from others. You may be able to achieve an empty mind in meditation but if your heart is not open to others, if you have not learned your lessons of forgiveness, you are a bird with one wing only.
Extending simple kindness, gentleness, compassion and forgiveness to yourself and others leads to the full heart. Practising these is a movement in the opposite direction to the ego and thus undoes the separation allowing the memory of God and who you really are to return.
The bottom line is that kindness and gentleness to all people, regardless of their situation, should be our guiding principle.
Kenneth Wapnick (www.facim.org)
The Course does not ask us to unconditionally love. To try that would only increase our level of guilt for failure would result. True love awaits us at the top of the spiritual ladder back home. We are either spontaneously capable of unconditional love like Jesus or not. There is no effort involved as it will naturally be there once the false idea of separation is gone. Until that wonderful day dawns we can make an effort to give kindness and gentleness instead of anger and judgement and we have the Holy Spirit to teach us how to do it. Effort is required until we reach the stage of no effort.
The Holy Spirit is in you in a very literal sense. His is the Voice that calls you back to where you were before and will be again. It is possible even in this world to hear only that Voice and no other. It takes effort and great willingness to learn. It is the final lesson that I (Jesus) learned, and God's Sons are as
As our heart grows we will need the wisdom that awareness brings. An open heart just wants to give but balance is needed. For example, a healer who cannot say no will eventually experience burn out. The Holy Spirit will guide us to who needs our help - He is the one who chooses which miracle we need to perform and to whom. Although someone may ask for our help the Holy Spirit will know if we are the best person to help or whether another is better suited. We must remain vigilant to hear His guidance for us. Humility teaches us that He knows best and increasingly we pass decisions to Him. As our insight grows we realise "I need do nothing" (T-18.VII) and let Him lead the way.
Your present trust in Him is the defense that promises a future undisturbed, without a trace of sorrow, and with joy that constantly increases, as this life becomes a holy instant, set in time, but heeding only immortality. Lesson 135
From: Emmanuel's Book Pub.- Bantam
By: Pat Rodegast & Judith
There is nothing but love.
Don't let the masks and postures fool you.
Love is the glue
that holds the universe together.
The greatest need in a soul is to achieve that loving of self
which will bring abut the unity
wherein the judgements
that have caused such pain
True self-love is not ego.
True love is great humility.
Love and compassion for others
cannot exist until there is a goodly supply for self.
How can you feel the love of God
if you do not love yourself?
Are they not one and the same thing?
Until you can accept yourself
you lock the doorway
to the expansion you all yearn for.
This expansion comes through the heart.
Be kind to yourselves.
Your less evolved areas have a right to be.
They whisper of things past.
They whisper of confusion, of unfulfillment
and of the pain of the soul separated from its
God and the longing for that Oneness again.
Realize that on this earth
there can be only relative perfection.
Realize too that you do not need to be perfect
to be loved. Love each other in your imperfections,tenderly and completely.
Be gentle with yourselves.
The demand for perfection on the physical plane
can be your worst enemy.
To insist on perfection precludes growth.
To accept imperfection as part of your humanness is to grow.
If you can love the part of you that you think
is imperfect then the act of transformation can begin.
When you judge it and throw it out of your heart
it becomes a hardened shell that blocks the Light.
If you deny what is your nature
you become deeply attached to that denial.
When you accept what is there, in its truth,
then you are released.
One does not release through rejection.
One releases through love.
To strive for Light is a beautiful calling
but you cannot find the Light
until you acknowledge the darkness.
Souls who strive in perfect yearning
are as close to perfection
as anyone in human form can be.
Who you are is a necessary step
to being who you will be, and so it goes
Be comfortable but not complacent
with your imperfections.
Who demands perfection?
Only you souls who are locked in human form
believe somehow that perfection is the requirement.
It is not. The requirement is sincerity,
an open heart.
That is the perfection that is demanded -
the perfect longing.
Look to understand your negative feelings
as a loving mother would understand
a confused and frightened child.
When the denial of God within you
is being challenged
it is a most propitious time of your life.
Do not deny the part of you that is in darkness
or it will manifest again.
When you become aware of misjudgement,
of ill-timed, ill-conceived thought and action,
when you recognize your desire for vengeance,
your anger and unforgiveness,
that is the time for self-congratulation.
Your new insight now allows you to handle these things in a far more conscious way.
It is an opportunity.
A door has been opened.
A light has been turned on.
PLEASE NOTE: The Australian Centre for Inner Peace is not a counselling or psychotherapy centre; therefore, we do not offer telephone or email service or counselling, therapy, or crisis intervention for personal problems related to the Course. Please see the Contacts section at the end of this newsletter.
A Course in Miracles Workshops 2006 Workshops
Saturday 12 May 2007 - 1 day workshop
9.30am to 4.45pm
Awakening to Our Spiritual Reality.
A Course in Miracles workshop
You dwell not here, but in eternity.
You travel but in dreams, while safe at home (T-13.VII.17:6-7).
You are at home in God, dreaming of exile but perfectly capable of awaking to reality (T-10.I.2:1).
Identification with our bodies and personalities blinds us to our spiritual reality. The Course teaches us how to awaken from this dream of separation from God and experience joy and peace. Exercises will be used to help remove the obstacles to peace.
No previous knowledge of A Course in Miracles is required.
cnr Brookes and Wickham Streets,
07 3854 1986
(Please do not book through me)
Times: 9.30 a.m. to 4.45 p.m.
Bring lunch to share
GERMANY 2007 WORKSHOPS
RAVENSBURG - 1 day w/s Sun 24th June 2007
RELATIONSHIPS AS PATH OF SPIRITUAL GROWTH
- from the perspective of A Course in Miracles
with Michael Dawson
9.30 to 5.30
Learning to understand ourselves
by seeing how we relate to others.
"When you meet anyone, remember it is a holy encounter.
As you see him you will see yourself. As you treat him you will treat yourself.
As you think of him you will think of yourself. Never forget this, for in him
you will find yourself or lose yourself." from "A Course in Miracles"
A relationship based on truth and awareness is one of the most powerful tools for healing and growth. How we relate in the instant we pass someone in the street, how we relate to our friends, an employer, family members or our partners all provides us with mirrors reflecting our own beliefs about ourselves and the world.
In our lives we create barriers to the presence of peace and love within us. We pursue substitutes of power, money, sex, possessions, status and so on, which can never satisfy the yearning within for deeper fulfilment - our relationship with God.
In this workshop, using the mirror of relationships, we will look at what needs to be healed in ourselves and how, by changing our relationships based on dependency to ones based on honesty and forgiveness, we can discover a path that will return us to the awareness of love's presence within us. A gentle and safe space is created enabling participants to trust and go deep.
This workshop is not specifically for partners. It is designed for anyone who wishes to improve how they relate to others in any type of relationship.
An introduction to the Course's metaphysical, psychological and spiritual teachings especially regarding relationships will be covered.
Location of workshop:
Felz - 88212
Felz - 88212
Tel: 49 751-26985 (Sybil)
Tel: 49 751-24896 (Christiane)
Fax: 49 751-3527933
FREIBURG - weekend w/s Sat 30 June and Sun 1 July 2007
The Healing Power of Forgiveness
- from the perspective of A Course in Miracles
Sat 30 June/Sun 1 July 2007
Cost: 160 EUR
10 to 6pm
Forget not that the healing of God's Son is all the world is for.
That is the only purpose the Holy Spirit sees in it, and thus the only one it has.
Until you see the healing of the Son as all you wish to be accomplished by the world,
by time and all appearances, you will not know the Father nor yourself.
A Course in Miracles T-24.VI.4:1-3
How can we heal ourselves and help others to heal? The Course asks us not to try to change ourselves or others but to look past our perceptual errors, our distorted self-concepts, which is to forgive.
Forgiveness, like the miracle, does not 'do' anything but undoes the judgement we hold against ourselves and others. What we find disturbing are but symbols of what is unhealed in our minds.
The cause of all disease lies in the mind and not the body.
This workshop will explore what is meant by 'healing' and how forgiveness can restore our minds to peace - the condition in which God is remembered. We will also investigate how we can help others to heal themselves and the differences between the true and false healing.
Exercises will be used to help contact the source of healing in our minds so it can be extended to ourselves and others.
No previous knowledge of A Course in Miracles is required.
Introductory talk on A Course in Miracles
- evening Fri 29 June at 8pm. Cost 10 EUR
Location of workshop:
Center Margarete Sennekamp
Tram 4, Klosterplatz
Tel/Fax : 0761-73930
Michael discovered A Course in Miracles whilst visiting the Findhorn Foundation in 1982. He subsequently became a member of the Foundation for about six years and involved himself with healing and teaching. In 1994 he published Healing the Cause - A Path of Forgiveness which serves as an introduction to the Course. His second book, The Findhorn Book of Forgiveness (Findhorn Press) uses exercises, stories and case histories to guide the reader to inner peace through forgiveness. Michael now lives in Australia and gives workshops on the Course world-wide.
BOOKS AND AUDIO MATERIALS FOR SALE - by Michael Dawson
Healing the Cause - A Path of Forgiveness. Findhorn Press. 1994
The Findhorn Book of Forgiveness. Findhorn Press. 2003
For more details and how to purchase please visit: http://www.acfip.org/books_tapes.html
Audio Tapes and CDs
Since 1986 I have been conducting healing workshops in the UK and abroad, and have continually experimented to find healing and forgiveness exercises that are effective. I have found that a particular exercise can be effective for one person but not another. Accordingly, I was led to develop a series of exercises. Over the years workshop participants asked if these exercises could be put onto audio cassettes and CDs so they could repeat them. This has resulted in the Healing the Cause - Exercise series - Tapes 1 to 4 (2 exercises on each tape) and CD1 and 2 (4 exercises on each CD)
For more details and how to purchase please visit: http://www.acfip.org/audio.html
Foundation for A Course In Miracles
41397 Buecking Drive, Temecula, CA 92590
Tel: 909 296 6261 Fax: 909296 9117
Books, videos, CDs and audio tapes by Kenneth and Gloria Wapnick are available from their web site http://www.facim.org
Question and Answer Service:
Their electronic outreach section has a question and answer service http://www.facimoutreach.org/ on the theory and practice of the Course. Their database of hundreds of questions and answers is searchable and you can ask your own questions.
Their publications can also be ordered in Australia at:
230 Clarence Street
Sydney, NSW 2000
Foundation for Inner Peace - the publishers of A Course in Miracles
ACIM study groups.
Go to The Miracle Distribution Center http://www.miraclecenter.org/ for the largest and most frequently updated list of A Course in Miracles study groups available anywhere.
Miracles Studies Australia http://www.miracle-studies.net.au lists study groups for Australia and new Zealand
A Course In Miracles Pen Pals
The Miracle Network http://www.miracles.org.uk hosts a A Course in Miracles pen pals group:
To join this e-mail discussion group, send your e-mail address to firstname.lastname@example.org. They will send you updated lists of other e.pals and inform them of your e-mail address.
A Course In Miracles Chat Groups
The aim of this board is to provide a place for people to chat about ACIM.
Any related discussions are more than welcome and I believe helpful! - moderated by Glyn Milhench
About three or four times a week I send a short quotation from some spiritual teacher or poet to people who have requested some uplifting thoughts. I have included some below. If you wish I can add your name to the email list.
Do understand that you are destined for enlightenment.
Co-operate with your destiny, don't go against it, don't thwart it.
Allow it to fulfil itself.
All you have to do is to give attention to the obstacles created by the foolish mind.
When you listen to the voice in your head, that
is to say, do not judge. You'll soon realize: there
is the voice, and here I am listening to it, watching
it. This I am realization, this sense of your own
presence, is not a thought. It arises from beyond
- Eckhart Tolle
The Power of Now
In your light I learn how to love.
In your beauty, how to make poems.
You dance inside my chest,
where no one sees you,
but sometimes I do, and that
sign becomes this art.
One is more likely to awaken through surrender than through seeking to waken. The effort to awaken is the effort of ego, whereas to surrender is to give up all efforts and to place oneself in the hands of a vast force that is more powerful than any realization of non duality.
When one finally gives up one's futile attempts to make reality conform to one's own wishes, and allows it to unfold on its own terms, all the energy that was tied up in foolish attempts to manipulate the universe is freed up.
Halfway Up the Mountain - The Error of Premature Claims to Enlightenment
Yet searching is inevitable here. For this you came, and you will surely do the thing you came for. But the world can not dictate the goal for which you search, unless you give it power to do so. Otherwise, you still are free to choose a goal that lies beyond the world and every worldly thought, and one that comes to you from an idea relinquished yet remembered, old yet new; an echo of a heritage forgot, yet holding everything you really want.
A Course in Miracles Lesson 131
There's one great delusion that lies at the core
of all of our suffering: the false belief in the reality
of the separation of life and in the subsequent
true existence of an individual ego.
All fervent attempts to control or to mortify this
illusory ego through penance, rituals and sacrifice,
however, will only serve to intensify the delusion
that this ego is actually very real and that it only
needs to be, somehow, subdued, conquered or
- Chuck Hillig
Seeds for the Soul
Black Dot Publications, 2003