ACFIP Newsletter
Issue 28 - March 2011
Quarterly Newsletter of the Australian Centre for Inner Peace




Michael Dawson
PO Box 125, Point Lookout
North Stradbroke Island,
Queensland 4183,
Australia

Email: mdawson@acfip.org 
Web site: http://www.acfip.org

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CONTENTS:

*  Seek Not To Change The World
*  Observe
*  How To Have A Peaceful Life
*  Workshops
*  Books and Audio Materials for Sale
*  Links
*  Inspirational Quotations

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 notice 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 find them at http://www.acfip.org/sum.html and http://www.acfip.org/art4.html


Regards

Michael Dawson



Seek Not To Change The World

It (the world) is the witness to your state of mind, the outside picture of an inward condition.  As a man thinketh, so does he perceive.  Therefore, seek not to change the world, but choose to change your mind about the world. 
A Course in Miracles T-21.in.1


The World Is Neutral.

A major teaching of A Course in Miracles is that the world is neutral. It has no meaning in and of itself. We give it meaning. There are only two meanings, either the Holy Spirit's or that of the ego. The ego is the thought that being separate is preferable than being one with everything. The Holy Spirit's thought system is that we are perfect, sinless, eternal spiritual beings and that the apparent world of separation we seem to live in is an illusion.

The ego rushes in to give the world meaning. It sees it as a place where it can find pleasure, gratification, status, power, prestige, etc. The Holy Spirit sees the world as a classroom of forgiveness.

The Course teaches that before we look out into the world we should first look within our mind. What we see there we project out into the world. If we look within and only see the ego thought system, then when we look out we inevitably see the world of the ego. This is a fearful perception, because we know we'll try to get what we want seeking only to give the minimum in return. Thus we also see people with similar motives as ourselves, and feel we need to protect ourselves from the world which only wants to take from us. In contrast, if we look within and see Spirit there instead of ego, we will have the Holy Spirit's judgement on the world. The Holy Spirit sees people either asking to love, or giving love. There is nothing else.

The world we see merely reflects our own internal frame of reference—the dominant ideas, wishes and emotions in our minds. "Projection makes perception" (Text, p. 445). We look inside first, decide the kind of world we want to see and then project that world outside, making it the truth as we see it. We make it true by our interpretations of what it is we are seeing. If we are using perception to justify our own mistakes—our anger, our impulses to attack, our lack of love in whatever form it may take—we will see a world of evil, destruction, malice, envy and despair.  A Course in Miracles. Preface

This takes us to the crux of the first quotation above. The world itself is nothing. If we get upset at what we see in the world this is a 'red flag' to what upsets us in our mind. If the actions of the dictators in the world upset us, this points to an unhealed dictator in our own minds. If while watching the news there is a report of a murder and we get upset, that shows us that we believe in murdering to get what we want. We may not actually physically murder, but we do believe that attack will get us what we want. The Course states that even a mild irritation is a veil drawn over intense fury (Lesson 21). For there are only two thought systems in our mind, the ego's and the Holy Spirit's. The ego believes in kill-or-be-killed, and the Holy Spirit believes in forgiveness.


Right and Wrong.

There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.
William Shakespeare

Out beyond ideas of right doing
and wrong doing there is a field.
I will meet you there.
Rumi

Seeing all the pain and horror in the world, it is very easy to fall into the trap of seeing things as right or wrong, or good or bad. This judgement comes from the ego thought system present in our mind. In contrast, the Holy Spirit's judgement is that He sees people either asking for love, or giving love.

In my book The Findhorn Book of Forgiveness I recount the true story of a man called Wild Bill who survived six years in a concentration camp. When he entered that camp, after witnessing his wife and children being shot, he made his mind up that he would try to love everyone he met. He did not take sides which is the hallmark of the ego. To his eyes everyone was asking for love and this he tried to give and succeeded. The Americans who liberated the camp saw that he had more energy than themselves whereas he had been on a starvation diet and lived in horrendous conditions.

Yet of this you may be sure; if you will merely sit quietly by and let the Holy Spirit relate through you, you will empathise with strength, and will gain in strength and not weakness. A Course in Miracles T-16.I.2

The above story is a great example of the Course's teaching that this is a neutral world - this camp turned out a saint.  By laying aside the ego's judgement of right and wrong, Wild Bill entered a space where he could be of true help to the world. The energy became available to him because it was no longer blocked by judgement. Once the ego is laid aside wisdom and love simply radiate through us. This does not mean the Course condones concentration camps and thinks them ideal training grounds for saints. The Holy Spirit does not seek to change anything in the world, but does seek to help us see it as a classroom of forgiveness where we can finally awake to our spiritual reality. This is what the Course means by accepting the atonement - to awaken from the dream of separation.

When Wild Bill laid all judgement aside he could not know in advance how he would behave in any situation that he was daily presented with. He was relieved of the responsibility and burden of trying to work out what proper help would look like.The following true story from Adyashanti's book Falling into Grace nicely illustrates the same point.

One of the most significant moments in my life occurred during my first Zen retreat. On the third day of the five-day program, the retreat leader, Kwong Roshi, told a story. In the story, he recounted a time that he had recently spent in India. He was standing in the middle of a dirt road in a little village, and he was watching some kids play at the side of the road. He noticed that there was one child with a deformed face and that the other children were teasing him. The boy was an outcast. Kwong just watched this poor little boy, and he said, “You know, I just stood there, and I didn’t know what to do, and so I just started to sob.” Even as he was recounting the story, sitting in this regal meditation posture, with his robes and beautiful Zen style, he was very openheartedly weeping. It was then that I really knew of the quality of his heart and also of his courage. Here was one of the greatest spiritual authorities in Zen openly sitting there and weeping, without contracting, Without hiding his face, without shying away. He had been deeply touched by this little boy’s pain, and he stood there on the road wondering, “What can I do for him?”

 After a moment or two, he decided to walk over toward the boy. As they did not speak with same language, Kwong grabbed his hand, and they stood there in the middle of the street together, hand in hand. Kwong then noticed an ice cream shop. He walked the boy over to the shop, and he reached into his pocket and gave the boy some coins. He indicated that he wanted the boy to buy ice cream for all the other children, as well as for himself. When the little boy indicated to all the others that he would buy them ice cream, he immediately became the hero, the center of attention. Instantly, the village children enfolded him in happiness, love, and acceptance. This little boy bought them all ice cream, and they were all smiling. For a moment, this little boy who had been outcast and sad was happy, and he was once again part of the group. This was the only thing that Kwong knew to do at that moment. It was a small gesture, but it was an example of the power of an open heart and mind. Even when he didn’t know what to do, somehow, intuitively, because his mind was open, he just walked up and took the little boy`s hand in his own. To me, this is an example of enlightened action. This is an example of how the mind may not be able to figure out how to respond, but how the open and awakened heart can take the lead and offer something beautiful in the moment.


Changing the World.

When we feel impelled to change the world we see, we need to step back and ask ourselves what's going on here?  Are we just giving the ego a purpose? To feel pleased and proud about our good intentions?

Trust not your good intentions. They are not enough.
A Course in Miracles T-18.IV.2.   

There are many charities in the world. I am glad they are there. Many millions on this planet are suffering, and are in great need of assistance.  But what if through some miracle starvation was eliminated overnight and many charities are then disbanded? Would all the workers in those charities feel happy and relieved, or would an emptiness come into some of their lives as they no longer have a purpose?

Of course, if you have a chance to help somebody, by all means do it and promptly too, don't keep him waiting till you are perfect. But do not become a professional do-gooder. Nisargadatta Maharaj

We may be drawn to charitable work or to save the planet. The test of motive is when the work that is done does not give the hoped-for results. If this leads to disappointment and perhaps anger or sadness, then the motivation was from the ego. If instead, after working hard on a project and seeing it fail our peace is unaffected we will know we are not attached to results - which is a clear sign of ego motivation. There are only two thought systems, the ego's or the Holy Spirit's.

The Love of which I am speaking, arises directly out of a profound depth of realization. It has nothing to do with doing the right thing or being a good person. Such notions come from an egoic mind masquerading in spiritual clothing. I am speaking about a force of Love that originates from beyond the mind -- from consciousness itself.
Adyashanti - The Impact of Awakening www.adyashanti.org

In one of my workshops three of the participants were Social Workers. They came to me one day and said they had been talking together and realised that all three of them were motivated by guilt. This is a wonderful thing to see because they can can forgive this in themselves and allow the possibility to either continue the work from a different perspective or to simply leave the job. 

Forgiveness  ... is still, and quietly does nothing. .... It merely looks, and waits, and judges not. A Course in Miracles W-pII.1.4:1,3

Their insight now allows them to see they to need to approach their work on two levels. The first and most important level is that they are doing this to learn forgiveness, to find peace. The second and less important level is to do the job efficiently. The world becomes their classroom of forgiveness. The Social Workers can see their clients as their teachers and can try to learn to be at peace with them. If they succeed they will become a source of healing.

The therapist sees in the patient all that he has not forgiven in himself, and is thus given another chance to look at it,open it to re-evaluation and forgive it. Psychotherapy: Purpose, Process and Practise - P-2.VI.6

For many years I have taught  A Course in Miracles, and given many workshops on healing. I've also published two books and maintain a website and newsletter. I received some guidance a few years ago that said "we beseech thee to the stop working for the good of mankind."  This startled me somewhat at the time, but now makes complete sense.  Previous to this work I was an electronics teacher. In those days I simply talked from my head. I think I was a satisfactory teacher but did not connect strongly with the students. When I start teaching healing and a Course in Miracles I saw quickly that I had to change. So over many years I've learned a lot about trust, and opening my heart. This is the purpose of my teaching, and if other people benefit from what I say then that's a wonderful bonus.

The only meaningful contribution the healer can make is to present an example of one whose direction has been changed for him, and who no longer believes in nightmares of any kind. The light in his mind will therefore answer the questioner, who must decide with God that there is light because he sees it. A Course in Miracles T-9.V.7

The purpose of my work is to learn forgiveness. For someone else it may be the path of the parent, the road worker, the gardener, etc.  If a mother could master the constant forgiveness lessons in her daily life she would awaken to her spiritual reality in a very short time!

For 20 years I lived in and around a spiritual community in Scotland, called the Findhorn Foundation. I noticed that many were drawn to helping, or serving the world. I don't think we often stepped back and said "Why am I doing this? Is this a spontaneous outpouring of love, or am I being motivated by guilt, or to be seen to be good, fill an empty life, doing what's expected of me, etc?"

In the early days of Findhorn there was a saying "Work is love in action". However, I often noticed that really it was "Work is guilt in action." I worked for a time in the Personnel department, and part of my job was interviewing prospective new members. I knew I was supposed to ask them if they had come here to serve. I preferred to ask them had they come here to learn to serve. I think service, like true love, is unconditional: you either do it or you don't.

Unconditional love is virtually unknown on this planet. Only the true saint that no longer has an ego, and that only has spirit in her mind can spontaneously radiate true love and service. It would be a great mistake, leading to more guilt, to think we have achieved that when we have not.

You cannot enter into real relationships with any of God's Sons unless you love them all and equally. Love is not special. If you single out part of the Sonship for your love, you are imposing guilt on all your relationships and making them unreal. You can love only as God loves. Seek not to love unlike Him, for there is no love apart from His. Until you recognize that this is true, you will have no idea what love is like. A Course in Miracles. T-13.X.11.

I remember reading the story of Mother Teresa when she and her nuns opened up a new home for the destitute in New York. The local charity group came round to see her and appreciate her for her work. They thanked her for her social work. She looked surprised and said "I don't do social work." They replied that she was helping the homeless and the sick. She sternly replied "I don't do social work, that's me I'm picking up out of the gutter!"  Here is a clear demonstration that she so she saw no difference between herself and others.

If we lack awareness of our true motives, we can easily fall into becoming a 'rescuer'. I think all people who are drawn to healing, have the shadow side of the rescuer which needs healing. That might take a long time to see, because in this society rescuers are often rewarded. They seems to be good and true and selfless beings spending their lives helping others and trying to make the world a better place. However, they may feel taken for granted but continue their work as they need to be needed. Rescuers see the people they help as weak and unable to help themselves. In fact they don't want them healed as they would no longer need to be needed. This is not true help but an attack. Instead, they really need to empathise with the strength in the other person, to show them that they are sinless and have the strength of spirit in themselves..

The only help worth giving is freeing from the need for further help. Repeated help is no help at all. Do not talk of helping another, unless you can put him beyond all need of help.

You can help another by precept and example, and above all, by your being. You cannot give what you do not have and you don't have what you are not. You can only give what you are - and of that you can give limitlessly.
Nisargadatta Maharaj

A comparison of true and false healing from the Course's perspective can be found on my website -  http://www.acfip.org/huh.html.

The following conversation between the great spiritual teacher Ramana Maharshi and a stutent summarises some of the issues raised above.

F.H. Humpries. Master can I help the world?
Ramana Maharshi. Help yourself and you will help the world.
H. I wish to help the world. Shall I not be helpful?
R. Yes Helping yourself you help the world.You are in the world, you are the world.You are not different from the world, nor is the world different from you.
H. [after a pause] Master can I perform miracles as Sri Krishna and Jesus did before?
R. Did any of them, when he performed them, feel it was he who was performing them?
No Master.
From: The Master Speaks By Tony Crisp


Our Purpose Here Is to Awaken.

Anything in this world that you believe is good and valuable and worth striving for can hurt you, and will do so. Not because it has the power to hurt, but just because you have denied it is but an illusion, and made it real. A Course in Miracles T-26.VI.1:1-2

When I first read this in A Course in Miracles I was rather perplexed. Surely, I thought, to have a healing centre is a good and valuable thing? I'd fallen into the trap of thinking Jesus wants us to do 'good works', and go out and heal the sick. If that is your forgiveness path then by all means do it. I needed to remember I was doing this basically for myself, to learn to heal myself  by helping to heal others.

My late wife Salice was born with an inner voice and sometimes I would turn to it for guidance. I remember asking it what is the purpose for writing my first book, Healing the Cause. The voice said "To bring you closer to me, and incidentally it can help others." Later when I was contemplating starting a Course in Miracles centre in Tasmania I asked the same question. "What was the purpose of this centre?" Again the voice said "To bring you closer to me, and it may help others."

The sole responsibility of God's teacher is to accept the Atonement (wake up) for himself. Atonement means correction, or the undoing of errors. When this has been accomplished, the teacher of God becomes a miracle worker by definition. A Course in Miracles M-18.4:5-7


Seek Not to Change the Ego

The ego's plan for salvation centers around holding grievances. It maintains that, if someone else spoke or acted differently, if some external circumstance or event were changed, you would be saved. Thus, the source of salvation is constantly perceived as outside yourself. Each grievance you hold is a declaration, and an assertion in which you believe, that says, If this were different, I would be saved.
A Course in Miracles Lesson 71

 As well as the Course asking us not to try to change the world, but instead change our minds about the world, it also asks us not to try to change our own egos or other's egos. This would be an example of making the error real. The error in this case is that the ego is seen as real and needs ours attention. The ego loves to get our attention and doesn't mind being accused of being the villain as long as we treat it as real. It knows that its life depends on us believing in it. And once we cease believing, as we will one day, it will simply disappear. The ego is an illusion and is simply maintained because we think it offers something we want i.e. separation. So to try to modify and change our egos or another's is to make it real and thus continue its illusory life. Instead the Course asks us to accept people exactly as they are. This does not mean that if a person is physically attacking you don't simply stand there and passively accept it. If in that moment you have laid aside all judgement of the other person you'll be guided what to do. But if you have not reached that stage of welcoming guidance it may be better just to run! The Course does not ask us to abandon common sense.

If we sincerely want to help others we need to remember who the true source of help is. Our task then is to get ourselves out of the way so this help come come through us and out into the world. As we learn to heal and help others so we will be healed.

The Holy Spirit is the only Therapist. He makes healing clear in any situation in which He is the Guide. You can only let Him fulfil His function. He needs no help for this. He will tell you exactly what to do to help anyone He sends to you for help, and will speak to him through you if you do not interfere.
A Course in Miracles  T-9.V.8



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How To Have A Peaceful Life
by Jan Frazier

A peaceful life can’t be provided for in a comprehensive way — taking care of the imagined future, for instance, or reaching out to the larger surroundings to insure security and comfort, a certain way of living.  How to have a peaceful life really comes down to a very small thing:  how to have a peaceful moment.  This is a doable thing.  (It is the only thing that is doable.)

Peace is possible.  It’s the idea of trying to control or arrange or predict the circumstances of a life that is doomed to failure, doomed to just generate more uncertainty and anxiety.  Not that a person can’t decide to live in one neighborhood versus another, or enter into this relationship rather than that one.  It’s that no matter what you’ve laid out for yourself for circumstances, no matter what big-picture choices you’ve made, the experience of peacefulness still comes down to what the moment is like.  Because that is where life is actually experienced — in the present moment — and so it’s only in the present that peace can be experienced.

Peace is constantly available, every moment, regardless of the immediate circumstances.  This is a radical idea.  It flies in the face of a lot of assumptions.  It is possible to be in very “peaceful” surroundings and yet be tormented, and it is possible to be in dangerous, noisy, negative-feeling surroundings and yet be entirely at peace.

What is useful is to see that how you feel about a thing is distinct from the thing itself.  To see this is the beginning of something radical shifting in a life.

What most people do is try very hard to establish themselves in a situation (living, working, loving, meditating) where they imagine they will be peaceful, maybe even happy.  The assumption is that how they are doing inside is determined by what’s going on around them, in their lives.  So they naturally figure that they have to put themselves in the right outer situation, or they can’t be at peace.  This approach can seem like the only possible one.  It goes largely unquestioned.

There are a couple of problems with the approach.  One is that everything is uncertain.  No matter what a person sets up for circumstances (whether long-term or temporary), chaos will always be a factor, and change is inevitable.  So there is no possibility of absolute stability and predictability.  Though we secretly know this, we do not want to admit it to ourselves.  The result is that there is this low level of anxiety around the edges of all we put into place for ourselves.  The anxiety is there because we are constantly lying to ourselves.  It makes us feel a little crazy to not tell ourselves the truth about what we deeply recognize to be the case.  But we can’t bear what feels like the terrible alternative — that peace will elude us forever — so we continue averting our eyes from the difficult truth.

The other problem with focusing on the outer circumstances, as a recipe for peace, is that however stable the set-up seems to be in any given stretch of time, it still comes down to how does this moment feel?  In other words, even the most successful provisions for outer well-being say nothing about how a person is doing inside at any particular moment.  Even when the physical health is good, and there are rewarding things to do with time, and the economic and political situation seems safe and humane, and there are beloved companions, even then, the present can feel uneasy for more reasons than anybody could ever list, most of them having to do with the mind.

There are people who feel quite at peace, moment to moment.  It’s worth looking at that, and asking how it comes about.  It’s worth asking, Could this be me? and What’s the difference between their experience and my own?

The difference doesn’t have to do with a difference in circumstances.  It’s not that the person living moment-to-moment infused with peace and well-being is living in some other world (like, say, a monastery or La-La Land).  It’s also not that this person is unaware of the problems that swirl around us all, and it’s not that denial (or privilege) is keeping the person at a comfortable distance from poverty and violence, a decaying economy and an environment at terrible risk.

How this bothers the mind that wants to understand and control, this idea of a person entirely at peace, even in the middle of all these messes.  Even as aging happens and death is known to be certain.  How can this be?

If chaos and change are unavoidable forces; if very little is under a person’s control, and even that very-little is subject to change; if an awful lot is wrong with the larger world, and very likely with the personal part of that world — how is it that a person can be both clear-eyed, entirely tuned into reality, and experiencing profound peace, moment to moment?

It is important to ask yourself this question, if you want to be free.

Reality has something to do with it.  Whatever is immediate has something to do with it.  Attention has a lot to do with it.  And allowing:  that is the heart of peace.

Peace is the state that comes about when all of a person’s attention is on what is immediate, when the entire awareness is aligned with the real, and there is no resistance to what is seen.  What is real is the present moment.  Something in the body of a human being recognizes the truth of this:  that reality is only what is here and what is now, immediate in awareness.  When the attention is directed toward what the present moment holds, without resistance or mental commentary, the experience is of peace.

The peacefulness has to do with the plain recognition of what is real.  It arises from allowing all of awareness, in a given moment, to flood what is perceived in the immediate scene.  Just the simple act of acknowledging the fact of a thing brings about a feeling of well-being, of sanity.  When the attention acknowledges reality, without resisting or commenting on it, something in the body registers peacefulness.  Awareness experiences itself as part of the real, because it is in alignment with the real.  The experience of the real is the sensation of being exquisitely at ease — regardless of the content of the moment, of this particular “real.”  Allowing what is real is a plain gesture of sanity.  When we don’t feel crazy, we are at peace.

“The real,” in a given moment, has nothing to do with what the mind wants to transport into the picture of the immediate scene.  The mind is very good at abstraction — at going to another time than this one, at using language to interpret.  When all of attention is brought to what is immediate, the mind is felt to have grown quiet.  It is not thinking about what is next, about how things should be different, about the suffering outside this immediate scene.  It is not thinking.

Attention is not the same thing as thinking.  Attention is seeing, being with, acknowledging.  It brings a feeling of ease.  Thinking is processing, labeling, judging, worrying, rehashing.  It brings a feeling of torment, anxiety, tension, busy-ness.

Notice that the experience of peacefulness has nothing to do with whether a person likes or approves of what the immediate moment holds — with what the attention is acknowledging is real, just now.  The issue is not how a person feels about what’s happening.  The crux is this:  the thing is happening.  However a person might feel about the thing is secondary.  It will never rise in prominence to be on a par with the fact of the thing — not if peace is desired.

Mainly, what is useful (very, very useful) is to see that how you feel about a thing is distinct from the thing itself.  To see this is the beginning of something radical shifting in a life.

What is useful is to see that it is only (ever and always, only) the present moment in which this business of peacefulness applies.  Nothing but the present moment is real, or ever will be.

What is also useful is to see that all the attention must be given to seeing the fact of the thing held by the moment.  As soon as some of the attention is siphoned off to the mind, which wants to have an opinion or to resist what is happening — as soon as that happens — peace flies off like a frightened bird.  What the mind is prone to do is to leave the moment, either to retreat to a future or past moment, or to enter the hazy (unreal) world of idea.  Thinking is not peace-inducing.

Thinking has its place.  It can be useful, say, in learning how to perform surgery, or to understand a subway map.  But when the mind is applied to resisting what is real, or to swimming in projections of a possible future, or the larger world, it is not possible to be at peace in that moment.

Article taken from:
http://www.janfrazierteachings.com/blog/?cat=5

Jan Frazier
Author of When fear Falls Away
The Story of a Sudden Awakening


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Observe
by Jac O'Keeffe

Shining a light on patterns of thinking and conditioned beliefs held in the human mind is necessary in order to start the adventure of finding out who you are. The easiest, obvious, and yet most potent place to begin is through understanding the subtleties of your mind. If you do not know yourself in this way and cannot see the creations of your own mind, then how can you change? How can anything change? Without this self knowledge you are a prisoner of your restrictive thoughts, beliefs and values. In any moment, if your are not content and at peace with total certainty, you can know that your mind has created this situation Nothing outside of you has the power to impact on you in any way. It is your thoughts and ideas about the external world and your reactions to it that create the undesired effect.

As your understanding of your own mind increases, you will recognise its tricks, its convincing arguments, and its ideas of how the world should be. Your mind believes that if things went according to what you believe to be the right way then everything would be fine. This is not the truth. This is a game your mind uses to keep you resisting what is. Essentially, it is a construct created to give you that good feeling that you are right and that you know what is best. Your mind loves to be right. It gains satisfaction from its superiority complex, and every adult human mind has a superiority complex that will take your attention to dissolve. This, like other constructs in your thinking that you may have noticed, is a futile attempt to make you feel whole. The mind was never designed to fulfill that objective, because the desire to feel whole is the call from your deeper self to look within.

Without seeing your mind at play and looking at what is happening, there is no chance of attaining self knowledge. You will continue to be a prisoner of your thoughts and a slave of your mind. Either you are in charge or your conditioned thinking is in charge. At any given moment, you have the option to connect with your subjective beliefs and personal thoughts, with the world and all its events; or to freely flow with what is presented. There is no halfway house, no interim perspective: every moment presents to you a fresh opportunity.

Perhaps you have observed your mind for some time, or you may be beginning to do so now. Observing in this way is to develop an awareness in that you can see your thoughts arise and fall without identifying with them and buying the story they present, as if it were the undisputed truth of how things are. It allows you to live from the viewpoint where you see your mind impartially and do not defend it. Rather, you can see humour in how crazy your thinking can be: this is when the wake‐up call has begun. The awakening from this dream state of believing your thoughts has had its initial stirrings and another level of consciousness is accessible to you now.

from Born to be Free -
The freedom you look for is where you look from.
by Jac O'Keeffe.

http://www.jackieokeeffe.com

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Forthcoming Workshops on A Course in Miracles
in Australia and Germany


For up to date information on my workshops go to http://www.acfip.org/fws.html

Australia 2011 Dates



SOUTH AUSTRALIA

Clare, SA -  Sat 2 and Sun 3 April 2011
(2hrs drive north of Adelaide)

Spiritual Awakening - the Path and its Traps
-  A Course in Miracles workshop -

You dwell not here, but in eternity.
You travel but in dreams, while safe at home.

You are at home in God, dreaming of exile but perfectly capable of awaking to reality.
A Course in Miracles


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 to experience joy and peace.
If our intention to awake is sincere and we have the humility to realise we know nothing and are willing to be taught by spirit we will meet the conditions of awakening.

The ego, the desire to be separate, does not let go easily. The workshop will explore, with the aid of exercises, how to recognise and heal the ego traps on our ‘path’ of awakening and turn to our inner guidance for help.

No previous knowledge of the book A Course in Miracles is required.


TIME:
Sat - 9.30 TO 5.30
Su - 9.30 TO 4.30

BOOKINGS:
Edeltraud  Ennich
PO Box 614
Clare, SA 5453
Tel: 08 8842 3114

COST
Deposit: $60 to cover basic costs ($30 non-refundable)
plus a donation for the workshop.
Food provided.

Cheques or postal monies made out to Edeltraud  Ennich




Adelaide
Evening workshop -  Tues 5th April 2011

A Full Heart and an Empty Mind
-  A Course in Miracles workshop -

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

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.
A Course in Miracles LESSON 189

The deepest but forgotten truth about ourselves is that we are one with the love and mind of God.

To let this memory return to our awareness we need to empty our minds of everything we think is true and open our hearts to others.

This workshop will explore, with the aid of exercises, how we can find peace through the healing power of kindness, gentleness, simplicity, awareness and forgiveness.

No previous knowledge of the book A Course in Miracles is required.

Entry: $30.00  Please Note Earlier Starting Time
TIME: 6:15 PM doors open for 6:30 PM start. - 9.30 PM finish
Light refreshments provided at 8:00 Break
 
Venue: Rosefield Uniting Church Hall
2-6 Carlton Street, Highgate. Ample Parking.
Off Fullarton Rd near the Ferguson St.  Shops near Cross Road.
Third street on the right after the Fisher St Lights coming from the City

CONTACT:  Julie Way
Please register by filling in this form and returning to Julie Way
with payment by cheque or $ Postal order to Julie Way

PO Box 408 Torrensville SA 5031
Enquiries: Phone 84439162
julieway@ozemail.com.au
Bookings and Full Payment is essential before the evening.
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Name……………………………Address……………………………….……….
Home……………………………….. B or M………………….……………….
Email: Please include so as to receive confirmation: ……………………………
 I enclose:  full payment $30



Brisbane

Relaxation Centre

Sunday 1 May 2011
Attaining a Quiet Mind
 A Course in Miracles workshop

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.
A Course in Miracles T-23.I.1


Only when our mind becomes quiet can the memory of of our spiritual reality return.
This workshop will explore the obstacles to peace and use exercises to help discover and remove them.

No previous knowledge of A Course in Miracles is required.



VENUE:
Relaxation Centre,
15 South Pine Road
Alderley
Brisbane 4051

BOOKINGS:
Relaxation Centre
07 3856 3733
(Please do not book through me)

TIMES: 9.30am to 5pm



Cairns City Library, QLD 4870

May 2011


HEALING OURSELVES and OTHERS
from the perspective of A Course in Miracles

Workshop with Michael Dawson
         9.30am - 5.30pm  Sat. 28 & Sun. 29 May, 2011
          Cairns City Library, 151 Abbott St., Cairns, Qld. 4870

    Introductory Talk:  "Discovering Inner Peace
    - an Introduction to A Course in Miracles
    7.30pm - 9.30pm Fri. 27 May,  at same venue.     


"Health Is Inner Peace.…
Health is the result of relinquishing all attempts to use the body lovelessly."
A Course in Miracles


Using the spiritual path of A Course in Miracles we will explore what true healing is - the return to our awareness of our spiritual identity. Identification with our body as our home is the origin of all our physical and psychological suffering.

The basis of this workshop is that the cause of all disease lies in the mind and not the body. Disease is a shadow on the body- of the unforgiveness in our minds.

During the workshop we will focus on undoing the blocks we have built to the presence of love and joy within us - through the understanding and practising of forgiveness. Only this love heals.

We will investigate what the Course means by healing ourselves and others and contrast the differences between true and false healing.

Forgiveness exercises will be used to help heal ourselves and turn within for guidance.

An overview of the Course's metaphysical, psychological and spiritual teachings - especially in regard to healing of the mind, body and relationships - will be covered.

No previous knowledge of the book A Course in Miracles is required.



Workshop Fees:
Weekend workshop: Earlybird rate: $185 until 21 April;   $235 from 22 April 2011.
Introductory Friday evening talk: $20

Contact:  For all enquiries contact Alan Henricks
           Email:   adh65@bigpond.com         Phone: 0435128435 & 07 4053 6854
           Address:  Unit 1,  38-42  Rambutan Close, Manoora 4870.
                
Refreshments:
Light refreshments provided for morning & afternoon breaks. Cafes are nearby.


Refund policy:
Full refund less $30 administration charge up to 7 May; $50 after.
No refunds for late arrival or early departure.




Germany 2011 Dates

Bonn

June 18 and 19, 2011
9.30am to 5.30pm

Discovering Inner Peace.
- A path of undoing -
From the perspective of  A Course in Miracles

Why wait for Heaven?
Those who seek the light are merely covering their eyes.
The light is in them now.
Enlightenment is but a recognition, not a change at all.
A Course in Miracles. Lesson 188

Inner peace and joy was given us when we were created. We are already enlightened and sinless. Our desire to be separate and special has led us to forget our spiritual reality. This workshop will explore the way to undo our errors (the miracle) so we can remember who we really are.

Instead of asking "How do I become enlightened?" we need to change the question to "How do I unenlighten myself?" The first question leads to struggle, fear, anticipation and a future goal. The second question brings us into the present moment and on to the way of undoing the obstacles to peace through forgiveness.

Subjects will include the mirror of relationships, traps on the path, where is peace to be found, ladder of trust, not knowing, being versus doing, forgiveness, undoing the blocks to receiving guidance and giving up control.

Exercises will be used to help identify and heal the obstacles we have created allowing our natural state of peace and joy to be revealed.

An Evening Introductory Talk - Fri 17th June 2011
7.30pm to 9.30pm


Contact:
Albert-Schweitzer-Haus
Beethovenallee 16
Bonn 53173
tel: 0228 - 36 47 37
http://www.albert-schweitzer-haus-bonn.de


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Freiburg


June 25 and 26, 2011
10 am to 6 pm

Discovering Inner Peace.
- A path of undoing -
From the perspective of  A Course in Miracles

Why wait for Heaven?
Those who seek the light are merely covering their eyes.
The light is in them now.
Enlightenment is but a recognition, not a change at all.
A Course in Miracles. Lesson 188

Inner peace and joy was given us when we were created. We are already enlightened and sinless. Our desire to be separate and special has led us to forget our spiritual reality. This workshop will explore the way to undo our errors (the miracle) so we can remember who we really are.

Instead of asking "How do I become enlightened?" we need to change the question to "How do I unenlighten myself?" The first question leads to struggle, fear, anticipation and a future goal. The second question brings us into the present moment and on to the way of undoing the obstacles to peace through forgiveness.

Subjects will include the mirror of relationships, traps on the path, where is peace to be found, ladder of trust, not knowing, being versus doing, forgiveness, undoing the blocks to receiving guidance and giving up control.

Exercises will be used to help identify and heal the obstacles we have created allowing our natural state of peace and joy to be revealed.



An Evening Introductory Talk - Fri 24 June 2011


Contact:
Margarete Sennekamp
Winterhaldenweg 4,
79856 Hinterzarten,
Tel./Fax: 07652-917530
email: M.Sennekamp@t-online.de
www.Sophia-Institut.de


Biography
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.

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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. Please see the Contacts section at the end of this newsletter.
___________________________________________________________________________




BOOKS AND AUDIO MATERIALS FOR SALE - by Michael Dawson

New
An eBook containing all my web site articles plus a bonus chapter from Healing the Cause and The Findhorn Book of Forgiveness is available for download in PDF format from http://www.acfip.org/ebook.html

Books:
Healing the Cause - A Path of Forgiveness.  Findhorn Press 1994
Also available in German, Romanian, French, Dutch, Spanish and Portuguese.

The Findhorn Book of Forgiveness.  Findhorn Press. 2003
Also available in German, French, Polish and Romanian.

For more details and how to purchase please visit: http://www.acfip.org/books_tapes.html

Audio Tapes and CDs - Healing the Cause:
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)

CD - 3 Healing Exercises in English with German translation. 10 Euro
Content:
Ex1. Forgiving Ourselves.
Ex2. Changing Perception and Finding peace.
Ex3. Changing Perception of another - exercise for two people.

These exercises are similar to existing exercises already available on CDs but are translated into German.
 
1. Three Steps of Forgiveness.
This workshop concentrates on the process of forgiveness from the perspective of A Course in Miracles. Includes 3 healing exercises.
 Recorded at the Annual Miracle Network Conference in London, November 2001. 1 hour 12 mins. One CD
2. Finding and Eliminating the Blocks to Receiving Guidance.
This talk investigates what stops us hearing the guidance that is ever present in our lives. Recorded at the Annual Miracle Network Conference in London, October 20001 hour. One CD

For more details and how to purchase please visit: http://www.acfip.org/audio.html

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CONTACTS and COURSE INFORMATION

Search Engine for ACIM Sites, Definitions and Articles by Joe Jesseph.
A Web search engine dedicated to finding discussion and definitions of terms and concepts found in
"A Course in Miracles" as well as Web sites, articles and other writings related to the Course.

Question and Answer Service from the Foundation for A Course in Miracles.
Their electronic outreach section has a question and answer service on the theory and practice of the Course. Their database of 1,400 questions and answers is searchable. They no longer take new questions as they feel all possible questions have now been put.

Foundation for Inner Peace..........................Publishers of _A Course in Miracles and responsible for the translation programme. On-line mail order.

Foundation For A Course In Miracles................FACIM is the official teaching organisation of the Foundation for Inner Peace and the copyright-holder of_A Course in Miracles and all related materials. Publishes the quarterly Lighthouse newsletter. They have extensive on-line mail order for their books, CDs and DVDs.
The Foundation was started by Kenneth and Gloria Wapnick and has moved to Temecula in California. Kenneth is my teacher of A Course in Miracles.

Their publications can also be ordered in Australia at:
Adyar Bookshop
230 Clarence Street
Sydney, NSW 2000
Kenneth Wapnick ......……… Biographical information and excerpts from his writings

Kenneth Wapnick on YouTube

Glossary of ACIM terms from FACIM

"The Most Commonly asked Questions about A Course in Miracles"
by Kenneth and Gloria Wapnick

Index of Links to Miracle Studies Resources ...……....... A rich resource of materials on A Course in Miracles by an ex-staff member of the Foundation For A Course In Miracle. Joe also has a blog and has recently published  A Primer of Psychology According to A Course in Miracles.

miraclestudies.net  ………… A Course in Miracles Resource Web Site for ACIM Students

Search for A Course in Miracles Study Groups Around the World

Miracles Studies Australia  http://www.miracle-studies.net.au  lists study groups for Australia and new Zealand

Purchase ACIM on line
ACIM Historical Recordings & Video


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 e.pals@miracles.org.uk. 
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
http://glynbo.proboards84.com/index.cgi?board=acim

Belief.net ACIM discussion:
This Belief.net web-based discussion is hosted by Joe Jesseph.
http://community.beliefnet.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=151

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INSPIRATIONAL QUOTATIONS

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.


How long, O Son of God, will you maintain the game of sin? Shall we not put away these sharp-edged children's toys? How soon will you be ready to come home? Perhaps today? There is no sin. Creation is unchanged. Would you still hold return to Heaven back? How long, O holy Son of God, how long?

A Course in Miracles  Lesson 250


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.

Nisargadatta Maharaj

 
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
the mind.
  
Eckhart Tolle
The Power of Now


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.

Mariana Caplan
Halfway Up the Mountain - The Error of Premature Claims to Enlightenment



__________________________________

Michael Dawson
PO Box 125
Point Lookout
North Stradbroke Island
Queensland 4183
Australia

EMAIL:       mdawson@acfip.org
WEBSITE:   http://www.acfip.org