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ACFIP Newsletter 
Issue 6 - SEPTEMBER 2005

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


CONTENTS:


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Welcome to the SIXTH 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.

Each of these newsletters will contain an article on some aspect of A Course in Miracles and a section on healing {which will often feature a story about how forgiveness brings about healing). Sometimes I will include articles and stories by other authors.

Information is also available about my talks and workshops at Point Lookout, Australia and elsewhere in the world and details of my books and audio materials for sale.

If you are new to the Course you might find my summary of help. You can find it at
http://www.acfip.org/sum.html


Michael Dawson
http://www.acfip.org

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ARTICLE


Dealing with the Ego


The Course defines the ego as the thought of separation from God. This was the "tiny mad idea" that crept into the mind of the one Christ at which it forgot to laugh (T-27.VIII.6). We asked, "Could there be something better than oneness?". "What if I became God instead of the second class son of God?" Such mad ideas could not be achieved in reality, so part of the Christ mind fell asleep so it could experience them. Not that it felt like a dream - for that would have defeated the purpose.

Time and space arose in which we could play out our desires of hiding from God whilst playing God, hoping he would never find us here and act out his justified revenge for us breaking up his heaven and leaving. In fact, we wanted an angry God for that would make our dream seem true. We could tell ourselves we had actually succeeded from breaking away from our father. In reality, however, God knows nothing of our childish dreams, for He can only know what is eternal. Sin would only be real if we could change the eternal, the Christ in us, and that is impossible. But in our dreams we feel we have much to be guilty about and the ego makes full use of this. Guilt is the food of the ego, without which it can not exist.

The ego dictates a steady stream of advice to help get us what we think we need, missing the point that the ego's real motive is "seek and do not find" (T-12.IV.1). The ego is our creation, our child, and wants to live. In giving us counsel that never works it forces us to return to him for more of the same. In time we start to suspect the motives of the ego - that he is our enemy and not our friend. This usually leads to the conclusion that the ego must be fought and overcome. Big mistake! This attitude makes the ego seem real - an example of what the Course calls "making the error real". Thus we need not try and change the ego or "improve" it. The greatest fear of the ego is not to be taken seriously. With no guilt to feed on the ego will simply "fade into the nothingness from which it came from" (M-13.1).

But if we fight (or love) the ego we have made it real. And what could fight the ego but the ego. The other counsellor in our mind, the Holy Spirit, never fights or opposes anything as He does not recognise the ego as real. The truth needs no protection from the false. Instead He asks us to simply look at our ego without judgement.

Forgiveness, on the other hand, is still, and quietly does nothing. It offends no aspect of reality, nor seeks to twist it to appearances it likes. It merely looks, and waits, and judges not. He who would not forgive must judge, for he must justify his failure to forgive. But he who would forgive himself must learn to welcome truth exactly as it is. A Course in Miracles  W-pII.1.4.

The very seeing of what the ego advises us to do, which is always some form of attack upon ourselves (e.g. sickness) or others (e.g. anger), will eventually lead us to not following its advice. If we see that putting our hand in a flame causes pain we will not do it. No effort or pracitice is required.

One form of attack upon ourselves is not so easily seen. This is the ego's advice on how we can improve our image, perhaps to become more 'spiritual'. The Course teaches us we are created in the image of God. The only difference, which led to the idea of separation and hence to the birth of the ego, is that we cannot create God. He is the Father and we are His Son - the Christ. Apart from that one difference we share all of God's nature.

The truth about you is so lofty that nothing unworthy of God is worthy of you. T-9.VII.8.4

If we ponder this a moment we realise that any desire to improve ourselves, to be better people, is playing directly into the hands of the ego. Can we improve what God created? What we are trying to improve is our ego - our treasured image of individuality and specialness. This can only increase our sense of guilt as it reinforces the idea of separation believing what we have miscreated is superior to what God has created.

All things you seek to make your value
greater in your sight limit you further, hide
your worth from you, and add another bar across
the door that leads to true awareness of your Self.
Lesson 128

Deep within you is everything that is perfect,
ready to radiate through you and out into the world. Lesson 41

As we start to awaken from our dream of separation the ego becomes ever more subtle in its advice. We may have seen through the ego's ploy that we can achieve happiness by attacking others and pursuing material goals, but how easily he can snare us again by encouraging us to pursue spiritual goals. Looking with horror at all our character defects we vow to conquer the ego and become better, more spiritual people.

Your worth is not established by teaching or learning. Your worth is established by God. As long as you dispute this everything you do will be fearful, particularly any situation that lends itself to the belief in superiority and inferiority. T-4.I.7:1-3

The ego rubs its hands in glee as we take up the long path of fighting against all our newly discovered sins. The resulting guilt from our failures will be a rich source of "food' for the ego for a long time to come. Nor do we easily see that our fight to become 'good' is just a reaction to the guilt we feel at seemingly separating from our Father in Heaven. But the separation is an illusion, we are simply asleep in Heaven. There is no need for sacrifice, suffering or redemption. All that is required is a desire to wake up and leave the dream behind.

Enormous effort is expended in the attempt to make holy what is hated and despised. Nor is a lifetime of contemplation and long periods of meditation aimed at detachment from the body necessary. All such attempts will ultimately succeed because of their purpose. Yet the means are tedious and very time consuming, for all of them look to the future for release from a state of present unworthiness and inadequacy. T-18.VII

The spiritual self we are trying to cultivate will never feel adequate because it will still be the ego, but now wearing spiritual clothes. We are doomed to suffer a lack of self worth until we realise that what we are trying to create is false. How could we possibly improve on the perfection of our Christ self? It has ben nothing but a hopeless journey of arrogance.

Do not strive for spirituality. If you do, you will block it.
It will be prevented from coming into your life.
That is the most difficult thing for most people to learn,
not to get in their own way. It is already yours.
It has always been so. Relax, be still, and you will see what I mean.
It has never left you. Your mind, with all of its endless demands,
has taken you away from that clarity.
Raymond Karczewki

Can we look at all our spiritual striving and smile at it?
Can we learn not to take the ego seriously, which means we no longer try to change it - ours or anothers?
Can we stop trying to be good and simply relax into a non-judgemental awareness of what our mind gets up to?
Are we willing to say to ourselves, "I am no longer in charge of my spiritual journey. I know nothing. Please teach me."?
Are we ready to awaken from the dream of separation which also includes releasing our attachment to the parts of our dream which do give us satisfaction?

If we can the Course promises us the peace of God. If we are not ready it counsels us not to fight ourselves (T-30.I.1.). The happier parts of the dream still call to us to stay asleep. This is not a sin, simply a painful mistake most of us are making. One day we will tire of all dreaming and finally let the hand of the ego go. Then the light of spirit will be allowed to shine in our mind, the ego will disappear and we will awake to our home in Heaven which we never left.

The acceptance of the Atonement (waking from the dream) by everyone is only a matter of time. This may appear to contradict free will because of the inevitability of the final decision, but this is not so.You can temporize and you are capable of enormous procrastination, but you cannot depart entirely from your Creator, Who set the limits on your ability to miscreate. An imprisoned will engenders a situation which, in the extreme, becomes altogether intolerable. Tolerance for pain may be high, but it is not without limit. Eventually everyone begins to recognize, however dimly, that there must be a better way. As this recognition becomes more firmly established, it becomes a turning point.  T-2.III.3:1-7


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HEALING SECTION

Infertility


The following story is an illustration of the power the mind has over the body. One evening, there was a knock on the door. I opened it to find a nervous young woman called Jane who had arranged to have a healing session with me that evening. Standing next to her was her girlfriend with whom she was in relationship and who had come to give her support. Jane was so nervous that her friend almost had to push her into the room. Upon talking with her it was apparent that she was afraid to be alone with a man. Her problem was that they both wanted a child and Jane was to be the mother. She had been trying artificial insemination for some time but with no success. Jane herself was a doctor and a medical colleague had informed her that she had a "hostile cervix" which killed the inserted sperm. It seemed very likely to me that she had a deep issue around forgiveness of men which was being reflected in her body. As we talked together, she mentioned that her early relationships had been with men. When she was 20 years old, she had been raped and this had left a scar upon her mind. In one of her relationships she had become pregnant and had the pregnancy terminated.

We began the session with relaxation prior to focusing on Jane's feelings around men. When I suggested she work with forgiving the men who had caused her pain, she experienced strong anger. She felt this anger in her hands, legs and stomach area. At the same time, she experienced a headache. We worked with acceptance of what was happening, both of us asking for help. To her surprise, memories and feelings in connection with her abortion, which she had repressed, began to surface. Jane thought that she had healed this issue but the awakened memories were intense. At one point she began to crawl around the room like a baby. She felt she was giving the aborted child the life she had denied it.
The guilt she was now experiencing was intense and she saw it symbolised in the form of a vulture. I encouraged her not to be fearful of it and to try and accept it. Jane reported that it gradually dissolved as she watched it with love and acceptance. This was followed by a dramatic insight and Jane announced, "I can conceive - I've forgotten this!" In her imagination she saw this energy of conception flow into her womb and a darkness leave it. She felt this symbolised her forgiveness of herself. At the end of the session, Jane wanted to give me a hug but was apprehensive due to her ambivalence towards me as a man. She cautiously held me for a short while and felt pleased she was able to touch a man again. The following day she reported experiencing some pain in her lower abdominal area which I took as a positive sign that something was changing for her. She also told me that she was practising hugging men in her imagination.

A few months later I received a letter from her. She was undergoing artificial insemination again and had arranged to meet the donor of the sperm and had gone out for a meal with him. Jane had realised her need to release her hatred of men, feeling this was reflected in her hostile cervix. She finished the letter by informing me that she was now pregnant and later sent me a photo of herself and her partner with their new baby.


Reprinted from Healing the Cause. Findhorn Press by Michael Dawson
See http://www.acfip.org/books_tapes.html

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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 related to the Course. Please see the Contacts section at the end of this newsletter.
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POINTERS ON THE PATH OF AWAKENING




1. I do not know the way home
Is it not He Who knows the way to you? You need not know the way to Him. Ask and receive. But do not make demands, nor point the road to God by which He should appear to you. Lesson 189

2. I don't have to know the way home.
The way to reach Him is merely to let Him be. For in that way is your reality proclaimed as well. .... Salvation's ways are not our own, for they belong to You. And it is unto You we look for them. Our hands are open to receive Your gifts. Lesson 189

3. I only need to know how to get myself out of the way as I am the problem.
Father, we do not know the way to You. But we have called, and You have answered us.
We will not interfere. Lesson 189

4. I only need to allow the obstacles to awakening to be removed by the light of spirit.
Your part is simply to allow all obstacles that you have interposed between the Son and God the Father to be quietly removed forever. God will do His part in joyful and immediate response. Ask and receive. Lesson 189

5. I do not remove the obstacles.
You are still convinced that your understanding is a powerful contribution to the truth, and makes it what it is. Yet we have emphasized that you need understand nothing. Salvation is easy just because it asks nothing you cannot give right now. T-18.IV.7:5-7

6. My part is to undo denial and look at the obstacles, my judgement of myself and others, with acceptance. This is forgiveness.
Forgiveness ... is still, and quietly does nothing. .... It merely looks, and waits, and judges not.
W-pII.1.4:1,3

7. I need not try and change my ego or another's but learn to gently smile at the ego.
Today we smile on everyone we see, and walk with lightened footsteps as we go to do what is appointed us to do. W-pI.123.4:3

8. I do not need to fight the ego or love it as this would make it real.
The ego is nothing more than a part of your belief about yourself. Your other life has continued without interruption, and has been and always will be totally unaffected by your attempts to dissociate it. T-4.VI.1:6-7

9. I need to see the world as a classroom where I take my small daily steps of forgiveness. Awakening is a process.
I will forgive, and this will disappear. .....To every apprehension, every care and every form of suffering, repeat these selfsame words. And then you hold the key that opens Heaven's gate, and brings the Love of God the Father down to earth at last, to raise it up to Heaven. God will take this final step Himself. Do not deny the little steps He asks you take to Him. Lesson 193

10. I need do nothing if I create a space in my mind for spirit to enter and guide my life. Surrender will take me home.
To do nothing is to rest, and make a place within you where the activity of the body ceases to demand attention. Into this place the Holy Spirit comes, and there abides. He will remain when you forget, and the body's activities return to occupy your conscious mind. T-18.VII.7:7-9

with thanks to Kenneth Wapnick for the inspiration.


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WORKSHOPS, TALKS and TRAININGS


2005 Workshops

AUSTRALIA- Brisbane

1 Day A Course in Miracles workshop in Brisbane on October 22nd 2005

FINDING INNER PEACE
from the perspective of A Course in Miracles


with Michael Dawson

"The peace of God is everything I want. The peace of God is my one goal; the aim of all my living here, the end I seek, my purpose and my function and my life, while I abide where I am not at home."
Lesson 205. A Course in Miracles

VENUE:
Relaxation Centre,
cnr Brookes and Wickham Streets,
Fortitude Valley
Brisbane 4006

BOOKINGS:
Relaxation Centre
07 3854 1986

Times: 9.30 a.m. to 4.45 p.m.
Cost: $45


Using material from the Course and experiential exercises we will explore how we can, with the help of spirit, remove the obstacles to our peace and joy within.

At our creation we were given peace. We have not lost it but simply covered it over with something we thought was better. Our desire to be separate, special and individual blinds us to our inner spiritual reality. Identification with our body and personality prevents the remembering of who we really are - eternal spirit.

Using the practice of forgiveness we can start to undo the blocks we have erected to the joy and peace within. Forgiveness is the path of awareness, acceptance and asking for help.

We will practise watching our minds without judgement, or as the Course puts it ... (forgiveness) "merely looks, and waits and judges not."

The workshop will begin with a short overview of the metaphysical, psychological and practical teachings of ACIM.

No previous knowledge of A Course in Miracles is required

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NEW ZEALAND 2005 WORKSHOP

A weekend workshop near Wellington, New Zealand
12th and 13th November 2005

Opening to the Light
- from the perspective of A Course in Miracles

Forgiveness, on the other hand, is still, and quietly does nothing.

... It merely looks, and waits, and judges not.
A Course in Miracles W-pII.1.4.

The light, love and joy of God are ever present and wait only our acceptance. We need not earn them as they were freely given at our creation. Nor is sacrifice or suffering required. So why do we rarely experience the light? This workshop will look, firstly, at why we are afraid of the light and the illusions we fear to let go. Our illusions and unforgiveness stand as barriers between us and the light.

The second part of the workshop will focus on overcoming our fear through forgiveness - the path of awareness, acceptance and asking for help.

Exercises will be used to help identify our illusions and fear of sacrifice so they can be healed through forgiveness. We will practise watching our minds without judgement or as the Course puts it ... (forgiveness) "merely looks, and waits and judges not."

No previous knowledge of A Course in Miracles is required but attendance at the Friday night talk would be helpful for people new to the Course.

See article in the December 2004 newsletter
www.acfip.org/nl3.html


Intoductory talk evening 11th November 2005


Workshop Contact:
Krissy Dussler
15 Haumia Street
Paekakariki
New Zealand
Tel: 04 2927 228 2004
Email: krissyreadings@paradise.net.nz

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GERMANY 2006 WORKSHOPS


FREIBURG - 1/2 July 2006


The Path Home
from the perspective of A Course in Miracles


Save time for me by only this one preparation, and practice doing nothing else. "I need do nothing" is a statement of allegiance, a truly undivided loyalty. Believe it for just one instant, and you will accomplish more than is given to a century of contemplation, or of struggle against temptation.
from A Course in Miracles T-18.VII.6:6-8

There is a common belief that the path home to God must involve strenuous effort and sacrifice. Just as we strive for material goals we believe we must strive for our spiritual goals too. We decide the best path home and do not realise our very striving may be blocking our awakening.

Jesus tells us in A Course in Miracles that we need do nothing.
This workshop will explore what it means to "do nothing". What stops us standing aside and allowing the help in? What is the part we must play so that our lives can be directed gracefully? How can we use our relationships to take us home?

We will use material from the Course from the chapters on 'I Need Do Nothing', holy relationships, receiving guidance and the 'Development of Trust'. Exercises will be used to help identify our individual obstacles to guidance so they can be healed through forgiveness. This allows the Holy Spirit to enter our mind and guide our path home to joy, peace and love

No previous knowledge of A Course in Miracles is required but attendance at the Friday night (date) introductory talk would be helpful for people new to the Course.



Intoductory talk on A Course in Miracles - evening Fri 30 June


Location of workshop:
Center Margarete Sennekamp
Schauinslandstr. 39
79100 Freiburg-Günterstal
Tram 4, Klosterplatz


Contact:
Sophia-Institut
Margarete Sennekamp
Adalbert-Stifter-Str. 16
79102 Freiburg
Tel/Fax : 0761-73930
<http://www.Sophia-Institut.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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BOOKS AND AUDIO MATERIALS FOR SALE - by Michael Dawson

Books:
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/books_tapes.html

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CONTACTS

Resources
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:
Adyar Bookshop
230 Clarence Street
Sydney, NSW 2000

Foundation for Inner Peace - the publishers of A Course in Miracles
http://www.acim.org/

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.miraclestudies.webcentral.com.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 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
http://miraclesalliance.no-ip.org/acim_chat_groups.htm

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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 list.

Please email at

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Do understand that you are destined for enlightenment.
Co-operate with your destiny, dont go against it, dont 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

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      When you listen to the voice in your head, that
is to say, do not judge. Youíll 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


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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.

- Rumi

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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 oneís futile attempts to make reality conform to oneís 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 Moutain - The Error of Premature Claims to Enlightenment

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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

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      Thereís 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
destroyed.
      
- Chuck Hillig


Seeds for the Soul
Chuck Hillig
Black Dot Publications, 2003