Issue 1 - June 2004
Quarterly Newsletter of the Australian Centre for Inner Peace
PO Box 125, Point Lookout
North Stradbroke Island,
Web site: http://www.acfip.org
Welcome to the first issue of the Australian Centre for Inner Peace Newsletter.
At the end of April Elinor and I left our home in Findhorn, Scotland and emigrated to North Stradbroke Island, off the coast of Brisbane, Australia. We flew west so we could visit Ken and Gloria Wapnicks Foundation For A Course In Miracles, at Temecula, California (www.facim.org).
Since our arrival in Australia we have been busy dealing with all the administration and legalities of being in a new country and the refurbishment of the house we are living in at Point Lookout. The house has an open plan first floor which will allow for small workshops to take place. It will be a few months before the renovations are complete. Future talks, workshops and healer training modules will be announced in this newsletter and on the web site.
To see some views of where we live please visit my new web site at http://www.acfip.org and click on the Healing Training link at the top of the page and then the Information link on the bottom of the page.
We are fortunate to be surrounded by beautiful scenery with warm, sunny weather and abundant wildlife. Point Lookout is famous as a place to see humpback whales at close quarters during the months of May to October.
Each of these newsletters will contain news of the centre, 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). Other items will include information about my talks and workshops at Point Lookout 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
If you would like to see additional content in this newsletter please write and let me know.
Dedicating Your Day to Peace
"Would You Rather be Right or Happy?" T29.VII.1:9
The purpose of A Course in Miracles is to teach us how to be at peace no matter what is happening around us. It also teaches us that this is the last thing we want. One look at the state of our lives and the world will bear this out.
Why would we not want peace? There must be something we are very afraid of here - and there is. It will cost us everything we cherish. Our individuality, our specialness, our need to be right, the seeming control over our lives or, in a word, our ego. The Course defines the "ego" as the thought of separation, our desire to separate from God and do our own thing. The egos song is "I did it my way". The ego believes it knows everything needed to find happiness in the world and does not require any inner guidance thankyou. Jesus points out that we could progress quickly on the path to peace and happiness by listening to the ever-present help of the Holy Spirit, but we find the idea personally insulting (M-9.2:4). It implies that all our hard-won knowledge and experience in life counts for nothing when it comes to finding real joy. He goes further and states that if we believe we are bodies then we are insane. And how can the insane possible know how to find peace? They obviously need help from outside their deluded thought system. We are all psychotic to Jesus and all need his help to extricate ourselves from the pain and loneliness we are in.
I remember a period in my own life when I felt little trust in anyone, thought everything was up to me to do and arranged my life so that I was self-sufficient. I bought a campervan so that I always had a home and the ability to go where I liked. Now I needed help from no-one. My illusion of self-sufficiency was soon shattered, however, when the campervan developed an illusive starter motor fault. The only way I could start the van was to get a push. This meant asking for help, and not just from one person but two as the van was too heavy to be moved by one person. I found this embarrassing to do and quickly took the van to the garage for repair. Each time I did this they could find nothing wrong. Nonetheless the van still managed to break down on a regular basis, forcing me to ask for help. Looking back I see what a good lesson that was for me and I gradually learned a little about asking for help.
The only way we can return to peace is to willingly give up the ego through the practice of forgiveness and turning within for help. But the ego is our creation, an idea the sleeping Son of God once thought was a very good idea (and still does). However, as the Course points out, our "tolerance for pain may be high but is not without limit." (T-2.III.3:5). To maintain the seeming separation from God is very tiring. To be at home in Heaven but pretend we are in time and space takes a lot of effort and we slowly begin to think there must be "another way".
Each day we have a choice to make. We can say, "I want to be right and happiness is unimportant," or we can say, "I want to be happy and peaceful, I dont need to be right." We should never underestimate our desire to be right. This is how the seeming separation from God started. We thought we knew how we could have something even better than Heaven. The idea of separate beings who could play at being God sounded right. What we have discovered is a loss of peace and joy, but we dont want to admit to that, and continue to try to find that elusive happiness here in the world. We are right but no longer happy. I will give a story from my own experience here that illustrates some of the points raised here.
One night shortly before going to sleep, Salice (my late wife) and I had an argument. My ego told me I had been unfairly treated and I should separate from her by not communicating. Salices ego had apparently given her the same advice, for neither of us was now talking to the other! I got out of bed and went to the bathroom. I saw a pack of Workbook Lesson cards and felt the impulse to take one. The title of the Lesson was "I could see peace instead of this." (Lesson 34) The significance of the Lesson was not lost on me and simultaneously another line from the Course came into my mind: "Do you prefer to be right or happy?" (T29.VII.1:9) For a moment I considered my two options and then said to myself, "Id rather be right" and put the Lesson card down again. Feeling miserable but justified in my pain, I returned silently to bed and fell asleep.
In the morning I woke up still feeling separated from Salice, as she did from me. I returned to the bathroom and remembered picking up the Lesson card from the night before. Out of curiosity I read the title again, ŽI could see peace instead of this, and remembered the choice I had to be right or happy. I became still for a moment and this time I chose to be happy. I felt the impulse to share what was happening to me with Salice. She was sitting quietly at the table and as I sat down next to her I said, ŽI want to let you know that Im not handling my side of this dispute very well. At this statement Salice began to cry and we began to share honestly with each other how we had been feeling.
Through this process we were able to understand each others fear and found ourselves quickly moving into a state of mutual openness, care and affection. In the language of the Course, we had joined and felt at peace. At these moments I always wonder why I choose to be right and not happy. However, I am also aware that it is taking me a shorter time to forgive than it has done in the past. What would upset me for days may only last a few hours now. I am also aware that some issues which triggered pain in me in the past no longer affect me. Progress on the spiritual path may be measured by how much of the day is spent listening to the ego compared to the voice of the Holy Spirit.
[reprinted from "Healing the Cause - A Path of Forgiveness" Findhorn Press. ]
At the start of Chapter 30 in the Text will be found a set of very practical rules on how to achieve a peaceful day. Actually, only the first rule is needed and reminds you, once again, that you only have a choice of listening to two counsellors in your mind - the ego or the Holy Spirit. And only the Holy Spirits counsel will give you peace.
Rules for Decision
Rule 1 - Today I will make no decisions by myself.
We are always taking advice, either from the ego or the Holy Spirit. Here we are being asked to ask advice from the Holy Spirit.
Rule 2 - If I make no decisions by myself, this is the day that will be given me (peaceful).
To help reinforce your learning Jesus uses rule 2 as a reminder, to be used throughout the day.
Rule 3 - I have no question. I forgot what to decide.
A major problem to be avoided is setting up your own answers to a problem which you then ask the Holy Spirit to choose between. Humility is required of us here, a willingness to be open to any answer the Holy Spirit gives us - not just the ones we want to hear.
Rule 4 - At least I can decide I do not like what I feel now.
Rules 4 to 7 are ways to return to your goal of a peaceful day if you have started listening to the voice of the ego again.
Rule 5 - And so I hope I have been wrong.
Rule 6 - I want another way to look at this.
Rule 7 - Perhaps there is another way to look at this.
What can I lose by asking?
I want the peace
To say these words is nothing.
But to mean these words is everything.
If you could but mean them for just an instant,
there would be no further sorrow possible for you in any form; in any place or time.
Heaven would be completely given back to full awareness,
memory of God entirely restored, the resurrection of all creation fully recognized.
I plan to use this part of the newsletter to illustrate how forgiveness brings about healing. The following case history is taken from chapter five of the The Findhorn Book of Forgiveness. Findhorn Press 2003. See http://www.acfip.org/fbof.html
"During the early part of a workshop I was giving at the Findhorn Foundation, I led the group on a guided inner journey. The object of the exercise was to try to connect the workshop participants more closely with their own inner source of wisdom.
After a period of relaxation and guided imagery I hoped they would meet a wise and loving being with whom they could talk and receive advice. Towards the end of this exercise I noticed a young woman in the group who had obviously terminated this exercise early. Ill call her Mary, although this is not her real name. Later that day Mary complained that her right arm was hurting her. It was found that by putting her arm in a sling her pain was relieved. The following day Mary complained that the vision in her right eye was getting worse. Eventually that eye required a patch and a bandage. I asked Mary what had happened on the guided journey we had done yesterday. She said that at the end of the guided journey she did not meet a white being whom she hoped for. Instead, a dark figure showed up. This so frightened her she stopped the exercise. I told her that dark beings can be equally useful as they can teach us about our shadow side, the darker areas in our unconscious. I inquired if she wanted to repeat the journey but she declined.
The next day Marys other eye began to suffer. She said if felt like looking out of a slit in a window. Although by now we were all getting quite concerned about her she was resistant to any offer of healing. During a further exercise she told me that an inner voice spoke to her. It said, " Now is the time to look inside". When I asked her if she was willing to do this she again refused help. A few days later she finally approached me and asked for a private healing session. I repeated the exercise I had earlier given the group, the guided journey to meet a wise being. At the end of this journey she met two beings, a white one and a black one. This time she did not panic but waited to see what would unfold. She began to relive what appeared to be an earlier episode in her life. She was looking for razor blade and, on finding it, was testing its sharpness on a piece of paper. It soon became apparent that she was reliving a previous suicide attempt. That scene faded and she became quiet again.
I suggested she ask these beings to show her anything she needed to let go, to forgive. She was next shown a scene in a train carriage. It was dark and crowded with many people, there were no windows. People were very afraid and talking about camps. Eventually, after a long journey, the train stopped and the doors were opened from outside. They were forced to leave the carriage. Step by step she recounted a journey into the gas chambers. After this experience she became quiet.
Once again we called upon these beings and their help. Was there anything else that Mary had to see? This time she was shown a scene during World War One where she was a message runner in the trenches. She remembered how much she had missed her parents whilst serving in that war, a war in which she died. At the end of this experience, the white being returned. It asked Mary if she could look at all she had re-experienced and let it go, to forgive it. She told him that she could do this, that at some deep level she felt that all that had happened to her were somehow right. She could not fully explain this to herself, but that did not seem to matter. It just felt right to let it all go. She opened her eyes, smiled, and told me she could see perfectly again. Her arm no longer hurt her, she had made a complete recovery.
It seemed to me that her refusal to look within had been reflected in her inability to see properly, perhaps her aching arm reflected her stubborn refusal to let go of her pain and be open to healing. On some level, of which she was unaware, Mary had eventually decided this was her time of healing. She realised that the pain she had been carrying for so long no longer served her, and she was ready to let it go and begin a new life."
PLEASE NOTE: The Australian Centre for Inner Peace is not a counselling or psychotherapy centre; therefore, we do not offer telephone service ot counselling, therapy, or crisis intervention for personal problems related to the Course.
WORKSHOPS, TALKS and TRAININGS
RELATIONSHIPS AS PATH OF
- from the perspective of A Course in Miracles
Learning to understand ourselves
by seeing how we relate to others.
A weekend workshop in Wellington, New Zealand
15 Haumia Street
Tel: 04 2927 228 2004
"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.
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 loves presence within us. A gentle and safe space is created enabling participants to trust and go deep.
This workshop is not specifically for couples. It is designed for anyone who wishes to improve how they relate to others in any type of relationship.
An introduction to the Courses metaphysical, psychological and spiritual teachings especially regarding relationships will be covered.
BONN - July 2005
To be announced
53173 Bonn-Bad Godesberg
Tel: 0228 364737
FREIBURG - July 2005 To be announced
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 so they could repeat them. This has resulted in the Healing the Cause - Exercise series - Tapes 1 to 4 and CD1 and 2
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
Their electronic outreach section has a question and answer service on the theory and practice of the Course.
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.miraclestudies.webcentral.com.au/ lists study groups for Australia and new Zealand