ACFIP Newsletter
Issue 40 - March 2014
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:

* Today I gave away my Buddha - Michael Dawson
* An Illuminating sweep from Duality to Non Duality - Jac O'Keeffe
* Wu Hsin - Selected quotes from "Solving Yourself" by Roy Melvyn
* Degrees of Consciousness - Jan Frazier
* Toward Abidance and Embodiment - Fred Davis
* 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

New
1. Healing the Cause -A Path of Forgiveness.
Inspired by A Course in Miracles.
This is the eBook version of the paper back.

2. A Course in Miracles - Explanations of Major Themes
New book in eBook format

3. Forgiveness - A Path to Inner Peace.
Inspired by A Course in Miracles
This is the eBook version of the paper back.

The eBook versions can be read on Kindle, iPad, Microsoft eReader, Nook, PDF readers (Mac and PC) and most eBook readers.

• Downloadable MP3s of my Healing the Cause self-help CDs now available.
See below for details.

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

Regards

Michael Dawson

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Today I gave away my Buddha.


When I was 25, I was living in London and had  recently discovered spirituality. I rapidly consumed books on the subject and became an "armchair occultist" dreaming of psychic powers and initiations to come. After a while, I started to think it was time I gave up all this pleasurable reading, and start applying some of the teachings. I chosen Buddhism as my path. Early on, I acquired a clay Buddha which had been made in Burma. The Buddha is depicted as sitting in a cross-legged posture, silent and unemotional, with downcast eyes and a slight smile. I took this to mean that when I had finally arrived at my personal goal of enlightenment this is how I would appear to others. This is what enlightenment looks like I thought. Many years later I decided to study people who had deep and permanent awakenings. After waking, the personalities were still intact. Nobody seemed to fit the model by Buddha. Perhaps Ramana Maharshi came the closest, but I also read that he acted quite passionately at times.

The words of the Buddha were not written down until 500 years after his death. How can we possibly know accurately how he behaved and what he truly said? As I looked at my Buddha one day, I realised how many concepts were still in my mind from those early days. How do I know what was true? There is that phrase "When you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him." I felt I was really beginning to see into the truth of that statement. In my mind which was so full of concepts, no matter how beautiful, there was little room for the truth to dawn. Time for the Buddha to go!

I still have a great respect for Buddhism. If I was ever to adopt a religion it would probably be that. But the Buddha never became the Buddha by carrying many concepts in his head. Instead, he did the reverse, and emptied his mind of concepts.

Rituals and dogma can be comforting to the ego. The Course warns about turning the Workbook lessons into rituals.

Rituals are not our aim, and would defeat our goal. W-pI.rIII.in.2.

Some students get caught up endlessly repeating the lessons, year after year. The Course teaches us concepts to help undo the painful concepts we carry. But eventually we must give up all concepts to allow the truth to dawn in our minds. The awakened people I have studied have said the same thing; the mind could never have imagined this.

Forget this world, forget this course and come with wholly empty hands and to your God.
A Course in Miracles Lesson 189.

What is required of us is humility that recognises we don't know anything about what really matters. We can be taught by wisdom that is beyond our reason and logic. As the Bible points out, unless we become as little children (who don't know) will not enter the kingdom of heaven.

Is it not He Who knows the way to you? 2 You need not know the way to Him. 3 Your part is simply to allow all obstacles that you have interposed between the Son and God the Father to be quietly removed forever. 4 God will do His part in joyful and immediate response. 5 Ask and receive. 6 But do not make demands, nor point the road to God by which He should appear to you. 7 The way to reach Him is merely to let Him be. 8 For in that way is your reality proclaimed as well. 
Lesson 189.

                        ___________________________________________________________________________




An Illuminating sweep from Duality to Non Duality - Jac O'Keeffe

http://www.jac-okeeffe.com/shop/read/free-to-read/an-illuminating-sweep-from-duality-to-non-duality.html


Download this text as PDF



Are you sure you are who you think you are? If your reply is that you know who you are, is this a knowing that is learned or dependent on thoughts, ideas and beliefs? If so, then you have reduced your identity to concepts. Mind creates opinions and perspectives; that is its job. Can mind present Truth? Can it know or recognize Truth? Mind is a conditioned machine that adapts to ever changing circumstances, repositioning itself constantly in order to protect, survive and seek out experience. It does not have the capacity to know Truth. Yet within you there is an ability to recognize that which is beyond mind, beyond conceptual thought.

Mind constantly creates perspectives that range from subjective to global. These stories of mind are not an issue, however whole heartedly believing anything that your mind presents is the cause of all suffering. Here is how it works. Believing in or identifying with thoughts creates the idea of a thinker. This is the weak foundation on which your personal identity is based. As long as the thinker is taken to be real, the potential to suffer is present. Is your identity wrapped up with the one who thinks? In other words, do you believe you are the one thinking your thoughts? This ownership idea creates an imagined and autonomous 'you'. These constructs of mind are very potent and without examination they are believed into a subjective reality. When this happens life presents as real and the one you call yourself is the central focus. This idea of 'personal' brings the potential to suffer into existence.

In the examination of this process of thinking, the idea of a personal 'i', or the one you call yourself is seen to be no more than a thought enabling communication. In every day language the first person singular refers to a character, an intellect and a body but this is not what you are. Non duality explores the validity of what is commonly accepted to be real and true. It requires a willingness to see that life is not all about you. Events come and go and the central reference point shifts from 'all about me, my life' to the impersonal, to consciousness itself and finally to prior to consciousness. Mind has a working capacity, using common sense and skills for living, planning, working, etc. The thinking capacity of mind, however, is where all pain (spiritual, emotional, psychological and physical) is birthed and sustained. It is nearly impossible to stop thinking, but if you identify yourself as the one who owns thoughts, then you as the thinker will suffer. Thinking is natural. Believing your thoughts makes this movie appear as real and this is the problem. At its core, this is simply mistaken identity.

It is only from your thinking mind that the idea that you are separate in any way can arise. Mind will seek your attention until you examine and find out who/what you really are. Within this exploration perhaps the knowing will arise that what you are manifests as the totality of creation. However, in essence you are prior and beyond all that manifests.

Running the idea of a desire is a natural movement of the thinking mind. However, believing your thoughts and imagining that satisfying desire will make you happy is suffering. Watch the unending play of desires and see if you can recognize that the absence of desire allows the arising of an innate natural peace and happiness. Mind will quickly conclude that this state is boring or empty or lacks experience and opportunities. Recognize that this is the re-emergence of desire again, seeking something better.

What to do with desires? Stop wanting what you haven’t got! What appears to be happening is as good as it gets and it's a waste of energy to resist manifestation. There is no point in wanting what you haven’t got. Life will move you to go after what you need. What is for you cannot pass you by. Can you see that having desires will lead to a cycle of insatiable wants? There's no peace or happiness when following that thought cycle.

Happiness arises in the absence of desire. When a desire is satisfied, all outward focus ceases and there is rest, peace. Before long, mind will present the next desire and the roller coaster of thoughts begins again. It can be phenomenally freeing to see that desire underpins the birthing of every thought of the 'personal I'.

While these words are concepts, let it be seen that the best that the theory of non-duality can offer amounts to pointers to your true identity. It can tell you what you are not, but to tell you what you are would be replacing one false identity for another. What you are cannot be reduced to concepts. You are not your body, and you are not your mind. Nor are you an identity created by mind. Imagining you are a separate autonomous human being is no more than a hypnosis, similar in quality to a night time dream when it shows itself to be of no substance once awakening happens. Do not reduce yourself to a concept.

You are not the thinker. All thoughts just pass through. None are of a higher quality than others. Whether you make thoughts yours or not is your play in the scheme of things. Bypass these mind games and be empty; remain quiet and stop being a thinker.

To think that you need time, silence or any condition for spiritual knowledge to unfold within you is an attitude that does not serve. It is only when you identify yourself as someone who can be affected by experience, whose existence is dependent on the perception of how things happen, that suffering presents. The concept of non duality can be fully understood as the subject without an object as pure consciousness reveals itself

What you are does not need to be quiet. There is nothing separate or united. These are thoughts accepted to be true. Remember that what you are cannot make mistakes, but mind can. The mind is an exquisite liar.

Part of the human experience is to seek out connection with others and with life. Deeper still the yearning for unity emerges and this unity consciousness is the goal of many spiritual practices. The interconnectedness of all in creation is evident all the time but mind can only move within the flux between separation and unity consciousness until truth is seen. When there is just one, there is in fact two, as there must be one to recognize that there is just one, so then there are two! Non duality points beyond oneness, transcending all states of mind when it is seen that unity or oneness allows for one too many! The concept of 'one without a second' presents a model of unity also, but any concept is one concept too many and will only re-engage the mind where it has no place. This is the non dual approach. It points beyond mind towards absolute silence itself and beyond.

What you are cannot be known intellectually. You can't 'get it' but there is an inner knowing within you that can recognize the echo of what reveals itself

The discovery of spiritual knowledge is not a new project for your distraction. Do not be concerned with the entertainment and opinions of the ever-changeable and conditioned mind. Observe all that changes. Desires come and they go. What you are does not come and go. What you are does not change, is outside and beyond all of this.

Thoughts that you want to get it right, go all the way, know the Truth, are just mind doing its thing—generating desires. Regardless of what path you take, the unfolding of experience will continue. Let it be seen that experiencing happens but life cannot and does not touch what you are unless the 'personal I' story is running (owning/personalizing experiences). Fundamentally there is nothing you can do to speed up the recognition of who you are, life is not an obstacle to knowing Truth.

What you can do is begin to recognize what you are not. Don't be a slave of the mind. Its task is to present ideas in order to allow you to imagine that you can experience. What you are is not trying to find itself, it's not trying to heal itself - these are stories of the mind, believed into a subjective reality. What you are is outside of all of this. What you are is not aware that mind imagines and enables enjoyment of this wonderful life. What you are does not know anything about the phenomenal 'you'. As long as conceptual thought is believed into existence then this dream will present as real. Your attention may be drawn to observing beliefs or it can be pulled to examining the validity of existence itself. However, until the concept-making machine reveals itself in its entirety, the dream retains its capacity to present as real.

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Wu Hsin - Selected quotes from "Solving Yourself"
by Roy Melvyn


This clarity, this newness, is the total destruction of the old.

You can do nothing to bring it about except to avoid creating impediments.
When one is looking from where Looking looks, the journey is over.
- - - - - - - - -
 One must not confuse the suppression of thought with the transcendence of thought.
What is the transcendence of thought?
It is where thought becomes unimportant, where one is impartial to it and where it has lost its ability to affect you.
- - - - - - - - -
 The reality of life is that the weed that does not fight for sunlight dies.
In general, the same can be said for Self-recognition, one must fight for it.
Admittedly, there have been instances where enlightenment occurred uninvited.
Yet, in most cases, it is predicated on a receptivity, an earnestness and desire to understand. To these, no further practice as such is mandatory.
However, if the allures of the world hold sway, regardless of how profound Wu Hsin's words are, they will not find their mark.
- - - - - - - - -
 This day, Wu Hsin shall reveal the four pre-conditions for Understanding. They are:
(a) acknowledgement of the theoretical possibility of Understanding, (b) the intense desire to obtain it, (c) exposure to a true teaching, and (d) the direct apperception of the subject.
The last of these results from one's disinterest in the discontinuous.
It is one's turning away from what appears in awareness and toward awareness itself.
Stated another way, it is not attending to what-is-other, not attending to you, he, she, we, they, them, those or it.
- - - - - - - - -
What one is is without continuity, not progressing, not growing, not becoming.
One can step from the river of becoming onto the shore of being at any point.
The only requirement is silence, total silence.
- - - - - - - - -
You are where your mind is. Escape from the thought sphere, therefore, is the imperative. It is not accomplished by killing the mind, resisting thought or similar acts.
Instead, it happens quite naturally by removing attention from thoughts. Without the energy of attention, thought dies.
- - - - - - - - -
You need not stop thinking.
Just cease being interested.
It is disinterestedness that liberates.
Don't hold on, that is all.
Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
- - - - - - - - -
  Wu Hsin says no effort is required in the sense that no effort is required to be aware. Just relax, don't make an effort to relax. In that natural relaxation, what you need to know will present itself.
- - - - - - - - -
Thoughts appear as a necessary function in the human organism.
The organism does not decide to create them any more than it decides to breathe.
They are sourced from that which sustains and supports the organism.
To believe that you can stop your thoughts presupposes that you initiate them.
- - - - - - - - -
There are no goals that are not mind created.
What you strive for is what you imagine you must strive for. With the cessation of striving, what needs to arrive, arrives.
Searching is movement and therefore can never find stillness, the source of all movement.
Only this silent stillness can speak about the not-knowable.
- - - - - - - - -
You have failed to realize that all your running after is, in fact, running away.
Any reinforcement of the idea of a searching entity is movement away from what you claim you want.
- - - - - - - - -
When the situation is examined thoroughly, it is discerned that there is no basis for selecting one appearance out of the totality and labeling it as 'me'. As such, there is no "me" who receives enlightenment. When there is no one home to accept the delivery, what can be delivered?
The answer cannot be located by thinking. How many more months, years or decades will it take until you see the futility of this approach?
Stop trying to quench this thirst by drinking the sound of water. Turn away from thinking.
That's it; there is no need for practices per se. Just pondering these words and trying to grasp their full meaning is sufficient for returning. Returning means going back to the source and support of everything and resting there.
In that, the misconception that there ever was a thinker, a doer, a perceiver and an enjoyer simply disappears.
Sooner or later you are bound to discover that if you really want to end the searching, you must return the way that you came.
You can never find the truth because this "you" as an entity is a lie. A lie can never reveal what is true.
It is like living with an ash in your eye.
You can never see clearly.
For you to see things as they really are requires the removal of this "ash", which is the cessation of one's preoccupation with a seeming self.
- - - - - - - - -
Your mind holds sway over you because you have granted it an audience.
Wu Hsin suggests that you deny it an audience and see the result.
- - - - - - - - -
Here is the secret: Thought obscures happiness.
If you doubt this to be the case, stop thinking and tell Wu Hsin if you are not happy.
- - - - - - - - -
What prevents the insight into one's true nature is the weakness and obtuseness of the mind and its tendency to skip the subtle and focus on the gross only. When you follow my advice and try to keep your mind on the notion of 'I am' only, you become fully aware of your mind and its vagaries. Awareness, being lucid harmony (sattva) in action, dissolves dullness and quietens the restlessness of the mind and gently, but steadily changes its very substance. This change need not be spectacular; it may be hardly noticeable; yet it is a deep and fundamental shift from darkness to light, from inadvertence to awareness. For this keep steadily in the focus of consciousness the only clue you have: your certainty of being. Be with it, play with it, ponder over it, delve deeply into it, till the shell of ignorance breaks open and you emerge into the realm of reality ...... Be with it, play with it, ponder over it, delve deeply into it, till the shell of ignorance breaks open and you emerge into the realm of reality. ........ The urge to find oneself is a sign that you are getting ready. The impulse always comes from within. Unless your time has come, you will have neither the desire nor the strength to go for self enquiry whole-heartedly. Nisargadatta Maharaj "I Am That"
- - - - - - - - -
Don't allow words, even Wu Hsin's, to dilute the power of silence.
Spend time with silence, seek it out and shun that which subverts it.
- - - - - - - - -
Attending to thought makes attending to That which permanently transcends all comings and goings virtually impossible.
- - - - - - - - -
The process to correction begins with being empty...........empty of all comparisons, empty of all beliefs.
Empty of notions of the lush landscape of Heaven, empty of the notions of the harsh terrain of Hell. Empty of what we believe lies in between the two.
Empty.
That's what Wu Hsin leads you to.
- - - - - - - - -
There is a singular step in understanding; it is in giving up the false concept of I/me as a separate entity.
Then there is no need for merging with the Totality because the notional boundary has been eliminated.
It then becomes clear that it is foolish to talk about being "one with" that which you've truly never been separate from. The idea of oneness collapses in the absence of two-ness.
Apperception of this is not a gradual affair. Apperception is like lightning, spontaneous and instantaneous.
- - - - - - - - -
Trust him when he tells you that this enlightenment you are seeking wants to happen. It is seeking you as much, if not more, than you are seeking it.
The only thing that needs to be done is to get out of your own way. Then, knowing arises.
- - - - - - - - -
Elimination is a key to life. In the absence of the processes of elimination, the poisons accumulate and ultimately the body dies.
What-Is is realized also by the processes of elimination.
Eliminate all that you think you know, all your beliefs, and you will find yourself face to face with Truth.
Within the context of anyone doing anything, that is what needs to be done.
- - - - - - - - -
When in thought, you are absent to what is present, but when you watch the mind, without getting involved, you can discern your very own beingness.
Over time, you discern that you can exist without thoughts, but thoughts cannot exist without the energy you provide them.
When you are no longer chained by your beliefs and your mechanical responses, you are autonomous, free.
- - - - - - - - -
Every man fears this Nothingness, because when he comes into contact with it, he becomes it in the same way as flame engulfs whatever it touches.
Then, he is no longer something distinct.
- - - - - - - - -
The only impediment to lasting peace is believing in this individuality.
- - - - - - - - -
Realization is not by one's doing something, but one's refraining from doing anything, by remaining still and by being simply what one really is.
Stop looking for the source of things among the things themselves.
If chasing one's shadow is foolish, how much more foolish is it when it is the shadow that is doing the chasing?
To be yourself, stop imagining yourself to be this or that.
Just be, allowing your true nature emerge.
- - - - - - - - -
What will eventually die? Only a way of thinking, a way of viewing oneself and the world.
One must continue until "you" ends with the experience which never changes, never comes and goes.
It is the experience that you are, effortless existence.
It is prior to all psychological structures, before all discriminating processes.
It is direct perception, perception unmediated by the mind, undistorted by imagination.
- - - - - - - - -
In one sense, there is an intense struggle that is ongoing within each of you here.
On the one side is the attraction to appearances. Stated another way, it is the entrancement with the world.
On the other side, is the deep calling to abide as the essential Self.
The victory can only go to the strongest and the strongest is determined by which of the two is better fed.
- - - - - - - - -
One is not born with an identity.
One's identity is acquired over time.
Take this acquisition and set it down for a short time. It can always be retrieved again.
Now, spend the balance of this day without this acquired identity and notice what arises.
That is all.


                            ___________________________________________________________________________


Degrees of Consciousness

by Jan Frazier

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


1. Unconsciousness
Nothing can be seen that will free you
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Sense of what self is

Self = ego/mind * Self = stable entity over time * Complete separation from outer life and other “selves” * Self = body, traits, roles, history, beliefs * All of this completely unobserved

Awareness of ego

Identification with ego is absolute and unobserved

Relationship to time

Past and future feel real, are where attention often is * Impression of life as a flow over time * Present is seldom experienced

Orientation to thought & knowledge

Ceaseless mental activity, unobserved * Complete identification with thought (which appears “true”) * Deep in unrecognized belief systems * Discomfort with not- knowing * Thought is used to manage or avoid feelings, which distort into emotions (suffering)

Nature of emotional life

Emotions completely subject to mental activity/patterns * Impression of being at the mercy of life * Spontaneous feeling confused with thought-driven emotional reactivity * Constant roller coaster of intense emotions (fear, desire, anger, shame, envy, etc.)

Relationship between inner & outer life

Life happens “to” you * Constant attempt to gain control over life * Assumption that the way to improve inner state is to fix outer circumstances * At the mercy of conditioning (unobserved) * Blame or credit events and circumstances for how you are inside * Resistance, reactivity, and judgment are rampant, unnoticed, not seen as optional

Perception of choice

Seen to operate in realm of action/behavior, but not in thought or emotion * No sense of choice in whether to believe a thought * No sense of choice in how outer life affects or changes you

Primary focus/motivator

Fulfillment of desire, escape from pain * Fear and grasping * Wish for security * Constant vigilance * Self-maintenance and enhancement * Concern with personal features and outer circumstances

What appears real

Egoic self * Other selves * Experience * Mental and emotional activity * Belief * Time and things “in” time

Characteristic statement

“Life sucks” alternating with “Life rocks”


2. A Little Consciousness
Seeing becomes possible * Occasional flickers of consciousness
---------------------------------------------------------------

Sense of what self is

Continuing solid sense of self and separation from all, with occasional observation of this

Awareness of ego

Glimmers of awareness that there is an ego * Occasional witnessing of ego in action

Relationship to time

Recognition of power of past and future * Present seldom experienced

Orientation to thought & knowledge

Dawning awareness of how busy the mind is, and of its role in suffering * Continued ceaseless mental activity and identification with thoughts * Thoughts are “true” * Thoughts still used to manage or avoid feelings * Ongoing search for better (“truer”) beliefs

Nature of emotional life

Some awareness that emotional burden is outcome of thought patterns and conditioning

Relationship between inner & outer life

Beginning of awareness of how at the mercy you are of outer life developments * Conditioning expresses itself, largely unobserved * New conditioning occurs, largely unobserved

Perception of choice

Realization of some choice re: where attention is directed (e.g., on activity of ego-mind, on inner state versus outer life)

Primary focus/motivator

Same as with total unconsciousness (fulfillment of desire, escape from pain, enhancement of self) * Growing desire for equanimity and release from suffering, but with familiar wish to achieve that via control of life and self

What appears real

Same as with total unconsciousness (egoic self, other selves, experience, mental and emotional activity, belief, time and things “in” time)

Characteristic statement

“My ego is a creepy little bastard, and I can’t seem to get the upper hand.”


3. Increasing Episodes of Consciousness
More is seen
---------------------------------------------------------------

Sense of what self is

Growing observation of self as doer, thinker, feeler, reactor * Growing sense that there’s something else here, watching

Awareness of ego

Growing awareness of predominance of ego and how it functions * Recognition of attachment, reactivity, identification, resistance, conditioning, as it manifests * Discomfort with what’s seen (self-judgment, cringing, tendency to denial, attempts to “fix” or justify ego)

Relationship to time

Growing attunement to mechanics of fear, hope, regret, and the pull of unresolved issues from the past * Sense of being on a journey toward awakening

Orientation to thought & knowledge

Occasional awareness of thoughts-as-thoughts, and of their power over the
emotional life * Growing desire for spiritual “knowledge” * Observation of the power of belief and its role in sustaining the ego * Beginning of the awareness of the option to believe (or not to believe) a thought * Beginning of the awareness that a thought is a made thing
Nature of emotional life

Early awareness of spontaneous feeling, and how thought reacts to that, and how thought causes emotion

Relationship between inner & outer life

Occasional experience of gap between outer and inner >>> peace, immersion in presence, sense of option in response, relaxation of appearance of causality * Conditioning sometimes observed in action (both old and new)

Perception of choice

Occasional observation, in the moment, of gap between thought and emotion, and the causal relationship between the two

Primary focus/motivator

Same as before (fulfillment of desire, escape from pain, enhancement of self), with additional focus on present moment and on inner life * Growing wish for inner peace (but reluctance to let go of other – fears, satisfactions, etc.)

What appears real

Much of the same continues feeling real (egoic self, other selves, mental and emotional activity, experience, belief, time and things in time), but now attention from within the “state” outside ego also feels real, in a way that’s both more substantial and fleeting

Characteristic statement

“How can I get ecstatic experiences to occur, and how can I get them to last?”

4. Conscious Moments Occur Regularly (but unconsciousness still predominates)
* Still more becomes apparent
Sense of what self is

Softening sense of solid self * Growing awareness of our in-common humanity (more alike than different)

Awareness of ego

Increasing awareness of ego-in-action, with observation of how ego maintains itself and how “self” appears to benefit from ego maintenance * Better able to observe ego neutrally, without angst, avoidance, wish to change it

Relationship to time

Past and future increasingly seen as thoughts (i.e., not real) * Growing present- moment awareness

Orientation to thought & knowledge

Attunement to difference between thinking and attention * Recognition of the mind’s limited ability to access truth * Beliefs beginning to lose power * More able to observe thought without getting caught up in it, equating it with reality

Nature of emotional life

More able to stay with spontaneous feeling, without resistance or mental management of it * Emotions less volatile, seeming less to have a life of their own

Relationship between inner & outer life

Increasingly resistance gives way to acceptance * Reactivity is less automatic * Growing awareness that inner orientation plays a significant role in how life feels

Perception of choice

To believe a thought (or not) * To think or to attend * To be in the now or to be in the head * To resist or to accept * To allow circumstance to shape inner condition or to decline to * To stay with spontaneous feeling (or escape into the head)

Primary focus/motivator

Wanting to awaken, to be freed of torment

What appears real

Much of the same (egoic self, other selves, thought, experience, time), but the “higher” self is increasingly sensed, felt to be outside egoic impressions of reality

Characteristic statement

“I’m going to wake up if it kills me.”


5. Consciousness Predominates (with lapses into unconsciousness) * Little is missed

---------------------------------------------------------------

Sense of what self is

Self and the now sometimes experienced as the same “thing” * Occasional loss of moorings, disorientation, fear (of “death”)

Awareness of ego

Ego acts up occasionally and is nearly always observed, when it does *
Ego is taken less seriously (because less and less it seems to be what you are)
Relationship to time

Past and future lose their grip, as they are seen to be thoughts only, not “real” * More contentment with the present, just as it is

Orientation to thought & knowledge

Thought occurs less on its own, and less compulsively * Thought tends to be more practical than egoic * Diminishing inclination to use the mind to “know” the truth * Thought used less to manage or avoid feeling * Thought recognized more consistently as thought * Optional to believe a thought * Increasingly in not-knowing (sometimes comfortably, sometimes unnerved)

Nature of emotional life

Unresisted momentary feeling is the norm * Feeling is not managed by thought, causing emotion, so emotional life is very quiet * Feeling is brief (but may be strong), lasting about as long as what stirred it into being

Relationship between inner & outer life

Acceptance is the norm * Less inclination to blame life, to look to it for fulfillment * Reactivity only very occasional * Conditioning recognized; little new conditioning occurs

Perception of choice

Primary choice is seen: to identify with ego or with consciousness

Primary focus/motivator

Being in the now * Knowing reality

What appears real

What is happening now, what’s perceivable via senses, present-moment feeling

Characteristic statement

“Maybe it doesn’t matter so much if I ever wake up” (since increasingly, the present, as it is, is what seems real . . . and since the desire to awaken is recognized as a thought).


6. Pure, Stable Consciousness All is seeing

---------------------------------------------------------------

Sense of what self is

No separate “I” * End of subject-object awareness * Self = all that is, the space in which everything occurs * Self = consciousness * Personality is readily assumed when needed but is not identified with and is not confused with reality * Dual awareness of being personality and space, form and formlessness

Awareness of ego

Ego seen as entirely artificial, unable to convince you of its reality, since consciousness does not waver, and identification with consciousness is complete

Relationship to time

Only now feels real * “Life” = now (only) * Past and future seen as thoughts only, never entered into as though reality * Ongoing stillness, rather than apparent movement (“through” time)

Orientation to thought & knowledge

Mind is quiet except when needed for something practical * Mind serves at the pleasure of consciousness * Thought never mistaken for reality * Comfort with not-knowing * Understanding (which comes via consciousness, not thought) continues to deepen

Nature of emotional life

Suffering has ended * Thought-generated emotion is a thing of the past * Feelings are fully allowed (so there is occasional pain, like grief) * Pain (because not resisted) does not persist and leaves no residue, no conditioning

Relationship between inner & outer life

No sense of being separate from present-moment life * Inner and outer are all one (“what’s happening now”) * No impulse to judge or resist (because not separate from what is) * You are what is * Inner state seldom affected by outer things

Perception of choice

Primary choice exercised is how wide or narrow to direct awareness (along the scale from a defined person to all-that-is, space itself)

Primary focus/motivator

What is (the now) * Concern for others

What appears real

Consciousness * The space in which all occurs

Characteristic statement

“This is what’s happening.”


7. Degrees of Consciousness: Overview Consciousness is Being sensing itself in the encounter with momentary reality.

---------------------------------------------------------------

Unconsciousness is the norm for humankind. Life is lived entirely within the enclosed container of the narrowly-defined self. Nothing can be seen that will bring freedom.

Then, for some . . .

A catalyst occurs: a severe loss . . . a deep longing to know the truth . . . weariness
of suffering . . . a vivid experience of beingness. The spiritual life begins. It has become possible to see, even with a small amount of consciousness.
With the growing willingness to see, without resistance or judgment or mental filters, the light of consciousness increases (gradually or abruptly), ebbs and flows, perhaps eventually becoming the predominant awareness.

It may be that at some point . . .

The walls of the the narrowly-defined self collapse. The shift to full wakefulness represents a qualitative shift (not just “more” consciousness), leaving pure, stable consciousness.

Keep in mind . . .

Each moment is simply itself, as it is, not necessarily indicative of a stable condition. Consciousness doesn't necessarily develop in a strictly linear way, in the stages depicted.

Growing degrees of consciousness may occur gradually or abruptly, and may or may not endure.



                        ___________________________________________________________________________

               

Toward Abidance and Embodiment - Fred Davis

http://awakeningclaritynow.com/toward-abidance-and-embodiment/


I want to talk to you today about the real spiritual journey, about the one that truly matters. Awakening doesn’t work the way many of us think it does.

I help people wake up nearly every day, and because of that I’ve learned a great deal about the awakening event and the post-awakening process, as well as the mindset and motivations of both those who seek, and those who find. Regardless of what we might hear to the contrary, my own day-after-day-in-the-trenches experience is that coming to recognize our True Nature is simply not that difficult–not anymore. If it was, I’d still be selling books for a living.

So it’s not the allowing ourselves to see our True Nature that’s the big bear. The real trouble lies in accepting it. It’s not the breakthrough, it’s the follow through! Part of the responsibility for this lies in the typical seeker’s mindset–the very mindset that I had as a seeker. One of the common themes I discover in both helping people to awaken, and in helping them to stabilize, is the erroneous sense that somehow “our” awakening is about us, for us– individual units. That’s what I thought prior to awakening, and it’s what I thought when I was on the wrong side of identification afterward–what we often refer to as “oscillation.”

Fredness was in quite a bad life situation when awakening occurred, and had been for about 2 1/2 years. My first motivation to wake up was relief. I wanted out of my suffering. That’s the most common motivation I find in the field, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it. My secondary motivation, however, was entirely egoic. Even my notions of somehow being able to help others was egoic. Those I helped would then see how special I was. Enlightenment was something that I wanted to add to the Fred Story.

There’s actually nothing inherently awful about this shallow motivation either, simply because whatever it is that brings us to awakening is just fine! If I save a bunch of children because I want my picture in the newspaper, who cares? It’s the saving of the children that matters. In this same way, it’s the awakening event that’s most important, not the mental path we took to arrive at it. There’s plenty of opportunity to “go deep” after we awaken by hook or by crook!

But this sort of motivation begins to be a problem if it’s carried over into the post-awakening process. The primary early understanding that most of us come to upon an awakening–whether initial or subsequent–is that we see through the illusion of a separate self. Oneness is “seen,” meaning that we experience ourselves as Oneness to one degree or another. It may come with a “bang,” or it may come with a barely noticeable “pop,” or with no pop at all.  It may be seen deeply, or barely. We may have context for it, or we may not.

Ultimately none of that matters. It’s the shift itself that is most important, for once Truth is seen it cannot be totally forgotten. I had a glimpse haunt me for twelve years before I came to a larger, more thorough awakening, but it was that glimpse that allowed me to drive my first stake into a beachhead in Reality and drove me back first to Zen, and then ultimately into a less structured brand of Nonduality. So it is beyond logic–only Maya could pull a stunt like this off–that after awakening, in almost every case, it is the non-existent individual who claims the awakening! “I did it, and it was about me.”

There is a yang for every yin, so when cloudiness again develops–as it almost certainly will–we want to know where “our personal” enlightenment has gotten off to. I spent three years moving between bliss and hell. The more time you spend as Awakeness, the less enchanting–or even pleasant–the dream becomes. And of course I knew that I should be experiencing bliss and clarity in every moment of every day. I knew that awakening was all about living in a constantly enthralled, orgasmic experience. Right? Right?

Wrong.

Yes, that’s what I knew, but since that’s not the truth, what I knew pitted “me”–the very same nonexistent “me” that had been seen through in the awakening(s)–against Reality, and  time and time again I came up the loser. My experience “should be” other than what it is: that is the fundamental dynamic of the dream. And so long as we believe that post-awakening is about the unit, and not Awakeness itself, we’re going to dream long and lousy.

The first thing we notice when we see things as they really are–when we come to the stark simplicity of What Is–is that What Is is all there is! There is no alternative to exactly what’s going on right now–until there is. When that “until there is” arises, it will be as the new face of What Is, not as an alternative. It’s one scene at a time, folks. And whatever scene is arising, is the only scene there is until it isn’t. And then there’s no going back, which would be like trying to hang onto one frame of a movie. Can’t be done.

Once we develop enough insight–we could often label that a budding of humility–the true Truth is seen: “our” awakening is not about the ego, and it’s not about the unit. That’s not to say there are no benefits for the unit! There’s no benefit for ego in an awakening–far from it–but there are huge benefits for the unit! Mine and Betsy’s lives are totally different than they used to be, and totally better. The formerly careening human roller coaster of the “thrill of victory, and the agony of defeat” is now still. We still have great interest, and take great pleasure in living, and these units maintain some light preferences, but the old, everyday life-and-death intensity of even the smallest matters is simply gone.

When we wake up, meaning that when Awakeness suddenly recognizes that it’s always already awake, that conscious awareness will be seen to be coming through a particular unit which heretofore only exuded unconscious awakeness. That’s what it will look like from the outside. From Awakeness’s view, however, all that will be seen is that there is nothing but awakeness, which is sometimes conscious, and sometime unconscious; sometimes cloudy, sometimes clear. And that experience of cloudiness or clarity includes all units, but it’s not about them.

The unit, in effect, becomes a window. We have a leg in each world–one in the dream, and one in That beyond the dream. This, of course, is language, so it is clumsy and suggests duality. I don’t mean that at all. That’s why I said in that last sentence “in effect.” That’s as close as I can get with words. That will be the experience. And what awakening is truly all about is allowing That which is beyond the dream to “stream through” unencumbered into the dream by way of skillful action through the surrendered unit.

It’s not “our” awakening; it’s Awakeness’s awakening. The separate personality doesn’t wake up to the truth of God; God wakes up to the fiction of the separate personality. There is Fredness–identifiable patterns–but there is no Fred. Or you either. And since there is no separate individual, awakening cannot possibly be about a separate individual, whether that be the experienced “me” or the experienced “you.”

We have a skewed perception, and awakening merely straightens that out. Nothing new has to happen; something ancient must be noticed. That’s all. If there is an accompanying spiritual experience, the unit is welcome to enjoy it. Have at it! Who doesn’t love a spiritual? There is nothing cooler. But none of that has anything to do with enlightenment. Zero.

Awakening doesn’t add to us, it strips us down. It’s just not about a buzz, or an achievement for these units. It’s not self-improvement, it’s about Self-recognition on an ongoing basis. It’s about the willingness of the apparent personality to be colonized by Awakeness so that it can, at least apparently, shine brighter and broader. It comes to know itself, and to love itself, and that Love then shows up more and more in the world.

That’s what it’s all about.

Let us be willing to surrender to the face of the present arising. This single moment is all we ever have to surrender to. There is only Now. And that Now is You.

Fred Davis 2.16.14



________________________________________________________________________



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 2014 Dates

Brisbane

Relaxation Centre
BRISBANE - 1 day - Sunday 25 May, 2014


Waking Up to Who We Are:
A Course in Miracles workshop
 
Release is given you the instant you desire it. ACIM
 
 
There is an inner peace and joy awaiting all of us. It cannot be found in satisfaction of worldly desires.
We don't have to deserve it, only want it above all else. Through forgiveness we allow the door to open to our true home within.
 
No previous knowledge of A Course in Miracles is needed.
 
9.30am-4.30pm
Fee: $55


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


BOOKINGS:
Relaxation Centre
07 3856 3733

(Please do not book through me)


The Brisbane Relaxation Centre has informed me that many people are increasingly booking at the last moment.
I check the number of participants on Friday morning before the workshop.
If numbers are small I cancel the workshop so those the are booked can be informed and make other plans for their weekend.
If you wish to attend the workshop please book by the Thursday before.

__________________________________________________________________________



Germany 2014 Dates

Bonn

28th-29th June, 2014
10.00am to 6.000pm

Inner Peace - Our Natural State
- A Course in Miracles workshop -


It (inner peace) is given you the instant you would have it. ACIM T-15.IV.9.   

The purpose of this world is not to find a permanent peace and happiness.
 It cannot be found here.

You do not really want the world you see, for it has disappointed you since time began. T-13.VII.3.   

Instead, if we see the world as a classroom of forgiveness we will discover the uncaused happiness that lies within - our natural state. To forgive is to look at everything in our minds and in the world without judgement. 

Forgiveness offers everything I want. Lesson 122

While we search to fulfill our desires in the expectation of happiness we block the awareness of the constant, uncaused happiness within.

You will first dream of peace, and then awaken to it.  .....  Love waits on welcome, not on time, and the real world (inner peace) is but your welcome of what always was. T-13.VII.9.   

Peace is the absence of desire; forgiveness reveals our natural state. 

This workshop explores, with the aid of exercises, how we block this happiness and peace and how it can be revealed.

No knowledge of A Course in Miracles is required.


An Evening Introductory Talk - Fri 27th June 2014
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







Freiburg

Freiburg  2014


July 4  6pm to 9pm
July 5 10.00am to 6.00pm
July 6 10.00am to 5.00pm
Inner Peace - Our Natural State
- A Course in Miracles workshop -


It (inner peace) is given you the instant you would have it. ACIM T-15.IV.9.   

The purpose of this world is not to find a permanent peace and happiness.
 It cannot be found here.

You do not really want the world you see, for it has disappointed you since time began. T-13.VII.3.   

Instead, if we see the world as a classroom of forgiveness we will discover the uncaused happiness that lies within - our natural state. To forgive is to look at everything in our minds and in the world without judgement. 

Forgiveness offers everything I want. Lesson 122

While we search to fulfil our desires in the expectation of happiness we block the awareness of the constant, uncaused happiness within.

You will first dream of peace, and then awaken to it.  .....  Love waits on welcome, not on time, and the real world (inner peace) is but your welcome of what always was. T-13.VII.9.   

Peace is the absence of desire; forgiveness reveals our natural state. 

This workshop explores, with the aid of exercises, how we block this happiness and peace and how it can be revealed.

No knowledge of A Course in Miracles is required.

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

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 teaching and healing materials - eBooks and downloadable MP3s:

Ebooks:

1. Healing the Cause -A Path of Forgiveness.
Inspired by A Course in Miracles.
This is the eBook version of the paper back.

2. A Course in Miracles - Explanations of Major Themes
New book in eBook format

3. Forgiveness - A Path to Inner Peace.
Inspired by A Course in Miracles
This is the eBook version of the paper back.

The eBook versions can be read on Kindle, iPad, Microsoft eReader, Nook, PDF readers (Mac and PC) and most eBook readers.

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


Downloadable Mp3s:

1. Healing the Cause: Self-Help Exercises 1
This MP3 contains the identical four exercises as the CD

2. Healing the Cause: Self-Help Exercises 2
This MP3 contains the identical four exercises as the CD

3. Healing the Cause: 3 Self-Help Exercises in English with German translation
This MP3 contains the identical three exercises as the CD

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

MP3s (see above) 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.
 
Workshops:
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

___________________________________________________________________________


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

A Course in Miracles Study groups

Search for A Course in Miracles Study Groups Around the World.

The Foundation for Inner peace also has a study group search engine.

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.

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

______________________________________________


INSPIRATIONAL QUOTATIONS

About three 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
I Am That

 
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