ACFIP Newsletter
Issue 43 - December 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



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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CONTENTS:

* The Seeker’s Quest - A Story - Michael Dawson
* Healing Others Part 2 of 3 - Michael Dawson
* Story of Awakening - End of Separation in the Timeless Now - Gail Brenner
* Preparing the Ground - Jan Frazier
* Leaving the Shores of Belief - Mark McCloskey
* Workshops
* Books and Audio Materials for Sale
* Links
* Inspirational Quotations

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The Seeker’s Quest
- A Story -

Why wait for Heaven? Those who seek the light are merely covering their eyes. The light is in them now. Enlightenment is but a recognition, not a change at all. Light is not of the world, yet you who bear the light in you are alien here as well. The light came with you from your native home, and stayed with you because it is your own. It is the only thing you bring with you from Him Who is your Source. It shines in you because it lights your home, and leads you back to where it came from and you are at home.
A Course in Miracles. Lesson 188

Once upon a time there was a land called Noisy. All the people who lived there spent most of their time being noisy. Everywhere they travelled they made noise. It was natural for them, for it was all they ever knew. Some people were a bit more noisy than other people and sometimes they were judged for that. But, bottom line, they were all noisy. When the noisy people came together they all created more noise.

One day a group of noisy people were talking together when one of them said that he had heard there was something called ‘silence’. The people wondered what that could be? Most of the people thought there could not be such a thing and laughed at the idea. The person who had first spoken about it claimed that he had had brief moments of silence. He said they were wonderful, peaceful and joyful. But then the noise would return again. Most people listening to him thought he was a fool and laughed at him.

One of the noisy people became interested in what he had heard. Somehow he felt that there was some truth in what this man said. He could not even explain it to himself, just at some level of his being it seemed to ring true and to be possible. He thought he would try to find this silence. He became a silence seeker.

He started to spend more and more of his time reading about silence, going to workshops on silence and  traveling to places where he thought he might find the silence. He went to temples and mountaintops. He did have his brief moments of silence and he saw and felt how wonderful it was. Always the noise would return, however.

He knew he had to redouble his efforts if he were to be successful. More and more books were appearing about how to find the silence. He consumed them. He particularly liked the books (and these were the ones that sold the most) that stated you could actually possess the silence along with your noise. You could add the silence to the noise and have the best of both worlds. They gave all sorts of ways and techniques for success. This was very appealing -  he could still be noisy and then add the bonus of silence to himself.

There were also some rather disturbing books and workshops that said if the silence is to be, the noise cannot be there as well. But he was the noise! They seemed to be asking him to commit suicide if he was to know the silence! This can't be true, he thought. So he decided to return to the other popular books and workshops. He now felt much safer and was joyfully looking forward to the day when he would find that silence and add it to himself.

It takes humans a long time to realize that there is no concept for God and no direction to Him. The oneness we crave dissolves the moment we set ourselves on a path. To stop in the oneness requires dissolution of ourselves, so we keep moving on our path hastily.
MG

Remember: if you can cease all restless activity, your integral nature will appear .... live a quiet and simple life, free of ideas and concepts.
Hua Hu Ching

One of the popular approaches he was taught was that when he was making noise he needed to fight and suppress it. He did have moments of success but always the noise would return again, and sometimes it would be even noisier. When he spoke about this to his teachers they told him to redouble his efforts and try even harder to suppress the noise. So he continued and tried even harder but always the same results - some success followed by return of the noise.

He eventually became dispirited, feeling this was all very unfair considering the efforts he was making. One day he became so tired with all this seeking, all this effort, he just gave up. He said to himself that obviously he was failure and that there was no point continuing. At that moment there was a wonderful burst of deep silence that flooded his awareness. He was absolutely amazed. He realised his true nature was silence and not noise. He had stopped doing anything to achieve silence and there it was! He was so excited at what had just happened the noise returned again. But he had seen something, tasted something, that was much deeper than before. The silence came when he gave up searching for silence!

There was a great clue here. He started to visit and study the people who lived in the silence. He observed that they only made brief noises to communicate with others. They all seemed to have the same message for him: don't fight the noises that you make. They asked him to simply listen to the noises he makes, not to try to change them, gently smile at the noises, accept them and start to lose interest in them.

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

He learnt that this is a process over time. The noises will continue to return but without feeding them with attention they will start to wither and die away. You will not need to control and suppress them, they will simply start to stop arising. They are only there because you're interested in them and think they bring you something. But if you just step back and watch them quietly, with no judgement, with a lack of interest in what they offer, they will simply fade away.

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

As the noise begins to die, the silence which is always there will start to appear in awareness. He realised that when he gave up seeking, by being exhausted in his search, he stopped being noisy. He saw that fighting the noise, trying to suppress the noise, was just making more noise. He was using noise to fight noise - no wonder it never worked! More effort resulted in more noise. He laughed at himself, all these years of fighting noise, the discipline, the effort, was just more noisy behaviour.

What he realised is that it was important to stop the battle and to relax. Yes, the noises were still there, but he was learning to smile at them more and not to judge himself for having noise. At times he would get caught up in noise again and it would take some while until he became aware of what had happened. He learned not to feel guilty. There was a certain effort required in awareness, but this felt so much more gentle and easy, pulling back into awareness after catching himself being noisy again. He smiled in recognition that he'd fallen back into the old trap of being interested in the noise which allowed him to be gentle with himself and move back into a space of simply watching the noises he made.

Gradually he learned not to indulge in the noises so much, or feed them with his interest. He was content to wait and watch until the time came and the noise no longer held his interest. Gradually more and more of his time was spent in the silence and when he needed to make a noise to communicate the noise came from the silence and carried its wisdom and peace.

His early goal of adding the joy of silence to his noise was seen as impossible. Silence and noise cannot coexist together. He had spent years trying to achieve this impossible goal. Although it had not been necessary, he also realised he still had to do it before he could see the hopelessness of that approach. Those years of seeking were not wasted. He saw that he had to exhaust himself as a seeker of silence before the silence could dawn in his awareness.

As the silence deepened there were times he experienced fear. The fear was connected with the insight that to permanently enter the silence the noise must die. But he was identified with the noise - who was he without being noise? It seemed to be in invitation to death, to suicide.

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.
Wu Hsin

This fear held him back from a deeper, permanent realisation about the truth of who he really was. The silence always existed, it was eternal, and there could be no noise without silence; silence was the eternal background to everything, was always there although not recognised.

The world can teach no images of you unless you want to learn them.  There will come a time when images have all gone by, and you will see you know not what you are.  It is to this unsealed and open mind that truth returns, unhindered and unbound.  Where concepts of the self have been laid by is truth revealed exactly as it is.  When every concept has been raised to doubt and question, and been recognized as made on no assumptions that would stand the light, then is the truth left free to enter in its sanctuary, clean and free of guilt.  There is no statement that the world is more afraid to hear than this:

 I do not know the thing I am, and therefore do not know what I am doing, where I am, or how to look upon the world or on myself.

 Yet in this learning is salvation born.  And What you are will tell you of Itself.
A Course in Miracles  T-31.V.17.   

The ones who had entered the silence and now lived there were aware of this fear. They counselled him that his fear was unreal, that all he would actually lose was an illusion of who he thought he was. They gently encouraged him on, to release his identification with noise and to surrender into the silence. They told him he would lose nothing and gain everything. When he needed to make noises to communicate that would happen naturally and spontaneously. He would not lose that ability, instead it would be greatly improved and effortless. He would now live his life from the silence, and the love and the wisdom that were there would now guide his life. There would no longer be effort or decisions to be made. He would know what to do, when to speak and where to go without ever having to think about it. His guide now would be the silence, that was all he would ever need.

Be quiet in your mind, quiet in your senses, and quiet in your body.  Then, when all these are quiet, don’t do anything.  In that state truth will reveal itself to you. 
Kabir

Gently, gently, I trained my mind to suspend its processes and thoughts. Then (in the windless calm), the flame of the Lamp, shining steady and bright, Revealed my true nature unto me.
Lalla



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Chapter 7 - Healing Others
Part 2 of 3
(Reprinted from  Healing the Cause -A Path of Forgiveness. by Michael Dawson)

The Healed and the Unhealed Healer - Part 1

Much can be learned about the nature of true healing by examining the differences which the Course describes between the healed and the unhealed healer. Jesus is an example of a healed healer because he only ever listens to the Voice of the Holy Spirit. Although very few are at this stage, whenever we allow the presence of the Holy Spirit into our mind during a healing session, then in that instant we become a healed healer. What follows is a number of contrasting pairs of statements, with explanations from these two perspectives. I shall use relevant quotations from the Course to clarify the difference further.

1a. The Unhealed Healer: "I have special powers that others don’t."

Magic always sees something ‘special’ in the healer, which he believes he can offer as a gift to someone who does not have it. He may believe that the gift comes from God to him, but it is quite evident that he does not understand God if he thinks he has something that others lack.
(T111f; T-7.V.4:4-5)

The statement of the unhealed healer is an easy trap to fall into. The separated state produces a deep sense of inferiority which is often compensated for by acting in a superior manner. To believe you are specially gifted with the power of healing leads to a sense of ego inflation and subsequent comparison and judgement of other healers. Once again we see the ego’s desire to be special and different from other people. The healer may realise that healing is not of him but through him. He must still be careful, however, not to fall into the trap that God has specially chosen him over others to bestow His gift of healing.

1b. The Healed Healer: "I, along with everyone else, have all of God’s qualities. We were all created equal. Differences in ability are only temporary."

Healing perceives nothing in the healer that everyone else does not share with him.
(T111; T-7.V.4:3)

It is inconceivable to the healed healer that God could create differences amongst his children. God gave all of Himself to his Creation. The Course states that we lack only one attribute and that is the ability to create God. It is impossible for God to hold anything back from his Creation. That differences of ability exist amongst us in the world of the ego is equally clear, but this is only temporary, for one day everyone will wake up to the glory of who they really are. The Manual for Teachers describes the characteristics of advanced Teachers of God and states: "Their specialness is, of course, only temporary; set in time as a means of leading out of time."(M8; M-4.1:5)

2a. The Unhealed Healer: "I want a fair exchange for the healing I have given you."

The unhealed healer wants gratitude from his brothers, but he is not grateful to them. That is because he thinks he is giving something to them, and is not receiving something equally desirable in return.
(T112; T-7.V.7:1-2)

Thinking he possesses a special gift which his client does not, it seems only reasonable to receive some kind of payment in exchange for the healing. The healing given to the client appears to be a one-way process and thus the unhealed healer feels he is owed something in return. Although money is the usual form of exchange, perhaps it will not be asked for, but something will be expected in return. Some healers will ". . . utilise the relationship merely to collect bodies to worship at their shrine, and this they regard as healing". (P20; P3.II.9:8.) The last section of the Psychotherapy: Purpose, Process and Practice pamphlet examines the issue of payment. Jesus states that even the most advanced teacher of God has some earthly needs and that there is nothing wrong with receiving payment for the time expended by the healer. To this he adds the caution, "One rule should always be observed: No one should be turned away because he cannot pay." (P22; P3.III.6:1.)

2b. The Healed Healer: "I lose nothing by giving, I only gain."

Never forget you give but to yourself. Who understands what giving means must laugh at the idea of sacrifice.
(W345; W-pI.187.6:1)
 
You learn first that having rests on giving, and not on getting.
(T102; T-6.V.C.6:1)
 
The cost of giving is receiving. Either it is a penalty from which you suffer, or the happy purchase of a treasure to hold dear.
(T256; T-14.III.5:8-9)

The healed healer knows that to give love and peace to another is to recognise that it must be within himself in the first place. Thus his very giving strengthens his own recognition of what he must already possess. This is in opposition to the thinking of the world which believes that you must have less of something if you have given some of it away. The gifts of God can only increase by giving them away. Although the healer normally charges his client for his time, he is also aware that "no one can pay for therapy, for healing is of God and He asks for nothing". (P21; P-3.III.1:1)
The healed healer also recognises that he draws the clients whom he needs, to help heal himself.

The therapist sees in the patient all that he has not forgiven in himself, and is thus given another chance to look at it, open it to re-evaluation and forgive it.
(P13; P-2.VI.6:3)

There are no accidents in our lives and everything that happens to us has been agreed by us on some level, even if we are not aware of this. The healer will be learning the same lessons of forgiveness that the clients he draws to him are, albeit in other forms. Thus in each healing session the healer is given another opportunity to heal himself.

Who, then, is the therapist, and who is the patient? In the end, everyone is both. He who needs healing must heal . . . Each patient who comes to a therapist offers him a chance to heal himself.
(P13;P2.VII.1:1-3,7)

Knowing this, the healer understands that in every healing session he gives, the exchange is always equal, as each has the same chance to learn from the other.

3a. The Unhealed Healer: "I need to heal the body/personality/situation of my client."

At worse, they (therapists) but make the body real in their own minds, and having done so, seek for magic by which to heal the ills with which their minds endow it. How could such a process cure? It is ridiculous from start to finish.
 (P8; P-2.IV.4:3-5)

Believing that the cause of the illness lies outside the mind of the client, the unhealed healer seeks to bring about changes on the level of form. Orthodox or alternative therapies are used on the body, and counselling and advice are given to help change the physical circumstances or situation of the client. Focusing on healing the symptoms, rather than the cause in the mind, is an example of what the Course calls 'magic'. Magic is the attempt to change something on the wrong level — that is, on the level of effect instead of cause. The Course also states that there is nothing wrong with magic and most of us need magic, for the fear in our mind is too great to allow us to change our mind easily. If our teeth are hurting, then it is wise to go to the dentist.
The unhealed healer believes that his special techniques and forms of healing contain a certain power. There is no denying that certain techniques can relieve or heal a bodily condition and for many people, that is all they ask. However, "false healing rests upon the body’s cure, leaving the cause of illness still unchanged, ready to strike again until it brings a cruel death in seeming victory". (S17; S-3.II.6:1)

3b. The Healed Healer: "All sickness and suffering originates in our mind. There are no exceptions. To try to heal something other than the mind 'makes the error real'."

The acceptance of sickness as a decision of the mind, for a purpose for which it would use the body, is the basis of healing. And this is so for healing in all forms. A patient decides that this is so, and he recovers. If he decides against recovery, he will not be healed. Who is the physician? Only the mind of the patient himself.
(Ml7; M-5.II.2:1-6)

The healed healer understands that his client’s self-image is based on sin, guilt and fear, and the anger and unforgiveness in his mind has been projected onto his body. It is the healer’s task gently to remind the client that there is another way of looking at the world and himself and that only forgiveness can heal an unforgiveness.

4a. The Unhealed Healer: "Although I do not feel the love of God, I know what to do to heal you."

You do not understand how to overlook errors, or you would not make them. It would be merely further error to believe either that you do not make them, or that you can correct them without a Guide to correction. And if you do not follow this Guide, your errors will not be corrected . . . The way to undo them, therefore, is not of you but for you.
(T157; T-9.IV.2:2-4,7)

Until we open to the love of God, we have only our ego as a guide. The focus of the ego is always on the level of form and it is here that it will teach us what to do. It will tell us that we can acquire powerful techniques and practices which will heal others. These techniques may treat the body successfully, but not the unforgiveness in the mind. The unhealed healer prefers to rely on his own judgement, feeling he knows what is best for his client.
In our scientifically oriented age, many believe that research into better medicines and the development of high technology will bring a breakthrough in treating the sick. However, as soon as one disease is conquered, another rises to take its place. As long as we value sickness, we will continue to create it. We will not turn to the Holy Spirit for His help until we accept that the only things we are good at is creating the problems and not the solutions.

4b. The Healed Healer: "Only the love of God heals. As I join with you, the love and light of God fills our minds."

A therapist does not heal; he lets healing be. He can point to darkness but he cannot bring light of himself, for light is not of him. Yet, being for him, it must also be for his patient. The Holy Spirit is the only Therapist. He makes healing clear in any situation in which He is the Guide. You can only let Him fulfil His function. He needs no help for this. He will tell you exactly what to do to help anyone He sends to you for help, and will speak to him through you if you do not interfere.
(T161; T-9.V.8:1-8)
 
The healed healer looks upon himself as a tool of communication for the healing love of God. His task is to stop listening to his ego so he may be guided by the Holy Spirit in what to say and do. In every healing situation, his only task is to forgive himself in the presence of the client, for this will allow the Holy Spirit to fill the healer’s mind with His presence.
Whatever technique or school of thought the healer works with will be utilised by the Holy Spirit as a form to convey His Love and acceptance to the client. It is not the healer’s technique which heals but the Love of God extended into the mind of the client. The loving acceptance of the healer gives the client the opportunity to ‘choose again’ and forgive instead of attack. The love of God, present in the healer, shows the client that his perceived sins have had no effect upon him, and thus the client has not sinned. If the client accepts this, his guilt and the resulting physical and psychological symptoms cease to exist. If the client is not ready to take this opportunity to forgive himself, the healing has still taken place. The Course explains this by saying the Holy Spirit continues to hold this gift of love until the time comes when the client is able to receive it.

Concluding part in the March 2015 newsletter

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End of Separation in the Timeless Now
Gail Brenner

Simple happiness. This is what Gail Brenner has discovered to be the core of her being. As she writes, “I function in the world as a person with a name, age, gender, and appearance, but what I really am is peace.” Yet her road to liberation was anything but painless. Here she shares some of the intense self-investigation that life demanded for the grace of realizing lasting liberation from the conditioned self.
There is no doubt about it . . . I’m happy.  Stop me at any random moment, and there it is – the deepest acceptance, heart full, primed for joy.
It’s not like I’m grinning from ear to ear in every moment.  I’m simply happy.  I don’t worry about the future or fret over what is happening now.  I’m just here, present, awake to things as they are.  To say that I go with the flow is an understatement.
I don’t fight unhappiness so I can make sure that I stay happy – it takes much less effort than that.  I have seen that what I thought was true about myself and the world is actually false, and I’ve completely lost interest in it.
Anything personal – needs, demands, expectations, rules about how the world should work, what people should do – I just don’t give it any attention.  I function in the world as a person with a name, age, gender, and appearance, but what I really am is peace.
I trust completely, which is why I don’t need to rely on thoughts anymore.  I know that the intelligence and clarity of life is perfect, and that’s where I live.  Nothing personal to this illusion of “me” matters, although I enjoy playing in the world.

Suffering and Searching
For many years, I searched for an end to suffering.  I put together a functional life, but it was continually plagued by anxiety, confusion, and relationship troubles.  I tried the conventional route of psychotherapy – fifteen years of it – but trying to find a new perspective on stories from the past failed to bring me the peace I was looking for.  Same with my training as a clinical psychologist.
I didn’t want to just feel better.  When I read in Buddhist teachings that enduring peace was possible, somehow I believed it at the core of my being.  I didn’t know how to find this peace, but something in me said, “Yes!”  I wanted to consciously know what I somehow already knew to be true.
The search took me to meditation retreats, many spiritual books, and the most lovely and helpful teachers.  I began to understand that I was in resistance to life.  I realized I was living a mind-created, mind-directed construction of reality, consumed in beliefs about how things should be.  There was a constant level of discontent because everything – people, situations, myself – was judged to be not good enough.  No wonder I wasn’t happy.  I willingly put it all up for grabs and began to open to what was actually appearing, which at the time were deeply painful emotions I didn’t know I had been running from.

Directly Meeting What Arises
Near the beginning, I spent a 10-day meditation retreat in tears that felt like I was crying out lifetimes of sadness and grief.  Meditation offered relief from the confusion of feelings, as I stopped resisting and allowed them to be, but it wasn’t enough.  I had burning questions about the nature of reality that kept me searching.
I was open to the next step on my path, and ended up with a group of friends who exposed me to nondual teachings.  I began to understand the false identity created by attachment to stories and feelings.  I was on fire to see through all the ways that I suffered and deeply know the truth of non-separation in my own experience.
With much exploration, I found that the mental and emotional habits I played out were motivated by a need to feel safe, and, with the support of Eli Jaxon-Bear, Gangaji, and the Enneagram, I saw that these were driven by fear.  Oh, there was so much fear that had gone unnoticed.
I learned to first recognize the fear, then allow it to be without acting on it or pretending it wasn’t there.  There was a time when I would stop whenever I experienced fear, close my eyes, and simply allow it.  Many times during the day, I sat on my couch feeling physical tension, contracted chest and jaw muscles, and shallow breathing.  With great openness, I let these sensations be without spinning in thought or wanting them to change or lessen.  It was joyful to fully welcome whatever arose.
It wasn’t immediate, but over time, I realized that I felt less stressed.  I didn’t worry so much about making the right decision or trying to figure everything out.  I was lighter, happier, and so much more loving.  One morning I woke up and, much to my surprise, recognized that I hadn’t been anxious for quite some time.
I was feeling better, but I knew my understanding was not yet complete.  I continued to get caught in familiar emotional reactions, and I was giving credence to the monologues that played almost incessantly in my mind.  I was still suffering and available to whatever was next.
Along the way, there were beautiful, short-lived openings.  I hesitate to mention them because I don’t want to create an impression of what is supposed to happen or an idea of what awakening is like.  There was a time when the mind dropped away revealing deeper peace than could ever be imagined, and another of love pouring out of my eyes, meeting itself everywhere.  But these experiences didn’t last, and I came to see them like any other phenomena, simply arising and passing on.

Investigating Attachments
I had heard from many sources that thoughts are at the root of suffering, so I found myself experimenting.  One beautiful afternoon, I was lying on a chaise lounge enjoying the sun, and the mind was quiet.  A thought appeared, and I noticed tension in my body.  I moved my attention away from the thought, and the tension subsided.  I switched back and forth a few times, between thought and no-thought. I saw that the effort of thinking created tension and that the tension released when thinking stopped.
This was an important discovery, but there was more.  What I realized is that thoughts themselves are not the problem.  Why?  If you study a thought, you will see that it is an insubstantial wisp of energy that leaves no trace.  But if you pay attention to it and repeat it in your mind, it comes to life with meaning and substance.  And this is the beginning of a great deal of trouble.
It was amazing to realize that if I believed the content of a thought, I was on the road to beliefs, expectations, should’s and should not’s, emotional reactions, and all the accompanying confusion.  This is what I used to call “my life.”  But when attention rested as presence, thoughts could arise without anything being disturbed.  As my interest in thinking declined, the objects that appeared were mostly unexplored physical sensations and they were welcomed fully.
In my quest to understand the truth, I saw that I was not my habits of worry or needing to control, as these eventually diminished.  So who am I?  I let this essential question sink into my consciousness for years looking for what is real and true.  I saw that everything I took myself to be was made up and temporary.  In reality, who I am is not a woman, daughter, psychologist, or partner.  These are just words.  Taking them away revealed that something very much alive was still present.
I thought about all the people in my life who are important to me, and let the attachment to them fall away.  I looked at every single object in my home and felt the possibility of losing it.  I met the loss of money, relationship, career, place to live, health, and the physical body itself.  What if all of it were to go?  I could not find a way to not be at peace.

The Timeless Nature of Reality
At this point, I was still searching, ready to leave for Europe to attend yet another retreat.  Over dinner, my friend, Rupert Spira, asked me what I was looking for by going to the retreat.  I answered, “Stability in the understanding of what doesn’t come and go.”  His fiery response:  “Then put your attention on what doesn’t come and go.”
Rupert pointed me to the absolute nature of reality that is just This that is here now, impossible to describe but fully alive.  It is life itself.  He said a short sentence and showed me that, without the mental concept of time, each sound of each word has no time to take shape.
Suddenly, all ideas collapsed, and everything was seen to be luminescent, shining with pure being.  Yes, there was the appearance of forms, but these were transparent, revealing only aliveness bursting forth from everything.  Everywhere I looked, I saw love inseparable from me.  I asked Rupert, “How can you not go around hugging everyone?”
The stability I was traveling to Europe to find had always been here, but my mind had been too engaged with objects to notice.  Once it was seen that time is not absolutely real, no objects could be real either.  Only pure awareness remained, empty of objects, but conscious, alive, and awake.
I realized that I had always been aware prior to any forms arising, an understanding that made my life story mean nothing.  It seemed like people, events, and reactions appeared, but from the perspective of awareness, these objects did not even exist unless I applied the concept of time, gave them attention, and believed in them.  Prior to all of that activity, there is only pure experiencing in the timeless now, with no objects and no separate person experiencing anything.  I am simply, effortlessly aware.
Later, the mind recognized that there had been an entity that I called “me” that was a knot of tension located behind my forehead.  I had been perceiving everything through this layer of sensation, and when that disappeared, there was only unmediated, unfiltered experience.  Around that time, I was having a conversation with a friend, and what was known was only pure intimacy.  Yes, there was the semblance of two people at a kitchen counter speaking, hearing, smiling, but the forms were barely seen, leaving only pure being and so much love.
What a relief to give up trying to get anything or make anything happen.  So much effort had been put into quieting thoughts and eliminating painful emotions, trying to discover that which has always been here.  But who was doing all this efforting?  There is no one here.  Awareness simply is and has no problem with anything that appears in it.  The experience of peace is indescribable.
With all objects seen to their essence simultaneous with perceiving them, so much joy bubbles over that it feels uncontainable.  Contained in what?  It is simply the outpouring of life in its natural state, unhindered by fears, needs, desires, and identifications.

Living Happiness
And now life flows.  There is working, eating, visiting with friends, cleaning – what you would call a normal life.  But what is ordinary on the surface is absolutely extraordinary.  The deepest peace…a heart overflowing with happiness and love…clarity about what needs to be done…living happiness.
So who is it that says, “I am happy and peaceful?”  Fundamentally, the words are typed, and they simply appear on the page arising from stillness.  But there is the illusion of form, the world as we commonly experience it, that is seen to be so incredibly sweet.  Just as each wave is inseparable from the ocean, everything is known to be transparent, with the light of its source, conscious awareness, shining radiantly.  I see it in the trees and birds outside my window, in the eyes of everyone I meet, even in objects like cars and furniture.  All me.  How could I not be brimming over?
Yes, I was looking for an end to suffering – and discovered it.  But that is an understanding from the personal perspective.  Looking through the eyes of awareness, there was always only the timeless now.
Happiness isn’t mysterious, and it is more available to you than you could ever imagine.  It’s right here.  I’m not special or extraordinary for knowing this.  If I’ve had one blessing it is that the fire to know abiding happiness grabbed me and wouldn’t let go, and for that I am on my knees in gratitude.  I am utterly flattened by the grace of it all.
© Gail Brenner, 2013

Reprinted with permission from OneTheMagazine.com.

Gail Brenner, Ph.D. is a psychologist and author who joyfully shares insights about discovering that suffering is optional. She is the author of the forthcoming book, "The Way of Yes: Finding Peace and Happiness Right at the Heart of Your Messy, Scary, Brilliant Life.” You can find Gail at GailBrenner.com, where she offers articles, conversation, and free guided audio meditations. You can also sign up here to receive updates about her offerings.

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Preparing the Ground.
  from Freedom of Being at ease with what is by Jan Frazier

http://janfrazierteachings.com


How does the longing to awaken express itself? The desire sits in the body, in the heart, and wants to take form. It might blossom into the idea of evolution, a destination, a journey.

But all of that assumes time exists.

There's another way the longing to awaken can take form. It's the idea of preparing the ground.

What is it to prepare the ground? It's to till the earth that is your self. To present to life a yielding surface, not an impenetrable shield. It's to do this right now, and again now. So that if the rain surprises you this moment, or this one, it will be taken in.

The focus is not on tomorrow, but on the present. When you're preparing the ground, you've forgotten about the idea of maybe - someday.

You are not in charge of whether the rain falls. On the long list of things that cannot be known or controlled is the matter of whether, or when, that final thing will happen to rinse the dust from your eyes.

But you can decline to score points for the other side. You can let go of rigidity. You can opt not to tighten against this moment, instead flooding it with presence.

Not to say you do this as a means to an end. Preparing the ground must be an end in itself. It's done for its own sweet sake.

The rest must take care of itself if it will. If it will not, and you've been cultivating presence for its own sake, then you'll hardly notice whether awakening ever comes to stay.

Oddly, you may find that the closer you get to awakeness, the less obsessed with it you are. When the orientation to your life distills down to your orientation to this moment, when you're more truly content with life as it unfolds, you've come to where it's not so much on your mind, the question of whether you'll ever wake all the way up. Not because you've met with despair along the road to awakening, and have thrown up your hands. But because when you take your eyes from some possible future, and let them settle on where you are (now, now), then the idea of having someplace to go, some condition to attain, is seen to be just that - an idea. A thought. This moment is entirely captivating of attention. When you're less focused on doing better, and more accepting of the truth of where you are, you can fall out of love with the dream of tomorrow How could there be someplace else to be but this, here?

The concept of future attainment becomes nonsensical once you really get that this is all that's real.

Isn't that what the whole thing's about?

What better way to prepare the ground than to be alive to the present? What could be a more fertile field for transformation?

This is something you really can do. Feeling yourself in the act of being makes you available to awakening like nothing you could dream of.

Who would awakening come to, if not one who's awake to this moment?

See how the question becomes silly when this moment is all there is, ever? The question will I ever wake up? Laugh it off. Lift your face to the sky.

What if it were to rain?

The difference between trying to awaken and preparing the ground is the difference between strained mental/emotional effort and steady, unflinching presence. Trying to wake up is hard work. Wheel spinning, mostly. Hiding from yourself. It puts you in your head, where you scrutinize your every move, where you rain judgment on yourself, where you struggle to change yourself, and are forced to see you're back where you were before. It's because of all this that the spiritual journey is arduous, and exhausting, and largely unproductive.

Preparing the ground conjures a delightful calm, an alert receptivity, which is very different from a determined mission to transform yourself, to reach a goal. Let go all of that in favor of the simple, radical gesture of being here. Keep awareness on your interior. Feel what you feel, that original response to a thing. Feel life living itself through you. The gong reverberating deep in, each moment. Be that. Yield to the force of that, to whatever life delivers. Be conscious, unresisting, in devoted attendance on what's here, within you and without.

Preparing the ground is about what you allow to be primary in your moment - to - moment existence. It's letting attention be front and center, always. There is something you can do, but it isn't a doing so much as a being. The thing you want, which is to be awake, is to be gotten to by being awake to this moment. The longed - for thing is attained by doing - by being - the longed for thing. A person might want it to be more complicated than that. It isn't.

Preparing the ground is allowing as how you don't know (much of anything). lt's declining to let what's happening stick to you.

It's about defending against nothing, about yielding. Letting in the sun and the rain, the wind and the hail. The scorching heat.

If attachment is happening, see it. If resistance is happening, see it. If identification is happening, see it. If fear, if grasping, if taking refuge in belief see it. Do not look away.

Be soft, present. Ceaselessly look at what's happening right now to keep going the impression of there being a prison gate with a lock on it.

Do not go looking for an experience, some intensity or great moment of insight. Do not compare this moment with any other. The you that existed then is not the you that exists now. Every exhale, let the exhaling self cease to be. Feel the newly assembling presence come in on the new breath. Feel life give birth to itself again and again, in the ever - renewing awareness.

Be transparent, the moment passing through you and you through it. Feel yourself being the moment. If something is uncomfortable, open your arms to it. Don't grab onto it. It doesn't need to cling to you if you don't hold on to it.

Never think the content of the moment must be grand, or peaceful, or uplifting. What moment is not here? What now is not fit to be the one that brings the great blessing? Do you think washing your hands couldn't be it? Jacking up your car? Cleaning up broken glass? Hanging your head over a toilet?

How many moments do you suppose there will be in this day, in what remains of your life?

But this one: it's the one you have, the one you are. Tend it.

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from: Pure Silence: The Book
©2010 Mark McCloskey

Text Reprint of www.puresilence.org with Additions Introduction

17 - Leaving the Shores of Belief
To leave the safe shores of where we think we are and venture into the wide expanse of the sea of silent awareness itself is a scary proposition. The abyss of eternity is too vast, too unknown, too big for many of us. Yet, leave the shores of tradition, familiarity and belief, is what we must eventually do if we want to be totally and permanently free, once and for all.
To allow for the realization of Pure Silence, the awareness of now, the truth as it is, you must have a fresh unencumbered mind. This means not only surrendering the surface clutter of worries, anxieties, nostalgia, guilt, desires and fantasies (all most difficult to let go of-but let go you must), but (and here's a real biggie - ready or not) you must abandon all your traditional beliefs, your concepts of religion, faith, hope and most especially of God itself. Remember you are realizing that which is permanent, eternal and present now, that which is beyond concept, beyond fabric. We are looking together to see what not only holds the fabric of existence itself together but what allows the seams and stitches to be, what allows their very pattern.

For most of western humanity, God is merely a concept, a theology, an ideal or some super being, someone to be placated, to be feared, to be worshiped, to be prayed to. I'm sorry but to limit that which is infinite love itself to some vestigial object, to a being, a person, someone or thing we can name, provoke, control or possess is absolute silliness. That which encompasses all being is Pure Silence itself. That which is religion is merely some human words or thoughts about that which is beyond word, thought and worship. Following a religious tradition, what is it that we are doing? It seems to me that we are merely following somebody else's insights, whether that somebody is called Jesus or Buddha or Krishna or Mohammed. All of these great men, women, deities, whatever, are pointing to something beyond themselves, to something always here and something that is not philosophical or theological, to that which is within all, sustains all and is larger than all and that which is experienced by all.

To realize Pure Silence now, you must abandon all thoughts for this second, even the beliefs that you have cherished forever. Your beliefs are merely thoughts and what's more they originally were someone else's before they became your own. To see or know or realize that which is infinity itself, we must become absolutely naked. And in that complete, destitute and utter nakedness, perhaps we may come to a simple glimmer of that which is now, that which is you now, that which cannot be named or sublimated into a teaching, a prayer or anything else.

This is a difficult thing to see because we believe in a thing called faith and belief and tradition. We have been told by parents, friends, churches, temples what the truth is. But I offer you, very humbly, the truth cannot be contained by anyone, any thing, any tradition, any belief. Truth, Pure Silence contains all of them. Stop now, stop everything, surrender to this moment of peace, this moment which is total freedom, total bliss. Just for one second, really admit the truth that you know absolutely nothing, that you are absolutely nothing. If you can realize that right now you will taste the freedom, the essence of what every god, every sage, messiah, prophet, teacher, poet, musician and scripture has been pointing to since humanity crawled from the slime. You will taste the freedom that you already are. And no one, no authority, no system can challenge that or take that away from you. Pure Silence is total gift to you right now.

You are that which is eternal, infinite and love itself. Just breathe that right now in the gentle silence of here.

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

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Forthcoming Workshops on A Course in Miracles


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



Germany 2015 Dates


Bonn 2015

6-7 June, 2015
10.00am to 6.000pm

Living the Guided Life
A Course in Miracles workshop.

This day my mind is quiet, to receive the Thoughts You offer me. And I accept what comes from You, instead of from myself. I do not know the way to You. But You are wholly certain. Father, guide Your Son along the quiet path that leads to You. Let my forgiveness be complete, and let the memory of You return to me.
A Course in Miracles. Lesson 291

The Course states that if we do not have inner peace and joy 24 hours a day we know nothing. Although we may be competent in using the mind to live adequately in daily practical life, we need to realise its limitations and open ourselves to hearing a wisdom beyond the mind - what the Course calls the Holy Spirit, the Voice for God. This Voice can be heard in many ways - an inner knowing, words, a felt sense, etc.

We play our part by realising we do not know the way to peace and are willing to be guided and allow our mind to become quieter through forgiveness.

The workshop will explore what the Holy Spirit is, how to hear Its voice, how to tell the difference between the ego's voice and the Holy Spirit's, resistance to guidance, true prayer, the ladder of prayer and attaining a quiet mind.

Exercises will be given to help quiet the mind and open it to spirit's guidance.

No previous knowledge of A Course in Miracles required.


An Evening Introductory Talk - Fri 5th June 2015
7.30pm to 9.30pm


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


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Freiburg  2015


June 12  6pm to 9pm
June 13 10.00am to 6.00pm
June 14 10.00am to 5.00pm


Living the Guided Life
A Course in Miracles workshop.

This day my mind is quiet, to receive the Thoughts You offer me. And I accept what comes from You, instead of from myself. I do not know the way to You. But You are wholly certain. Father, guide Your Son along the quiet path that leads to You. Let my forgiveness be complete, and let the memory of You return to me.
A Course in Miracles. Lesson 291

The Course states that if we do not have inner peace and joy 24 hours a day we know nothing. Although we may be competent in using the mind to live adequately in daily practical life, we need to realise its limitations and open ourselves to hearing a wisdom beyond the mind - what the Course calls the Holy Spirit, the Voice for God. This Voice can be heard in many ways - an inner knowing, words, a felt sense, etc.

We play our part by realising we do not know the way to peace and are willing to be guided and allow our mind to become quieter through forgiveness.

The workshop will explore what the Holy Spirit is, how to hear Its voice, how to tell the difference between the ego's voice and the Holy Spirit's, resistance to guidance, true prayer, the ladder of prayer and attaining a quiet mind.

Exercises will be given to help quiet the mind and open it to spirit's guidance.

No previous knowledge of A Course in Miracles required.

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

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PLEASE NOTE: The Australian Centre for Inner Peace is not a counselling or psychotherapy centre; therefore we do not offer telephone or email service or counselling, therapy, or crisis intervention for personal problems. Please see the Contacts section at the end of this newsletter.

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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

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CONTACTS and COURSE INFORMATION

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

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

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

Foundation For A Course In Miracles................FACIM is the official teaching organisation of the Foundation for Inner Peace and the copyright-holder of_A Course in Miracles and all related materials. Publishes the quarterly Lighthouse newsletter. They have extensive on-line mail order for their books, CDs and DVDs.
The Foundation was started by Kenneth and Gloria Wapnick and has moved to Temecula in California. Kenneth is my teacher of A Course in Miracles. His body died in December 2013.

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

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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