ACFIP Newsletter 

Issue 46  September 2015

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

 

 

 

 

 

CONTENTS:

 

 

A Course in Miracles Material

* Michael Dawson - What is Forgiveness?  

* Chart - Summary of A Course in Miracles

* Exercise in Awareness

 

Non Dual Teachings

* Earnestness from “I Am That” by Nisargadatta Maharaj

* Jac O’Keeffe - The Direct path

* Adyashanti - An Inner Revolution

* Jan Frazier - Paying Attention

* Wu Hsin - Quotes

 

Other

* Workshops

* Books and Audio Materials for Sale

* Links

* Inspirational Quotations
 

 

A Course in Miracles Material

 

 

What is Forgiveness? 

From the perspective of A Course in Miracles.

by Michael Dawson

 

You have no idea of the tremendous release and deep peace that comes from meeting yourself and your brothers totally without judgment.

A Course in Miracles

T-3.VI.3.

 

The purpose of forgiveness is to cause our minds to become quiet, so the memory of God can return to our awareness. With this will come an uncaused peace and quiet joy, our natural state.

 

The memory of God comes to the quiet mind.  It cannot come where there is conflict, for a mind at war against itself remembers not eternal gentleness. 

T-23.I.1.

 

The Course defines forgiveness in many places. I will start with the shortest definition and work through to some of the longer ones.

 

1. Looking without judgement.

This applies not only to what is happening in the world but also what is happening in our thoughts and emotions. This implies the letting go of concepts like right or wrong, good and bad. Often in difficult situations that arise we close our hearts and rely on our mind and its memories for the correct response to a situation. But laying aside the commentary of the mind we allow the heart wisdom/Holy Spirit to function through us and our response will be for the highest good of everyone.

 

Forgiveness recognizes what you thought your brother did to you has not occurred. It does not pardon sins and make them real. It sees there was no sin. And in that view are all your sins forgiven. 

W-pII.1.1.  

 

2. Smile gently at the ego.

The ego loves to be taken seriously. It does not want to be seen as simply a thought we are invested in, the thought of separation, specialness and individuality which we dearly cling to. The more we take the ego seriously, perhaps by feeling ashamed, angry or guilty, the more we strengthen it. If we can learn to smile gently at the ego's antics, the more we allow it to fade away into the nothingness from which it came. In time we will become less and less disturbed by our ego’s response. If we don’t feed it it will slowly fade away revealing the peace and quiet joy underneath.

 

What is the ego? Nothingness, but in a form that seems like something. In a world of form the ego cannot be denied for it alone seems real. Yet could God's Son as He created him abide in form or in a world of form? Who asks you to define the ego and explain how it arose can be but he who thinks it real, and seeks by definition to ensure that its illusive nature is concealed behind the words that seem to make it so. Clarification of terms C-2.2.      

 

3. Forgiveness  ... is still, and quietly does nothing. .... It merely looks, and waits, and judges not.

W-pII.1.4:1,3

 

It is important to realise that forgiveness, like the miracle, does not do anything. The practice of the Course is in undoing, not doing. We simply look at what is happening in our mind and in the world without trying to change it. In this quiet place, if some action is required it will come from that quietness, from being and not judgement. Forgiveness is a process, our daily classroom. We need to be content to wait and let this process unfold until the day dawns when we awake to our spiritual reality.

 

4. The three stages of forgiveness.

 

You are not trapped in the world you see, because its cause can be changed. This change requires, first, that the cause be identified and then [second] let go, so that [third] it can be replaced. The first two steps in this process require your cooperation. The final one does not. 

W-p1.23.5:1-4

 

In the first stage we recognise that what upsets us in the world is but a mirror to what is unhealed or unforgiven in our own minds. 

 

It is impossible to forgive another, for it is only your sins you see in him. You want to see them there, and not in you. That is why forgiveness of another is an illusion. Song of Prayer S10

If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is part of yourself.

What isn't part of ourselves doesn't disturb us.

Hermann Hesse

If we do not feel compassion for the another person's negative behaviour then in some form it must be in us. We do not wish to see it there so we deny we have a similar characteristic and project it onto the other person. Thus in the first stage of forgiveness we had the difficult task of bringing our projections back to ourselves. 

 

And how else can one dispel illusions except by looking at them directly, without protecting them?

T-11.V.2: 2

 

The form of this negative behaviour in another may be different in ourselves. For example, we may get upset and judge when around loud, angry people. We may never have shown anger in our lives but deep down it broods silently and expresses itself in different ways, perhaps by cutting people off and not talking to them for long periods. The other person's anger reminds us of our unhealed quiet anger.

 

Conflict must be resolved. It cannot be evaded, set aside, denied, disguised, seen somewhere else, called by another name, or hidden by deceit of any kind, if it would be escaped. It must be seen exactly as it is, where it is thought to be, in the reality which has been given it, and with the purpose that the mind accorded it. For only then are its defenses lifted, and the truth can shine upon it as it disappears.

W-pII.333.1:1-4

 

In the first stage of forgiveness we recognise what needs to be forgiven in ourselves. 

 

In the second stage our challenge is to let this unforgiveness go. Many of us build our lives around our stories, our hurts, our past. We may be living the life of a ‘justified victim’ and feel reluctant to give that up and take on the responsibility that would come with it. We can no longer say “Don't expect anything from me because I was abused when I was young”. The second stage can be more difficult than the first stage, as we are so attached to our stories. 

 

Who would you be without your story?

Byron Katie

 

With the death of some part of our story life will change, and people will be aware of the difference. Some will welcome it some will not. If your forgiveness decreases your co-dependency in some relationship, your partner will feel it immediately and may feel threatened by this change. At some level we know this and we may fear to let forgiveness happen.

 

Until we are ready to let go of our hatreds, jealousies, victimhood etc. the third stage of forgiveness must wait. The Holy Spirit will never take away from us what we think is of value to us. We need the courage to let go and step into a new life no matter what the seeming consequences are. When we decide that life would be better without holding on to some unforgiveness it's at that point Spirit shines it away and we become free.

 

Below is a prayer of forgiveness that contains these three steps:

 

I must have decided wrongly, because I am not at peace. 

I made the decision myself, but I can also decide otherwise. 

I want to decide otherwise, because I want to be at peace. 

I do not feel guilty, because the Holy Spirit will undo all the consequences of my wrong decision if I will let Him. 

I choose to let Him, by allowing Him to decide for God for me.

T-5. VII.6:7-11

 

False Forgiveness

This section is reprinted from The Findhorn Book of Forgiveness by Michael Dawson. 

The Song of Prayer (supplement to A Course in Miracles) describes four different types of false forgiveness, referring to them as different forms of  “Forgiveness-to-Destroy”. It makes the point that although at times some of them appear charitable, they are all forms of attack and have nothing to do with true forgiveness. 

1. Holier Than Thou 

In this form of false forgiveness we take up a position superior in relation to those we regard as transgressing. We are the better people and from our elevated position, we decide to act graciously and forgive others who are perceived as below our ‘holy’ status. In this attitude of arrogance, we feel our generous offer of forgiveness is really undeserved but out of charity we bestow it upon less worthy others. The true motivation behind this form of ‘forgiveness’ is to prove that we are superior, more spiritually evolved than those we forgive. If there is not sufficient gain to us, then forgiveness will be withheld. 

In this form of false forgiveness, sin is always seen in another and never in us. No responsibility is taken for ourselves for the other is solely to blame. The bad behaviour others exhibit is certainly not in us we say and so we take the high ground and generously forgive them, although they really don’t deserve it. Thus we are safely protected from seeing how similar we are to others and can continue to maintain our comfortable image of ‘holier than thou’. 

2. We Are Both Miserable Sinners 

In this form, we no longer assume a superior position to others. Instead, we see ourselves just as sinful as our enemies and both worthy of punishment. This way of thinking can be mistaken for true humility and may produce a ‘spiritual competition’ over who is the most sinful and humble. Not yet in our awareness is the concept of seeing sin as error that simply needs correction and not judgement and punishment. 

3. Martyred Saint 

This form of false forgiveness is related to the ‘holier than thou’ form discussed above. We put on a face, which shows forbearance and meekness when under attack by others. The image we portray to the world is saintly and kindly as we bravely put up with the unjustified attacks upon us. We may even seek opportunities to be martyred under the impression that we are doing God’s work as He is asking us to sacrifice ourselves on His behalf. The road to heaven is perceived as one demanding suffering that must be bravely borne with a gentle smile. 

“No pain, no gain” is a modern statement of this thought. Although it is very true that we have great opportunities to learn and grow in times of crisis, is it also true that a loving God would demand pain and sacrifice before we could return to a state of peace and joy? Is not this idea of God merely a projection of our own mind, a God created by us based on our own ideas of punishment towards those who upset us? 

Beneath the mask of the martyred saint lie feelings of bitterness and pain at the outrage inflicted. “Here am I doing good work and just look at what others are doing to me!” is the silent cry of the martyr. Their suffering face is really an accusing finger pointing at others which declares them guilty and sinful and worthy of God’s punishment. Once again evil is seen outside the mind and having nothing to do with ourselves. The very fact that we are feeling angry shows we believe in attack even though we do not openly carry it out. 

4. Bargaining and Compromise. 

Here we seek to get something in return for our ‘gift’ of forgiveness. If we find a partner being unfaithful to us we may decide to forgive as long as their behaviour is not repeated. If the partner is caught being unfaithful, again the previous bargain that was struck between you both has been broken and could now result in a withdrawal of forgiveness. 

We do not see that what we give we also receive for we must always reinforce in our minds the thoughts we believe in. For example, if we believe we need to cheat to get what we want we must also believe that others value cheating and will try to cheat us. We now spend our lives trying to protect ourselves from others cheating us. If, however, we see that what we do to others we will also do to ourselves we will realise that to give forgiveness unconditionally to others will mean that we will also give it to ourselves. 

 

_____________________________________________________

 

 

 

 


 

Exercise in Awareness

Reprinted from The Findhorn Book of Forgiveness by Michael Dawson.

 

 

The purpose of this exercise is to practise non-judgemental awareness of the contents of your mind. If this type of practice is new to you don’t be surprised at how unruly your mind is. To judge yourself for possessing an undisciplined mind is to follow the unwise counsel of your ego, which can only survive through judgement – of yourself or others.

To help you avoid getting caught up in the first thoughts that come into your mind, and thus losing awareness, I suggest the following:

 

Imagine a house infested with mice who all come and go from one mouse hole. The house owner decides to get a cat to help combat the problem; the cat’s job is to wait all day by the mouse hole with its attention fixed on the hole. When a mouse pops its head out of the hole it will immediately notice the cat and will check to see whether the cat has noticed it, or if it is lost in its own feline thoughts. If it finds the cat in an aware state it immediately goes back into the hole. However, if it catches the cat daydreaming, it moves out into the house.

 

For this exercise, assume the attitude of an aware cat. However, you will be watching for thoughts to pop up instead of mice. If you are aware enough a thought will last a short time and then subside. This will then be followed by another thought, which you again simply observe without taking any interest in it. You don’t have to do anything about the thought, simply watch it without adding to it by thinking about it. If, however, you become interested in the thought your mind will start daydreaming. You might dislike the thought you perceive and judge it, telling yourself you should not think such thoughts. Or, conversely, you might be attracted by the thought and explore it further. Either way you have slipped from simply being aware of thoughts to actively encouraging them. Going back to the analogy of the watching cat, we can see that because the cat has lapsed into an anxious (or happy) daydream, the house has filled up with mice!

 

Exercise.

Find a quiet place where you will not be disturbed and sit comfortably with your back upright. Close your eyes and observe the first thought that comes into your mind. At some point an arising thought will have such appeal, either negative or positive, that you will start daydreaming on the theme it presents. In time, you will suddenly realise that your mind is full of thoughts and you have deserted your duty as mind watcher. The next thought might then be, ”I am hopeless at this and might as well give up!”. Try if you can to simply watch that thought and return to simple awareness of your thinking process. When the exercise feels as if it is becoming too difficult too maintain try to go a further one or two minutes. If after this time the exercise has not become easier then stop.

 

This exercise clearly indicates to most of us how untrained our minds are. They seem to have a life all of their own. However, the point of this exercise is not to control or stop thoughts, but simply to allow them to be there in your consciousness, observed without judgement. By practising this exercise on a regular basis, the attitude of non-judgemental awareness will start to carry over into your daily life. In time you will be rewarded by observing some negative thought or behaviour in yourself and finding you can smile at it and inwardly say, “What’s new!” instead of beating yourself up. You will avoid creating further guilt and diminish the likelihood of further repetitions. Another benefit of this meditative practice is the mind will slowly become less preoccupied with thoughts, leading to an increasing sense of inner peace and well-being. Most people need to practise this over a long period before seeing major results. It’s helpful to compare the effort and time required to achieve results in meditation with that required to learn to play a musical instrument well. 

_____________________________________________________

 

 

Non Dual Teachings

 

This part of the newsletter offers input from non-dual teachers. What is non-duality? The word ‘non-dual’ means not two. On the first page of the ACIM text there is two line summary of a Course in Miracles. It begins with the line “Nothing real can be threatened.”

This refers to what God created – eternal, formless, spirit. Eternal means never born and therefore cannot change or die. The Course uses the expression ‘the Christ’ to denote this. Behind all the seeming multiplicity of the universe there is actually only one essential reality. Just as all the images on the cinema screen seem different, the light that creates them is one.

 

There is nothing outside you. That is what you must ultimately learn, for it is the realization that the Kingdom of Heaven is restored to you. For God created only this, and He did not depart from it nor leave it separate from Himself. The Kingdom of Heaven is the dwelling place of the Son of God, who left not his Father and dwells not apart from Him. Heaven is not a place nor a condition. It is merely an awareness of perfect Oneness, and the knowledge that there is nothing else; nothing outside this Oneness, and nothing else within.

T-18.VI.1.   

 

The second line of the summary states ”Nothing unreal exists.” This refers to everything that is born and therefore dies - the ego’s world. Thus everything in the universe including ourselves is not real according to the Course. It is like a great dream. Only perfect oneness is real. 

 

There are two forms of non-duality – pure and impure. In the impure form God is aware that the universe is a dream and experiences itself through it - God's Leela or play as they say in the East. In the pure form of non-duality God is unaware of the universe. The Course is an example of pure non-dual teachings. A metaphor for this is a cinema projector where the lamp in the projector represents God. When the ego's film of separation is run past the light it is projected onto the screen of time and space. The light of God makes this possible, but the lamp is unaware of what is on the screen and would continue to shine when the film is taken away. To continue with this metaphor the light extending from the lamp is who we are, the Christ.

 

You dwell not here, but in eternity.

You travel but in dreams, while safe at home. 

T-13.VII.17:6-7.

 

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

T-10.I.2:1.
 

Earnestness 

from “I Am That” by Nisargadatta Maharaj

 

 

•Whatever work you have undertaken-complete it. Do not take up new tasks, unless it is called for by a concrete situation of suffering and relief from suffering. Find yourself first, and endless blessings will follow. Nothing profits the world as much as the abandoning of profits. p.145f

•Go within, without swerving, without ever looking outward. p.145

•When you are dead earnest, you bend every incident, every second of your life to your purpose. You do not waste time and energy on other things. p.119

•Whatever you do for the sake of truth, will take you to truth. Only be earnest and honest. The shape it takes hardly matters....Mere longing, undiluted by thought and action, pure, concentrated longing, will take you speedily to your goal. It is the motive that matters, not the manner....Who has not the daring will not accept the real even when offered. Unwillingness born out of fear is the only obstacle p.172

•If the seeker is earnest, the light can be given. The light is for all and always there, but the seekers are few, and among those few, those who are ready are very few, and among those few, those who are ready are very rare. Ripeness of heart and mind is indispensable. p.194

•Assiduously investigate everything that crosses your field of attention. With practice the field will broaden and investigation deepen, until they become spontaneous and limitless. p.379

•There must be immense longing for truth, or absolute faith in the Guru. Believe me, there is no goal, nor a way to reach it. You are the way and the goal, there is nothing else to reach except yourself. p.380

•Compassion is the foundation of earnestness. Compassion for yourself and others, born of suffering, your own and others. p.433

•Earnestness, not perfection, is a precondition to self-realisation. Virtues and powers come with realisation, not before. p.434

•Earnestness is not a yearning for the fruits of one’s endeavours. It is an expression of an inner shift of interest away from the false, the unessential, the personal. p.456

 

 

The Direct Path

 

Jac O'Keeffe

 

•The "I" is not continuous.

 

•The "I" only exists when a thought is believed.

 

•In the space between thoughts, there is no "I".

 

•Between thoughts the natural state prevails.

 

•The space is not noticed as it takes an "I" to notice.

 

•Thoughts that are believed carry suffering. Ownership of concepts causes suffering.

 

•The ownership idea creates the idea that you exist.

 

•So long as you believe there is a progressive path and you have a way to go you will continue.

 

•There is a direct path. This is to find out what is real. And prepare to lose everything because you will.

 

•In the stillness between thoughts all becomes clear.

 

•You don't have to understand. Leave the intellect out of this.

 

Rest your attention where you are looking from.

Then the rest of it will just do its own thing.

 

You may see that every single thought you can entertain only serves to perpetuate the personal 'I'. What you are looking for is where you are looking from.

 

You don't have to be perfect, you don't have to have good health, you don't have to do it before your body dies, it's got nothing to do with anything : it's right now, place your attention behind any stories, any concepts. From there, freedom arises, beauty arises, love arises.

 

To abide in your natural state requires no movement or doing on your part.

Keep attention there, where you are looking from. Behind it all. Pull right back.

All external circumstances, activities, possessions and events are designed to keep the mind entertained.

 

Right here, right now, you can settle into your most natural state, that which enjoys uninterrupted peace of mind and liberation in your heart.

Place attention prior to thought.

 

In any moment, you are either observing effortlessly or you are believing your thoughts. Rest at the source of the next thought. That's all.

To feel and experience real happiness, causeless happiness, requires a conscious or unconscious surrendering of your interest in your thoughts.

 

Be quiet, sit still, do not participate in any thoughts, leave mind activity aside for now and direct your attention to the source of the "I" thought.

Stopping unnecessary mental doing allows the natural state to arise. Deep stillness always rests under an agitated mind.

 

Placing your attention on the source of the "I" thought leads to something within you that is behind, prior to or beyond the mind.

 

Thoughts appear and disappear all by themselves. There is no ownership to be claimed, because there is no owner.

 

Allows the 'trapdoor' to open, for the me to dissolve.

Let It take you. Things will be taken care of. You can't lose any ground. Just jump.

Drop the whole show. Rest Awareness in what you are. Place Attention in what you are. Maintaining a path is maintaining a sense of a separate "I".

 

If you observe awareness steadily, this awareness itself as guru will reveal the truth. Instead of looking outward at objects, you observe that looking. Ramana Maharshi

 

What you need is to be aware of being aware.

 

An Inner Revolution

 

Adyashanti

 

The enlightenment I speak of is not simply a realization, not simply the discovery of one’s true nature. This discovery is just the beginning—the point of entry into an inner revolution. Realization does not guarantee this revolution; it simply makes it possible.

What is this inner revolution? To begin with, revolution is not static; it is alive, ongoing, and continuous. It cannot be grasped or made to fit into any conceptual model. Nor is there any path to this inner revolution, for it is neither predictable nor controllable and has a life all its own. This revolution is a breaking away from the old, repetitive, dead structures of thought and perception that humanity finds itself trapped in. Realization of the ultimate reality is a direct and sudden existential awakening to one’s true nature that opens the door to the possibility of an inner revolution. Such a revolution requires an ongoing emptying out of the old structures of consciousness and the birth of a living and fluid intelligence. This intelligence restructures your entire being—body, mind, and perception. This intelligence cuts the mind free of its old structures that are rooted within the totality of human consciousness. If one cannot become free of the old conditioned structures of human consciousness, then one is still in a prison.

 

Having an awakening to one’s true nature does not necessarily mean that there will be an ongoing revolution in the way one perceives, acts, and responds to life. The moment of awakening shows us what is ultimately true and real as well as revealing a deeper possibility in the way that life can be lived from an undivided and unconditioned state of being. But the moment of awakening does not guarantee this deeper possibility, as many who have experienced spiritual awakening can attest to. Awakening opens a door inside to a deep inner revolution, but in no way guarantees that it will take place. Whether it takes place or not depends on many factors, but none more important and vital than an earnest and unambiguous intention for truth above and beyond all else. This earnest intention toward truth is what all spiritual growth ultimately depends upon, especially when it transcends all personal preferences, agendas, and goals.

 

This inner revolution is the awakening of an intelligence not born of the mind but of an inner silence of mind, which alone has the ability to uproot all of the old structures of one’s consciousness. Unless these structures are uprooted, there will be no creative thought, action, or response. Unless there is an inner revolution, nothing new and fresh can flower. Only the old, the repetitious, the conditioned will flower in the absence of this revolution. But our potential lies beyond the known, beyond the structures of the past, beyond anything that humanity has established. Our potential is something that can flower only when we are no longer caught within the influence and limitations of the known. Beyond the realm of the mind, beyond the limitations of humanity’s conditioned consciousness, lies that which can be called the sacred. And it is from the sacred that a new and fluid consciousness is born that wipes away the old and brings to life the flowering of a living and undivided expression of being. Such an expression is neither personal nor impersonal, neither spiritual nor worldly, but rather the flow and flowering of existence beyond all notions of self.

So let us understand that reality transcends all of our notions about reality. Reality is neither Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Advaita Vedanta, nor Buddhist. It is neither dualistic nor nondualistic, neither spiritual nor nonspiritual. We should come to know that there is more reality and sacredness in a blade of grass than in all of our thoughts and ideas about reality. When we perceive from an undivided consciousness, we will find the sacred in every expression of life. We will find it in our teacup, in the fall breeze, in the brushing of our teeth, in each and every moment of living and dying. Therefore we must leave the entire collection of conditioned thought behind and let ourselves be led by the inner thread of silence into the unknown, beyond where all paths end, to that place where we go innocently or not at all—not once but continually.

One must be willing to stand alone—in the unknown, with no reference to the known or the past or any of one’s conditioning. One must stand where no one has stood before in complete nakedness, innocence, and humility. One must stand in that dark light, in that groundless embrace, unwavering and true to the reality beyond all self—not just for a moment, but forever without end. For then that which is sacred, undivided, and whole is born within consciousness and begins to express itself.

 

 

Paying Attention.

 

Jan Frazier

 

 

Attention is everything.  Being present — feeling your aliveness in this moment — has to do with what attention is doing.  Normally, the focus on the moment has to do with its content:  the thoughts being thought (as if they amounted to reality), the thing happening “out there” (the traffic, the other person talking), the thing you’re doing (sitting at the computer, helping your child with homework, changing the tire).

 

The direct experience of what you are, at your essence, has to do with sensing attention itself.  In a wakeful moment, if you have any experience of your “self,” what you feel is awareness itself.  Not your story, not your beliefs, not anything to do with desire or fear.

When you put attention on the fact that you’re thinking, the thoughts themselves cease to entrance you.

 

When beingness senses itself, what’s happening is that attention is attending itself.  Time has stopped.  “You” have tapped into the utter stillness that is your deep nature.  Only attention has access to this.  Thought cannot reach it.  All thought can reach is thoughts.  (Which is related to why thinking the right thoughts, or mentally understanding some teaching, will never wake you up.)

Paying attention to what’s happening right now, inside and outside yourself, within the field of your awareness (without regard for whether you like it or wish it were otherwise), is important not just because it attunes you to reality (which is momentary and immediate, and all you’ve ever got).  It’s important because attention is the doorway to sensing what you deeply are — which has nothing whatever to do with the “content” of the moment.  It’s just that by putting attention on what’s here right now, including whatever is going on within (thought, emotion, physical sensation), you engage that faculty that is your deep nature, outside of thought.  You have opened the door to a deeper kind of encounter than what thought has access to.

 

When you instead engage the faculty of thought by entering into its current production — that is, when you engage with the mind-made movie du jour as if it were reality — your attention is being spent on something that is not real.  You are missing reality because you’re believing the thought stream that’s distracting you from the immediate, the physical, the perceivable.  You cannot sense what you deeply are when you are “living” inside your head, because all that’s engaged is thought (and whatever emotions it brings to life).

However (and this is significant), when you are giving attention to the phenomenon of thought — that is, when you notice that you are thinking — and this is very different from occupying the thought as if it were real — then attention has been engaged.  Which is why there’s no point in trying to stop or counter a particular bunch of thoughts, because when you do that, you have gotten into the ring with the thoughts themselves, as if their content were the important thing.  The important thing is to see that you are thinking, and that the thoughts are productions of your mind, not reality itself.  When you are able to see this, then the thoughts can go on muttering to themselves, and you won’t get caught in them.  You can shift your attention to what your body is doing, or what it’s feeling like, or what’s going on around you.  Or if you do get re-involved in the thoughts, you can just look once again at the fact that you are thinking, and feel what it feels like to have attention be on the phenomenon itself, and how that differs from entering into the apparent reality of the thoughts.

 

That in you that is able to attend in this way is not caught up in thought.  There, you can feel that there is more to you than thought.

Your thoughts cannot ensnare or harm you as long as you continue to see that they are made up, that they are not the same as reality but are productions of your busy mind.  If they can’t harm you, there is no need to change them or get into a wrestling match with them.

 

Stop asking “Am I awake?” or “Will I wake up?” or “Am I having the desirable kind of experience?” but instead ask “What am I doing with attention right now?”  Attention is always somewhere.  We don’t always notice where it is; often, it’s on the world created by the thought of the moment.  There isn’t a “wrong” place to have attention.  The point is to notice where it is, and what attention itself feels like, and how that differs from thinking. 

Attention is always someplace.  You can be deliberate about where you put it, or it can just wander, be easily distracted, caught up.  When you were a little kid in school, and you’d drifted away from what the teacher was doing up there at the blackboard, and suddenly she clapped her hands and said pay attention, you were in fact already in rapt attention — just not on what she was doing.  You were paying so much attention (to your daydream or to the kid making faces in the desk beside you) that you had no spare attention for the teacher’s lesson on subtraction.

 

Attention is always doing something.  But seeing what it’s doing right now, and feeling what attention itself feels like, is another thing altogether.  When you put attention on the fact that you’re thinking, the thoughts themselves cease to entrance you, because you no longer mistake them for reality.

 

When your attention is given utterly to something you’re doing or something within your field of awareness, your mind (have you noticed?) goes utterly quiet.  There is no sense of being a somebody.  All the stories are far away, unable to get your attention.

 


 

Wu Hsin

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quotes from: Instructions to Xu Fengqin translated by Roy Melvyn

 

Part 1

 

What is your true nature?

Your true nature is uncovered when you remove all the falsity you’ve heaped upon it. It is the direct knowledge of yourself as you truly are. It is the immediate apperception of the truth of things without reasoning or analysis; immediate knowledge in contrast with mediate or indirect, dependent knowledge. There is an irreversible transformation from alone to all-one. As it is everything and as it is nothing, it is beyond description.

 

It is the realization that the universe is not external to you and at the same time, it is experiencing that universe as yourself. It is a realization which transcends philosophy, a realization that the center is truly everywhere. It is the perception of the world absent any self-centric filter, the clear discernment of the underlying unity present in multiplicity. It is the total, final and absolute dissolution of the self-obsession, the end of the conceptual entity.

 

Enlightenment means no longer identifying with the weather. The particular has been replaced by the universal. Enlightenment is the undoing of the work of the intellect, the creation of a self-centric point of reference. When the center is gone, the circumference dissolves. One is without boundaries, everything, both the essence and the substance of all that there is. It is the end of limitation. It is the recognition of being, of consciousness, and of fullness.

 

Your own changelessness is so obvious that you don't notice it. Regardless of the cataclysms that may appear, that one which they appear is unaffected. One then lives like an animal, attending neither to what may be nor to what has been, perpetually present. He is not bound by 'do's' and ‘don't's'. He lives an unintentional life wherein things go on normally and nothing is resisted.

 

One need look no further than the animal kingdom for models of the natural state.

 

Q. Then why am I not aware of the authentic-I all the time? 

A. You are, but it is overlooked in your fixation on the world. Whatever comes and goes is mere appearance to you. You are prior to any appearance as the substrate on which it appears.

Unless you give up the idea that the world is anything other than an appearance, you will always pursue it. Taking the appearance to be real, you will never know the real itself. To fully experience the ocean, you have to take your clothes off. To dive deeply into oneself, the clothes or uniform that constitute the seeming self must go. Drop your present identity and embrace the paradox of identification with this formlessness.

 

The paradox of awakening is that it is both gradual and sudden. It is like termites gnawing away at a tree. Eating, gnawing, eating; suddenly the tree falls.

 

That's why Wu Hsin discourages Xu Fengqin from endless questioning and advises his disciple to limit his questioning, to primarily just listen, listen without using his intellect.

 

 

Observing - Witness - Awareness

 

Wu Hsin recommends the disengaging of attention from the senses by turning attention within, and then emptying consciousness of all content.

 

Wu Hsin’s advice is simple: 

Step out of the field of thought and keep watching. 

Who other than you is observing? 

You are the Witnessing.

 

Maintain the attention on being, on consciousness, on presence, on the knowing of the content. One must provide water to a plant until it develops roots. Then it grows by itself. Likewise, study these words until they take root. Then understanding grows at its own pace.

 

When there is no attachment to phenomena,

There is only witnessing, observing.

Witnessing is awareness of

The movements in consciousness.

 

Focus on the discovery of

What is aware of the sense of existence, of I-ness,

Rather than a projected ‘me’ standing in for ‘I’.

Soon, the idea that the body was ever considered to be ‘me’

Will be revealed to be absurd.

 

All that is required for provoking the awareness of the true nature of reality is the sustaining of an unobstructed view. This is Wu Hsin's technique-free path, passing beyond effort, beyond practice, beyond aims and goals.

 

The knower of the mind merely observes; it does not interfere in anything. Soon, you will see that the nearer you get to reality, the more you lose interest in your worldly affairs. Not becoming anything is the key. Becoming is merely the movement from being one thing to being another thing.

 

The eyes observe the world. The mind observes the eyes. Consciousness observes the mind. The absolute observes consciousness.

 

Thoughts, perceptions, sensations and images come and go. They are experienced. Don't confuse yourself, xu fengqin, to be any of these.  You are the observing of them. They're are all appearances to you. Look to see what this that you already are is. The authentic-I is that subjective reality which underlies the individual “I” and allows for the experience of "I-amness" as one’s existence. It is the authentic-I that enables the statement, “I.” seek to know it, not to know about it.

 

You are that antecedent being conscious presence. What is required is an in-turning, an inner shift of interest away from the personal and toward the source of the personal resulting in the reassertion of the primacy of universal consciousness.

 

The in-turning involves the recognizing and allowing of whatever arises rather than their resistance and exclusion. There is no longer any opposition to “other”. The result is a spontaneous recognition. Since it is acausal, there is nothing to practice. The only thing to do is recognize what you essentially are.

 

If the attention is firmly fixed on being, whether or not the flow of thoughts continues becomes unimportant.

 

The issue at hand is the arbitrary and un-inspected identification of a seeming personal consciousness, a sense of entity, with the varieties of experience. The drive for a self-fulfillment via experience reflects the self-actuating reward mechanisms in operation. The self-reference will never leave you. You have to leave it by seeing yourself as distinct from it, by seeing yourself as the witness of both the content-free state and the state with content.

 

Identification with objects is the surest sign of confusion, of not knowing who you are. What you are is prior to the appearance of thoughts, of objects, of all phenomena. Resting there, confusion dissolves.

 

Simply be aware: “I am not the body, i am not the mind. I am simply pure awareness.” as this awareness deepens, the mind’s impact on you loses all force. When the awareness is fully settled, the self-centric mind simply evaporates. This is not an outcome or a proficiency brought about through practice. It is the spontaneous apperception of what always already is, the most antecedent.

 

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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.

___________________________________________________

 

Other

 

 

 

Forthcoming Workshops on A Course in Miracles

 

 

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

 

 

Germany 2016 Dates

 

 

 

Bonn - Sat 11 and Sun 12 June - 10am to 6pm

 

 

 

Stages of Spiritual Awakening

from the perspective of A Course in Miracles

 

Forget not once this journey is begun the end is certain. Doubt along the way will come and go and go to come again. Yet is the ending sure. No one can fail to do what God appointed him to do. When you forget, remember that you walk with Him and with His Word upon your heart. Who could despair when hope like this is his?

A Course in Miracles-Clarification of Terms-Epilogue

 

Everyone's path is unique. Some take the steps in different order and sometimes simultaneously, and some appear to miss out some steps all together. Some experience visions, ecstasy, physical phenomena, and other mystical and psychic experiences, whilst others travel a less dramatic path but still reach the same destination - an inner peace, quiet joy and a oneness with all things, and even beyond that oneness.

 

Many of the challenges on the path return again and again in cyclic fashion until the journey is completed. What is required of us is to start out on an unknown journey with a faith that increases with experience, moving from an initial awakening to a full embodiment in daily life.

 

The Course has much to help us on our path of awakening and also warns us of the traps on the way. However, some important aspects of the awakening process are not covered in the Course. To help with these I have drawn on the observations and experience of some awakened teachers.

 

Topics also included:

Requirements for awakening

Progressive versus direct paths

The spectrum of spiritual awakening

Practice or no practice?

Effort or grace?

Gradual and sudden awakenings.

Kundalini

The seekers trap

Forgiveness

 

Exercises will be used to help undo the blocks to awakening.

No knowledge of A Course in Miracles is required.

 

 

 

An Evening Introductory Talk - Fri 10th June 2016

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  2016

 

Fri 16,[6pm to 9pm] Sat 17 [10am to 6pm] and Sun 18 [10am to 5pm]

 

Stages of Spiritual Awakening

from the perspective of A Course in Miracles

 

Forget not once this journey is begun the end is certain. Doubt along the way will come and go and go to come again. Yet is the ending sure. No one can fail to do what God appointed him to do. When you forget, remember that you walk with Him and with His Word upon your heart. Who could despair when hope like this is his?

A Course in Miracles-Clarification of Terms-Epilogue

 

Everyone's path is unique. Some take the steps in different order and sometimes simultaneously, and some appear to miss out some steps all together. Some experience visions, ecstasy, physical phenomena, and other mystical and psychic experiences, whilst others travel a less dramatic path but still reach the same destination - an inner peace, quiet joy and a oneness with all things, and even beyond that oneness.

 

Many of the challenges on the path return again and again in cyclic fashion until the journey is completed. What is required of us is to start out on an unknown journey with a faith that increases with experience, moving from an initial awakening to a full embodiment in daily life.

 

The Course has much to help us on our path of awakening and also warns us of the traps on the way. However, some important aspects of the awakening process are not covered in the Course. To help with these I have drawn on the observations and experience of some awakened teachers.

 

Topics also included:

Requirements for awakening

Progressive versus direct paths

The spectrum of spiritual awakening

Practice or no practice?

Effort or grace?

Gradual and sudden awakenings.

Kundalini

The seekers trap

Forgiveness

 

Exercises will be used to help undo the blocks to awakening.

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

 

 

______________________________________________________

 

 

 

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