“This is a course in miracles. It is a required course. Only the time you take it is voluntary. Free will does not mean that you can establish the curriculum. It means only that you can elect what you take at a given time. . .
. . .Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists. Herein lies the peace of (creation).”
Those are the first words in the introduction to the book, “A Course in Miracles,” published by the Foundation of Inner Peace. The book often is referred to by its initials, ACIM.
For me, “A Course in Miracles,” has been my entryway into the world of meditation and mindfulness. My personal miracle, is that I now have a ten-year-old daily meditation practice.
“ A Course in Miracles,” worked for me. Perhaps, it will work for you, as well. Or perhaps, you already practice the daily lessons from, “The Course.”
Like most things in life, at least in my opinion, there is no one “correct method,” to learn meditation. There are many ways to develop a meditation practice. But for me, and millions of others, this one works.
I think the reason it works for me is because of the book’s “mind training,” approach to the practice of quieting the mind.
You are not asked to sit down, and be still for 20 minutes, with little instruction other than “let your mind be blank.”
Right. That’ll work.
Rather, step by step by step, “The Workbook ,” from,” A Course in Miracles ,” takes the student through an actual process of how to do just that, quiet the mind.
Everyday, there is a daily lesson – 365 of them. When you finish year one, you go back and start all over again. I always find it interesting in how the meaning of the words in each lesson have changed from year to year.
Some of the early lessons say things like, “Nothing I see means anything.”
“I have given everything I see all the meaning that it has for me.”
“I am never upset for the reason I think.”
“My thoughts are images I have made.”
“Above all else I want to see.”
“Above all else I want to see things differently.”
In the beginning lessons the student is asked only to practice a few minutes at a time. Sometimes, the student is asked to practice a few minutes at a time a few times during the day.
By the end of the year, the student has developed his meditation muscle to the extent that it is easy, even welcomed to quietly sit in meditation for 30 minutes.
On vacations I spend camping in the woods, being in nature, I look forward to the opportunity to spend several hours at a time sitting in silent meditation. It allows me to go deep in to my meditative state in a way that is different from sitting in my truck, doing my daily 20 minutes before I drive or book loads or deal with dispatchers, customers, colleagues, etc.
It is different than stealing away 20 minutes before beginning work in my home office as I quietly sit in front of the picture window, my cats curled up beside me, the giant evergreens shading and protecting the houses and green space along the street outside my Oregon Wine Country home.
The reason to practice meditation is so that we can learn to be more mindful in our everyday lives. The quieter our minds, the easier it is to be present in any given moment of our daily lives.
The Course in Miracles sums it up beautifully, “The purpose of the learning (to meditate) is to enable you to bring the quiet with you, and to heal distress and turmoil…
“…You will yet learn that peace is part of you, and requires only that you be there to embrace any situation in which you are. And finally you will learn that there is no limit to where you are, so that your peace is everywhere, as you are.”
The only thing left to say about working with “A Course in Miracles,” is that the book is theistic, in that it does refer to and work with the concept of divinity. Some people will find this familiar and comfortable, others may find it off putting. Still others will find that they feel more comfortable in changing up some of the language to more closely mirror personal beliefs and value systems associated with the concept.
You can begin working with ACIM by going to the website, www.acim.org . Once there, you can purchase “The Course.” Or, you can read the daily lesson on line for free. To make it easy for you I’m linking to Lesson One for anyone who wants to get started right away.
Here it is: http://www.acim.org/Lessons/lesson.html
ACIM is also available in many different languages so that you can have the information in another language if that is more comfortable for you.
Hope this helps!
And what would a Trucking Yogi post be without a little theme music to go along? Here are a couple tunes. First, let’s hear from Sachmo, America’s music ambassador to the world; the man Portland’s Marilyn Keller called the “Alpha and Omega,” of jazz. Here’s Louis Armstrong with one of his best known songs, “What a Wonderful World,” by George D. Weiss and Robert Thiele. My prayer for each of us is that we take time every day to appreciate that we do live in a wonderful world (and the life and legacy of Louis Armstrong, of course).
Secondly, hows about a George Harrison tune? This song “Give me Love,” was featured in the documentary movie, “Awake,” about the life of Paramahansa Yogananda, an Indian yogi who spent a good deal of his life expanding the practice of meditation in The West through a practice called “Kriya Yoga.” He also founded an organization called the “Self-Realization Fellowship,” which to this day, continues to teach his meditation principles all over the world. George Harrison, a student of spirituality and human consciousness, also appeared in the film and talked about how the late guru had been a positive influence on his life. You can find more information about Kriya Yoga, Paramahansa Yogananda,and the Self-Realization Fellowship at http://www.yogananda-srf.org