Meditation and ACIM
Many beautiful spiritual traditions teach meditation as a pathway to God. Before I committed to following A Course in Miracles all the way, I used to meditate for long hours. I enjoyed it and had many experiences of deep peace. The only problem was that when I was not sitting in meditation my mind still churned with the same frustrations and problems over and over again. It began to feel like an escape instead of a deep healing practice. Then I read this passage in ACIM:
“…Nor is a lifetime of contemplation and long periods of meditation aimed at detachment from the body necessary. All such attempts will ultimately succeed because of their purpose. Yet the means are tedious and very time consuming, for all of them look to the future for release from a state of present unworthiness and inadequacy … Your way will be different, not in purpose but in means. A holy relationship is a means of saving time. One instant spent together with your brother restores the universe to both of you.” T-18.VII.4, 5
I felt I had gone as far as I could with sitting in meditation; a new way was coming in. As I continued to deepen with the teachings of ACIM I began to see that this indeed was going to be a different way than I had anticipated for my awakening! ACIM is a path of awakening through relationship. What?! I had moved – by myself – to a remote canyon in Utah where the nearest neighbor was miles away. I thought I could just sit by the river, say everything is an illusion, and eventually get beyond thought all together and wake up! Now I was being told I couldn’t go home without my brother! I didn’t really even like people.
The deep teachings of ACIM are that: “… if you look only at yourself you cannot find yourself, because that is not what you are. Whenever you are with a brother, you are learning what you are because you are teaching what you are. He will respond either with pain or with joy, depending on which teacher you are following. He will be imprisoned or released according to your decision, and so will you. Never forget your responsibility to him, because it is your responsibility to yourself. Give him his place in the Kingdom and you will have yours … The Kingdom cannot be found alone, and you who are the Kingdom cannot find yourself alone.” T-8.III.5,6
As I moved into close relationships with many who shared the same purpose, I felt deep resistance to this idea of seeing what I really believed. It was raw and uncensored. Mirroring was used to see the extent of fear that was in the mind. It was a profound experience. As the Course says, revelation which is sometimes experienced in meditation is not enough:
“God has kept your Kingdom for you, but He cannot share His joy with you until you know it with your whole mind. Revelation is not enough, because it is only communication from God. God does not need revelation returned to Him, which would clearly be impossible, but He does want it brought to others. This cannot be done with the actual revelation; its content cannot be expressed, because it is intensely personal to the mind that receives it. It can, however, be returned by that mind to other minds, through the attitudes the knowledge from the revelation brings.” T-4.VII.7.
The Workbook lessons are a step-by-step process of undoing everything we think we know. They are masterfully designed to support looking inward and letting go of the belief in thought. Thoughts are not the problem; it is the belief in them that keeps the mind in fear and distress, because it is identified with them. They are not true! When you come to this realization you are free; the movement of life itself becomes the meditation.
In Love, Suzanne