Joining together with others in the study of A Course in Miracles can assist with more understanding of the material, learning from others’ personal miracle stories, and the encouragement to dive deeper into personal practice. We have three weekly ACIM Study Groups that meet via video and phone conferencing on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. On Sundays in Madison, Wisconsin, we have an in-person study group. Each group has a slightly different focus but all maintain practical application of A Course in Miracles in our lives. Our study group facilitators are Gayle Bartlett, Mari Dole, Ryan Westbrook-Vigue, Darike Vigue, Tracey Frick, Tom Wolff, Rev. Paul Phelps, and myself, Rev. Deb Phelps. My thank to all!
Below you will find the summaries from our groups this week.
To join in our Tuesday and Wednesday ACIM Study Groups via video or phone conferencing, see the information at this link. Our Monday morning study group has been discontinued.
For Madison, Wisconsin information, go to this link.
Sunday ACIM Study Group in Madison
Opened with Lesson 131 – No one can fail who seeks to reach the truth.
Practical Application Topic: Security
Personal miracle stories and examples were shared in relation to the feeling of security, all the while knowing our only security is that of God.
We read Text, Chapter 28, Section VII. The Ark of Safety. If we built our house on straw, well then we cannot wonder why it gets swept away, right? Same with where we place our faith. Do we place our faith in the body and the illusion, or in God Himself?
This is a great, great reading, be sure to read it for yourself.
- What is the sense in seeking to be safe in what was made for danger and for fear? 2 Why burden it with further locks and chains and heavy anchors, when its weakness lies, not in itself, but in the frailty of the little gap of nothingness whereon it stands? 3 What can be safe that rests upon a shadow? 4 Would you build your home upon what will collapse beneath a feather’s weight?
- T-28.VII.7. Your home is built upon your brother’s health, upon his happiness, his sinlessness, and everything his Father promised him. 2 No secret promise you have made instead has shaken the Foundation of his home. 3 The winds will blow upon it and the rain will beat against it, but with no effect. 4 The world will wash away and yet this house will stand forever, for its strength lies not within itself alone. 5 It is an ark of safety, resting on God’s promise that His Son is safe forever in Himself. 6 What gap can interpose itself between the safety of this shelter and its Source? 7 From here the body can be seen as what it is, and neither less nor more in worth than the extent to which it can be used to liberate God’s Son unto his home. 8 And with this holy purpose is it made a home of holiness a little while, because it shares your Father’s Will with you. p605
We closed with a silent meditation and announcements of what’s upcoming.
This week’s video teaching is “The Ark of Safety.”
Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=loQtQJp_kuA
Tuesday ACIM Study Group by Video/Phone Conferencing
Opening Meditation: Workbook Lesson 170 “There is no cruelty in God and none in me.”
During the Tuesday night ACIM drop-in study group we discussed our practical application of Lesson 170.
We spent time discussing our thoughts concerning our personal defenses both self and projected. We also discussed how the healing power of love works within our lives. The group discussed how “God is but love” and how it’s all-encompassing. There is no cruelty in God therefore there is only love in us and how we as individuals exemplify that in our day to day interaction with others and we touched on the split mind “Yet you attack outside yourself, and separate your mind from him who is to be attacked, with perfect faith the split you made is real” We spoke about how we can make the separation in our mind real which causes attack thoughts, but where it speaks upon faith it’s not “faith” spiritually it’s more of putting faith into the idea of the split mind concept instead of focusing on the truth we know within. We wrapped up the discussion in paragraph VIII on page 327 talking about making the choice that laying down the idol of a cruel God and picking up another puts one into a perpetual circle in which we don’t focus on our healing and love because we allow the fear within to hold us back.
The Tuesday Night ACIM Drop-in Study Group is a beautiful blend of longstanding and beginning students of the Course. This allows for a unique opportunity of sharing in which everyone is welcome and many points of practical application is shared.
Wednesday Study Group by Video/Phone Conferencing
OK, I will try to make sure that whatever I share is relevant to all of our lives whether you have dabbled in the Manual for Teachers or not.
This week’s reading was 24. IS REINCARNATION SO?
Not sure what your beliefs are relative to reincarnation, but I can share mine ever so briefly. I have practiced Yoga for decades and this area is an integral part of the branch of Yoga to which I have been committed for a very long time, one that is highly meditative where the actual kriya or set of postures is meant to prepare oneself for stillness. Reincarnation doesn’t frighten me and many years ago, I talked to a “medium” or “seer”, that’s what she called herself, who accessed seeming lifetimes with my husband, Bill, and was able to explain why we might conflict.
That’s neither here nor there. My experience doesn’t matter, but I find just sharing from my life can often help to dissipate any fear YOU may have in exploring your own beliefs and blocks to the awareness of love’s presence.
OK, the most salient points in our discussion yesterday were:
Jesus asks us if the concept of reincarnation is helpful, that is, if it is “used to strengthen the recognition of the eternal nature of life, it is helpful indeed.” (Paragraph one, sentence five.)
Essentially, he admonishes not to get lost in the sauce about it as salvation can be experienced/accessed NOW, ruminating about seeming past lives or trying to be good in this one to assure greater joy in a future one is a waste of time. We focus on NOW and accessing the holy instant.
If you are not sure what that is, the holy instant, please take a look at the section, The Two Uses of Time, Chapter 15, page 301 in the blue book.
Jesus tells us that as a Teacher of God we don’t have to give up any of our beliefs nor are we to encourage anyone else to relinquish theirs. He states, “His ego will be enough for him to cope with, and it is not the part of wisdom to add sectarian controversies to his burdens.” (Paragraph three, sentence 5.)
Great example, one of our participants is a devoted Course practitioner who also attends church every week and sings in the choir. She attends because she loves being with others in love, joy and peace, she spreads her light and receives that of others WITHOUT focusing on whether the she agrees or disagrees with the service, Bible, etc. She enjoys both as she practices non-judgment in all things. She derives maximal benefit from both practices, if you will. (A lovely reference for this is the fourth paragraph, sentences five through eight.)
Finally, one of our participants shared that a few sentences in the last paragraph, six, read like a benediction. There are “Atonement might be equated with total escape from the past and total lack of interest in the future. Heaven is here. There is nowhere else. Heaven is now. There is no other time.” To get caught up in debating any subject including reincarnation, whether it exists or not, is ego, period.
Have a lovely week, everyone.
Join us when you can, we’d love to have you.