As we gathered in our first session, we first experienced a body scan relaxation and meditation. I invited the students to ground and center themselves and ask what their intention would be for the next six weeks of our time together. The intention is their desire for an outcome or what they had hoped to gain when the class had come to a close.
In the sharing that took place regarding our intention, students wanted a sense of inner peace away from the distractions of the world. A few mentioned how they start their day with God and how easily they are pulled away from maintaining the connection. Some wanted to improve their communication with God. Others wanted to let go of self-criticism and learn to be gentle with oneself. And, some wanted to offer up their limitations and be in gratitude. All students realized that God is always speaking and wanted to learn how to stop and listen.
After this initial intention-setting, we had a dialogue on our past and current prayer life. What it was or what students learned in the past and what has transformed. Here are just a few of those thoughts:
- In the past, I was begging when praying and then I felt punished. This changed with ACIM, and I am grateful for the new experiences.
- I was always asking and then at the whim of God’s mercy. Now I affirm and am open to the blessing and awareness of peace.
- I grew up where there was a Book of Common Prayers. We were always saying the same prayers. Now I like to use affirmative prayer. I still pray but the form has changed.
- I’m afraid to trust and relinquish to what God’s plan is. I want to learn how to forgive as that has been an issue in my life. Instead, I want to radiate love to others.
- In Sunday School growing up, I was always asking for things. Recently I learned how to create a Gratitude Journal and that has been my new way of praying.
- I learned to pray and ask for help. And, don’t forget about the starving children in India. I had to pray to God to fix or change things. But these things never change and I felt that God was ineffectual. I’m learning now to let go and let God and let myself be Who I am. I like to hold others in the Light.
- Memorized prayers, that’s what I learned growing up Catholic. These were prayers I learned by rote, but the words never really seemed to have any meaning behind them at all. I just recited and somehow that was supposed to make something happen. There was no meaning behind it and that was what was missing; the meaning. Now, I turn to a Higher Power. I still can have a feeling of awkwardness and I want to learn what True Prayer is. I know I need to be with the experience.
As we continue, the class will be learning True Prayer as Jesus teaches us in ACIM. We will study Part II of the Workbook for Students and the supplement “The Song of Prayer.” And, importantly practice what we learn on a daily basis which will involve creating our own prayers. The gift the class receives comes from the sharing with one another. When I teach, that is my main focus that we hear from the wisdom of every member in the class. The significance in this is God speaks to all of us and there is not a single person who is above all, including myself. I have merely the mid-wife for our class as I guide us all forward.
If you find this topic interesting and you would like to participate in the class, we can still take new students on the second week. I record each week for the students’ benefit just in case a class needs to be missed due to illness or a prior appointment. After the second week I cannot take new students in the class.
Here is the “Prayer of the Heart” class information at this link.
Blessings to all,