~https://acourseoflove.org/the-embrace-98-my-teachers-the-birds/~https://acourseoflove.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Patricia-Pearce-3.jpg~The Embrace #98: My Teachers, the Birds~

The other morning, as I was on our roof deck doing my morning journaling, I noticed a pair of birds land in one of the planter boxes where we grow vegetables. While I watched the leaves of the bok choi and Swiss chard tremble as the birds made their way among them, I wondered what they were up to.

~Featured Article My Teachers, the Birds By Patricia Pearce   he other morning, as I was on our roof deck doing my morning journaling, I noticed a pair of birds land in one of the planter boxes where we grow vegetables. While I watched the leaves of the bok choi and Swiss chard tremble as the birds made their way among them, I wondered what they were up to. Were they finding bugs for their morning breakfast? Were they sampling the tender leaves of the cilantro and parsley? I soon had my answer when one of them, then the other, flew off with a beak full of twigs and dried leaves. They made several trips from wherever they were building their nest, each time carrying off ample nesting material. I felt so happy that our roof deck garden was providing them with what they needed for the home they were building for their young ones, and I had such a deep appreciation for how they made use of what nature readily offers. Birds have my deepest respect for the risks they take in learning to fly, and the truth is that not all of them make it. During fledgling season, while on my walks through the neighborhood, I sometimes see dead baby birds on the sidewalk, little birds who didn’t quite get the knack of flying, though far more often, tiny baby birds who were blown out of the nest even before they had a chance to try. That is the nature of nature that one has to accept. Lives end. Life goes on. A week or so ago when I stepped out our front door to water our flowerbeds, I encountered a young bird on the porch of our neighbor’s adjoining row home who was clearly just getting the hang of flying. I gave it plenty of space as I walked over to the hose and turned it on. A few minutes later, while I was watering, I heard an odd thumping sound coming from the front stoop of our neighbor’s house, and I went over to investigate. The fledgling, no doubt in an attempt to launch itself back into the air, had landed instead in our neighbor’s recycling bin and couldn’t get out. So I gently laid the bin down on its side so it could walk out and make another attempt. A wise master once advised us to consider the birds of the air, and this time of year I take the instruction to heart, because birds really are some of my best teachers. They remind me that the best way to greet the morning is with a song in my heart~~~https://acourseoflove.org/the-embrace-97-to-read-or-not-to-read/~https://acourseoflove.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/Sebastian-Blaksley-1.jpg~The Embrace #97: To Read or Not to Read? That is the Question~

While in prayer one day I felt an immense “greed” for knowledge of God, which impelled me to read and instruct myself in many things from Heaven. Then my sweet Jesus made himself present in all his beauty and goodness. During his visit, he told me what I share below.

~Featured Article To Read or Not to Read? That is the Question By Sebastián Blaksley   hile in prayer one day I felt an immense “greed” for knowledge of God, which impelled me to read and instruct myself in many things from Heaven. Then my sweet Jesus made himself present in all his beauty and goodness. During his visit, he told me what I share below, so that he can serve others just as he has served me. “Beloved soul of my soul, in less time than the blink of an eye, I can instill more wisdom into your mind and heart than you can acquire by reading and studying all the books in the world. Indeed, the less knowledge of the world you acquire, the easier it will be for you to receive the knowledge that does not come from them but from Heaven. Happy are the simple of heart. Meditate upon this.” And then it was given to me to understand to a greater degree the prayer of Jesus when he said: "I praise you, Father, Lord of Heaven and Earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent, and revealed them to little children.” (Luke 10:21) I understood that many times our mind is cluttered with information which can in certain cases be very useful. However, by doing so our ability to receive revelation from our divine self, from that part of the soul that is in constant communication with God, is hindered or obstructed. Filling our minds with thoughts, many of which come from studying and learning, can be a real obstacle to accessing wisdom. How many times do we see brothers and sisters who seem not to be well-versed according to the intellectual criteria of the world, and yet who show us enormous wisdom? Where does that come from? Jesus explained to me that theirs is “the wisdom of life. They are the ones who have made life itself their teacher.” Meditating on all this, I asked myself: What am I to do? Should I stop reading books? Not quench my thirst for knowledge through reading, seminars, or listening to learned people? Or should I instead take the knowledge received as part of my spiritual path? And I got this answer: “The secret, my beloved, is neither to read or not to read, to study or not to study. The question is to let yourself be guided by the spirit of wisdom that lives in you. It will instruct you directly and often. Others, on the other hand, may do so through the living word, either written or spoken, or in art and other expressions. It will let you know what to read and what not, how much, and when. Read with your soul. Be instructed, not in order to know more, but as a response from your heart to the call of beautiful knowledge, which comes from the Christ in you." After having received this revelation, I freed myself from the compulsion to want to hoard knowledge, from the greed to want to know more and more, including from God. And I began a new stage in which spiritual books, which I have always loved so much, come to me. And I have discovered to my happy amazement that they do. In other words, the divine knowledge that needs to come to me comes without delay or doubt. It comes in whatever form it has to come. Sometimes it does so in the voice of those who, through their wisdom, reveal an aspect of the truth to me; I can feel that it is the Holy Spirit itself speaking through them. Sometimes that knowledge manifests itself in the events of my life. Sometimes, in it arrives through books that my heart knows how to recognize as being sent from Heaven. Then I no longer read with my thinking mind but with my heart. I “pray-read.” Often we launch ourselves to acquire more and more human knowledge, which is not always knowledge but information, and we get tired, mentally speaking. We create a mental state of limitation in which we attempt to receive the newness of Christ. Yet as Jesus also said two thousand years ago, "You do not put new wine in old wineskins, because it will spoil." I have seen that an excess of information or stimuli tires the mind and closes it to receive the soft trail of beautiful knowledge. In addition, it causes us run the risk of acquiring a fixed position on ideas and beliefs, which leads to a dogmatism that separates. For this reason often it is more useful not to fill the mind with ideas, but to empty it of all of them—making us ignorant of the world to be wise in the way of Christ. Often the less we have of worldly knowledge, the more our soul is filled with the knowledge of Heaven~~~https://acourseoflove.org/the-embrace-96-you-are-awakening/~https://acourseoflove.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/John-Smallman-2.jpg~The Embrace #96: You Are Awakening and There’s No Going Back~

The apparent chaos, suffering, and confusion all across the world at present is very unsettling! Therefore, remember that everyone incarnate now is in human form by choice in order to participate in the collective awakening process… There is NO ONE who is NOT assisting in this process!

~Featured Article You Are Awakening and There’s No Going Back Received by John Smallman from Jesus   he apparent chaos, suffering, and confusion all across the world at present is very unsettling! Therefore, remember that everyone incarnate now is in human form by choice in order to participate in the collective awakening process, thus ensuring their own awakening while greatly assisting others to also awaken. There is NO ONE who is NOT assisting in this process! That is probably very difficult for many of you to accept, so I would remind you that everyone—there are NO exceptions—is precisely where they are meant to be as they assist magnificently in this divine plan, the plan that was established at the exact moment that the collective choice to experience separation from Source was implemented. There are no accidents, no unintended events. Everything that occurs in your human lives has a purpose, even if it is not understood or accepted. You all chose to be incarnate now, knowing that when you “arrived” your memory of your divinely guided purpose would be hidden from you in order to allow you to fully experience and learn from the life paths on which, seemingly randomly, you found yourselves. You are all divinely loved in every moment of your uninterruptible eternal existence, and while living your human lives in form your intuition guides you most beautifully along your chosen paths. However, when intense doubts arise within you, as they sometimes do, when your intuition appears to you to be leading you astray, your heavenly support team is gently nudging you towards self-trust. Trusting yourselves is essential because you are divine beings and are, therefore, completely trustworthy. God always trusts you. Self-doubts are egoic attempts to distract you from your intuitive guidance, which is always valid, by presenting you with anxiety-producing “what if” scenarios. Look carefully at any thoughts presented to you in order to help you differentiate between egoic falsehoods and your intuition. If you remain unsure, delay making any decisions, ask for clarity, and your guides will respond. They are always with you and will offer guidance and comforting supportive energy whenever you call on them. Everyone who calls on their guides is answered—instantly! To trust yourself is to be yourself, and you cannot ever be, nor would want to be anyone else! Others may offer their opinions, which you may or may not find helpful, but it is always up to you to make your own life choices and decisions. Only you can know what is right for you. Of course throughout your lives choices arise and decisions have to be made. When you look back over the years there may well be decisions you now regret. Remind yourselves, when recalling life events, that your lives in form are unreal and that what you see as errors were, in that moment, the best choices that you could then have made. Let go of all self-judgment because it distracts you from living, and you become anxious about the possibility of offending someone or even God. People do take offense but God does not. To be offended is to accept another’s judgment of you. Why would you do that? No one, except God, knows you as you know yourself. You chose to experience your human life and learn lessons that you were divinely guided to place on your path. As humans you cannot avoid making errors; it is part of the learning experience. So welcome the errors, for they are demonstrating something to you of which you were unaware. To awaken is to become fully aware. You are all aware that you are conscious. But just being conscious—consciousness experienced as yourself in form—is often not enough, and so you can be quite unaware, and unaware that you are unaware. However, you are all very good at noticing when someone else is unaware! Thus your own awareness is often shut down by your ego distracting you—I need a coffee, to get gas in the car, to call my boss, to finish work and go home—and it is extremely adept at doing so. Do not judge yourselves negatively for the errors that you realize you have made. If they could or have adversely affected someone else, attempt to amend the situation but do not engage in self-blaming, as it drags you down energetically and totally unnecessarily. So many have been trained during infancy, childhood, and adolescence to believe that making a mistake is disastrous. This is seldom true, if ever. It may cause inconvenience and it may also show you a new way to address an issue. Also, once you can cease automatically blaming yourself or others the stress and emotional upheaval that mistakes tend to generate reduce enormously, allowing you to focus more clearly as your anxiety about making errors diminishes. You are all, each and every human without any exceptions, the beloved children of God. There is nothing any of you can do that will change your relationship with Her. Forget divine judgment and eternal damnation—utterly invalid ideas or concepts that humanity invented to attempt to assuage the guilt felt for attempting to separate from God. God’s only wish for you is that you be happy and return Home. Of course, you have never left! But, while in form as humans, it does seem that you are indeed far removed from God. It is a little like infants hiding their faces behind their hands and believing that they cannot see or be seen. Feeling so separated, so unloved, many seek love from others, compete with others for love, and frequently find themselves in conflict. This has been occurring since the moment of apparent separation, which is but a micro-moment ago, and over the eons of time many wars have been fought on God’s behalf! What an insane idea to fight for God and attempt to punish those viewed as His enemies. He has no enemies. He loves all His children no matter what mischief they may have engaged in. Remember, life in form is illusory, and the ongoing conflicts, pain, and suffering are unreal. Nothing that is not in complete alignment with Love has ever happened or could ever happen. You are always eternally at peace and in joy in the Presence of Mother-Father-God, your eternal Home from which you have never departed because there is nowhere else! Nevertheless, as humans in apparently very real bodies, this divine Truth is extremely difficult for you to accept. Humanity is right now finally awakening from the eons-long dream of separation and abandonment. You collectively chose to experience this unreal state, and because you have free will, given to you at the moment of your creation like all your other God-given gifts, until you collectively chose to awaken from that state, separation from Source has been your experience. The first steps in your awakening were for you to become aware that what you were experiencing was unreal. Over the last few hundred years these steps have been taken, and now your collective awareness is in the last few minutes of waking you from the dream. There is no going back. You are awakening. Your awareness of your Oneness with God can no longer be denied or ignored. There are signs of this all across the world as more and more of you come to the realization that your collective ego has fooled you into believing that the insanity you see around you is real. Nothing could be further from Truth. As you spend time daily deep within yourselves at your own individual holy inner sanctuaries, consciously at One with Mother-Father-God, allow the Love that She is to completely envelop you. You will feel Her Love, and feeling it you will respond to Her in the same manner. You are permanently in an unbreakable One-on-One relationship with Her. The only reason that you have spent most of your time unaware of the divine Truth of actually feeling the Love that is God is because you have believed in the reality of the unreal: separation, aloneness, abandonment. And that belief, invented by the ego, is one that you have been most loath to let go of, to cease clinging to, even though it has caused you such intense pain. As one of your common sayings goes, “would you rather be right or happy?” Finally you have chosen happiness, and your awakening is almost upon you. Be prepared for wonder beyond wonder as you rub the sleep from your eyes and find yourselves fully awake and engaged in the most magnificent revelries to celebrate your long-awaited awakening, your return Home to Oneness. Your loving brother, Jesus~~~https://acourseoflove.org/the-embrace-95-the-agony-the-opening-the-miracle/~https://acourseoflove.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/Deypa-2.jpg~The Embrace #95: The Agony, the Opening, the Miracle~

I was born blind into a family that did not want a blind child, and I was much abused. As I was blind, all my memories were recorded in full body representation. Over the years I have healed many events. Still, you cannot heal what is still deeply buried.

~Featured Article The Agony, the Opening, the Miracle By Deypa Deyas   was born blind into a family that did not want a blind child, and I was much abused. As I was blind, all my memories were recorded in full body representation. Over the years I have healed many events. Still, you cannot heal what is still deeply buried. Late one Thursday evening, I was struck as if hit by lightning when my entire consciousness was filled with memories of being beaten and sexually abused by my dad from the ages of 2 to 6. I felt every detail in my physiology. It was excruciating, both physically and emotionally, as if the abuse was happening right then. Welts raised on my body and I was flung into a terrifying PTSD (post-traumatic syndrome) event for the next three days. At first, all I wanted to do was hide. I was in so much pain that I wanted to die. Holy Spirit made sure the means I would have used were out of the house, and I could not leave. I could not think. I could not read. Yet, Holy Spirit finds a way to communicate—in this case, It controlled all the music that was playing on Youtube. One inspirational song came after another: Andy Grammer's “Don't Give Up,” “Lease on Life,” and “Good to be Alive.” John Denver's “I want to Live,” “The Gift You Are,” and “Hold on Tightly.” And many more. All day long. There were no commercials for three days. Slowly these messages worked into my consciousness, dismantling deeply held beliefs. To calm down my physiology so it would not feel so overwhelming, I tried using every body-oriented modality I had ever practiced. Nothing worked. It was annoying to be in the A Course in Miracles review period in which one repeats, “I am not a body, I am free, for I am still as God created me.” I was yelling “Yeah, right!” The words were distant, unhelpful. This body was contorting, flinching, tightening, electrocuted on the inside, completely short-circuited as if I was being raped. The messaging through music continued. By Monday I knew I needed to communicate with a few people with whom I had been working to bring light to this darkness. I knew contact with others would not allow me to continue to hide it. I wanted to heal. Contact with others brought me out of the frenetic event. Sensations and contortions remained, but now I could begin to process these events. For another 15 days, I tried to figure out how to deal with what was still going on in the body and in memories. How am I to forgive this? I ruminated on the concepts of “allow and accept” versus “grin and bear it.” Did I have to put up with these sensations until they go away? I was wrestling still with: “I am not a body. I am free. For I am still as God created me.” I cogitated on all these ideas. What finally took root was the realization that I was still running away from my sensations – trying to shove them, stop them, soothe them. I could not run away. They were not going away. While lying in bed I finally understood that I had to face the event. I felt horror and anger. I remember thinking, "How could he hurt a child like that?" And almost as quickly the answer came: "Because to him I wasn't a child. I wasn't anything." In that answer, immediately it seems, I was shown a different perspective of a man who was so angry that he was lashing back at the light through me and simultaneously I received the knowledge that angels were singing behind me, laughing at the notion the light could ever be snuffed out in such a way. I felt some comfort, and my anger loosened. Guidance came with my decision to look at everything. I could extend loving kindness to any thought and physical sensation. No matter how small, to each I would say: May you be free from pain and suffering. May you release who you think you are for whom God would have you be. May you be peaceful and at ease. May you live in this world joyfully, gratefully, and graciously. I want you to feel you are loved. I did not need to be perfect about it. Sometimes all I could think was, “I just want loving kindness instead of what I am experiencing right now.” As I practiced, I realized that the only thing I could do was to extend love to whatever these feelings represented. All were coming up to be healed. This is what it means to allow and accept. I quit judging the sensations as horrendous. I wanted only what the healing would be. I treated each as if it were a child needing to come in from the cold. I just wanted to love. The idea of “I am not a body, I am free, I am still as God created me” came easily now. I did not defend against it. I felt eager to greet this experience, letting go any sense of needing to be done. Next was a horrifying recognition that I am the one who had allowed these actions of my dad upon this body to define my entire life; that I had allowed it to mean that I was bad, undeserving, unworthy, a “thing,” an "it." I felt a deep sense of loss to life itself trying to take hold of me, and yet I answered immediately with: The Holy Spirit will undo all the consequences of my wrong decision if I will let Him.” I chose to let Him. It was freeing. I felt increasing light. The body did not seem real now. I glimpsed the understanding of the body to be a communication device. I became expansive, touching infinite Oneness. I was so filled that everything disappeared. All pain was gone. My heart burst with love. For a while, it did not feel as if I was even here. Sharing the story brought me to connect with everything~~~https://acourseoflove.org/the-embrace-94-becoming-never-years-old/~https://acourseoflove.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/Allan-Ishac.jpg~The Embrace #94: Becoming “Never Years Old”~

I was in the company of a six-year-old recently who finished a fanciful story at a family dinner by stating, “That happened when I was never years old.” It was such an offhand but beautiful comment about aging, and in spiritual terms, about the absence of time and death.

~Featured Article Becoming “Never Years Old” By Allan Ishac   was in the company of a six-year-old recently who finished a fanciful story at a family dinner by stating, “That happened when I was never years old.” It was such an offhand but beautiful comment about aging, and in spiritual terms, about the absence of time and death. I thought about this innocent remark for weeks afterward and concluded that a very noble goal for any life would be to always remain “never years old.” How? How do we become ageless regardless of the number of years we’ve lived? We all know people in their 70s or 80s, even older, who seem to defy their age, going through their days with vigor, optimism, and resilient good cheer. We admire and even wish to emulate their energy and enthusiasm. In response, we might seek the latest age-defying diet, undertake a transformative wellness program, or follow some other external path to the fountain of youth. But A Course in Miracles tells us that the body is not the source of true health, youthful energy, or enduring happiness, and no amount of body-focused training will work. It is the mind that must be retrained, not the body. This is perhaps where children can be our greatest teachers. I have always been intrigued by the Bible verse, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” (Matthew 18:3) What does that mean? The traditional, theological interpretation is that the Kingdom of Heaven can only be entered by recognizing that we are powerless, like children, over the circumstances of our lives, and must remain humble and dependent on God to manage our daily challenges. But maybe there’s more to it than that. Maybe the verse has less to do with a childlike willingness to submit to an all-powerful force, and everything to do with a child’s curiosity and unencumbered imagination. To become like little children is to be in a natural state of constant curiosity, fully engaged in the present moment, noticing life’s smallest details and exploring every dimension of the everyday. “There are no seven wonders in the world in the eyes of children; there are seven million,” wrote the educator Walt Streightiff. He points to wonder and awe as the hallmarks of childhood, and possibly the keys to keeping our adult hearts and minds open to help foster a supple agelessness. What happens, then, to our wonder and curiosity as we get older? ACIM hints at the answer, suggesting that the trouble begins when we think we know how the world works and what it’s for, when in fact we don’t know what anything means at all (ACIM, Lesson 25). The adult mind (the ego mind) becomes hardened and uncompromising in its need to know and to be right. Children, on the other hand, know they know nothing and, therefore, remain wide-eyed and willing to be surprised by whatever comes next. This notion is similar to the famous Zen proverb about emptying our cups. As we grow older, our cups become filled with our sternly held beliefs and fossilized opinions, our righteous judgments and stubborn knowings, and there is no room for anything new to enter. If we want to see through young eyes, we must humble ourselves and empty our minds of what Mooji, the contemporary mystic, calls our “learned ignorance.” Only then is there hope of seeing with fresh eyes and experiencing the world anew, as children do. There is another quality in children that most adults have lost, what ACIM calls a “suspension of faithlessness”—also known as believing that anything is possible. Grown-ups might call this naïve, but there is a deep truth here that’s completely consistent with the Course: if the mind is all there is, and our world is nothing more than our thoughts crystallized and projected into perception, then Santa Claus, or a Jedi Knight, or Scooby-Doo are as real, or fake, as anything else in this made-up, illusory world. Everything we’re looking at is an animation created from the inner mind clay of our imaginations. Once we accept this idea fully, then it is easy to make the leap to ACIM’s “there is no order of difficulty in miracles,” or the Biblical assurance that we can move mountains with faith as small as a mustard seed. Perhaps it is exactly this “suspension of faithlessness” that Jesus is speaking about when he asks us to become like little children—this is the consequential change that will allow us to enter a heavenly realm where there are no bodies that can age, wither, and die. Here’s a final thought—another plucked from the Childhood Handbook of Agelessness. It is about playing. In a recent New York Times article, the well-known, whimsical cartoonist Lynda Barry says that child’s play is not frivolous, but essential to preserving mental flexibility at any age and nurturing our creative side: “Adults think that kids playing is some nothing thing. But play is a different state of mind, and it can help us do so many things if we just allow ourselves to get back to it.” One of the co-scribes of the Course apparently knew all about this. In Never Forget To Laugh, Carol Howe’s biography of Bill Thetford, she writes about his endearing playfulness, his love of punning, his laughter and his sense of wonder at the world. In the last days of his life, Bill is described as literally dancing across the floor, filled with a kind of childlike glee, so light that he was almost lifted off the ground. It is worth noting that he had a practice to lighten his burden in his later years, one that we can all apply. When asked how he spent his time, Bill would reply, “I am practicing forgiveness.” ACIM tells us that nothing depletes our minds and spirits (i.e. ages us) like holding onto our grievances, guilt, judgments, anger, envy, worry, irritations and annoyances (think of how quickly children let these go). And nothing brings us back to the possibility of eternal peace and ageless joy like forgiveness. Bill was a wonderful demonstration of this liberating principle. So, yes, our bodies might die, but we never have to grow old. We can retain an energetic spark, an agile mind, a playful disposition, and the ability to inhabit the Course’s “happy dream” throughout our lives by becoming as little children again. Then we can answer truly when asked our age, “I am, and will always be, never years old~~~https://acourseoflove.org/the-embrace-93-celebrating-our-oneness-an-experience-in-a-conference-in-brazil/~https://acourseoflove.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/Rodrigo-and-Budhi.jpg~The Embrace #93: Celebrating our Oneness: An Experience in a Conference in Brazil~

When we landed in Brazil in March, 2020, we would never have imagined that two years later we would be part of a team organizing their first national gathering of ACOL readers. After all, we were living in Mongolia, just visiting Brazil for one month. Second, ACOL had not yet been translated into Portuguese.

~Featured Article Celebrating our Oneness:An Experience in a Conference in Brazil By Rodrigo Cayres and Budhi N.   hen we landed in Brazil in March, 2020, we would never have imagined that two years later we would be part of a team organizing their first national gathering of ACOL readers. After all, we were living in Mongolia, just visiting Brazil for one month. Second, ACOL had not yet been translated into Portuguese. Then the pandemic happened: our flights were canceled and borders closed. As we stayed here in Brazil, the translators finished their work, and we got involved in publishing Um Curso de Amor. In quick succession after its publication in 2021, online groups formed and the number of group facilitators increased. Online events started being organized by the facilitators, including us. In February, 2022, the first in-person gathering of facilitators took place, with Glenn Hovemann present. Last month we celebrated the first-ever national gathering of ACOL/UCDA readers in Brazil. On the first day of our four-day event, a young participant said her mother had registered for her, and told her she needed to get out of her little box. “Mother, I don’t want to go to this event. This is not for me!” But she went anyway. She told us she didn’t know what she was doing there. Yet on the last day, despite having little familiarity with ACOL, she was elated—transformed—and very grateful to her mother and to the nearly 60 participants who cocreated this remarkable experience. She won’t need her mother’s nudge to be in the next event! This was a “conference” like no other. There were no teachers, no students, no speakers, no lectures, and no presentations. We sat in a circle, as equals. The purpose was to experience relationship in unity or oneness, where we see each other’s true Self—our shared identity that has no levels. Rather than gathering in a business-like hotel, we—the eight event organizers—chose a place with abundant nature in an event center run by nuns devoted to St. Francis of Assisi. The nuns who assisted us during the event were so touched by the group’s energy that they told us they had never seen a group so loving, appreciative, and integrated with each other as ours. One of them purchased a copy of ACOL/UCDA; another said she wants to attend next time.  The theme was Transformative Relationships. We gathered quotes from ACOL and put them together in groups that span seven aspects of relationships: (1) with Physicality; (2) with Nature and Other Beings; (3) with Money; (4) with Spouse and Family; (5) between Mind and Heart, Masculine and Feminine, Human and Divine Self; (6) with Our Feelings; and (7) with God. Each aspect was introduced to the group by a pair of facilitators, who read a few quotes and shared personal insights and experiences. Participants joined the conversation naturally, exchanging feelings, questions, and understandings about the theme. Right from the beginning, participants were called to see themselves as cocreators of the event, instead of just passive attendeesFor example, a mother whose young daughter had taken her own life just a few months before the event was visibly sad on the first day. She held the microphone with shaky hands, and shyly spoke a few words before letting tears flow down her face. As the activities unfolded, she felt the power of the embrace to let herself be loved within the transformative field of consciousness that is formed when joining in union and relationship. On the last day, she spoke with joy and gratitude, moving around the hall and expressing herself with self-confidence, with certainty that nothing real can be threatened as she remembered her and her daughter’s innocence. An inner alchemy takes place when we embrace and express ourselves just as we are, accepting all feelings and listening to their messages~~~https://acourseoflove.org/the-embrace-92-letting-go-of-perceptions-of-being-unfairly-treated/~https://acourseoflove.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Scott-Grace-2.jpg~The Embrace #92: Letting go of Perceptions of Being Unfairly Treated~

The year was 1993. Strolling through San Francisco in a buoyant mood, I had been lifted by the success of a juicy musical performance I had just given. Since my latest self-love stretch was learning to be more generous with myself financially, I decided to have dinner at a nice Japanese restaurant.

~Featured Article Letting go of P-BUT’s(Perceptions of Being Unfairly Treated) By Scott Grace   he year was 1993. Strolling through San Francisco in a buoyant mood, I had been lifted by the success of a juicy musical performance I had just given. Since my latest self-love stretch was learning to be more generous with myself financially, I decided to have dinner at a nice Japanese restaurant. I sat down at the sushi bar, humming a tune and spreading my joy. The waitress approached and asked if I wanted to try the restaurant’s most popular and respected sake. “Of course!” I said. My “yes” had the conviction of a man enjoying being prosperous with himself. At the end of a delicious meal, I perused the check. The drink I’d ordered was eighteen dollars, about twelve more than I had ever paid for sake. Calling the waitress over, and reaching down for my New York City attitudinal roots, I gave her a piece of my ego-mind. “What’s with this check?” I barked. “I would never have ordered this sake if you would have told me the price. You should have said something about how expensive it was!” She apologized timidly and repeatedly. I requested not-so-timidly that she just charge me the price for regular sake. Still bowing in apology, the waitress let me know that she would have to pay the difference if I didn’t pay full price. I paid for it begrudgingly and left the restaurant steaming with resentment. How unfair! Making my way down a steep San Francisco street, it occurred to me how dramatically downhill my mood had gone compared to what it had been an hour earlier. Before, I was happy and carefree. Now I was anything but. I was convinced that her ‘mistake’ was a grave injustice, a sin by omission, deliberately manipulating me into buying an expensive brand of sake. It didn’t even taste much better than what I was accustomed to. I got ripped-off! “How unfair!!” I whined to myself. Then something happened that, at first, pissed me off even further. A passage from A Course In Miracles found its way into my mind, the kind that makes it impossible for me to continue cherishing my grievances and enjoying my righteousness. Oh, how I hated the Course in that moment! Nothing in life ruins perfectly good whine as quickly as a sobering line from its pages. I could no longer pretend I was a victim. The quote that rained on my charade was this: “Beware of the temptation to see yourself unfairly treated.” Ouch! “But I WAS unfairly treated!” my ego child ranted back at the Course. After giving that child a chance to huff and puff a bit, and be heard with compassion, I was ready to listen to what Spirit had to say. “Scott, why are you giving twelve dollars and a sweet Japanese woman the power to get you this upset? Could it be possible she saw you in your celebration, perceived you as prosperous, and figured you weren’t one to guard your pennies so fearfully? Is it possible that she was responding to your prayer to treat yourself more generously in the physical universe? Are you willing to consider that underneath all this righteous anger is your own difficulty in seeing yourself as worthy of love and deserving of fine things?” Whoa! That was quite a jump. Was being stingy with myself behind all this? Was it my own guilt that I projected onto this waitress and the price of Sake? “Beware of the temptation to see yourself unfairly treated.” I suddenly remembered two more lessons from the Course, and my righteousness dissolved completely: “I am not a victim of the world I see.” “I am never upset for the reason I think.” The waitress was clearly not the source of my pain. In an instant, a holy instant, my case for her guilt was thrown out of court, and I was set free as well. Tears came to my eyes. How sad that I’d acted on assumptions rooted in fear and paranoia and attacked this lady, ruining a perfectly splendid celebration by letting unexamined anger dictate my behavior. And then, how liberating to uncover the hidden sense of unworthiness driving my feelings, and let them all go. I wish I could tell you that I went back to the restaurant and apologized. But I did not consider that practical with my time commitments ahead of me, so i did the very next best thing. I imagined the waitress before me, and out loud I exclaimed, “I forgive myself for losing my sanity with you. I apologize and ask for your forgiveness.” As if I were back at the restaurant, I lifted my imaginary glass and said, “I offer us both the very best sake, and make a toast in celebration of a lesson learned and a job well done.” I saw myself paying the waitress, this time with gratitude and friendliness, as well as a big tip. I went on to review other situations in which I have seen myself as unfairly treated. The telephone company putting me on hold for longer than I would like. A storeowner who never paid me for the CD’s she sold on consignment. People not returning my phone calls. A lover who rejected me. My mother being so negative. How unfair! How unjust! What a war I had declared on life with my list of grievances! How personal it all has seemed to my ego! I made a commitment to catch these kinds of perceptions earlier on in their process, before they can cause me such anger and grief. A week later I jumped on an opportunity. A driver cut me off while I was about to get on a freeway. I slammed down on the judgment pedal and was just about to accelerate into righteous anger. In a split second I saw that there was a choice, that the attack thoughts and angry feelings were arising in me like clouds, and I could either engage the ‘I’m right!’ energy or just witness both his haste and my own reactivity passing through me. This time I was able to remain the witness, never fully identifying with the point of view that I was unfairly treated by this rushed driver. The clouds passed quickly, and my mood easily returned to clear and sunny. Of course, a driver I am not personally intimate with doesn’t push the same buttons as mates and mothers can, but I am very interested in refining my practice of letting go of P-BUT’s (Perceptions of Being Unfairly Treated) more quickly as they arise. The better I get at it with the minor irritations of daily life, the more transfer value my practice has to the larger stuff. I used to think that as I dedicated my life to serving God I would be asked to become pure in diet and drink, and that pleasures like sushi and sake would have to be relinquished. What I have been finding is that Spirit is much more concerned with my ‘whine’ intake, my mental sobriety. It is when I am thinking the hard stuff that I am most in trouble! As it says in ACIM, “You cannot be unfairly treated~~~https://acourseoflove.org/the-embrace-91-blindness-my-greatest-gift/~https://acourseoflove.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/Eddie-Lee-2-1.jpg~The Embrace #91: Blindness: My Greatest Gift~

LYNN: Today we have a really interesting topic: seeing with the eyes of the heart, no longer looking out but looking in. Our guest is Eddie Lee from Jacksonville, Florida. Just so everyone knows, Eddie is blind. And he is going to give us a little bit of a history on what happened.

~Featured Article Blindness: My Greatest Gift Eddie Lee, interviewed by Lynn Kidd   ynn: Today we have a really interesting topic: seeing with the eyes of the heart, no longer looking out but looking in. Our guest is Eddie Lee from Jacksonville, Florida. Just so everyone knows, Eddie is blind. And he is going to give us a little bit of a history on what happened. But first I have two lines to start out with: And now we begin to see with the eyes of our heart. We are no longer looking out but looking in. . . . Within the embrace our sight clears and what we see is known rather than understood. (C:20.8) Eddie, take it away. EDDIE: We really do have what I call eyes of the heart. And when we look in instead of looking out is when we truly do know because we're no longer using the mind, we're using the heart with the mind. I'd like to share how this has become so important to me. Ten years ago I lost my eyesight to a rare genetic form of glaucoma. Needless to say I was depressed. I could no longer put toothpaste on a toothbrush. I couldn't spread mayonnaise on a piece of bread. By Christmas of that year I was absolutely lost. I had originally found A Course in Miracles two decades before that and had been introduced to A Course of Love, but even with those Course materials I was still depressed. It was Christmas time, two days before my birthday, when I just began bawling, tears just rolling down my face. I thought my life was over. Then I remember distinctly hearing the voice for love speak to me from deep within. The first thing heard was, “Go to blind school.” Okay, and ultimately I did. But the second thing that I heard that night was that my life was not over, it was just beginning. That was profound. I’d had to leave work—I was a professor—and I just didn't know what I was going to do. But there was comfort in the voice and I didn't question it. I knew how important forgiveness work was, but I heard that voice for love say to me, “You haven't forgiven your eyesight for disappearing. Why are you resisting forgiving that?” And at that point I was bawling because I realized I was holding a resentment against my own eyes and even against my genetics. Well, it was in forgiving my eyesight and in going to blind school that I realized I didn't have to look out, I had to turn within and then I could see more clearly than I had ever seen before. There was a knowing. Please understand the difference between comprehending what you see out there versus knowing from within. There really are no words to describe it. It just is. I can even say that when I'm up and about there can be physical objects in my way that I don't know about, but I can know of them from within. I know it in here so I can then follow the internal guidance to navigate around them. Sometimes people stand in absolute amazement. “How did you know that was there?” I don't say I can see it because that's not how I know. I can feel it, yeah, I feel it with the heart. That’s the difference. Intellectual understanding is just thought. But with the heart there's a feeling, and with that is a knowing. These feelings open up whole new hallways and doorways of things that I had no idea existed. But it's all within me. This has been a blessing in disguise. LYNN: Maybe say a little more about this communication, this inner experience of the feelings and this new heart-to-heart way of communication. Does it come through images? EDDIE: We're so used to communicating through language, yet there is a deeper level of communicating and that is from heart to heart. I know in A Course in Miracles it says that our minds are joined, that all minds are joined. We also must allow our hearts to join. Then we are in true communication, the language of the heart. There are no words, it is all feeling, but from the feeling pops up these images within the mind. And from the image I can—um, there’s no other way to put it—I can read the person. But not like psychic reading, it's reading heart to heart. There is no misunderstanding as there could be from mind to mind. There is no conflict because there is no misunderstanding. It's true communication. It's the flow of the feelings. But the beauty of it is, it still brings images to mind. And those images now help with the communication, helping to draw a picture of what's being said from within the heart in that moment. I'm getting that they're coming from the shared consciousness of unity. There's no past attached to them. You're seeing something that's truly present and authentic. The image gives an inward vision of what's going on in the relationship with and whomever I'm communicating with. Obviously I had eyesight for many decades before I lost it, but these images aren't images of the past, they're very much in the present moment. Also there is guidance and direction so that while I am feeling the beingness, the flow of these images that appear in my mind are signposts which I never had before. They guide me to move through that particular experience. There is no conflict. It's all from a place of peace. LYNN: You know from A Course of Love about “wholeheartedness” being the union of mind and heart. Do you want to say a little bit about that? It sounds like your images are arising in the mind but also from the heart. EDDIE: Yes, exactly. I'm glad that you brought that up because it is truly wholeheartedness, where the mind and heart are now serving each other. The mind is no longer preeminent. The heart has been elevated and becomes one with the mind, so now there’s a sharing between mind and heart where before the mind didn't trust the feelings of the heart. Now there is absolute trust. And from that trust comes knowing. I love that term “wholeheartedness” from A Course of Love. I had heard it before but didn't know what it meant. Today I not only know what it means, I've had experiences of it. I cannot imagine going back to the old way! In fact I shudder at the thought of it, literally, because now I cannot imagine making any choice, any decision, without being first informed by the heart. LYNN: Oh wow, that's incredible. I wanted to hear a little bit more about the idea that in order to be who we are, we have to share who we are. EDDIE: I would love to, because this is my favorite part of—I'm going to use the term Courses. A Course in Miracles gave me insight but I didn't have the lived experience with it. A Course of Love gave me the lived experience of beingness, where giving and having are seen as one, and the law of being is to give is to have, to have is to be, to be is to know, and to know is to feel. From this experience we become aware, and once we become aware we can manifest or extend our being—extend ourselves. And it all starts with giving in terms of service—that's how I see giving—and that brings me to the word “embrace,” which is what you started with in the reading. It is literally embracing my beingness; and when I embrace my beingness I am free to give, to extend. I am free to be my true self in all things. And from that beingness comes the heart to heart because it recognizes the being in front of me. And remember, it has nothing to do with space or physical location. I do not see the loss of my sight as something to be pitied. It was the greatest gift of my life. Losing my eyesight got me out of the way. And if I can give to the world even one percent of what I’ve been given as a result of it, I’ll feel blessed. LYNN: It's just a joy to be with you, Eddie~~~https://acourseoflove.org/the-embrace-90-the-great-transformation-under-way/~https://acourseoflove.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Patricia-Pearce-3.jpg~The Embrace #90: The Great Transformation Under Way~

Humanity seems to be going in two different directions. There is an impulse towards allowing a new world and a new humanity to arise in which the mind and the heart are united—a new state of consciousness. At the same time, there is a reaction towards the new that is emerging—an attempt to reassert the old order, to try to hold on to what has been.

~Featured Article The Great Transformation Under Way By Patricia Pearce   umanity seems to be going in two different directions. There is an impulse towards allowing a new world and a new humanity to arise in which the mind and the heart are united—a new state of consciousness. At the same time, there is a reaction towards the new that is emerging—an attempt to reassert the old order, to try to hold on to what has been. It’s a dramatic process we’re living through, and nature gives us a helpful perspective in the metamorphosis of the caterpillar-chrysalis-butterfly. In David Korten’s book The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community, he explains how, before it begins its metamorphosis, the caterpillar gorges itself—eating as much as it possibly can, just as humanity has also been gorging on the resources of our planet. Then it attaches itself to a branch, encloses itself into a sheath, and hangs as a chrysalis for about two weeks as the caterpillar begins a journey towards its own transformation. Its body turns into a soup. Its body dissolves. Within this soup, the DNA that holds the code for the butterfly becomes activated and gives rise to what are called “imaginal cells.” These imaginal cells begin to find one another. They begin to form what are called “imaginal buds,” which are the nascent organs of the new butterfly. Right now on the planet we see imaginal cells—people—arising from this social soup, who are containing a vision for something new. Collectively we contain a knowing of a new thing that is coming. And we are finding one another. But the thing that is so instructive—at least for me and for us in this moment—is that in this process of the chrysalis, as these imaginal buds are beginning to take shape, the immune system of caterpillar is still intact enough to be able to detect what is happening. And determining that these imaginal buds are actually foreign to itself, it begins to attack them. It sees this emerging thing as alien, as a threat. The immune system of the caterpillar is unable to recognize its own transformed self as expressed by these imaginal buds. This is exactly what is happening in society today, mostly unconsciously. There is fear of what is happening—the dissolution of the old order and arising of the new—and this has triggered an attempt to reinstate the world that has been and to annihilate the expression of the New. In the chrysalis, though, the imaginal cells do not attack back. Instead, they keep emerging. They keep finding each other. They keep connecting. They keep forming the new organism. That, to me, is what we are called to be doing right now—not to overreact to the attacks, but to continue aligning ourselves with the energy and the frequency of the new consciousness that wants to arise, and finding others who are doing the same. Connecting. And in this connection we create the new pattern. We allow the new to take shape in our own beings as well as in the collective. Eventually in the chrysalis, the imaginal cells become so numerous that they overwhelm the immune system and the new organism comes forth—the beautiful butterfly that lives lightly on the earth, a pollinator of flowers, a thing of beauty that has emerged from this stunning metamorphosis. Jesus makes good use of this pattern of nature: You might think of the caterpillar as the unaltered self with which you began your journey. You might think of your body as the cocoon, the carrier of your potential. You might think of the butterfly as your spirit, revealed only after the potential has matured and been released. . . . To attempt to remain within the cocoon of the body, to attempt to contain the spirit within that cocoon, is to attempt the impossible. It is the nature of spirit to become. . . . Yet the body is not left behind. The caterpillar, the cocoon, and the butterfly have always been one and remain one. Each form is but a different stage in the becoming of the spirit. (ACOL D:Day24.5-7) The caterpillar and the butterfly are not two separate creatures, but the same creature that has profoundly transformed. That is what’s happening now. We are one humanity, one mind, one heart, and we are undergoing a transformation so profound that it seems like a new thing. Currently we’re in this chrysalis where things seem to be “hanging in the balance.” It is up to us to trust the process that is underway. Not be thrown off our path by attacks. Not to defend or counterattack. But just to continue to tune in to the new consciousness that is coming and to find one another. That allows the new organism to emerge. Jesus’ voice rings with power when he speaks of the New: Creation of the new has begun. We are an interactive part of this creative act of a loving Creator. . . . Your willingness for the new, a willingness that included the leaving behind of the old, a willingness that included the leaving behind of fear and judgment and a separate will, was necessary to begin creation of the new. Your former willingness to accept the old but kept creation's power harnessed to the old.  What will the future hold? It is up to us dear brothers and sisters. It is up to us acting as one body, one mind, one heart. It is up to us creating as one body, one mind, one heart. Because it is the new future of a new form joined in unity and relationship, the only guarantees that are known to us is that it will be a future of love, a future without fear, a future with unlimited freedom. For what more could we ask? And what more could be asked of us?  Make no mistake that what is asked of us is everything~~~https://acourseoflove.org/the-embrace-89-from-courtroom-to-classroom-to-playground/~https://acourseoflove.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Scott-Grace-2.jpg~The Embrace #89: From Courtroom to Classroom to Playground~

I’m writing this while in a playground. Where are you? Pretend with me for a moment that there are only four places you can be on Earth at any given time: a prison, a courtroom, a classroom, or a playground. The prison is where we go when we have convicted ourselves of a crime.

~Featured Article From Courtroom to Classroom to Playground​! By Scott Grace   am writing this while in a playground. Where are you? Pretend with me for a moment that there are only four places you can be on Earth at any given time: a prison, a courtroom, a classroom, or a playground. The prison is where we go when we have convicted ourselves of a crime. To do this one must believe in their own guilt with conviction. If you are practicing a case against yourself, please do be careful of things like A Course in Miracles or A Course on Love. They might just make an ex-con out of you. Within the prison lies a courtroom. This is where most of humanity currently resides, standing trial for their trials, never realizing that there is no judge outside of their own ego, unaware that they are being tried by a jury of their fears. Come on in. Let’s take a look and listen. Can you hear it? The prosecuting attorney is busy making sure there is plenty of evidence for your guilt, or, when that gets tiring, someone else’s. His job is to make sure your joyful inner child never escapes prison. By the way, when your inner child is behind bars he becomes vulnerable to being abused by other inmates. When we believe that punishment serves a good purpose, every one of us is behind bars, and we are all doing time. Our defense attorney is also present, with plenty of evidence for your innocence. But usually the prosecution objects so loudly the defense lawyer goes unheard. Note that the dress code in the courtroom is quite formal and very uncomfortable. On an aside, perhaps I can explain why aristocrats are actually voted in: Scared human egos are feeling powerless, out of control, and are in the market for anyone who promises to restore order in the court! Whether it be Hitler or someone more recently, the promise of more order in the court is what seduces us into choosing a leader drunk with power. Let’s take a recess. The schoolroom is open. Class is in session. The classroom is where we go to learn lessons, take tests, and continue to higher education. Bring on A Course in Miracles, The Way of Mastery, A Course on Love, Choose Only Love, and many other disciplines and practices. Study, study, study! Perhaps it’s time for a study break. The playground is where we learn our Earth lessons at lightning speed. That is why babies gobble up languages so fast. They are not trying to learn. Joy is their classroom. We can all be happy learners. The only tool needed to go from one location to a more desirable one is awareness. Nothing more, nothing less. Where are you right now? Come on in~~~