The Ritual is for You not for God
“We understand, of course, that it may be impossible for you to undertake what is suggested here as optimal each day and every hour of the day. Learning will not be hampered when you miss a practice period because it is impossible at the appointed time. Nor is it necessary that you make excessive efforts to be sure that you catch up in terms of numbers. Rituals are not our aim, and would defeat our goal.”
The irony….we do the ritual, not for God, but for us. We are the ones who need the ritual to remember. God knows us as with Him. Why would He need a ritual to give us a blessing that is already ours? The ritual helps in the beginning but the goal is to remember always, on and off the mat, to seek the Kingdom of God first. Not through ritual but through a constant inner knowing. The richer is just a fun way to practice but don’t let it distract you of the goal, to remember you have never left God.
Morning and Evening Practices
A Course in Miracles is a path of sacred study. It is a spiritual psychotherapeutical mind training system that reminds you of your Inner Guide, the Holy Spirit. Just as you wouldn’t expect to get fit and stay fit without exercising regularly, we cannot expect to gain spiritual clarity, certainty, or understanding without some type of serious daily practice. ACIM doesn’t claim to be the only path, but it is one of many and if it is for you, you will know.
All learning involves study and a book like A Course in Miracles is most definitely meant for studying. It is not a fast read and for a reason. I always thought it was interesting when people would tell me, “A Course in Miracles, oh yeah, I read that book.” It perplexed me because its not the type of book you can read once and walk away from. Unless, it isn’t the spiritual path for you, but a teaching for a season. For those of us who resonate with the teachings, this book is for a lifetime of study and practice.
Your spiritual ritual takes place during your scheduled daily spiritual practice. I suggest always starting with prayer. This is how you ritualize the practice. If you are finding the book challenging, starting with my digital course is tremendously helpful. In the course I share the main principles and overall concepts found in ACIM. We walk together gently through different parts of the book, reflecting on its ideas, putting the tools to practice. In this way, you can slowly begin to discover the truths it keeps for you.
I highly suggest journaling your thoughts, response, understandings, curiosities, questions, connections after your daily reading. It will help you to integrate the teachings further by the magic of putting pen to paper and the extra connections the brain makes when doing this. Reading is the listening and journaling is the speaking. Meditation is the listening and prayer the speaking. This is the beginning of the most important conversations you will ever have: the ones you have with the Holy Spirit, your Highest Self.
Do not be discouraged if you find the text difficult to read. The energy of the words and the vibrations in meaning, will begin to create clarity within your mind and heart. You can trust that and you will feel it. It is okay if you do not understand anything of what you are reading. Trust that you are receiving exactly what you need. It may be that you come across one sentence that you do understand and it blows your mind. A Course in Miracles has so many treasures, one sentence can be the practice of a lifetime.
Begin a friendship with the text and your journal. Let this be your Sacred Time. Your Divine appointment with God. You become aware of the Presence of Who Lives in You. And you will know that you are never alone and that you are always guided.
When reading, engage with the text. Do not be afraid of ruining the book. Consider it your friend. Underline and highlight. Write question marks on parts you’re reading that you don’t understand so you can ask questions or research or contemplate deeper at a later time. I also like to make connections between my life and what Im learning in the margins of the text. Use post it notes, flag tags and bookmarks too. Sacred study can be fun! So go ahead and treat your book like a close friend that you visit often. Don’t be scared to really explore the book. It is very common not to understand the text in the beginning, if you have an inner calling to read the text, don’t give up!
In order to begin a spiritual path with ACIM, you must not only read and study the book but put it into practice in your daily life.
Miracle Morning Practice
By practicing first thing in the morning, you are inviting the Holy Spirit to inspire your thoughts, to be with you, to help you. Through your daily practice you will become aware of Her Presence with you, Her answers to your questions, Her gentle guidance. You will begin to experience a sense of acceptance and certainty because you will know you are ok. You are never alone. Practice without believing if you don’t at first, then pay attention to how things start shifting for you, not in the world, but from within you. The circumstances in your life might remain the same, but they will not trigger you and you will have a sense of peace within and assurance that you will be told what steps to take next regarding any situation or person.
Journaling is an inner adventure of self discovery through writing that results in deep inner healing. Writing your experience allows you to strengthen your relationship with your Self. This is a place where we can release our inner most honest feelings whether sadness, happiness, fearful or loving. Magic happens when we put pen to paper and express ourselves. Release it all and give it to God.
Here are some tips for really engaging with your journaling. Write statements you read that give you an aha moment. Writing them again in your journal helps you to remember and integrate what you are learning. Write down quotes that you love and want to be able to visit again. Finally, have a conversation with the Holy Spirit through your writing. Ask questions, make connections with your life, express your innermost feelings about what you are reading on paper. In the beginning it might feel like nothing is happening. You will begin to see how this sacred study will anchor you in truth and you will want to make time for this practice always. For me it has become a non-negotiable.
It is very common to feel resistance when journaling. Treat this practice like a friendship with your Highest Self, because it is. Commit to write at least one page a day, keep at it. It will increase your faith and confidence in your relationship with your Self.
Mid-day Soul Breaks
The world will have us forgetting we are Christ by 9am! Because we live in a world where the thought system of the ego is the dominant thought system, we need a lot of reminders to bring us back to truth. I love the lessons of ACIM for this reason. You can choose to repeat your lesson for the day over and over again and it is only one sentence so it is easy for you to memorize and remember. The remembering part will be ironically difficult in the beginning, but you will get better with practice. So much so, that when something happens in your life, you will be so conditioned to think with God through your daily practice that the right lesson will surface in your mind at just the right time like divine intervention.
When I was going through divorce I felt afraid the judge could be conned into believing lies or lack the ability to see what was really happening. This would make me very fearful. I practiced, I wrote down Forgiveness Notes, giving the situation to the Holy Spirit, asking for the Highest Good of all involved and one day after praying, I opened the text came across a lesson that strengthened me for the rest of the entire 2 year process. I was in peace about the outcome, no longer worried.
“I am under no law, but Gods law”
This truth would surface in my mind when I needed it most and I would instantly remember Who had my back, because I chose Her and asked Her every morning of my own free will to take charge. And She did. Needless to say, I had nothing to worry about. Sure, 2 years in court are not fun, but I got stronger in my faith and was able to see and experience how I was cared for and protected. Set gentle reminders throughout the day. We will forget, let’s help ourselves to remember. We need this ritual and practice in our lives to help us remember and return to truth as often as possible in our frantic and chaotic world.
Ideas for your Mid-day Soul Breaks
1. Set timer for 5 minute meditation on lesson
2. Tea break and journaling
3. Tea break and reading
4. Focus on breath and mentally recite lesson
5. Say or write prayer to memorize
In the evenings, you will end your day with God as well. This does not have to be a long drawn out ritual or practice. 5-30 minutes will do. Choose one of the morning practices that you would enjoy unwinding to: journaling, prayer or meditation.
My favorite part of evening practice is asking God to be with me while I sleep. She will be your last thought at night, helping your subconscious mind to remember your Inner Teacher. You will also find that a nightly routine, will help you if you often have sleepless nights. The more and more we download the Heavenly thought system of the Holy Spirit the more peaceful we feel inside, allowing us to have a good nights sleep.
In Journal write down anything heavy from the day, interaction with people, situation or circumstances. Ask the Holy Spirit to take this and heal it. Release and give thanks that this is an opportunity for you to remember you are not alone and the Healer and Teacher within is there to help.
Personal Inventories. As an evening or weekend practice, write down anything you need to forgive and give to the Holy Spirit asking Him for a different perspective. Make a list of things that you need to forgive from the past.
For a weekend practice, choose a day once a week when you can release the items on your list to the Holy Spirit. You can practice true forgiveness, through prayer, meditation or journaling. Day by day, you will feel lighter, you will literally feel the weight of all the pain, anger, resentment be taken from you and purified into nourishing light.
“A sense of separation from God is the only lack you really need correct.”
These posts are best experienced in order, the next post is titled Prayer and Meditation
Study these principles with me in Fear-less and Faithful! A digital course made just for you.