Gratitude!

195: Love is the way I walk in gratitude.

I’ve been having a hard time finding gratitude lately. I have much to be grateful for, and yet I find myself frequently falling off the wagon of gratitude and wallowing in the dust of moroseness and irritation.

Well that’s a heckofa choice!  :^)

But, as so often happens with ACIM, we end up reading exactly the message we need. Here was another sentence in today’s reading that struck me:

“We thank our Father for one thing alone; that we are separate from no living thing, and therefore one with Him.”

We are separate from no living thing. Oneness! We are all One. And, we are one with Him. So every living thing can be a source of love if we see it as such. What a blessing! (And practice!)

Another quote:

” . . gratitude is but an aspect of the Love which is the Source of all creation.”

I am a big believer in love. Love is how I want to walk in the world. So I reversed today’s affirmation:

“Gratitude is the way I walk in Love.”

That is how I will walk through this day!

Then I meditated. And I finished my meditation with this practice. I laughed.  I just opened up the heart and mind, and allowed mirth to enter in. It wasn’t a huge long belly laugh–people were still sleeping–but a light sincere laugh that filled my mind and body. Suddenly, light entered, and joy–and gratitude.

Try it and let me know how it works for you!

 

Name of God

I have been having a sublime time with my last two lessons:

183: I call upon God’s name and upon my own:
184: The name of God is my inheritance.

God has a name? Names are symbols we use to describe our reality. But how can you describe the the Ultimate Reality with words? God can be experienced and lived, but words can never describe the totality of that experience. On the other hand, as humans, sometimes all we have to call upon Him are our words!

These two lessons teach us how, in this body and in this life, to use what we have–words–to call God to us.

At my ACIM study group this week I asked everyone in the circle what words they used to call upon God. Some used Holy Spirit, Universe, Source, some used Jesus and God. One young man recited a list: “Vishnu, Allah, Mary, Jesus, Krishna, Big Love, Universe. But,” he said, “I usually use Jesus or Universe.”

Another group attendee said, “In India we have hundreds of deities. So you can pick any one of the names that open you to the experience of the Divine.”

The truth is that it doesn’t matter what name you use. Whatever name opens your heart to the love of God is a terrific name. And when The ACIM App chimes every half hour with one of Herb’s (our sound designer) lovely sounds, I set aside the world, for a moment, and enter God’s eternal love. It makes the day . . . sublime!

APP BLOG

After a year in development, The ACIM App is finally available!

My name is Greg Kimura and I have been reading and practicing A Course in Miracles for the last few years. Last year my mother went to the AT&T store and asked for the cheapest phone that they had. The salesperson held up a shiny old iPhone 3gs and said:

“This one is only 1$!”

He neglected to tell her about the $20/month fee and she signed all the papers and left with the shiny old iPhone–on my cell phone bill.

No biggie. If my 80-something Mom wants an iPhone, I’m willing to pay for it. I’d been avoiding smartphones myself, not wanting to get hooked into yet another piece of technology, but after a few weeks, she said: “You know what? I’m not really using this much. I just want a regular phone. You want to switch?”

“Sure, Mom.”

So we switched. And I loved it! Being a practitioner of The Course, I immediately bought the existing Apps and loved those too. They were and are wonderful works of love.

But I wanted a little more. I wanted all the books in one place. I wanted to have adjustable font sizes. I wanted to be able to write and record my own custom affirmations and notes, but I also wanted to have beautiful reminders that chimed at adjustable intervals throughout the day so I could remember. So I could touch that sacred space amidst the hustle and bustle; so I could really practice throughout my day, the Course’s teachings.

I teamed up with an old developer friend from Sun Microsystems, Isa, an college designer friend, Claire, a new musician friend, Herb, who creates sounds. Together we created The ACIM App.

My hope is that it brings more joy, peace and love to your life and to the lives of those around you!

Which leaves me to this blog, which my friend, Leslie, pointed out was conspicuously empty.

What I’d like to do is just occasionally comment and review my lessons of the day. My hope is that it will help me focus more deeply on the teachings, and maybe provide some useful ideas for you as well.

And so with that intro . . .

Lesson 177
God is but Love, and therefore so am I.
(163) There is no death. The Son of God is free.
God is but Love, and therefore so am I.
(164) Now are we one with Him Who is our Source.
God is but Love, and therefore so am I.

I usually don’t go back and read the old lessons on these review lessons, but today I did. A couple of powerful lines stuck with me:

163: “. . . Death is a thought that takes on many forms, often unrecognized. It may appear as sadness, fear, anxiety or doubt; as anger, faithlessness and lack of trust; concern for bodies, envy, and all forms in which the wish to be as you are not may come to tempt you. All such thoughts are but reflections of the worshipping of death as savior and as giver of release.”

Whoa. You mean all that complaining about how slow a website loads, all that anger about a miss-hit tennis stroke, all that worry about whether or not that lunch gave me a stomach ache is a thought about . . . death? Gulp.

A lot of times I don’t understand everything in the Course. In those cases I just try to follow the principles and see what happens. For this lesson, for this day, why not release that complaint, that anger, that worry? Why not do it and see what happens. I suspect I’ll feel a lot better. I’ll more room for other more positive things to come in. Like miracles!

The second quote:

164: “Open the curtain in your practicing by merely letting go all things you think you want. Your trifling treasures put away, and leave a clean and open space within your mind where Christ can come, and offer you the treasure of salvation.”

Well, there are a lot of things I want, that’s for sure! But the Course says to let them go. To create a clean and open space in my mind so that Christ, the Holy Spirit, God–whatever holy name you choose to invited the Divine–can bring peace and wholeness into your heart.

And so the two lessons come together: Release those death thoughts! Let of all the things you think you want!

And so a custom affirmation.

Love and Blessings,

Greg

Using a Real Book

Many of us started out using a real hard-copy version of A Course in Miracles, probably the big blue one with gold letters form the Foundation for Inner Peace . I know my partner, Sharol, loves her book. She has marked it up extensively and used it until many of the pages started falling out. For Christmas a few years ago I had her book–it was the soft-bound soft-copy–re-bound by a book repairman. It cost $100, will be good for another 5 years or so, and made a terrific Christmas gift!

If you love reading your real book each morning and making notes, by all means, continue to do so. You may, as Sharol has, use The ACIM app for portability and for the reminders feature.

It’s not the format that’s important, but the sincerity of your practice. As the Course says, all that is required is a little willingness to grow in Spirit.

Find an ACIM Study Group!

Community, I believe, is one of the things necessary for a deeply fulfilling life. Having community as you walk the path of ACIM can be a great comfort and joy. In this world it is so important to feel welcomed, heard, valued and encouraged. This happens when two or more gather together in the presence of the divine to share generously, and receive graciously, each other’s thoughts, stories, ideas and experiences.

This is not to say every community experience will be perfect. All communities have the occasional issues of ego, rigidness, boredom and sloth. In fact, sometimes being in a group is a way to practice the principles of the Course as much as sharing in the path! The key, as our good friend Marianne Williamson says, is to Return to Love

Here are some general guidelines for being a great member of a group:

Let your words and actions be guided by love and compassion. Speak with the lips of your inner divinity. Listen with the ears of your Holy Spirit.
The Course is a path, not a destination. Everyone has their own specific path designed for them and they need to go through all their experiences to help them grow. We may not understand or agree their choices, but our purpose is not to judge, but to love.
Have fun. Laugh!
Allow time for people to share their stories.
Be patient. Be kind. Be love.
Stay with this Course principle: If a thought doesn’t come from love, if an idea is not of forgiveness, move on.

To find a list of study groups in your area, go to the ACIM Resources page

If you would like to participate in a virtual groups through email or a google group. Send me your address . This is an experiment, and I don’t know exactly how it will work out, but with The Source’s guidance, we’ll all figure it out together!

If you have any constructive thoughts about groups, or if you are in a group yourself, we would love to hear from you what works and doesn’t work. Leave a comment or email me directly.