Dust in the wind

tulips“Have I mentioned I have a special hate relationship with wind?”  I asked, hitting the pause button on the remote.

My imaginary inner teacher and I sat on the couch watching the weather report on the evening news, my little dog Kayleigh coiled in her bed with her ping-pong ball, snoring away before the gas fireplace. I hit play again, allowing the meteorologist to graphically, gleefully, even, describe the 40-to-50-mile-an-hour winds about to bear down on us once more the following day. Outside the window, I could already see our treetops throwing up their powerless fists in response to the warm-up of another of Mother Nature’s gusty mood swings. I hit pause again, explaining that this really was my least favorite element. My primary ayervedic dosha was vata, after all; light and airy and easily scattered, with a little fiery pitta mixed in just to heat things up.

I bent my index fingers toward the base of my palms and curled my thumb around them, demonstrating the mudra my yoga teacher had taught us to help ground the blustery energy so prevalent this winter refusing to yield to spring. But Jesus was playing with the little windup, fire-breathing Godzilla from my retro miniature toy collection, cracking himself up again.

“Hey,” I said, snatching it away. “I’m trying to teach you something.”

He rolled his eyes, although in the kindest and gentlest possible way.

I turned off the TV, and sighed, acutely aware that the wind was merely the tip of the proverbial ego typhoon. The real issue du jour, well, perhaps just the appetizer, given the way things were going, involved an overwhelming sense of loneliness that seemed to stem from continuing lack of contact with a particular loved one, leaving me feeling helplessly bereft. And the rage that seemed to have arisen, tempest like and fully-formed, at the continuing infuriating excess presence of another special relationship. I know. The way in which I seemed to have been buffeted about from inner teacher to teacher again like a speck of dust in the wind, adrift in the vastness of an infinitely indifferent cosmos chock full of sinister forces. Eternally cast into a bleak, black hole of singular desolation.

“Have you even been listening?” I asked.

“Have you even entertained the possibility that you might be wrong?” Jesus cheerfully countered, as the wound-up Godzilla continued to stagger, sparking ire, across the coffee table. Ironic, really; when he didn’t seem to notice anything at all, here in dreamland, unless I pointed it out to him, and even then.

“Sit up straight,” I said, as I proceeded to lay out the gory details of my predicament, yet again, and he continued to so not appear to hear a word I said. We had been skiing earlier that day. I had unsuccessfully tried to get him to focus there, too, to teach him a thing or two about how to fit in. But even though I have grown accustomed to his stupendously inappropriate attire, the way he continued to swing his bare ankles and bounce around on the chairlift, despite the signs I kept reading aloud specifically prohibiting it, had really begun to tick me off.

Although his brows shot up and down the way they do as we sailed by the bras, Mardi Gras beads, and occasional panties adorning the surrounding evergreens courtesy of youngsters caught up in the intoxicating hilarity of this so-called life, he remained serenely, annoyingly even, nonplussed. Until a snowboarder (aka “shredder” as I not so not-so-fondly call them), apparently enchanted with his own fetching shadow, nearly wiped me out on our first run. Causing bad words to issue from my mouth, but not for the reason I think. Causing me to complain that I’m just so not there yet, so not ready to include everyone and everything in my little atonement circle. And Jesus to shout, “But, you’ll get there!” as he swooshed down the slope ahead of me, robes flapping, without a care in the world. (I mean, thank God, he’s invisible!)

But I digress, the way I do.

“It’s just so exhausting!” I said, now, popping another Ibuprofen in hopes that it might relieve the wrenching pain in my upper back that had suddenly descended as I attempted to hoist my skis on my shoulder and head to the car at the end of the day. “You must be wiped out, too.”

His lips twitched.

“Seriously,” I said.

He started to play with the Godzilla again.

I snapped my fingers. “Focus,” I said, in my best middle-school teacher voice. “Has anyone ever told you, ‘you are far too tolerant of mind wandering?’”

He shook his head, in imminent danger of cracking himself up again.

I snatched the toy away, dabbing at my itchy eyes, courtesy of newly sprung allergies. Outside the window, the trees groaned and creaked, a Greek chorus of kindred misery.

I pressed my index fingers toward the flesh of my palms, anchoring them once more with my folded thumbs, to no avail. Shocked, anew, by the intensity of my emotions toward the seemingly unrequited love I harbored for one special relationship; the unwelcome (dare I say, reprehensible, really) disdain for another who, like the recurring wind, just never seemed to change his boundary-bashing ways.

“There is not enough time left within the entire hologram for me to let this go,” I whined, shaking out my hands in frustration. “I mean, I practice, practice, practice, every day, every moment.”

His eyes widened.

“Well, an awful lot of the time,” I said. “And yet, here I am again, for Christ’s sake.”

“We’ve talked about this.”

He had a point, he always did. Judging my progress with this Course when I was always wrong about everything including where, what, and why I am was just a big fat waste of this dream of linear time. My only role if I wanted peace was to watch my reactions, question my belief in their external cause, and ask to see them with him. Still, I was just so furious with both of these objects of my projection, really! And even more upset with myself for continuing to dream this nightmare of separate interests and unmet needs. Plus, I was truly, madly, deeply enervated by being the only one doing all the work of healing my mind about these relationships while they got away scot-freaking-free!

“We’ve talked about this,” he repeated, smiling.

“I know what you’re thinking,” I said.

“You always do. Eventually, anyway.”

It was just like Ken Wapnick often said. The pain of projecting increases as we pay more and more attention to our reactions, become more and more aware of our secret desire to perceive ourselves unfairly treated, increasingly sensitive to what we’re doing and how unloved and unloving it feels. But that’s what motivates us to finally resign as our own teacher and open to a better way.

“The ego’s mantra is always, I hurt, therefore I am,” I said. “And yours is always, I can choose to heal, therefore God is.”

“Go on,” he said.

“’Pain is a wrong perspective.”Just like you say in A Course in Miracles workbook lesson 190, paragraph 1, sentence 1. And then in paragraph 2:

‘Pain is but witness to the Son’s mistakes in what he thinks he is. It is a dream of fierce retaliation for a crime that could not be committed; for attack on what is wholly unassailable. It is a nightmare of abandonment by an Eternal Love which could not leave the Son whom It created out of love. … Pain is a sign illusions reign in place of truth. It demonstrates God is denied, confused with fear, perceived as mad, and seen as traitor to Himself. If God is real, there is no pain. If pain is real, there is no God.”(From paragraphs 2 and 3) 

“I couldn’t have said it better myself,” he said.

“Ha! But the thing is; the pain is what gets my attention. I don’t know I’m still hiding the guilt within until I experience the pain of it without as an incoming attack, delivered by my favorite perpetrators. The ones I dreamt up to prove I exist but it’s not my fault.  Then I realize I made a choice again to pretend God isn’t. I really managed to pull off the separation. I exist at true Love’s expense, but it’s their fault. God needs to get them, not me. But it doesn’t work anymore. Not that it ever really did. I mean, Jesus, blame hurts!”

“Hey,” he said, still smiling.

“But forgiveness of what never really was, and still is not, heals.”

“I see,” he said. “So tell me again what exactly your issues were with those others.”

“Oh, come on,” I said. “‘It is a joke to think that time could come to circumvent eternity.’You taught me that, remember? So, I just became afraid of losing my fantasized me-ness again. I’m not at the top of the ladder, but I’ll get there. I mean, I’ve been around the block with this Course. The ego lies. Liar, liar pants on fire, right?”

“Imagine that,” he said.

“Wait, what were we talking about again?”

The wind howled. Kayleigh continued to snore. And I swear to God, I had to laugh, too.

“Peace to such foolishness! The time has come to laugh at such insane ideas. There is no need to think of them as savage crimes, or secret sins with weighty consequence. … It is your thoughts alone that cause you pain. Nothing external to your mind can hurt or injure you in any way. There is no cause beyond yourself that can reach down and bring oppression. No one but yourself affects you. There is nothing in the world that has the power to make you ill or sad, or weak or frail. But it is you who have the power to dominate all things you see by merely recognizing what you are. As you perceive the harmlessness in them, they will accept your holy will as theirs.”  (From paragraphs 4 and 5) 

You can listen to Ken Wapnick’s explanation of loneliness from the Course’s perspective here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kY_grLi4d3c ) 

Enjoyed talking with CA Brooks of 12 radio about attending the March 2014 Foundation for A Course in Miracles academy: http://www.12radio.com/archive.cfm?archive=2EEBB2C3-1143-DC70-C4E17B70B16F3A15

Here’s a link to details about a new Saturday workshop and new Tuesday night class I am offering here in Denver https://www.foraysinforgiveness.com/classes-events beginning in May 2014.

The Foundation for A Course in Miracles is offering Kenneth Wapnick’s two-part work The Message of A Course in Miracles as well as “What It Says”: From the Preface of A Course in Miracles on sale only to online customers during the month of April.

Now, when you buy on Amazon, you can support The Foundation for A Course in Miracles, too! Details here: http://www.facim.org/announcements.aspx

Here’s a link to an outpouring of moving tributes to our late, beloved teacher Ken Wapnick, who deeply touched, and taught (and continues to teach) so many of us how to heal our minds, with an absolute grace that robustly lives on: https://www.facim.org/kenneth-wapnick-memorial-tributes.aspx 

I enjoyed talking again with CA Brooks of 12Radio as a guest speaker on her weekly program about ACIM. http://www.12radio.com/archive.cfm?archive=2EEBB2C3-1143-DC70-C4E17B70B16F3A15  

HALF-HOUR MENTORING SESSIONS NOW AVAILABLE: Although A Course in Miracles is clearly a self-study program and the one relationship we are truly cultivating is with our eternally sane and loving right mind, mentoring can help remind Course students having trouble applying its unique forgiveness that the problem and the solution never lie in the difficult relationship, situation, behavior, health issue, etc., but in the decision-making mind. In every circumstance, without exception, we can experience inner peace and kindness toward all, unaffected by the seemingly random strife of a world designed to prove otherwise. By choosing to look at our lives as a classroom in which we bring all our painful illusions to the inner teacher of forgiveness who knows only our shared innocence beyond all its deceptive disguises, we learn to identify and transcend the ego’s resistance, hold others harmless, and gently allow our split mind to heal. One-on-one, hour or half-hour mentoring sessions are conducted via traditional phone or Skype (your choice). Please contact me to find out if mentoring is right for you before submitting a payment below. (No one is ever turned away for lack of ability to pay.) 

My dear friend and wonderful teacher Lyn Corona continues to offer wonderful new classes at the Rocky Mountain Miracle Center through her School of Reason for Course students and teachers. You can subscribe to her website http://www.schoolofreason.org/ to receive information about upcoming classes. 

My good friend and gifted A Course in Miracles teacher and writer Bernard Groom has been posting beautifully written, heartfelt essays about living A Course in Miracles for years at http://www.acimvillage.com/. I found his recent, kindly right-minded contemplations there on the death of our beloved teacher Ken Wapnick deeply comforting! Bernard lives and teaches in France with his dear wife Patricia. You’ll find a wealth of information in French on his website http://uncoursenmiraclesenfrance.com/ including recorded talks available for purchase or free download: http://uncoursenmiraclesenfrance.com/audio/. 

Here’s another ACIM hangout video I did with my friend Bruce Rawles http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yogj9ckTXbc&feature=youtu.be . In this one, we talk about our love for our teacher Ken Wapnick, a demonstration of kindness to one and all, and how we can honor his life and heal our minds by living all he has taught us!

My latest book, Forgiveness Offers Everything I Want, is available on Amazon in both paperback and kindle versions. If you read and find the book helpful, I would so appreciate you posting a brief (a sentence or two is fine) review on Amazon. 🙂

Forgiveness Offers Everything I Want is also available at the Rocky Mountain Miracle Center in Denver, Colorado, where I teach weekly on Tuesday nights, takes up roughly where my last ACIM essay collection left off, and conveys my growing faith that no matter how wrenching, wild, or wacky the dream of our lives may appear, we always have a choice about which inner teacher we are looking and listening with: the ego, the part of our mind that believed the “tiny, mad idea” of separation from our source had real effects. Or the “right mind” that remembered to gently smile at the bizarre thought of it. If you’re thinking about buying a book and live in Denver, please consider purchasing a copy from the RMMC to help support their great work.  Forgiveness Offers Everything I Want, and my previous book, Extraordinary Ordinary Forgiveness, are now also available from the ACIM Store: http://www.acimstore.com/default.asp.

Comments

  1. I really like this succinct distillation of the two thought systems: “… ego’s mantra … I hurt, therefore I am,” and our Inner Kindness Teacher’s: “I can choose to heal, therefore God is.” … Speaking of under-insulated blame-throwers scorching the projectionist’s knickers, and the ensuing secretly-wished-for reactionary (dream) tempest, here’s a fave Shakespeare quote (from Sonnet 116) that friend Steven would quote from memory in our Ashland study group:

    Let me not to the marriage of true minds
    Admit impediments. Love is not love
    Which alters when it alteration finds,
    Or bends with the remover to remove:
    O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
    That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
    It is the star to every wandering bark,
    Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
    Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
    Within his bending sickle’s compass come:
    Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
    But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
    If this be error and upon me proved,
    I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

    William Shakespeare

  2. Kendall says:

    Hi Susan,
    I read all your posts and I want you to know how much your writing means to me. When reading, I feel that I am not alone and we are the same. Thank you for everything you are doing! Love, Kendall

  3. Hi Kendall:
    That is exactly the message I hope readers get from these posts, the only message we all REALLY want to learn. So thank YOU so much for letting me know you are receiving it!
    Love, Susan

  4. Gabrielius says:

    Old, but nice post. Your whining “There is not enough time left within the entire hologram for me to let this go,” I whined, shaking out my hands in frustration. “I mean, I practice, practice, practice, every day, every moment.” is very familiar for me! I guess it is familiar even for those, who don’t practice ACIM.

  5. I think you’re right, Gabrielius; it’s familiar to everybody. But now we at least have a constant companion (who fortunately will never judge OR agree with us) to complain to! 🙂

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