Principles of A Course in Miracles – by Cindy Lora-Renard

Cindy Lora-Renard and Gary Renard are two of the presenters that will be at the Weekend of Freedom Retreat in Estes Park, Colorado, June 16-19, 2016, a 4-day event centered around sharing inspirations and insights about A Course in Miracles. You can read more about the retreat here. Here is an excellent, lucid new article by Cindy about ACIM:

Cindy Lora-RenardA Course in Miracles
is a purely non-dualistic thought system. Pure non-dualism is a state of mind where “you recognize the authority of God so completely, you relinquish all psychological attachment to anything that is not God.” (from DU) This is a state without compromise. There is only God, and nothing else. A Course in Miracles says, “God Is, and we cease to speak.” This is because there is nothing else to speak about. This means that anything that can take on a form, or shift or change is an illusion, because reality (God) is not a form. It is an awareness of perfect Oneness. And we are a part of that Oneness. The Course calls the world of duality a dream, because it is just a projection coming from the part of the split mind that believes in it and has become identified with it. The mind appeared to split the instant it took the thought of separation seriously, which the Course calls the “tiny, mad idea.” This was the instant the Sonship (all of us as One) appeared to have a thought that it could be separate from its Source. The problem is that we took this idea seriously, and chose what we now call the ego, which is this idea of separation, instead of just remembering to laugh at this tiny, mad idea thought. But in that same instant we chose the separation, God gave his Holy Spirit to us as an answer to the separation, and this Voice says, nothing happened. Being separate is an illusion. “You are still at home in God, dreaming of exile, but perfectly capable of awakening.” But because we didn’t choose to awaken in that instant, the ego created a God which would now punish us for what we believe we’ve done, although that is insane. So we had to come up with a hiding place to escape what the ego believes is the wrath of God. What is denied has to be projected, so we denied our guilt over this, and projected it out and made a world of time and space so that we could now see this guilt and fear outside of us instead of in our own minds which is where it still is. So, the world of time and space is just a dream of fear; a symbol of separation. The work now is to undo this belief in the ego, and with the Holy Spirit’s help, remove the blocks to the awareness of Love’s presence. From a purely non-dualistic perspective, nothing happened and the separation never occurred. We are only mentally reviewing that which has already gone by. Ideas leave not their source, so the world is in our minds and we can withdraw our belief in it, practice Forgiveness and wake up to the home we never left.

Many people ask how the ego can be defined. That which is not true cannot be defined. However, for the purposes of understanding how we can look at the ego, it is the thought of being separate from God. The ego (part of the split mind we all share) wants to be special, unique, and different. It wants to be God. The ego is a destructive thought system based on guilt and fear. This guilt and fear is what made the world of time and space and runs everything until we learn to change our minds and turn to the Holy Spirit and Its way of interpreting things. The ego’s range goes from suspiciousness to viciousness. The two parts of the split mind are the ego and the Holy Spirit, which are mutually exclusive states of mind. Any thought that comes from the ego is not a real thought, because it’s not who you are. Our real thoughts are the thoughts that come from Love, or right-minded thoughts.

Most of the world is still caught in the trap of believing in the dream. Growing awareness is a process over time and doesn’t come all at once, but eventually everyone will come to understand what reality is, and renounce all dreams. In time, this can appear to take a long time. In reality, it’s already done and over. The ego thought system shows itself in all the seeming problems we have here in the world. Again, from A Course in Miracles perspective (which is a purely non-dualistic thought system in which Jesus is the author) there is only one seeming problem; that we are separate from each other and from God. The answer to the separation is accepting the Atonement for ourselves, which is just another way of acknowledging that the separation did not really occur, as it’s just a projection, or a dream. So, we make up all kinds of “big” problems here in the world, which is just what the ego wants. This is the way the ego stays alive. Choosing love over fear means the end of the ego’s thought system and that is threatening to the ego, so it makes up all kinds of problems here so that it can stay in the game. Our military industrial complex is one example of how the ego operates, producing more fear by producing weapons of defense where we use fear to entice the masses into believing we are truly threatened and unsafe. Ghandi was a great example, showing that the use of non-violence can work. The problem isn’t guns, it is the belief of the ego thinking that guns will protect us from violence. So, the ego is using illusions to heal illusions and that never works. Einstein said, “ We cannot solve the world’s problems at the same level of consciousness of which the problems were created.” So, the cycles of war and violence will continue until the people of the world have inner peace, which comes from giving up our children’s toys, letting go of the need to be right, and practicing forgiveness; seeing things another way, with a different teacher in our minds, the Holy Spirit. Having said that, if the military is used under the Holy Spirit’s direction, it could really change how things operate, where it just becomes a system to keep things in order, but without the intention to harm.

So, how do we know if we should take some kind of action in the world?   My opinion is that one should only act on something if it was inspired from the Holy Spirit. If one acts from inspiration, then love is the guide. If one acts with the motivation from the ego, it would come from fear. So, you have a decision to make on whether or not you should take some kind of action, always turn it over first to the Holy Spirit and remember your goal…that you will not make any decisions by yourself (which means with the ego as your teacher). When you trust in the Holy Spirit and turn things over to Him, it is a way of joining in your mind so that you reinforcing the idea of oneness and connectedness. In everything you do, also ask what purpose does this serve? What is the purpose? What is the goal? You will know which teacher you have chosen (ego or Holy Spirit) by the answer to those questions.

The means of the Atonement in ACIM is Forgiveness. I practice the kind of Forgiveness A Course in Miracles advocates, which doesn’t make others errors or my own real. It sees everyone as innocent in Truth, because the separation from God has not really occurred. We are only experiencing a dream of pain, not real pain. In other words, here are the 3 steps I practice when something comes up to disturb my peace:

  1. I remember that I’m dreaming, and that I placed all the figures in my dream that would hurt me so that I could project my guilt and fear onto them and make them the cause of my problems instead of taking responsibility for how I feel or choose to interpret it.
  2. I forgive myself for both my projections and myself for dreaming them.
  3. I then Trust in the Holy Spirit and choose His strength

Along with these steps I keep practicing right-minded thoughts, such as “I am as God created me, His Son can suffer nothing, and I am His son.” Or, “The guiltless Mind cannot suffer.” These all come from the Course. By the way, this doesn’t mean that if someone is abusing you or hurting you that you just stand there and let them. That’s not what the Course is saying. It’s just saying that after you do what is necessary to take care of yourself, you can do the forgiveness work in the mind at the same time or when you are ready. Forgiveness is not about form, it’s about changing your mind about a person or situation or event so that it reflects the Holy Spirit’s thought system, which is one of non-judgment, innocence, and forgiveness of God’s Son who is One with you. Forgiveness is needed here as long as we believe we are separate from one another. When all is forgiven, you will be in the real world, where you will see fear and violence as calls for love instead of attack. Love will replace the fear we have made real, and you will see love and innocence everywhere. Mistakes will not call for punishment, but for correction in whatever way is most loving and helpful.

On several occasions, I’ve experienced a kind of peace and love that is not of this world. It is beyond the world, because it is the only thing that is real. These are very quick/brief moments of bliss, where all fear ceases and there is no doubt. There is just an awareness of being in total Oneness for an instant. From those experiences, I’ve come away with such gratitude for ALL my brothers and sisters who are on path with me. Our paths may look different in form, but the goal is the same. Just as the Course says, “A universal theology is impossible, but a universal experience is not only possible, but necessary.” That experience is recognizing our Oneness and that we are all the Sonship as One Being. We need our brothers and sisters because they help to show us where we have work to do in our minds to heal our own false sense of guilt that we have projected outward. We are blessings to each other, and when we use challenges that come up as opportunities to choose again, to choose the Holy Spirit’s thought system in our minds, then we have chosen the Miracle.

Weekend of Freedom Retreat 2016 – A conversation with Gary Renard, Cindy Lora-Renard and Bruce Rawles

In this video conversation, Gary Renard, Cindy Lora-Renard and Bruce Rawles, several of the presenters at the 2016 Weekend of Freedom Retreat, talk about freedom as A Course in Miracles (ACIM) would define it – in the mind – undoing guilt, remembering to laugh, and the upcoming 2016 Weekend of Freedom Retreat (June 16-19, 2016) in Estes Park, Colorado. In addition to 4 days of playful camaraderie-ship … is that a word? 🙂 … and insightful community and sharing with fellow ACIM students, the venue – YMCA of the Rockies – provides some superb recreational facilities and lots of time for in-depth exploration the non-dual metaphysics of ACIM, with generous opportunities for interaction, leisurely conversations and round-table sharing! Gary and Cindy also talk about some of their upcoming events and appearances, Cindy’s new music, Gary’s new book, hiking, movies, weather and more! Please join us in Estes Park this June!

Gary Renard and Cindy Lora-Renard

Gary Renard and Cindy Lora-Renard

Weekend Of Freedom Retreat

I’m quite enthused to be part of this event for students of A Course In Miracles this June! Mark your calendars now!

Weekend of Freedom Retreat 2016

The 5th annual Weekend of Freedom Retreat (WOFR) event, based on A Course In Miracles (ACIM) will be June 16-19, 2016 at the YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park, Colorado. The WOFR website has much more detail including registration, lodging, past events including slideshows, and more info. I will be posting video conversations with the organizers and other presenters about the event … and freedom! Freedom from what? Freedom from the needless self-tyrannizing thought system of ego’s separate interests – of course! 🙂 … And what better place to share 4 days of that exhilarating awareness than beautiful Estes Park, Colorado, adjacent to the magnificent Rocky Mountain National Park! Hope you can join us! You can use this link to stay informed about the event.

We are the masks, continued … and titanic holodeck chairs

titanic holodeck chairs

In this audio program CA Brooks and Bruce Rawles continue their prior conversation (on another segment of her weekly ACIM internet radio program on 12Radio) about a recent FACIM.org academy class about how we not only wear masks, we’re so identified with seemingly separate selves, that we become the masks, at least in our vivid imaginations. Even when we begin to realize that our masks no longer serve us, there is tremendous resistance to removing them, yet fortunately, we also are inexorably drawn to the ultimate revelation of what we all really are; the truly shared Identity that is the only real peace and fulfillment we’ll ever want or need. From this perspective, above the battleground in the mind’s titanic dream of rearranging holodeck chairs, we can afford to be patient and gentle with ourselves and everyone else while we work through our forgiveness process of undoing our ego investments.

We also refer to this quote in Chapter 20, section 8, paragraph 7 of ACIM’s text:

“Judgment is but a toy, a whim, the senseless means to play the idle game of death in your imagination. But vision sets all things right, bringing them gently within the kindly sway of Heaven’s laws. What if you recognized this world is an hallucination? What if you really understood you made it up? What if you realized that those who seem to walk about in it, to sin and die, attack and murder and destroy themselves, are wholly unreal? Could you have faith in what you see, if you accepted this? And would you see it?”

mask

No Big Deals :-) FACIM FAQ #956

“One of the keys to progressing on our journey home is the discovery that, despite its slippery cleverness, there is one thing the ego cannot pervert to serve its own means: our failure to make a big deal about something.” I’ve been savoring the FACIM.org FAQs, reading them sequentially after sporadic skipping around through them for a few years, and found this superb ‘bottom line’ wisdom at the end of FAQ #956. I’m noticing more and more that I can afford – from above the battleground – to not make a ‘big deal’ out of my personal circumstances – when I’m willing to look with our Inner Kindness Teacher at my investment in the specifics and outcomes… and laugh gently at them! 🙂 Here’s the full FAQ text of number 956:

“Q #956: I understand that I really do not want the peace of God, and that I need to ask Jesus to help me look at this fact without guilt or judgment. Yet my life still seems to be one conflict after another. I am aware that I do not want to let my specialness go and I ask for help with this. But I just seem to be stuck in the victim mode. What should I do?

A: One of the things studying and applying A Course in Miracles does for us is to reveal just how deeply split our mind is. On one hand, the Course helps us see that despite our vastly differing scripts, basically everyone’s life (with very few exceptions, such as Jesus’) can be boiled down to three rather miserable acts: we are born, we struggle, and we die — hardly a storyline any sane mind would choose for itself, and certainly one in which we are a perpetual victim. On the other hand, the Course tells us that we have the power to change this experience — that by changing internal teachers, we could see peace instead of this (W.pI.34) . If we believe that we have this power — and part of us must, or we would not be drawn to the Course — then it is natural to wonder why we do not just make this internal shift, feel better, and get on with it.

But the Course answers that question when it tells us that “No one who sees himself as guilty can avoid the fear of God” (T.30.VI.4:4) . In other words, we will be afraid of God (and of the internal shift that would bring us closer to Him), as long as we have any guilt left in our mind. And as long as we retain any belief in the reality of our physical existence and of this world, our mind will contain guilt — the unconscious conviction that we stole our existence from God and deserve to be punished for it. This is why our journey as Course students can seem so slow, difficult, and filled with setbacks.

While we have found clever ways to disguise this fact, our entire lives up to this point have been elaborate schemes to keep us in the victim mode, precisely so that we will never return to the peace and Love of God, which we perceive as our greatest threat. As we begin to do what Jesus asks of us and question every value that we hold (T.24.in.2:1) , we start to feel how desperately we do want to return to God’s Love, and how much we have suffered in our seemingly separated state. Yet it takes time to undo an entire thought system and we cannot expect the ego to just give up without a fight.

So your experience of being stuck in the victim mode, while undoubtedly painful, is certainly not unique, nor is it really the problem. Rather, it is simply a reflection of the fact that you still fear God’s Love and your mind’s ability to choose it. Thus, you do not need to do anything about it. Rather, you could just view it as helpful information. In fact, whenever we find ourselves feeling like victims, we can simply notice it and say, “Aha, I am still scared and that is all right.” In this way, we will be practicing the forgiveness with ourselves that will ultimately loosen the ego’s chokehold. One of the keys to progressing on our journey home is the discovery that, despite its slippery cleverness, there is one thing the ego cannot pervert to serve its own means: our failure to make a big deal about something.”

A Conversation with CA Brooks about non-dual gratitude

Here is an audio program with CA Brooks and Bruce Rawles conversing – on another segment of her weekly ACIM internet radio program on 12Radio – about gratitude beyond comparison (giving thanks without needing a specific reason), and related workbook lesson 195: Love is the way I walk in gratitude as well as a favorite section: “The Real Alternative” from Chapter 31 of ACIM’s text, and Kenneth Wapnick‘s brilliant audio program and book “From Futility to Happiness: Sisyphus as Every Man.”

C. A. Brooks

The Problem and the Answer – Susan Dugan and Bruce Rawles talk about ACIM Chapter 11, section VIII

Susan Dugan and Bruce Rawles comment in this video on “The Problem and the Answer” – the last section (VIII) of Chapter 11 (from text of A Course in Miracles (T-18:IV). More at Susan’s blog, ForaysInForgiveness.com. We talked about the how our reactions and interpretations to events in the world either anchor us more fully in ego’s thought system … or free us if we forgive the dreamer, including our resistance to practicing what we intuitively know will work … and undo the dysfunctional identity and it’s maladaptive defenses. The suggested humility opens us to trusting our Inner Kindness Teacher more consistently and helps us realize that this unconditional support is available here and now always in the context of the specifics we’ve made – yet leading us inexorably to the generalization that brings our choosing back to the uncompromising total inclusion that leads us home … to where we’ve never left. 🙂

 Susan Dugan and Pumpkin

I judge all things as I would have them be: Lyn Johnson and Bruce Rawles on Workbook Lesson 311

judge-hammer2

Lyn Johnson talked with Bruce Rawles about all the ways our judgments attempt to condemn our identity. This conversation was about two Workbook Lessons, among many other topics. The conversation included ideas in Workbook Lesson 311 (I judge all things as I would have them be) and also touched on Workbook Lesson 182 (I will be still an instant and go home.)

Here is Lesson 311:

Judgment was made to be a weapon used against the truth. It separates what it is being used against, and sets it off as if it were a thing apart. And then it makes of it what you would have it be. It judges what it cannot understand, because it cannot see totality and therefore judges falsely. Let us not use it today, but make a gift of it to Him Who has a different use for it. He will relieve us of the agony of all the judgments we have made against ourselves, and re-establish peace of mind by giving us God’s Judgment of His Son.

Father, we wait with open mind today, to hear Your Judgment of the Son You love. We do not know him, and we cannot judge. And so we let Your Love decide what he whom You created as Your Son must be.”

Lyn devotes a lot of time volunteering on Awakening Together Sanctuary (formerly called ACIM Gather), as well as moderating the Disappearance of the Universe Yahoo group.

Lyn Johnson

Here’s a prior conversation about Lesson 182 with CA Brooks.

… and a prior conversation about Entrusting Your Body and Ego: Lyn Johnson and Bruce Rawles on T-4.I.13

A Transition in Perspective – A Conversation with CA Brooks

Transition from ego to Inner Kindness TeacherIn this audio programCA Brooks and Bruce Rawles talk on another segment of CA’s weekly ACIM internet radio program on 12Radio, about a few of the ideas in yet another brilliant work from Kenneth Wapnick and the Foundation for A Course In Miracles (FACIM) entitled, “A Transition in Perspective.” One of the ideas we talked about is the metaphor of ego’s dark thread that divides (reinforcing an imaginary split in the mind) and leads further into the dark cavernous abyss of the belief in separation, whereas our Inner Kindness Teacher uses the exact same thread (which now becomes a golden, gently luminous path) but in the opposite direction using shared interests, kindness and – of course, forgiveness – to reveal the blocks to love’s awareness, release them, and replace our insane ideas of isolation with the comforting reminder that our true, eternal heritage is complete innocence, inclusion and a peaceful identity.

C. A. Brooks

Consistency of Means and End – A Conversation with CA Brooks

Knife Switch: separate interests vs. shared interestsIn this audio programCA Brooks and Bruce Rawles talk on another segment of CA’s weekly ACIM internet radio program on 12Radio, about The Consistency of Means and End. The “means” of ACIM is always forgiveness, in one form or another and the “end” is always peace, regardless of how we might try to describe it. The means of forgiveness is always in the mind which means (pun intended) that we DO have the power to choose peace, by means of choosing which thought system (ego or our Inner Kindness Teacher) we want to identify with at any given moment. 🙂 If we aren’t feeling peace, A Course in Miracles suggests – in innumerable ways – that we’re not choosing to listen to that Inner Kindness Teacher (a.k.a. the Holy Spirit or Jesus of ACIM) and trying to do it ‘on our own’ which invariably is some form or behavior we mistakenly believe will bring peace to us from some temporal, external, fleeting circumstance.

We’re gently reminded – when we choose to listen to the voice for kindness – that we don’t have to be subject to the dream world of space time when we’ve shifted our identity to the One that is above the battlefield of dualistic dreams and silly separate interests. Our intentions are merely reflections of this ‘only remaining freedom‘ … the freedom to choose the teacher of Total Inclusion (where our Identity is restored to the Perfect Oneness we never abandoned) … or the teacher of maladaptive solutions to non-existent problems, a phrase Ken Wapnick uses to describe ego’s dysfunctional approach of sin, guilt, fear and death which consistently leads us (with it’s maladaptive means) away from peace. It’s ‘ends’ never make us happy. Ego tries to convince us that it’s miserable ends justify it’s abhorrent means – which always are some form (however cleverly disguised) of the belief in separation.

At every moment our mind ‘throws the switch’ … either for peace (choosing the teacher of peace with it’s curriculum of true forgiveness of the dreamer) … or for the paradigm of victimhood, blame, attack, isolation and grievances. We either choose – moment to moment to moment – separate interests … or shared interests.

C. A. Brooks

August 2015 ACIMblog bulletin

ACIM Virtual Conference #2: Oct 16-18, 2015

MiracleShare.org 2015 ACIM Virtual ConferenceThe second annual ACIM Virtual Conference hosted by MiracleShare.org is happening October 16 through 18 and you can register now for this 3-day interactive ACIM event here if you haven’t already. I’ll be sharing about Workbook Lesson 243 “Today I will judge nothing that occurs” in a conversation with Danielle Scruton, one of the organizers of this wonderful event. There will be about two dozen other outstanding ACIM presenters/teachers (such as Gary Renard, Susan Dugan, Myron Jones, Jon Mundy, Dov Fishman and Carrie Triffet, to name just a few) who will also have a pre-recorded 30-minute video (either a monologue – like I did last year about the Double Shield of Oblivion – or a conversation) followed by a half-hour live phone-in Q&A session, along with a chat window where we can further extend the conversation and communion in text form; all great fun! I hope you can join us! If you haven’t already (virtually) attended last years, you can still register, watch and listen to the full conference from last year here until October 2015! No airline flights, rental cars, hotel reservations, etc. needed, either! 🙂


Streaming Academy Classes from FACIM

FACIM Academy Class

I recently ‘virtually’ attended (via streaming video) the most recent Academy Class from Foundation for A Course In Miracles (FACIM) from Temecula, CaliforniaI’m re-watching (my 2nd re-play viewing after also watching the class live) the 2-day video of the “Finding Joy in a Joyless Place” class which had some wonderful insights from Dr. Rosemarie LoSasso and Dr. Jeffrey Seibert. They team-taught this most recent class and are doing a superb job of carrying on where Ken Wapnick left off in sharing the oh-so-gentle but uncompromising non-dual metaphysics of ACIM. I plan to attend many more, including other workshops and classes in addition to the academy classes.

Earlier this year, incidentally, FACIM was using a different (problematic) video streaming provider, so the prior video streaming experience was technically challenged, but not anymore! This 2-day class video streaming experience worked flawlessly for me. The high resolution and excellent bandwidth audio and video make it almost like being there in the classroom. So now, both the content (which was always great) AND the form are outstanding! All highly recommended! Here’s the FACIM schedule of classes and events – ALL HIGHLY RECOMMENDED – many of which you can attend now via streaming video in addition to in person, if you happen to be in Temecula.


“The Little Willingness” – An Audio Conversation with Susan Dugan

Susan Dugan and Bruce Rawles - video: Workbook Lesson 134 Let Me Perceive Forgiveness As It Is - And What Is Forgiveness

Susan Dugan and Bruce Rawles comment in this video on “The Little Willingness” from text of A Course in Miracles (T-18:IV). More at Susan’s blog, ForaysInForgiveness.com. We talked about the importance of trusting our Inner Kindness Teacher (a.k.a. Holy Spirit, or the Jesus of ACIM) to provide the needed correction to our limited and distorted perception and being willing to release our attachment to thoughts that result in anything but peace. We need to humbly look at our misery with this guidance in order to release our addiction to misery. Our part is very tiny, but crucial in undoing our buying into ego’s misinterpretations.


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Please contact us to share anything would like to see here, suggestions for inclusion, improvements, etc. If you have anything ACIM-related that you’d like to share, please send (or send a link) for consideration. This site is (among other things) a venue for conversations, so I eagerly encourage and await more contributions from kindred students of our Shared Teacher of forgiveness and kindness. It’s fun to share our universal interests online; visit ACIMblog pages on FaceBook FaceBook (my personal FB page, which is frequently ACIM-related), Twitter and YouTube. If you aren’t already receiving this automatically in your email, you can subscribe here for free and get daily updates (of any posts made the prior day) via the “post updates by email” Subscribe button on every page. Eternal smilezenhugs to all! 🙂ACIMblog star image