What does it mean to accept the Atonement for myself? – A conversation with Susan Dugan and Bruce Rawles

Susan Dugan - in video conversation with Bruce Rawles about ACIMIn this videoSusan Dugan and Bruce Rawles talk about what it means to accept the Atonement for ourselves, a question answered succinctly in the text of A Course in Miracles in sentence 1 of the fifth paragraph of section 5 of chapter 2:

“The sole responsibility of the miracle worker is to accept the Atonement for himself.”

The dialogue included a wide array of Course-related topics including our belief in the dream of separation and the needless, excruciating, self-inflicted mental anguish this has made, the means of listening to our Inner Kindness Teacher as the ‘undo program’ that reverses the ego thought system and how we are all learning to not take ego’s insanity quite so seriously with humor, a little willingness multiplied beyond our imagination, and the compassion for ourselves and others as a single inclusive Self we are gradually learning to re-identify with.

The conversation also touched on Workbook Lesson 139 “I will accept Atonement for myself” and Workbook Lesson 186 “Salvation of the world depends on me.”

Susan writes frequently and eloquently about A Course in Miracles in her very engaging blog, ForaysInForgiveness

ACIM: “The Needless Sacrifice”, Chapter 15″, Section VII

In this video, Susan Dugan and Bruce Rawles read from and talk about A Course in Miracles, Chapter 15, Section VII: “The Needless Sacrifice” This section reminds us to look at the real intention behind special relationships and how we need to learn a new kind of forgiveness where we look beyond the superficial ‘giving to get’ which is really just bargaining that mirrors the insane relationship we believe we have with our Creator. The idea of sacrifice assumes that we can make some sort of deal that mitigates the unconscious, yet unfounded guilt our egos never want to look at. However, we always have the peaceful option to gently look at ego’s insanity – without condemnation – in the form of our special ‘gimme-gimme’ needy special relationships with everyone and everything and see that our identity investment in them no longer holds the appeal we once thought it had, thereby allowing the serene sanity that has been awaiting us all along to return to our minds. The fact that this idea occurs within the context of the chapter entitled “The Holy Instant” reminds us that we have the opportunity to experience the peace and relief from ego’s impossible dream at every instant, restoring our minds to wholeness.

This section of ACIM’s text concludes with this helpful paragraph:

“It is through the holy instant that what seems impossible is accomplished, making it evident that it is not impossible. In the holy instant guilt holds no attraction, since communication has been restored. And guilt, whose only purpose is to disrupt communication, has no function here. Here there is no concealment, and no private thoughts. The willingness to communicate attracts communication to it, and overcomes loneliness completely. There is complete forgiveness here, for there is no desire to exclude anyone from your completion, in sudden recognition of the value of his part in it. In the protection of your wholeness, all are invited and made welcome. And you understand that your completion is God’s, Whose only need is to have you be complete. For your completion makes you His in your awareness. And here it is that you experience yourself as you were created, and as you are.”

ACIMblog - Susan DuganSusan writes frequently and eloquently about A Course in Miracles in her very engaging blog, ForaysInForgiveness

ACIM Workbook Lesson 330: “I will not hurt myself again today.”

In this video, Susan Dugan and Bruce Rawles read from and talk about A Course in Miracles, Workbook Lesson 330, entitled “I will not hurt myself again today.” Susan has a recent eloquent blog post on the same topic here. This short Workbook lesson reminds us that martyrdom, victimhood, and mental suffering is always a choice in the mind:

Let us this day accept forgiveness as our only function. Why should we attack our minds, and give them images of pain? Why should we teach them they are powerless, when God holds out His power and His Love, and bids them take what is already theirs? The mind that is made willing to accept God’s gifts has been restored to spirit, and extends its freedom and its joy, as is the Will of God united with its own. The Self which God created cannot sin, and therefore cannot suffer. Let us choose today that He be our Identity, and thus escape forever from all things the dream of fear appears to offer us.

Father, Your Son can not be hurt. And if we think we suffer, we but fail to know our one Identity we share with You. We would return to It today, to be made free forever from all our mistakes, and to be saved from what we thought we were.

A related section from the text entitled “Hero of the Dream” brings us back to mindfulness with this encouragement:

“The secret of salvation is but this: that you are doing this unto yourself. No matter what the form of the attack, this still is true. Whoever takes the role of enemy and of attacker, still is this the truth. Whatever seems to be the cause of any pain and suffering you feel, this is still true. For you could not react at all to figures in a dream you knew that you were dreaming. Let them be as hateful and as vicious as they may, they could have no effect on you unless you failed to recognize it is your dream.

This single lesson learned will set you free from suffering, whatever form it takes. The Holy Spirit will repeat this one inclusive lesson of deliverance until it has been learned, regardless of the form of suffering that brings you pain. Whatever hurt you bring to Him He will make answer with this very simple truth. For this one answer takes away the cause of every form of sorrow and of pain. The form affects His answer not at all, for He would teach you but the single cause of all of them, no matter what their form. And you will understand that miracles reflect the simple statement, “I have done this thing, and it is this I would undo.”

Bring, then, all forms of suffering to Him Who knows that every one is like the rest. He sees no differences where none exists, and He will teach you how each one is caused. None has a different cause from all the rest, and all of them are easily undone by but a single lesson truly learned. Salvation is a secret you have kept but from yourself. The universe proclaims it so. Yet to its witnesses you pay no heed at all. For they attest the thing you do not want to know. They seem to keep it secret from you. Yet you need but learn you chose but not to listen, not to see.”  – T.27.VIII:10-12

Susan writes frequently and eloquently about A Course in Miracles in her very engaging blog, ForaysInForgiveness

ACIM: “Sharing Perception with the Holy Spirit Text”, Chapter 14, Section VII

In this video, Susan Dugan and Bruce Rawles read from and talk about A Course in Miracles, Chapter 14, Section VII: “Sharing Perception with the Holy Spirit Text.” This section reminds us that our isolated perception – disconnected and dissociated from our Inner Kindness Teacher’s gentle, forgiving, all-encompassing, all-inclusive perspective – inevitably results in the seeming loss of peace associated with trying to interpret ego’s dream script on the level that it was dreamt up and from that insane thought system of differences, divisiveness, deception and delusion. The way out of this mental quagmire always involves returning to our choice in the mind for the ego’s thought system, revealing to ourselves that its judgmental, condemning, victimizing, fugitive ideas have not made us happy, then forgiving ourselves for what ultimately is just a silly fantasy detour, and awakening from that dysfunctional dream by releasing our own perceptions (interpretations) and allowing in the corrective, truly innocent and inclusive insights from the Teacher we all share and remembering the Peace we never left, except in dreams.

This section of ACIM’s text concludes with this inspiring paragraph:

“Joining with Him in seeing is the way in which you learn to share with Him the interpretation of perception that leads to knowledge. You cannot see alone. Sharing perception with Him Whom God has given you teaches you how to recognize what you see. It is the recognition that nothing you see means anything alone. Seeing with Him will show you that all meaning, including yours, comes not from double vision, but from the gentle fusing of everything into one meaning, one emotion and one purpose. God has one purpose which He shares with you. The single vision which the Holy Spirit offers you will bring this oneness to your mind with clarity and brightness so intense you could not wish, for all the world, not to accept what God would have you have. Behold your will, accepting it as His, with all His Love as yours. All honor to you through Him, and through Him unto God.”

ACIMblog - Susan Dugan
Susan writes frequently and eloquently about A Course in Miracles in her very engaging blog, ForaysInForgiveness

If you haven’t already, check out interviews about A Course in Miracles by Jackie Lora Jones on her “The 24th Hour – Positive News Magazine” video series. The most recent interview (added December 2016) features her sister, Cindy Lora-Renard and brother-in-law, Gary Renard, sharing their always enlightening and accessible insights into ACIM‘s pure non-dual teachings.

24th Hour- Episode 18 with Gary Renard, Cindy Lora-Renard

ACIM’s Quiet Center: from “I Need Do Nothing” Text, Chapter 18, Section VII

In this video, Susan Dugan and Bruce Rawles read from and talk about A Course in Miracles, Chapter 18, Section VII: “I Need Do Nothing.” This section touches on the “quiet center of the storm” which we can all access at any time or place, since it is a decision in the mind to not identify with our ego’s incessant and insane blather.
We talked about the importance of making a habit of turning over our day – from the outset – to our Inner Kindness Teacher … and forgiving ourselves when we resist doing so, to enable us to more quickly resume that mind-healing practice. More info at ForaysInForgiveness.com. This paragraph concludes the “I Need Do Nothing” section:

“Yet there will always be this place of rest to which you can return. And you will be more aware of this quiet center of the storm than all its raging activity. This quiet center, in which you do nothing, will remain with you, giving you rest in the midst of every busy doing on which you are sent. For from this center will you be directed how to use the body sinlessly. It is this center, from which the body is absent, that will keep it so in your awareness of it.”

author and ACIM teacher, Susan Dugan

Healing All Relationships: notes from my presentation for ACIM Virtual Conference #3: Oct. 21-23, 2016


Since a primary focus of ACIM is relationships, I had both a challenge … and a lot of fun! … assembling ideas for the video recording I did for  the 3rd Annual ACIM Virtual Conference, hosted by MiracleShare. There are just SO many aspects of relationships that relate to our forgiveness classroom (i.e. ALL of them!), even if one focuses on merely the interpersonal ones. Each one of the many topics below could easily be expanded on in much greater detail! Here are my notes that formed the basis of the half-hour recorded talk I did, which will be part of the two dozen plus recorded video lineup, each of which will be followed by live phone-in questions and answers. Hope you can join us! 🙂

Here’s a link to the prior post I made with more details about the conference, including registration.

If you are reading this in August, 2016, you still have ONE MORE DAY to register at the reduced rate for this fun event which is a bargain particularly compared with ‘live conferences’, even at the full Sept. price.

… and here are my notes from the video I recorded this morning for the conference; enjoy! 🙂

Topic: “Healing All Relationships”
If you are committed to transforming your special relationships into holy relationships, this year’s conference theme of “Healing All Relationships” is for you.
Thanks to Corinne, Craig and Danielle and everyone involved with MiracleShare for hosting this 3rd Virtual ACIM Conference! What a great way to share A Course in Miracles …and a perfect metaphor that the selves that are doing the sharing (on the level of form) are indeed virtual, symbolic representations of the “capital S” Self we all are and share beyond space and time.
ACIM is always and only about content of the mind, never about behavior or form. Without that foundation, we get hopelessly lost in ego’s propaganda machine: space-time identification. As Ken Wapnick says, we can never get too far from the non-dual metaphysics of the Course.
Relationship Topics:
  • Relationships exist in mind
  • Any relationship includes all relationships
  • There are only 2 relationships …
  • Our relationship with ego is a dysfunctional fantasy
  • Our relationship with HS (IKT) restores the peace of Oneness …
  • We don’t understand Oneness, so HS uses sameness (shared interests)
  • We can afford to be kind to everyone …
  • … and everything …
  • … but only from above the battleground of duality …
  • and we return from duality when we …
  • forgive our decision-making minds … by the 3 R’s … or maybe 4 R’s within this context? 🙂
  • REVEAL our ego investment: catch that aspect of mind in the act of condemning
  • RELEASE our mind’s grip on that identity investment: see that it’s not working
  • REPLACE: allow IKT to replace ego’s anxiety/fear/anger/desolation with peace
  • RELATE: to everything differently, because we are related in Spirit to all as Self
” … ‘(3:4) We have covered the illusion of time already, but the illusion of levels of teaching seems to be something different.’ We really think there is a difference between our important and unimportant relationships, concept the ego loves, for it reinforces the notion of a hierarchy of illusions–its first law of chaos (T-23.II.2-3). …” – ‪#‎KennethWapnick‬, ‪#‎JourneyThroughTheManual‬ of ‪#‎ACourseInMiracles‬, p. 24
There are only 2 relationships:
     Our (healing, helpful) relationship to our Inner Kindness Teacher (a.k.a. Holy Spirit)
… and
     our (imaginary, dysfunctional) relationship to ego:
          the maladaptive solution to the non-existent problem
All our OTHER SEEMINGLY external relationships are simply reflections of the two:
     extensions of our (healing) relationship to our Inner Kindness Teacher
… or
     projections of our (dysfunctional) relationship to ego.
We tend to focus on our relationships with other people; we tend to be species snobs with respect to humans, but our relationships with anything and everything, anyone and everyone – in the service of our Inner Kindness Teacher – can be a mirroring mechanism to return us to the mind.
These relationships all can … and must … be healed by inclusive, generalized learning using the very same specifics ego intended as magic to keep separate, which now HS uses as miracles to restore wholeness.
Ego’s purpose is to keep us in the dream of separation by fixating beyond mere impartial preferences between illusions that are equal in truth … illusion A = illusion B, etc.
… to making a ‘big deal’ over differences. Our entire space-time culture is – by default – employed by ego to reinforce this zombie propaganda of unconscious sin-guilt-fear, but we can meet every one and everything with mercy and gratitude for their mirroring gifts (showing us the contents of our unconscious mind) instead of being ‘at the mercy of’ and therefore in contempt and condemnation of – at war with – everything that SEEMS to be outside us.
That profound difference in the  “What is it for?” question that we ask of everyone … changes everything from prison to classroom.
Here are some examples of general categories of relationships that SEEM to be external; note which ones ‘press your buttons’ … which ones are your ‘sacred cows’ … and which ones might be dormant traps waiting for just the right time to pounce (from our own scripts) on ‘us’ … seemingly in response to someone else’s script … but we wrote every line of our life’s screenplay … just not necessarily on a conscious level.
RELATIONSHIP categories: as egos we WANT these problems to keep ourselves mindless; as we grow weary of this dysfunction, we begin to generalize and see each of these categories as a venue for mindful forgiveness of our belief in separation … we CHANGE THE PURPOSE OF EACH OF THESE RELATIONSHIPS from condemnation to healing … from magic (of differences) to miracle (of sameness):
HUMAN Relationships
     Our own bodies / definition of ‘self’
          Food / Water / Nutrition / “our definition” of What is or isn’t healthy /
               diet / weight / self-image / addictions
          Fatigue / Stamina / Vitality / Sleep / Fitness / health issues / pleasure
          Exercise / Mobility / Cancer / Heart disease / rare illnesses
          Age / Health / Disease / Medicine / Mortality / Death
          Asceticism / Indulgence / Alcohol / Drugs (prescription/recreational)
     Other bodies / definition of ‘other’
          Family / Parents / Siblings / Relatives / Genetics / Heredity
          Spouses / Sexuality (hetero/homo) / boundaries / fidelity
          Friends / Enemies / Communities (physical/virtual)
          Co-workers / Bosses / Employees
          Cultural / Gender / Ethnic / Sexual Orientation / Political Biases / Party affiliation
               Legal status / criminal record / taxes / sovereignty / corruption
          Wars / Drones / Privacy / Terrorism / Bureaucracy /
Animals / Pets / Wildlife / Plants / Food resources / Extinction
          Viruses / Bacteria / GMOs / Pesticides / Food additives / CO2 / Pollution
Minerals / “Inanimate objects”
          Money / Exchange / Wealth / Poverty / Lack / Loss / Security / Retirement
          Technology / Cell phones / Computers / Television / Radio / Texting
               Software / Hardware / Pundits / Blogosphere / Media biases
          Cars / Traffic / Airlines / Safety / Commuting / Boats / Skateboards
          Housing / Poverty / Affluence / Stuff / Lifestyle / Comparisons / “real” estate
          Clothing / Style / Fashion / Culture / Art / Music / Literature / Drama / Movies
               Death Metal, Country Western, Classical, other genres
          Weather / Ecology / Temperature / Climate
               disasters / tornados / lightning / volcanos / earthquakes / tidal waves / loss
     Dimensions / Quantum Physics
     Atoms  to Galaxies
     Quarks to Quasars
     Emptiness of Space
     Schedules / Leisure / Work / Play / Boredom / Puritan ethic / holidays
     our ‘personal’ stories / Family stories / 
     pet peeves
     ___ makes me feel ___
     past events “sins” no one knows about
     past events  “sins” others know about and won’t forgive you
BE GENTLE with yourself if you notice a lot of these still push your buttons; these are all fair game for our forgiveness classroom.
I then gave a few examples from FACIM’s superb FACIMoutreach.org website.

I invite you to join over two dozen ACIM presenters, including those featured in ACIMblog.com video and audio conversations (such as Susan Dugan, and Cindy Lora-Renard) plus hundreds of Course students for an Online Miracle Party on this very topic!

The prices are increasing on Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016; (still a superb bargain compared with attending a physical conference) so now is a great time to register for the virtual conference! I look forward to sharing the event with you! : -)

Click this link to join us or continue reading more for details and registration.

MiracleShare Virtual Conference #3 - Bruce Rawles - video still image

Healing All Relationships: ACIM Virtual Conference #3: Oct. 21-23, 2016

A Course in Miracles completely redefines – in a wonderful way! – how we look at our relationship to everyone and everything! If you’re reading this, you likely have been profoundly involved with ACIM’s forgiveness curriculum that leads to truly Healing All Relationships, which just happens to be the focus (and theme) of this year’s online (virtual) ACIM Conference, hosted by MiracleShare.

Like Forgiveness, Relationships have a different purpose according to A Course in Miracles than they do in the illusory world. I’ll be exploring those subjects in a 30-minute video about going beyond both special love and special hate … and more … along with numerous other fellow ACIM teachers who have studied the Course for decades, as well.

I invite you to join over two dozen ACIM presenters, including those featured in ACIMblog.com video and audio conversations (such as Susan Dugan, and Cindy Lora-Renard) plus hundreds of Course students for an Online Miracle Party on this very topic!

The prices are increasing on Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016; (still a superb bargain compared with attending a physical conference) so now is a great time to register for the virtual conference! I look forward to sharing the event with you! : -)

Click this link to join us or continue reading more for details and registration.

2016 Miracle Share Virtual Conference Speakers:

ACIM Manual #16 – How Should the Teacher of God Spend his day?

This video is a conversation with Susan Dugan and Bruce Rawles about section 16 from the Manual for Teachers of A Course in Miracles: “How Should the Teacher of God Spend his day?” We talked about the importance of making a habit of turning over our day – from the outset – to our Inner Kindness Teacher … and forgiving ourselves when we resist doing so, to enable us to more quickly resume that mind-healing practice. More info at ForaysInForgiveness.com. Here is an example paragraph:

“There is one thought in particular that should be remembered throughout the day. It is a thought of pure joy, a thought of peace, a thought of limitless release, limitless because all things are freed within it. You think you made a place of safety for yourself. You think you made a power that can save you from all the fearful things you see in dreams. It is not so. Your safety lies not there. What you give up is merely the illusion of protecting illusions. And it is this you fear, and only this. How foolish to be so afraid of nothing! Nothing at all! Your defenses will not work, but you are not in danger. You have no need of them. Recognize this, and they will disappear. And only then will you accept your real protection.”

author and ACIM teacher, Susan Dugan

MiracleShare Virtual Conference #3: Oct 21-23, 2016

I’m enthused to report that I will again be participating (3 years in a row) in the MiracleShare Virtual ACIM Conference, October 21-23, 2016. Each year, in addition to preparing what I’ve found to be truly helpful for my own presentation, I’ve taken the time to listen to each of the other presentations, and they have been superb! Here are related posts about the prior 2015 virtual ACIM conference and the 2014 virtual ACIM conference, lists of 2015 conference speakers, 2014 conference speakers as well as a slide show of some quotes from presenters.

Corinne, Craig and Danielle have once again gathered an outstanding lineup of ACIM speakers for this year’s conference, where the theme is Healing All Relationships. As students of pure non-dual metaphysics, we recall that there’s only one real relationship – the one we have with our Inner Kindness Teacher – (and the false relationship we have with our imposter egos) yet each seemingly outer relationship provides us with the perfect forgiveness classroom to undo our investment in the special love/hate bargains and re-invest in the eternal relationship that takes us home … to where we never left in truth! 🙂

I’m looking forward to sharing insights about looking at our special relationships as transformational opportunities to choose a different teacher and heal my mind. I’m also eager to hear what the other 2 dozen speakers will share on this vital topic at the core of ACIM’s curriculum!

Click here for details and registration!

As with the prior two years, you can hear my conversation (and the 2 dozen plus others) live … or any time AFTER the conference if you happen to be busy (or interrupted) that 3 day weekend: one of many advantages to a VIRTUAL conference! Others include not having to deal with the expense, time and logistics for airfare, other transportation, lodging, food, pet-sitters, etc., etc.

If you want to participate in the follow-on phone Q&A sessions, there is a half hour after each session to interact with each of the presenters. In addition to the excellent presentations themselves, I’ve had great fun the last couple of years (and see no reason not to continue!) typing into the chat window during the sessions and enjoying the online community in the chat environment. The photo below shows the speaker lineup as of July 5, 2016; what a superb crew!

  • Alan Cohen
  • Amy Torres
  • Bill Free
  • Bob Rosenthal
  • Bridget Trama
  • Bruce Rawles
  • Carly Glasmyre
  • Carrie Triffet
  • Cindy Lora-Renard
  • Coreen Watson
  • Corinne Zupko
  • Craig Villarrubia
  • Danielle Scruton
  • David Fishman
  • Jennifer Hadley
  • John Mark Stroud
  • Jon Mundy
  • José Rodriguez
  • Kathy Scott Perry
  • Kevin Rice
  • Kirsten Buxton
  • Lisa Natoli
  • Maria Felipe
  • Mary Gerard Lenihan
  • Michael Murray
  • Myron Jones
  • Susan Dugan
  • Tony Ponticello
Hope you can join us! 🙂
2016 Miracle Share Virtual Conference Speakers:

ACIM Workbook Lesson 190: A Conversation with Susan Dugan and Bruce Rawles

Wile E. Coyote (RoadRunner cartoon) screen snapIn this videoSusan Dugan and Bruce Rawles shared about Lesson 190 “I choose the joy of God instead of pain” from the Workbook of A Course in Miracles. We read most of the lesson aloud and conversed at length about the gentle wisdom it offers as it reminds us of the stark contrast between the world of suffering we made up … and our eternal, peaceful reality we only dreamt we abandoned, with seemingly heavy consequences. One of many ideas and metaphors we talked about was our surreal, insane masochism typified by the cartoon character, Wile E. Coyote, always in a perpetual battle/vendetta (with disastrous self-inflicted assaults) against the seemingly oblivious RoadRunner who might well symbolize the innocence we never left. Here is an example quote (paragraph 9) from this lesson:

“Lay down your arms, and come without defense into the quiet place where Heaven’s peace holds all things still at last. Lay down all thoughts of danger and of fear. Let no attack enter with you. Lay down the cruel sword of judgment that you hold against your throat, and put aside the withering assaults with which you seek to hide your holiness.”

You can read more about Susan’s books, classes and more at Susan’s blog, ForaysInForgiveness.com.

ACIMblog - Susan Dugan - Christmas 2015

Susan Dugan

In addition to the core conversation, Susan reminded listeners about the superb ongoing Academy Classes (and other classes about A Course in Miracles) from Foundation from A Course In Miracles (FACIM),FAQs, Online Learning Aids, Lighthouse articles, and much more.

Update! The block of reserved rooms for the 5th annual Weekend of Freedom Retreat (WOFR) event has been extended to May 2, 2016, so there’s still time to reserve a place at this year’s WOFR event, which is based on A Course In Miracles (ACIM). WOFR will be June 16-19, 2016 at the YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park, Colorado. Presenters include Gary Renard, Cindy Lora Renard, David Hoffmeister, David “Dov” Fishman, Lorri Coburn, Craig Villarrubia, Maria Felipe, and Bruce Rawles.