Monday, 17 February 2014

Miracles For All

IThe weekend spent practising how to do Mindfulness was a bit of an eye-opener.

My husband , when asked (generally by me) how he would describe what I'm like, will reply, "Complex." I am apt to give him a sideways glance at this, in order to ascertain whether this is criticism or not. I believe him to be sidestepping the issue, and that "complex" is  the closest to criticism that he feels he can get,  without drawing down wrath. 

"Muddled" would probably be closer to the mark, and I would bet my second best bed that many people also fall into this category. I don't know what's going on in the world half the time, and am usually loath to find out, in case I don't agree with it. So let's go looking for Truth. 

One of the oddest books I have ever come across is 'A Course In Miracles.' It was written by a psychologist who asked God for Enlightnment and wrote down what ensued. A rather similar process as  to how I go about writing this blog, only without asking God. 

The Course in Miracles sets out, in more than 300 daily lessons, to teach you how to transform your worldview and become a better person. Let me give you a taste:

Lesson 1

Nothing I see in this room [on this street, from this window, in this place] means anything.
Now look slowly around you, and practice applying this idea very specifically to whatever you see:
This table does not mean anything.
This chair does not mean anything.
This hand does not mean anything
This foot does not mean anything.
This pen does not mean anything.
One goes from here, through 365 daily exercises, to knowing  that one is sinless, and that one is also the Son of God. I am pretty sure that this book led to my complete Enlightenment, as summed up in my signature tenet-of-faith, "You can believe what you like and get away with it." 

Mind you, In my opinion, you can believe far worse things than the sum of A Course in Miracles. Most, if not all, mainstream faith traditions, for example, especially the bits that encourage us to abuse and kill one another.

I gave up coursing through the miracles because I couldn't be doing with repeating things. It made me feel silly. I shall feel even sillier, naturally, if I get denied the delights of Paradise because I hadn't the staying power to endure a bit of chanting, but I have weighed the odds and decided to chance it. 

However, What ACIM DID do for me was to force me to think about what I think about the nature of reality. After all, the most that can be experienced at any one moment, is what is right there IN that moment, which is therefore, to all intents and purposes, all there IS. See? One suspects that God is supposed to hold everything all together having every moment in his consciousness, but that's just guessing. 

So I dumped ACIM and went on a Mindfulness course instead. 

I rather like being Mindful. To do this, you hold your attention fully in the moment. No cheating! The present is a beautiful place: here you are fully sentient, totally aware and gloriously awash with the input from your senses. 

I got to practice in silence for a bit, then went about gardening and polishing the Centre's piano, Mindfully. 

When I remember to stay mindful, I experience what is before me in all its fullness. I am not allowing my attention to wander. I no longer attempt to mentally multi-task. It's fun. It's worth giving it a go. 

So the next time my husband is asked what I'm like, I rather hope he'll reply, "Mindful". I expect I shall have to coach him first though... . 

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