"What is your current daily ‘ritual’ for the day to make sure you are most attuned to the Truth? Do you still do workbook lessons, do you meditate (how long?), do you have certain rituals or visualizations that you really like etc. Thank you and blessings!"
My answer to this is going to be the exact opposite of what the question implies. The question suggests that there is something you should do, some technique or special activity, or some process, or some action which is needed in order to "maintain" the truth. ie if you did not do these things, you would somehow be pulled off center and down a slippery slope and fall off the wagon. It's based on the idea that you are not already perfect and complete and whole.
What A Course in Miracles is teaching us is that love is completely natural, miracles are completely natural, being divine is completely natural. There is absolutely nothing that you need to do ("I need do nothing") in order to establish this. You are not the one who puts your spirituality in place. You are not the one who makes you happy. You are not the one who builds up or creates or invents your miracle-working abilities. You are not the one who decides whether you're spiritual enough or not. And you're not the one to cause yourself to become more loving.
We need to learn to recognize that God is the one who has given us our natural, innate qualities and abilities. It is our "inheritance". He has already created us perfectly loving, whole, powerful, miraculous, expressive, open, free etc. These are not in any way things that anyone needs to be dwelling on trying to establish or find or make or invent or put into place or reinforce.
The ego has the establishment of these things as its goal because by doing so, it emphasizes that you currently LACK all of the gifts of God and therefore need to do a lot in order to regain them - or to find a substitute for them. The ego loves the idea of having the power and freedom to be the one who DECIDES what all of these things are and who has them and who doesn't. The ego's opinion is absolutely worthless.
That's because it is attempting to play God, and that's why it has an "authority problem." Trying to be the one to make yourself more spiritual or loving is an authority problem, because it's not your function and it's an attempt to keep rejecting God by being God yourself. You don't get to decide whether you are worthy of love. God has already decided it. You don't get to decide what the meaning of God is either. You don't get to tell Him what is real or what the truth is. But we keep trying, because we want authority over His Will.
As ACIM says, the meaning of love cannot be taught. You can, however, teach about the activities and structure and motives and behavior of the opposite of love - the ego - which is the "blocks" in our mind which prevents us from being AWARE that love already is present. We are to learn to remove the blocks, which are hiding something which we already have, so that what we already have - our natural inheritance - will then be revealed. It's not like we need to invent a whole new set of replacements or substitutes for what we are believing is absent - we need to stop believing it is absent in the first place.
Every single ego activity will focus on the ways in which you DO NOT HAVE what God has already given you. It will emphasize and attempt to make real the ways you are lacking, the ways you are not good enough, the ways you don't deserve love yet, the ways that you fall short of the very high example set by people who are already awake and who seem spiritual. And it will remind you that you didn't do enough forgiveness and that you haven't done enough Course today.
This then turns into an illusory motivation, a sense of neediness and lack based on how un-spiritual you seem to be, which compels you to try to fill that lack by finding a substitute for it anywhere OTHER than where it really is - within you - given by God. This is the ego's "seek and do not find" process, where you first believe you do not have and cannot have what you should have, so then you have to go looking everywhere else other than within yourself to try to find it, *guaranteeing* that you WILL NOT find it, because it's not out there.
And yet, the effort to find it comes across as spiritual seeking, trying to become more spiritual, trying to be more loving, trying to learn new abilities, trying to wake up, trying to see Christ in people more, all of these efforts to increase the spirituality which you allegedly are lacking. This is also the motivation behind perfectionism, which is the belief that you are imperfect, causing you to try to "perfect" yourself, and yet no matter how much you do that, you still never feel good enough, because you still believe you are imperfect.
And all of those efforts ultimately fail, and in fact make you worse off, because not only does it emphasize that you already do not have enough spirituality in you, it then proceeds to exhaust you and frustrate you and make you hopeless, by not finding externally what you mistakenly believe must be out there (specialness), and then you enter into more fear and despair and suffering, losing sight of even the small amount of genuine love that you were aware of in the first place. This is how the ego increases your sense of being lost or at-a-loss. It wants to tempt you away from your inheritance.
The ego is very sneaky about this and the illusion that you need to go and find what you're lacking turns into the entire "spiritual path", where you are a "seeker" who is seeking to become enlightened and awake and loving and better. And you will not find it that way. So then the "path" itself becomes a block to finding the truth, ending up at dead ends and false promises and emptiness.
It's possible to very much look as though you really really want to wake up, and you are really passionate about doing the Course, and you are forgiving everyone all day long, and pushing yourself to read more and more of the text, and forcing the workbook lessons down your throat every day against your will, but all that's really happening is the ego is using your own mistaken perceptions against you, to use the Course to attack you and make you suffer. You're never good enough for it. More is not more. Less is more.
You then end up overwhelmed and having huge ego rebounds and feeling like shit because you thought you were doing the right thing and just trying to be a more loving person, but you ended up being sacrificial and depressed and hopeless and wondering what went wrong. Then you think you are a failure because you couldn't even get this right, and couldn't be more loving, meaning you are guilty. And so it goes around in a vicious cycle.
It is very tempting to believe in your own mistaken perception that you do not currently have the love that seems missing, because you then are blind to the ego's suggestion that you do not have it, and then you start to listen to it because it seems to agree with your beliefs, and then you follow its advice about how to get what's missing (which really means, how to continue to not have it and to lose even more of it).
So you have to beware of these ego tactics on a daily basis, if you can, to actually let yourself acknowledge what is ALREADY true about you. This is reflected in "I am as God Created me", for example, and "I need do nothing."
It's very easy to compare yourself to people and teachers and those who seem awake already, and who are spouting off amazing-sounding high-consciousness concepts left right and center, and to then use that to identify that you are way far behind and not doing enough and need to do even more to become more spiritual and to "get it". Then you build up this "I really really want to be with God and wake up", which is 100% bullshit. It's a form of denial and a distraction away from being with God. And teacher-worship sometimes really needs for you to fire the teacher and acknowledge the truth that you have within you already.
My day used to be more filled with the ego temptations and hopeless quests and getting all excited about certain thoughts and ideas, believing that I would find the truth if I had the right perfect thoughts or figured out the truth mentally. It did not work, no surprise there. You cannot gain an experience of truth (and truth is ONLY an experience), by analyzing and assessing and figuring out and thinking and having extremely lofty conceptual ideas about what it means. There are so many traps that the ego has laid that we're falling into and which take us further away from the very truth that we are claiming to seek.
So now my days are much less forced and are slower paced and I give myself more breaks and acknowledge that I'm pushing myself too far at once (but I still push myself too much). I try to not get into the illusory quests of finding what I think I don't have, and try not to fall for the ego's deceptions of believing in being in lack or not good enough or behind other people. If I'm far behind other people, so what. I am where I am, and accepting that is actually far more spiritual than dwelling on where you are not and trying to get there, which only widens the gap of separation.
There have been times when I've really strongly overwhelmed myself with the spiritual quest (the ego's quest to become a spiritualized ego), having done forgiveness left right and center, and then decide to just fuck it all and stop doing forgiveness for a while. I give myself permission to take what seems like a "break" from "it" as though it's abnormal to stop, and then I am greatly surprised at how PEACEFUL I feel in a short space of time. It's when I stop all of the "I must always be doing forgiveness" that I actually settle more into accepting and allowing and being less forceful and more present, ie settling in to acknowledging what already is. Constant self-help can be constant self-hurt.
It always catches me off guard that when I stop doing what I thought I was supposed to be doing, I seem to make more progress. It's because in my mind there are numerous ego-based concepts of what spirituality is and what I need to do to be it, that all lead away from it, that I just have to keep learning to discern and sort out what is really true from really false.
It's this whole process of learning to recognize what is an illusion and what is reality, what is ego and what is the truth, what is a deception and a lie and what is genuine and actually works. The ego has a fake spirituality, a fake spiritual path, a fake spiritual goal, and ways of making you believe that you're actually achieving it. It highly values the heights of consciousness and having more power and control. It will lead you to hell believing that you're going to heaven. And all along you'll be convinced that you're experiencing "spiritual growth", when in fact you are going unconscious and losing yourself.
Along these lines then, I try to approach my days more in terms of working on undoing and removing the blocks to awareness, rather than on trying to increase love or build-up what seems to be lacking. It's a bit hard to get your mind around at first because it's so contrary to the ego's normal conditioned way of thinking.
We're so used to "doing something about real problems" and acting from reactions and just buying into the ego hook line and sinker, that getting the mind to "go the other way", to reverse its steps, to "un-do" as in not-do, and to collapse or diminish the problem, it's a very different way for the mind and thought processes to flow. It does therefore take training and practice to become better at focusing on not doing what the ego suggests and "doing" the exact opposite.
We do not become more spiritual. Ever. "Spirit is in a state of grace forever". The ego cannot become spiritual. Ever. What we can do, and this is ALL that we can do, is to cease to do the egoic activities which seem to diminish what we already are and what we already have.
That is the main practice, in the big picture, of re-training the mind to see 180-degrees differently to the ego, because the ego is all back to front and inside out and upside down in its thought processes. We need to focus therefore not on "what do I do about this" but more on "is this even real or happening in the first place?" That kind of line of thinking then leads back to the Holy Spirit instead of into the ego.
So along similar lines, I prefer to be more intuitive. Intuition means that you are open to the spontaneous guidance that happens in the moment, and is really the opposite of planning, the opposite of putting yourself onto a schedule, the opposite of routine or habit or putting yourself into a box. Indeed also I feel that "discipline" is highly overrated. It can work in the long term but it suppresses intuition. We don't want to become regimented or stuck in a rut or in some pattern which is only there to maintain the pattern and not to really actually help us. Sometimes a pattern can be harmful and make you unconscious.
For some people, I know that they really like to have more structure and a daily meditation or doing some process at a certain hour or on a particular day etc. Maybe it can help with causing them to get into a "good thing" when they might not have remembered to or had the discipline to choose consciously. Liking people setting an alarm or timer to remind them to do the workbook practice, for example. But it becomes a ritualistic thing. Rituals have nothing to do with A Course in Miracles.
In some ways they can give structure to the ego and sort of "organize" when you are going to be taking the curriculum and when you aren't. It's a way to manage your time, manage your ego rebounds, etc, or to emphasize that you are in control of the ego and not the other way around. There is some empowerment in that, but so long as the ritual or schedule doesn't just become unconscious and take over your life or demand that you accept something when you are not ready and willing to. You are meant to be becoming more conscious not less.
I like to be intuitive and I get a lot of intuitive guidance where I just suddenly have this sense or knowing that "it's time" and the oven is about to beep to tell me that dinner's cooked, or I'll wake up 1 minute before the alarm clock is about to go off, or I'll find myself staring at some sign or object and have this "feeling" about it like it means something only to suddenly realize that it's guiding me in some way. To cultivate that intuitiveness you have to be willing to flow and let go and be led and trust what your intuition is saying. I think this is in general easier for women than for most men and the male intuition has been heavily suppressed by various controlling groups over the centuries, and it's still happening today.
As a result I generally try to go with whatever seems like the thing to do right now. So I'll sometimes get motivated and empassioned to write a lot of stuff or teach or do a lot of Course and then the flow will shift and I'll have a few days of just not feeling any interest in doing that. It's just not time. And similarly with writing, I will wait until I am inspired or "in the mood".
Maybe I am just moody, but I am not like "always on" or trying to be always in some heightened state or idea of perfection all the time, or to try to force that, because it just builds up a mask/persona which covers up all of the shit that you're really experiencing under the surface. Either the persona is pretending to be happy all the time and is faking it, or you actually are happy all the time because you're awakened. OR, you let yourself admit that you are not happy, so that you can become closer to being happy by doing something about it.
I'm not interested in trying to force myself and smash myself over the head with the Course when I'm not really honestly willing or ready to accept it. It doesn't help. You have to be willing to be honest with yourself about this and to acknowledge and feel your feelings. You can't be denying yourself and shutting out this important feedback. And just trying to be some kind of miracle-robot isn't going to work. It's a really great thing to take breaks and let yourself play and have fun - actually learning to have more fun has been something that's been difficult for me and I'm still working on it with Holy Spirit.
Because of this intuitiveness I prefer not to be roped into some kind of restrictive schedule or to have regular appointments with doctors and dentists etc. The unintuitiveness of going somewhere "just because its time" or matching a pattern is completely blind. It completely fails to acknowledge any sense of guidance or knowing or ability to sense when something needs to happen or that the timing is right, and completely denies God's Will.
Really these schedules are invented by businesses who are trying to make money off the fact that most of the time, you do not need their services. If people don't have much of an intuitive sense or any guidance that they rely on, then they probably don't have much choice but to let someone else tell them when its time to spend their money.
It's far better for you to cultivate guidance from within and above and to develop trust in it so that you will have someone to turn to and depend on for even what seem like serious questions to do with health or whatever. There have been some pretty significant life events in which I did not know what to do and many people would have turned to doctors and authorities and external sources of truth.
I was tempted to do the same and to listen to that, but that actually means you're listening to the ego and its belief that the world contains the truth, outside of you. The truth is within. There have been difficult lessons where I had to listen to Holy Spirit or Jesus's advice even if it seemed to fly in the face of what appeared to be happening externally, and to learn to trust it, and that things worked out the way they said it would against my ego's fears.
So we have to learn to go within and get our truth and our answers and our choices and our guidance from someone that really knows what's going on in the big picture - like Jesus or Holy Spirit, rather than constantly depending on and trusting the ego or the external sources of authority or experience or those who position themselves as knowing what they're talking about, when really they are just big ego's who peddle fear and victimhood.
And further along those lines I'm not real big into meditation. I do some occasionally but not on any kind of schedule whatsoever. A Course in Miracles is a profound teaching with such depth and insight and really brilliant clarity by Jesus on how the mind works, how the ego works, what we are doing to ourselves psychologically, the reasons for things, how to heal and undo problems, etc. It has given so much insight and so many effective tools that you can't help but make progress in the healing of your mind if you are doing it even half right in applying the principles that he's outlined.
ACIM is one of, if not the, fastest ways to undo the ego and awaken from the dream. I mean, it's come from the man Himself - Jesus, who is the absolute master over the ego and all illusions and all states of insanity and all forms of sickness. There is nothing He does not know about this and it's a good thing to trust that. Whether it's through doing the workbook or some other process of forgiveness, this CAN be more effective than simply trying to meditate your way to awakening. And it works. I am more awake now than I have ever been and it's not because of meditation.
I'm not saying that cannot work as well, meditation has profound benefits on all levels. It's just that, for me I'm trying to learn to do what Jesus wants me to do and to follow His advice and He has not told me to sit down and meditate for an hour every day. He has offered the workbook which is "mind training" essentially, which is helpful in this regard, but you'll notice that it is far deeper and richer than just to have one meditation practice where you're trying to get your mind to quiet down or not think or find some kind of deep place of consciousness. He recognizes our ego is extremely complicated and that we ned to come at it from all kinds of directions in order to cancel it.
I notice also that often meditations make no real mention of God, or Holy Spirit, or spiritual helpers, or the Holy Spirit's power to heal, or anything remotely to do with communing with Spirit, or really anything along the lines of having your relationship with God healed. I mean, once you are informed by the Course and you know more about what the "problem" really is, then you are much better equipped to deal with it in a way that is going to be effective.
It for me has been far more useful to include them in the experience of what I am trying to do than to just go it alone with some kind of mental practice. They are powerful and they can heal and they can do things to my mind that I couldn't even dream of doing. They know how to heal, how to produce miracles, how to shut the ego up, how to stop thoughts, how to undo sickness, how to shine light into the mind, etc... these are profoundly helpful beyond me just trying to sit there and do it all by myself in isolation. I am open to RECEIVE HELP.
I am really not convinced that sitting in meditation every day is going to heal my mind as quickly as an application of forgiveness, an acceptance of Atonement, having knowledge about all of the intricacies of how the ego works and its attempts to deceive, all of the usefulness of the information Jesus has given about the nature of illusions and how to see through them, etc. It's a profound set of material to really empower us to get "results" faster and with greater accuracy than to try to sort of "figure it out" on your own or "find it" lurking somehwhere in your mind.
Whenever I've been tempted to follow other paths or other books or to learn some far-eastern mystical training or whatever, Jesus has told me no. This has been for me personally, for my curriculum. So this may not in any way be relevant to anyone else and is not a judgement on the usefulness or relevance to others. But for me, He has steered me away from all other methodologies and has focused me squarely on the Course.
ACIM contains symbols and metaphysics of the "whole truth" and I really do not feel that I need any other teaching or system in order to go ALL the way to where Jesus is. Some people think the Course falls short or is too intellectual, because they do not get it. Of course, under his additional tutelage and the guidance of Holy Spirit, as well as the ways that Holy Spirit helps us, which are many, there is no reason why we can't become fully awakened as Christ.
With meditation I've done several different techniques most of which I discovered on my own, and have had a few interesting experiences. Searching for "meditation" on this website will reveal some of them. But I don't like the idea of doing it on a schedule or being "disciplined" because the schedule becomes unconscious and then its a habit and then you are not really choosing consciously, which is against the purpose of meditation.
Some people are very strongly gung-ho about how you should meditate every day, including some advanced Course teachers, but for me, Jesus hasn't instructed me to do it so I'm not doing it. And nowhere in the course does it particularly teach us about meditating or how to do it. Jesus's instructions are do deep and profound and powerful that I am under the impression that A Course in Miracles is MORE effective than meditation. But that's maybe just my opinion. If He suggest it to me at some point I would listen and follow. But forgiveness collapses major amounts of time so that's my main focus for now.
To me meditation is sort of another "blind" way to try to get the mind to become more aware, ie awake, ie conscious, by sort of hammering away at it "in general" to try to decrease thoughts or mental noise and increase clarity. You can't very effectively stop thoughts, while there are still ego beliefs in your mind. Thoughts, ie attack thoughts, spring up from beliefs and express and extend those beliefs.
Working on correcting those beliefs is going to become pretty important, and I think somewhat more involved, than to attempt to have them go away through a quieting of the mind. I guess it works for some people but at the moment it doesn't strike me as being as effective or efficient as what ACIM is helping us to do. And let's not forget the power of miracles or the power of the Holy Spirit which is massively more capable than what any meditation can achieve. I'm much more interested in siding with Him and allowing His Power to flow through me.
Sometimes, if this is in any way a schedule, when I am getting to sleep at night I quite often have tended to do something psychological. Once we put down our toys and stop all activities and are just laying there relaxing it becomes easier to be open to doing something like this. It could be that I then get into a conversation with Holy Spirit or Jesus. Or maybe I will start to think about some topic and have insights about it. Or just process the day and do some forgiveness. Or sometimes I do some healing on myself or others.
Lately Holy Spirit has been having less and less reason to not do a healing on me, and just spontaneously launches into it unexpectedly quite often now. I barely even need to give any willingness or have like a fanfare about "ok its time to do this thing now", it's just like, the willingness is already a given and trust has been established so I'm learning that it's simply okay to trust it and go with it and let it happen as and when He sees fit to do it.
He comes into my "body" and doe all kinds of "energetic" changes, healings and corrections, which includes a lot of shaking of body parts and other sensations. At the end I am far more peaceful and free of suffering than I could've achieved on my own. I have no idea what He actually does or how He does it, and I only experience some aspect of it, but it works powerfully and deeply.
Sometimes if I am wound up in the ego or am resisting a lot or not at peace, I will do a little process where I just surrender a lot. Like, I will just say "I surrender" over and over, and the less time I give myself to think in-between each statement the better. I focus on letting go and giving up and just surrendering the ego fight. That has been helpful. Once I have surrendered I am open to receiving the Holy Spirit into me.
Also for example instead of meditating, you can quickly put your mind's attention on God. For me, this happens fast, and it affects my breathing, it can make my breath become very slow very quickly, which would've taken quite a long time if I tried to do that with meditation or by breath control.
I feel that all of these expressions like the rate of breathing and absence of thoughts and so on are really supposed to be SIDE-EFFECTS which happen naturally and just happen on their own, rather than it being something that you try to enforce or make happen or try to induce in order to produce other side effects.
In my mind, the truth comes first and then everything else follows automatically. It's easier that way, starting with what lies within and expressing outward, rather than trying to start on the outside and work your way in. Communing with God even for a few moments has lasting effects at undoing the ego and healing the separation, which is the root cause of all of the mental blockages. If you "get with God", everything else is just automatic and effortless.
I also take issue with people interpreting the Course to mean that you have to be constantly vigilant. This stems somewhat from the part about how the mind is wandering a lot and we let it wander a lot etc, and we need to be vigilant for the ego. This turns into some kind of an "effort" where people think they have to like be constantly watching, constantly on-guard, constantly being careful about their thoughts, constantly defensive, constantly trying and being careful and then kicking themselves when they forget. It's as if to say, if you don't do this, the ego is going to get you, and you'll never be free of it unless you're constantly on-guard, and even then you won't be free of it.
On the one hand I think it's helpful in that we do need to learn to discern between what is true and false, and to learn to discern when the ego is inventing illusions, and to not follow the ego or listen to it or enter into unconsciousness like just getting lost in a train of thought. So in that sense a certain "discipline" (or willingness) to catch yourself and so on is helpful, but only helpful if it is actually causing you to become more permanently clear about what is ego and what it is not, ie that it actually undoes ego, ie it works. Otherwise it's just fighting with a belief rather than undoing it.
If it's sort of like, you're constantly on-guard about thoughts coming up and trying to change them or whatever, if you're just standing guard and not actually taking the steps needed to stop making thoughts happen in the first place, then it's a bit of a losing battle, or at least will take a long time. We need to be mainly focused on increasing awareness of the truth, which means removing the blocks which obscure the truth and which makes us unconscious. You'll get some of that through mental discipline or watching the mind etc and can have success that way, but I think there may be more effective ways to do this that doesn't take so long.
Thoughts wouldn't be coming up at all if it wasn't for false beliefs, for example. If we are to turn away from the thoughts as they arise to try to program ourselves to not pay attention or listen to them or buy into them, that is going to gradually erode our belief that the thought is the truth. But why are we even having thoughts? Why not go to the root of the problem, the real cause. And I think ACIM is really excellent in how it helps us to identify and focus on and heal the real cause, where the real cause is. "Let me recognize my problem so that it can be healed."
Thought are just another symptom or side-effect of something else the mind is doing. They arise out of a mind that is in conflict. They are not causing the conflict as such. So for me I prefer to try to look deeper into why the thought even came up in the first place. Thoughts are just fragments of a false belief coming into awareness. Tackle the belief and undo the belief and it stops creating thoughts. You can't have attack thoughts without guilt or a belief in sin and trying to get rid of a belief in sin by "dealing with" attack thoughts is quite an indirect way to go about correcting the problem, to me anyway. I know some people like to work with their thoughts and address their beliefs at that level, but it's not how I do it.
For me, usually beliefs entail some amount of emotional involvement as well and that emotional baggage has to be cleared out and healed and released. I like how Jesus says "All is forgiven and released". The releasing part is important. I have had so many events of releasing old stuff, unfelt feelings, pain, guilt, fear, abandonment, hurt, etc. It all just comes out as and when it is time, based on uncovering the "next layer of the onion", ie as you take off one illusion from the mind it reveals another one beneath it. I have been through many many years of crying, to release all of this ego junk that was stuck in me, put there by my mistaken perceptions.
I've also heard of others who have similar experiences of crying for years before they clear out all of this stuck self-attack. For me it is still ongoing but it is on subtler topics and I think I've released most of my big obvious hurts. You could say that its a daily practice to cry and release because that seems to happen almost every single day to some degree. But it happens because it needs to, not because I necessarily want it to.
I know most men have issues about crying and feeling but its very cathartic and healing and even if it's on an ego level, it is still freeing the mind of blocks to awareness. We can't deny this stuff or believe that it's just in the past and can be ignored, it all has to be let go through bringing it out of the unconscious mind into conscious awareness. It gets stuck in the unconscious and in the body and has to be released in order for the mind to be free. Sooner or later if you're really pushing your mind and your envelope of belief this stuff will erupt into your awareness and you'll have a catharsis.
Given that beliefs are thoughts or decisions which have been put in place and reinforced, and belief is very powerful (and strong belief can manifest miracles), my main focus is on identifying what it is that I believe which is not true and sorting out what the truth is. It is only the confusion about what is true and what is false, that needs to be corrected. i.e. what is really an illusion and what is reality.
I become willing to let that belief go and surrender its hold over me. It may not be a thought at all, as such, because beliefs are accepted on a somewhat deeper level than the surface noise of the mind. I work on changing my "attitude" more than my thoughts. My thoughts tend to be lighter and happier and more loving when my attitude is up there also. Belief is a much more fundamental function of the mind than thinking, at least that's how I view it.
Beliefs also have a lot to do with bringing about miracles, because if you genuinely believe in God's Truth then you will be willing to act on it and demonstrate it. What you believe you will demonstrate as true and attempt to prove in everything you do and how you act. So it's pretty important that your beliefs be identified and corrected so that you can come to be convinced ("believe") that God's truth actually is the truth.
As far as the A Course in Miracles book goes, my basic history is that I read the text, then did some of the workbook, then stopped around lesson 140-ish, then read the teacher's manual, the later went back and read the text again, then started to read the urtext's version of the text.
For me, reading the Course text was intense. I think if you are more sensitive you absorb deeper stuff more quickly and pick up on the subtleties, so you learn fast. For me that meant that I could only read like 1-2 pages of text and then I'd be maxed out, feeling intense and overwhelmed and resistant. I would get to a paragraph where I'd be looking at it and I could just feel how it was not "registering" with my mind, it wasn't going in and I couldn't absorb anymore. Too much input. So it took a long time to get through the text, it was very overwhelming, I had a ton of ego rebounds, but eventually got through it.
When I moved onto the workbook I was all excited and found it quite doable at first. As it ramped up it became more of a challenge. Some of its truths are so very high and spiritual that it is hard to accept it. When it was saying things like "you are the light of the world" and "forgiveness is my only function" and talking about my holiness and so on, it was so seemingly advanced that I don't think I really got more than just a residual effect from it. I found it hard to do any of the lessons for a whole day because it was too overwhelming and produced too much rebound. I probably should have done the "Course for sensitive people" book, where you only do the lessons for a few hours each day.
By the time I got to around lesson 140, it had already been like 2 years and I was starting to feel like I had learned everything I could learn. The Course is, after all, holographic, and it contains the whole truth on every page in every paragraph and sentence. So it's not like you "have to" do the entire workbook front to back "or else" you miss something.
For me I felt like I had moved on to communicating with Holy Spirit and Jesus to such a degree, getting my teaching and guidance more directly from them, that I wasn't really going to learn much by more of the workbook's repetition. And I think the aim of the workbook is to raise awareness so that you become open to being guided by Holy Spirit more directly anyway. So I just worked more on developing trust and relationship with Him.
There was a lot of guilt surrounding that because the spiritual ego believes that Jesus is this amazing master who is better than myself and definitely not equal and whose word is all powerful and must be obeyed etc. The ego's interpretation of and attempt to worship and people-please this interpretation of Jesus made it seem like it was a sin to stop the workbook or to not do it perfectly. I had to realize that was an ego delusion and not true, and Jesus was not against it. So I dropped the workbook, planning to probably come back to it.
The second trek through the Text I learned more that I did not see before, because of the results of going through it the first time and the various forgiveness work I'd done. So I saw things and got things that I did not get before. Some years later I was on facebook and everyone's egos were spewing about how their interpretation of the Course was right and so on. It was annoying trying to find the truth in them, and I had to learn the lesson not to trust the ego in them, and to listen instead within. So I began to trust more that I wanted to learn the Course that Jesus Himself wanted me to learn.
So that's when I went back and went to the urtext, to find out what Jesus had "actually said" and what he meant and how he emphasized things etc. I particularly wanted to find out what miracles really were and too much was left in confusion. I so far read about half the urtext and have really had a lot of insights and increased clarity as a result, compared to what I learned from the edited version. I'm not saying that's for everyone but for me it was an important step in developing trust and opening up to a new level of truth and insight. The book really is just a catalyst and probably when I go read any version 5 years from now I'll see even more in it that I never saw before.
I plan to go back to do the workbook again at some point and probably write about it at the same time. But it's not right for me right now. I think that actually its teachings are so high that we're probably not supposed to embark on it so early in our awakening, or at least if we do we're going to have to go back and do it more than once, because it really has some very lofty stuff in it. I think there is a lot of purification that has to be done before you can get to the point where you can even accept half of what it's teaching.
I think maybe you were asking for me to share any special practices or techniques or ways of doing things or some kind of formula. What I do on a day to day basis doesn't really have much to do with whether I'm waking up or not. It's more to do with whether I am willing to learn lessons, remember to apply forgiveness from time to time, be willing to feel feelings and release stuff, to change my mind about myself, etc, which is just an ongoing free-flowing tumble. It has little structure and whatever is 'next' is what I have to deal with.
I guess you could say that part of my practice is "teaching", which usually means a flow of output which is open enough that input starts to come in the other end, ie Holy Spirit and Jesus guide and assist and interject and correct as I go along. And by teaching, you learn, because you're demonstrating to yourself what is true, and are exploring and discovering. To teach someone else what the truth is causes your mind to become clearer about what the truth is. Just by the act of writing stuff out I learn things and become aware of things that I never thought of before.
It's not so much a matter of first of all knowing everything and then being confident to go out and share it, or similarly to only do a miracle if you are absolutely certain that you know how ahead of it. Instead, you have to develop TRUST in the source of truth, that it will be there for you, support you, guide you, help you, so that as you step out, as you go to perform a miracle or attempt to teach someone or write something, they will show up and all of Heaven will come to support you and align with you to bring something far greater through you than you could be the source of yourself. Your invitation and willingness invites Holy Spirit to help you, if you make yourself available for service. You don't have to do it alone.
And thus you end up learning as you teach. So for me writing is really helpful in exploring and learning ideas for myself and I'm just glad that some people are finding the "results" useful in their own path as well. I would encourage everyone to step into the shoes of being a teacher more, even if you do not know how to teach or what to teach, but to be open and trust in your source of guidance to come and support you as you need it. It helps you to get out of the mindset of having to depend entirely on yourself, and to be open to being supported and helped and guided, so that you are part of a "team" rather than trying to do a solo effort. If I were to attempt to teach "on my own" I am sure I would be much more afraid and ineffective, and that has been the case in the past.
As far as scheduling goes, stuff comes up when it is next time for stuff to come up. Teachers show up when the student is ready. Those who are to meet will meet. You sort of can't do this wrong. You can delay the curriculum but eventually will take whatever is necessary for YOUR awakening, which may be very different to what works for me or what my day seems like. I'm not a shining example of a typical "super advanced master of ACIM proceedings" or an example to follow in that regard. I'm just working my way through my own lessons and my own attempts to learn about the truth as and when it comes. And sometimes stuff just happens when I am not expecting it - and that's some of the best experiences.
Perhaps one of the only things I can think of which I do almost every day sort of on purpose, is that in the morning I will put Holy Spirit in charge of the day. I will just say, like, Holy Spirit, I surrender, please guide and and decide for me and work through me today, help me to extend love, etc. If I am willing to suffer controlling the day then the day goes much smoother, and when it really goes well, it seems like "nothing happens" all day, which is cool. I also ask for spiritual help when I am about to do something in public like going to the store or driving somewhere.
You don't have to be constantly trying to be attuned to the truth, or to maintain some kind of level of pretense as to how spiritual you are. You are what you are. If you're not being spiritual, you're not being spiritual. If you're having a shitty day, have a shitty day and work on it later.
You don't need to be putting on a persona or a mask or trying to please people or make out that you're always happy when you're not. It's about being honest and genuine and authentic and true to yourself. Who knows, you may discover something remarkable and miraculous on your own with your own methods and your own guidance which nobody else thought of, and then you can share that gift.
We don't have to try so hard to get this. The truth is already true. Our only challenge is to be willing to take steps to undo our belief in the ego and remember what the truth already is. The awareness of the pre-existing presence of God is the goal of all of this. Keep weeding your garden. Being what you really are is absolutely effortless. You do not need to do anything at all in order to be invulnerable and safe and perfect forever.