True Prayer Meditation
The Definition of True Prayer – The premise of A Course in Miracles is that we are in Heaven with God dreaming that we are not. We made up this world and these forms to be special and to hide from God. This is explained very clearly and succinctly in our pamphlet, “In the Dream”, if you want details on that point.
Anyway, we are the Son of God, the Christ. We are perfect. Prayer, in the Course’s definition, is not utilized to ask for something. We are perfect. What would we need? True Prayer is used to commune with God and is a tool to help us remember who we are. In True Prayer we join with God. We might tell Him how much we love Him and how grateful we are that he created us perfect, just like Him. We might tell God how grateful we are to be completely taken care of by Him, forever safe and totally provided for. Then we become quiet. In this place of wholeness we can relax into our oneness and completely surrender. This is the Song of Prayer.
Then sometime later an inspired thought might come to us about some “problem” we have, a new way of thinking about it. This would be known as the echo of the Song. It’s not the Song but a fringe benefit of the Song. It’s not the purpose of the prayer. The key was joining with God in love and gratitude. You forget everything and get lost in His love. You become filled with the Spirit. Then having joined with the Holy Spirit, you, however temporarily, remember who you are and see the way to negotiate whatever you need to negotiate. We cannot ask God to fix our dream. He has nothing to do with it. But we can commune with Him, remember who we are and instead of making the situation, real we can peacefully use it to get home to God.
TRUE PRAYER MEDITATION
Let go all the trivial things that churn and bubble on the surface of your mind, and reach down and below them to the Kingdom of Heaven. There is a place in you where there is perfect peace. There is a place in you where nothing is impossible. There is a place in you where the strength of God abides.(W47.p.76)
Close your eyes…get comfortable. Now what I want you to do is imagine a peaceful place, away from all the distractions of your daily life. A place where there is no work, no boss, no traffic, no loud neighbors, no annoyances of any kind. Where there is absolutely nothing to do for yourself or anyone else. It could be a favorite spot of yours away from everything…a place real or imaginary. A place where you find yourself peaceful, quiet, and tranquil. A place where the world stops and the real you begins.
Now in your place above the battleground of the world, you notice a set of stairs going up into the sky, up into the clouds. To your natural eyes these stairs might seem out of place, but here, from your perch above the world, they seem perfectly natural.
Now, notice a figure at the bottom of these stairs. Someone is there seemingly waiting for you. Why don’t you walk over to the figure at the bottom of the stairs. Try to sense his presence as you approach. As you get closer, as you reach the base of the stairs, you realize the figure, patiently waiting for you, is the Holy Spirit or Jesus.
From now on I will refer to this figure as the Holy Spirit but you can think of him as Jesus or when I say Holy Spirit you can imagine both of them. This is up to you.
Now you look over at the Holy Spirit and you find yourself smiling at an old friend. He smiles at you. Somehow you know that wherever you are going, whatever you will be doing, He goes with you. You feel safe and comforted. You know that He has always been with you and will always be with you.
Now ever so gently and slowly take the Holy Spirit’s hand. As you take the hand of the Holy Spirit, you notice a deep sense of connection and calm. You breath a sigh of relief. You are not alone. In a minute, the two of you will climb the stairs together. There are 10 stairs. I’ll count the stairs as you walk in unison with the Holy Spirit or Jesus to the top of the stairs. Ready? 1…2…3…4…5…6…7…8…9…10. And you are at the top of the stairs.
Look around you. There is nothing but a beautiful white cloud up here. A peaceful fluffy beautiful white cloud. Now take a step off the top step onto the cloud. Remember, in this supernatural world, the clouds can easily support you and the Holy Spirit as you walk around together.
Off in the distance, in the clouds, you notice another set of 3 steps at the top of which a calm white light seems to be everywhere and everything at once. You feel simultaneously euphorically attracted to the light and terrified of it. Notice again that you are holding the hand of One who loves and cares for you. His strength is yours.
Now, walk slowly over to the short staircase. As you look up at the light it seems familiar to you. The more you look, the more you remember. The peace, the wholeness, the joy. You remember the bliss, the union, the ecstasy. Now the light starts to beckon you to join it. You want to… you want to more than anything else but something is stopping you. You look to the Holy Spirit for guidance. “Child, to join with holiness you must first put down everything you have used to deny your holiness and God. Remember, you don’t have to put the things you have used to deny your holiness and God down permanently… just temporarily.”
Would you like to try to join with the light? If you would like to try, before you go up the stairs and join the light, you must first lay down all the problems you’ve been carrying around and place them on the stairs. Your sickness, your scarcity, your lack of any kind, your depression, any anger or resentment, your most heinousness grievances as well as your most remote guilt. All of your doubt and fear. Think of all your problems and put them on the stairs. There is plenty of room so pile them high.
Now, lay down all your personal goals and plans on the stairs. The new job, a new car, travel around the world, the romantic partner, losing 10 pounds, the new gold jewelry, opening your own business, to finally learn Spanish, playing guitar, improving that relationship with a loved one, all the goals you have set for yourself in the belief that they will make you happy. Lay them all down on the stairs. Ferret them all out and put them on the stairs.
Next you can lay all your ideas, judgments and opinions on the stairs. All the notions you are using to make the illusion real. The ‘I’m too old’ ideas, the ‘I’m too young’ ideas’, the ‘it’s just not fair’ ideas, the Republicans are cold and cruel, the Democrats are bleeding hearts, I have to take care of people, people have to take care of me… Lay down any ideas you have about “the way things are”. All the ‘I don’t like chocolate, I like vanilla’. ‘The world can be saved by green energy’ or, ‘the world can be saved by nuclear energy.’ All of your opinions about the world. All your likes and dislikes. Put them on the stairs. Yes, even lay down the idea that Maui is the most beautiful place on the earth. Put all of your ideas, judgments and opinions on the stairs.
Finally, lay down your self identity on the stairs. Everything you think you are. The woman, the man. The doctor, the lawyer. The school teacher, the student. The dishwasher, the cook. The rager, the caretaker, the alcoholic, the codependent. The mother, the father, the daughter the son the whatever you say that you are. The atheist, the martyr. The Pruckle and the Huckle, the Fuckle and the Muckle. Lay them all down. Take one last look and make sure everything is on the stairs.
Now for the last step. Imagine that there is a zipper from your head to your toes. A long zipper. Unzip that zipper. Step out of your body and place it on the stairs.
Look at your body on the stairs. Think about all the beliefs tied up in that body. It’s too fat, it’s too skinny. It’s beautiful, it’s ugly. It’s sick, it’s healthy. It’s old, it’s young. Now realize…that the body is not you. You are spirit. That body is something you, the mind, made up to make the illusion seem real.
Okay, take one last look around for anything else that might be defining you as anything but the Supernatural Sinless Son of God Himself and put it at the bottom of the stairs. By now you must have quite a pile of stuff. Remember, the purpose you have assigned all of this stuff is to deny your holiness and God.
Okay, do you have everything piled up at the bottom of the steps? Now, I want you to leave all that stuff right there. You are not going to need any of it where you are going. Don’t worry, you can pick up all this stuff on your way back. It will be right where you left it, safe and sound to pick up when you return.
Okay, you are going to leave now. This is as far as your guide can take you. You are going to leave your cloud and the Holy Spirit now. Gently ascend the short staircase… and step into… the light.
You are now… in the arms… of God. Engulfed in Light and Love and Peace. Completely safe, completely taken care of, completely one. You are Home.[pause] So let’s imagine a conversation with God. Maybe you’ll tell God how much you love Him and how grateful you are to be completely taken care of by Him- forever safe and totally provided for. You might thank him for the Holy Spirit and your brothers who journey home with you. You might thank Him for having created you Holy and Whole. You might say to Him, “Father my thanks to you for what I am; for keeping my identity untouched and sinless in the midst of thoughts of sin my foolish mind made up and thanks to You for saving me from them”. You might say to Him, “Father thank You for creating me invulnerable and all powerful, loving and love, having everything because I am everything, your beloved Son in whom you are well pleased.
You might say:
I love You, Father, and I love Your Son.
My gratitude permits my love to be accepted without fear. And thus am I restored to my reality at last. All that intruded on my holy sight forgiveness takes away. And I draw near the end of senseless journeys, mad careers and artificial values. I accept instead what God establishes as mine, sure that in that alone I will be saved; sure that I go through fear to meet my Love. (W298.1)
Father, I come to You today, because I would not follow any way but Yours. You are beside me. Certain is Your way. And I am grateful for Your holy gifts of certain sanctuary, and escape from everything that would obscure my love for God my Father and His holy Son. (W298.2)
And then you become silent.
You have the attitude that God created you to be just like Him and to be with Him forever for which you feel a deep love and gratitude. Now you can let everything go and join with God’s Love and lose yourself in joyful communion with Him.
Now let’s just rest quietly and serenely in God arms for a few minutes. (3-5min.) MUSIC
Now having joined with God in love and gratitude you can expect that in the hours and days to come, maybe when you least expect it, you will receive some inspirational guidance about your journey home and how to use all of the items you laid at God’s feet to help you do so. You will receive inspirational guidance about all of your perceived problems and how to use them to support you on your journey Home.
Okay, it’s time to leave. Know that you can come back here any time you want. Know, that in reality, this is where you always are and will always be. Now, walk slowly out of the light down the short staircase to the bottom of the stairs and on to the clouds. You notice that the Holy Spirit and Jesus are waiting for you. You smile. They smile.
Is your pile there just as you left it? Maybe later you can re-examine all these things in the pile and see if you still attach the same meaning to each one. Are they your savior? Or merely a tool to use for your salvation? Are they keeping you from happiness or are they a blessed lesson showing you the way to real happiness? Are they being used to keep you from God and reality or to aid you on your journey Home?
Know that without even letting all these things that you have made go, which you have used to deny your holiness and your oneness with God, you have the power to change their purpose. You can release them to the Holy Spirit to use as an aid to help you reach the home where God abides or you can let the ego use them to make the illusion real. The choice is yours. Know that every second of the day you are making this choice. Will what I am doing, saying, thinking be used for awakening, for God or for perpetuating the illusion, for the ego? Your choice. You choose. When you are ready, and not a moment before, you will put all these things down for good, and they will quietly fade from your awareness. Until then, keep forgiving them, keep turning them over to the Holy Spirit for His use in freeing you from your ego thinking.
Now when you are ready, knowing that the Holy Spirit and Jesus are with you, you can slowly open your eyes. As you open your eyes you might notice that although you still seem to retain the items you left with God: your problems, your goals and plans, your ideas, judgments and opinions, your self-identity, and your body, you will notice that they are a little lighter, a little less dense and a little less real.
Now repeat after me…
Thank you Father. I love you. And I want you to know… I am on my way Home.
Now draw a picture of your experience with God (5-10 min.).
Discussion and/or sharing