It makes perfect sense to me that a non-dual spiritual teaching like “A Course in Miracles,” which tells me that “I am not a body,” does not make use of the body for meditation purposes. My body nevertheless reflects the peace of mind acquired during meditation by feeling relaxed and deeply at rest.
The purpose of the Course, however, is not relaxation or even peace of mind but training the mind to think differently. That is a lifetime’s work due to my existential terror of releasing everything I think I am, which, of course, is a deadly effective protection of my unhappiness — exactly the catch-22 situation the ego wants me to be in for its own purposes.
Nonetheless, every form of suffering I experience, both in this world and beyond, is only made possible by the power of my belief, which is why it is totally convincing but not real, and therefore can be undone by choosing differently, which is what the Course calls a “miracle.” Every time it’s a complete change of mind and yet nothing is more natural.
The miracle comes quietly into the mind that stops an instant and is still.
— A Course in Miracles, T-28.I.11.
Although this approach will not appeal to everyone, I think it contains aspects that can be useful in other forms of meditation, some of which I’ve practiced myself in the past.
Under the gentle guidance of the Course I have learned to meditate without having to sit in any specific meditation posture or special place, and without performing any exercises, ceremonies or rituals. As long as I am comfortable and awake I can meditate anytime, anywhere. Any form of specialness in practicing meditation means I’m getting stuck in dualism and cannot sink into my formless inner depth.
Duration is of no particular importance, but willingness is. Willingness cannot be organized. A reluctantly performed meditation routine would be useless. Willingness will grow fast however, when one starts experiencing peace of mind and freedom from fear and anxiety.
I don’t have to stay completely still and should avoid becoming frozen in my posture and sliding into a trance or trance-like stupor. Everything that makes me mindless — which essentially means loveless — defeats the purpose of my meditation.
Things I happen to perceive around me are treated just like any other thoughts (which they are anyway) and quietly slipped by.
Slipping by my passing thoughts is easier when I realize that in reality (which is where I’m heading now) my thoughts don’t mean anything, being all part of the dream.
To meditate is to practice forgiveness, which means overlooking everything the ego throws at me. It starts by allowing myself to fail often. I’m still in the realm of ego thoughts and failure is just an ego ploy to keep me in the meaningless dream; nothing to worry about (worry being another ego tactic); just carry on. Besides, I am not here to become perfect — that has already been taken care of in Heaven, where I belong. The willingness is what counts, but no one is keeping scores.
It feels like letting my innate Love do the ‘work’ of not-doing.
You have no idea of the tremendous release and deep peace that comes from meeting yourself and your brothers totally without judgment.
— A Course in Miracles, T-3.VI.3.
… try to sink into your mind, letting go every kind of interference and intrusion by quietly sinking past them. Your mind cannot be stopped in this unless you choose to stop it. It is merely taking its natural course. Try to observe your passing thoughts without involvement, and slip quietly by them.
— A Course in Miracles, Workbook – Lesson 44
… try to reach down into your mind to a place of real safety. You will recognize that you have reached it if you feel a sense of deep peace, however briefly. 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.
— A Course in Miracles, Workbook – Lesson 47
Simply do this: Be still, and lay aside all thoughts of what you are and what God is; all concepts you have learned about the world; all images you hold about yourself. Empty your mind of everything it thinks is either true or false, or good or bad, of every thought it judges worthy, and all the ideas of which it is ashamed. Hold onto nothing. Do not bring with you one thought the past has taught, nor one belief you ever learned before from anything. Forget this world, forget this course, and come with wholly empty hands unto your God.
— A Course in Miracles, Workbook – Lesson 189
You are at home in God, dreaming of exile but perfectly capable of awakening to reality.
— A Course in Miracles, T-10.I.2.