A Course in Miracles has an entire Workbook for Students which guides us through 365 days of spiritual practice. Let's look closely at Lesson 95 which takes particular care in describing how to practice. Once we have reached this lesson, we must be almost four months into our Workbook study. We are told that five minutes of every hour has special advantages at this stage of learning due to our human tendency to let the mind wander. Jesus knows we need mind training because we lack mental discipline. We are forgetful and distracted. So short, structured, and frequent practice periods set us up for success.

Working with Lesson 95, we are advised to use the first five minutes of each waking hour to affirm, "I am one Self, united with my Creator." We are cultivating a state of mind in which there is no doubt that this is true, saying with all the certainty we can give, "I am one Self, united with my Creator, at one with every aspect of creation, and limitless in power and in peace." Then, with eyes closed, we say, slowly and thoughtfully, letting the meaning of the words sink deeply into our mind, "I am one Self." Repeat this several times and feel the meaning of the words penetrate and saturate the mind, "I... am... one... Self."

We are specifically told that if we forget or are unable to do our practice not to let this be a temptation to quit. "This should... merely be recognized as what it is; a refusal to let your mistake be corrected, and an unwillingness to try again.... The Holy Spirit is not delayed in His teaching by your mistakes. He can be held back only by your unwillingness to let them go. Let us be determined... to be willing to forgive ourselves for our lapses in diligence, and our failures to follow the instructions for practicing the day's idea.... When you fail to comply with the requirements of this course, you have merely made a mistake. This calls for correction, and for nothing else."

The ability to tolerate our human imperfection and strengthen our allegiance to the Holy Spirit's correction is what the Workbook practice is really all about. The practice is about choosing again-choosing God's Guidance. The practice is about loosening our grip on the ego as savior-undoing our attachment to our personal story and treasured wounds. The practice is about developing a positive obsession with God and running eagerly to practice every hour with a sense of joy and expectancy that we will be greeted with our Father's Love and swept into His arms joyously.

Spiritual practice, whether it's A Course in Miracles or any other path, is about becoming Mind-full of God's Presence all day long and through our sleeping dreams as well. It's not about ritualistically, superstitiously, and mindlessly repeating words--but if this is the best we can do for now, that is better than mindlessly worrying and fixating over the same old problems. If we try to control the practice, we're playing God instead of accepting His Guidance. For practice to make perfect, we have to be willing to connect to God's Will and experience His Perfection.

Copyright © 2011 Amy Torres
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Author's Bio: 

Amy Torres is a Gestalt psychotherapist, interfaith minister, and yoga instructor. She teaches A Course in Miracles, which is the foundation of all her work. She has developed the Language of Love, Harmony & Beauty©, a form of emotionally responsible communication, conflict negotiation, and a way of "undoing" our identification with the ego. To see Amy's videos, sign up for her free newsletter, and receive a free gift, visit www.amytorresacim.com