From the time when The Church Within was chartered in 1992, A Course in Miracles (ACIM)has been a strong thread in the church’s weave of broad spirituality, prayer, compassionate community service and inclusion and acceptance of all persons wherever/however they may be on their personal journeys of becoming. Since 2005 the class has been led by Resta Burnham, whose own path has included writing and recording hundreds of songs related to ACIM.
A class on A Course in Miracles is offered every Thursday evening at The Church Within from 7 to 8:30. All are welcome, whether you are new to the Course or a long-time student, and it is not necessary to bring a book, since several pages of Course quotes are provided as handouts. There is no charge for the class, although a love offering is collected to benefit the church.
All classes include – and are based around – the “Mind Map”. (See below.) We begin each session by having everyone participate in drawing some version of this map in order to help integrate this guide to the Course’s metaphysics into our awareness. Thus as we go about the activities of daily life and find ourselves reacting to situations with fear, anger, anxiety, helplessness, or judgments, the Mind Map can help us move from the ego’s pain/blame interpretation of events to that of a mindful observer. This leads to the shift in perception which the Course calls the “miracle”. As the Course continually speaks of this world as a dream, you can say that our goal as Course students is to become lucid dreamers. We begin to remember that we are not helpless dream figures, but rather the Dreamer who is choosing the content of every dream. As we change our minds about what we want to see, our perceptions change.
T-21.in.1. Projection makes perception. 2 The world you see is what you gave it, nothing more than that. . It is the witness to your state of mind, the outside picture of an inward condition . . Therefore, seek not to change the world, but choose to change your mind about the world. 8 Perception is a result and not a cause.
[from Volume 9 of Music of Christ]
In my lucid dream, I behold a world
of seasons, cycles, time and change and nothing that endures.
Flowing like a stream, the images appear
to act out stories of a life beset with pain and fear.
Dreaming, I am dreaming of earth and sun and stars,
a universe of forms that say from God I’ve gone apart.
I’ve left His loving heart.
Into my lucid dream, the Spirit comes to guide
and teaches me that all I see are thoughts within my mind.
On perception’s screen are shadows of the past
and endlessly I summon them to try to make them last.
Dreaming, I am dreaming of anger, guilt and death.
But Spirit tells me, “Holy child, give Me your dreams to bless.
And I will give you rest.”
Within my lucid dream I call the Spirit’s Light
to wash my mind of fearful dreams and teach me I am Christ.
By His Voice redeemed, I share the joyous truth:
Because I made the world I see, it’s pain I can undo.
Dreaming, I am dreaming of what was never real.
And as I laugh the dream away, my mind is gently healed
by what the Light reveals.
RESTA’S NOTE: I am a student of Dr. Kenneth Wapnick who established the Foundation for A Course in Miracles, located in Temecula, CA. There is no better source for learning about ACIM than to visit the Foundation’s website: www.facim.org. If you look at the charts there, you will find that the Mind Map is a simplified version of Kenneth’s basic chart of the Course’s metaphysics which he has been teaching for many years. My weekly classes are really my personal explorations of that profound map that leads out of the world and back to the mind of holiness within.