The Practice: “Merely repeat the idea [for the day] as often as possible”
Importance: “The exercises to be done throughout the day are equally important, and perhaps of even greater value [than the longer practice periods]….You have been inclined to practice only at appointed times, and then go on your way to other things, without applying what you learned to them. As a result, you have gained little reinforcement, and have not given your learning a fair chance to prove how great are its potential gifts to you….Do not repeat the thought and lay it down. Its usefulness is limitless to you” (W-pI.rIII.In.9:,11).
- “As often as possible”—the Workbook says this 22 times.
- Ideally, about five times an hour—this is the average amount specified in the Workbook.
- Try to be regular, not letting long intervals go by without this practice (91, 126).
- You need to frequently remind yourself of the truth because of how frequently you practice the opposite (67).
- How frequently you remember is the measure of how much you want the Course’s goal (27).
- There is value in setting a frequency in advance and trying to stick to it (27, 40).
- Be determined to remember (44) and confident that you will try (95).
- When you forget, don’t be distressed or guilty. Just get back to practicing (27, 40).
Minimum: Keep your eyes open and repeat the idea briefly when circumstances do not allow anything more. Do not miss a practice period because you cannot close your eyes (40). You can practice even during conversation if you want to (27).
Medium: When possible, close your eyes and devote “a half a minute or less” (71).
Ideal: Take a minute or so, sit quietly, close your eyes, and repeat the idea several times.
- Be glad to practice (62). Be happy (63). Don’t approach it grudgingly, as an obligation. Think, “There is no better way to spend my time than this” (71).
- Repeat the words slowly, unhurriedly, “with time enough to see the gifts that they contain for you” (rIV).
- Clear you mind of all other thoughts, dwelling only on these words (45, 129, 139)
- Repeat the words positively: with confidence (107), sincerity (27, 185), and deep conviction (80).
- Focus on their meaning, think about what you are saying (41, 66).
- Consider it a declaration of release (31, 50, 76).
- Consider it a joyful reminder of your real goal, what you really want (73, 75, 125, 126).
- Consider it a step forward in your journey to God (108).
Summary: Be happy to clear your mind of all else and repeat these words slowly, positively, dwelling on their meaning, and considering this act to be an important step out of prison.
Really short summary: Give your whole mind to this brief moment.
- Has power to keep in your awareness the gifts you received in the longer practice periods (104, 122)
- Reinforces the choice you made in the longer practice periods (106, 129, 138, 139)
- “If only once during the day you feel that you were perfectly sincere while you were repeating today’s idea, you can be sure that you have saved yourself many years of effort.” (27)
- “It will help make the day as happy for you as God wants you to be.” (62)
- “And it will help those around you, as well as those who seem to be far away in space and time, to share this happiness with you.” (62)
- Helps “you keep your peace throughout the day” (rIII).
- Maintains your sanity during the day (138)
- Adds “further jewels to the golden frame that holds the mirror” in which you see your true Self (124)
- Shows you how fragile are the cobwebs in your mind that obscure your awareness of Who you really are (139)
- Using the exact wording is not crucial (46). Feel free to change the words while retaining the meaning.
- Pay attention to when the Workbook asks you to remember something while repeating the idea. For instance, “Remind yourself that you are making a declaration of independence in the name of your own freedom” (31).
- The Workbook will often supply extra lines, which contain those things it wants you to remember (see 68, 69, 70). Either memorize these lines or write them down on a card you can carry with you.
- Sometimes the Workbook will ask you to repeat the words, then spend a minute in silence receiving something from God, an answer to a question posed by the words (72, 140), an experience of what the words speak of (74), or His assurance that the words are true (97).
Think about the implications of what you are saying
Think of what you are saying; what the words mean.
Concentrate on the holiness that they imply about you;
on the unfailing companionship that is yours;
on the complete protection that surrounds you. (W-pI.41.9:2-3)
Repeat the idea and add some related thoughts
Here are some related thoughts from the Course:
“I walk with God in perfect holiness.” (Lesson 156)
“God is with me. I cannot be deceived.” (M-16)
“Your peace is with me, Father. I am safe.” (Lesson 245)
“I am surrounded by the Love of God.” (Lesson 264)
Apply it to specific situations: “God goes with me in this situation.”
In applying today’s idea in the shorter practice periods, the form may vary according to the circumstances and situations in which you find yourself during the day. (W-pI.43.7:1)
Apply it to particular people: “God goes with you, [name], wherever you go.”
It is particularly helpful to apply it silently to anyone you meet, using his name as you do so. (W-pI.37.6:2)
[Please note: ACIM passages quoted in this article reference the Foundation for Inner Peace (FIP) Edition.]