Purpose: To rest in God, untouched by the storms of the world.
Longer: Every hour on the hour, for five minutes (if you cannot do this, at least do the alternate).
This exercise is a meditation in which you sink into stillness by using the line “I rest in God.” Let that line draw you into a rest in which you have “no cares and no concerns” (5:1), and in which the turmoil of the outer world cannot touch you. While in this state, call to all your brothers, “your distant brothers and your closest friends” (8:3), and welcome them into the holy temple within where you rest with God. Realize that their rest will deepen and complete yours.
Frequent reminders: Often.
Repeat the idea, realizing that you are not only reminding yourself of your resting place, but reminding all Sons of God of their resting place, including those no longer in the body and those not yet born. Try repeating the idea now while holding in mind the sense that “I am reminding every mind of its true resting place.”
Response to temptation: Whenever you face a problem or experience suffering.
Repeat the idea, knowing it has power to heal all suffering, solve all problems, and carry you past storms and strife into the peace of God.
Encouragement to practice: Incredible power is ascribed to your practice of today’s idea (see especially the first three paragraphs), not only for you, but for everyone. Repeating today’s idea has power to call every mind to rest along with you, including those who came in the past or haven’t come yet (see 2:5 and 9:5). Paragraphs 6 and 7 relate an inspiring scenario. Your five minutes bring healing to an injured bird and a dry stream. Then, a tired mind, so weary that he’s not sure he can carry on in life, hears the bird start singing and sees the stream start flowing. And witnessing this rebirth gives that mind the strength and hope to carry on. Whether or not we think this specific scenario will happen, we need to realize that our practice has the power to spark effects like these.
This lesson epitomizes what so many of the lessons are trying to get me to do: simply to take a little time out of my day to rest in God. To be quiet. To be at peace. To sense the stillness that lies at the depths of my being, placed there in creation by God. To do this not just once in the morning, but often during the day, repeatedly reminding myself that this peace, this serenity of being, is my natural state, while the frenzy of distractedness, the ping-pong of opposing thoughts that so habitually occupies my mind, is what is unnatural. What has seemed to me to be “normal” has been nothing but “frantic fantasies [that] were but the dreams of fever that has passed away” (5:5).
There is a place in you where this whole world has been forgotten; where no memory of sin and of illusion lingers still. There is a place in you which time has left, and echoes of eternity are heard. There is a resting place so still no sound except a hymn to Heaven rises up to gladden God the Father and the Son. Where Both abide are They remembered, Both….
….The changelessness of Heaven is in you, so deep within that nothing in this world but passes by, unnoticed and unseen. The still infinity of endless peace surrounds you gently in its soft embrace, so strong and quiet, tranquil in the might of its Creator, nothing can intrude upon the sacred Son of God within. (T-29.V.1:1-4; 2:3-4).
And here I rest in God. Here I breathe the air of Heaven. Here I can remember what I am.
The lesson tells me of wondrous things that come from my willingness to take these times of rest. These moments of quiet are not for me alone. They are my mission for the world; through them I am bringing peace to every mind. Our practice times are no small thing, to be lightly skipped over; the author places extraordinary importance on them:
- He says they bring the end of suffering for the entire world (2:5).
- He tells us there is no suffering, nor any problem, they cannot solve (3:3-4).
- Through these times we are calling all the world to join us in rest (4:5-6).
- Every time we rest, we heal the world: We gladden a tired mind, give song to a wounded bird, and give flowing water to dry stream beds (6:1-2).
I came to bring the peace of God into the world. This is my “trust” (8:2), my sacred mission, my reason for being. Jesus asks me to “open the temple doors and let them come from far across the world, and near as well; your distant brothers and your closest friends; bid them all enter here and rest with you” (8:3). This is what I am doing each time I stop the mental chatter and sit, quietly, and rest in God. I am like Buddha, casting his compassion on the world. I am Buddha; I am Christ.
I envision myself as a cell in a cosmic body, a body that has been invaded by a deadly virus, the virus of antagonism, of disharmony, of hatred, envy, and strife; the virus of bitterness, sorrow, and pain; the virus of despair, depression, and death. As I take my time of rest, it is as if this little cell has discovered how to produce the antitoxin, the remedy for the virus: the peace of God. And the connecting current of our shared thoughts is the bloodstream that carries this antitoxin to other cells, who absorb it and begin, in turn, to produce this healing substance. Peace of mind, the antitoxin for the world.
It is for this I have taken birth. It is for this I am here, and nothing else. Through these simple practices, we bring healing to all of time, past and future:
Time is not the guardian of what we give today. We give to those unborn and those passed by, to every Thought of God, and to the Mind in which these Thoughts were born and where they rest. And we remind them of their resting place each time we tell ourselves, “I rest in God.” (9:4-6)