Purpose: To practice and experience the idea that you are one with God, and to thereby lay hold of your own peace and also free the world. Today is a turning point in the Workbook, your first half hour practice time, and also your first longer practice in which you are given no instructions and are left to fly on your own—a preview of things to come. The practice is deepening—getting longer as well as less structured.
Longer: One—whenever it seems best, for thirty minutes.
There are no specific words or guidelines for this meditation. You are simply meant to devote the practice period to today’s idea, to abiding in oneness with God, to trying to experience that oneness, and to letting His Voice direct your practicing. Jesus is clearly trusting that you have learned enough from the lessons thus far to spend this quiet time profitably, without getting hopelessly lost in mind wandering. You therefore should draw upon all the training you have received up until now, and should also be open to the Holy Spirit’s promptings during this time.
Encouragement to practice: Paragraphs 9-11 are there to provide incentives to really do the practice and to appreciate how important it is. They teach us to see this half hour as a mirror, surrounded by a golden frame, set with thirty diamonds, one for each minute. During this half hour we will look into this mirror and see our face transfigured into holy the face of Christ—our true Self, Who is at one with God. In this mirror, we will recognize ourselves as Who we really are. Even if nothing of the kind seems to happen during this time, we can be confident that sometime, “perhaps today, perhaps tomorrow” (10:1, 11:1, 3), this experience will come to us as a result of this half hour.
Frequent reminders: Hourly.
Repeat, “Let me remember I am one with God, at one with all my brothers and my Self, in everlasting holiness and peace.” Doing so will add yet more diamonds to the frame around the mirror in which you see your true Self. I suggest either memorizing this sentence (which is composed of three lines of iambic pentameter) or writing it down on a note card. I also recommend that, while repeating it, you try to feel each kind of oneness individually—first oneness with God, then oneness with your brothers, then oneness with your true Self.
This lesson holds forth a very high view; it comes from an elevated state of mind. Basically, in the first part of the lesson it seems to assume we are enlightened already. And, of course, from the perspective of this state of mind, we are. “Enlightenment is but a recognition, not a change at all” (W-pI.188.1:4). If it is not a change, then enlightenment must mean recognizing what is always so. This lesson, then, is simply stating the truth about us, the truth that we have been hiding from ourselves.
To pray, to give thanks for the truth as God sees it, the truth about us as He sees us, can be a very profitable exercise. Try taking a paragraph of this lesson (or the whole lesson) and turning it into thanksgiving, verbalizing your thanks as you read. For example, from the second paragraph, I might say:
Thank You for the holiness of our minds! Thank You that everything I see reflects the holiness of my mind, which is at one with You, and at one with itself. Thank You for being my Companion as I walk this world; for the privilege of leaving behind shining footprints that point the way to truth for those who follow me.
This indeed is our calling; it is why we are here. Perhaps most of the time we don’t remember our Identity in God. All the more reason to set aside a day given to remembering, for reminding ourselves. We could understand this lesson as a portrait of an advanced teacher of God. Everywhere she walks, light is left behind to illuminate the way for others. The teacher walks in constant awareness of God’s Presence. She feels God within. God’s thoughts fill her mind, and she perceives only the loving and the lovable. This teacher of God heals people in the past, the present, and the future, at any distance.
Slip into that mindset for a while today, my heart. Be the Christ; let all the obstacles to it that your mind throws up be brushed aside. Practice awareness of oneness with God.
In the latter part of the lesson it is clear that the author hasn’t flipped out and isn’t living in a dream world. He knows very well that we might sit for our half hour and get up thinking that nothing happened. He knows that, for most of us, what he is talking about is so far from our conscious awareness that we might devote thirty minutes to trying to recognize it and not find a glimmer of it. He doesn’t care. He doesn’t care because, from where he sits and how he sees, he knows with total certainty that what he is saying about us is the truth. And he tells us not to let it bother us:
You may not be ready to accept the gain today. Yet sometime, somewhere, it will come to you, nor will you fail to recognize it when it dawns with certainty upon your mind. (9:2-3)
Even though we experience nothing, he tells us that “no time was ever better spent” (10:3).
The practice for today of a single half hour given to remembering oneness is unusual in the Workbook. The routine goes back to two fifteen-minute periods, or three ten-minute periods, in the coming days. But what is more significant, actually, is the lack of “rules [and] special words to guide your meditation” (8:4). He’s leaving us on our own today. If we have been doing the exercises all along, we should have a pretty good idea of some of the “techniques” we might want to use, and we can use any of them, or anything that comes to us. Actually he isn’t leaving us “on our own”; he’s leaving us in the hands of “God’s Voice,” our inner Guide. Ask how to spend this half hour of meditation, and listen to what comes to you.
Abide with Him this half an hour. He will do the rest. (8:6-7)
You can be sure someday, perhaps today, perhaps tomorrow, you will understand and comprehend and see. (11:3)