See complete instructions in separate document. A short summary:
- Read the commentary paragraph slowly and personally.
- Pray the prayer, perhaps several times.
- Morning and evening: Repeat the idea and then spend time in Open Mind Meditation.
- Hourly remembrance: Repeat the idea and then spend time in Open Mind Meditation.
- Frequent reminders: Repeat the idea and then spend a quiet moment in meditation.
- Response to temptation: Repeat the idea whenever upset, to restore peace.
- Read the "What Is" section slowly and thoughtfully once during the day.
Practice comments: While repeating today's idea, realize it is a subtle reference to the story of the woman caught in adultery. As the crowd is about to stone her for her sin, Jesus utters the famous line, "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone." The crowd, of course, leaves one by one, and then Jesus says (to paraphrase), "They have condemned you not. No more do I." In other words, since literally no one condemns her, she is truly forgiven. Now, in this lesson, you are the woman caught in adultery. You unconsciously see yourself ringed about by God's vengeance, in the form of all those hands poised to chuck rocks at you. You see the death penalty staring at you-the payment for your sins. Yet that is all your own projection. God has condemned you not. And now you, your fiercest critic, decide to stop condemning yourself. No one condemns you, and so you are truly free. While repeating the idea today, you might want to think of all this, maybe even picturing yourself as the woman caught in adultery. Try to feel the sense of unexpected liberation that she must have felt.
In the commentary paragraph, try to sincerely ask yourself the series of questions that make up the bulk of that paragraph. Such questions can be powerful tools of mind change.
With the prayer, notice how it builds to a statement of intention in the last two sentences. There, you state your intention to let go of your mistaken idea that you are sinful and then stand ready to receive from God the awareness of Who you really are. Try to really mean these closing sentences. And realize that "I stand ready" means "I wait in silent expectancy." This prayer, then, is meant to introduce your period of Open Mind Meditation.
It takes great courage to let go of our self-condemnation. We are so afraid that if we stop condemning ourselves we will go berserk, the evil in us will be unchecked and will break out in some terrible disaster. But what if there is no evil in us? What if God is right? Is it so very likely that He is wrong and we are right? What God knows, the lesson says, makes sin in us impossible. "Shall I deny His knowledge?" (1:2).
The lesson is asking us, quite simply, to "take His Word for what I am" (1:4). Who knows what something or someone is better than its Creator? And what does God know about me? "My Father knows my holiness" (1:1). Every time I read such statements I watch my mind struggle to oppose the idea, cringing in a pseudo-humility that cries out, "Oh, no, I can't accept that about myself." If I dare to ask myself, "Why not?" my mind immediately comes up with a whole list of reasons: my flaws, my lack of total dedication to the truth, my addiction to this or that pleasure of the world. Yet every one of those things, brought into the light of the Holy Spirit, can be seen as nothing more than a misdirected prayer, a cry for help, a veiled longing for God and for Home.
"I was mistaken in myself" (2:1). That is all that has happened. I forgot my Source, and what I must be, coming from that Source. My Source is God, and not my dark illusions. My mistake about myself is not a sin to be judged but a mistake to be corrected; it needs not con_dem_nation, but the healing of love. "My mistakes about myself are dreams" (2:4), that is all, and I can let these dreams go. I am not the dream; I am the dreamer, still holy, still a part of God.
Today, as I still my mind in God's Presence, I open myself to receive His Word concerning what I am. I brush aside the dreams, I rec_ognize them for what they are, and let them go. I open my heart to Love.