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 suggestion: I see today's lesson as a kind of holy escapism, in which we anticipate that glorious day when we at last awaken to Heaven. So, as you repeat today's idea, imagine that this is the day when you awaken from time and space once and for all and open your eyes in Heaven again. You may want to try repeating it once in this spirit now and see how it feels.
This lesson is about anticipating Heaven.
"Today we will anticipate the time when dreams of sin and guilt are gone, and we have reached the holy peace we never left" (1:1).
That is what we do each day as we draw near to God in these times of quiet and stillness. We are giving ourselves a foretaste of Heaven. Just in this moment, just for now, imagine that all your dreams of sin and guilt are gone. Imagine that all fear has ended-all fear! Imagine that every thought of conflict is past. Imagine that there is nothing and can be nothing ever again that will disturb your perfect rest.
What you are imagining is real-the true state of things.
"Nothing has ever happened to disturb the peace of God the Father and the Son" (1:4).
The dreams of sin and guilt, the dream of fear, the dream of conflict, the dream of any disturbance at all is just that. Nothing more than a dream. Let it go, let it float away, meaningless and without significance. Just a bubble in the stream.
Merely a tiny instant has elapsed between eternity and timelessness. So brief the interval there was no lapse in continuity, nor break in thoughts which are forever unified as one. Nothing has ever happened to disturb the peace of God the Father and the Son. This we accept as wholly true today. (1:2-5)
In these moments of remembrance, these holy instants we set aside each day, we are anticipating the time when our bad dreams are wholly absent. No, I am not there yet, nor are you, not in our experience-although in reality, as the lesson states so clearly, we never left. There has never been a "lapse in continuity," and not one note in Heaven's song was missed. We, however, are still living most of the time in the dream. But we can experience moments of anticipation, direct experiences of the truth. It is that we seek right now. A moment of anticipation. A sense in the core of our beings, something we identify with the word "peace," something that words cannot capture.
These are practice times in which we deliberately stretch ourselves above the level of our normal, mundane experience. We choose to "accept as wholly true" the fact that the peace of God, Father and Son, has never been disturbed. Just for the moment, just for now, we allow ourselves to experience believing that. We don't worry that in fifteen minutes we may not believe it. We don't worry about what will happen to our lives if we believe it. We don't consider all the evidence to the contrary our senses have brought us in the past. We just let all that go, and breathe deeply of the rarified atmosphere of Heaven. This is my Home. This is what I really am. This is what is really true. This is all that I want.
If thoughts of sin, or of guilt, or of fear do arise in our minds, we gently dismiss them. "This is not what I want to experience right now. Right now, I want the peace of God. Right now, I have the peace of God."
Jesus, our elder brother, joins us and leads us in prayer, praying with us:
We thank you, Father, that we cannot lose the memory of You and of Your Love. We recognize our safety, and give thanks for all the gifts You have bestowed on us, for all the loving help we have received, for Your eternal patience, and the Word which You have given us that we are saved. (2:1-2)