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: This is one of my favorite prayers. I recommend praying it over and over. Give each line your full awareness. Make it a personal communication from you to God. To aid this process, you might want to insert the specific comments I've indicated in brackets below:
Father, You stand before me [in that ______]
and behind [in that ______],
beside me [in that ______ on my right and that ______ on my left],
in the place I see myself [on this chair, couch, floor, street, etc.],
and everywhere I go [such as ______, where I am going later].
You are in all the things I look upon [like this ______ and that ______, which I am seeing right now],
the sounds I hear [like this ______ and this ______, which I am hearing right now],
and every hand that reaches for my own [such as the hand of ______, who journeys with me].
In You time disappears [because every moment, being filled with You, is the same],
and place becomes a meaningless belief [because every place, being filled with You, is the same].
For what surrounds Your Son, [insert your name],
and keeps him safe is Love Itself [not time, not place].
There is no Source but This, and nothing is [including ______, that difficult person in my life]
that does not share Its Holiness;
that stands beyond Your one creation,
or without the Love which holds all things within Itself.
Father, Your Son is like Yourself [and Your Son is all of us].
We come to You in Your Own Name today [we are not trespassers; we come at your invitation],
to be at peace within Your everlasting Love.
The bulk of today's lesson is a beautiful prayer, and my suggestion to us all is that we take the time not only to read it, but to read it aloud, with all the expression of which we are capable. Jesus says:
My brothers, join with me in this today. This is salvation's prayer. (2:1-2)
Will you do that? Perhaps we might pause at noon, each in our time zone, and as we do, realize that others are joining us in that very moment to pray this same prayer, together. And Jesus joins with us all, every time we repeat it. "Let all the world be blessed with peace through us" (W-pII.360.Heading).
(If you can't pause at noon, pause on another hour. Someone, somewhere, will be joining with you.)
Imagine the effect on yourself if, at least once an hour, and more often if possible, you simply pause for a moment and silently repeat to yourself, with conviction, "I am surrounded by the Love of God."
"Love is your safety," says the "What Is the Body?" section (W-pII.5.5:4). The purpose of these ten lessons is to focus our attention on love, which is "invisible," rather than on the body, which is visible. A passage in the Text I happen to be reading today goes right along:
When you made visible what is not true, what is true became invisible to you….It is invisible to you because you are looking at something else. (T-12.VIII.3:1, 3)
What is not seen is not therefore gone. Love is still in my mind because God placed it there. Love is still in everything, all around me, and I will see it if I will but stop looking at something else. Jesus says that if we look at love enough, what is not there will become invisible to us. That process is the shift the Course is talking about. As we learn to stop wanting to see something other than love, we will stop seeing anything but love. That outcome is inevitable because love is all there is.
We want to see separation, we want to see bodies, because we think somehow that keeps us safe. It preserves our individuality. Our real safety, however, lies in love. Our real safety lies in realizing that we are part of that ocean of love, never ending. Body, ego, and individual consciousness are not what need to be preserved and adhered to. Rather, we need to adhere to Universal Consciousness and to playing our part as a synapse in that Universal Mind, with no purpose that ends in this little cell of self, but only a purpose that serves the whole.
The way to experience love is to give it. "For if love is sharing, how can you find it except through itself?" (T-12.VIII.1:5). Let me today open my heart to love the world. Let me know that this is my function. As I open to let love out, love will flood in. It always flows both ways. And what I am loving is myself, not a separate thing or things. I am not simply a cell; I only exist in relationship to the universe. The whole is in every part. Everything is related to everything else, and only the whole has meaning. I am surrounded by the Love of God.