Lesson 291 • October 18


Lesson 291

This is a day of stillness and of peace.

Practice Instructions

See complete instructions in a 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.


I write my comments on this lesson at the end of the day (so that it is awaiting you in your morning e-mail).1 My day today seemed to be anything but a day of stillness and peace, more like a day of staggering pace. I was rushing about meeting my body’s needs, stocking up on groceries I’d let run down to nothing, buying some vitamins, razor blades, and so on. In the back of my mind was a booklet waiting its finishing touches (and already behind schedule), a flyer for an upcoming workshop, phone calls to make, a stack of correspondence—school papers to read and respond to. I had lunch at 3:45 pm and supper at 8:15. My details are different from yours, but I’m sure lots of your days are similar in tone, if not in content.

We all have the demands of time and circumstance upon us. How do we find inner peace in the midst of it? This lesson speaks of “Christ’s vision,” which “looks through me today” (1:1). “His sight shows me all things forgiven and at peace, and offers this same vision to the world” (1:2). The peace being spoken of here is the peace that comes from a different perspective, an inner peace. Elsewhere the Course acknowledges that when we live in this world we are involved in “busy doing” (T-22.VII.10:6). It isn’t that the busy doing ceases. It’s that our mind can be at peace even in the midst of busy doing, a “quiet center” from which we operate (same reference).

I was not doing so well at maintaining that quiet center today, or rather, at remembering it was there and making use of it; I was operating more on the surface of my mind. As a result, I felt a little frantic. This lesson calls me back to home base. The vision Christ offers me is one of loveliness and holiness (1:4-5). It is the sight of a forgiven world, whose forgiveness includes my own. It is the peace of knowing that, although I may forget the toilet paper or fail to write the needed letter, my Self is unchanged, God is my Father, and I share the holiness of God Himself.

In my hyper-activity today there was a certain sense that, somehow, my salvation depended on remembering everything I had to buy or finishing all the tasks I hoped to accomplish. What a relief to know I was wrong! Even in my study of the Course, sometimes, an anxiety creeps in, thinking I have to understand everything perfectly in order to find my way home. Instead, as I read this lesson, I can relax:

I do not know the way to You, but You are wholly certain. Father, guide Your Son along the quiet path that leads to You. Let my forgiveness be complete, and let the memory of You return to me. (2:3-5)

1. I have left this sentence almost exactly as it first appeared when the lesson commentaries were first mailed out by electronic mail on the Internet, in order to preserve the original feel of immediacy in the whole paragraph.