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Going Deeper part 22 

Editor's note: This transcript has been lightly edited to bring clarification to certain points of the dialogue and for easier readability. For this reason, it does not match the corresponding audio mp3 word-for-word. However, the overall content and the expressed ideas remain unchanged.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 | Part 11 | Part 12 | Part 13 | Part 14
Part 15 | Part 16 | Part 17 | Part 18 | Part 19 | Part 20 | Part 21 | Part 22 | Part 23 | Part 24 | Part 25 | Part 26

Mindtraining, Mindwatching & Meditation

Speaker: So that’s an initial attempt in helping with the mind watching. And in a sense the text is so important because it gives the whole theoretical basis for sorting out of these two thoughts systems that the deceived mind is completely confused about. There’s a section in the Course about a weaving pattern of darkness and light that continuously sweep across the horizon of the mind. This is a powerful mind that has accepted darkness or attack thoughts, (falsity) into it. So we have sweeping patterns of darkness and light, and this is in a sense an analogy to the noise and chatter that one hears in the mind. It’s not just the pure, still tranquility of pure light; there are these alternating patterns. So in a practical nature mind watching is something one can do when closing the eyes and beginning to try to still the mind in a more traditional sense – meditation. And it’s something one can do and being very aware of. In fact “doing” is not really quite the word, just trying to notice the thoughts as one is seemingly going through the activities of one’s day or watching a movie or in a conversation or discussion with someone or reading a book; just noticing the thoughts.

Participant: So is it noticing the thoughts and noticing whether this thought is of God or if that thought is of the ego? Or is it not even that much? Is it just the noticing?

Speaker: I think what you just described is in the advanced stages of mind watching, when it starts to be some clarity and real discernment.

Participant: But initially, it’s just simply noticing what the thoughts are, because the untrained mind has numerous thoughts that it is not even aware of. So the whole point is to become aware of first of all the thoughts that are there and then at some point discerning which thought system each of those thoughts relates to.

Speaker: Yes, it takes quite a lot of training just to be able to start to watch ones emotions and thoughts. To do that is to go back deep into the mind; getting back to the metaphysical level. In a sense the world was made as a distraction or distractive device to keep the attention away from the mind. Therefore there’s a strong attraction to and emphasis on form, an emphasis on differences. This attraction can take different forms. For instance, using entertainment when feeling lonely or sad or depressed and just wanting to turn on the tubes so to speak. To just numb out and focus one’s mind on what’s on the screen. It’s almost like a fantasy world or a day dream, except from now there’s images on the screen that one can be so distracted with that one doesn’t think about anything, ones problems or whatever. But this is a process of looking at ones thoughts and noticing ones feelings.

Participant: And this mind watching is not just during a quiet time of meditation each day but continuously is really what you are suggesting and what the Course suggests, so that it becomes an ongoing, moment by moment sort of thing, not just reserved for a certain part of the day.

Speaker: You’re speaking of more an advanced stage. At the beginning - if you look at the early lessons - there’s a minute here and a minute there. Jesus knows how untrained the deceived mind is and therefore begins with very small incremental steps where there’s no attempt at an elaborate discipline or structure. This begins to build as the lessons go on. The lessons are designed to be used by someone who doesn’t have a lot of time to be quiet or to pull back in a traditional sense of meditation, but can just carry forth an idea into the day and use this idea in specific time frames at the beginning. And as one goes along with this workbook one begins to transfer this and apply it more and more consistently. It becomes something that literally, once the value of the mind watching is seen then more and more one is voluntarily more vigilant.

Participant: So the thought of the day that the workbook lesson gives is an anchor or a thought of God that can be in the mind. I’m sure that Jesus of course knows that most of the time it’s not the thought of God that is in the untrained mind, so the intent would be to have it available in the mind, in contrast to what’s usually there. I guess it’s really by contrast that the mind realizes that the thought of God is mostly not in the mind. Most of the time there is something other than that in the mind.

Speaker: Yes, in other traditions it can go by the name of a mantra. Or in affirmations. But at the beginning the mind is so untrained that a central idea or thought to focus the attention on, is in a sense a way of keeping it focused and in a sense, of controlling thoughts. This is not always so easy at the beginning. Even with a thought for the day, one can notice the mind wanting to wander away. Restlessness or just forgetting the thought is quiet a common experience. This is just an indicator showing by contrast how untrained the mind is. This is nothing to feel guilty about. To judge ones work with the Course or judge how well one is doing it or starting to compare one’s mind watching exercises with one’s spouse, neighbor, coworker, friend or whoever, who might be working a similar procedure, gets into comparison and the guilt enters in. So it’s something that requires willingness and it requires gentleness. And it really requires persistence.

Participant: Dedication is what comes to my mind or devotedness to stay with it. You said that a lot of effort is required to do this initially but after doing it over and over again and seeing the value and benefit of it, it seems to require less effort. So talk about the benefit, talk about the value that you have found for yourself in the mind watching that actually has become an attractive force to the continuing with the mind watching.

Speaker: The stated goal of A Course in Miracles is Peace of Mind. One starts to get glimpses of this peace. In the beginning it can be fleeting glimpses. There can be lots of stuff that comes up that really needs to be looked at and that can be experienced as painful. But as one gets very consistent with this, as one just continues to move forward, to put one foot in front of the other so to speak, as one persists in studying the Course and generalizing its principles to a wider and wider ranges of situations and circumstances and people and so on, there becomes a much more of a consistency of thought. This is the advanced mind training where the peace that is experienced is wonderful. It is wonderful to be at peace and to not choose to be upset so to speak.

Once the thoughts and the beliefs have been looked at and questioned, there starts to be a discernment in the mind between the true and the false and the real and the unreal. And there’s a pulling back of investment in or a watching of those thoughts dispassionately, then peace becomes more stable. There are still points where twinges and reactions come up but more and more it just becomes a strong emotional state that my state is a result of my decision. It’s not a result of what’s happening on the screen, it’s not a result of the way people seem to be treating me or acting towards me. It is not a result of conditions such as economic, weather or financial conditions or any number of the endless list of false causes the deceived mind comes up with. These external things are recognized more and more as projections, From mind watching, going within and questioning beliefs about everything perceived in this world, including my belief in myself being an individual person; a body with unique attributes and traits, likes and dislikes and so on; when all that starts to be questioned and voluntarily stepped back from or disidentified from, then the peace becomes very stable. And the joy is very intense. One wants to share this stuff! It’s like finding the pearl of great value that Jesus talks about in the Bible and immediately selling everything else one has because, there’s just such great joy! This is the key mankind has looked for, in a sense, for centuries. This is the key to Peace of Mind, to the Kingdom of Heaven. This isn’t the only key if we talk about the Course per se, because this is just one tool among many. But it certainly is a very helpful tool in saving time or in helping the mind disidentify from these unreal thoughts and learning to maintaining a consistent state of mind.

Participant: The peace of mind is the key. The Course in Miracles is just a tool that is helpful in having that key and the door is always there to open it with.

Speaker: In a sense, peace is like a goal. It’s like having one goal as opposed to having many many many goals. It’s an abstract goal, an experiential goal, as opposed to “When I get this much money” or “When I achieve this status, or complete this project or I find that relationship I’ve always been looking for ….the ideal relationship or some form of external goal”. Those external goals just begin to fade and fade and fall to the way side because the one goal of peace is held out in all situations and conditions. This is seemingly very unnatural for the deceived mind. The deceived mind is conditioned to the concrete and into specifics and specific goals, specific expectations. This is why the mind training takes time. You have to begin to get a sense that all these other goals and aims, which we could call form goals and aims, have not brought me peace and by holding on to this abstract goal of peace, that a complete change takes place in the state of mind. To go to a board room for example, to a board meeting and have only peace as ones goal can at first seem a bit ludicrous in the sense of, “Well I’m there at that board meeting for a purpose. I have to present certain things or we need to discuss certain things or we have certain objectives that the corporation or business is trying to meet and so on and so forth.” These goals literally block the way as soon as any of these form based goals rise up as a priority over peace. Then perceived separate interests can enter in and arguments, conflicts and disagreements follow automatically because there is a perceived separate interest. And you can’t have a perceived separate interest unless you perceive yourself as a separate person. A self separate from your brother. Literally the idea of personhood, personality, a separate self has to be identified before any of this can enter in.

Continue to Part 23

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