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The Holy Encounter: Teaching your mind about yourself 

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.

David: In thinking about relationships, we tend to think of someone we’re spending a lot of time with, those we work with, or our family relationships; but, let’s say you’re walking down the street and you pass by 80 people on the street. Most people wouldn’t think of these people in terms of relationships. Suppose you’re going up the elevator to a business appointment you think is really important. What the Course does with this is it says that every encounter is a holy encounter and that you are teaching your mind about yourself with every encounter. Jesus even gives examples in which two kids may walk home from school together and they may become friends, or a child may run into an adult and the adult may not scold the child. After giving a couple of examples he says, “Salvation has come.” It’s this state of defenselessness; it’s this state of love and peace, and it does take work with the mind to get it out of its mind set, because the mind thinks it knows what relationship is.
Everyone you meet is a holy encounter. Don’t get caught in that mindset of going from one place to the next and miss the journey. The journey is right under your nose. Every place you go, every time you stop for gas, every rest area you stop at, every single encounter you have, everyone who passes you on the highway or wherever you are—it’s an opportunity. It’s a golden opportunity! Back in the Levels of Teaching section of the Manual for Teachers, Jesus starts off by saying that there aren’t any levels of teaching, that there are no levels in God’s plan.

Participant: I had a nice experience with seeing Christ in every face. I flew out of a small airport, so it was comfortable in that respect, but some flights got messed up a little bit, and I was worried that I would miss my connection and that our plans in the evening would be blown (which they weren’t) but you know, I couldn’t do a thing about it. So I’m sitting there thinking, I may as well see Christ in every face in this place. And so I’m thinking There’s Jesus reading a newspaper; there’s Jesus jumping rope (there was a little kid). I was looking at everybody and what they were doing and saying There’s Christ doing that, sleeping, smoking a pipe… and it just really calmed me down and took my mind off the connection that I might not make. Then some woman came up to me and asked what time it was. I told her the time, and she said, “Well, it’s going to be an hour different when we get to our destination isn’t it?” I said “YES!” [group laughter] No problem! It never even crossed my mind. I really thought that was such a clear response from Spirit.

Participant: One thing with this holy relationship thing... I had an appointment on the fourth floor. When it was done and I was leaving, I got on the elevator and pressed ONE. The elevator started moving, and my feet and legs got confused like I was going up not down. It took a few seconds to recover. So anyway, I went up to the sixth floor, and this lady got on the elevator. I looked at her and said, “You know it’s really funny, feelings are really odd things. Sometimes when you think you’re going down, you’re really going up!” [group laughter] So the elevator started going down. We only had to go down about five floors, but she started crying on the elevator. When she got off she said, “Boy, I hope you’re right.” It was the next day that we read about this holy relationship thing, and I thought Wow! There’s a 30-second one! Since then it’s like when we’re at a store or going for a coffee, I’d look at people and they’ll tell you whether they’re fearful or joyous or whatever—just that plain. This is pretty neat stuff!

Participant: One time I was travelling across country, and I had to get to whatever the next town was that had motels in it. I’m driving and I’m thinking What am I going to do? The cars were coming toward me, so I’d pick out whether there was one or two people in the cars and I would say I bless you, or I bless you, I bless you. [group laughter] One car kept me busy because they had a raft of kids in the back of the wagon, so as it went by I said, I bless you, I bless you, I bless you... I just tried to bless each occupant of each car. The next thing I knew there was this sign Best Western or something. I couldn’t believe I had travelled that far, that fast, that quickly. You know, time just totally collapsed. Naturally they had a room. Actually it was a very nice room with one of the best restaurants right across the street. You know, it was just interesting—blessing strangers.

Participant: You mentioned the word witness, and it comes up in the Course so much. Every time I hear or read that word I feel it’s so profound to me; that what I see is the witness to where I’m at—to what’s in my mind.

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