A Course in Miracles Lounge

Let Love teach you what You are.

I am a new student to ACIM. So I thought it would be interesting to start a thread where people could share how they came to find ACIM themselves.

I suppose I’ll start with my story.

About a year ago, I was helping on a quit smoking board where there was an advertisement for A New Earth. After seeing it for so many times, my curiosity peeked so I bought it.

I have to say that after reading it, I don’t think that I fully “got it”. Discouraged, I set it aside and forgot about it. A few weeks later I saw The Power of Now. Even though discouraged before, for some reason I bought it. Within a few pages, I had my first “Aha” moment.

After that I started reading many spiritual books. Most of the modern spiritual authors kept referring and quoting this book called “A Course in Miracles.”

I don’t know what it was, but for some reason, I had it in my head that I would not read this book. As often quoted and referred to as it was, I just had this pre conceived notion of what the book was.

I had this picture in my head of what this book was about. I imagined it to be a rather superficial book. One that talked about being able to manifest all our material desires and wealth and succeeding in this and in that. Supercharging our confidence etc. Basically the run of the mill self help book that I have seen many of. I pictured in my mind the cover having the author on it, smiling a huge smile with a quote saying something like “Miracles will help you achieve all that you ever desired.”

And so I didn’t even give this book a chance. I decided not even to seek it out.

About six months ago, I went to the bookstore by my house that I always go to and in the front by the entrance on a table was ACIM. The bookstore often does this to promote certain books.

As I looked at the book, it looked nothing like I imagined. Where was the picture? Where was the author? Where was even the author’s name? It was just a simple blue book, with simple writing on it. No frills, no gimmicks. What actually struck me was how many pages this book had.

As I turned the book over and over and stared at it, something compelled me to buy it. Which ironically, I couldn’t even look inside to check it out, because it was the large soft cover edition and it was shrink wrapped. Not to mention that it was 30 dollars. Which isn’t going to break the bank, but considering that it was quite a bit more than the other books I had read it was taking a big chance on a book that just before I had even refused to read.

I took it home, unwrapped it and read the introduction. “This is a Course in Miracles. It is a required course.” I felt right then that this book was going to be something very important to me and it was.

All my adult life, I have had a strained relationship with God. I used to blame God for a lot of the suffering in this world. I used to blame God for a lot of the bad in my life. ACIM has healed this relationship so completely, that I am completely amazed at just how much love I have for God now. How peaceful I feel when I think of God. The animosity that I used to feel is completely gone. For me, this in itself is a miracle.

Love and Peace. These used to be a wish, a desire and a yearning for me. Something that could be attained in a movie or achieved in a song, but something that I could not have in my own reality. My gift was guilt for the longest time. This is starting to change for me and I am so grateful for it.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Peace is not simply a goal that we must achieve, but simply something we must have to achieve our goals.”

Thanks to ACIM, I am realizing that peace is ours now, all we need to do is accept it. The gift is free. Love is for us, if we but only realize that we are Love.

I am so glad that I found ACIM, because I had become very weary of being my own tired king in a sorry kingdom.

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Wow, Eric! I was tired and was about to head off to bed early. Then I read your post and had to say thank you. I can relate to your gratitude for A Course in Miracles.

It's been 15 years now since I started A Course in Miracles. I too had heard of the Course through various references, in particular, Science of Mind. I was given the book "What you think of me is none of my business" by Terry Cole Whittaker in the late 80's. Reading that book gave me a sense of relief, and started me in the direction of a spiritual path. I did not start A Course in Miracles till I saw Marianne Williamson on Oprah. I was exhausted and had become ill. I prayed and on certain days even wanted out from life. I had been going through the wear and tear of keeping up with appearances in the demands of life in NYC. Felt like I was on a treadmill...working really hard, but not going anywhere and certainly not fulfilled. I was conditioned to reach for external goals and that my worth was established by what I do. Caught up in the dance world and an eating disorder. Impossible standards set from childhood had me exhausted . I prayed and I was answered. I stayed home from work one day and caught Marianne Williamson's first show on Oprah. I was caught up with appearances at the time and so was struck by Marianne's physical beauty; yet she was talking about God...ironicallly, that resonated with me. I bought Marianne's "Return to Love". I was grateful for Marianne's experiences because she was someone I could relate to. She too had experience with an eating disorder and relationships, another big challenge for me. I will always be grateful to Marianne, she is like an dear old friend to me.

Shortly after that, I started the study A Course in Miracles...first on audio. I must admit listening to "Principles of Miracles" on audio went way over my head. So I bought the book... and later bought 7 more for friends and family, none of whom wanted anything to do with it. LOL ... I studied for the most part on my own. I was later lead to someone online through a buddhism site and who showed an interest in the Course...that was helpful motivation...I guess it was powerful because of the joining in shared purpose. I later got involved with 2 wonderful study groups in NYC for which I am very grateful. They helped me build a foundation and intimate support. I have been devoted to A Course in Miracles since then... and though I do get caught up with distractions.. I always come back to my center where God is. Each year that I go through the lessons, the barriers to Love's presence are becoming more transparent. I also want to say that I started A Course in Miracles by reading Clarification of Terms...(the experience of listening to audio of "Principles of Miracles" prompted me to do that)...then I went on to Manual for Teachers, and then did the Text and Workbook together. So many lessons learned since then ... all of which lead me to greater humility and gratitude. Love and blessings. Namaste. Ruby
Ruby, thank you for sharing your story and opening this conversation. When I discovered the Course it was so new that few people had ever heard of it. When I would find someone else who had read it we invariably asked the burning question, "How did you find this book?"

I was raised Catholic, went to Catholic school for my first three years of school and catechism after that. I remember religion and God being very important to me as a child, and I also remember God becoming more and more of a fearful icon to me as I grew up. Talk about your basic conflicted relationship! God was Who I turned to when I wanted anything, but God was pretty undependable. He sometimes granted wishes and sometimes not He set impossibly high standards that I could not possibly reach and punishment was everlasting hell. I was supposed to love this, but fear was as close as I could come.

When I divorced my first husband and the priest told me that I could not recieve communion or teach catechism anymore I was devastated. He told me that I was ok as long as I didn't remarry. I guess he meant I wouldn't go to hell if I didn't get married again. I told him that I was very young and knew I would marry again and he assured me that it might not happen. I could get killed before then, run over by a car or some other helpful event, and then I would be saved. Even a true Catholic believer like me could see the flaw in that argument. It didn't seem to matter to the priest what my intention was, only what I got around to actually doing.

I was so confused. I didn't feel like an evil person and couldn't understand why God would think I was. I was so angry with the Catholic church and since I believed that God was Catholic I was angry with Him. I spent the next year or so ranting at God. Looking back on it I don't think I spoke to God this much in my entire life, all the time telling Him I didn't believe in Him and by turns telling Him I hated Him. Which He seemed to take as an invitation to heal me. That God! :)

My mom had gotten involved with the Unity church but they didn't have one where she lived, so when she came to visit me in Houston I took her to the Golden Pyramid. I didn't want to go to any church but it seemed like a nice thing to do for her. The first thing I heard was the preacher talking metaphysics (which I had never heard of) and then he said something that changed my mind about things. He said that if anyone had a problem with what he was saying to just put it on a mental shelf. What?! Was he saying I had enough sense to make religious decisions on my own?! I was intrigued and started attending the Unity church. That began my spiritual journey.

When I moved back to Lake Charles mom and some other folks had started a Unity study group and one day they talked about joining someone in a neighboring town as they conducted a gathering to introduce A Course in Miracles. This was in 1981 I think, because my daughter was around 3 or 4. My mom had already delved into it, but mom was always into one weird thing or another and I had no interest. But I like the Unity minister who was doing the talk and thought it would be nice to support her so I went. (I'm starting to detect a pattern here. Maybe acting selflessly is a good thing.)

I don't remember Marge saying anything special that night by I came away knowing I had to have that book. I had just lost my job and the $20.00 cost was way more than I could afford, but somehow I bought it anyway. I think it may have been her talking about the Holy Spirit that intrigued me so. I had been thinking about the Holy Spirit and couldn't figure out why. As a Catholic there wasn't a lot of mention of the Holy Spirit. I had been dragging my daughter around from church to church trying to find the source of this need to pursue the Holy Spirit. But nothing seemed to do it for me. Then that night when I heard Marge talk about the Holy Spirit I thought this must be what was calling to me. I have been studying it ever since.

I read the text like it was a good novel. I couldn't put it down. I would think how increditble it was then I would wonder why I believed it. But on a deep level I knew it was the most important thing I had done so far in my life. I had a lot more trouble with the lessons and was very resistant. Most of the years I studied it I was on my own. That is a hard way to do it, I think.

The Course was always a part of my life after I found it, but sometimes I would not read it or study it for awhile as I jumped headlong into ego storms that would last for long periods of time. But it was always there and I always went back to it when I couldn't stand the pain of living without it. All the time the Holy Spirit kept led me gently to the next step; a book, a person, a group, whatever I needed to keep me going.

I got really serious about my study when I turned 50 and decided that I wanted to do something useful with my life and ACIM was the only avenue that seemed meaningful to me. I discovered Pathways of Light at the same time I discovered computers and began studying for the ministry. I could hardly believe I was doing this. Once again I was being led because I could never have set up events to lead to this place in my life. It was the Holy Spirit again gently leading me to the next step in my Awakening. Now, in retrospect, it has been a beautiful dance with Him leading the whole time. Often I contemplate the perfection and beauty of my life, though at the time it often looked very ugly, and I am in awe. Those things that seemed to be failures and horrible events were just the next step, the way home. I am so grateful for A Course in Miracles, and now for NTI and The Way of Mastery as well. The dance continues and He still leads.
Thank you so much Ruby and Myron for sharing your stories. That is fantastic to hear such inspirational stories from A Course in Miracles and in reading your stories, it only strengthens the new found faith that I have now.

I have to admit. When I first read ACIM, for the first couple of hundred pages, I wasn't sure what I was reading, yet I continued to read it not discouraged one bit by my not completely understanding it. I find that so odd, because normally I do not follow through with what I do not understand. I am in my fifth reading now through the text and what seemed so abstract before, now is quite apparent. I have also read the prayer, some of the manual for teachers, and the psychotherapy of it and some clarification of terms.

Yet I have now just started the workbook, LOL. Today is going to be lesson 16, though I should probably be on lesson 20, but there were a couple that I repeated.

LOL And Ruby, I did the same thing. I have now given away three books to people and have not heard anything back from them, except one person saying that she just didn't get it at all and she is an avid Tolle reader. But I have read people say that the first time they read it, it made absolutely no sense and they put it aside, only years later to pick it up again and felt that the book was speaking directly to them.

I now have the hard cover combined volume, the original soft cover I bought and a smaller version with just the text, workbook and manual for teachers (this is the version that I give away). I also have Meditations on A Course in Miracles and The Gift of A Course in Miracles.

Thank you again for sharing your wonderful stories and I hope that more people will share theirs.

Take care,

Eric
Hi skytiger, We must have replied at the same time LOL.

Thank you for sharing your story.

Take care,

Eric
My introduction to A Course in Miracles began in 2004 in the midst of deep depression/anxiety after my dad passed away—I felt it was the “straw that broke the camel’s back” and did not even want to continue to live. I was a high school teacher at the time, just putting one foot in front of the other and doing my job, feeling deeply sad and trying not to show it. It was noticed, however, by kind students and fellow teachers, etc., who reached out to me.

One of these was Lois, a guidance counselor/friend who each day would invite me into her office to eat lunch together and let me talk. Lois also gave me a book called “The Power of Now.” She had not read it herself, but had heard of it. This book mentioned the bible and many other religious texts, but it kept referring to A Course in Miracles, which made me curious. Just as Eric G. said, the book was shrink wrapped so I could not preview it, and it was $30. I bought it anyway and began reading it, finding it very difficult to understand, but also being unable to put it down.

A few days later in Lois’ office I was telling her of my experience with this book and her phone rang. She answered it and then handed me the phone saying “this person wants to speak to you, Joan.” I took the phone and spoke to Debi, another teacher that Lois had heard was reading the course and participating in a group. They met on Wednesday evening (my only free night because of teaching at night also)—the rest is history. I am so grateful to be on this path to God and thankful for the support of my dear friends!
Myron. I so loved reading your story. I too was raised catholic so I can relate to your conflicts with the catholic church and now I laugh at it. I related to "But on a deep level I knew it was the most important thing I had done so far in my life." I feel that way as well. Thank you so much for sharing. Love and blessings, Ruby


Myron Jones said:
Ruby, thank you for sharing your story and opening this conversation. When I discovered the Course it was so new that few people had ever heard of it. When I would find someone else who had read it we invariably asked the burning question, "How did you find this book?"

I was raised Catholic, went to Catholic school for my first three years of school and catechism after that. I remember religion and God being very important to me as a child, and I also remember God becoming more and more of a fearful icon to me as I grew up. Talk about your basic conflicted relationship! God was Who I turned to when I wanted anything, but God was pretty undependable. He sometimes granted wishes and sometimes not He set impossibly high standards that I could not possibly reach and punishment was everlasting hell. I was supposed to love this, but fear was as close as I could come.

When I divorced my first husband and the priest told me that I could not recieve communion or teach catechism anymore I was devastated. He told me that I was ok as long as I didn't remarry. I guess he meant I wouldn't go to hell if I didn't get married again. I told him that I was very young and knew I would marry again and he assured me that it might not happen. I could get killed before then, run over by a car or some other helpful event, and then I would be saved. Even a true Catholic believer like me could see the flaw in that argument. It didn't seem to matter to the priest what my intention was, only what I got around to actually doing.

I was so confused. I didn't feel like an evil person and couldn't understand why God would think I was. I was so angry with the Catholic church and since I believed that God was Catholic I was angry with Him. I spent the next year or so ranting at God. Looking back on it I don't think I spoke to God this much in my entire life, all the time telling Him I didn't believe in Him and by turns telling Him I hated Him. Which He seemed to take as an invitation to heal me. That God! :)

My mom had gotten involved with the Unity church but they didn't have one where she lived, so when she came to visit me in Houston I took her to the Golden Pyramid. I didn't want to go to any church but it seemed like a nice thing to do for her. The first thing I heard was the preacher talking metaphysics (which I had never heard of) and then he said something that changed my mind about things. He said that if anyone had a problem with what he was saying to just put it on a mental shelf. What?! Was he saying I had enough sense to make religious decisions on my own?! I was intrigued and started attending the Unity church. That began my spiritual journey.

When I moved back to Lake Charles mom and some other folks had started a Unity study group and one day they talked about joining someone in a neighboring town as they conducted a gathering to introduce A Course in Miracles. This was in 1981 I think, because my daughter was around 3 or 4. My mom had already delved into it, but mom was always into one weird thing or another and I had no interest. But I like the Unity minister who was doing the talk and thought it would be nice to support her so I went. (I'm starting to detect a pattern here. Maybe acting selflessly is a good thing.)

I don't remember Marge saying anything special that night by I came away knowing I had to have that book. I had just lost my job and the $20.00 cost was way more than I could afford, but somehow I bought it anyway. I think it may have been her talking about the Holy Spirit that intrigued me so. I had been thinking about the Holy Spirit and couldn't figure out why. As a Catholic there wasn't a lot of mention of the Holy Spirit. I had been dragging my daughter around from church to church trying to find the source of this need to pursue the Holy Spirit. But nothing seemed to do it for me. Then that night when I heard Marge talk about the Holy Spirit I thought this must be what was calling to me. I have been studying it ever since.

I read the text like it was a good novel. I couldn't put it down. I would think how increditble it was then I would wonder why I believed it. But on a deep level I knew it was the most important thing I had done so far in my life. I had a lot more trouble with the lessons and was very resistant. Most of the years I studied it I was on my own. That is a hard way to do it, I think.

The Course was always a part of my life after I found it, but sometimes I would not read it or study it for awhile as I jumped headlong into ego storms that would last for long periods of time. But it was always there and I always went back to it when I couldn't stand the pain of living without it. All the time the Holy Spirit kept led me gently to the next step; a book, a person, a group, whatever I needed to keep me going.

I got really serious about my study when I turned 50 and decided that I wanted to do something useful with my life and ACIM was the only avenue that seemed meaningful to me. I discovered Pathways of Light at the same time I discovered computers and began studying for the ministry. I could hardly believe I was doing this. Once again I was being led because I could never have set up events to lead to this place in my life. It was the Holy Spirit again gently leading me to the next step in my Awakening. Now, in retrospect, it has been a beautiful dance with Him leading the whole time. Often I contemplate the perfection and beauty of my life, though at the time it often looked very ugly, and I am in awe. Those things that seemed to be failures and horrible events were just the next step, the way home. I am so grateful for A Course in Miracles, and now for NTI and The Way of Mastery as well. The dance continues and He still leads.
Thank you Joan, Eric, Skytiger, and Myron. It is so inspirational reading your posts and it strengthens my faith and gratitude. Eric... I can't get over that you have read A Course in Miracles 5 times in 6 months. That is devotion. I so love the line from the Course where Jesus tells us a brother is "entitled to love because he is a a brother, and to devotion if he is devoted. It is only my devotion that entitles me to yours." Thanks so much Eric for starting this post. I think it is something we all can share in and find strength from. I started this site with the focus on intimate connection... a safe space for friends to connect. Thank you for starting this in that direction. Love and blessings, Ruby

Joan Williams said:
My introduction to A Course in Miracles began in 2004 in the midst of deep depression/anxiety after my dad passed away—I felt it was the “straw that broke the camel’s back” and did not even want to continue to live. I was a high school teacher at the time, just putting one foot in front of the other and doing my job, feeling deeply sad and trying not to show it. It was noticed, however, by kind students and fellow teachers, etc., who reached out to me.

One of these was Lois, a guidance counselor/friend who each day would invite me into her office to eat lunch together and let me talk. Lois also gave me a book called “The Power of Now.” She had not read it herself, but had heard of it. This book mentioned the bible and many other religious texts, but it kept referring to A Course in Miracles, which made me curious. Just as Eric G. said, the book was shrink wrapped so I could not preview it, and it was $30. I bought it anyway and began reading it, finding it very difficult to understand, but also being unable to put it down.

A few days later in Lois’ office I was telling her of my experience with this book and her phone rang. She answered it and then handed me the phone saying “this person wants to speak to you, Joan.” I took the phone and spoke to Debi, another teacher that Lois had heard was reading the course and participating in a group. They met on Wednesday evening (my only free night because of teaching at night also)—the rest is history. I am so grateful to be on this path to God and thankful for the support of my dear friends!
Thank you Joan for sharing you story!

That is amazing about the phone call. You could almost put the Twilight Zone music to that, LOL. In mysterious ways right? Isn't it also wierd not to understand the book so much either, but at the same time, not being able to put it down? That was me.


The one theme I have noticed is that there seems to be a suffering, before finding ACIM and I want to thank everyone for being able to write down honestly about this. Sometimes it can be hard to let others in and share this.

And so, I want to add also. That when I started this path. I too, felt a suffering. Like you Ruby, I felt that I was just on this loop. This hamster wheel of just going over and over and over again.

Here I was, on a quit smoking board, giving people advice and speaking with authority and confidence on this subject, yet my life was anything but confident. I felt like I was living this nightmare, like a purgatory or like the movie "Groundhog's Day" and it felt terrible.

On the message boards, I seemed ot have it all together, but in life I did not. I had guilt of the past and fear of the future and no presence at all. And it was a horrible feeling. And I think God threw me a lifeline when I kept seeing Tolle's book being advertised over and over until I finally bought it out of curiousity, which eventually put me on the path that I am now and he threw me another lifeline when I refused to read ACIM and suddenly found myself face to face with the book as I walked into the bookstore. It was put out there on the front table right at the entrance so there was no missing it.

Thank you everyone for sharing your stories and I hope that many more people will share theirs.

With Love,

Eric
Beautiful sharing from all. Thanks for your mention of "Groundhog Day." Perfect movie to describe what life is like until we remember that it's about the Love. I'm so glad so many on this network Eckhart Tolle. I feel his work is the perfect supplement to A Course in Miracles. Namaste, Ruby
I'll be short and sweet :) Currently I attend an ACIM meeting once every third Wednesday of the month. Not much is happening in Sydney on the surface seemingly group wise, but evidently the books themselves are walking out of stores at the rate of knots !!! So it seems a lot of self study is going on. Over the years I have probably read the whole text via attending group meetings. Also I have probably read all the lessons, but this year I am hopefully doing it all on a more consistent daily basis.
In the early '90's there were ACIM Festivals, about two a year, which were week long retreats dedicated to Course teachings. These were a lot of fun. Painting sessions and dance etc. were also programmed. These were light relief and much appreciated. Indeed Robert Perry and Gerry Jampolsky and a few others visited Australia mainly in the '90's. I was just dabbling in the course at this stage, also dabbling in raising five kids, but I turned the corner re enthusiasm for doing the Course when I met an American couple, Jack and Eulalia Luckett. They now live in Hawaii. Their happiness on finding their path was contagious and I never looked back (other than those 'down periods we all hit !! every so often). There is nothing quite like someone exposing their hearts that draws one in. I love how there were so many helpers, visible and invisible, once I committed to ACIM. Also it appears to get simplier ??? did I say that ???? as one goes along because really one lesson, one sentence read and believed and actioned (alongside the Holy Spirit) if truly taken on board is enough to lift my spirit and lean into äll the hosts of Heaven" who are barracking for me to lift the veil from my eyes and see what always IS.
I love the miracle cards and the one I just picked reads *There is no veil the Love of God is us together cannot lift. The way to truth is open.* Om Shanit (Peaceful Blessings) masil.pauline.

Pauline, I love your energy. Deep... sweet... and funny... all rolled into one ball of Love. Five kids...wow. Well, your page looks great. LOL ... your son did a great job and so did you. Thanks for your presence and support. Love you, Ruby
My experience with ACIM came around 1999. I was going thru an extremely painful breakup of a "special relationship" (lol) and a wrong-minded perception of my mother's death. I was introduced to 'Conversations With God' by Neale Donald Walsh by a co-worker and that book was the first of many 'miracles' to change my life. From there I was lead to 'Church of Today' Unity church in Warren, MI (now known as Renaissance Unity) to see Neale Donald Walsh speak. At the time Marianne Williamson was the minister at the church and lo' and behold.. my introduction to 'A Course In Miracles.' Made some wrong choices in my life a couple years after that and actually lost my copy of 'A Course In Miracles.' Lost my spiritual connection in a bout with anti-depressants for about 4-5 years. And (THANK YOU H.S.) for giving me the strength to wean myself from the medications and find my way home where I belong.

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