Archive for November, 2009

“Be not afraid of love”

annie by her front doorFor those of you studying A Course in Miracles, and following it through the year, we are now on lessons 311 – 320. The theme is the Last Judgement.  This is a play on the biblical theme that is loaded with fear about being found wanting at the end of the world, which of course makes us feel lacking right now.  However this is the distorted version that the ego has created to keep us feeling bad and separate.  Actually God’s final judgement on us, is the same as it ever was, which is that we are wholly innocent and pure, loving and loved, limitless and changeless.


The lessons take us through a wonderful process of realising how we think, or judge ourselves, creates exactly how we see the world.  When we judge our selves or others as being guilty or wrong or inadequate, that is how we see the world. Choosing to see ourselves, and each other, as loving or lovable, as whole, with nothing wrong or lacking, then we start to see and experience a completely different world!


I was so thrilled when I discovered Jesus’ take on judgement in ACIM. He tells us that in truth we are never able to judge anything, because we never have the full picture, and in any case, our physical eyes cannot tell us truth. But we have another faculty of vision inside of us, and that is an organ of love.  It sees without any need of the physical eye. In ACIM language, this vision is called Christ’s vision.   It is a gift every single human being has latent inside us. With this vision we see through all fear, all pain, all ideas of wrong doing or right doing. With this vision judgement does not exist as the ego understands that word.


Using the faculty of Christ’s vision is what enables us to forgive.  It is up to us to decide whether or not we want to forgive, whether or not we want to see with the eyes of Love. I find it takes practice, daily, to keep choosing and summoning the courage to choose this loving way of seeing the world.  The more we practice the easier it becomes and the “ah ha” moments arrive when we find we have forgiven.


The greatest gift we can give ourselves, or each other, is the gift of forgiveness, the gift of seeing each other with the eyes of Love.  Will you join me today?


In love and friendship,



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A Review of a Retreat on Awakening with Miranda,

held in London, October 23rd –25th, 2009.

 On Sunday morning, the third day of the workshop, I arrived in time to leave my bag and go to get a coffee.  Walking along the pavement, I passed through a flock of pigeons eating some food on the ground. In that moment, with pigeons all around me, I felt a wave of intense peace and bliss, (that is still with me).  Everything felt in its place and all connected.  And I knew that whatever was happening in the workshop had landed.


The retreat began on Friday evening.  I booked very last minute…something just opened up in my heart, and I realised Miranda’s weekend was happening and that I was totally free to go to it.  I was a bit nervous, but also had a good feeling of happy expectancy.  I had shared with Miranda about a year ago that actually I did not like her chair work! But recently she had told me that she was moderating this approach with lots of partner work and that she was excited about new ways she had found to teach defencelessness.  Anyway, I figured, I didn’t have to sit in the empty chair!!!


On the Friday evening, Miranda talked about how she sees now.  She shared with us the five pillars ~ universal qualities that help us with our unfolding.  (You can find them on Miranda’s web site, www.awkeningwithmiranda in a piece she has written called Awakening). They are Trust, Love for the Truth, Open Minded Curiosity, Non Attack, and Humility.  That evening we worked with a partner on the theme of Trust.  All the partner exercises we did over the weekend, were a profoundly supportive way of doing self enquiry.  The first one consisted of two questions:~ “what inhibits your capacity to trust?” and “what’s holding you now?”  My partner and I discovered how strongly we mirrored each other,  and I felt great tenderness and intimacy opening inside me.


When I woke up the next morning I was assailed by the rampaging feelings of what inhibits me, that is my story of not being enough, and all the ways that drives my life, even when I know it, and use my spiritual practices to let it go.  But it also felt like a thin veneer and underneath I was aware of this vast Presence, that felt much more true.


The weekend was profound in so many ways. Miranda’s teaching has reached a new level of effectiveness, based on her newly found authentic self, her joy, and her willingness to share her discoveries.   We did a mixture of partner work, and empty chair work, guided visualisations and joined in some beautiful devotional chants.


With regard to the chair work, Miranda invited whoever was sitting in the chair, to realise that their feelings or thoughts were shared by many of us in the room, and many, many others as well. It felt encouraging, to “do the work” for “all beings”, not just for ourselves.


As the weekend unfolded and I practiced opening, softening and allowing whatever was coming up for me, I noticed a profound release of tension that I have been carrying in my body, in the form of extreme physical pain, for nearly two years. No amount of spiritual work, forgiveness, prayer, painkillers, osteopathy, acupuncture, herbs, massage has seemed to offer more than temporary relief. 


I became more and more painfully aware of how my contracting self image of “I am not enough” has caused me to be so desperately driven, and affected my whole gesture towards life on every level, in spite of understanding that I was holding a primal lie about myself, and in spite of wanting to let it go. Well, perhaps my intention to let it go had brought me to this workshop and prepared the way.


On Sunday afternoon, Miranda led us in a deep meditation to enquire into the basic misperceptions we had all got in touch with to varying degrees.  By the end of this I felt a vast expansiveness and relaxation in my heart, but also a big bump back into my body awareness of toothache. I have battled with toothache since 2002, and finally I landed in the pit of my despair about it.  Miranda had invited feedback about the process she had just led, in her usual spacious open way, so eventually I shared my discomfort. Before I knew it I was sitting in the empty chair, right in the midst of my pain, and with Miranda’s support, opening, softening, allowing. I realised that the belief I am not enough could open as a gateway the more I just accepted it and breathed through whatever was arising. The truth is that my limited self concept IS not enough. Truly I am so much more than that. I AM the vast expanse that is holding me and holding every living thing.


What Miranda is teaching is very simple. It is our egos that make it all so complicated.  One of the things that inspired and touched me the most over the weekend was seeing the changes in people I knew who have done more intensive work with Miranda, especially her ten day retreat in India.  A friend of mine (another Interfaith Minister who I discovered has worked with Miranda in India) dropped by on Sunday afternoon. I had not seen her for about four years. As she entered the room, I saw a huge field of light emanating from her and that just continued to pour out of her. Truly the work is about our willingness to undo and let go our crazy misperceptions and allow the reality of what we are to emerge.  There isn’t anything we have to do, (thank God, to let go, even more, of all the efforting!), just stop, and trust the sacredness of our real Self to play through us.

 with love from Annie.     (Note:~ Miranda Macpherson, was the founder of the Interfaith Seminary. She was then known as Miranda Holden, and when I did the training, 2002 – 04, she was still the spiritual director. She now lives in California)

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