Lesson 333 is one of my favourites. I have been looking forward to its appearing, since last year, when I first “noticed” it.  The following words is what got my attention.

“Conflict must be resolved. It cannot be evaded, set aside, disguised, seen somewhere else, called by another name, or hidden by deceit of any kind to be escaped…….”

The conflict in our minds is what gets projected in all these ways described above, until we are willing to see conflict for what it is; and its source, right there in our mind, not out there in the world.

This lesson tells us that forgiveness is what “shines away all conflict”.  It is the intention to forgive the conflict that seems to be happening outside of us, that opens us to a journey, where we discover that it is really only ever ourselves who we need to forgive, for ever having the mistaken thoughts of conflict in the first place!

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,



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)

Some of you may have noticed that I haven’t written my blog for a while.

I had computer troubles that held me up, and then I hit a phase of intense self revelation  and quite honestly, I wasn’t sure how to share that in my blog.  But here goes.

 I am not sure how it is for those of you reading this, who also study A Course in Miracles ~ but ever since I started doing the work on a daily basis,  (in 2003) I have experienced spiritual “bombshells” from time to time. This is when some obstacle to my awareness of Love’s Presence has come to the light and dissolved.  Sometimes this is the result of days, (weeks, months, years!) of prayerful intention and then “POOf”! and some block has gone. Oftentimes it is more spontaneous and the trail to the revelation seemingly unknown to me.   Some of this undoing has happened through conversations with my dear friend and mentor Tom Carpenter.

 In a recent conversation with him, a belief I had held, that I certainly had no idea I held, came to light. I heard myself saying “I don’t believe God is interested in me”. I was SHOCKED to hear myself say that, but the intensity of the emotion that went with it made me know this belief was true.  It certainly explained the accusations I have made over the years towards certain lovers or some family members that they weren’t  interested in me.

 In the aftermath of this revelation, and my continuing willingness to open to knowing the whole of me was loved, I felt like a massive wall inside me was crumbling uncontrollably, and behind it was a tsunami of Love.

 I justified this belief (that God isn’t interested in me) as a logical extension of the idea that God doesn’t see us or know us as separate individuals. He only knows our perfection as the Oneness. However I am realising that actually this belief was just another cunning way for my ego to hide its guilt.

 I had forgotten the power and the presence of the gift God placed inside us expressly because of His utter Love for us. The gift is often known as the Friend, and in Course in Miracles language is often, also, called the Holy Spirit. Even though I work consciously with the Holy Spirit every day, I had this belief buried below the surface as a defence and was unaware it was there, or how it was limiting my life experiences!

 One of my intentions at the moment is to be more willing and open to hearing the Holy Spirit, or Voice for God. Perhaps this is why I have had this revelation?!  I accept that God is talking to us all the time, so if we think we can’t hear guidance, it is because, actually, we don’t want to.  I decided to change my attitude.

 Anyway, the day before I discovered this mistaken belief, and this edifice began to fall, I heard that my mum was going to have major, serious surgery ~ the third operation this year. I had been strong and brave about the others, but this time my defences began to crumble.  I had been holding in my awareness that in Truth, nothing can happen to us, we cannot die, be harmed or injured in anyway ~ that our real relationship with each other will never change.  I do know this is true, but somehow, part of me was hiding and using this belief as a defence, rather than letting it be a wholly living experience.

 The morning of the day I spoke to Tom, I was at a group meeting in my village of Forest Row.  This is an open group called Understanding, (organised by our local C of E vicar) where people of different faiths and beliefs come together to listen to each other’s views on spiritual or philosophical topics. The theme that morning was “why are we here?”. I was espousing the idea that there is no death in response to a question a woman had asked me directly “what do you think happens when you die?” Then I started talking about my mum, and telling how I was practicing getting to know her now, as Spirit, like she will be when she dies. This lovely woman sitting opposite me, who had asked me the question, interrupted my flow, in the most loving way by telling me to stop theorising ideals and “just love her ~   She just needs your love”.  My tears, and her loving intervention, melted my pride, resistance, and fear.

 The Holy Spirit was speaking to me, through her, and through my friend Tom, in the evening.  There is nothing about us not to love, no time, no gap, no separation, no event, no wall, no defence needed.

 Describing Love as a tsunami of course indicates the fear that I might be obliterated by Love, but all that will dissolve is my fear and guilt.  As Tom wrote afterwards:~ “no matter how desperately we try to feel unloved, being unloved is something we cannot bring about”.

 Will you join me dear reader, in the intention to know how fully and wholly we are loved, loving and capable of loving?

SIN is a very loaded word in our modern consciousness. It is perhaps even more difficult than the word God. People will tell me “I don’t believe in sin”. What they are rightly saying is that they don’t believe in a traditional religious story that keeps us in a state of unworthiness and perpetual guilt, feeling bad about ourselves.  Modern consciousness knows that isn’t the truth. Like many of us, I experience a growing awareness and desire to accept the Innocence and genuine loving nature that we share.

However, the section just finished, (for those following the yearly cycle of lessons), lessons 251 – 260, took me into a whole new realm of understanding what is really meant by the word sin.  Here I will comment on a few thoughts that were particularly meaningful to me.

Anything that is not the Oneness, (Love creating love, us, like Itself), is sin. Sin is all the thoughts/devices/bodies that we put between ourselves and truth, to stop us from knowing the truth about our Oneness.  What need would I have for eyes to see if I was being who I really am?  There is NOTHING out there to see. We created the world as proof that everything is separate, diverse, different. Eyes, and all our other senses, simply perceive our belief in separation, they prove there is a you and a me. The world doesn’t exist in and of itself, but it does reflect my state of mind in any moment.

Lesson 251 begins, “I sought for many things and found despair”. How true is that?! When I look back over my life, I feel exhausted by all my seeking and striving that seems to have come to nought.  The theme of this section reminds me of two of the most important lessons for me in the first half of the work book: 128  “The world I see holds nothing that I want” and 129 “Beyond this world there is a world I want”.  I am not going to find anything here in this world that endures, that does not change, that will not eventually hurt me, however hard I try to find it and keep it safe. That is the meaning of sin. But there IS a world that is true and constant and filled with a LOVE I can only begin to imagine right now, but that I can open to and have in this holy instant! It is all a question of choice.

That is what we are reminded of in lesson 253.  “My Self is ruler of the Universe”. ~ With which self do I want to identify?  The self that rules a separate universe as small as my identity as Annie, body and personality, or the Self that rules a universe that  stretches as far as I can imagine and beyond time and space, emanating an unconditional and boundless Love.

A huge relief for me in doing A Course in Miracles is finally I  feel like I have found my purpose, I know what I am doing here on Earth. And that is practicing forgiveness. Lesson 257 reminds us, “let me remember what my purpose is” and lesson 258 tells us why, “let me remember that my goal is God”.  That is all I want, not the things for which I have sought and striven, that I thought would bring me happiness and peace.

In the introduction to the section about sin, Jesus says it is the body’s nature to strive.. I have just started working out with a personal trainer at the gym, and joked that luckily for him, because it keeps him in work, “the body always wants more”.  And what he really means is the ego. Whatever we achieve we will never be satisfied for long. However, we can give the striving of the body a different goal, remembering it is, in itself neutral, an effect of the mind and not a cause of anything.  We can use it as a means of communicating Oneness, through our being-ness, not our proselytising. Just being, extending love.  This leads on wonderfully into the next section of the workbook which is all about the body!

Blessings to you all who might be reading this. Have a beautiful day.


liliesI felt inspired to respond to lesson 241, last Saturday, 29th August, but I was going away for the weekend, and didn’t have time. But it has stopped me from writing anything else since, so here goes!

Lesson 241:~ “This holy instant is salvation come”.

There is a line in the commentary on this lesson where Jesus says: “I will be forgiven by you today”.

Forgiving Jesus??? To me, at first, this seemed to be a preposterous and extraordinary idea. This is not the only place in ACIM where Jesus asks for our forgiveness.

I first came across this idea in one of my most favourite passages, in the Clarification of Terms about Jesus-Christ. “Walking with him (Jesus) is just as natural as walking with a brother whom you knew since you were born, for such indeed is he. Some bitter idols have been made of him who would be only brother to the world. Forgive him your illusions, and behold how dear a brother he would be to you”.

I have realised how all the images of Jesus, all the stories and ideas of what he means to us, and how history has used his name to commit a mighty number of cruel and violent deeds, all of these things, obscure the reality of his holy and living Presence, his infinite LOVE and tenderness, his power and his Peace, and the truth that we are ONE with what he is.

In the Easter Section of the Text, (20. 11. 4. 1,2.)  Jesus says “I have great need of lilies, for the Son of God has not forgiven me. … he who offers thorns to anyone is against me still and who is whole without him? Be you his friend for me that I may be forgiven, and you may look upon the Son of God as whole”.

There is only One Son of God, and it is ALL OF US. Jesus is part of us, inseparable. Forgiving anyone, seeing through to the Truth of them as the One Self we share, IS forgiving Jesus. While any person on this earth remains unforgiven, then Jesus is waiting with us for forgiveness.  While we hate ourselves, and refuse to accept what we truly are, Jesus we are denying who Jesus truly is as well.

Let us deepen and renew our commitment to forgive ourselves, and those around us. Let us see ourselves as God sees us.

Sunday was a difficult day for me. I woke up feeling really bad about myself, my worst ego stories back to haunt me. How do I write about that in a blog?

I found the lesson 235  difficult:~ God in His mercy wills I be saved .  The instructions were:~  “I need but look upon all things that seem to hurt me, and with perfect certainty assure myself  God wills I be saved from this and merely watch them disappear”.  How easy is that?! I felt resistance and disbelief in my soul and how I couldn’t even bear to look at what seemed to bothering me.  I kept repeating to myself, “God wills that I be saved”…yet judging myself for my agitation.

Then I looked again at the lesson. And read “God in his mercy wills that I be saved”. Suddenly I felt such a LOVE surrounding me and giving me the courage to LOOK more honestly, and without judging, what was seeming to hurt.  This gave me a new meaning to mercy. Beyond guilt, beyond being in the compassionate power of another.  (dictionary definitions).

I know there is no reason not to be happy or filled with love in every moment, so if and when I don’t feel that way I have often been very tempted to blame and judge myself for feelings of depression, unworthiness, hate or guilt. Here the lesson tells us to simply keep in mind “my Father’s Will for me is only happiness, to find that happiness comes to me”.  Again, I resisted this thought. It had to be harder or more complicated than that!

But lesson 236 follows so beautifully reminding us in every moment that we have a choice:~ I rule my mind, which I alone must rule. If I keep in mind God wants me to be happy, then there isn’t any room in my mind for my ego to take control and try to do it her way!  When I acknowledge my own holy Spirit, and decide to let that true Self be in charge, then I can relax and enjoy the ride.  I might have to remind myself many, many times during the day, who is in charge.

Lesson 237, Now would I be as God created me. Light, Love, Life.

Today, I can accept I am the Light of the world, and join with all parts of consciousness in that awareness:~ those who know it already, those who are wanting to open to it, and those who still are the light, but may not yet realise it. I can choose the Light is what I am going to see in them, whoever they are.

The Light of God is “shimmering on the horizon of consciousness”. Let it arise today, in you and me, and everyone.

Blessings!    Annie.