"Now are we one with Him Who is our Source."
Morning/Evening Quiet Time: 5 minutes--at least; 10--better; 15 even better; 30 or more--best
Let go all the things you think you want. Put away your trifling treasures and clear an open space in your mind. Let Christ come into this space and give you His treasure: salvation. Spend some quiet time with Him beyond the world, and you will remember the ancient peace, silence and holiness that you carry in your heart, the place in you the world of sin can never touch.
Hourly Remembrance: as the hour strikes, for more than 1 minute (reduce if circumstances do not permit)
Sit quietly and wait on God. Thank Him for His gifts in the previous hour. And let His Voice tell you what He wants you to do in the coming hour.
Remarks: At times the business of the world will allow you only a minute or less, or no time at all. At other times you will forget. Yet whenever you can, do your hourly remembrance.
Frequent Reminder: Repeat idea.
Remarks: In time you will never cease to think of God, not even for a moment, not even while busy giving salvation to the world.
To anyone who has done the Workbook lessons to this point, it is clear that the recent lessons are reaching for some new kind of level. There is a consistent emphasis on what the Course calls the holy instant, although many of the lessons do not use the term. But when a lesson, as this one, speaks of "this instant, now" as the time in which we come "to look upon what is forever there," or of the time we give to spend in quiet "with Him, beyond the world," it is clearly indicating times in which we enter the holy instant, a moment of eternity within time.
The practice being asked of us (since Lesson 153), day after day, is to set aside times of no less than five minutes, and as much as a half hour or more, morning and evening, to exercise our spiritual sight and hearing. We are being asked to listen to "the song of Heaven" (1:6) that is continually sounding beyond all the sounds of this world. This "melody from far beyond the world" (2:3) is the song of love, the call of our hearts to Him, and of His to ours.
These times are periods in which we forget all our sins and sorrows (3:3), and remember the gifts of God to us (3:4). We practice setting aside the sights and sounds of the world that constantly witness to us of the ego's message of fear, and we listen to the song of Heaven. We quiet ourselves, still our minds, and try to get in touch with the "silence into which the world can not intrude" (4:1), the "ancient peace you carry in your heart and have not lost" (4:2), and the "sense of holiness in you the thought of sin has never touched" (4:3). All of this, as the first paragraph said, "is forever there; not in our sight, but in the eyes of Christ" (1:3). We are not creating it; we are not making it happen; we are brushing away everything within our minds that veils it from our sight. "Now is what is really there made visible, while all the shadows which appeared to hide it merely sink away" (5:2).
Such practicing puts our minds in a state in which we feel pure joy. Joy is the word that comes to my mind to describe what a holy instant "feels like." There is a sense of contentment, an assurance that, despite all evidence to the contrary, all is well. There is a peaceful relaxation into the mind of God. Our minds naturally reach out in love to all the world from within this holy place, blessing rather than judging.
It may be difficult for us at this juncture to fully understand how such quiet practice, something that takes place completely within our own minds, can "save the world" (6:3). The lesson states in no uncertain terms that, by means of this practice, "We can change the world" (9:2). How can that be? It is so because all minds are joined, and while we may understand the concept, our sense of its reality may be very weak. That is normal; the effect on the world proceeds whether we are aware of it or not. We can, for the time being, focus on the personal benefit: "But this you can surely want; you can exchange all suffering for joy this very day" (9:4).
If you are like me, the reality and importance of this practice grows slowly. There are many days we let "slip by" without taking the time to do the work on our minds the Workbook calls for. The details of life, the press of business, the daily crises shriek for our attention, drawing us away, as they are meant to do. It takes some determination to put this "quiet time" with God first, above all else. But when we do so, an amazing thing happens. As Lesson 286 puts it: "Father, how still today! How quietly do all things fall in place!" I recall, long ago, reading how Martin Luther once wrote, "I have so many things to do today, I must spend three hours in prayer to prepare myself." There was a man who understood, within his own context, that preparing his mind with God was the most important thing, and that the more pressing the world seemed, the more he needed that quiet time in God's presence.
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