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  Introduction to the Workbook Lessons – ACIM 365

Transcript:

Hi I’m Lisa Natoli. Congratulations on making a decision to do the Workbook Lessons of A Course In Miracles. I’m so excited that I’m going to be doing these Workbook lessons with you. We are walking this path together. It’s been quite a while since I’ve done all 365 Workbook Lessons and I’m really looking forward to seeing these lessons with new eyes and I ask you in this moment just to take a deep breath – in and out. I want you to acknowledge this is a new beginning. This is it. And we’re going to start from right here, right in this place.

If you’ve done the Workbook Lessons already before, that’s awesome. I still want you to recognize that this is a new beginning. We’re all looking at these lessons for the very first time.

I’m going to read from the Introduction today. I feel that a lot of people skip over the Introduction and I feel that it’s the most important part of the Workbook Lessons. It describes exactly how these Workbook Lessons are organized, what to do, how to do them, what not to do. The training period is one year, and to do one lesson a day. Very simple.

One of the most important things it says in here is, do not try to understand these lessons. They are not understandable and I hadn’t read that because I didn’t read the Introduction. And for the first five years that I was with the Workbook Lessons, I never got past lesson 50.

I kept doing one lesson several days in a row, several weeks in a row. Then I would do another lesson and get stuck on that one. I felt that I needed to let these lessons sink in, that I had to understand them. And I would get to a certain point and I would be more confused than ever. And I would think I must be doing these wrong because I don’t understand a word of them and I would go back to lesson one.

I kept doing that and over the course of five years, I never got past Lesson fifty. So thankfully, I had a friend, a teacher of A Course In Miracles , who heard that I was doing that and told me, you’re doing them all wrong.

So he told me to read the Introduction, which I did. And he told me to start with a brand new beginning and that’s what I did. I started the next day on lesson one and I finished those Workbook Lessons in one year and my whole life transformed. So that’s what I want to offer you.

You are going to need a copy of A Course In Miracles. You’re going to need a copy of the book because you’re the one that’s going to be doing these lessons. This training is dealing with your thought system, so you’re not going to get it from listening to these audios. You’re not going to get it from reading the emails that come from me.

Where you’re going to see a change in your life, in your mind, in your perception and in your thinking, in your whole way of being, is in the practicing. And it’s doing these exercises which makes the goal of this Course possible. And the goal of this Course is peace. It’s that you will experience consistent joy and it’s the restoration of sight, that you will suddenly have Christ’ Vision. You will see everything with the eyes of Love and that’s a promise. And you don’t have to understand how that works but just know that these lessons will transform you.

You will remember God. You will remember who you are and all the false states of depression, anxiety, sickness, sadness, worrying, planning, guilt, criticism, attack and all of the ways that you currently think are normal will begin to disappear in the light of your practicing.

So I want you to feel excited. I want you to really feel a real joy for the step that you’ve taken and I want you to also know that this Course is simple. I don’t want you to make this into a big deal. You’re just going to keep the book in a place where you can open it every day. I always suggest to keep it near your bed. You wake up in the morning, pick the book up and go straight to the lesson. And I suggest you do the lesson before you listen to the audio. You can do it any way you want but that’s the way I suggest it.

These audios are just a little bit of an extra inspiration, just a little push to keep you going. But it’s the Workbook Lessons that are going to change you. So I’m going to read the Introduction and thank you again for being here.

A theoretical foundation, such as the Text provides, is necessary as a framework to make the exercises in this Workbook meaningful. Yet it is doing the exercises that will make the goal of this Course possible.

An untrained mind can accomplish nothing. It is the purpose of this Workbook to train your mind to think along the lines that the Text sets forth.

So I want you to also, if you’ve not read the Text or the Manual For Teachers, Song of Prayer, Psychotherapy, the Clarification of Terms, for you to find the best time that works for you, just to read those 31 Chapters and read the Teachers Manual. It’s the Workbook that’s the only part of this Course that has a structure that says one lesson a day.

So however works best for you, as far as the rest of the book goes, follow that guidance. The Workbook Lesson has a very specific structure and it’s been designed in this way on purpose. So you’re just going to start with lesson one, with just one lesson a day. The exercises are very simple, they do not require a great deal of time and it does not matter where you do them. They need no preparation.

The training period is one year, the exercises are numbered one to 365. Do not undertake to do more than one set of exercises a day. The Workbook is divided into two main sections, the first dealing with the undoing of the way you see now, in the second with the acquisition of True Perception.

So what happens is, in the first part it says if everything that’s blocking the light, everything that’s just cluttering around gets removed and that clears a space for the new perception to come in, for the Light to come in.

So it says, with the exception of the review periods, each day’s exercises are planned around one central idea, which is stated first. This is followed by a description of the specific procedures by which the idea for the day is to be applied.

The purpose of the Workbook is to train your mind in a systematic way to a different perception of everyone and everything in the world. The exercises are planned to help you generalize the lesson so that you will understand that each of them is equally applicable to everyone and everything you see.

Transfer of training and true perception does not proceed as does transfer of training of the world. If true perception has been achieved in connection with any person, situation or event, total transfer to everyone and everything is certain. On the other hand, one exception held apart from True Perception makes its accomplishment anywhere impossible.

The only general rules to be observed throughout then are, first that the exercise be practiced with great specificity, as will be indicated. This will help you to generalize the idea involved to every situation in which you find yourself and to everyone and everything in it. Second, be sure that you do not decide for yourself that there are some people, situations, or things to which the ideas are inapplicable.

I just want to say that when you begin and as you practice, it’s not going to be perfect. You are going to make exceptions and that’s okay. If you could do this and make no exceptions, you wouldn’t need a Workbook. And you’re going to miss some of the practices, you’re going to forget. There’s just things that are going to come up in you, you know resistance and anger and emotions and who knows what’s going to happen. But I can only say that you’re just going to become more and more aware of the thoughts that you’re having and you’ll become more and more willing to allow there to be no exceptions in your life.

So second, be sure that you do not decide for yourself that there are some people, situations or things to which the ideas are inapplicable. This will interfere with transfer of training. The very nature of True Perception is that it has no limits. It is the opposite of the way you see now.

The overall aim of the exercises is to increase your ability to extend the ideas you will be practicing to include everything. This will require no effort on your part. The exercises themselves meet the conditions necessary for this kind of transfer. This is very important.

When you do these lessons it’s as if you are lifted out of the thought patterns that you’re normally in. And you, just for the time you’re practicing, you’re above all the laws of the world. And then when you finish practicing, it’s like you’re going to go back down to your usual state of thinking, whatever that is, worrying, planning, thinking about the past, thinking about the future, whatever it is.

Then at the end of the day you’re going to practice again and it says you’re going to be lifted again and you’re just in the light and when this happens, the darkness begins to dissolve and you are going to see what that looks like in your life. Old habits dissolve, addictions dissolve, old ways of thinking just disappear and it’s in the practicing that you will see that happens.

So this says, the exercises themselves meet the conditions necessary for this kind of transfer. This is why you need the book. This is why you have to make time for this every day.

Some of the ideas the Workbook presents, you will find hard to believe. The others may seem to be quite startling. This does not matter. You’re merely asked to apply the ideas as you are directed to do. You are not asked to judge them at all. You are asked only to use them. It is their use that will give them meaning to you and will show you that they are true.

Remember only this, okay? I’m just about to end here and I want you to remember only this. You need not believe the ideas, you need not accept them and you need not even welcome them. Some of them you may actively resist. None of this will matter or decrease their efficacy. But do not allow yourself to make exceptions and apply the ideas the Workbook contains. And whatever your reactions to the ideas may be, use them. Nothing more than that is required.

Let us begin.


INTRODUCTION TO THE WORKBOOK FROM A COURSE IN MIRACLES

A theoretical foundation such as the text provides is necessary as a framework to make the exercises in this Workbook meaningful. Yet it is doing the exercises that will make the goal of the course possible. An untrained mind can accomplish nothing. It is the purpose of this workbook to train your mind to think along the lines the Text sets forth.

The exercises are very simple. They do not require a great deal of time, and it does not matter where you do them. They need no preparation. The training period is one year. The exercises are numbered from 1 to 365. Do not undertake to do more than one set of exercises a day.

The workbook is divided into two main sections, the first dealing with the undoing of the way you see now, and the second with the acquisition of true perception. With the exception of the review periods, each day’s exercises are planned around one central idea, which is stated first. This is followed by a description of the specific procedures by which the idea for the day is to be applied.

The purpose of the workbook is to train your mind in a systematic way to a different perception of everyone and everything in the world. The exercises are planned to help you generalize the lessons, so that you will understand that each of them is equally applicable to everyone and everything you see.

Transfer of training in true perception does not proceed as does transfer of the training of the world. If true perception has been achieved in connection with any person, situation or event, total transfer to everyone and everything is certain. On the other hand, one exception held apart from true perception makes its accomplishments anywhere impossible.

The only general rules to be observed throughout, then, are: First, that the exercises be practiced with great specificity, as will be indicated. This will help you to generalize the ideas involved to every situation in which you find yourself, and to everyone and everything in it. Second, be sure that you do not decide for yourself that there are some people, situations or things to which the ideas are inapplicable. This will interfere with transfer of training. The very nature of true perception is that it has no limits. It is the opposite of the way you see now.

The overall aim of the exercises is to increase your ability to extend the ideas you will be practicing to include everything. This will require no effort on your part. The exercises themselves meet the conditions necessary for this kind of transfer.

Some of the ideas the workbook presents you will find hard to believe, and others may seem to be quite startling. This does not matter. You are merely asked to apply the ideas as you are directed to do. You are not asked to judge them at all. You are asked only to use them. It is their use that will give them meaning to you, and will show you that they are true.

Remember only this; you need not believe the ideas, you need not accept them, and you need not even welcome them. Some of them you may actively resist. None of this will matter, or decrease their efficacy. But do not allow yourself to make exceptions in applying the ideas the workbook contains, and whatever your reactions to the ideas may be, use them. Nothing more than that is required.