Following is a little about our journey leading up to and including our experience with A Course in Miracles.
As children, we (Mary and Robert) both had an awareness of an inner Source of Wisdom and help. In our own ways, we both felt a guiding Presence in our lives that we went to for understanding and comfort. Mary was raised in Catholic schools in southern California, where her training included silent retreats at a young age and the habit of going to Jesus with her concerns. Robert had a wise inner companion, who his parents encouraged him to ask for insight about his concerns. Both of us experienced family environments which were peaceful, happy and supportive of remembering our spiritual nature and inner resources of help.
We met in the 70's through our participation in a spiritual growth program that focused on helping people open to and receive Inner Guidance. It soon became clear from Inner Guidance that we had a shared purpose that we needed to fulfill together. We saw we had both been on a carefully guided training program in our lives, preparing us for what we needed to do together.
We were introduced to A Course in Miracles in 1984 in an unusual way. One Sunday morning, Mary got the urge to read the religion section of the Sunday Arizona Republic, a very conservative paper. No longer interested in the thought systems of traditional religions, she had never read that section before. She was drawn to an article featuring A Course in Miracles. By the time she was finished reading the article, she knew she wanted to read this book. She ordered it and, together, we started reading it daily.
At first we had great difficulty with its seemingly traditional religious terminology. Terms such as Atonement, sin, salvation and the last judgment were uncomfortable to us because of the meanings we had learned in the past. The writing style seemed very difficult to understand. We felt that this book had something we wanted, but we wished there was something that would lead us to a clearer understanding of its message. We were about to give up on the Course when lo! A dear old friend from the midwest dropped by and gave us nine 90 minute cassette tapes from a Kenneth Wapnick workshop she had recently attended.
Shortly after we got the tapes, we decided to drive from Phoenix to Sedona and back, listening to the tapes as we drove. We ended up driving on many back roads for nearly 12 hours, listening to those tapes. We then understood that the Course redefined the Christian terms it used. Its new meanings were actually the opposite of the old traditional definitions. With this understanding, the Course began to make more sense to us. We felt we had a better foundation with which to go back to reading the Course.
Ken's overview of the key message of the Course resonated with us strongly. Intuitively we knew that this was to be an important part of our spiritual journey. Of the broad spectrum of spiritual literature and teachings we had encountered in our lives, this seemed to surpass them all. We were drawn strongly to continue working with the Course every day.
In 1988 we were guided to move to Wisconsin to take care of Robert's aging father. We continued to study the Course daily and practice applying it's thought system in our lives. We eventually became directors of the spiritual retreat center that Robert's parents had started on the same grounds as their home.
In 1989, Spirit led us to start a spiritual training program for ministers, founded on the principles from A Course in Miracles. In 1993, there were about eight of us living at the retreat center. We decided to dedicate a year to studying the Course together, morning and afternoon. Together we went deeply into the Course, applying the Workbook lessons through the day and studying the Text and Manual for Teachers. As we met resistance, fears and guilt, we supported each other in walking through them. We were consistent in taking every apprehension and resistance to the Holy Spirit as they came up. It was truly a life changing year for us all.
This transforming experience built a strong foundation, strengthening the habit of not deciding what anything means on our own and stepping back to let the Holy Spirit guide every part of our lives. This did not mean that we did not have problems or fears come up again. But it did mean that we knew what to do with each "problem" as it came up: We would not try to solve it on our own, but take it to the Holy Spirit to have our minds healed, to receive a new perception.
During those early years we did not know where all this was going, but Spirit led us, step by step, to provide avenues by which many people could join together and support each other in fulfilling their deep inner spiritual purpose. Pathways of Light is now a growing community of people from around the world, dedicated to following the lead of Holy Spirit and being messengers of forgiveness and healing.
Now over 300 ministers have completed the Ordained Ministerial Counselor training. These ministers can follow their Inner Guidance to serve their true life purpose with a network of support to do their part in God's plan of awakening. These ministers know they are not alone. Not only do they know they have the Holy Spirit in their mind, but they have the support of fellow travelers who have the same goal of healing their minds on our journey Home.
As part of this support system, people from around the world can go to the Pathways of Light web site to find these Pathways ministers for counseling or to facilitate Pathways correspondence courses and groups. The Minister's E-mail Forum gives these ministers a means to exchange ideas and insights with other Pathways ministers and to share their growth with each other. Their ministry is not limited to their community, but reaches out world wide through the Internet. They also have the option to share their miracle stories in Miracles News magazine. In addition, they can share their journey of awakening with others through Inner Healing Journals on the Pathways of Light web site.
In 2003 we were guided to host a forum on the ACIM Workbook lessons. As we worked with each lesson, we asked for healing insights and posted them on the forum. Others added their insights and experience. These healing perspectives can now be found on the Pathways of Light web site through the ACIM Lesson Insights link.
Now we are sharing insights we receive as we go through each part of the Text. We have been consistently working with A Course in Miracles for over 25 years. Each time we reread the Text, we are able to go a little deeper because our resistance to its message gradually lessens as we continue to stick with it. We are seeing that as we make applying the principles of the Course our highest priority, there is a cumulative effect and what seemed difficult to understand before grows steadily clearer and easier.
© 2004, Pathways of Light. http://www.pathwaysoflight.org You may freely share copies of this with your friends, provided this notice is included.
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A Course in Miracles The Movie — Experience the transformative power of A Course In Miracles firsthand with several visionaries as they share stories, insights and more. This powerful movie is designed for ACIM teachers & students to support them and their communities. 33% discount. More.
2-DVD Seminar: Love Has Forgotten No One — by Gary Renard. In this four hour seminar, Gary presents keys to solving our problems at the cause and includes a chapter-by-chapter preview of his upcoming book, Love Has Forgotten No One. More.
A Dialogue on Forgiveness — DVD by Tom Carpenter & Robert Holden, Ph.D. If you ever find yourself caught by the ego, this DVD will help you return to recognizing the truth about yourself and everyone. It will help you laugh at the ego's antics and let it go. More.
Visions of Illumination — by Rev. Mary Gerard Lenihan. This book will inspire your willingness to experience your own visions of Illumination as you follow Mary's example to open more fully and receive insight from your true Self. More.
The Mirror on Still Water — from our Elder Brother Jesus — scribed by Joel Wright. This book brings A Course in Miracles to life. Out of all the scribed books we have ever read, after ACIM, we would put this at the top of the 'must read' list. More.
Undoing the Ego II, Taking It to a Deeper Level 8 DVD Workshop — by Nouk Sanchez and Tomas Vieria, authors of the best selling book, Take Me to Truth. You can experience this 8 DVD workshop as often as you want in the comfort of your home. It reveals how you can release the unconscious saboteur that blocks you from the experience of true happiness and inner peace! Click here for more information.