Form vs Content

This will be my last post in 2008, so I’d like to close out the year with one more entry on ACIM.

“Take not the form for content, for the form is but a means for content. And the frame is but a means to hold the picture up, so that it can be seen. A frame that hides the picture has no purpose. It cannot be a frame if it is what you see. Without the picture is the frame without its meaning. Its purpose is to set the picture off, and not itself.” (ACIM, page 485 of text)

The distinction the course makes between from and content is significant. This distinction has dramatically altered the effectiveness of prayer for me. For instance, instead of praying that God guide me to a new job, I pray that God guide me to find peace and joy through the work I do in the world. Sometimes this has led me to a new job, sometimes this has led me to experience my current job differently.

According to the teachings of ACIM, the content here is peace and joy, or you might say my desire and willingness to find peace and joy in my life. Whether or not I get a new job, the circumstances of my current job change, or simply something in my perception about my current job changes, is about form. The course teaches me to focus on content; to attach to content, but not form. Rather than decide on form and then ask God to deliver peace and happiness to me in a certain way, I cultivate my willingness for peace and joy, and then follow where my heart leads me. The same thing applies to relationships, how and where I live … to every aspect of my life.

This understanding of form and content has also opened me up to new possibilities, and deepened the gratitude I feel for the blessings in my life. By focusing on the content and recognizing that God knows what form is best for me, I have been able to embrace opportunities I would have never noticed before. I have also experienced a renewed appreciation for things already in my life. An instantaneous miracle occurs when I suddenly see and embrace what is in my life right now.

We may say that we believe in the power of love, a limitless God, an ever abundant Universe, and yet we limit our opportunities for fulfillment because we fixate on the form of how that fulfillment is supposed to look. No matter how perfect a particular form of your dreams may seem to you, consider the possibility that God holds even bigger dreams for you and knows exactly how to shape the form of that dream to bring you the most peace, joy & contentment.

Daily Meditation: Today I surrender all my desires to God, and open myself to His perfect gifts for me.

Copyright © 2008, Lisa Wagner

There is no order of difficulty in miracles

Continuing with A Course in Miracles …

“There is no order of difficulty in miracles. One is not ‘harder’ or ‘bigger; than another. They are all the same. All expressions of love are maximal.”

Accepting this first Principle of Miracles from page one of the course is crucial to living a miraculous life. Is it possible that some miracles are harder for God than others? This may sound like a ridiculous question, but it is an important one to answer if we want peace and joy to flow freely through out lives.

Every time we don’t take something to God, we are limiting His power in our lives. When we do not pray because we believe that something is not important enough to pray about or because we feel hopeless, we don’t give God a chance. When we choose not to pray because the issue is “big” and we’re afraid we may not like God’s answer, we are insisting that we know more than God does. It is our beliefs and fears that limit miracles.

As long as we are willing to stay stuck in seeing God as simply the granter of wishes, rather than the unlimited power of love that He is, we will continue to believe some miracles are more difficult than others. They aren’t. Living a miraculous life is not about asking God to intervene in our lives to make specific things happen, it’s about inviting God in to every part of our lives and being willing to see things differently. Experiencing miracles happens when we surrender our attachments to the way we believe things should be, and become willing to see things as God would have us see them. It’s not about deciding if something is too big or small for God to help. It’s about asking for God’s help all of the time, and choosing to align ourselves with His presence in our lives every day.

The course teaches us not to focus on how possible or impossible something may seem to be in this world. Rather, we are taught that when we align ourselves with God, everything is possible. Pain that you thought would never go away can be released. Relationships that you thought could never change can be transformed. We get stuck thinking that a miracle is like getting what we want for Christmas, rather than seeing love where we thought it could not exist.

Call to mind your most limiting and damaging belief about yourself. Now, suppose God was able to heal this place inside of you, would you let Him? Which is more likely, that He hasn’t known how to heal you or that you haven’t been willing to believe that He can?

Daily Meditation: Today I will ask God to guide me in every moment, and I will allow miracles to flow freely in my life. With God, all things are possible.

Copyright © 2008, Lisa Wagner

Amazing Grace

My mom’s brother passed away 8 days ago. On the day he died, we discussed the arrangements and we followed his wishes. There was not any kind of viewing or service, and he was buried within 2 days.

My mom is a Catholic and is used to a memorial mass when someone dies, as well as a grave side blessing and service. We discussed having masses read for my uncle and she thought it would be great to have one read for him the following week on August 25th, the birthday of one of their sisters who died a few years ago. For those of you that are unfamiliar with “having a mass read,” it is a tradition in Catholicism to dedicate the mass, during the consecration, to people that have passed away.

So the day after his passing, we went to a Catholic church to schedule some masses, hopefully one on the 25th. Many churches now include only one such dedication per mass, and as a result are very backlogged in scheduling these masses. Each church we went to was booked through the end of the year. My mom felt sad and frustrated that she could not arrange this. She wanted to do this for her brother, and wanted the closure she felt this ritual would give to her. She was ready to give up, and I told her that I had a good feeling about a particular church, and it was the first one that came to my mind.

My mother lives down the street from me, and this church is part of a senior community less than a mile from us. I really felt that this would work, and took her by her home on my way. I told her that I was going to go and would let her know how it turned out. She decided to go with me. We met a very kind woman that led us through the campus, eventually to the person that schedules the masses, and found that the next opening was August 25th. My mom burst into tears with joy and relief that she was able to make these arrangements and felt a sense of divine intervention.

We left there feeling very good about the day. We attended the mass this morning, carrying the intention in our hearts that this was his memorial mass – an acknowledgment that his spirit has moved on from this world. Just before the priest approached the altar to start the mass, we saw the woman that we met last week that took us to the right place on the campus. She was serving as an acolyte and announced that today was the feast of St Louis and directed our attention to a statue of him in the church. Our jaws dropped. The priest began the mass and spoke briefly of St Louis. Our eyes filled with tears and we knew that her brother was okay and we were where we were supposed to be.

I went up to the woman after mass an reminded her of our meeting last week. I thanked her again for her help and told her that this was especially meaningful to us, and that we had not known about the feast day.

I told her that my uncle’s name was Louis.

Copyright © 2008, Lisa Wagner

Epic blog

Welcome to the Epic Meditations blog.  Epic Meditations is the name of my CD of 11 guided meditations, each with a very specific purpose. They all begin and end with a short piece of music and some deep breaths.  This helps to guide you into and out of the meditation.  Here’s a description of each meditation:

Rejuvenate uses the color imagery of the seven chakras to help you feel rejuvenated and replenished.

Releasing Resentment can help anyone that is ready and willing to release resentment. It can be particularly helpful in dealing with old anger and frustration that has been carried for years.

Knowing Your Truth guides you to create a moment of truth. This practice is particularly helpful in dealing with situations or issues where you feel conflicted or confused. Creating a private moment of truth can bring clarity to any situation, and provide the basis for deeper insight.

Setting an Intention walks you through the process of identifying and choosing intentions. Holding a clear intention is a powerful tool in creating your best life.

Acting From Love helps you to uncover the most loving action available in any situation. It delves into some of the differences between acting out of love versus guilt or fear, and helps you to understand the power of honoring the most loving action.

Owning Your Choice is intended to help you feel empowered by acknowledging and understanding the presence of choice.

Quieting Your Mind will guide you to take a moment and quiet your mind.

Sending Love guides you to send love to people you care about, particularly when they are in need. This practice benefits the recipient of the loving energy as well as fills you with a feeling of peace.

Affirming Peace is a short meditation designed to bring you back to a state of peace through a series of affirmations.

Affirming Joy is a short meditation that helps you to return to a more joyful place through a series of affirmations.

Breathing guides you through a series of 5 deep breaths. Learning to slowly and gently take deep breaths is a powerful tool in stress reduction. Creating a peaceful moment can help anyone to diffuse anger, relieve stress, and find meaningful focus.