Miracle Flight #12 – The Ego’s Holding Pattern

Hello Student Pilots!

In this week’s episode of Miracle Flights we take a look at how an aircraft holding procedure relates to the way the ego places us into the endless holding pattern of life. The race track pattern is designed to continuously divert us from discovering the truth about who and what we really are as sons and daughters of God.

In the Text reading, The Guide to Salvation (T-5.III), Jesus explains that the ego designed the concept of time in an attempt to delay us forever from awakening from the illusion of our separation from God. Fortunately, he also explains that the Holy Spirit, Whom God placed within each of us, is His answer to the problem of the ego. Furthermore, the Holy Spirit is a perfect Teacher for everyone Who works with us at our level through symbols, messages, and insights that we will understand. His plan for our gentle awakening is easy and joyful one, provided we have the willingness to ask and listen for His guidance. Jesus clearly states that the Holy Spirit is our Guide to salvation Who will guide us out of the ego’s holding pattern of time toward our final approach to the eternity of Heaven.

To continue to develop your skill in learning how to listen to the Voice of the Holy Spirit within you, I would recommend working with Lesson 49: God’s Voice speaks to me all through the day in the Workbook for Students. It’s a wonderful practice that will eventually lead you to the personal experience of literally hearing your Inner Voice speak to you. It’s truly a miracle experience you will never forget and well worth the effort!

You are cleared for takeoff!


Rev. Paul

Kindness to Others Attracts Kindness | A Video Miracle Message

with Rev. Paul Phelps

Spirit continued to talk with me about kindness this morning.

Kindness is a happy thing. If you want to experience more happiness in your life, then focus on expressing kindness to yourself and others. We often forget to be kind to ourselves. The intention of kindness is what I would have you hold in your mind today. Intention manifests the experience you intend. We all have moments through the day where we need to make choices. Today let us pause for a moment when these choices come up and ask the Spirit of Kindness within you, which choice would bring the experience of kindness to you.

We often do not realize how savage we are to ourselves. The choice for pain is often a subtle habit that we once thought brought us joy. Through our delusional thought system we think behaviors that are funny or fun but are actually unloving thoughts or gestures toward ourselves and others. With the intention of kindness at the front of our minds today, we can begin to breakthrough these unpleasant habit patterns and replace them with healthier choices. Take the time today to notice how kindness attracts kindness. For example, if you have a pet such as a dog or a cat, we often cheerfully greet and talk with our pets all through the day. And what do they do in response? They reciprocate with different forms of love and affection such as wagging a tail, hopping into your lap or dancing around in a frisky manner. This is an example of how the attraction of kindness with kindness works.

Once again, I remind you that kindness is a very subtle but powerful too that you can use to easily bring more joy and happiness into your life. Let us practice and learn how to dance in the Spirit of Kindness today.

Kindness is My Friend Today | A Video Miracle Message

with Rev. Paul Phelps

“Kindness is my friend today. Kindness is the way.”

Spirit talked with me this morning about making kindness my friend. About making it a way of life for me. To think about kindness all of the time – especially toward myself. Kindness is a tool that we can use to pave the way to God. Keep it in our mind as an intention for the day to be used as a tool of healing. Kindness and gentleness go together hand-in-hand. Kindness is a gift from God that is eternally ours to manifest in the world. It is a form of love. You cannot find love without kindness and you cannot find kindness without love. Today we would think about kindness as we move through our day. Without kindness we cannot be happy with ourselves or with others. Kindness needs to be weaved throughout our daily thoughts and activities as if making a blanket of love to wrap ourselves and others with in our wake.

Gentleness is the delivery method of kindness to both ourselves and others. We cannot heal ourselves or help others to heal without gentleness. Gentleness too goes hand-in-hand with love. Compassion is a companion to kindness as well as the others. As you can see, kindness is a very powerful tool. It is a path we can walk that will help us to feel better instantly when we feel down. If you feel down in any way, take a moment to ask the Spirit of Kindness within you, “What can I do to express kindness to myself or another right now?” When the insight comes, act upon it with the most sincerity if your heart. When you do act upon it, notice the healing effects immediately manifesting in your spirit. Take a moment right now to close your eyes and go within and ask the Spirit of Kindness, “What expression of kindness would you have for me today?”

“Kindness is my friend today. Kindness is the way.”

A Day of Journey Into Wholeness

You may be aware that over the weekend we had an All-Day Retreat on Saturday and an event Sunday morning. This kept me quite busy over the last week or so. As you know MiraclesOne is an all-volunteer ministry and we have only a handful of helpers.

I’ll be catching up with Workbook Lessons as soon as I am able. The event was co-sponsored by my Mind-Body-Spirit studio, so we introduced others to Course concepts without the jargon.

BUT…Wow! What a day on Saturday at our All-Day Retreat! You could call it a day of self-care and wellness. I loved watching the transformation of attendees over the course of the day. My favorite part was leading the restorative yoga in the afternoon. As I watched people who have never tried restorative yoga before be astounded by how deeply relaxing it was, I was glad to have a hand in their regaining of peace. Those who had stress from a busy week, seemed to melt into the floor with all the props used for support. They loved the sandbag placed on the belly area the most. Sometimes we don’t realize how much stress we are carrying until we do a practice such as this. Several said that they now wanted to attend my restorative yoga sessions at the studio because of it.

What else did we do? We learned how to practice mindfulness in our daily lives, first by slowing down our breath when stress strikes, and then applying mindfulness to daily tasks. Paul led a workshop on creating a meeting place to meet your inner spirit guide. In the afternoon, we learned about our inner compassionate voice and how we can stop the inner critic. We practiced a loving-kindness meditation. Our last longer afternoon session presented the opportunity to work in the creative area with Allison, journal and meditate, and/or try restorative yoga. We ended with the Crystal Singing Bowls.

We had forgotten to take pictures. However, the feelings of the activities and the sharing that took place, certainly makes the day a memorable one.

Sunday morning we had a Crystal Singing Bowls meditation and our ACIM study group. THANKS to everyONE who joined us!

My Journey on Retreat

As some of you know I was away on retreat this past week. Some of the days were spent in driving to Colorado and returning home to Wisconsin. The retreat was held at the Shambhala Mountain Center at 8000 ft in the Rocky Mountains. The scenery was breathtaking. I was joined by my daughter, Allison, and her fiance, Erick. We were celebrating her birthday on one of the days of the weekend.

The retreat was designed to relax and renew. Meditation, yoga, hiking and down time all were included. I have not been to Colorado for several years. Allison attended Naropa University in Boulder so she has been living there for about 10 years. It was a “treat” in the retreat.

I have presented retreats for years so it was nice to simply be a participant. Early on in the retreat, we decided to “create our own” retreat which of course was encouraged. We decided to hike (about a mile) two different days to the Great Stupa (more on that below). In here, we meditated. We also did walking meditation around its perimeter. I’m including pictures of our weekend at the end of this post.

A “retreat” is just that, it is a stepping back, a withdrawing where one takes refuge from the world to rest, relax and renew. We also can retreat to spend time with ourselves to deepen our spiritual nature, to reflect, to increase our concentration, and insight. Being on retreat is a gift that we give to ourselves. It does not have to be a week-long or weekend retreat, it can be a simple as a day that we set aside away from the daily disturbances to reground us back to center. I do the same from time to time. I have also presented virtual retreats where you can join online with others to share and then to step offline for a time to reflect. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune to retreat into the spaciousness of peace.

Rising among wooded hillsides, The Great Stupa of Dharmakaya crowns a meadow at the upper end of Shambhala Mountain Center’s main valley. Standing 108 feet tall, it is one of the most significant examples of sacred Buddhist architecture in North America. Built in honor of the Center’s founder, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, the Great Stupa of Dharmakaya serves as an inspiration for peace and compassion throughout the world.

Stupas are said to promote harmony, prosperity, longevity, good health and peace. They bring blessings to the environment in which they are built, to those who build them, and to those who visit and venerate them. In this way, stupas ensure that the living quality of the Buddhist teachings will always be available.
Construction of the Great Stupa was initiated in 1988 and continues to this day. The primary construction phase occurred over a 13-year period, employing the generosity of several hundred volunteer laborers and craftspeople, with money donated through annual fundraising events. Additional contributions of expertise came from many different sectors of the technical industry.

Shambhala Mountain Center

What did I learn on retreat?

I learned to be open to what is in front of me, i.e. the open road. Yes, I may get off at the wrong exits in life but there is always a way to get back on the journey. learned to release expectations and attachments. This was not “taught” by the facilitators of the program, but it was intrinsic to my being as I reflected quietly to myself. Throughout most of the trip, I spent the time in silence. I was with my own thoughts, my True Self and the Divine. I experienced some revelations towards my own healing which proved helpful.

I also invited playfulness as I brought a little teddy bear with me. If you are familiar with the British show, Mr. Bean, then you know Teddy. On the way out I recorded little vignettes.

Out of all of it, a new podcast series has emerged called “Musings on the Journey.” I recorded 2 1/2 hours of audio on the way home and I will continue to add to this podcast over time as I feel so moved. To access it, go to this link.

As I write this, I want to invite you too to find a way to retreat. Later this year, we will be offering opportunities to do so, both in person and virtually. Keep our Retreat website in mind at www.mindfulmiraclesretreats.com for all the information for both. Our October retreat is scheduled here in Wisconsin as a day-long retreat on a Saturday with an optional Sunday program.

This is Defenselessness

We start believing the truth and moving beyond what we know now, these illusions of fear we have made. We want to get to the truth in our minds. How do we do this? Be still. Take what’s troubling us into the quiet. “Holy Spirit, I’m afraid. I’m afraid to trust You. I’m afraid to know the truth of who I am. I’m afraid to know the power that I have within my mind.” But once we take that step within, Holy Spirit will walk with us the rest of the day, each and every day. It’s not like after we say this prayer, He just leaves us alone. He’s with us all the time. He’s with us before we even make the prayer. He’s always in our right mind. So yes, in that defenselessness our safety lies. We don’t need to defend or attack. Very simply, we just need to be with the Holy Spirit.

To help this truth sink in, we can meditate on these thoughts about defenselessness: “Be still a moment, and in silence think how holy is your purpose, how secure you rest, untouchable within its light. God’s ministers have chosen that the truth be with them. Who is holier than they? Who could be surer that his happiness is fully guaranteed? And who could be more mightily protected? What defense could possibly be needed by the ones who are among the chosen ones of God, by His election and their own as well?” (W-pI.153.10:1-6). And also: “In time, with practice, you will never cease to think of Him, and hear His loving Voice guiding your footsteps into quiet ways, where you will walk in true defenselessness. For you will know that Heaven goes with you. Nor would you keep your mind away from Him a moment, even though your time is spent in offering salvation to the world. Think you He will not make this possible, for you who chose to carry out His plan for the salvation of the world and yours?” (W-pI.153.18:1-4). When I read these lines, I get goosebumps – somebody called them God bumps – because these lines are the truth.

This is defenselessness. “We clothe ourselves in it, as we prepare to meet the day. We rise up strong in Christ, and let our weakness disappear, as we remember that His strength abides in us. We will remind ourselves that He remains beside us through the day, and never leaves our weakness unsupported by His strength. We call upon His strength each time we feel the threat of our defenses undermine our certainty of purpose. We will pause a moment, as He tells us, ‘I am here.’” (W.pI.153.19:2-6). As we practice this, day in and day out, we grow in our trust that our defenselessness truly is our safety.

An excerpt from our book, Change Your Mind! Talks on Living A Course in Miracles

Morning Meditation

Morning Meditation

with Rev. Deb Phelps

Rev. Deb shares a meditation that will help you to relax, connect with your higher source, clear negativity within to give you a clean slate for the day, receive higher guided for your day, open to miracles, and have gratitude for your life. Fill your days with grace and ease.

Recorded January 28, 2018

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Overthinking: Easy Does It

As we are on this path of “Miracles”, we must remember not to overthink our journey. Jesus has laid out the parameters in our guidebook of  A Course in Miracles. However, most students become entangled in intellectual gymnastics that actually slow our progress to a crawl.

In my over two and a half decades of studying and teaching the Course, there are patterns that are apparent in students. There are students who approach the Course from a high cerebral level. Their focus is knowledge and enlists in the approach that served them in higher learning. This does not serve the spiritual path. The Course is to be studied. However, the study is only one aspect of learning. When students focus only on dissecting, ruminating and memorizing its concepts, they have abandoned the heart of its learning.

The heart of learning the Course is in a simple sentence appears in the Text, Chapter 11 – This is not a course in the play of ideas, but in their practical application. Jesus instructs further in the next sentence – Nothing could be more specific than to be told that if you ask you will receive. When we approach the material from the brain, we are only training the brain; we are not awakening.  It is a fool’s game to believe that turning the material upside down and sideways in one’s mind is going to achieve the goal. The only goal that is achieved is formulating a spiritual ego.

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, the founder of Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado called this formulation of the spiritual ego, spiritual materialism. It is the process by which the ego grasps at the accomplishments and progress of the self upon the spiritual path. As I said, a fool’s game. This act by its nature denies the Self.

When we think of “materialism” just in and of itself, it is not merely a focus on the external. It is an attachment. So too, when we attempt to put a label on the “experience” that we have as we study and practice A Course in Miracles. As soon as we place investment in our spiritual quest and cling to it with our brain, we have valued something that is valueless.

Overthinking is a distraction from our spiritual journey. Overthinking does not lead to insight. That is an illusion. Acting on the principles in A Course in Miracles via practical application is the only way one will realize clarity; copious amounts of thought will not.

Be comfortable with being incorrect or producing mistakes on the path. Your knowledge will be gained by the mistakes you make. By these missteps, you will cultivate inner freedom and peace as you respond with forgiveness. This is why you are to complete the Workbook for Students with one lesson a day, every day. There is a system to it that Jesus in his Divine Wisdom created. There is a logical reasoning to his choices each day. When we proceed to segue from his plan of action, then we are transfixed on perfection and not practice, the valueless and not the valuable., the distraction and not the truth. The essence and ideas of the Lessons are rehearsed again and again albeit in a different format and approach. Trust the process Jesus has arranged for us.

Realize that it is our own unwillingness that deviates and evades from the structure of practice. This seems odd when we tell ourselves we pour ourselves into the pages and take great effort in understanding. However, as stated earlier the pursuit of knowledge will not bring peace, love, joy, and freedom. It is the daily walk of Miracles that will do so.

Take responsibility. Be aware presently of your approach thus far. Ask yourself, “Have I been overthinking this?”

Take a snapshot of your life, “Am I truly feeling peaceful?”

“Is a quiet, serene mind a part of my life or am I constantly judging and wanting to confront situations immediately and head on?”

“Am I consistently distracted by life situations, the news, and the opinions of others?”

Be honest in the answering of these questions. This will tell you if you are practicing vs. intellectualizing. The Course is a path of peace. It is accomplished through forgiveness, and this is not just forgiveness of others. It is forgiveness of ourselves; it is forgiveness of the very thoughts that intrude upon our minds and cause us dis-ease.

The presence of God is within you and not to be found in countless pages of a book. His essence is not found in your brain but in your mind, the One Mind He created. The Love of His Nature is tucked within your heart. You have not felt these because your mind has been too chaotic in frivolous pursuits. Your mind has also been stagnant with the effort to be “right” vs. “happy” of course. Your mind is imbalanced because of the lack of the practical.

How can you resolve this? You resolve it by making a dedication to living your life through the spiritual teachings and not in spite of it.

You may think it quaint when I speak of practical application. Instead, I speak from experience. Many people marvel at all I can accomplish in a day, from the administration of MiraclesOne (all-volunteer ministry for ACIM), to working with my web design clients, to taking classes to hone my skills for my clients and myself, to teaching meditation classes, to practicing meditation for two sittings a day for a total of 75-90 minutes (varies), to reading science fiction novels, to enjoying television programs, to cleaning and taking care of my home, and on the list goes.

I do so because my mind is focused. I am not swayed by distracting thoughts. I have fine-tuned my skill through my spiritual practice and mindfulness and meditation. It is the practice of presencing that permits me to do so. I choose to keep my mind focused on what is real in the now moment. Others opinions about me are just that, their opinions. I do not have to shoulder that burden, nor any shadows of the past, nor anxious premonitions of the future. I am here, now. As Ram Dass said, “Be Here Now.”

It is really not a marvel; it is a miracle in the sense that Jesus has shared with us. A miracle is a shift in perception from fear to love. The outcome arrives because of the degree of determination one places on healing the mind. Don’t look to the book for this. Look to the Wisdom within you to assist you. Remember in Lesson 189 Jesus instructs, “Forget this world, forget this course, and come with wholly empty hands unto your God.”

Your A Course in Miracles book does not make it Heaven, you do.

As the Eagles sang, “Take it easy, take it easy. Don’t let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy.” Now think about what I have shared, but don’t overthink it! Embrace it, and you will find the peace you have sought your entire life. It has blessed my life, and it will bless yours a thousand-fold.

Enhancing Your A Course in Miracles Practice: Forgetting to Do Workbook Lessons

For the next post in the blog series, “Enhancing Your ACIM Practice,” I share with you the next tidbit in how you can integrate ACIM into your life a little more easily.

You are always welcome to share your questions with me and I will answer your questions on the next ACIM with MiraclesOne podcast or here within the series.

Forgetting to Do the Workbook Lessons (or Remembering to Do the Workbook Lessons)

This is a frequent “complaint” of sorts. Honestly, we all forget to repeat a practice of the Lessons, or we skip a day by mistake or from an illness.  This is normal. Even Teachers of ACIM have not remembered to complete every Continue reading “Enhancing Your A Course in Miracles Practice: Forgetting to Do Workbook Lessons”

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