ACFIP Newsletter 
Issue 53  June 2017
Quarterly Newsletter of the Australian Centre for Inner Peace

Michael Dawson
PO Box 125, Point Lookout
North Stradbroke Island,
Queensland 4183,

Web site:

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If you are new to the Course you might find my summaries of help.
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eBooks and MP3s
Price of all three eBooks has been reduced by half to AU$4.99
1. Healing the Cause -A Path of Forgiveness.
Inspired by A Course in Miracles.
This is the eBook version of the paper back. The paper back is available from my website.

2. A Course in Miracles - Explanations of Major Themes
New book in eBook format

3. Forgiveness - A Path to Inner Peace. 
Inspired by A Course in Miracles
This is the eBook version of the paper back. The paper back is available from my website.

The eBook versions can be read on Kindle, iPad, Microsoft eReader, Nook, PDF readers (Mac and PC) and most eBook readers.

 Downloadable MP3s of my Healing the Cause self-help CDs now available.
See below for details.

For more details and how to purchase please visit:


Michael Dawson



A Course in Miracles Material

* The Ego's World - Part 2 of 3 by Michael Dawson.

Non Dual Teachings

*The Unfolding of Awakening - Jan Frazier
*Everything comes back to nothing- Adyashanti
*An interview with Dada Gavand - Suma Varughese
*Rest as Awareness - Adyashanti


* Workshops
* Books and Audio Materials for Sale
* Links
* Inspirational Quotations

A Course in Miracles Material

Chapter 2 - The Ego's World - Part 2 of 3 
reprinted from the Forgiveness - A Path to Inner Peace by Michael Dawson.

A Story of Forgiveness 
When the war in Europe ended in May 1945, the 123rd Evac. unit entered Germany with the occupying troops. I was part of a group assigned to a concentration camp near Wuppertal, charged with getting medical help to the newly liberated prisoners, many of them Jews from Holland, France, and eastern Europe. This was the most shattering experience I had yet had; I had been exposed many times by then to sudden death and injury, but to see the effects of slow starvation, to walk through those barracks where thousands of men had died a little bit at a time over a period of years, was a new kind of horror. For many it was an irreversible process: we lost scores each day in spite of all the medicine and food we could rush to them. 
Now I needed my new insight indeed. When the ugliness became too great to handle I did what I had learned to do. I went from one end to the other of that barbed wire enclosure looking into men’s faces until I saw looking back at me the face of Christ. 
And that’s how I came to know Wild Bill Cody. That wasn’t his real name. His real name was seven unpronounceable syllables in Polish, but he had a long drooping handlebar mustache like pictures of the old western hero, so the American soldiers called him Wild Bill. He was one of the inmates of the concentration camp, but obviously he hadn’t been there long: his posture was erect, his eyes bright, his energy indefatigable. Since he was fluent in English, French, German and Russian, as well as Polish, he became a kind of unofficial camp translator. 
We came to him with all sorts of problems; the paper work alone was staggering in attempting to relocate people whose families, even whole hometowns, might have disappeared. But though Wild Bill worked fifteen and sixteen hours a day, he showed no signs of weariness. While the rest of us were drooping with fatigue, he seemed to gain strength. “We have time for this old fellow,” he’d say. “He’s been waiting to see us all day.” His compassion for his fellow prisoners glowed on his face, and it was to this glow that I came when my own spirits were low. 
So I was astonished to learn when Wild Bill’s own papers came before us one day, that he had been in Wuppertal since 1939! For six years he had lived on the same starvation diet, slept in the same airless and disease-ridden barracks as everyone else, but without the least physical or mental deterioration. 
Perhaps even more amazing, every group in the camp looked on him as a friend. He was the one to whom quarrels between inmates were brought for arbitration. Only after I’d been at Wuppertal a number of weeks did I realize what a rarity this was in a compound where the different nationalities of prisoners hated each other almost as much as they did the Germans. 
As for Germans, feeling against them ran so high that in some of the camps liberated earlier, former prisoners had seized guns, run into the nearest village and simply shot the first Germans 
they saw. Part of our instructions were to prevent this kind of thing and again Wild Bill was our greatest asset, reasoning with the different groups, counseling forgiveness. 
“It’s not easy for some of them to forgive,” I commented to him one day as we sat over mugs of tea in the processing center. So many of them have lost members of their families” 
Wild Bill leaned back in the upright chair and sipped at his drink. “We lived in the Jewish section of Warsaw,” he began slowly, the first words I had heard him speak about himself, “my wife, our two daughters, and our three little boys. When the Germans reached our street they lined everyone against a wall and opened up with machine guns. I begged to be allowed to die with my family, but because I spoke German they put me in a work group.” 
He paused, perhaps seeing again his wife and five children. “I had to decide right then,” he continued, “whether to let myself hate the soldiers who had done this. It was an easy decision, really. I was a lawyer. In my practice I had seen too often what hate could do to people’s minds and bodies. Hate had just killed the six people who mattered most to me in the world. I decided then that I would spend the rest of my life – whether it was a few days or many years – loving every person I came in contact with 
From Return from Tomorrow by George Ritchie, M.D. © 1978 published by Fleming H. Revell, a division of Baker Book House Company. 
One of the hallmarks of the ego is that it always takes sides: there are always ‘goodies’ and ‘baddies’. Wild Bill did not take sides. It mattered not to him whether the people he helped were so-called ‘victims’ or ‘persecutors’; they were both unhappy and consciously or unconsciously calling for love, which he then gave. It is clear from the above story that Wild Bill did not see himself in either category and this enabled him to retain his peace under the most demanding of circumstances. It also allowed him to access a source of energy and reserve within himself that allowed him to survive the camps. So much so that he had more energy than the well-fed doctors who had come to help the inmates of the camp! 
Earlier, I talked about how all things that happen are neutral and we ourselves decide how to react. In the case of Wild Bill, we see how an event judged as horrific by the world became the means by which a saint was born on earth. Seeing the world as neutral does not, of course, condone the affliction of pain and death on others, but reminds us that we can still choose how we respond to situations we find ourselves in. 
Wild Bill was an exceptional man who, in exceptional circumstances, chose forgiveness as his path. 

Forgiveness and World Events 
Projection makes perception. The world you see is what you gave it, nothing more than that. But though it is no more than that, it is not less. Therefore to you it is important. It is the witness to your state of mind, the outside picture of an inward condition. As a man thinketh, so does he perceive. Therefore, seek not to change the world, but choose to change your mind about the world. 
A Course in Miracles T-21.1.1:1-7 
A question often raised is: “How is it possible to forgive the horrendous events we have witnessed on the world stage?” Forgiveness of our personal flaws is difficult, but possible, but when we witness events such as the deliberate extermination of thirteen million people by the Nazis should we even consider forgiveness at all? Are some events unforgivable? 
It took the co-operation of thousands of Germans to murder such a large number of people. When leading Nazis were questioned at the Nuremberg trials about why they permitted this atrocity the responses: “I was only following orders,” or “doing my duty,” or “I was just a cog in the wheel” were heard over and over again. 
When Adolf Eichmann stood trial in Jerusalem for his part in the Holocaust the prosecution attempted to depict him as a sadistic monster. In reply, he stated he was just a bureaucrat with a desk job he had been entrusted to carry out efficiently. Even he was sickened when he toured concentration camps. Can we believe such excuses? 
Is it conceivable that ordinary citizens can inflict pain and even death upon innocent people under the pretence of following orders? Is there a hidden Eichmann in each of us? How far are we willing to go in our obedience to authority? Could these horrors be repeated again? If we all have a hidden Nazi in our own minds and we do not discover and forgive it, I believe – under certain circumstances – that ordinary people could and would again perform these horrendous immoral acts against millions of innocent people. 
In the USA in the early 1960s Stanley Milgram carried out an experiment at Yale University on obedience to authority (Obedience to Authority by Stanley Milgram. Pinter and Martin Ltd, 1997). I would like to describe certain aspects of this experiment in some detail as they shed considerable light on the above questions. 
Milgram was interested in seeing how far a voluntary participant would comply with increasingly callous instructions before refusing to carry out any further actions. He was careful to include a wide cross- section of male volunteers, who were paid by the hour and were free to leave whenever they wished. 
In one experiment, two volunteers were involved with research into the effects of punishment on learning. The experimenter was a 31-year old man who, dressed in a grey technician’s coat, projected an impassive manner and appeared stern throughout the experiment. The volunteers drew lots to decide who was to be the ‘teacher’ and who the ‘learner’. Once decided, the teacher watched the learner be strapped into a chair, with an electrode attached to his wrist. The learner was told this was a learning test and whenever he made a mistake, he would receive an electric shock from the teacher. These shocks were to increase in intensity with each mistake. The experimenter’s job was to supervise the experiment and ensure the teacher correctly followed procedure. 

The teacher was taken to an adjacent room, from where he could not see the learner. There he sat before an impressive electric shock generator with a panel of 30 switches, ranging – in 15 volt intervals – from 15 volts though to 450 volts. Labels reading 'Slight Shock', 'Moderate Shock', 'Strong Shock' and 'Danger: Severe Shock' were placed adjacent to groups of switches. There were also two switches marked 'XXX'. When a switch was depressed a bright red light shone, a buzzer sounded and the pointer on a voltage meter swung to the right. 
A sample shock of 45 volts (slight shock) was given to the wrist of each teacher prior to starting the experiment, so he could feel the effect and appreciate the pain that could be inflicted at higher voltages. 
The teacher began to ask questions and if the response was incorrect he would administer an electric shock to the learner. The first shock was 15 volts and they increased in level by 15 volts each time thereafter. 
Now here comes the twist. The teacher was a genuine volunteer, but unknown to him the learner was an actor, who never actually received a shock at all. Most participants found the learner mild-mannered and likeable. The actor was instructed to give enough wrong answers to guarantee him eventually receiving the maximum shock (assuming the teacher did as he was told!). The idea was to determine how far the teacher was willing to go in following the orders of the experimenter. 
The male actor (learner) was told to give auditory feedback at certain voltages. These included a grunt at 75 volts, verbally complaining at 120 volts, demanding to be released at 150 volts, shouting that he couldn’t stand the pain at 180 volts, about his heart condition at 195 volts and various cries of pain leading to an agonised scream at 285 volts. After 330 volts he was to say nothing. Instead there was an ominous silence. 
As the experiment progressed the severity of the shocks started to cause some apparent discomfort in the learner. At this point the teacher started to ask the experimenter if he should continue administering higher voltages. The experimenter had a set of standard responses beginning with, “Please go on”. If this did not bring the teacher into line he would move onto the next ‘prod’: “The experiment requires you to continue”. And if that was unsuccessful he would say, “It is absolutely essential that you go on,” and finally, “You have no other choice, you must go on”. 
If the teacher expressed concern about possible permanent physical injury the experimenter would reply with: “Although the shocks may be painful, there is no permanent tissue damage, so please go on”. If the teacher mentioned that the learner wanted to stop, the experimenter would say, “Whether the learner likes it or not, you must go on until he has learned all the word pairs correctly. So please go on.” If the learner made no reply, which would occur at voltages above 330 volts, the teacher was told no reply was an incorrect reply, so the next highest shock must be administered. 
What would you do if you drew the lot to be the teacher? How far would you be willing to comply with the orders of the experimenter? Would you be capable of administering apparently painful and dangerous electric shocks, rationalising that you were only following orders? Or are only sadistic monsters capable of doing such things? 
To test what people might expect of themselves under such circumstances, Milgram lectured audiences on the experiment and then asked them to predict their behaviour. Predictions were made by psychiatrists, college students, and middle-class adults. All 110 respondents said they would at some point break off the experiment to prevent further suffering. They were then asked to predict how other people would perform and the different groups responded in a very similar fashion, predicting that only a pathological fringe would go to the end and administer the highest 'XXX' shock. The psychiatrists predicted that most subjects would not exceed the 150 volt level and only one subject in a thousand would administer the highest shock. In other words, they expected people to be merciful and unwilling to administer painful shocks. 
So what actually happened? 
The results were a complete surprise for Milgram and his team. The percentage of obedient male subjects who went all the way and delivered the maximum shock was 62.5 percent. Repeating the experiment with female volunteers produced a result of 65 percent administering the maximum shock. 
Did these findings indicate that over half the people of the USA were sadists? The results showed that there were 600 times as many volunteers ready to give the full shock than the psychiatrists predicted. 
Milgram devised another experiment almost identical to the one described, the difference being that this time the teacher could choose which level of shock to apply for wrong answer; the majority chose only slight or moderate levels of shock, with only one of the 40 volunteers administering the maximum level. Clearly, the great majority of volunteers were not motivated to harm the learner and many experienced considerable discomfort when told to apply increasing shock levels. 
In another experiment, the teacher did not have to press the switches personally but had to tell another volunteer (an actor) to press them instead. The second ‘volunteer’ would always comply with the teacher’s instructions. The percentage of obedient teachers now rose to 92.5 per cent. Their willingness to inflict pain increased dramatically as long as they were giving the order and not doing it themselves. 
What became abundantly clear to Milgram was that the majority of us will conform to the instructions of someone we perceive as an authority, even if it means administering extreme pain and death to another. 
The disappearance of a sense of responsibility is the most far-reaching consequence of submission to authority.
Stanley Milgram 
When the obedient volunteers were questioned after the experiment about their responses it was common to hear replies similar to those heard at the Nuremberg trials, namely, “I was only doing what I was told to do. I wanted to carry out the instructions properly”. 
Milgram noted that many subjects harshly devalued the learner. Comments such as, “He was so stupid and stubborn he deserved to get shocked," were common. These obvious rationalisations helped the participants to accept their own inhuman behaviour towards the victim. In one interview, a man who had administered the maximum shock was happy about his performance and told his wife he had done a good job. “Suppose the man was dead?” she asked. He replied, “So he’s dead. I did my job!". 
When you consider the scale and the long period of time with which Nazi propaganda was directed against the Jews it becomes easier to see how many ordinary citizens can become so compliant with monstrous policies put out by people in authority. History continues to repeat itself. 
I think Milgram’s experiments point to one of the important factors that contribute to the perpetuation of atrocities: the majority of people are all too ready to give up their moral responsibilities to someone they perceive as an authority. We may think we are moral and upstanding citizens who would not inflict callous treatment on another, but when tested we can fail miserably. We don’t know ourselves sufficiently well; buried under a barrier of denial are things most of us would rather not face. Honestly looking at ourselves is unpleasant, distressing, and stressful work; not something we can easily bring ourselves to do. But we need to unearth these parts of ourselves with the help of the mirror of everyday experience. In this daily classroom of life we can see how readily most of us give up our moral responsibility to those in authority. It is important that when we observe this behaviour in ourselves we do not judge it, because by honestly facing what we find, accepting it and asking within for help we will eventually let it go. This is how we forgive and heal ourselves. 
Unless we can admit we may carry an ‘Eichmann’ hidden inside our minds history is doomed to repeat itself. 


Non Dual Teachings

This part of the newsletter offers input from non-dual teachers. What is non-duality? The word ‘non-dual’ means not two. On the first page of the ACIM text there is two line summary of a Course in Miracles. It begins with the line “Nothing real can be threatened.”
This refers to what God created – eternal, formless, spirit. Eternal means never born and therefore cannot change or die. The Course uses the expression ‘the Christ’ to denote this. Behind all the seeming multiplicity of the universe there is actually only one essential reality. Just as all the images on the cinema screen seem different, the light that creates them is one.

There is nothing outside you. That is what you must ultimately learn, for it is the realization that the Kingdom of Heaven is restored to you. For God created only this, and He did not depart from it nor leave it separate from Himself. The Kingdom of Heaven is the dwelling place of the Son of God, who left not his Father and dwells not apart from Him. Heaven is not a place nor a condition. It is merely an awareness of perfect Oneness, and the knowledge that there is nothing else; nothing outside this Oneness, and nothing else within.

The second line of the summary states ”Nothing unreal exists.” This refers to everything that is born and therefore dies - the ego’s world. Thus everything in the universe including ourselves is not real according to the Course. It is like a great dream. Only perfect oneness is real. 

There are two forms of non-duality – pure and impure. In the impure form God is aware that the universe is a dream and experiences itself through it - God's Leela or play as they say in the East. In the pure form of non-duality God is unaware of the universe. The Course is an example of pure non-dual teachings. A metaphor for this is a cinema projector where the lamp in the projector represents God. When the ego's film of separation is run past the light it is projected onto the screen of time and space. The light of God makes this possible, but the lamp is unaware of what is on the screen and would continue to shine when the film is taken away. To continue with this metaphor the light extending from the lamp is who we are, the Christ. ( See chart

You dwell not here, but in eternity.
You travel but in dreams, while safe at home. 

You are at home in God, dreaming of exile but perfectly capable of awaking to reality. 


The Unfolding of Awakening - Jan Frazier

It’s a rich thing to contemplate: what it’s like to no longer identify with body, history, opinions, thoughts – and yet to still be a person. To live a life, love people, do things. Be in the world, engaged, without being blown about by its inevitable rough weather. It’s instructive to reflect on what it is to be physical, mortal, sensory, experiencing pleasure and pain, without feeling you are your body. Or your work, your relationships, your upbringing, gifts, imperfections.
Rich, too, to consider the “evolution” of the heart, mind, and body, in the environment of awakening. How each “part” of a person seems to open fully, on its own schedule, and not necessarily in sync with the other parts (or the same way it might be for somebody else). How a certain development seems to occur, but it’s particular to the individual.
All the while the opening of the heart, of the mind, of the body (whatever the particular expressions) – while it all feels so alive – does not get identified with. There is no more narrow sense of a self. Just a burgeoning and ever more varied aliveness. Consciousness experiencing embodiment in its varied human expressions. No end of discovery!
Some people seem to come to awakening via their hearts, and some their minds. (Not when their minds are in service to a self, but in moments when they’re operating clear of all that.) That seems to be what happened with Eckhart Tolle: his mind, in a moment of clarity and curiosity, led him to the door of awakening. The philosopher-mathematician Franklin Merrell-Wolff might say it was his mind that occasioned his own vast opening. For some, surely, the turning point has its roots in something physical, an experience of the body being what cracks a person all the way open. Perhaps a devastating accident, being in a war zone or in a terrible fight. Spending time in solitary confinement.
Whichever “part” of a person appears to be the entry point, to lead the unfolding way into the new life, it does appear that the other parts tend to come along, with a kind of innate wisdom as to the timing and manner of blossoming.
* * * * *
As for me, it seemed to be the heart that took me there (though of course I cannot really know). There was great devotion to a teacher, a welling of enormous love. Maybe this was natural, given my “nature”: I had always been one whose life choices tended to be “driven” by the heart. But then, soon after awakening had occurred, the mind too experienced a vivid opening. Now that the mental processor had been liberated from enslavement to the upkeep of a self, it was free to roam over other landscapes, becoming hugely spacious. Clarity and wisdom came, it seemed, from “out of nowhere.” Blessedly unburdened of stories, judgment, identification, and attachment, the mind was wondrously reflective, curious, and insightful. Clear as a pristine lake.
Meanwhile, the heart (having led to the door on the other side of which was utter change) was undergoing its own quiet revolution. No longer associated with fear or the desire to control, love felt conditions fall away from it. The emotional intensity from before was no longer surging through it. Now, in its place, there was a quiet evenness, without boundary or restriction. Nothing was walled off. Granted all the space it could wish for, love was at last unconditional.
* * * * *
The extent to which a person stays engaged in outer life varies with the individual, and the degree of a person’s engagement can change over time. Sometimes someone will say they’re afraid if they wake up, they won’t be able to function as they have (pay the bills, be a parent, etc.). In fact, most people continue to be entirely able to occupy their familiar lives, with a few adjustments perhaps. (Anyhow, it’s good to realize that the source of such a concern is the mind-driven ego — never a trustworthy source of anything.) There are varying degrees of willingness to continue life exactly as it was previously, and some things may be let go. (As the discovery is made that joy and fulfillment do not, after all, have their sources “out there,” attachments to outer things surely do soften.)
In my own case, nowadays I find that I delight in the embodied life. I enjoy physical labor, walking, running my hands over an animal, the smell of food cooking. I dearly love to sing. I take care of my body, even as I’m aware it is aging and brief. At the same time the sensory is relished, I also must say that increasingly I’m aware of being less tethered to this world. As if there’s a thin bit of film separating this apparent reality from the vastly bigger something. Sometimes there’s a loneliness to be fully there (wherever “there” is), a wistfulness almost. This ache for intimacy with the other can be occasioned by an exquisitely physical or heartfelt moment, by the encounter with a gorgeous piece of music, by a lusty wind. As if the body and heart can’t bear their human limitations.
But all of this musing is just the ever-curious mind trying, after the fact, to fathom the sensation I struggle to describe. In any case, I would never generalize to say “it’s this way for everyone.” (Indeed, it hasn’t always been this way in my own experience.)
A friend who woke up several years ago, at around age 70, spent virtually her entire life not very much in her body (due apparently to physical and emotional abuse in her youth). She would say, I believe, that it was her heart that stepped her over the threshold to freedom.
Now, in the years since awakening, she feels herself coming – for the first time in her life – into her physicality. It isn’t always comfortable. She has a lifetime’s worth of patterns of withholding, recoiling, being at a distance from. Digestive problems. Tentativeness. Balance difficulty. A reluctance to engage closely with the natural world. All kinds of things that now, gently, seem to be unwinding, resettling her into a delicious brand-new embodiment that delights and surprises her no end. In her mid-seventies, she has become, in her newfound physicality, like a little child, full of discovery and rejoicing, expansion and exploration. What a pleasure to witness! To see the flowering of confidence in the body’s way of knowing. Trusting itself. It’s a whole new world.
Which is to say (among other things) that awakening sets in motion all kinds of things. It is not a landing place, after which there is unending sameness. It’s as if the fullness of our human endowment finally gets warm, oxygenated blood flowing to all the parts that previously may have been cool, stunted, coiled in the dark of disuse and timidity. (It’s also to say that awakening doesn’t “depend” upon all of one’s “problems” — physical, emotional, or otherwise — being sorted out first.)
All of this miraculous unfolding occurs even as you don’t cling to (or identify with) any of what’s opening up. And even as there’s a felt distance from “regular life” (at least, as life once was experienced, every scrap of it once carrying the burden of “meaning.”) While you feel yourself coming fully alive, assuming your innate gifts and your imperfection with equanimity, none of it matters all that much. You marvel at the process of all that’s unfolding, not grasping at any of it.
If any of these new delightful developments suddenly dissolved, it just wouldn’t matter. Always, there’s the recognition that you’re not in charge of what’s happening, or how it’s come about, or what’s ahead. And the constant knowing that everything is fleeting.
* * * * *
In the land of my own heart, I can say the capacity for love has blossomed. I’m no longer afraid my heart will break. I already know it will. The breaking, when it comes, is more painful than ever it was before, when fear walled off both love and pain. I’m well aware that my heart could withdraw from the close encounter with life, that I could live at a greater distance from the familiar human dynamic. I know the feeling of that distancing. (Some people do prefer it as the norm, and perhaps one day I will too.) In certain situations that remoteness is an “allowed” default, such as in an environment of insanity (extreme unconsciousness). This isn’t always about limiting the intensity of pain in the encounter with others’ suffering (which is infinite). It’s something about a preference to linger more on the other side of that veil where the ordinary comes within a breath of the extraordinary, where the realities of embodied human life are felt to be far away.
I’m aware of a certain deliberateness at play here. Something leans more toward the land of the feeling . . . even as there’s a wistfulness for the other, for living more there, where all track of physicality, of heart and mind, of limitation, is abandoned. The larger truth visits here and there. It comes in through the window, between one breath and another. But then the next moment, the close-up world reminds me of itself: the brevity of life, of the morning; the condition of our beloved democracy; the gnawing in the belly that calls me to a bowl of soup. The wind in the trees. My daughter, my son. My cat. The snow piling up. The delicious sensory aliveness of it all.
More and more my mind altogether rests. I’m reluctant to engage it, if I can manage without it. I find ways to manage without it, mostly. It’s why the simple life has great appeal.
Meanwhile, my friend who’s discovering her 74-year-old body, dormant most of her life, is like a little kid, the physical life like a toy that’s just been put into her hands. She can’t get enough of it.

Everything Comes Back to Nothing - Adyashanti

Inexplicably it comes. When you least expect it. For a reason you can never know. One moment you are striving, figuring, imagining, and then, in the blink of an eye, it all disappears. The struggle disappears. The striving disappears. The person disappears. The world disappears. Everything disappears, and the person is like a pinpoint of light, just receding until it disappears. And there’s nobody there to witness it. The person is gone. Only, only awareness remains. Nothing else. No one to be aware. Nothing to be aware of. Only that remains itself. Then it’s understood, finally and simply.
Then everything—all the struggle, all the striving, all the thinking, all the figuring, all the surrendering, all the letting go, all the grabbing hold of, all the praying, all the begging, all the cursing, too—was just a distraction. And only then is it seen that the person was, is, and ever will be no more than a thought. With a single thought, the person seems to reemerge. With more thoughts, the world seems to reemerge right out of nothing. But now you know.
The incarnation is nothing more than a thought. A thousand incarnations are but a thousand thoughts. And this amazing miracle of a mirage we call the world reappears as it was before, but now you know. That’s why you usually have a good laugh, because you realize that all your struggles were made up. You conjured them up out of nothing—with a thought that was linked to another thought, that was then believed, that linked to another thought that was then believed. But never could it have been true, not for a second could it have actually existed. Not ever could you have actually suffered for a reason that was true—only through an imagination, good, bad, indifferent. The intricacies of spiritual philosophy and theologies are just a thought within Emptiness.
And so at times we talk, and I pretend to take your struggles seriously, just as I pretended to take my own seriously. You may pretend to take your own struggles seriously from time to time, and although we pretend, we really shouldn’t forget that we are pretending, that we are making up the content of our experience; we are making up the little dramas of our lives. We are making up whether we need to hold on or surrender or figure it out or pray to God or be purified or have karma cleansed—it’s all a thought. We just collude in this ridiculous charade of an illusion pretending that it’s real, only to reveal that it’s not. There is no karma. There is nothing really to purify. There’s no problem. There is only what you create and believe to be so. And if you like it that way, have at it!
But we cannot continue this absolute farce indefinitely. We cannot continue to pretend this game we play, indefinitely. It’s impossible. Everything comes back to nothing.
And then it’s a bit harder to hold a straight face consistently for the rest of your life.
Transcribed from a talk in Pacific Grove, CA, June 9, 2006.  © 2006 by Adyashanti.


Attention! Attention! – Dada Gavand

An interview with Dada Gavand by Suma Varughese

In his simple, serene way, Dada Gavand teaches to the world that watchful, attentive awareness alone can set the mind free
Sage-philosopher Dada Gavand has a stark and simple philosophy. Watch the patterns of your mind attentively and with awareness. That is all you need to reclaim your heritage of lasting peace and bliss.
So this was his paradise-a clearing in the Yeor Hills on the outskirts of hot and dusty Thane, near Mumbai. A few houses stand gracefully, and at ease, among the trees and the underfoot growth. Birdsong rippled through the air. Hens were scrabbling in the mud, as their chicks huddled under their wings. A few feet away, a black and white kitten, its tail curving in sheer joy of life, pretended to pounce on the hens, who pecked on, unperturbed. A young girl stood in an overgrown yard watching life go by. All was peaceful, simple, natural.
So was the picture book house we stopped at-a narrow two-storey building with sloping tiled roofs. White doves clustered around the gables, and swooped down to drink from the water-holder. Guava and other trees grew robustly in neat round concrete-lined beds. A sunshade with chairs was placed invitingly on one side of the garden. As we stood there and breathed in the visceral peace of the place, we had a precursor of the personality of the owner of the house.
The man who warmly welcomed us was not young. Eighty-five or thereabouts, he was lean and spry, with an alert, lively face, honed to its essence. His movements were fluid and quick and when he sat cross-legged as we talked, his torso was erect and still. He radiated a friendliness and an acceptance that put us at ease instantly. There were no trappings of conventional religion. No pictures of deities or saffron robes or agarbatti. No offerings of flowers and fruits. No genuflection either. He addressed us as matter-of-factly as a tutor would his students.
Dada Gavand is not an advocate of conventional religion, or of any of the tried and tested paths to enlightenment. His prescription is simple: attentive watchful awareness of the patterns of thought. This act alone is enough to vaporize the thoughts and set you free from the burden of the mind. If this is strikingly close to J. Krishnamurti‘s philosophy, it is not without reason. He spent some time with Krishnamurti before he moved on to forge his own inner journey.
Born in 1917 in Mumbai as Dattaram Madhavrao Gavand, his spiritual quest unfolded early. Though born in comfortable surroundings, he chafed at the convention and hypocrisy of society, and the dehumanizing impact of materialism. But he was the eldest and, on his father‘s untimely death, had to assume the responsibilities of taking care of his siblings, which included arranging for their marriages. On the third day of the marriage of the youngest sibling, Dada, as he was universally known, disappeared from home to seek his spiritual destiny. After eight months of solitary seeking and questioning at Mount Sajjangad, he experienced a mystical explosion in his inner domain, a sudden flow of timeless energy within, and a state of peace and ecstasy never known before.
After this, he stayed in semi-solitude for 14 years on Mount Mahabaleshwar. Since 1975, Dada has been sharing his understanding by extensive travel and lectures in the USA, Canada, Europe and of course India. Compiling his experiences and thoughts is his book Beyond the Mind that is about the deeper significance of living. Written in dialogic form, the book tries to answer ideas of liberation, sexuality, healing, imprisonment, expression etc. He has also held numerous meditation camps called Exploration into Oneself, but today he prefers to work with small groups and individuals in order to communicate on a personal level. Where he was once a keen sportsman and freedom fighter, he now writes poetry, excels in photography, and campaigns for freedom of the inner kind.

Excerpts from an intense interview:
What are the main tenets of your philosophy?
I don‘t have a set philosophy. Whatever I say is the outcome of the present moment. Besides, I don‘t trust words. The mind uses them, as it does everything else, to escape from the hard task of changing itself. The basic challenge of man is to discover that quality which is hidden within us and allow it to express itself. But this is difficult because of the blocks the mind sets up, such as the pre-occupation with things, even with reading spiritual literature.
What is the way to overcome these blocks?
There is no set answer. What is the hindrance blocking that quality? We need to be attentive to that block and that‘s the main challenge. Yogis and saints have found out several ways and techniques, but all are used by the mind to keep it busy. I believe only watchful awareness will set us free.
But can this approach work for all?
Why not? The conditioning of the mind is the same.
It is believed that different paths appeal to different temperaments.
By creating different paths we are creating separation and divisiveness. Conflicts arise because each thinks his path is the best.
What have been the significant events of your own spiritual journey?
I listened to masters, even read a few books. But I found that this was my own journey. Nobody can help. What is required is watchful, attentive awareness. It‘s a journey into the inner self, that‘s all. But we hesitate, and the mind is extroverted. It hesitates to take a turn, to enter within. The whole riches of the world, all the virtues, are basically inside. On the outside there is only the concept of virtues. Try to watch these concepts. The mind can never be virtuous or divine. All that is inside.
Can meditation help move the mind within?
Meditation is the fallout of attention-watchful attention. It‘s not a spiritual act. Meditation to me it‘s only a search into oneself, to dispel the patterns of thoughts, to enter the tranquility within.
Can the pursuit of this tranquility be balanced with the demands of a householder‘s life?
Oh, yes. We all need the basics of life for survival. But be balanced. Do not create more wants. We collect more and more of everything, including books. This last is intellectual greed. The mind becomes greedy for knowledge. This is the burden of intellect.
How do you get the mind to let go of this obsession with things?
Look at the world at large. What is so great about it? We never have the time to look at it quietly, independently. What we see is just the continuity of life. To me life is a discovery. We have to find that dynamism, energy.
What is the state of one who has reached inner tranquility?
Abundant peace and contentment. And whenever there is a challenge, there is a response, a creative response that does not resort to memory.
Looking at the world today, what do you think lies ahead for mankind?
The world was always like this. There is not much difference. Krishna, Ram, Buddha came and society digested them all, but it remains the same.
What do you think of the belief in a new age, when society as a whole will be transformed?
Only a human being can achieve enlightenment, not mankind. Only he who is honest, sensible, sensitive, and sincere can hope to achieve this state. And there are very few of such.
So there‘s no likelihood that mankind will attain lasting peace?
Man has always hoped for this. But it depends on each of us. The reality is that we can transform only ourselves. Nature wants man to transform, to become like it. To come back to the natural state is fulfillment. To become free of all obsessions-that is enlightenment.
Does being with nature provide a way within?
Become aware of nature. Become sensitive to it. An intellectual appreciation of it is not enough. We have worshipped the intellect too much. Now we have reached a dead end. The intellect has really obliged us. It has given us so much. But if we want to move further, this intellect is not going to oblige. Its function is over. The mind is secondhand activity, which is born of memory. People have spent so many years in searching for enlightenment. Is so much time necessary? That which is past is over. We avoid freshness of the moment by indulging in the past.
What was your own search like?
I came from a business family. We were fairly rich. But from an early age I was aware of the absurdity of the life we led. Everyone was copying everyone else. We were made by our surroundings-traditions, culture, family background, media. I saw that I was the result of environmental influences, nothing else. I saw people enslaved by social conditioning till the end of their lives. I wondered if another way of life was possible. A mighty intelligence had created the universe and here I was, living like a robot. I wondered if there was a deeper significance to life. At this stage, I visited many ashrams. I went to the Aurobindo ashram, I met Ramana Maharshi and Krishmanurti. I was with Krishnamurti for a while and then I told him that I no longer wanted to read his words or anyone‘s words. I wanted to discover for myself. And do you know what he said? He said: ‘‘I am so glad.” At these ashrams, I saw good people, happy, contented. What was that state of mind, to be contented? I soon came to know that no one could give me the answers. I had to discover them for myself. This whole outer is the manifestation of the mind. But there had to be something intrinsic. Where did that lie? I wondered about the energy that emerged from us, creating desires. We were using that energy for trivial reasons, merely dancing at the periphery of life. We need to ponder about these questions independently. Pondering is a sensitive activity. To look without ideas and opinions and without thought. Is it possible? And generally, there is no time for that. Thought activity is so strong.
When did you find answers to your questions?
There‘s a kind of breakthrough when the situation is right. It is not in our hands. It is a great blessing of nature. He who aspires will be helped by nature. But we must have that strong passion. Our passions are smaller. Born out of other things.
Is there God?
There is another dimension, which is divine, timeless. It‘s an energy. A very intelligent energy. To discover that is the touch of the divine. ‘God’ is a misused term. The mind creates concepts and goes after that. Thought is the barrier between you and the divine. Understand the designs of thought and be aware of them. And then you will dispel the thought patterns. That is important.
What is the relationship between spirituality and creativity? You, for instance, have created copious poetry.
Creation happens in the sensitivity of understanding. After that you are changed. You become highly sensitive. I never wrote poetry. It just came out of me. Suddenly a door had opened from within.
Post enlightenment, what is your role in life?
I have to live life. I don‘t have my own drives and ambitions. I have to live like a simple, humble entity.

To read more from Dada Gavand look here:

He has published four books:


Rest as Awareness - Adyashanti

Forgiveness  ... is still, and quietly does nothing. .... It merely looks, and waits, and judges not. (A Course in Miracles W-pII.1.4:1,3)

You don't try and stop your mind but give recognition to that which is not thinking, to that silence. And let your mind go ahead and think as long as it wants to think but you, your energy, is in silence. 

This awareness, that is not thinking, if applied with great consistency, will cause the mind, thought, the dominance of mind, the tyranny of mind, to spontaneously collapse. 

Instead of letting mind flow outward, retain attention within, in peace. You can do this even as your body moves about.

Don't battle against the mind. Instead, it's about recognising and giving realisation in your energy to what is already quiet. It's actually about ending the battle and giving energy to that effortless ok ness. 


Place your attention behind any stories, any concepts. From there, freedom arises, beauty arises, love arises.
Keep attention there, where you are looking from. 
Behind it all. Pull right back. Place attention prior to thought. 

In any moment, you are either observing effortlessly or you are believing your thoughts. To feel and experience real happiness, causeless happiness, requires a conscious or unconscious surrendering of your interest in your thoughts.

Be quiet, sit still, do not participate in any thoughts, leave mind activity aside for now and direct your attention to the source of the "I" thought. 

Placing your attention on the source of the "I" thought leads to something within you that is behind, prior to or beyond the mind. Allows the 'trapdoor' to open, for the me to dissolve. 

Rest your attention where you are looking from. 
Then the rest of it will just do its own thing. 

Let It take you. Things will be taken care of. You can't lose any ground. Just jump. 
Drop the whole show. 
Rest awareness in what you are. 
Place attention in what you are. 
Jac O'Keeffe.


If you observe awareness steadily, this awareness itself as guru will reveal the truth. Instead of looking outward at objects, you observe that looking. 
Ramana Maharshi


What you need is to be aware of being aware. 
When awareness turns upon itself, you may call it the supreme state. 
Nisargadatta Maharaj


When the mind is freed from its own formulations, its beliefs, its ideas, there comes a silence beyond time, a silence in which you become conscious of the Reality of your Being.  


PLEASE NOTE: The Australian Centre for Inner Peace is not a counselling or psychotherapy centre; 
therefore we do not offer telephone or email service or counselling, therapy, or crisis intervention for personal problems. 
Please see the Contacts section at the end of this newsletter.


Forthcoming Workshops on A Course in Miracles

For up to date information on my workshops go to 

Germany 2017 Dates

Bonn - Sat 10 and Sun 11 June - 2017
10am to 6pm

Healing Ourselves and Others
from the perspective of A Course in Miracles 

Health Is Inner Peace....Health is the result of relinquishing all attempts to use the body lovelessly. 

The Holy Spirit is the only Therapist. He makes healing clear in any situation in which He is the Guide. You can only let Him fulfil His function. He needs no help for this. He will tell you exactly what to do to help anyone He sends to you for help, and will speak to him through you if you do not interfere. T-9.V.8:1-8
A Course in Miracles

Using the spiritual path of A Course in Miracles and its supplement - Psychotherapy: Purpose, Process and Practice - we will explore what true healing is: the return to our awareness of our spiritual identity. 

The cause of illness lies in the mind and not the body. By returning our awareness to the mind and forgiving the thought forms of judgement, attack and condemnation of ourselves and others we can return to a state of inner peace. The body will then return to a state of health.

To heal others, whether as a friend or as a psychotherapist, we need to learn to step aside and be guided in what to say and do . We need to remember “The Holy Spirit is the only Therapist.”

 Practical exercises will be used to help understand the ego and its mechanisms of denial and projection. We will practise forgiveness and turning within for guidance.

Topics also included:
*Healing ourselves
• Reasons for Sickness
• Special Hate and Love relationships
• The Process of Illness
• How is Healing Accomplished
• Forgiveness
• Resistance to healing

Healing others (teachings for everyone who desires to relieve suffering in others)
• The A Course in Miracles approach to healing others
• The differences between the healed and unhealed healer 
• Purpose of Psychotherapy
• The Process of Psychotherapy
• Role of the Psychotherapist

An overview of the Course's metaphysical, psychological and spiritual teachings especially in regard to healing of the mind, body and relationships will be covered. 
No previous knowledge of the book A Course in Miracles is required.   

An Evening Introductory Talk - Fri 9th June 2017
7.30pm to 9.30pm

Beethovenallee 16
Bonn 53173
tel: 0228 - 36 47 37


Freiburg  2017 June

Fri 16,[6pm to 9pm] Sat 17 [10am to 6pm] and Sun 18 [10am to 5pm]

Healing Ourselves and Others
from the perspective of A Course in Miracles 

Health Is Inner Peace....Health is the result of relinquishing all attempts to use the body lovelessly. 

The Holy Spirit is the only Therapist. He makes healing clear in any situation in which He is the Guide. You can only let Him fulfil His function. He needs no help for this. He will tell you exactly what to do to help anyone He sends to you for help, and will speak to him through you if you do not interfere. T-9.V.8:1-8
A Course in Miracles

Using the spiritual path of A Course in Miracles and its supplement - Psychotherapy: Purpose, Process and Practice - we will explore what true healing is: the return to our awareness of our spiritual identity. 

The cause of illness lies in the mind and not the body. By returning our awareness to the mind and forgiving the thought forms of judgement, attack and condemnation of ourselves and others we can return to a state of inner peace. The body will then return to a state of health.

To heal others, whether as a friend or as a psychotherapist, we need to learn to step aside and be guided in what to say and do . We need to remember “The Holy Spirit is the only Therapist.”

 Practical exercises will be used to help understand the ego and its mechanisms of denial and projection. We will practise forgiveness and turning within for guidance.

Topics also included:
Healing ourselves
• Reasons for Sickness
• Special Hate and Love relationships
• The Process of Illness
• How is Healing Accomplished
• Forgiveness
• Resistance to healing

Healing others (teachings for everyone who desires to relieve suffering in others)
• The A Course in Miracles approach to healing others
• The differences between the healed and unhealed healer 
• Purpose of Psychotherapy
• The Process of Psychotherapy
• Role of the Psychotherapist

An overview of the Course's metaphysical, psychological and spiritual teachings especially in regard to healing of the mind, body and relationships will be covered. 
No previous knowledge of the book A Course in Miracles is required.   

Margarete Sennekamp
Winterhaldenweg 4,
79856 Hinterzarten,
Tel./Fax: 07652-917530


Dates for 2018 workshops in Germany

Bonn  8,9 and 10 June
Freiburg  15,16 and 17 June



New teaching and healing materials - eBooks and downloadable MP3s:


1. Healing the Cause -A Path of Forgiveness.
Inspired by A Course in Miracles.
This is the eBook version of the paper back.

2. A Course in Miracles - Explanations of Major Themes
New book in eBook format

3. Forgiveness - A Path to Inner Peace. 
Inspired by A Course in Miracles
This is the eBook version of the paper back.

The eBook versions can be read on Kindle, iPad, Microsoft eReader, Nook, PDF readers (Mac and PC) and most eBook readers.
For more details and how to purchase please visit:

Downloadable Mp3s:

1. Healing the Cause: Self-Help Exercises 1
This MP3 contains the identical four exercises as the CD

2. Healing the Cause: Self-Help Exercises 2
This MP3 contains the identical four exercises as the CD

3. Healing the Cause: 3 Self-Help Exercises in English with German translation
This MP3 contains the identical three exercises as the CD

For more details and how to purchase please visit:


Healing the Cause - A Path of Forgiveness.  Findhorn Press 1994
Also available in German, Romanian, French, Dutch, Spanish and Portuguese.

The Findhorn Book of Forgiveness.  Findhorn Press. 2003
Also available in German, French, Polish and Romanian.

For more details and how to purchase please visit:

MP3s (see above) and CDs:

Healing the Cause:
Since 1986 I have been conducting healing workshops in the UK and abroad, and have continually experimented to find healing and forgiveness exercises that are effective.  I have found that a particular exercise can be effective for one person but not another. Accordingly, I was led to develop a series of exercises. Over the years workshop participants asked if these exercises could be put onto audio cassettes and CDs so they could repeat them. This has resulted in the Healing the Cause - Exercise series - Tapes 1 to 4 (2 exercises on each tape) and CD1 and 2 (4 exercises on each CD)

CD - 3 Healing Exercises in English with German translation. 10 Euro
Ex1. Forgiving Ourselves. 
Ex2. Changing Perception and Finding peace. 
Ex3. Changing Perception of another - exercise for two people.

These exercises are similar to existing exercises already available on CDs but are translated into German.

1. Three Steps of Forgiveness. 
This workshop concentrates on the process of forgiveness from the perspective of A Course in Miracles. Includes 3 healing exercises.
 Recorded at the Annual Miracle Network Conference in London, November 2001. 1 hour 12 mins. One CD

2. Finding and Eliminating the Blocks to Receiving Guidance. 
This talk investigates what stops us hearing the guidance that is ever present in our lives. Recorded at the Annual Miracle Network Conference in London, October 20001 hour. One CD

For more details and how to purchase please visit:


Search Engine for ACIM Sites, Definitions and Articles by Joe Jesseph.
A Web search engine dedicated to finding discussion and definitions of terms and concepts found in 
A Course in Miracles as well as Web sites, articles and other writings related to the Course.

Question and Answer Service from the Foundation for A Course in Miracles. 
Their electronic outreach section has a question and answer service on the theory and practice of the Course. Their database of 1,400 questions and answers is searchable. They no longer take new questions as they feel all possible questions have now been put.

Foundation for Inner Peace..........................Publishers of A Course in Miracles and responsible for the translation programme. On-line mail order.

Foundation For A Course In Miracles................FACIM is the official teaching organisation of the Foundation for Inner Peace and the copyright-holder of_A Course in Miracles and all related materials. Publishes the quarterly Lighthouse newsletter. They have extensive on-line mail order for their books, CDs and DVDs.
The Foundation was started by Kenneth and Gloria Wapnick and has moved to Temecula in California. Kenneth is my teacher of A Course in Miracles. His body died in December 2013.
Their publications can also be ordered in Australia at:
Adyar Bookshop
230 Clarence Street
Sydney, NSW 2000
Kenneth Wapnick ......……… Biographical information and excerpts from his writings
Kenneth Wapnick on YouTube
Glossary of ACIM terms from FACIM
"The Most Commonly asked Questions about A Course in Miracles"
by Kenneth and Gloria Wapnick
Index of Links to Miracle Studies Resources ...……....... A rich resource of materials on A Course in Miracles by an ex-staff member of the Foundation For A Course In Miracle. Joe also has a blog and has recently published  A Primer of Psychology According to A Course in Miracles.  ………… A Course in Miracles Resource Web Site for ACIM Students
A Course in Miracles Study groups
Search for A Course in Miracles Study Groups Around the World. 
The Foundation for Inner peace also has a study group search engine.
Miracles Studies Australia  lists study groups for Australia and new Zealand

Purchase ACIM on line
ACIM Historical Recordings & Video

A Course In Miracles Pen Pals:
The Miracle Network hosts a A Course in Miracles pen pals group:
To  join this e-mail discussion group,  send your e-mail address to  
They will send you  updated lists of other e.pals and  inform them of your e-mail address. ACIM discussion:
This web-based discussion is hosted by Joe Jesseph.



About three times a week I send a short quotation from some spiritual teacher or poet to people who have requested some uplifting thoughts. I have included some below. If you wish I can add your name to the email list.

How long, O Son of God, will you maintain the game of sin? Shall we not put away these sharp-edged children's toys? How soon will you be ready to come home? Perhaps today? There is no sin. Creation is unchanged. Would you still hold return to Heaven back? How long, O holy Son of God, how long?

A Course in Miracles  Lesson 250

Do understand that you are destined for enlightenment.
Co-operate with your destiny, don't go against it, don't thwart it.
Allow it to fulfil itself.
All you have to do is to give attention to the obstacles created by the foolish mind.

Nisargadatta Maharaj
I Am That

 When you listen to the voice in your head, that
is to say, do not judge.  You'll soon realize: there
is the voice, and here I am listening to it, watching
it.  This I am realization, this sense of your own
presence, is not a thought.  It arises from beyond
the mind.

Eckhart Tolle
The Power of Now

One is more likely to awaken through surrender than through seeking to waken. The effort to awaken is the effort of ego, whereas to surrender is to give up all efforts and to place oneself in the hands of a vast force that is more powerful than any realization of non duality.
When one finally gives up one's futile attempts to make reality conform to one's own wishes, and allows it to unfold on its own terms, all the energy that was tied up in foolish attempts to manipulate the universe is freed up.

Mariana Caplan
Halfway Up the Mountain - The Error of Premature Claims to Enlightenment


Michael Dawson
PO Box 125
Point Lookout
North Stradbroke Island
Queensland 4183