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ACFIP Newsletter 
Issue 14 - September 2007

Quarterly Newsletter of the Australian Centre for Inner Peace

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

Email: mdawson@acfip.org     
Web site: http://www.acfip.org

*Who Am I?
*What is Our Task?
*Story: The Rabbi's Gift
*Books and Audio Materials for Sale
*Inspirational Quotations


Welcome to the Fourteenth issue of the Australian Centre for Inner Peace Newsletter.

If you wish to read previous issues please go to http://www.acfip.org/newsletterarchive.html.

If your email address ends with .au I put your address on my Australian list for advance warning of workshops I am giving in Australia. If you do not want to be on this list please let me know. If you reside in Australia and want to be on this list, but you address does not end in .au, please email me and I will include it.

If you are new to the Course you might find my summaries of help.
You can find them at http://www.acfip.org/sum.html and http://www.acfip.org/art4.html


Michael Dawson



I do not know the thing I am, and therefore do not know what I am doing, where I am, or how to look upon the world or on myself.
Yet in this learning is salvation born. And What you are will tell you of Itself.

A Course in Miracles T-31.V.17.

When we close our eyes and meditate we are immediately confronted with the thoughts of our ego mind. They declare themselves important and ask for our attention. A procession of desires and fears appear before our awareness and there is a strong attraction to identify with them. Its easy to become the desires and fears and get lost in them. These thoughts seem important, the contents of our consciousness - the very fabric of our life. What does the Course say of these thoughts we seem to cherish so much?

These thoughts do not mean anything...None of them ("good" and "bad" thoughts) represents your real thoughts, which are covered up by them. The "good" ones are but shadows of what lies beyond, and shadows make sight difficult. The "bad" ones are blocks to sight, and make seeing impossible. You do not want either. Lesson 4

Its easy to forget the ego mind is just another sense organ having thoughts as its object and identify with its contents. When we smell a rose we don't say we are that smell. The sound of a bird does not make us believe we are one. But the thoughts about ourselves we do believe. We say "I am a body", "I am old", "I am alive", "I am a parent" and hardly stop to question these "I am" thoughts. The Course reminds us that the thoughts we think we think are not real and obscure the real thoughts we think with God. Our real thoughts are located in our right mind, the mind of the Holy Spirit. These are the thoughts of love,peace,joy etc. Ego thoughts are based around the concept of a separate "I" which thinks good and bad thoughts. However, the Course informs us that both good and bad thoughts obscure spiritual vision. These incessant thoughts of our ego mind are a very effective block to the awareness of the Holy Spirit in our right mind, which requires us to be quiet to hear Him.

The Holy Spirit will, of Himself, fill every mind that so makes room for him.
A Course in Miracles T-14.XI.13:6

We are not who we think we are. Our constant belief in a separate "I" with all its special attributes is the source of all our pain. To escape this pain we pursue pleasure which only leads to further pain. Until we start to question and investigate who we really are we are trapped in the vicious circle of avoiding pain and pursuing pleasure. The ego thoughts of "I am this or that" keep us routed in our false sense of individuality. All our thinking is based on the past (see lesson 7 in the Workbook) and our sense of self depends on nothing else. We are literally a collection of memories, habits, patterns and conditionings. Without the illusion of time our personalities would dissolve. Memory keeps the illusion of personal identity alive. Whilst our mind is preoccupied with the past, or its projection into the future the Course tells us that our mind is actually blank!

My mind is preoccupied with past thoughts....The one wholly true thought one can hold about the past is that it is not here. To think about it at all is therefore to think about illusions. Very few have realised what is actually entailed in picturing the past or in anticipating the future. The mind is actually blank when it does this, because it is not really thinking about anything. Lesson 8

Nothing is actually happening although it does not seem that way to us. The ego mind has made up the thought of "I" but it is just another thought amongst its collection of mind objects. In Heaven there are no "Is". Our self concepts cannot exist "there" and this is what frightens us. The ultimate goal of the Course is to show us we are not bodies, parents, children, teachers, students etc. but the formless, limitless, eternal, perfect thought of God. Preferring to be "right than happy" we cling to the concept of a separate self, or "I", which identifies with the body as its home. In the Workbook we are encouraged in many places to try and go beyond, or beneath, these obscuring ego thoughts of "I am this or that" to the thoughts we think with God. To touch these thoughts is to open up to a new world utterly unlike the one we are familiar with. We will discover there a love and wisdom that will guide us on our journey to the real world. When this is reached our only identification will be "I am the Holy Son of God Himself" (Lesson 191) for every other identification will now be meaningless.

I am not a body. I am free.

For I am still as God created me.
A Course in Miracles Lesson 191


To give love or remove the blocks to its presence?

It is an easy and popular thing to say we must love those around us. That the solution to the problems of the world is to love more and therefore we should make more effort to love. Can we make an effort to love? Is love to be forced out or does it simply shine on its own with no effort? If we were created in the image of God, who is all love, why are we not radiating it all the time? We must have a good reason not to. A Course In Miracles states that the presence of love in our mind will shine away our ego, our sense of separation, which we dearly love to maintain. Love is deadly to our egos and must be guarded against at all costs.

We can pretend to love but this will always be dualistic. We will choose a particular object or person to "love" and exclude all others. A Course In Miracles refers to this as special love and this is simply a mask for special hate for we must always hate what we depend on. Our ego teaches us to use others as substitutes for our true relationship with God. If love is exclusive it is not love and as the Course teaches, what is not love is hate. This does not mean we abandon relationships for they can be made to serve the important function of mirrors to our denied ego's thought system. We can start to learn that what annoys us in others is always in ourselves.

If we are not loving its because we choose to be that way. Special love seems preferable to unconditional love which has no object. To encourage others to give out love will only increase their level of guilt for they must consistently fail. Rather we should honestly look at how much we judge, compare, criticise and hate others for here we will find the blocks to love.

Be not afraid to look upon the special hate relationship, for freedom lies in looking at it.
It would be impossible not to know the meaning of love, except for this. T-16.IV.1-2

While we cover this awareness with false ideas of love we can never discover the blocks we have erected to loves presence. Until we learn to look without judgement at the full extent of the ego's murderous thought system we will fool ourselves that we can offer love to others. This is not an easy task. Here effort, vigilance and a sense of humour are needed. To see how we really think, to view the extent of our guilt and hatred is painful and embarrassing. We need to invite the non-judgmental presence of the Holy Spirit or Jesus to be with us as we uncover the many layers of the ego.

Jesus encourages us to smile at our egos, and not take them seriously. This is not to foster denial of the ego, for denial is a major defense mechanism of the ego. We need to learn not to feel guilty that we do not love, otherwise we will try and compensate by false displays of love. Instead we can try to be aware in our day to day life how many times we want to attack others and gradually learn to smile at these thoughts. Kenneth Wapnick has often made this point stating that we need to see these ego thoughts as "no big deal" and that we should not try and change the ego - ours or others. To try and improve the ego is an example of "making the error real". In this way we can slowly undo the grip of the ego's thought system of attack and listen more to the Voice of love in our mind. As the sun's rays must be experienced when the clouds have gone so will we, without effort, extend the love of God into this world when we have learnt to forgive ourselves.

The course does not aim at teaching the meaning of love, for that is beyond what can be taught.
It does aim, however, at removing the blocks to the awareness of love's presence, which is your natural inheritance.
Intro, Text. A Course In Miracles


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 related to the Course. Please see the Contacts section at the end of this newsletter.


The Rabbi's Gift

The story concerns a monastery that had fallen upon hard times. Once a great order, as a result of waves of antimonastic persecution in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and the rise of secularism in the nineteenth, all its branch houses were lost and it had become decimated to the extent that there were only five monks left in the decaying mother house: the abbot and four others, all over seventy in age. Clearly it was a dying order.

In the deep woods surrounding the monastery there was a little hut that a rabbi from a nearby town occasionally used for a hermitage. Through their many years of prayer and contemplation the old monks had become a bit psychic, so they could always sense when the rabbi was in his hermitage. "The rabbi is in the woods, the rabbi is in the woods again," they would whisper to each other. As he agonized over the imminent death of his order, it occurred to the abbot at one such time to visit the hermitage and ask the rabbi if by some possible chance he could offer any advice that might save the monastery.

The rabbi welcomed the abbot at his hut. But when the abbot explained the purpose of his visit, the rabbi could only commiserate with him. "I know how it is," he exclaimed. "The spirit has gone out of the people. It is the same in my town. Almost no one comes to the synagogue anymore." So the old abbot and the old rabbi wept together. Then they read parts of the Torah and quietly spoke of deep things. The time came when the abbot had to leave. They embraced each other. "It has been a wonderful thing that we should meet after all these years," the abbot said, "but I have still failed in my purpose for coming here. Is there nothing you can tell me, no piece of advice you can give me that would help me save my dying order?"

"No, I am sorry," the rabbi responded. "I have no advice to give. The only thing I can tell you is that the Messiah is one of you."

When the abbot returned to the monastery his fellow monks gathered around him to ask, "Well, what did the rabbi say?" "He couldn't help," the abbot answered. "We just wept and read the Torah together. The only thing he did say, just as I was leaving --- it was something cryptic --- was that the Messiah is one of us. I don't know what he meant."

In the days and weeks and months that followed, the old monks pondered this and wondered whether there was any possible significance to the rabbi's words. The Messiah is one of us? Could he possibly have meant one of us monks here at the monastery? If that's the case, which one? Do you suppose he meant the abbot? Yes, if he meant anyone, he probably meant Father Abbot. He has been our leader for more than a generation. On the other hand, he might have meant Brother Thomas. Certainly Brother Thomas is a holy man. Everyone knows that Thomas is a man of light. Certainly he could not have meant Brother Elred! Elred gets crotchety at times. But come to think of it, even though he is a thorn in people's sides, when you look back on it, Elred is virtually always right. Often very right. Maybe the rabbi did mean Brother Elred. But surely not Brother Phillip. Phillip is so passive, a real nobody. But then, almost mysteriously, he has a gift for somehow always being there when you need him. He just magically appears by your side. Maybe Phillip is the Messiah. Of course the rabbi didn't mean me. He couldn't possibly have meant me. I'm just an ordinary person. Yet supposing he did? Suppose I am the Messiah? O God, not me. I couldn't be that much for You, could I?

As they contemplated in this manner, the old monks began to treat each other with extraordinary respect on the off chance that one among them might be the Messiah. And on the off, off chance that each monk himself might be the Messiah, they began to treat themselves with extraordinary respect.

Because the forest in which it was situated was beautiful, it so happened that people still occasionally came to visit the monastery to picnic on its tiny lawn, to wander along some of its paths, even now and then to go into the dilapidated chapel to meditate. As they did so, without even being conscious of it, they sensed this aura of extraordinary respect that now began to surround the five old monks and seemed to radiate out from them and permeate the atmosphere of the place. There was something strangely attractive, even compelling, about it. Hardly knowing why, they began to come back to the monastery more frequently to picnic, to play, to pray. They began to bring their friends to show them this special place. And their friends brought their friends.

Then it happened that some of the younger men who came to visit the monastery started to talk more and more with the old monks. After a while one asked if he could join them. Then another. And another. So within a few years the monastery had once again become a thriving order and, thanks to the rabbi's gift, a vibrant center of light and spirituality in the realm.
'The Different Drum'
by M. Scott Peck


A Course in Miracles Workshops in Australia
by Michael Dawson

Clare - Sat 15 and Sun 16, September 2007
(2hrs drive north of Adelaide)

A Full Heart and an Empty Mind
- A Course in Miracles workshop

Empty your mind of everything it thinks is either true or false, or good or bad, of every thought it judges worthy, and all the ideas of which it is ashamed. Hold onto nothing. Do not bring with you one thought the past has taught, nor one belief you ever learned before from anything. Forget this world, forget this course, and come with wholly empty hands unto your God.


The deepest but forgotten truth about ourselves is that we are one with the love and mind of God.

To let this memory return to our awareness we need to question everything we think is true, to realise we know nothing about how to awaken to peace and joy, and learn to extend kindness and goodwill to others. Insight of the mind must be balanced with compassion of the heart.

This workshop will explore how we can awaken to our spiritual reality through the healing power of insight, kindness, gentleness, awareness and forgiveness.

No previous knowledge of A Course in Miracles is required.

SA 5453
(2hrs drive north of Adelaide)

Sat 15 and Sun 16, September 2007

Sat 28 - 9.30 TO 5.30
Sun 29 - 9.30 TO 4.30

Tel: 08 8842 3114
PO Box 614
Clare, SA 5453

Deposit: $60 to cover basic costs
plus a donation for the workshop.
Food provided.


Hillier (Gawler) SA - Sat 22 and Sun 23 September 2007
(40 minutes drive from the centre of Adelaide)

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.
A Course in Miracles

Using the spiritual path of A Course in Miracles we will explore what true healing is - the return to our awareness of our spiritual identity. Identification with our body as our home is the origin of all our physical and psychological suffering.

The basis of this workshop is that the cause of all disease lies in the mind and not the body. Disease is a shadow on the body, of the guilt in our minds.

During the workshop we will focus on undoing the blocks we have built to the presence of God's love and joy within us through the understanding and practising of forgiveness. Only this love heals.

We will investigate what the Course means by healing ourselves and others and contrast the differences between the healed and the unhealed healer. Practical exercises will be used to help understand the ego and to practice forgiveness and turning within for guidance.

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

Clifford Road
South Australia
(40 minutes drive from the centre of Adelaide)

Sat and Sun - 9.30 TO 5.00

Booking Fee - $30 (non refundable)
Workshop - By Donation
Some accommodation on site - $40
Bring food to share for lunch both days

For Details Contact:
Pamela St Claire
(08) 8322 0444
email: pstclaire@chariot.net.au

People should send their Booking Fee to:

Pamela St Claire
36 The Causeway
O'Halloran Hill SA 5158
and include a cheque made payable to P. St Claire



Bonn - weekend w/s Sat 14 June and Sun 15

Awakening to Our Spiritual Reality.
A Course in Miracles workshop

You do not have to seek reality.
It will seek you and find you when you meet its conditions.
A Course in Miracles T-8.IX.2:4-5

The deepest but forgotten truth about ourselves is that we are one with the love and mind of God. Identification with our bodies and personalities blinds us to our spiritual reality. The Course teaches us how to awaken from this dream of separation from God and to experience joy and peace. If our intention to awake is sincere and we have the humility to realise we know nothing and are willing to be taught by spirit we will meet the conditions of awakening.

Topics will include:
•What is enlightenment?
•Why we fear to awaken.
•Traps on the spiritual path.
•The need for a full heart and an empty mind.
•Not knowing.
•Obstacles to peace
•Development of trust
•Forgiveness and guidance

Exercises will be used to help remove the obstacles to peace.

No previous knowledge of A Course in Miracles is required.

Introductory talk on A Course in Miracles - evening Fri 13 June

Beethovenallee 16
Bonn 53173
tel: 0228 - 36 47 37


FREIBURG - Weekend w/s Sat 7 and Sun 8 June 2008

Awakening to Our Spiritual Reality.
A Course in Miracles workshop
10am to 6pm

You do not have to seek reality.
It will seek you and find you when you meet its conditions.
A Course in Miracles T-8.IX.2:4-5

The deepest but forgotten truth about ourselves is that we are one with the love and mind of God. Identification with our bodies and personalities blinds us to our spiritual reality. The Course teaches us how to awaken from this dream of separation from God and to experience joy and peace. If our intention to awake is sincere and we have the humility to realise we know nothing and are willing to be taught by spirit we will meet the conditions of awakening.

Topics will include:
•What is enlightenment?
•Why we fear to awaken.
•Traps on the spiritual path.
•The need for a full heart and an empty mind.
•Not knowing.
•Obstacles to peace
•Development of trust
•Forgiveness and guidance

Exercises will be used to help remove the obstacles to peace.

No previous knowledge of A Course in Miracles is required.

Introductory talk on A Course in Miracles - evening Fri 6 June at 8pm.

Location of workshop:
Center Margarete Sennekamp
Schauinslandstr. 39
79100 Freiburg-Günterstal
Tram 4, Klosterplatz

Margarete Sennekamp
Adalbert-Stifter-Str. 16
79102 Freiburg
Tel/Fax : 0761-73930

Michael discovered A Course in Miracles whilst visiting the Findhorn Foundation in 1982. He subsequently became a member of the Foundation for about six years and involved himself with healing and teaching. In 1994 he published Healing the Cause - A Path of Forgiveness which serves as an introduction to the Course. His second book, The Findhorn Book of Forgiveness (Findhorn Press) uses exercises, stories and case histories to guide the reader to inner peace through forgiveness. Michael now lives in Australia and gives workshops on the Course world-wide.



Healing the Cause - A Path of Forgiveness. Findhorn Press. 1994
The Findhorn Book of Forgiveness. Findhorn Press. 2003

For more details and how to purchase please visit: http://www.acfip.org/books_tapes.html

Audio Tapes and CDs
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)

For more details and how to purchase please visit: http://www.acfip.org/audio.html



Foundation for A Course In Miracles
41397 Buecking Drive, Temecula, CA 92590
Tel: 909 296 6261 Fax: 909296 9117

Books, videos, CDs and audio tapes by Kenneth and Gloria Wapnick are available from their web site http://www.facim.org

Question and Answer Service:
Their electronic outreach section has a question and answer service http://www.facimoutreach.org/ on the theory and practice of the Course. Their database of hundreds of questions and answers is searchable and you can ask your own questions.

Their publications can also be ordered in Australia at:
Adyar Bookshop
230 Clarence Street
Sydney, NSW 2000

Foundation for Inner Peace - the publishers of A Course in Miracles

ACIM study groups.
Go to
The Miracle Distribution Center http://www.miraclecenter.org/ for the largest and most frequently updated list of A Course in Miracles study groups available anywhere.

Miracles Studies Australia  http://www.miracle-studies.net.au lists study groups for Australia and new Zealand

A Course In Miracles Pen Pals
Miracle Network http://www.miracles.org.uk hosts a A Course in Miracles pen pals group:
To join this e-mail discussion group, send your e-mail address to e.pals@miracles.org.uk. They will send you updated lists of other e.pals and inform them of your e-mail address.

A Course In Miracles Chat Groups
The aim of this board is to provide a place for people to chat about ACIM.
Any related discussions are more than welcome and I believe helpful! - moderated by Glyn Milhench



About three or four 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.

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


      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


In your light I learn how to love.
In your beauty, how to make poems.

You dance inside my chest,
where no one sees you,

but sometimes I do, and that
sign becomes this art.

- Rumi


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


Yet searching is inevitable here. For this you came, and you will surely do the thing you came for. But the world can not dictate the goal for which you search, unless you give it power to do so. Otherwise, you still are free to choose a goal that lies beyond the world and every worldly thought, and one that comes to you from an idea relinquished yet remembered, old yet new; an echo of a heritage forgot, yet holding everything you really want.

A Course in Miracles Lesson 131


There's one great delusion that lies at the core
of all of our suffering: the false belief in the reality
of the separation of life and in the subsequent
true existence of an individual ego.

All fervent attempts to control or to mortify this
illusory ego through penance, rituals and sacrifice,
however, will only serve to intensify the delusion
that this ego is actually very real and that it only
needs to be, somehow, subdued, conquered or
- Chuck Hillig

Seeds for the Soul
Chuck Hillig
Black Dot Publications, 2003