ACFIP Newsletter 

Issue 34 - September 2012

Quarterly Newsletter of the Australian Centre for Inner Peace




Michael Dawson

PO Box 125, Point Lookout

North Stradbroke Island,

Queensland 4183,




Web site:






 Thinking Is Not Going To Get You There

*  Nisargadatta Maharaj Quotes

*  Kenneth Wapnick Interview No 3

*  AdyashantiThe Fear of Awakening

*  Adyashanti - Rest as Awareness

*  Workshops

*  Books and Audio Materials for Sale

*  Links

*  Inspirational Quotations


If you wish to read previous issues please go to


If your email address ends with .au I put your address on my Australian list for advance notice 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 and



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.

¥ 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






  Thinking Is Not Going To Get You There


Michael Dawson


Those who remember always that they know nothing, and who have become willing to learn everything, will learn it. But whenever they trust themselves, they will not learn. They have destroyed their motivation for learning by thinking they already know. Think not you understand anything until you pass the test of perfect peace, for peace and understanding go together and never can be found alone.   A Course in Miracles. T-14.XI.12.


When I was in my 20s, I lived in London. Most Saturdays would find me looking at books in esoteric bookshops, eager to find a meaning to life and discover inner peace. Over the years I must have collected more than 1000 books! I believed that one day I would find a book that contained the truth, and then I would really know.


I would read about all manner of fascinating subjects, and summarise and synthesise the information. I then set about creating a spiritual path for myself.  I received pleasure, stimulation and pride in doing all of this - above all else I was in control. I did not know anywhere else to look apart from the mind. Where do you go if you donÕt go to the mind? 


Although many of the books pointed to something beyond the mind, I did not seem to be directly aware of it. Looking back I realise I did have an intuition that I sometimes allowed to guide me, but I explained it away as part of my reasoning and logical mind. My friends would refer to me as Spock - the very logical Vulcan from the Star Trek series of the 60s. (I think they meant to insult me, but I took it as a compliment.)


It took me quite a few years to realise the limitations of the mind, although it is wonderful and necessary for the practical necessities of life. The American teacher Adyashanti refers to that part of the mind as Òtoolbox mindÓ. Without it you could not read this article, speak, go to work, etc. Adya also commented that the most intelligent action of the mind is to know its own limitations. It is not designed to understand or find truth. That is because truth or love is beyond the mind, beyond space and time and therefore beyond our understanding. But the mind can be used to recognise the obstacles to truth, so they may be forgiven and released.


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.    T-in.1.


Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all of the barriers within yourself that you have built against it. It is not necessary to seek for what is true, but it is necessary to seek for what is false. T-16.IV.6.


 The mind does not like to give up its dominant position; it believes it is all powerful. It says, ÒGive me enough time and I will find the truth for youÓ. It likes to keep busy. Above all else, it seeks to understand. For the mind to find it cannot understand truth is very humbling and is resisted. The Course quote at the beginning of the article reminds us that total peace comes with total understanding. If we havenÕt got peace then we understand nothing of importance. This concept will be resisted strongly by the mind. However, as we start to see the limitations of the mind we begin to relax and become more comfortable with not knowing. We realise the books have their place and can be very helpful at the start of our journey. We also need to see when they need to be given up - otherwise they become a hindrance. 


The Course is written on many different levels. HereÕs a quote that might be referred to as an end-of-the line teaching.


Simply do this: Be still, and lay aside all thoughts of what you are and what God is; all concepts you have learned about the world; all images you hold about yourself.  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. Lesson 189


Notice that in the last line of the quote Jesus even asks you to let A Course in Miracles go. If you have just started reading and understanding the Course then obviously this guidance is not relevant to your stage of learning. First, you need to master concepts before you can let them go. However, the time will come for all of us when books must be set aside and we only follow the guidance from within.


Having relied so heavily on our minds for everything during our lives, expect the mind to launch quite a battle against simply being relegated to practical duties. ÒYou still need me,Ó it will cry. ÒWithout me everything will be chaos!Ó ÒI know how to take you to God, truth and love. Instead of turning to your mind when you feel troubled, the Course gives the following advice:


When your peace is threatened or disturbed in any way, 

say to yourself,


I do not know what anything, including this, means.

And so I do not know how to respond to it.

And I will not use my own past learning as the light 

to guide me now.


By this refusal to attempt to teach yourself what you do not know, the Guide Whom God has given you will speak to you.

He will take His rightful place in your awareness the instant

you abandon it, and offer it to Him. T-14.XI.6.


 To begin to move from trying to understand and sorting everything out yourself to allowing an inner guidance to lead you, is a huge step in learning. As we start to attempt this the ego often masquerades up as the Holy Spirit and gives us the answers we prefer to hear to our problems. It is difficult initially to know if we receive true guidance and only time will tell - the result will be an increase in peace. Beware of any guidance accompanied by excitement and enthusiasm. This is always an indication that the guidance is coming from the ego. True guidance comes from a quiet place within us, a quiet knowing what to do.


Thanks be to you, the holy Son of God.  For as you were created, you contain all things within your Self.  And you are still as God created you.  Nor can you dim the light of your perfection. Lesson 197


Who we really are has never changed, nor is capable of change as it was created outside of time. It simply waits to be recognised by us. What prevents us becoming aware of it?


The memory of God comes to the quiet mind.  It cannot come where there is conflict, for a mind at war against itself remembers not eternal gentleness. T-23.I.1.


A quiet mind is all you need. All else will happen rightly, once your mind is quiet. As the sun on rising makes the world active, so does self-awareness affect changes in the mind. In the light of calm and steady self-awareness inner energies wake up and work miracles without any effort on your part. 

Nisargadatta Maharaj from I Am That


This is why the Course stresses forgiveness. With forgiveness comes a quiet mind. As we learn to look without judgement upon ourselves and the world (forgiveness), our mind starts to become quiet creating an opportunity for the truth to reveal itself to us. Using the analogy of the sun as truth, we have placed clouds of judgement in front of it.  Our task is to become aware of these clouds without judging them and allow them to be removed by spirit. This is the process of forgiveness that the Course teaches. As the clouds become less the sun of truth begins to shine through to our minds. Love and truth start to dawn upon us.


For the mind to become quiet, it needs to release the importance of not just 'negative thoughts' but also so-called 'positive thoughts'.


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


My real thoughts are the thoughts I think with God (peace, love, co-creation).   

I am not aware of them because I have made my thoughts to take their place.

Lesson 51


When the mind is relegated to its (suitable) 'toolbox function' and kept away from its search for truth, our lives become full of grace. There will arise quiet knowing of what to do, what to say and where to go. We will start to develop spiritual vision where we look at life through the eyes spirit and not through the ego.


Above all else I want to see. 

Recognizing that what I see reflects what I think I am, I realize that vision is my greatest need. The world I see attests to the fearful nature of the self-image I have made. If I would remember who I am, it is essential that I let this image of myself go. As it is replaced by truth, vision will surely be given me. And with this vision, I will look upon the world and on myself with charity and love. Lesson 56


What does it look like to have spiritual vision, to look through the eyes of spirit at the world? We will no longer take sides, which is the hallmark of ego perception. Labels such as "right" and "wrong", "good" and "bad" fall away. ItÕs not that we do not see all the pain in the world; now we will simply not judge it. Without judgement an energy is released in us which will be appropriate and helpful in a situation. We will not know ahead of time how we will act in some crisis, that was the way of ego thinking. The wisdom from beyond the mind will arise and guide. Now our judgement will be that of the Holy Spirit.


There is but one interpretation of motivation that makes any sense. And because it is the Holy Spirit's judgment it requires no effort at all on your part. Every loving thought is true. Everything else is an appeal for healing and help, regardless of the form it takes. Can anyone be justified in responding with anger to a brother's plea for help? No response can be appropriate except the willingness to give it to him, for this and only this is what he is asking for. T-12.I.3.


Simply put, the Holy Spirit sees people either asking for love or giving love.  When spiritual vision dawns in our awareness this is how we will see the world as well. If someone is pointing the gun at you and asking for your money, spiritual vision will see this as someone asking for love. You will be guided to the appropriate response, although you cannot tell what this will be beforehand. The following story, from my own teacher Dr. Kenneth Wapnick, is a good illustration of this.


Several years ago, I was awakened in the middle of the night by the sudden realization there was someone standing in my room.  After the momentary shock, I remembered Òthere is nothing to fearÓ (Lesson 48), and calmly asked my uninvited guest:  ÒWhat can I do for you?Ó  The situation was not obscure, however.  It was clear that the man was on drugs and desperately needed money for his next fix;  burglars rarely enter occupied apartments.  He threateningly held his hand in his jacket as if he had a gun, to punctuate his demand.  My defenselessness seemed to change the atmosphere in the room, however, and the man soon began apologizing for having broken in and disturbing my sleep.  I gave him whatever money I had in my wallet, and the man paused as he took it and then returned a couple of dollars, saying:  ÒThis is all your money, I canÕt leave you with nothing.Ó  And he went on apologizing.  I assured him it was all right, and urged him to do what he had to do.  As I ushered the man to the hall, waiting with him for the elevator, I said:  ÒGod bless you.Ó  His final words as he disappeared into the elevator were:  ÒPlease pray for me.Ó  I assured him I would, although I knew that this holy encounter had been the prayer.  No injustice had been done, for there had been no real loss.  The amount of money was a small ÒpriceÓ indeed for the blessing of forgiveness that had been given and received as one.

 from The Meaning of Forgiveness  by Kenneth Wapnick. p.101


In the above story Ken experienced the miracle, the shift of perception from the ego's fear-based view of the world to spiritual vision. With vision there is no fear. The quiet mind, the forgiven mind, receives the guidance from a wisdom beyond the egoic mind and simply carries it out as directed to achieve a win-win result for all concerned.


The presence of fear is a sure sign that you are trusting in your own strength. The awareness that there is nothing to fear shows that somewhere in your mind, though not necessarily in a place you recognize as yet, you have remembered God, and let His strength take the place of your weakness. The instant you are willing to do this there is indeed nothing to fear. Lesson 48







Nisargadatta Maharaj 


Quotes from "I AmThat"


¥It is your idea that you have to do things that entangle you in results of your efforts-the motive, the desire, the failure to achieve, the sense of frustration-all this holds you back. Simply look at whatever happens and know that you are beyond it. 

¥If you just try to keep quiet, all will come - the work, the strength for work, the right motive. Must you know everything beforehand? DonÕt be anxious about your future - be quiet now and all will fall into place. 

¥You need not gather any more (experience), rather you must go beyond experience. 

¥When the mind is in its natural state, it reverts to silence spontaneously after every experience or, rather, every experience happens against the background of silence. 

¥You can be happy in the world only when you are free of it....To believe that you depend on things and people for happiness is due to ignorance of your true nature; to know that you need nothing to be happy, except self-knowledge, is wisdom. 

¥A personal problem cannot be solved on its own level. The very desire to live is the messenger of death, as the longing to be happy is the outline of sorrow.

¥As long as you feel competent and confident, reality is beyond your reach. Unless you accept inner adventure as a way of life, discovery will not come to you. p.499

¥The world appears to you so overwhelmingly real, because you think of it all the time; cease thinking of it and it will dissolve into thin mist.

¥You need not gather any more (experience), rather you must go beyond experience. 

¥When you are no longer attached to anything, you have done your share. The rest will be done for you.

¥To think yourself to be something, or somebody, is death and hell. 

¥Doership is a myth born from the illusion of ÔmeÕ and Ôthe mineÕ.

¥Keep quiet, undisturbed, and the wisdom and the power will come on their own.

¥Once you are quiet, things will begin to happen spontaneously and quite naturally, without any interference on your part.

¥Abandon all desires, keep your mind silent and you shall discover.

¥Pain and pleasure go always together. Freedom from one means freedom from both. If you do not care for pleasure, you will not be afraid of pain. 

¥Sex is an acquired habit. Go beyond. As long as your focus is on the body, you will remain in the clutches of food and sex, fear and death. Find yourself and be free. 

¥Desirelessness is the highest bliss. 

¥Once you realise that the person is merely a shadow of the reality, but not the reality itself, you cease to fret and worry.  You agree to be guided from within and life becomes a journey into the unknown.






The Quiet Center: An interview with Ken Wapnick

February 2010

by Susan Dugan




During a recent visit to The Foundation for A Course in Miracles in Temecula, California to attend a workshop with friend and fellow Course student Deb Shelly, I interviewed premier Course scholar Ken Wapnick, PhD, about his journey with the Course.

I wanted to know how Ken perceived his role in communicating the CourseÕs unique message, how he viewed awakening, how he avoided specialness, how he handled celebrity, and how his application of forgiveness has evolved since his early days with Helen and Bill. His answers may surprise you as much as they did us.

I have never been around an enlightened beingÐmy teenage daughter notwithstanding JÐbut must say that sitting in KenÕs presence with Deb felt healing for both of us in ways we found difficult to describe. He offers the gift of his complete, unwavering attention, and seems to listen more deeply and carefully than the hundreds of people I have interviewed over the years. His answers resounded with truth, and led to my decision to publish them in their entirety (except for minor editing and restructuring for flow) rather than weaving truncated quotes into a narrative as I normally do.

NOTE: Clinical Psychologist, Teacher and Author Kenneth Wapnick, PhD, has been studying A Course in Miracles since 1973, and worked closely with Course Scribe Helen Schucman and Collaborator Bill Thetford in preparing its final manuscript. With his wife, Gloria, he is president and co-founder of The Foundation for A Course in Miracles ( in Temecula, California.

How do you avoid making your role as a Course teacher special?

ItÕs the difference between form and content. A line I always like to quote is where Jesus says ÒTeach not that I died in vain. Teach rather that I did not die by demonstrating that I live in you.Ó Teaching is demonstration and what you want to focus on is making yourself as ego-free as possible and then whatever you do will be joyful; whether youÕre teaching the Course, being a parent, washing dishes, writing an essay, taking a walk. It doesnÕt make any difference.

ThatÕs how you get away from the specialness of the form. Because thatÕs a real seduction, you know? To think that what IÕm doing is important because IÕm teaching A Course in Miracles. Well, why is that any different from building a hotel or raising children or anything else? So when you get away from the form, the content will always be the same.

ThereÕs that lovely phrase in the Course about the quiet center. And while the image is not used, itÕs implicit in it that if you think of a hub of a wheel thereÕs that quiet center where you live and the spokes that emanate from it are your various roles: wife, teacher, mother, etc. The spokes are not important. WhatÕs important is that you stay in that quiet center and the love in there infuses everything you do; whether you teach the Course or whether youÕre playing with your grandchildren. In a sense it should all be the same and to the extent that you recognize that itÕs not the same then you recognize that you still have work to do. ThatÕs where the process comes in.

ItÕs really a trap when you get seduced by the form into thinking the form is something. You teach JesusÕ message by living it; not by preaching it. IÕve often said you could give a wonderful workshop just reading the phone book and if you read it with love and that love infuses every name you read; then you teach it. It doesnÕt matter that you have the theology straight or the dynamics of the ego straight. Anybody can learn it, memorize it. But thatÕs not how you teach it. ThatÕs not how people learn.

So itÕs about using the things that seem to arise in your life and forgiving yourself when you catch yourself making it special?

Yes. If you think back to your grade school years what you remember is not the things the teachers taught you. You remember those teachers that were mean and those that were loving; you donÕt really remember how they taught you reading, writing, and arithmetic. The teachers who stand out in your mind years later are the teachers who were kind or cruel. ThatÕs what it means to be a teacherÐwhat you demonstrateÐwhether youÕre teaching child-rearing or arithmetic. The line from the text I also quote frequently about the New Year: ÒMake this year different by making it all the same.Ó Everything is the same.

You have a lot of people who want a lot of things from you all the time. How do you deal with that?

Again, if you really just focus on that quiet center and donÕt identify with the spokes. Whether someone says that was a great class or someone says that was terrible or boring or someone asks you the same question over and over again.

I get asked a lot how can you stand to teach the same thing over and over again. People listen to tapes I made 25 years ago and itÕs basically the same thing. And I sometimes make a joke; I can say the same thing over and over again because I donÕt listen to myself. But really itÕs because itÕs always for the first time. So if someone makes a Òdemand,Ó the personÕs just always talking to me for the first time. Otherwise I couldnÕt do what I do. ItÕs all for the first time.

And certainly you donÕt take personally what people say. You learn that in grad school in psychotherapy because patients are constantly projecting; they either love you or hate you. Either way it has nothing to do with you.  When you become a public figure, the whole trick is to stay in that quiet center. I want to help people to be more happy and peaceful and kinder but itÕs not how you define yourself. You define yourself by that quiet center and then whatever people do or donÕt do; you just try to be present.

IÕve read that in the early days of the Course you and Helen and Bill and others would ask for specific guidance from Jesus or the Holy Spirit around bringing the Course into the world, for example. How has your experience asking for help from Jesus or the Holy Spirit shifted over time?

Well, to be honest Helen and Bill were very used to asking for very specific help; what street corner should we stand on to get a taxi cab, which is no small feat in New York City. And they were very, very good at getting taxi cabs at the height of the rush hour; it could be raining. And I never felt comfortable with that. I could do it, and I would do it but it never seemed quite kosher to me. And as youÕve heard me say; The Song of Prayer pamphlet came out of that. And so I think what has evolved is not so much my understanding but the way I talk about it. It was never anything I did prior to meeting Helen and Bill and it just seemed a way to circumscribe that internal presence.

In that one message I quote a lot Jesus said to Helen youÕre trying to make my love more manageable. It was a way of managing him. I used to say a lot instead of worrying about which voice youÕre hearing and what the voice should tell you why not ask to hear what you should do to remove the blocks so that you can hear the voice better. So itÕs not that asking for specifics is not valid or it canÕt help you but in the long run itÕs not where you want to go. That will just help you live better in the world. I knew Helen knew better and Helen did know better; it was just part of her costume.

Did you have any level confusion early on or did it all make sense from the beginning?

I think it all made sense from the beginning. I remember Helen once asked Jesus why I didnÕt have problems with all this and his answer was because thereÕs no time for it. And actually there wasnÕt. I couldnÕt have done or do all I do. It was never an issue.

How has practicing the CourseÕs unique form of forgiveness changed your life; your relationships?

Honestly I donÕt think it has. I was really never an angry person. I donÕt think anything really changed. What the Course did was it gave a specific context for what I was (already) experiencing but it was not really an issue for me. Not that I didnÕt make mistakes but I didnÕt hold grudges and I was not angry, even as a child. I had some experiences with my parents where IÕd get upset, you know; typical adolescence. But it never really went anywhere. I was never one to hold on to disagreement; it didnÕt matter.

Did you experience any undoing? Do you feel that you came into this world in a healed state of mind?

I had issues, I had problems. I look back on my life and see a difference. But by the time I first saw the Course and read it, it was like I was reading it from the inside. And while I certainly would not have said things the way the Course says them when I read them I understood they were true.

I donÕt have a sense of the process (with A Course in Miracles). I think for me the process occurred earlier. My greatest spiritual teacher was Beethoven. I started listening to his music in high school and that was my teacher. I sensed something in his music that over a period of time I was growing into. I was very clear about that from high school, college, graduate school, and beyond. What was more important to me than anything else in my lifeÑmy schooling, my work, my first marriageÑwas getting closer and closer to what I felt was the real heart of his music. It was very clear that was a process of hearing his music over and over and hearing his process.

The ego was gone right at the end of his life; you wouldnÕt have known it from his life but you can hear it in the last quartets, especially. So I saw my whole life at that point as a process of growing into that music until I felt one with it. When I first heard it in high school I knew I wasnÕt there yet, so that was the journey. So that part of the journey was completed by the time I first saw the Course. After that it was just a kind of crystallizing of everything I knew was true.

What is it like to basically be peaceful all the time?

Really nice.

Is it hard to relate to other peopleÕs stuff?

No, not at all. The first professional work I did that I did enjoy the most was working with disturbed children in the school system. I really enjoyed working with psychotic people. I could enter into their thought system. It was like going into their water but I still had a foot on dry land. I could always relate. I could hear, I could understand, and I could help bring them through and out of it.

It actually makes you much more empathetic and compassionate because no needs are imposing on it. And another thing thatÕs greatÐbecause I am very, very busyÐis it helps you become very, very efficient in time because thereÕs nothing interfering. No conflict. If thereÕs a pile on my desk, if there are calls to make; I just do it. Often everything happens at once. It makes your life easier. You get so much more done. And it allows you to be more compassionate because you can really hear peopleÕs pain and kind of touch it and try to help without anything interfering.

IÕm still fairly new to the Course and very new to teaching. I feel very joyful and present writing, teaching, or just spending a lot of time with the material. Then something just seems to come up out of nowhere and I feel unloved and unloving. My self-worth plummets and IÕm just a mess. Can you speak about whatÕs going on with the egoÕs backlash?

I think itÕs an example of such a common experience almost everyone has regardless of their spiritual path and that is as you become more and more serious about letting your ego go the part of you that identifies with the ego gets terrified. Jesus says when you take my hand on the journey the ego retaliates. He says in that same passage I am beyond the ego so when you take my hand youÕre going beyond the ego. So part of you still believes youÕre Susan and all the things that go into making Susan, while all of them are not pleasant; theyÕre comfortable.  So it becomes terrifying and thatÕs when the love turns to hate and the peace turns to fear and you start attacking yourself or attacking others.

ItÕs very important to understand that and, as you work with this material, to have a healthy respect for the ego which means a healthy respect for your own identification with the ego. Because if you donÕt youÕll be blind-sided. Here I am teaching and writing and feeling so kind and loving and boom; I get hit in the back of the neck. And it shouldnÕt be a surprise after a while. When it happens you just say oh, thatÕs what happened, thatÕs what egos do.

You know, itÕs just a book. Books are harmless; itÕs nothing. ItÕs when you take it seriously that you have a problem. You donÕt want to dismiss your ego. You want to respect it but you donÕt want to give it a power it doesnÕt have.

Some A Course in Miracles teachers present themselves as awakened. Is there an inherent danger in this?

I think typically people who are truly awakened donÕt talk about it. IÕm a little suspicious of people who say theyÕre awakened. I mean, why would you make that claim?  You just let your life speak for you. I donÕt think Jesus said he was enlightened. That doesnÕt mean someone may not be enlightened who says he or she is but as a rule of thumb I think you would tend to not talk about that.

We can lose sight of the process by focusing on being awakened. When people make that claim it really tends to induce specialness and breed separation. Really you just do what you do and behind what you do is that awareness that says weÕre all the same. You want to focus on the process otherwise you skip steps.

What would you say to Course students/teachers who believe they/we can experience peace of mind (in a sense return directly to God/oneness) without practicing the CourseÕs forgiveness in our relationships?

When you read the Course itÕs obvious itÕs a process of hard work and you have to practice and practice and practice. I would be very suspicious of people who claim to be enlightened and people who claim they can just go straight to their right mind. I would say 99.999 percent of the time thatÕs denial. ItÕs not that it canÕt work once in a while but unless youÕre ego-free you canÕt do that and if youÕre ego-free you donÕt need forgiveness. The Course makes it clear this is a practice and a process. WeÕre in a world of time. IÕm leery of people who say you donÕt have to deal with the ego because if you say that youÕve already made it real by saying IÕm not going to deal with it.

People frequently ask you questions about their relationships and problems in their personal lives in these workshops. The Course seems to be leading us to bring those questions to our inner, loving teacher. Is there a danger of students becoming dependent for answers on the external form; on you?

Obviously itÕs a danger. I think what makes it OK is I donÕt foster that and I donÕt identify with that but I think a certain amount is helpful in the beginning stages just like a child has to begin by depending on his parents. A childÕs not going to grow and learn if he or she is not dependent on the parents. But at some point the parents let the child go and you have trouble when parents donÕt do that. And IÕm certainly aware of all that having done therapy for many years.

People easily will project both good and bad onto me but I would not foster anyoneÕs dependence. Certainly I would say to some people if I can be of help to you, why donÕt you ask me? ThereÕs a line in the Course that says in effect the aim of any teacher is to make himself dispensable. You donÕt want people to be dependent on you once theyÕre able to be on their own. ItÕs a danger, but I donÕt think itÕs a problem.

Do you have to set boundaries with your students? If so; when and how?

ThereÕs no right or wrong. There are times when you really have to place very strict boundaries and times when you just have to give people slack. With some people placing a limit would not be helpful. Other people I do stop. ItÕs something you have to feel when itÕs loving and when itÕs not loving. To be firm sometimes is the most loving thing you can do; other times itÕs not. ItÕs the same thing with children. Sometimes you overlook something a child does; other times you need to be very clear. ItÕs hard to know without feeling it from inside. But if you begin to feel badgered then you should place limits because otherwise youÕre dealing with a sense of sacrifice and thatÕs not helpful. If you canÕt freely give; then donÕt give.

So overall your advice to those of us starting to teach is to just be that kind and loving presence as much as possible and try to get the ego out of the way so you can hear what would be most helpful to people?


Yes. ThereÕs a problem, too, with excessive humility. If you have the ability to help people and you donÕt exercise it; thatÕs not helpful. If you have some information or expertise or thereÕs something about you as a person that could be helpful, to withhold it and say well IÕm really just like you are, while true on the level of content, is not true on the level of form. So to withhold an ability to help people would be silly and unkind.

The idea is you donÕt identify with it as we were talking about before. ThatÕs the key. You donÕt identify with what you do or with what people say about you, you identify with the love that you feel in that quiet center. ThatÕs where you always want to stay and let the spokes lead out from there.



Who Hears This Sound? 

The Fear of Awakening



Adyashanti writings



The process of coming into a full and mature awakening requires courage, as not only our view of life but life itself transforms to align itself with the inner mystic vision. A sincere heart is a robust and courageous heart willing to let go in the face of the great unknown expanse of BeingÑan expanse which the egoic mind has no way of knowing or understanding.

When oneÕs awareness opens beyond the dream state of egoic consciousness to the infinite no-thing-ness of intuitive awareness, it is common for the ego to feel much fear and terror as this transition begins. While there is nothing to fear about our natural state of infinite Being, such a state is beyond the egoÕs ability to understand, and as always, egos fear whatever they do not understand and cannot control. As soon as our identity leaves the ego realm and assumes its rightful place as the infinite no-thing-ness/every-thing-ness of awareness, all fear vanishes in the same manner as when we awaken from a bad dream. In the same manner in which my grandmother said, ÒGetting old is not for wimps,Ó it can also be said that making the transition from the dream state to the mature, awakened state requires courage.

Sincerity, one-pointedness, and courage are indispensable qualities in awakening from the dream state of ego to the peace and ease of awakened Being. All there is left to do is to live it. 

from: The Indispensable Qualities of Awakening. Adya

Fear and insecurity always wait for any and all who dare to probe the depths of the Unknown. The true seeker of liberation must have an uncompromising desire to discover Eternal Truth, a desire that outweighs any tendency to hesitate and contract in the face of fear. It is only when the fear of the Unknown is openly embraced that it begins to transform into the positive energy and intensity necessary to awaken from conditioned existence.


It is not uncommon in the presence of a powerful teacher, and under ideal conditions, to have a glimpse of enlightenment. But all too often most seekers are unwilling to surrender to the overwhelming implications of that revelation. The profound intimacy and vulnerability inherent in true freedom marks the destruction of the ego's boundaries to such an extent that all beings and all things become the content of one's own Self. To most seekers this is simply too much because the limitlessness of the Self leaves no room for any separateness from the whole. It is this complete lack of separation from the whole which is the very definition of selflessness and love.


from: That Which Thought Never Touches. Adya





Rest as Awareness

by Adyashanti (from his DVD)



Rest as awareness is the heart of my teachings. That's the teaching, the method, that's the technique, the thing to do.


Which is different from trying to be aware, it's not an awareness practice, trying to be more aware or enhancing awareness, or even trying to be more present, more here, more now, more aware of eating your food, more aware of the steps you take, or more aware of anything. It's not an awareness enhancement practice. In fact, it's not something you really do. In most awareness practices, you're told "this is what you going to do with awareness". You're going to focus it here, enhance it here, keep it in the here and now. You could be directed to be the witness to everything that arises. All of that is fundamentally different from rest as awareness.


Resting as awareness is not doing. What can you do to rest as awareness? What can you possibly do? All of you are doing, which would mean efforting, struggle in any way, would be actually not to rest as awareness, but being engaged in a process of seeking, me trying to do something. You can't do awareness. You can't do consciousness. You can do focused attention. Giving your attention to something. To rest as awareness you need to relinquish doing something, understanding something. The basis of spirituality is not what you know rather it's  undoing what you know. The problem most people have spiritually is not that they do not know enough it's that they know too much. They have spiritual libraries in their head.


To rest as awareness the first thing you have to relinquish is to understand something. This is a big surrender for most people, to stop trying to figure everything out. It does not take any understanding to rest as awareness, because awareness is already present. Awareness allows us to see what we see, hear what we hear etc. All of our senses, including our mind, can only function through awareness. Our experience right now is flooded with awareness. Even your daydreams need awareness to be perceived. Nothing would be without awareness, consciousness. Awareness is there before you understand it, before you focus it, before you try and do anything with it, and before you try  and enhance it.


The first step in resting in awareness is to acknowledge that it's fully here already. What ever is happening is happening within the field of awareness. If you really start to rest you'll notice the awareness is not something separate from what's arising. Awareness in other words is not a witness. Awareness is not the watcher. This is not about enhancing the watcher or the witness. The witness is an egoic construction. Can anyone find a watcher or witness to awareness? You have to make it up in your mind. Can you find a witness that is separate from what it's witnessing? (The observer is the observed as J. Krishnamurti often stated - Michael.) Is awareness a witness, because the witness always has a certain position, and a certain relationship? Awareness is not being the watcher or the witness. Both of those are what egos do. Egos can get more or less skilled at being the witness or the watcher. Or being more or less present. All of that is something the ego may become good at if it tries hard enough. But none of that is really what I'm talking about.


Resting as awareness is not a state of doing but a state of being. You can't really do resting as awareness. Your mind will say, all this sounds nice but what can I do? What can you do, awareness is already present? Is doing something even relevant? You have to surrender or relinquish the doer, that thing within your mind that  always try to get it right, do it correctly, understand it, wants to know how do I do this, how do I perfect etc. The way you do resting as awareness is to relinquish the doer. Pat the doer on the head and tell it it's irrelevant, and just rest. It's a state of letting be. It's letting go the neurotic need to understand and do. Then there can be a resting.


For most people it is difficult to rest just for a few moments, because their mind tries to entice them. It might say, if you only understood this one last thing it would help you, you would rest so much easier. It acts as a tempter. The mind wants to keep going with its do, do, do. But you don't do awareness. That's why the first word I use is rest. Rest  as awareness immediately get you out of the egoic mind state. You can't be resting and in the egoic mind state at the same time. You can't be in the neurotic mind state trying to conceptualise everything if you are resting as awareness. You're no longer dominated or caught by the ego mind state. Egos cannot do being, because being is not an ego mind activity.


If you did this one simple thing consistently that would be amazing. To do this with any real consistency, and by that I don't mean you sustain it for a long time, just not being moved into the mind trying to figure everything out. Because the hardest thing to do is to stay with one simple thing with any kind of consistency because it's a hard thing for the ego mind to do, it's a little nervous when it has not got much to do. It's easy to stay with something complex.


If resting as awareness really starts to happen for you, then at some point it will dawn on you that you and awareness are not two different things. That you are not someone who's actually resting as awareness, that was actually a notion, an idea of you. Actually, awareness is much more what you are, than all the ideas you've had about yourself in your life. So by doing this one simple thing, which is the state of being and not doing, you kind of let it happen rather than making it. 


Waking up is much more like going to sleep then waking up. The more you try to awaken spiritually the more you stay in the dream state.  ItÕs the dream of me that is doing all the struggling.To go to sleep at night we need to relinquish consciousness.To spiritually awaken you relinquish everything in consciousness. 


To Òbe awarenessÓ, you just have to relinquish effort, struggle, striving, obsessive thinking, trying to get it right, trying to understand what that even means when someone says rest as awareness. The mind will go Òwhat does that mean?Ó It's like someone says go to sleep, and you reply how? There really is not an answer to Òhow do I go to sleep?Ó


In the spiritual pursuit, we relinquish everything but consciousness, but awareness. So to rest as awareness, this means relinquish everything else but awareness. You don't have to understand anything, you don't have to control anything, you don't have to make your mind more quiet, you don't have to change the way you feel, you don't have to solve all your life issues, you just rest as awareness. You relinquish the obsessive need to do everything, anything, other than to relinquish it all and rest.


So in a very strange and paradoxical way, we wake up spiritually very much in the same manner as when we fall asleep. (Listen to KirtanaÕs, ÒFall AwakeÓ song - Michael.) The only difference is you are relinquishing content rather than consciousness. You relinquish the attachment to content. And that is all that can be done. You can't do anything more than that. It's rather a non-doing.


We normally asked teachers to tell us what to do, but what we really need to be told is what we need to let go of doing. It is not so much about what you do it's about what you let go of doing, or stop doing. Or just rest from doing. When you do that this very simple shift of perception can happen. It's much harder to happen when we are busy with doing. It's not impossible, but it is harder. Awakening can happen to anyone, at any time no matter what they are doing. Nothing is absolute, but generally the waking up happens when you're not doing all the things to try to make the waking up happen! And that is such a commonality, not in every single case, but only in 99% of the time.


So just this simple non-doing. Just rest as awareness. And you will see that it doesn't take struggle to do it. You don't have to get anything right to do it. All you have to do is stop trying to get it right. In fact, you only have to stop trying to know how to do it at all. You  donÕt have to know how to do it. Awareness is, is it not? You may not know what it is, no one knows what it is, just know that it is. Consciousness is. Awareness is. It's the only thing you can be certain of. You don't have to do it, make it more creative. That's the beautiful thing about it.





Forthcoming Workshops on A Course in Miracles

in Australia and Germany



For up to date information on my workshops go to 




Australia 2012 Dates


Healing Meditations Series 2 



When:   4 consecutive Thursday evenings 6, 13, 20, 27 Sept;  5.45-7.15pm

Where:  ÔCarolinaÕ, 25 Lucinda Crescent, (Last house on right) Pt. Lookout  [park by water tower]

Cost:     $40 for 4-session series, or $15/ session at door payable to Orgnsr. 

Organiser:  Jackie Harris   Email:  <

                  Tel:  07-3409 8498   Mob:  0410 446 226 


What:   It is common for us to carry within us unhealed, unforgiven pain from our past. Part of us wants to let it go and another part wants (unconsciously) to hold onto it - otherwise it would be gone. These pains can become our identity, shape our lives and can lead to ill-health

       The four evenings will give us the chance to go within, see what pain we carry and decide whether it is time to be free of them. The focus will be on individual issues and process. Guided meditation exercises will be given to help lead us to the awareness of what needs to be forgiven and released.  Each evening will also include a brief talk on healing and forgiveness, as well as illustrative stories.  Each person will work at the pace and level that they choose.

       The evenings will be gentle and supportive with time for sharing.


What to bring:  Guided meditation exercises may involve sitting or lying on the floor, mats or blankets to make yourself comfortable.









Relaxation Centre


BRISBANE - 1 day - Sunday 25 November, 2012


9.30a.m. to 4.30p.m.


Healing Our Relationships: The Path Home

A Course in Miracles workshop


When you meet anyone, remember it is a holy encounter. As you see him you will see yourself. As you treat him you will treat yourself. As you think of him you will think of yourself. Never forget this, for in him you will find yourself or lose yourself. Whenever two Sons of God meet, they are given another chance at salvation. Do not leave anyone without giving salvation to him and receiving it yourself

A Course in Miracles T-8.III.4.


Relationships provide the mirror in which we see what needs to be forgiven in ourselves. 

Any time we lose our peace in relationships is a red flag to what needs healing in ourselves. 

In moving from anger and dependence to forgiveness and honesty we start the journey of our spiritual awakening.


No knowledge of A Course in Miracles is required.




Relaxation Centre,

15 South Pine Road


Brisbane 4051






Relaxation Centre

07 3856 3733

(Please do not book through me)


The Brisbane Relaxation Centre has informed me that many people are increasingly booking at the last moment. 

I check the number of participants on Friday morning before the workshop. 

If numbers are small I cancel the workshop so those the are booked can be informed and make other plans for their weekend.

If you wish to attend the workshop please book by the Thursday before.







Germany 2013 Dates




June 15 and 16, 2013

10.00am to 6.000pm



Relationships: A Fast Path to Spiritual Awakening.

A Course in Miracles workshop


When you meet anyone, remember it is a holy encounter.

As you see him you will see yourself. As you treat him you will treat yourself. 

As you think of him you will think of yourself. 

Never forget this, for in him  you will find yourself or lose yourself

from A Course in Miracles T-8.III.4.


Our relationships can become our daily classroom of forgiveness. "Relationships" does not just refer to our partners but everyone we meet. How we react to our family, colleagues, strangers, animals, people in the media mirrors what is contained in our minds. Daily we walk around in a hall of mirrors and when we lose our peace we are being shown something unhealed, unforgiven in our minds. 


The Course seeks to take our difficult relationships and change their direction towards the goal of holy relationships in which we practice honesty and forgiveness.


As we learn to look at ourselves and others without judgement (forgiveness) we gradually remove the obstacles to the love and peace within us. Judgement is gradually replaced by compassion, and instead of separation, true acceptance, friendship and genuine intimacy become possible.


The workshop will contain exercises to help understand and heal painful dynamics found in ego-based relationships, allowing our natural state of peace and joy to be uncovered. 



An Evening Introductory Talk - Fri 14th June 2013

7.30pm to 9.30pm





Beethovenallee 16

Bonn 53173

tel: 0228 - 36 47 37











June 22 and 23, 2013

10.00am to 6.000pm



Relationships: A Fast Path to Spiritual Awakening.

A Course in Miracles workshop


When you meet anyone, remember it is a holy encounter.

As you see him you will see yourself. As you treat him you will treat yourself. 

As you think of him you will think of yourself. 

Never forget this, for in him  you will find yourself or lose yourself

from A Course in Miracles T-8.III.4.


Our relationships can become our daily classroom of forgiveness. "Relationships" does not just refer to our partners but everyone we meet. How we react to our family, colleagues, strangers, animals, people in the media mirrors what is contained in our minds. Daily we walk around in a hall of mirrors and when we lose our peace we are being shown something unhealed, unforgiven in our minds. 


The Course seeks to take our difficult relationships and change their direction towards the goal of holy relationships in which we practice honesty and forgiveness.


As we learn to look at ourselves and others without judgement (forgiveness) we gradually remove the obstacles to the love and peace within us. Judgement is gradually replaced by compassion, and instead of separation, true acceptance, friendship and genuine intimacy become possible.


The workshop will contain exercises to help understand and heal painful dynamics found in ego-based relationships, allowing our natural state of peace and joy to be uncovered. 



An Evening Introductory Talk - Fri 21 June 2013

8pm - 9.45pm




Margarete Sennekamp

Winterhaldenweg 4,

79856 Hinterzarten,

Tel./Fax: 07652-917530




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.




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.









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.

Their publications can also be ordered in Australia at:

Adyar Bookshop

230 Clarence Street

Sydney, NSW 2000

Kenneth Wapnick ......ÉÉÉ 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 ...ÉÉ....... 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.  ÉÉÉÉ 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