NEW DAY-NEW BEGINNINGS
The Donkey in the Pit
A parable on pain and gain
By Yaakov Lieder
One day, a donkey fell into a pit. The animal cried and whined for hours while his owner tried to figure out what to do. Finally, the farmer decided that since the animal was old, and the pit needed to be covered up anyway, he’d just bury the old donkey right there. He got a shovel and started filling in the pit. The donkey kept up its wailing, but then fell silent. After an hour of furious shovelling, the farmer paused to rest. To his amazement, he saw his old donkey jump out of the pit and trot away!
At first, when the donkey realized what was happening, he cried even more piteously. But then the wise animal hit on a plan. As each spadeful of dirt hit his back, the donkey would shake it off and take a step up on the growing mound of earth. Eventually, the mound grew high enough for him to jump out of the pit.
Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the pit well is to shake it off and take a step up. We can get out of the deepest pits by not stopping and never giving up. Just shake it off and take a step up.
Undoing the Way We See Things Now
I am never upset for the reason I think.
This idea, like the preceding one, can be used with any person, situation or anything you think is causing you pain. Apply it specifically to whatever you believe is the cause of your upset, using the description of the feeling in whatever term seems accurate to you. The upset they seem to be fear, worry, depression, anxiety, anger, hatred, jealousy, or any number of forms, all of which will be perceived as different. This is not true. However, until you learn that form does not matter, each form becomes a proper subject for the exercises for the day. Applying the same idea to each of them separately is the first step and ultimately recognizing they are all the same.
When using the idea for today for a specific perceived cause of an upset in any form, use both the name of the form in which you to see the upside, and the cause which you ascribe to it. For example:
I am not angry at__________for the reason I think.
I am not afraid of__________for the reason I think.
But again, this should not be substituting for practice periods In which you first search your mind for “ sources” of upsets in what you believe, and forms of upset which you think result.
In these exercises, more than in the proceeding ones, you may find it hard to be indiscriminate, and avoid giving greater weight to some subjects than To others. It might help to proceed the exercises with this statement.
There are no small upsets. They are all equally disturbing to my peace of mind.
Then examine your mind for whatever is distressing you, regardless of how much or how little you think it is doing so.
You may also find yourself that’s going to apply today to some perceived sources of upset then to others, if this occurs, think first of this:
I cannot keep this form of upset and let others go.
For The purposes of these exercises, then, I will regard them all as the same.
Then search your mind for no more than a minute or so and try to identify a number of different forms of upset that are disturbing you, regardless of the relative importance you may give them. Apply the idea today to each of them, using the name of both the source of the upset as you perceive it, and of the feeling as you experience it. Further examples are:
I am not worried about__________ for the reason I think.
I am not depressed__________for the reason I think.
Three or four times during the day is enough.
Personal Notes: The review of todays lesson and doing the exercises was a much needed reminder for me. the last three days I had such strong urges to hang on to a bad attitude, that load voice in my head that the Course later identifies as ego. The quieter voice of Holy Spirit knew it was not in my best interest or others to show the Light, Truth and Love of Jesus. I needed the reminder and exercises of past few days, I do not understand what I see, what I hear, what I am feeling, I am never upset for the reason I think, I am not angry for the reason I think. After examining my mind looking for the True source, asking Holy Spirit to shine The Light of love, truth, and peace on this attitude of mine, Truth, and Peace was revealed to my sight once again. Praise be to our Lord and Savoir.
Undoing the Way We See Things Now
These Thoughts do not mean anything. They are like the things I see in this room (on this street, from this window, in this place).
Unlike the preceding ones, these exercises do not begin with the idea for the day. In these practice periods, begin with noting the thoughts that are crossing your mind for about a minute. Then apply the idea to them. If you were already aware of unhappy thoughts, use them as subjects for the idea. Do not, however, select only the thoughts you think are “bad”. You will find, if you train yourself to look at your thoughts, that they represent such A mixture, that, in a sense none of them can be called “good“ or “bad“. This is why they do not mean anything.
In selecting the subjects for application of today’s idea, the usual specificity is required. Do not be afraid to use “good” thoughts as well as “bad”. None of them represents your real thoughts, which are being 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.
This is a major exercise and will be repeated from time to time in somewhat different form. The aim here is to train you in the first steps toward the goal of separating the meaningless from the meaningful. It is a first attempt in the long-range Purpose of learning to see the meaningless as outside you, and the meaningful within. It is also the beginning of training your mind to recognize what is the same and what is different.
In using your thoughts for application of the idea for today, identify each thought by the central figure or event it contains; for example:
This thought about__________________ does not mean anything.
It is like the things I see in this room, (on the street, and so on).
You can also use the idea for a particular thought that you recognize as harmful. This practice is useful, but is not a substitute for the more random procedures to be followed for the exercises. Do not, however, examine your mind for more than a minute or so. You are too inexperienced as yet to avoid a tendency to become pointlessly preoccupied.
Further, since these exercises are the first of their kind, you may find the suspension of judgment in connection with thoughts particularly difficult. Do not repeat these exercises more than three or four times during the day. We will return to them later.
Personal Notes and Applications:
I feel a peace come over me as I openly admit in unison with all creation that I do not understand anything I see, but I take comfort trusting in and knowing the One who does. Laying it all aside and asking Holy Spirit to teach me truth and a new way. Clearing the altar of my mind and heart to receive light in the darkness.
Nothing real can be threatened
Nothing unreal exist
Undoing the Way We See Things Now
I do not understand anything I see in this room (On the street, from this window, in this place).
Apply this idea in the same way as the previous ones, without making distinctions of any kind. Whatever you see becomes a proper subject for applying the idea. Be sure that you do not question the suitability of anything for application of the idea. These are not exercises in judgment. Anything is suitable if you see it. Some of the things you see may have emotionally-charged meaning for you. Try to lay such feelings aside, and merely use these things exactly as you would anything else.
Taken from A Course in Miracles Complete & Annotated Edition
I feel a peace come over me as I openly admit in unison with all creation that I do not understand anything I see, but I take comfort in trusting in and knowing the one who does. Laying it all aside and asking Holy Spirit to teach me truth and a new way. Clearing the altar of my mind and heart to receive light in the darkness.
I have given everything I see in this room (on this street, from this window, in this place) all the meaning that it has for me.
The exercises with this idea are the same as those for the first one. begin with the things that are near you, and apply the idea to whatever your glance rests on. Then increase the range outward. Turn your head so that you include whatever is to either side. If possible, turn around and apply the idea to whatever is behind you. Remain as indiscriminate as possible in selecting subjects for its application, do not concentrate on anything in particular, and do not attempt to include everything in a given area, or you will introduce strain.
Merely glance easily and fairly quickly around you trying to avoid selection by size, brightness, color, material, or relative importance to you. Take the subjects simply as you see them. Try to apply the exercise with equal ease to a body or a button, a fly or a floor, an arm or an apple. the sole criterion for applying the idea to anything is merely that your eyes have lighted on it. Make no attempt to include anything particular, but be sure that nothing is specifically excluded.
Get new content delivered directly to your inbox.