We teach what we believe through our attitudes. My life is an open book. I wanted to have heart-to-heart talks with people, and do that for a living. How surprising to find that this was possible! All answers are tucked away inside our hearts. At the Monastery, we are very attentive to our emotions; we learn to remove these obstructions to peace. “There are no small upsets,” (W-5.4:3) it says in A Course in Miracles. We literally crucify ourselves when we hold onto them.
Stress and Worry < 5 mins, Embarrassment, Error and Sin, Expressing, Guilt, People-Pleasing, Private Thoughts, Rejection, Shame
To learn “A Course in Miracles,” you must question every value that you hold. At our Monastery we have two guidelines that help us do this: “No Private Thoughts,” and “No People-Pleasing.” Every day people expose their private thoughts at expression sessions.
Sex, Stress and Worry 10–30 mins, A Course in Miracles, Allowance, Blame, Dark and Intense Emotions, Ego, Healing, Holy Spirit, Judgments, Non-Judgment, People-Pleasing, Presence, Private Thoughts, Projection, Purpose, Sex and Sexuality, Shame, True Innocence, Unconsciousness
David Hoffmeister shares about “expression sessions.” In our communities, we encourage expression of our unconscious patterns and thoughts. Rather than fearing and repressing dark thoughts, we hold the space of love and acceptance for them. In this spacious non-judgment, the burden is lifted and healing takes place through the Holy Spirit. The point is to get in touch with emotions, not to give advice or attempt to teach. David Hoffmeister recounts a parable of healing around sexuality.
Money < 5 mins, Body Issues, Contentment and Happiness, Control, People-Pleasing, Planning, Possession and Ownership, Private Thoughts, Sex and Sexuality, Shame, Specialness
What is success? You may have specific ideas about what success would look like in your life. Is it built on a concept like the “American Dream,” or some other artificial standard? These societal ideas about the “success” are like a cosmic fig leaf, covering over the separation and belief in guilt and shame. There is no need to cover anything up. There is nothing to hide.
When your reactions come from a mistaken self-concept, they are like blind reactions. Ultimately, the self-concept has to be questioned. In this video, David Hoffmeister talks about one of the more puzzling “A Course in Miracles” quotes, “Recognize what does not matter, and if your brothers ask you for something ‘outrageous,’ do it because it does not matter.” (T-12.III.4:1) What does Jesus mean by this? Does it mean that if your brother asks you to something outrageous like rob a bank with him, you should say “sure!” and go for it?
Relationships 10–30 mins, Death, Deception, Discernment, People-Pleasing, True and False Empathy, True Strength
False empathy, or care-taking, is generally seen as being nice and good, but it is part of the ego’s death wish. When you give yourself over to Spirit, your perception of what is truly helpful will change. You come to see that you were engaged in trying to save people. It is deception. True empathy is aligning with what is true, bringing it back to your mind, paying attention to your feelings, and not taking on anything false. You no longer care about others’ reactions. You become happy for no earthly reason.
Relationships 5–10 mins, Beliefs and Concepts, Family, Mighty Companions, People-Pleasing, Purpose, Self-Concept, Undoing the Ego
David uses the movie, “Meet the Parents,” with Ben Stiller and Robert De Niro, to show how people in your life act out your unconscious beliefs. At first it is upsetting, and then, as you do the inner work, you reach a point where you can laugh at it, and that is being aligned with Spirit. As you become more aligned with Spirit, you draw forth more witnesses to what is really in your heart.
Relationships 5–10 mins, Family, Fear of Loss, Guilt, Listen and Follow, Miracles, People-Pleasing, Purpose, Roles, Special Relationship
David Hoffmeister shares the practical application of releasing specialness at a New Zealand retreat. When specialness is released, the mind can begin to grasp its purpose and be truly happy.
Anger 10–30 mins, Discernment, Gratitude, Guilt, Mind Training, People-Pleasing, Purpose, Reflections, True Helpfulness, True Joy
Ego defenses minimize guilt without letting it go. People-pleasing is diluted guilt. There is another way. Follow guidance to authentically say “yes” and “no” from your heart, from your joy. Let Spirit speak through you. Spiritual companions will come to you.
Living with Purpose < 5 mins, A Course in Miracles, Attack Thoughts, Past–Future Thoughts, People-Pleasing, Perception, Private Thoughts, Real Thoughts
The subtle definition of attack thoughts are any thoughts of the past or future. Real thoughts, on the other hand, are thoughts I share with God, i.e., “I am as God created me.” Jesus says in “A Course in Miracles” that these real thoughts will save the world!