Joining with You: Notes on Tara Singh’s “Love Holds No Grievances”

The other day I re-read part one of Love Holds No Grievances by Tara Singh. It is a beautiful book, not quite 100 pages, and so full of wisdom and insight that even a handful of sentences can change your life. If you give the words the attention – which is to give yourself the gift of attention – then you will awaken from the sleep of forgetfulness.

Reading Tara Singh saved A Course in Miracles for me. Before I encountered him, the Course was mostly an intellectual exercise. I was studying Ken Wapnick very closely; I wanted to be his equal and then I wanted to supplant him. That is what you do in academia; you study the elders and then you replace them. And then wait for the new guard to arrive with their veneration and the destruction it inevitably hides.

Tara Singh called me to application. He reminded me instantly that my intellect and the culture in which it was effective was not going to save me. It was not going to end the internal conflict and its myriad external effects. It was not going to restore to my awareness God’s Creation and my home in it. I was forty years old, I had been studying and thinking and arguing and professing all my life, what did I think was going to be different this time? I treated ACIM as another idea, another thought system to be mastered. I was cheapening it without even recognizing I was doing it.

And Tara Singh made clear there was another way and that it lay in application, in practice. In that insight, I realized what was missing in my life, and began the slow and difficult journey of becoming responsible.

I found my practice. Theory, at last, was joined to praxis.

People get confused about this. A lot of students will say, it doesn’t matter what you do. Rob banks, cheat on your taxes, eat chips and watch television. They say – mostly parroting Ken Wapnick – that A Course in Miracles is not about behavior. This is true but in such a shallow and technical sense as to be almost useless. It’s like pretending you can live in the blueprint of a house, rather than the house the blueprint would have you build. It’s good to have a blueprint, sure. But you need a hammer and nails. You have to follow the blueprint; you have to do what it says; you have to build what it teaches you to build.

So that was what I got reading Tara Singh. I got that the Course was meant to be lived, rather than merely studied. And learning this changed everything.

It is not easy to read or follow Tara Singh. He’s not a coach, like Marianne Williamson. He’s not an academic, like Ken Wapnick. He’s a Teacher in the Platonic sense. He read the Course and brought it into application and discovered thereby the truth of “Nothing real can be threatened, nothing unreal exists.” And then he taught it by speaking the truth – the truth of his experience of living what the Course teaches.

Very few people, if any, are actually doing that. And it’s really hard to study with those people because you can’t fake it. They won’t let you use them as a distraction. They aren’t trying to get anything from you – your money, your admiration, your attention. It’s a different kind of relationship. You can take it or you can leave it, but you can’t use it avoid the truth.

That is why Tara Singh will say things like, stop watching so much television. Or paint your room and put fresh flowers in it. Keep a gratitude list. Read Walt Whitman and Thoreau. It is incredibly personal but it never deviates from the Text, Workbook and Manual for Teachers. If somebody has the integrity – if they are speaking from truth – then it lands differently in you. Practicing A Course in Miracles means allowing it to take form in your life. The question isn’t, what does it mean to not let grievances hide the light of God in you but rather, how does letting go of grievances manifest in your living?

You just have to do it. Or learn that you can’t do it, and then learn how. But it’s always the doing – the giving of attention to your own life, to finding truth in your own life and then allowing it to transform you.

Because that is what A Course in Miracles does – it transforms us. When we are living it out in our lives – when it touches all of our relationships, when it affects what we eat and how we sleep – it changes us. I am personally a slow and stubborn learner, whose handiness with words occasionally obscures my confusion and laziness. It’s easy to stunt like a prophet. But still. The Course calls me to accountability in every minute. I learn how to be silent. I learn how to be honest. I learn how to become responsible for projection. I learn how to discern between the Holy Spirit and ego, and then listen only to Holy Spirit.

What Tara Singh taught me – which is also what Thérèse of Lisieux taught me, by the way – is that you have to become a saint. Thérèse saw clearly that if she was going to take the Sermon on the Mount literally then she was going to have to be a saint, and she accepted that responsibility. She brought everything to it – her labor, her prayer, her creativity, her passion, her confusion, her loneliness, all of it. And she learned what everybody learns who does this work. You can’t become a saint – that’s obvious as soon as you try. The effort to become anything hides the light of God in you. But you can consent to be transformed by allowing every block to your remembrance of Love, which is our shared inheritance, to be undone in us.

Tara Singh says that one sentence of the Course will awaken you if you give it the attention it deserves. You read “love holds no grievances” or “my grievances hide the light of the world in me” and you are instantly brought to the crisis of, is this true or not? If you don’t know, then the crisis is, will you find out?

We don’t want to find out because we know at some deep place that when we do, we will realize that A Course in MIracles is calling us to be saints. Not for nothing did Helen Schucman say that Mother Teresa was an example of living the Course, and not for nothing did Tara Singh and his family of students enter into a sustained relationship of service with and modeled on Mother Teresa’s example.

We have to let go of the personal. It’s funny that we don’t want to. I fought this for years before I let go even a little, and even then it wasn’t because I was wise or anything. It was because I was scared if I didn’t I would die. It was still selfish! But it was enough. When you let go even a little, just for a millisecond, you realize that there is nothing you would hold onto even if you could. Life provides; God provides. The given is everpresent and always sufficient.

Then the work is just to remember it and, for me, remembering it means being in relationship with you, in order to learn that together we are Christ. Tara Singh was a teacher. I am not a teacher. But I am a fellow student and fellow traveler who will study with you, and support you in your study. I will not leave you alone in the classroom because the classroom only exists with you. Together we learn that we are Christ, and then together we share our freedom with the world.


    1. Thank you for sharing, Rohit. Tara Singh was truly a Teacher; I am very grateful to have encountered his work. We have to become saints and – if we bring our attention to the Course – it teaches us how. That is the promise! Thank you for being here – we do this work together 🙏🙏


      1. Oh yes! “What is the Christ” is a lovely book – you can also get it on CD from the Joseph Plan Foundation. Those talks were recorded. Very powerful material, however we receive it.

        And thanks for reading, Janine – I hope all is well 🙏🙏


  1. Oddly enough, Sean, from the beginning the Course presented itself as being experiential rather than theoretical. Perhaps it was because I chose to begin with the workbook. Perhaps it was because the lessons showed up at a time of personal crisis guiding me toward forgiveness in a previous relationship that had wounded me deeply and what I thought to be permanently. (That this eventually morphed into self-forgiveness was probably inevitable but that took more than a little while, LOL.)

    Apparently — since the Course meets us where we are — I was not ready for universal application of its principals. IT WAS ALL PERSONAL AT THE BEGINNING. But as Divine guidance would have it, I was given a fertile training ground to put much of what I was studying into practice. A handful of months before ACIM whacked me over the head, I began working at a woman-only fitness center, where in a five-hour shift I might encounter a couple hundred women, most pleasant, some not so much.

    Thus, my early Course “practice” took the shape of exercises such as reciting internally while outwardly gritting my teeth “I see God in Josephine,” “I am not upset for the reason I think” and “I am determined to see things differently.” Subtle changes occurred. The energy of the workplace shifted. I met women who have become lifelong friends. Josephine even brought me a Christmas gift. . . you get the idea

    Now — after almost 16 years of Course study (with intermittent lapses) — I have a wider, deeper, much less personal vision of the Course. But it is still the nitty-gritty application — both in my personal interactions and in all the many conflicts I perceive as out there — which brings me closer to truth and its (seemingly elusive) ever-present peace.

    Still, some days — especially when someone or something hurts or seems to endanger my children or grandson — that peace can feel impossibly far away.

    1. Thanks, Cheryl. Yes, the Course meets us where we are, and takes us as far as we are willing and able to go. We are always given precisely the site – and the relationships – for perfecting forgiveness. It is a journey, until it is not 🙂 I am very grateful, too.

      Thanks for reading and sharing.

      ~ Sean

      1. Thanks for responding, Sean. Re-reading what I wrote I sound so full of myself even though my intent was to poke a little fun at how much I struggle to get beyond making it about “me.” Miles to go, I guess.

        But at least the company is good . . . and hopefully forgiving.


        1. The company is everything 🙂 We all have miles to go – it’s why we’re here. Sometimes we’re the one being lifted, and sometimes we do the lifting. Either way, we aren’t alone. Thanks for being here Cheryl and thanks for speaking your truth twice over – I have so much faith now in simply sharing, just bearing witness together. It’s powerful medicine.


  2. Thank you Sean.

    I have ordered the Tara Singh book that had such a positive impact on you. I appreciate your wisdom and sharing. I receive a spiritual gift, large or small, each and every time.

    1. Your’re welcome, Lourdes. Tara Singh has been a true gift in my life; I’m so happy when folks decide to read him. And thanks for the kind words here – I am very grateful.


  3. Hi Sean,
    I am still new to the Course (or at least, new to actually studying and trying to apply it), and Tara Singh’s books (I’m reading “How To Learn From A Course In Miracles” and “A Gift For All Mankind” have been a huge help already.

    I came back to look at the Course again because after years (decades) of reading and searching and meditating and journaling and still not finding “a better way” to actually live my life (not just think about my life), I wanted something I could apply that was more than another guru’s ideas or experiences.

    The Course is whipping my ass and blowing my mind much of the time. It’s not easy. It confounds and frustrates me no end. But it also at least ‘seems’ just radical and revolutionary and challenging and demanding enough to possibly, actually, transform my life.

    Singh’s guidance along with others, including yours, help me feel like I have companions as well as teachers (or tutors), and some days, that makes all the difference in the world.

    Thanks for pointing me in his direction. Carry on (please).


    1. Thanks for sharing and for being here, Dan. Yes – companions and fellow travelers, that’s the vibe. We are all in this together, even the know-it-alls like Tara Singh 🙂 I too find the Course radical and profound, the more so the longer I give attention to it, and seek to practice rather than just expound it. As Cheryl alluded to earlier, there is no shortage of learning opportunities – every relationship, every exchange in every relationship, is a chance to become responsible for forgiveness. And yes – that distinction between actually living and thinking about living . . . that’s been a big one in my life. I hear you.

      Thanks for being here, Dan. Keep in touch.


  4. Hi Sean,
    Since reconnecting with the course this Year, not only have I found that it is ‘speaking’ to me (relatively) clearer than it has in the past, but it has improved my understanding of some of the other key influences in my life.
    More importantly, I have shifted internally to a point at which walking the walk, rather than being stuck in a loop simply talking the self-talk (predominantly), has become just a tiny bit easier for me.
    I have struggled for such a long time with feeling that this inward, personal journey is just that; a little private secret running along in the background whilst I carry on living my life. Some part of me yearned to let it all out into the open, but my resistance to this was strong and tied up with all kinds of things I couldn’t untangle. In honesty, in part this was down to embarrassment and an inability to explain much of what I was feeling and experiencing to myself, let along anyone else. This led me to feelings of being a bit of a fake, living a ‘double life’ in some ways.
    Recently I have by chance (?) met someone who has allowed me to enter this space of investigation and explore where I am on my journey. This simple act of finding someone very honest and intuitive, with a natural ability to heal and understand, has allowed me to ‘speak out loud’ my intentions to hand this all over to God, Christ, Spirit, life force, whatever it is, and as a result the gates have opened, (not fully, but opened nonetheless).
    My perspective has shifted from believing that I have some requirement to explain myself to everyone, to allowing myself to live a little more honestly to my Self and seeing what comes up. As a result, I have discovered that my relationships with loved ones and close family members have changed. There is that little bit more openness and freshness, certainly less barriers within my self. The results are tangible. It seems my change of intentions is being communicated and reciprocated in some way. That’s a special feeling.

    1. Thank you for sharing, Martin. It’s good to hear from you.

      I’ve observed elsewhere that the Course appeared in my life a couple of times before it “took.” I think there’s a kind of cosmic sensibility at work and when we’re ready, we’re ready. Which, yes, is a cliche but also . . . it works 🙂

      The shift from talking about a practice to actually having a practice – practicing praxis, not theorizing praxis – was a significant gift in my life. And it’s ongoing. The mind that cherishes its interior dialogues does not lightly surrender them; mostly I feel less attached and invested.

      There is some space in which life is allowed to be life without my constantly rushing in with all my interpretation and scheming. Baby steps, for sure.

      Chance or not (though the Course is clear there are no accidents in salvation), entering into a relationship that faciliates that level of healing is very much HOW the Course works. I feel blessed in my own life to have some folks like that, and to be part of a slowly-evolving community of folks like that, and it’s hard to express my gratitude, because it is so connected to a sense of wonder.

      For me, those relationships are holy because they teach me to accept my defenselessness which is also to become willing to end all conflict in my life. And then, yes, everything changes – for me it’s like watching the light change at dusk or dawn. The form of my life doesn’t change but’s shaded differenly – it becomes clearer, and in the clarity, there is a gentleness that longs to give itself away, and does, over and over.

      That is my understanding and practice of forgiveness.

      Anyway, thank you for being here and for sharing. Please stay in touch, as time and inclination allow.


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