As many of you know, I am a teacher. I came to this profession eight or nine years ago somewhat by surprise. I was required – as a condition of my Master’s Degree in Fine Arts – to conduct a teaching practicum. It terrified me. I was ready to quit the program rather than face students. I don’t know why. I actually initiated the withdrawal procedure.
But then something – that still, small voice with which I am becoming increasingly familiar – urged me in no uncertain terms to do this thing. The fear didn’t evaporate but the directive was clear. I didn’t feel as if I had a choice. So I corralled a few willing students and for ten weeks taught them about writing. I shook with fear the day I started and with tears the day I stopped because I didn’t want it to end.
I have been actively teaching ever since.
Soon after I got my sea legs with respect to A Course in Miracles I decided that I was going to teach it. Yet oddly, each time I moved in that direction, I faltered. It wasn’t clear that teaching was the right action. So I stepped back. Every now and again I would check in: now should I teach? Now?
A few years ago, I felt like it would be okay to do some writing about the course. I was at a bit of a creative crossroads anyway, and this seemed like a reasonable path. It was a form of teaching. I was pretty sure nobody would read it so why not?
So I wrote. It was okay. Some of it felt rushed. Sometimes it was clear I was just parroting other teachers – usually Ken Wapnick or Tara Singh. Sometimes I would write and think, is that true? Is that really my experience of the course?
Then, about a year and a half ago, the writing shifted. I stopped worrying so much about who read it and what they thought. I began to see it for what it is: an interior movement in the direction of wholeness that belongs not to me (or you, for that matter) but to Jesus.
Last year I came very close to expanding my teaching to include one-on-one mentoring, a newsletter and online classes. But in the end, the clarity wasn’t there. Fear remained prevalent without any mediating factor. So, again, I let it pass.
This summer, I have been given a lot of direction with respect to teaching. Some of it has come from friends and some from other teachers in the broader ACIM community. Some of it I sought out, some of it was simply given. The theme was clear: it is okay – it is perhaps more than okay now – for me to teach.
And so gingerly – softly – and I hope humbly – I am saying yes to teaching. I am taking this next step.
What does this mean practically?
First, I will continue to write as frequently as possible on this blog. There will never be any charge for this content. It is far too important on too many levels.
Second, I now offer one-on-one mentoring and audio classes. You can learn more about them on their respective pages. I am charging money – I hope fairly – for those services. Later this week I will publish a couple of posts about teaching ACIM generally and my decision to accept money in exchange for that teaching. For now, I will just say that the decision was incredibly difficult and the subject of a lot of prayer and reaching out.
If this sort of teaching is not your cup of tea – for any reason whatsoever – I respect that without qualification.
Finally, I am also offering a (free) newsletter that will come out approximately monthly (depending, of course, on how wordy I’m feeling). It will feature one (or two) articles that are a bit longer and better-researched (and better edited!) about A Course in Miracles. You can go ahead and sign up.
The first few times I wrote about A Course in Miracles on this blog, I wanted to die. I wanted to crawl under the chicken shed and not come out for at least a decade.
Eventually I realized that I am a writer and so it is natural and right to use that gift with respect to my evolving practice of A Course in Miracles. There’s no point in hiding our light beneath baskets. I try to be honest and helpful, and I learn a little more with every sentence.
I think that’s what will happen with respect to this new expansion as well. It’ll be awkward and a little bumpy to start but sooner or later it will be just another facet of my own effort to accept atonement over separation from God, Love instead of guilt and fear, and Peace instead of conflict.
Finally, thank you so much for being here. I truly wish that I could pour you a cup of tea or coffee and walk quietly beside you in the New England woods that have long functioned as my chapel.
In the interim, I am here – in all the ways I feel I can be – and I am deeply grateful – more than you know – that you are here as well.