You need not close your eyes for the exercise periods, although you will probably find it more helpful if you do. However, you may be in a number of situations during the day when closing your eyes would not be feasible. Do not miss a practice period because of this. You can practice quite well under any circumstances, if you really want to.
Today's exercises take little time and no effortRepeat the idea for today, and then add several of the attributes you associate with being a Son of God, applying them to yourself. One practice period might, for example, consist of the following:.
I am blessed as a Son of God.
I am happy, peaceful, loving and contented.
Another might take this form:
I am blessed as a Son of God.
I am calm, quiet, assured and confident.
If only a brief period is available, merely telling yourself that you are blessed as a Son of God will do.
Commentary by Allen Watson
There is no escaping the importance the Workbook attaches to actually trying to practice as instructed. In this lesson, whose practice is in one sense a relaxation from yesterday's and in another sense an intensification, you cannot read these words and think that the author believes that it does not matter whether or not we follow the instructions:.
No long practice periods are required today, but very frequent short ones are necessary. Once every ten minutes would be highly desirable, and you are urged to attempt this schedule and to adhere to it whenever possible. If you forget, try again. If there are long interruptions, try again. Whenever you remember, try again.
Attempt…try…try…try. The more often we can repeat the lesson, the more impact it will have on our mind. How can you have a "course in mind training" without some kind of mental discipline? You can't; it's that simple.
At the same time notice that there is no "guilting" going on here. The author anticipates our indiscipline and expects (or allows for) our forgetting, and for "long interruptions". He knows we lack discipline; that is exactly why the practice is so "necessary." But he does not judge us for it. He says, simply, "If you forget, try again." Don't let forgetting, even for long periods of the day, be an excuse to give up for the rest of the day. Every time we remember, we add a link to the "chain of forgiveness which, when completed, is the Atonement".
He goes to the trouble of pointing out that just because you can't get alone and close your eyes, that is no excuse for not practicing. "You can practice quite well under any circumstances, if you really want to".
The practice for today is, very simply, making positive affirmations as often as possible. "I am blessed as a Son of God. I am calm, quiet, assured and confident". This might take ten or fifteen seconds, perhaps a little longer to think of a new list of attributes that you might associate with being a Son of God: "I am serene, capable and unshakable." "I am joyful, radiant, and full of love."
Can any of us really consider it a trial to engage in practice like this? Our egos do, and they will resist. I am no longer startled, but still astonished, at the variety of ways my ego finds to distract me and keep me from practicing my own happiness-for that is all we are doing here. Observing my ego's constant opposition to my happiness is one thing that has convinced me of the truth of that line in the Text: "The ego does not love you".
Because of what I am, an extension of God, I am entitled to happiness. The ego has
to resist that idea because its existence depends upon my believing
that I have separated myself from God; therefore the ego wants me to be
unhappy. It wants me to believe that I do not deserve to be happyMaybe it doesn't want me totally miserable-that might prompt me to
reconsider everything. Just "a mild river of misery," as Marianne
Williamson puts it. Just a vein of sadness and impermanence running
through even my best times. Just enough to keep me from listening to
The Other Guy Who talks about my union with God. And definitely not happy. Happy is dangerous to the ego. Happy says separation isn't true.
And it isn't!