Our next review begins today. We will review two recent lessons every day for ten successive days of practicing. We will observe a special format for these practice periods, that you are urged to follow just as closely as you can.
We understand, of course, that it may be impossible for you to undertake what is suggested here as optimal each day and every hour of the day. Learning will not be hampered when you miss a practice period because it is impossible at the appointed time. Nor is it necessary that you make excessive efforts to be sure that you catch up in terms of numbers. Rituals are not our aim, and would defeat our goal.
But learning will be hampered when you skip a practice period because you are unwilling to devote the time to it that you are asked to give. Do not deceive yourself in this. Unwillingness can be most carefully concealed behind a cloak of situations you cannot control. Learn to distinguish situations that are poorly suited to your practicing from those that you establish to uphold a camouflage for your unwillingness.
Those practice periods that you have lost because you did not want to do them, for whatever reason, should be done as soon as you have changed your mind about your goal. You are unwilling to cooperate in practicing salvation only if it interferes with goals you hold more dear. When you withdraw the value given them, allow your practice periods to be replacements for your litanies to them. They gave you nothing. But your practicing can offer everything to you. And so accept their offering and be at peace.
The format you should use for these reviews is this: Devote five minutes twice a day, or longer if you would prefer it, to considering the thoughts that are assigned. Read over the ideas and comments that are written down for each day’s exercise. And then begin to think about them, while letting your mind relate them to your needs, your seeming problems and all your concerns.
Place the ideas within your mind, and let it use them as it chooses. Give it faith that it will use them wisely, being helped in its decisions by the One Who gave the thoughts to you. What can you trust but what is in your mind? Have faith, in these reviews, the means the Holy Spirit uses will not fail. The wisdom of your mind will come to your assistance. Give direction at the outset; then lean back in quiet faith, and let the mind employ the thoughts you gave as they were given you for it to use.
You have been given them in perfect trust; in perfect confidence that you would use them well; in perfect faith that you would see their messages and use them for yourself. Offer them to your mind in that same trust and confidence and faith. It will not fail. It is the Holy Spirit’s chosen means for your salvation. Since it has His trust, His means must surely merit yours as well.
We emphasize the benefits to you if you devote the first five minutes of the day to your reviews, and also give the last five minutes of your waking day to them. If this cannot be done, at least try to divide them so you undertake one in the morning, and the other in the hour just before you go to sleep.
The exercises to be done throughout the day are equally important, and perhaps of even greater value. You have been inclined to practice only at appointed times, and then go on your way to other things, without applying what you learned to them. As a result, you have gained little reinforcement, and have not given your learning a fair chance to prove how great are its potential gifts to you. Here is another chance to use it well.
In these reviews, we stress the need to let your learning not lie idly by between your longer practice periods. Attempt to give your daily two ideas a brief but serious review each hour. Use one on the hour, and the other one a half an hour later. You need not give more than just a moment to each one. Repeat it, and allow your mind to rest a little time in silence and in peace. Then turn to other things, but try to keep the thought with you, and let it serve to help you keep your peace throughout the day as well.
If you are shaken, think of it again. These practice periods are planned to help you form the habit of applying what you learn each day to everything you do. not repeat the thought and lay it down. Its usefulness is limitless to you. And it is meant to serve you in all ways, all times and places, and whenever you need help of any kind. Try, then, to take it with you in the business of the day and make it holy, worthy of God’s Son, acceptable to God and to your Self.
Each day’s review assignments will conclude with a restatement of the thought to use each hour, and the one to be applied on each half hour as well. Forget them not. This second chance with each of these ideas will bring such large advances that we come from these reviews with learning gains so great we will continue on more solid ground, with firmer footsteps and with stronger faith.
Do not forget how little you have learned.
Do not forget how much you can learn now.
Do not forget your Father’s need of you,
As you review these thoughts He gave to you.
“But learning will be hampered when you skip a practice period because you are unwilling to devote the time to it that you are asked to give. Do not deceive yourself in this. Unwillingness can be most carefully concealed behind a cloak of situations you cannot control. Learn to distinguish situations that are poorly suited to your practicing from those that you establish to uphold a camouflage for your unwillingness.”
“Place the ideas within your mind, and let it use them as it chooses. Give it faith that it will use them wisely, being helped in its decisions by the One Who gave the thoughts to you.”
“In these reviews, we stress the need to let your learning not lie idly by between your longer practice periods.”
“If you are shaken, think of it again. These practice periods are planned to help you form the habit of applying what you learn each day to everything you do. Do not repeat the thought and lay it down. Its usefulness is limitless to you.”
“Do not forget how little you have learned.
Do not forget how much you can learn now.
Do not forget your Father’s need of you,
As you review these thoughts He gave to you.”
These are the things I want to remember during this review.
These lessons are very valuable to me but only if I apply them to my life. Doing them as suggested has helped me learn to think of them all through the day and now I have the habit of bringing my problems to the truth. This is the goal and what really matters. The structure (what seems to be happening during the day) only matters in that I use it to form the habit of thinking of God all through the day.
Here is what I understand about this review. This is not about form, but content. If I am unable to do the lesson skipping it will not hamper my learning, but not doing it because I am unwilling is going to slow me down. I need to watch that I don’t sabotage my efforts and then tell myself that I skipped it because I couldn’t do it.
As I have been doing these lessons I have noticed that I do skip them sometimes because I have chosen a different goal. An example would be when I am angry at myself or someone else and when that happens my goal is to keep the illusion in place rather than to awaken from it. I might be temporarily unwilling to let go of my grievance and so indulge my anger instead of doing my lesson.
This sentence is very important.
Learn to distinguish situations that are poorly suited to your practicing from those that you establish to uphold a camouflage for your unwillingness.
How do I establish situations? Everything in my life is there by my design and with my permission. Very clever ego arranges these things so that they seem to be happenstance, and have nothing to do with me. Once I started taking 100% responsibility for my life, I was no longer fooled by ego in this way. Circumstances that seemed to be outside my control would capture my attention only until I decided that my awakening is the only important thing I do. Then those circumstances seem to fall away.
I notice if circumstances that prevent my practice seem to be occurring frequently, and if this is happening I know that it is time to recommit. I have forgotten what is important to me; have allowed other goals to take precedence in my mind. I choose again as I remember that my purpose is to accept the Atonement for myself and that is my only goal.
I am told to trust myself to use these lessons in the way most helpful. The Holy Spirit trusts me with them so I can trust myself. When I first started doing this I did not trust myself and was very uneasy without structure. Slowly, I have learned to trust the guidance within my mind.
At first, I would be mistaken in the voice I was hearing but even then my attempts were helpful because my efforts were growing my willingness to hear only the one Voice. The more I practiced listening to the Holy Spirit, the easier it became to hear His Voice. Since the Holy Spirit is the Truth within my mind, trusting that Truth is trusting myself.
It is important to not only do the lesson as prescribed but to use it all through the day. In fact, the reason for doing the lesson as prescribed is to form the habit of remembering it often. When this was new to me I forgot more than I remembered. Now I think of God all the time. I listen for the Holy Spirit’s guidance in all things. It is so natural that I could not stop doing this any more than I could stop the beating of my heart. So these lessons do work if you do them.