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Overview of the Course

  Introduction to "A Course in Miracles" 



    Below is a description of the book An Overview of “A Course in Miracles”: Introduction to the Course—What Beginners Need to Know.

    In Aesop's fable a fox comes across grapes that are so high he cannot reach them, so he walks away muttering that they must be "sour grapes." Likewise, many beginning students find no nourishment in "A Course in Miracles" because they cannot grasp its lofty spiritual principles. The Course presents spiritual principles in a Western framework, yet includes important Eastern influences along with deep psychological insights. Many seekers have transformed their lives through learning the Course and applying its principles. Nevertheless, newcomers won't want to study the three volumes and the 1249 pages of the Course unless they know it will be worth spending the time and effort required. Furthermore, the beginner invariably needs practical help in actually comprehending the Course. After all, the Course quite literally transforms the normal thinking process by offering surprising and profound answers to the most meaningful questions of life.

    If you are a beginner, this overview comes to your aid by letting you know in advance that the spiritual principles can be grasped and are as nourishing as sweet grapes, as they weave together to unify and heal the mind. This introduction to the Course helps you by providing clarity and conciseness, enabling you to make the difficult step-by-step transition to a new way of thinking about the world and about yourself. This overview prepares you for studying and applying the Course, which teaches how to perform "miracles" of changing fearful perceptions into loving perceptions. Your mind can find peace and wholeness through practicing true forgiveness that reminds you of the divine presence within others and within yourself. This brief introductory overview provides an inexpensive and efficient way for you to determine for yourself if the path of forgiveness presented by the Course is right for you to pursue in greater depth.


What if the Course is something that you are being exposed to for the first time? The following section is an excerpt from the book Memory Walk in the Light that explains how to approach studying the Course for the first time:

Many of the ideas in the Course, including several paradoxes, are difficult to grasp at first. Very few beginning students will immediately comprehend and accept the spiritual principles of the Course. After all, the Course quite literally turns our normal perceptual thinking based on the ego upside down, enabling us to perceive the divine in our otherwise apparently mundane world. That’s why the Course needs to be studied over an extended period of time. Keeping the mind open and receptive to the loving message of the Course requires both patience and perseverance. Persistent open-mindedness in studying the Course allows us to make a gradual transition in our thinking about the world and about ourselves. This transition is needed not just because a new unconventional perspective is being introduced, but also because familiar old ideas need to be set aside to make way for new ones. To make this transition, the mind needs to be retrained, which explains why the Course describes itself in this way: “This is a course in mind training. All learning involves attention and study at some level.”1 The Text of the Course expresses the spiritual principles such as true forgiveness and Christ vision that remind us of the divine presence within others and within ourselves. In addition, the Workbook with its one full year of daily lessons helps to assist this process of perceiving the divine presence through its application of seeing through the eyes of forgiveness in everyday living.

If you are interested in learning more about the Course, you can naturally purchase the book and simply study directly from it. However, it can be helpful to also have a teacher. The goal of the teacher is to help you learn enough about the Course so that you can one day become a teacher of God yourself. The teacher and student will invariably agree with each other on the generally accepted principles of the Course, but do not necessarily have to agree on every single interpretation.

It is best to find a teacher in your own vicinity so you can have face-to-face meetings in which you can ask questions and develop a personal relationship. You can seek out local study groups to facilitate your learning. A resource for finding out if there is a study group in your area is the Community Miracles Center.2 Another possibility is the Miracle Distribution Center.3 If you cannot find a local teacher or study group, you can still learn a great deal through self-study of the Course itself, and many students prefer this option. This study of the Course is not solely about learning spiritual concepts. The goal is to make the Course concepts come to life in your everyday practical living and learn to extend your awareness of the divine to others.

In addition to studying the Course itself, there are many fine books about the Course written by teachers. You can contact Course organizations. One of these is the Foundation for A Course in Miracles.4 Another one is the Circle of Atonement.5 

1. T-1.VII.4:1-2, p. 16

2., (click on ACIM Study Group Directory), Community Miracles Center, 2269 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94114. Tel. 415-621-2556,  Fax 415-255-9322

3., Miracle Distribution Center, 3947 East La Palma Avenue, Anaheim, CA 92807, Tel. 1-800-359-2246, Fax 714-632-9115

4., Foundation for A Course in Miracles, 1275 Tennanah Lake Road, Roscoe, NY 12776-5906, Tel. 951-296-6261, Fax 951-296-9117

5., The Circle of Atonement, P. O. Box 4238, West Sedona, AZ 86340, Tel. 928-282-0790. Fax 928-282-0523

Click here for "Miracle Jnana Yoga" on studying the Course 

Memory Walk in the Light: 

My Christian Yoga Life as

"A Course in Miracles"


Read the full introduction to this autobiography


Donald James Giacobbe



    “The central message of the Course is forgiveness, and the key to yoga is opening to the divine presence. As a teacher of Miracle Yoga based on Course principles, my goal is to live my life as an expression of forgiveness and openness to the experience of Spirit.”


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