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Miracle Bhakti Yoga  

  Joining of the East and West, a symbol of Miracle Yoga


    Your practice of Miracle Bhakti Yoga would certainly be influenced by the Course emphasis on divine Love. Do you understand how much God loves you? Here is what the Course says:

You cannot understand how much your Father loves you, for there is no parallel in your experience of the world to help you understand it. There is nothing on earth with which it can compare, and nothing you have ever felt apart from Him resembles it ever so faintly.1

    There are many meanings that are given to love, but the various kinds of love with different meanings are not actually love as it is described in the Course. According to the Course, there is really only one kind of love and one meaning of love:

The meaning of love is the meaning God gave to it. Give to it any meaning apart from His, and it is impossible to understand it. God loves every brother as He loves you; neither less nor more. He needs them all equally, and so do you.2     

    The Bible stresses that if you say you love God, but you do not love your neighbor, you really do not love God. The Course takes a similar stance in saying that love of your brother leads to love of God. Divine Love is often expressed in lofty terms, but the main focus in the Course is on loving your brother in order to discover that you are not only loveable, but you are love, since you were made by God's Love. 

    God’s Love is infinite oneness that is beyond full comprehension, yet His divine Love can be experienced. You are an expression of God’s Love. Since love is your true nature, the Course focuses on how to remove the blocks to your awareness of the presence of love. According to the Course, the major way of removing blocks in order to reveal love is forgiveness that sees past appearances in order to see the love and light behind forms. 

    Love is your true nature, but it is clouded over by desires for other things. Like the other aspects of Miracle Yoga, Miracle Bhakti Yoga includes forgiveness expressed as “looking and overlooking.” The “looking” is the focus on the Beloved, the longing for two to be one. The “overlooking” has to do with the setting aside of the blocks that cloud over your heart’s desire for your Beloved. The love that you receive from your Beloved and your own response of love gives you the strength to overlook. You overlook the thoughts of separation, the thoughts of the ego, and you focus single-mindedly on looking toward your Beloved with the intention of divine union. 

    Your looking is a maintaining of purity of heart and your overlooking is a letting go of any blocks to your purity of heart. This looking and overlooking have an external and an internal component. The external component of looking is the purity of heart that enables you to see your Beloved in the faces of your brothers and sisters. The external component of overlooking is the letting go of any outer blocks, habitual behavior patterns, that would separate you from expressing love to others. The internal component of looking is the purity of heart that enables you to contact your Beloved within and the internal component of your overlooking is the letting go of any thoughts or desires that would disturb your focused inner devotion to your Beloved. 

    The Course generally speaks in a philosophical manner that appeals to the intellect and not in a heartfelt tone, but the ideas themselves are focused on love. For example, miracles as expressions of love are described in intellectual exactness. Miracles are considered impersonal in the sense that they are extensions of love that through the Holy Spirit may touch many lives of people you have never met. On the other hand, the actual manifestation of a miracle is a highly personal expression simply because each miracle boils down to the effect that one heart has upon another. 

    You can, of course, express inward devotion to God as part of your Miracle Bhakti Yoga. In fact inner direct devotion to God is the cornerstone of traditional Hindu bhakti yoga and is to be encouraged. This would include devotion to both God and Jesus. A good example of inner devotion is repeating the Name of God or the Name of Jesus, called the Jesus Prayer, which is an expression of Miracle Raja Yoga, but which is an equally important expression of Miracle Bhakti Yoga because of the love aspect of this practice. One of the chief ingredients of Miracle Bhakti Yoga is gratitude, explained in the Course as follows: 

Remembering the Name of Jesus Christ is to give thanks for all the gifts that God has given you. And gratitude to God becomes the way in which He is remembered, for love cannot be far behind a grateful heart and thankful mind. God enters easily, for these are the true conditions for your homecoming.3 

    Gratitude to Jesus is just as important as gratitude to God. Jesus does not need your love in the form of gratitude for His own sake, but He wants your love for your sake so you may become more receptive to His love and God’s love. About this need for gratitude the Course states:

    Jesus has led the way. Why would you not be grateful to him? He has asked for love, but only that he might give it to you. You do not love yourself. But in his eyes your loveliness is so complete and flawless that he sees in it an image of his Father. You become the symbol of his Father here on earth. To you he looks for hope, because in you he sees no limit and no stain to mar your beautiful perfection. In his eyes Christ’s vision shines in perfect constancy.4 

    Even when the Course points out the way inward to God and Jesus, there is always a reminder that the divine can be seen in the face of your brother. The Holy Spirit sees everyone with Christ vision and offers the eyes of Christ to you so you too can see the loveliness of your brother and know that this same loveliness is within you. Consequently, for Miracle Bhakti Yoga based on the Course the outer expression of love to others is more important than inner devotion. Expressing love to others is your means of discovering the love of God that is already in you. God has created you by extending His Love into you, and now God’s Will is for you to practice extension. Through extension you pass along the love you have received from God to your brothers and sisters. By extending love to others you confirm to yourself the truth of your own love nature. 

    Your belief system will determine whether you practice the extension of love or not. The Course offers a thought system based upon love for you to believe and use as a basis for your actions and your teaching. You may not think of yourself as a teacher, but your thought system is acted out in the way you live your life, and that is your teaching. Others will be influenced by your example, which is your teaching. The Course advises that love is the only thing you need to teach, but you have to live it to teach it. “Teach only love, for that is what you are.”5 When you look at your brother, how you look at him teaches him who he is and who you are. If you see him as an ego, you will teach him he is an ego and teach yourself that you are an ego. But the Course advises you to see every action of your brother as either an expression of love or a call for love. This reminds you that all your own actions are expressions of love or calls for love.

The only judgment involved is the Holy Spirit’s one division into two categories; one of love, and the other the call for love. You cannot safely make this division, for you are much too confused either to recognize love, or to believe that everything else is nothing but a call for love.6

    Every person you meet provides you with what the Course calls a “holy encounter.” You can find your true Self in this holy encounter, rather than through looking at yourself alone.

    When you meet anyone, remember it is a holy encounter. As you see him you will see yourself. As you treat him you will treat yourself. As you think of him you will think of yourself. Never forget this, for in him you will find yourself or lose yourself. Whenever two Sons of God meet, they are given another chance at salvation. Do not leave anyone without giving salvation to him and receiving it yourself. For I am always with you, in remembrance of you.7 

word “salvation” has a simplified meaning in the Course, as follows: “Again, how simple is salvation! It is merely a statement of your true Identity.”8 The reason why you can give salvation to your brother and receive salvation from your brother is that each holy encounter provides you and your brother with the opportunity to remember your true Identity. Your Identity can be found in your brother because your Identity is in him as his Identity is in you.

    The goal of the curriculum, regardless of the teacher you choose, is “Know thyself.” There is nothing else to seek. Everyone is looking for himself and for the power and glory he thinks he has lost. Whenever you are with anyone, you have another opportunity to find them. Your power and glory are in him because they are yours. The ego tries to find them in yourself alone, because it does not know where to look. The Holy Spirit teaches you that if you look only at yourself you cannot find yourself, because that is not what you are.9 

is no such thing as “only yourself,” because you are not alone as the ego would define you. Your Identity exists in relationship not only to God, but to your brothers. If you can affirm your brother’s place in the Kingdom of God, you offer him salvation by recognizing his Identity. In assigning your brother his place in the Kingdom of God, you can accept your own place in the Kingdom and accept your own salvation and Identity in God. Whether you give salvation to your brother and to yourself or not depends on your decision to follow the ego as your teacher or to follow the Holy Spirit. Your decision will mean imprisonment or release to your brother and you, as follows:

He will be imprisoned or released according to your decision, and so will you. Never forget your responsibility to him, because it is your responsibility to yourself. Give him his place in the Kingdom and you will have yours.
     The Kingdom cannot be found alone, and you who are the Kingdom cannot find yourself alone.10  

    Love is your true nature and Identity in the Kingdom and here on earth this is expressed through extension. You learn about your true loving Identity in union with God and with your brothers through extension. If you extend love to your brother, you will discover the love that is within you. In particular the Course advocates practicing the “holy relationship” as a means of extending love. In the holy relationship, you join with another person for a common purpose. The holy relationship is considered an exalted expression of love blessed by God. 

    The holy relationship consists of two people joining for a common purpose, and in that joining the Holy Spirit enters that relationship. Now the specific aspect of giving that occurs in the holy relationship will be elaborated upon. Giving is an expression of love if it is truly giving. However, if giving is made to get, it becomes a transaction, a bargain. If you feel your gift is a sacrifice, it cannot be giving. Your thought of sacrifice means you think you should be compensated or at least the other person should feel guilty for your sacrifice. This kind of giving is a way of controlling the one who receives the gift. 

    In contrast to this is the giving that occurs in the mature holy relationship. The giving here is without hooks. You give to your partner and your savior, whom you love and from whom you need no return. Giving is done for its own sake. In fact the Course clarifies that giving is receiving. In the world of appearances, if you give something, you lose it. Consequently, you deprive yourself of something and you have less than before your giving. But this is only a form-related perspective. Actually when you freely give without any expectation of return, you receive back just as you have given. The Course goes even further to say that giving is in fact the way to keep and not giving is the way to lose. You are love and by giving love, you keep your awareness of the love that you are. By trying to keep love to yourself, you lose your awareness of love, because love is giving. 

    Love must share itself to be itself. God must share Himself to be Himself. You must share yourself to be yourself. This is how the holy relationship teaches you who you are through your relationship. As you give love to your partner, joining for a common purpose, you receive all the love you give. You realize in this sharing, and in the joy and fulfillment that you feel, that this expression of love frees you to be yourself. This sharing reminds you of the total giving of yourself that you manifested in heaven as a part of the Sonship in oneness with God.

    The best example of love as giving is Jesus. He shared Himself with everyone, especially the sick, the poor, and those who had lost hope. When His disciples wanted to keep children away from Him, Jesus instead welcomed them, saying that His followers needed to become like children to enter the Kingdom of God. This can be interpreted to mean His followers must have the trusting faith of a child. Yet it can likewise mean that children can teach seekers much about how to share love wholeheartedly. In the picture below, notice the stark contrast between the children joyfully sharing and the adults sitting in the background.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Children Sharing Love

Children playing know how to share love wholeheartedly.

    Giving and receiving occur simultaneously. The giving that is given in a gift on the form level may, of course, not be returned in exactly the same form in which it was given. But the giving is actually related to content and therefore has nothing to do with a lost form. Even in giving forms, it is your love itself that you put into the giving of forms. It is your love that you give that is returned to you. Your act of giving, whether it involves form or not, opens you up to the joy, peace, and love that are at your core and you realize the immense value you have in God’s eyes as His holy Son. Your true worth is revealed to you with every gift given without any concern for the gift being given. Your holy relationship may not start out with this kind of giving, which is not really a giving of a gift after all, but a giving of yourself. Your unconditional giving is the direction in which your holy relationship is leading you over time. The best gift you can give your partner is the gift of seeing him as the guiltless holy Son of God, which at the same time confirms your own guiltlessness and that you are the holy Son of God. The love in the giving of yourself that is the basis for Miracle Bhakti Yoga is the universal ingredient that penetrates all the other aspects of Miracle Yoga.

1. T-14.IV.8:4-5, p. 281
2. T-15.V.10:3-6, p. 314
3. M-23.4:5-7, p. 58
4. M-23.5:1-8, p. 59
5. T-6.I.13:1. p. 94
6. T-14.X.7:1-2, p. 294
7. T-8.III.4:1-8, p. 142
8. W-pI.77.1:4-5, p. 137
9. T-8.III.5:1-7, p. 142
10. T-8.III.5:10-12, 6:1, p. 142 

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Memory Walk in the Light: 

My Christian Yoga Life as

"A Course in Miracles"


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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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