Monday, June 10, 2013

Rosamund Burton reflects on the profound benefits of A Course in Miracles and The Artist's Way

Travel writer, reviewer and journalist Rosamund Burton writes for us this month about two of the most popular modern spiritual classics, including A Course in Miracles which is a text "given" in inward dictation over a period of seven years to Helen Schucman, a New York psychologist and religious skeptic, that is initially somewhat baffling but has positively influenced countless millions of lives. Now let's hear from Rosamund as she talks about the books that changed her life: 

Author Rosamund Burton
Over the last few years I’ve been captivated by the work of authors who have been inspired by A Course in Miracles: Nouk Sanchez and Tomas Vieira, who wrote Take Me to Truth, and English author, Robert Holden, whose books include Shift Happens, and Be Happy. When I told a friend I wanted to read A Course in Miracles she said she had the three volumes sitting in the boot of her car - and gave them to me. I immediately started to read the 600-page Text book (Volume 1). The Manual for Teachers remains unopened. On 1 January this year I read the first lesson of the Workbook for Students (Volume 2). There are 365 lessons and you read one daily, holding it in your mind during short meditation periods during the day. Each lesson provides guidance for shifting from the perspective of the ego to God-given truth and love.

As the world turns digital and publishing undergoes some of the greatest changes since the invention of the printing press, I have been crippled with fear and indecisiveness about my writing and what I should be doing. So much of this negative thinking stems from the ego. A Course in Miracles is about letting go of fears and grievances and listening to that inner voice that quietly guides you to the next step.

Alongside A Course in Miracles I have been revisiting The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. I first read the book in 1999 and it redirected the course of my life, making me commit to my writing. For the last three months I have been leading a group through the twelve chapters of the book.  This powerful process has once again led me back onto my path.

The daily writing of three A4 sides of what Julia Cameron calls ‘morning pages’ and the weekly ‘artist’s date’  - a two-hour solo date doing something that delights you – have gently brought me back to myself. It has brought home the importance of nurturing and nourishing myself - going for a walk or a swim, or enjoying a sunrise or a sunset. I realize that over the last few years of relentless busyness I’ve been starving myself of so many of life’s joys, and also not allowing myself to create.

Julia Cameron stresses that all creativity comes from a universal source – God – and for those who struggle with that word – "Good Orderly Direction". The Artist’s Way is essentially a spiritual journey and its biggest lesson, for those us experiencing blocked creativity, is that creativity is a gift from God, and to create is a gift to God.

As my ego constantly questions whether I’m irresponsible, selfish and self-indulgent to want to do what I love, these two books have really re-enforced that my greatest gift to the world and my loved ones is to follow my dreams.
 Rosamund Burton was born in Ireland, and grew up in England. Now resident in Australia, Rosamund is the author of Castles, Follies and Four-Leaf Clovers, and account of her journey along St. Declan's Way in Ireland.

To purchase A Course in Miracles, The Artist's Way, or Ros Burton's Castles, Follies, or any of the many books recommended in this Book Club, please visit our bookstore link (above right). The small % returned to us supports the Universal Heart Book Club. As do your visits and comments! You can easily share your thoughts in the comments box immediately below. If you don't have a Google email, just use "Anonymous" (and do put your name in the text box if you would like to). Follow the “captcha” instructions noting that it’s always two "words" with a space between. This will save us from spammers. Should be easy!  
[Stephanie Dowrick writes: Those of you wanting to read or venture towards A Course in Miracles may also want to read Marianne Williamson's famous and deeply reassuring, inspirational book that reflects on the central Course teachings, A Return to Love.]

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