Q and A with Carmen

Good Questions
Questions & Answers

By the late Carmen Cameron*
[as it appeared in the March 2010 Newsletter]


There is nothing I like more than a good question about the Course.  And by “good question”, I mean a thought provoking one – a question that makes me reassess what I currently believe and perhaps come to see it in a new light. As a result, we have a very interactive study group of Course students here in Louisville where everyone is encouraged to share their insights and questions. It isalso a very diverse group with people from widely varying religious backgrounds so we get a lot of very insightful questions and I’ve been making a note of them for the last 15 years. 


Question: The Course places such an emphasis on meditation and prayer but I find it is just so hard to get really quiet in meditaiton because my mind is FILLED with random thoughts. Any suggestions?


Ah, “monkey mind” is just SO familiar to all of us on the spiritual path! Here’s what helped me learn how to “tame” it.


Psychological studies have shown recently that only 5% of our thoughts are conscious while the remaining 95% of our thoughts are repressed into the subconscious meaning that a person can control their conscious mind 100% and still have a stampede of mental activity going on – and that stampeding horde is literally set free when we attempt to relax our mind (in either prayer or meditation).What to do in the meanwhile?  Try defining “meditation” a little more broadly for starters. Absolutely everyone I’ve ever asked, “Is there something you do that makes time stand still for you? Like walking or painting or playing music?” has answered with a resounding “YES!”  Well, in essence that’s a form of meditation, a way that comes naturally and easily to YOU.  Start there.  Begin your walk or other activity with your intention to be open to whatever the Holy Spirit wants to communicate with you in the coming moments.  I think you’ll be amazed at the results you’ll get.

So what to do? Pay attentioin to the thoughts that come up instead of JUST rejecting them, for one, understanding tht they’re coming up into your mind simply BECAUSE they’re Unattended.
Cleaning up the thoughts that arise from a “freed” subconscious eventually leads to a simpler state of mind, one that can relax AND be quiet because it’s no longer a mental prison for a virtual circus of undealt-with thoughts!

AND you’ll be both learning what getting quiet actually feels like – so you’ll be more capable of discerning what interferes with it – plus getting motivated to do it more frequently.

I hope this info has been helpful to you!


* Carmen Cameron, who is a founding member of Course in Miracles Society, has been teaching classes in A Course in Miracles since 1994.  She was a presenter at the 2009 Miracles Conference in San Francisco and is scheduled to present again at the 2011 Conference. Carmen’s website is:  http://peaceful-path.blogspot.com/