A Course in Miracles–the Voice Speaks

Part Two in a series on A Course in Miracles

Dana by Dana Taylor

My intention in this series is to merely introduce ACIM to people who have only vaguely heard about it. I don’t consider myself an ACIM guru. While I have read and studied the course, I feel I have achieved only the most rudimentary understanding of the wisdom imparted. Yet, it has enriched my life and so, I am passing on something I consider to be a good thing.

Who wrote A Course in Miracles?

ACIM is “channeled” material. In other words, the person who physically wrote the book feels that she was a scribe for thoughts and ideas that came from a spiritual entity. Nowadays, there is a lot of channeled material floating around the Internet. Much of it is fascinating, but disjointed. Various personalities claim responsibility for the information they impart through a human translator. The most well known is probably Esther Hicks and her channeling the group called Abraham the Law of Attraction (Ask and It is Given) material in the past twenty years.

The preface written in 1977 to ACIM came from Helen Schucman as she briefly describes how the book came into existence. She and William Thetford were Professors of Medical Psychology at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City. In her words

Psychologist, educator, conservative in theory and atheistic in belief, I was working in a prestigious and highly academic setting. And then something happened that triggered a chain of events I could never have predicted. The head of my department unexpectedly announced that he was tired of the angry and aggressive feelings our attitudes reflected, and concluded that “there must be another way.” As if on cue, I agreed to help him find it. Apparently, this Course is the other way….

Three startling months preceded the actual writing, during which time Bill suggested that I write down the highly symbolic dreams and descriptions of the strange images that were coming to me. Although I had grown more accustomed to the unexpected by that time, I was still surprised when I wrote, “This is a course in miracles.” That was my introduction to the Voice.

That began a seven year period of Helen Schucman taking down the words of The Voice in short hand and William Thetford typing them up. The material has been minimally edited and is mostly intact from the first transcriptions. There is no officially credited author. As the material unfolds, it appears to be dictated by the “Christ Mind.”

The vocabulary blends psychological terms, such as “ego,” with Biblical references to Christ, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, God, and sin. The goal is to impart inner peace.

For those of you still reading, I don’t recommend just jumping into ACIM. It may seem fairly incomprehensible at first glance. In the next blog, I’ll introduce a couple of ACIM pre-reading recommendations. If the thought of channeled material seems strange, the premise of The Disappearance of the Universe by Gary Renard will really raise your eyebrows. Until next time!

Blessings to all–


Part One: A Course in Miracles: What is it?

For more info about ACIM visit Foundation for Inner Peace

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The Sooner Spirit shines in PROUD HEART

PH WEB mediumTaylor email 03 by Dana Taylor

I interrupt this “supernal” blog to announce a new release from my “romantic” side. Yes, I have a new book out. PROUD HEART is my love letter to my years in Oklahoma. As a California girl who suddenly found herself a new bride in the Sooner State, I experienced definite culture shock. For instance, strangers who crossed my path actually looked me in the eye and smiled. Some even said, “Howdy.” (For real. “Howdy.” ) Neighbors came over to introduce themselves. Everyone went to church. Oklahomans ate black eye beans on New Years Day and grew okra in summer gardens. When we bought our first home, my neighbor, Mrs. Blakely, was a woman in her 70′s who had been a teacher in a one-room school house. Great Little House on the Prairie!

The close-knit culture harkened back to a unique historical event–the Oklahoma Land Run of 1889.

As the years passed and my children participated in Land Run Day events, I became fascinated with the idea of a state being settled in one day. A sort of Big Bang Theory toward statehood. What kind of people would leave everything they knew to line up in the wilderness and make a mad dash for free land? (160 acres to call their own if they could stick it out for five years.) They came in two varieties–the Boomers and the Sooners.

1. Boomers–they made the run legally after the shot was fired.

2. Sooners–they got to their spots “Sooner,” having sneaked into the Unassigned Territories before the sanctioned hour and staked out their claims.

PROUD HEART grew out of that fascination. Of course, a good story needs a solid cast of characters. A romance novel needs a compelling hero and heroine and enough action to keep them from HEA for about 75,000 words. Read about the inspiration for my heroine, Rosa, at my new website DanaTaylorAuthor.com in the post TIME FOR A LATINA HEROINE.

Here’s the book description:

Free land! On April 22, 1889 thousands of hearty souls gathered at the Arkansas border. They dashed into the Unassigned Lands to claim their portion of the American dream and followed their hearts to a place called Oklahoma.

Rosa—The daughter of nobility, she lost her family to violence in Mexico. Does she have the courage to make a new life in a strange country?

Steven—The charismatic leader, fighting injustice of the downtrodden. Could Oklahoma be the New Promised Land?

Ricardo—The California horseman, alone after tragedy and misfortune wiped out his hopes. Could the Land Run offer a fresh, new start?

As newcomers struggle to settle a new territory, fortunes are made, friendships are forged. Love is tested. Will Rosa yield her proud heart to find real happiness?

Amazon US Amazon UK  Kobo Barnes & Noble

Paperback version available at Lulu.com

There are some nice reviews popping up on Amazon. If you’re in the mood for a story of love, friendship, and adventure, enjoy PROUD HEART. You’ll see why people love being from Oklahoma!



A Course in Miracles: What is it?

Dana post by Dana Taylor

The time feels right to tackle the daunting task of blogging about A COURSE IN MIRACLES. To those well-versed in ACIM, I apologize now for any clumsy moments. The next few posts will merely serve as an appetizer for the spiritually hungry. To get full, you’ll have to swallow the full meal by purchasing your own copy of ACIM and take it one bite at a time.

Here you’ll simply get an idea of what the Course is and isn’t and decide for yourself if you want to investigate it further. Okay, here goes:

  1. What is A Course in Miracles?

Simply put, it’s a book of channeled material, written in the 1970’s. It is not a new religion, although it is being incorporated into many people’s spiritual beliefs. There are many teachers, although the book itself can be studied independently. ACIM is divided into five parts: Preface, Text, Workbook for Students, Manual for Teachers, Clarification of Terms.

Think of it like a graduate course with Jesus Christ as the prof.

That’s right, the material is credited to Jesus Christ himself as the source. The terminology will feel familiar to those with Christian backgrounds. Phrases like “Holy Spirit,” “Atonement,” “Son of God,” are used liberally.

The message can be summed up in one word: Forgiveness.

Of course, your understanding of what forgiveness actually means will be challenged, expanded, and explored as you wade through the pages.

ACIM is not a quick, easy read. It’s not The Secret.

The Course is about changing how you look at the world and perceive “reality.” In fact, it totally challenges your concept of reality and might just obliterate it.

What began as a photo copied manuscript a few decades ago has now been translated into 22 languages by the The Foundation for Inner Peace. They foster study groups around the globe.

ACIM is a philosophy. It can be a revelation, a game changer, a new way of living. It can be a path to the peace of God.

Next: how it came to be.


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Women’s Lib has a Long Way to Go


Dana post by Dana Taylor

“Education is Emancipation”

When my girl friends and I get together for lunch we often begin with a toast, “Thank God we were born Western women.” As college students we embraced the Women’s Liberation movement, reading Ms. Magazine, Fear of Flying, Betty Friedan and thinking equal-pay-for-equal-work was right around the corner. (Still waiting!) We turned up the radio for Helen Reddy, “I am woman, hear me roar…”  We’ve come a long way, baby. Sort of…

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, patriarchal mindsets were joining forces with Jihad and the Taliban to imprison women behind the veil. Millions of women were forbidden basic education and personal liberty. One young woman, Malala, has taken a stand, been shot in the head, and continues to campaign for the education of women in the Arab world.

This extraordinary girl comes from extraordinary parents. Watch this Ted Talk by Ziauddin Yousafzai, an educator and father of Malala. You’ll see  where her courage and inspiration began.

I Am Malala :The Girl Who Stood Up For Education and was Shot by the Taliban is available at all book retailers.

Write to Wellness

That Elusive Cure

THAT ELUSIVE CURE is about facing up to illness, both mental and physical, of family struggle and above all, the amazing power of hope.

Part Two from  Lisa Hinsley:

Chemo kills creativity, at least it did for me. Except… that’s not entirely true. I couldn’t write, but I could think. And I did, at length while I fought nausea and horrid side effects. A couple of novel ideas came to me, complete, like a little acorn gift, waiting to be planted in the soil of Microsoft Word.

I noted these down, ideas, possibilities, things that made me think. I simply had no ability to follow through. Chemo came to an end in May 2013. My brain slowly began to reconnect and the urge to write, which never left, but was simply dampened, came at me like an unfulfilled addiction. The odd thing was, I didn’t revisit any of my stored acorns. I set myself a goal of 500 words a day. In June I started, reacquainted myself with ABCtales and to begin with, those 500 word stories were few and far between. They were hard to write, I sat at the computer desperate to distract myself with Facebook or the news or Googling stupid stuff.

But each week I did a little better. It became a little easier to put the words together. Then it happened. I got that itch, that inkling of an idea, a starburst of inspiration, and I began a new novel.

The last novel I wrote was Plague. I wrote it in 2011. I published in December that year. I started polishing an older novel for publication in the summer, then I got sick and nothing else happened. I stopped editing. I stopped writing. I stopped caring, and it didn’t even bother me that I’d stopped caring. Usually I’m a non-stop conveyor belt of writing. I love it. I need it like I need air. Suddenly, at the very end of June 2013 I found myself back there. And I loved it.

My initial goal of 500 words, that was so hard to begin with, became easier. The chapters started to build up, and although I knew how I was going to end the story, I didn’t know how I was going to get there. All of July I wrote. In August I took time off, it was the summer holidays and I spent my time with the kids.

Then I had SIRTs a type of internal radiotherapy. Come September, my youngest son was back at school, and despite still being in recovery from SIRTs I was writing again. The train had left the station, there was no stopping me. 500 words in a morning became 1000, then 2000. Towards the end I could do almost 5000 words in the same 1-2 hour slot I’d previously been struggling to write 500 words. Then at the end of October I was finished. The first draft of That Elusive Cure was complete.

I know my health is precarious, and this wasn’t the time to stuff the book into a drawer and let it mature for months. I hope readers will emanates the feeling of hope and peace I hope readers will come away with after reading my novel.

Less than a year after I wrote the first words, That Elusive Cure is published. I’m proud of the book, and I hope as a reader you can come away with some inspiration to live your life in the moment. Have hope, there is magic out there just waiting to be mined.

Excerpt from That Elusive Cure:

I followed Janie’s car, one of those odd-looking little Fiat 500s in lilac, through the countryside and into Birkenhead. She’d said where we were going, and I knew the place. I’d passed by the church on many occasions. I’d even daydreamed about buying it and setting it up as a flat for my daughter, keeping part of the space for me and creating a studio. That was me letting my bohemian side through. The place Cass lived in was grotty, but she refused to move back home, and my dream was to buy her a decent place to live. She had this boyfriend who seemed to be quite handy. I’d let them live there for free in exchange for his manual labor.

We pulled into the tiny car park. I still had the key in my possession, and I thumbed it nervously as Janie got out of her car and walked up to the door. We were in the town center, a stone’s throw from the council parking lot I used almost every week. To think this mystery machine had been there the entire time almost made me feel taunted by it. I searched briefly for hidden cameras, my eyes settling on Janie as she stood on the stone steps by the sad-looking church, patiently waiting for me. Taller buildings crowded in on three sides casting the building into shadow.

“You ready for this?” She took the key from me and inserted it into the lock. “You need to give it a little jiggle or the mechanism won’t turn.” She yanked on the key, her fingers white for a moment as she struggled. Then the key turned. I glanced up at the windows. They were so dirty I couldn’t tell if they were stained glass or not. Wire mesh covered each and added to the camouflage. The stone walls might once have been a warm grey, but now traffic dirt covered every surface and the building looked as if it was covered in soot.

My nerves were getting the better of me now, like a ball of static had got inside of me and needed me to jump around to get it out. I stamped my feet and tried to regain control.

“Go on.” Janie indicated that I should turn the handle.

“Okay…” We swapped positions and I pushed the door open. It was one of these heavy oak affairs, although the wood was so grimy I couldn’t actually tell what kind of wood it was. My belly ached, the tumors making themselves known, and I stepped over the threshold.

Inside was dark, the windows shedding little light. We entered the nave, our footfalls loud on the stone floor. Someone had pushed all the pews up against the walls, piled like firewood and abandoned. A pod-like machine big enough for a single person rested in the cleared space, its metallic hull gleaming like buffed silver. In the background a large cross still hung behind the altar.

“This is it.” Janie knelt beside the machine and put her hand on the surface, almost like a lover’s touch. “This is what cured me.”

PictureBorn in Portsmouth in 1971, Lisa Hinsley grew up in England, Scotland, and America. She now lives on the Wirral, in northwest England, with her husband, three children, and four cats.

Lisa’s novels Plague and The Ultimate Choice have featured regularly on the UK Amazon bestsellers charts and are now published in the USA by Simon & Schuster. Visit her website Lisa C. Hinsley

Lisa has been interviewed on the BBC regarding care for cancer patients. http://m.bbc.co.uk/news/health-22023820