Introducing the Circle Course Community

Do you feel a deep connection with A Course in Miracles but are unsure about how to actually live its transcendent teachings? Have you spent years with the Course, convinced it is a towering work of great truth and beauty, yet feel that you haven't really put both feet on the path? Do you perhaps have a sense of the lofty journey it has set before you, and have even devoted yourself to making that journey, but have still not gotten as far as you would like?

For those who answer yes to these questions, we have created the Circle Course Community (CCC). The purpose of this online community is to provide members with maximum support in walking the path of the Course. A Course in Miracles is not the easiest path to follow. It asks us to study challenging teachings and do frequent inner practice. It asks us to spend our time giving love and healing to others. It asks us to do the last thing our ego wants to do—forgive. Perhaps we have considered these things too difficult to really do. Yet we all know that difficult things are best done with expert guidance and strong group support.

Course fidelity

The foundation for the CCC is what we call "Course fidelity"—taking the Course at its word. We want to understand it and practice it according to its own words. In our experience, the Course gets more amazing, profound, and even more practical when we seek out its viewpoint alone. This does not mean we consider other paths invalid; it just means that this is our path. The CCC will be based on the Circle of Atonement's approach (for more, read The Circle Of Atonement's Approach to A Course in Miracles), but what makes our approach distinctive is that we treat all views, our own included, as subject to being measured against the Course.

Joining with others of like mind

One of the main forms of support this community provides is simply being joined with people of like mind. In today's dizzyingly diverse spiritual marketplace, finding others who share a common point of view can be a source of great comfort. In a world focused on conformity, setting out on an unconventional path can be extremely difficult unless you have the strength of others walking beside you. It is very easy for those of us who are students of A Course in Miracles, and who want to seriously follow it as our literal guide, to feel alone. This leaves us with a deep need to, as a friend put it, "huddle together for warmth."

The PathMap

Perhaps the main support provided in the CCC is what we call the PathMap. The purpose of the PathMap is to provide you with specific and extensive guidance to help you actually walk the path of the Course. The PathMap is a collection of hundreds of resources that the Circle of Atonement has produced over the years to help students with the practical activity of living the Course. Many of these are only available on the PathMap.

We have organized these resources under four major headings: study, practice, extension, and the path. Under each of these headings are several subheadings. For instance, under "practice" you will find the Workbook, meditation and prayer, forgiveness, other practices, and listening to the Holy Spirit. Then, under each subheading are the actual resources for that particular topic. For instance, under "forgiveness" are all the resources we have produced for helping students with the practice of forgiveness. These include books, book chapters, articles, handouts, and audio programs.

The primary activity of the Circle Course Community is meant to be its members walking the path of A Course in Miracles, aided by the PathMap. For PathMap FAQs, click here.

Bloggers

Another key form of support is the blogs. We have a number of people maintaining blogs (web logs). These are people from the Circle's staff and board, as well as several others who are close to the Circle and particularly in tune with our model. These blogs, which are available only to CCC members, are in essence public spiritual journals, in which the bloggers share about their ongoing process of walking the Course's path. The blogs provide spiritual nourishment to the community as well as model what it means to walk this path. They also spark community discussion that takes the form of members posting comments to particular blog entries.

In addition to blogs written by our regular CCC bloggers, we also provide opportunities for other CCC members to write blogs on selected topics, such as personal breakthroughs on the Course's path.

Teacher's Blog

For those who sign up for the CCC teacher membership, we have a teacher's blog, where CCC teacher members can share with one another their experiences, questions, tips, breakthroughs, etc. on teaching the Course to others.

Members

We also have a Members Directory. This lets you learn something about the other members, as well as make contact with them. If you wish, you can indicate in your Members Directory entry that you want a partner to go through the Text, Workbook, or PathMap with, so that the two of you can support each other in the process and share insights and experiences. And we have also created what we call the Buddy Map, where members can indicate on a map where they are located and see if there are other CCC members nearby. We hope that many fruitful, long-term relationships will be formed through member-to-member communication.

Classes

We also have regular classes for CCC members, which members can listen to and participate in live over the phone, and which they can listen to mp3 recordings of afterwards. These classes are geared around community needs. They cover topics in the Course that are relevant to walking the path and they answer questions that have arisen from community members.

Additional features

In addition to the above, we have a number of other features designed to enhance community life:

  • Regular editorials from Robert and Greg, which the membership is invited to discuss
  • Community discussion of this month's A Better Way article
  • The Buddy Map, where members can see where other members live

Anchoring a tradition

Much of the reason for joining the CCC is to receive support in your own journey with the Course and give support to other members. But there is a bigger picture. The Course did not come for just us few. It came for the world. It has something to give the world. Yet it will only be able to give that gift when it is wrapped in a living tradition, made up of generations of serious students and teachers helping each other walk this groundbreaking path of enlightenment (to learn more about our vision of a Course tradition, read The Promise of the Course: A Statement of Intent).

After observing the Course in Miracles scene for many years, we at the Circle finally realized that, even though many have spread awareness of the Course in the world, a tradition such as this has not gotten underway. We have therefore committed ourselves to this task, and the Circle Course Community is the cornerstone of this. It will no doubt be a very small beginning, but we all know that great things can come from tiny seeds. Thus, while you consider whether or not you will join, and think about receiving support and huddling together for warmth, try also to ask yourself these larger questions: Do I want to see A Course in Miracles give its gift to the world? And do I want to be part of that? Do I want to be part of a community that could make that possible?

Two levels of membership

The CCC has two levels of membership: student and teacher. What is the difference? You would sign up for the teacher level if you are in a role of helping other students with the Course—as a study group leader, for example—and you want to have access to resources specifically designed to assist you with that role. This level of membership will give you the opportunity to deepen in that role and to take advantage of more in-depth teacher training when it becomes available. Below are the benefits for both student membership and teacher membership:

Student Membership

  • 20% discount on:
    • all Circle Publishing products (books, CDs, and e-publications) Note that this discount does not apply to source materials (A Course in Miracles, etc.) since these are published by other publishers.
    • all Circle classes and courses
    • all Circle events
  • Access to the PathMap.
  • Ability to read and respond to blogs
  • Ability to write blogs on selected topics
  • Ability to create own member page in Members Directory
  • Ability to partake in member-to-member communication
  • Ability to participate in moderated Text and Workbook online discussion forums
  • Access to the Meeting Place, a page where members share their thoughts on selected "lighter" topics
  • Access to the Buddy Map
  • Access to the Program Material
  • Access to Robert Perry's class notes series (available free only to members)
  • Access to the CCC live audio class as they becomes available
  • Access to any Community member online events

Sign up for student membership here.

Teacher Membership

All of the above plus:

  • Access to the teacher-pupil material
  • Access to the study group material
  • Monthly teachers' group phone call with Robert and Greg
  • Ready access to Robert and Greg for teacher related questions
  • Access to new teacher resources
  • Access to teacher's blog
  • Access to study group leader training when it becomes available
  • Access to teacher certification when it becomes available

Sign up for teacher membership here.

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