This day I choose to spend in perfect peace.
See complete instructions in separate document. A short summary:
- Read the commentary paragraph slowly and personally.
- Pray the prayer, perhaps several times.
- Morning and evening: Repeat the idea and then spend time in Open Mind Meditation.
- Hourly remembrance: Repeat the idea and then spend time in Open Mind Meditation.
- Frequent reminders: Repeat the idea and then spend a quiet moment in meditation.
- Response to temptation: Repeat the idea whenever upset, to restore peace.
- Read the "What Is" section slowly and thoughtfully once during the day.
Practice comments: Today is the first of three days of peace in Part II (the other two are 273 and 286). All are attempts to have a day of undisturbed peace, and all highlight the importance of our ability to have such a day. So really "give today to finding" (1:6) the peace God wills for you. Use your repetition of paragraphs 1 and 2 as a device for dedicating the day to this purpose. Practice frequently, in the faith that this peace really is there, and that your practice can lay hold of it for you.
Peace does not seem to be purely a matter of choice: "It does not seem to me that I can choose to have but peace today" (1:1). Our egos would have us believe that peace can be taken from us, or given to us, by things outside our minds. It is not so.
If I am God's Son, and therefore like Himself, I have the power of decision, the power to simply choose peace (1:2-3). God says it is so; let me have faith in Him, and let me act upon that faith. Let me give it a try! Let me choose to spend this day in perfect peace. The more I determine to "give today to finding what my Father wills for me," which is the peace of Heaven, and "accepting it as mine" (1:6), the more I will experience that peace. I will probably also find a lot of things that pop up trying to disturb that peace. But I can respond to these things simply by saying, "I would choose peace instead of this," or "This cannot take away the peace my Father has given me." As I do this, the peace I choose and experience will "bear witness to the truth of what He says" (1:4).
Remember, your mental state isn't perfect, nor is it expected to be perfect. You are in training; this is a course in mind training. When I practice guitar chords, especially new ones, at first placing my fingers in the right position takes a lot of concentration and effort. I am forced to break the rhythm of the song, slowing down so I can place my fingers just so. I don't expect to get it right every time. Getting it wrong and correcting myself is part of the training. Eventually, with time, my fingers start forming a habit pattern; they go more and more frequently into the right configuration to strike the chord without any buzzing or dead notes. The training period is a time of doing it wrong, doing it deliberately with conscious concentration, until it becomes a habit I no longer have to think about. That is what we are doing in these lessons: practicing the habit of peace.
Our aim today is to spend the day with God (2:1). We, His Son, have not forgotten Him, and our practice is witness to that fact. The peace of God is in our minds, where He put it. We can find it, we can choose to spend our day there, in peace, with Him. We can do this; God assures us we can. So let us practice. Let us begin. Let us accept His peace as our own, and give it to all our Father's Sons, along with ourselves (1:6).