Lesson 316 • November-12

All gifts I give my brothers are my own.


Practice Instructions

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 suggestion: You may want to try the following visualization. It will probably work better if someone reads it to you, or if you read it onto a tape and play the tape back to guide you through it.

Begin by repeating this line from the Urtext: "Help me to perform whatever miracles you want of me today."

Then ask the Holy Spirit to whom he wants you to give a miracle today. For this exercise, we'll focus on just one person.

Once you have a person in mind, then ask the Holy Spirit what form this miracle should take. It might be sitting down and forgiving this person. It might be a kind word or some outer gesture. Ask Him, "What form should this miracle take?"

Now visualize actually giving this miracle to this person, at whatever time of day you expect this to occur. See the scene unfold in your mind.

Now, in your mind's eye, look off in the distance a bit. There you see a temple-like structure. Its two magnificent doors are open wide, and on either side of the massive doorway an angel is standing. You see people from all directions walking towards this building, carrying treasures into it. These treasures are the gifts that these people have been given by others. One person has been given the precious gift of forgiveness and is carrying that into the building. Another has been healed by a miracle worker, and is carrying in this gift of healing. Another has received unconditional love from a friend and is carrying that in.

As you look, you begin to see specific people that you have given to, carrying into the building the treasures you have given them. See one person after another that you have given gifts to, walking inside to deposit their gifts. You see recent people you've given to, and those you gave to a long time ago. You see people you gave some particular thing to, and people you gave to continually over years. Note each person specifically.

Seeing these people, you realize that this is your treasure house. Even though you experience yourself as being outside the building, everything on the inside belongs to you. It's all yours. And after seeing so many people carrying inside the gifts you have given them, you begin to get a sense of just how many treasures you have stored up.

The person you are giving to today is beside you. This person looks at you and says, "Come with me." See this person take you by the hand and walk you towards your treasure house. He or she is your escort into the building. You see the treasure house looming closer. You see the doors open wide in welcome. As you approach, the angels greet you and say, "Welcome. Your house has been waiting for you. Enter in where you are truly welcome and at home, among the gifts that God has given you."

Walk in through the doors and see the dazzling splendor that awaits you. Feel the holiness that pervades the place. Feel the peace and the sense of home. As you look at the treasures, feel a sense of ownership. Feel the abundance that comes from all these treasures being yours. This is your new home, the home in which your mind will live from now on. Sit down in this home and spend some time just soaking in the holiness, peace, and abundance.

Commentary

This lesson is obviously a companion to yesterday's, "All gifts my brothers give belong to me." We receive all the gifts our brothers give, and we also receive all the gifts we give. Of course the reverse is true as well: Everything any brother or sister gives, they also receive, and they receive all the gifts we give as well. Everyone receives everything. It must be so because we are all one.

"Each one allows a past mistake to go, and leave no shadow on the holy mind my Father loves" (1:2). The gifts we are speaking of are gifts of forgiveness in which we let a past mistake go, instead of holding on in unforgiving grievance about it. When I give such a gift, I am blessed because the shadows of that past mistake are removed from my mind. The shadows no longer obscure the truth about my brother; my forgiveness shows me Christ in him.

Therefore, we not only receive a gift every time one is given by someone else—a smile, a word of mercy, an act of love—but also, we receive a gift each time anyone else receives a gift! "His grace is given me in every gift a brother has received throughout all time, and past all time as well" (1:3). When Jesus looked at the woman caught in adultery and said, "Neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more," and she received his gift of forgiveness, I received a gift as well as she.

Our treasure house is full, says the lesson (1:4). "Angels watch its open doors that not one gift is lost, and only more are added" (1:4). The fact that we may not be aware of these gifts makes no difference; they can't be lost. Every loving thought is treasured up and kept for us; not one is lost. The treasure of love just keeps growing, just as God keeps eternally expanding and extending.

You know, if we could really get a grasp on these thoughts our lives would be transformed. We are being showered, deluged, with gifts of love in every moment. We have the rich inheritance of all the love for all of time, "and past all time as well" (1:3), to draw upon. Our perspective is so horribly constrained by our self-inflicted isolation! We have no idea how rich we are.

But I can come now, today, this moment, into my treasure house. I can "come to where my treasures are, and enter in where I am truly welcome and at home, among the gifts that God has given me" (1:5). I can remember all the gifts I have and guarantee them to myself by giving them away, as Lesson 159 instructs us:

There is no miracle you cannot give, for all are given you. Receive them now by opening the storehouse of your mind where they are laid, and giving them away. (W-159.2:4-5)

The treasure house is in my mind; the gifts are all there. I can recognize I have them by giving them away. It's like keeping the circulation going. And since all the gifts I give my brothers are my own, giving them is how I know I have them, and how I keep them. That's another way to understand the lesson theme: The only gifts I have are the ones I give away. So let me today give love to my brothers, give joy to my brothers. Let me offer peace of mind to everyone. As I do, the gifts will be mine.

If we feel uncertain how to go about claiming and recognizing all these treasures, this deluge of blessing, we can join in the prayer that closes this lesson, phrased to recognize the fact that we do not, as yet, recognize all these gifts, and asking for instruction in doing so:

Father, I would accept Your gifts today. I do not recognize them. Yet I trust that You Who gave them will provide the means by which I can behold them, see their worth, and cherish only them as what I want. (2:1-3)<

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