Practice Instructions Review II

Longer: Two times (once for each of the ideas), for about fifteen minutes.

  • For three or four minutes, slowly read over the idea and comments (repeatedly if you wish) and think about them.
  • Close your eyes and spend the remainder of the practice period listening for the message the Holy Spirit has for you. We can see this time of listening as having the following components:
  1. Listen "quietly but attentively" (3:1)—listen in stillness and with all your attention.
  2. Hold an attitude of confidence ("this message belongs to me"), desire ("I want this message"), and determination ("I'm determined to succeed").
  3. Listening for ten minutes can easily be one big invitation to mind wandering, and so the majority of instruction for this exercise deals with this issue. For out-of-control mind wandering, go back and repeat the first phase. For more minor wandering, realize the distracting thoughts have no power and that your will has all the power, and then replace the thoughts with your will to succeed. Do so with firmness. "Do not allow your intent to waver" (4:1). "Refuse to be sidetracked" (5:2).

This is not mentioned in the instructions, but you may find it helpful to actually ask for the message, at the beginning and then periodically throughout. You may say, for instance, "What is Your message for me today?" You may even want to use this request as the specific vehicle for dispelling wandering thoughts.

Frequent reminders: Frequent.

Repeat the idea as a way of reaffirming your determination to succeed.

  • First half of day: first lesson
  • Second half of day: second lesson

Response to temptation: Whenever you are tempted to be upset.

Repeat some variation on the idea, modified to apply to this particular upset.

  • You may use one of the three "specific forms" (W-pI.RII.In.6:1) suggested after each lesson. Notice how they are directed at a specific upset. Virtually every one is aimed at an upsetting "this" or an upsetting "name."
  • Or you may generate one of your own specific forms, by using a variation on the practice of letting related thoughts come. Simply lean back and let your mind come up with a sentence that applies the essence of the idea to your current upset. For examples, see the specific forms suggested after each lesson.

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