"Have a nice day." The urge to have a good day goes very deep in the human psyche. "How was your day?" we ask each other. For those on the spiritual path, this urge becomes the desire for the perfect day, the heavenly day. The Course speaks of it as "a time Heaven has set apart to shine upon, and cast a timeless light upon this day, when echoes of eternity are heard" (W-pI.157.1:3). Isn't this the kind of day we long for?
It may seem odd to see A Course in Miracles, a teaching rooted in the illusory nature of time, commenting on the topic of the perfect day. The Course, however, goes much further than just commenting. Throughout its three volumes it sketches an entire picture of the ideal day, giving us specific instructions on how to have such a day. Teaching us to have this day seems to be one of the major goals of A Course in Miracles.
It should go without saying that the Course isn't talking about a day when outer circumstances go the way our egos want. The happiness of its ideal day does not come from reveling in the feast of this world, but from tasting timelessness. As a Workbook prayer says, "And what I will experience is not of time at all. The joy that comes to me is not of days nor hours" (W-pII.310.1:2-3). How do we partake in this timeless joy? Through a day of continual practice in giving our minds to God, a day enclosed in a fine net of spiritual practice. Having the perfect day, therefore, is a matter of what we call Workbook practice.
While the Workbook is instructing us in how to practice the lesson for the day, it is also subtly accomplishing something else. It is training us in how to experience a day of pure happiness, "a day of undisturbed tranquility" (W-pII.273.1:1). If you collect all of the clues it contains about how to do this, and then throw in the Text and Manual discussions on this subject, you will find a remarkable wealth of counsel on exactly how to experience the ideal day.
What follows is my attempt to boil that counsel down into a single, coherent structure. If you have not done the Workbook, I personally would not recommend practicing this instead. The Workbook is there to train you in the elements of this structure. This structure will be especially helpful and useable, I believe, if you have done the Workbook before, perhaps several times, and are either doing it again or are trying to practice on your own, without reliance on it.
I think this structure is especially useful for those in this latter category, which we at the Circle call post-Workbook practice. Here, you are trying to use the practice taught you by the Workbook, but without the structure of its daily lessons. Many people I know have tried this, only to find that without the Workbook's structure, they tend to lose their focus and motivation. Our minds seem to need some immediate goal to compel our motivation and some concrete structure for pursuing it. The goal of having an ideal day can easily inspire passionate effort. And the structure I will present below gives us a specific focus yet still has a great deal of room for individual preference. It thus seems to me to be the perfect thing for those who have gone beyond the Workbook but are not yet ready for total lack of structure.
The Course's vision of the ideal day begins with the moment of waking. We are urged (in W-pI.162.3:1) to arise with particular words in our minds (in this case, "I am as God created me"), to awaken with specific "words upon our lips" (W-pI.rV.IN.11:3). We are instructed to waken hearing God and let Him speak to us for a few minutes as the day begins (W-pI.140.11:1).
How we start the day says a great deal about the purpose we see in it. We might awaken thinking about the responsibilities that face us, or about the pleasures we anticipate, or about making coffee or using the bathroom. These initial thoughts reveal what we think the day is all about. We think it is about the separate self we think we are and its honor, shame, pleasure and discomfort. I for one awaken in a profound stupor. I rarely know the nature of the noise that, as it turns out, is my alarm. It is a new sound every morning. Once I awaken I wish I could just lay there and avoid the entire day. This sets the tone for a day in which, when faced with various worldly responsibilities, I often want to pull the covers back over my head. Awakening with a prayer upon my lips sets the tone for a different day, a day dedicated to a different kind of awakening.
Here are my favorite thoughts to have in mind as I awake:
Be in my mind, my Father, as I wake, and shine on me throughout the day today (W-pII.232.1:1).
Father, I wake today with miracles correcting my perception of all things. And so begins the day share with You as I will share eternity, for time has stepped aside today (W-pII.346.1:1-2).
I will arise in glory, and allow the light in me to shine upon the world throughout the day (W-pII.237.1:2)
Morning Quiet Time
"As soon as possible after waking take your quiet time" (M-16.4:7). This morning quiet time is the foundation for one's whole day of practice, and therefore one's whole attempt to have an ideal day. Try to undertake this time, therefore, for the express purpose of preparing to meet your perfect day. Use this time "to set the day along the lines which God appointed" (W-pI.rIV.IN.5:4).
Setting the Goal for the Day
Setting the goal for the day is a crucial part of having the ideal day. "Rules for Decision" (T-30.I) walks you through a process of setting this goal. It asks you to "think about the kind of day you want" (T-30.I.1:8), think about "the feelings you would have, the things you want to happen to you, and the things you would experience" (T-30.I.4:1).
This may sound rather egoic, as if the goal you will set is winning the lottery. But the Course here is confident that you will set a goal that reflects its goals. Earlier on the same page it said that by now, after twenty-nine chapters in the Text, the overall goal is clear in your mind (T-30.In.1:2).
The goal the Course expects you to set for your day, therefore, is some version of its goal of salvation, some variation that is deeply meaningful to you personally ; some place where its goals and yours converge. So reflect for a moment on what that might be. What is your ideal spiritual day? What kind of day does the deepest part of you long for? It might be a day in which you have no cares and no judgments, a day in which you live completely in the present, a day of pure loving-kindness to others, a day of single-minded commitment, a day of continually listening to God's Voice.
My ideal day includes many elements, but it is primarily a combination of two threads in Part II of the Workbook. There are a series of lessons that urge us to attempt to have a day of unbroken peace (255, 273, 286, 291, 346) and a series of lessons devoted to spending the day with God (232, 255, 310, 339, 346). These combined (and they do combine in Lessons 255 and 346) are my "dream" day, a day in which I feel that God's Presence is almost palpably in the air, that His peace is blanketing everything, and that I am resting with Him in a feeling of wonderful companionship and contentment.
Once you have set your goal for the day firmly in mind, "tell yourself there is a way in which this very day can happen just like that" (T-30.I.1:8). Tell yourself that if you engage in the practice we will outline below, this is the day that will be given you.
One more element should be part of setting the goal. Tell yourself that today is a special day. As un-Course-like as this may sound, this is precisely the attitude the Course wants you to have. It urges you to see this day as "a time of special celebration" (W-pII.241.1:2), as "a day of special dedication" (W-pI.98.1:1), as "a special time of promise in your calendar of years" (W-pI.157.1:2). Seeing the day in this way will make a genuine difference for you.
Here are the above steps in a more instructional form:
1. Reflect on the kind of day you want and make that your goal for the day.
You may want to reinforce this with a Workbook lesson from Part II that reflects your goal. Open your book to that lesson, spend a moment focusing on the lesson title. Then pray the prayer slowly and sincerely. Then read the additional paragraph as if it were your own thoughts on paper. When the lesson says "today" or "this day" apply that to this very day; use that sentence to help you set your goal for the day. The following lessons are excellent for this purpose because they focus on having a particular kind of day: 227, 232, 233, 237, 241, 242, 243, 247, 250, 254, 255, 256, 262, 269, 270, 271, 273, 274, 275, 284, 286, 290, 291, 296, 303, 306, 310, 312, 315, 330, 334, 339, 340, 346, 353.
2. Tell yourself that there is a way in which you can have this very day.
You might repeat this line: " If I remember God when I can throughout the day and ask the Holy Spirit's help when it is feasible to do so, this is the day that will be given me " (based on M-29.5:9 and T-30.I.4:2).
3. Tell yourself that this is a special day.
It is special because today you will learn a lesson "no more true today than any other day. Yet has this day been chosen as the time when [you] will seek and hear and learn and understand" (W-pII.275.1:1-2).
Remaining Morning Quiet Time
In the rest of my morning quiet time, I like to use a pattern that is found throughout the Workbook (which means that if you are doing the Workbook, it will instruct you in what to do with this time): Start with reading of the Course, then move into active inner practices, and finally engage in the receptive practice of Course-based meditation. I have done this for years. The difference is that now I see this as preparation for having my ideal day.
1. Reading from the Course
I believe that daily reading from the Course is important for all students, whether it be from the Text, Workbook or Manual. The Workbook, of course, provides this daily reading as the foundation for practicing its lessons.
2. Active practices
By active practices I mean those practices from the Workbook that require the mind to be actively doing something; for instance, repeating and dwelling on particular sentences. Here are some examples:
- Finding and spending some time with a thought for the day, a sentence (or a few sentences) that you will practice frequently throughout the day.
- Spending time dispelling a particular upset by using a favorite practice from the Course.
- Practicing forgiveness in relation to a particular challenging person in your life (see, for instance, the composite forgiveness exercise in A Better Way #24)
- Talking with Jesus, sharing with him your pains and joys and letting him lead you beyond them to the peace of God (see (C-5.6:6-7).
- With each major relationship in your life releasing the past and being born again to that relationship. A minute or less with each one is sufficient (see T-13.X.5:2-3).
- Engaging in a prayer from Part II of the Workbook.
3. Course-based meditation
The Course's method of meditation is introduced in Lessons 41 and 44. I have attempted to summarize that method in this way: 1) Trying to enter very deeply into your mind, sinking down and inward toward the quiet center, the dwelling place of God and your Self; 2) keeping your mind free of distractions, pulling it back from wandering by repeating the idea for the day or some other technique; 3) while holding in mind an attitude of confidence, desire, importance and holiness.
Renewing Your Goal Throughout the Day
Practicing throughout the day is a basic part of the Course's formula for practice, which, in simplest form, is: practicing "in the morning and again at night, and all through the day as well" (W-pI.64.5:2). In fact, the Course uses the phrase "throughout the day" forty-four times in encouraging us to practice all day long. After forty-four references, one might conclude that it really wants us to practice "throughout the day."
This practice is not just for the sake of our ultimate salvation. It has a more immediate purpose-that of renewing our goal for that day, the one we established in the morning. Hopefully, something real happened in our morning quiet time. If we do not renew that something throughout the day, it will slowly disappear over the horizon like the setting sun. Most of us know this fact all too well.
Therefore, the Course urges us to practice throughout the day and to see this practice as a renewing of the ideal day we began in the morning. This, as I mentioned earlier, is how we seek that perfect day. Throughout the day, we face the choice of seeking safety and satisfaction through our practice, or through our usual means. These usual means consist of using our power to grasp after pleasurable circumstances and defend against threatening circumstances. The Course calls this "magic" and identifies this as the major threat to our ideal day: "No risk is possible throughout the day except to put your trust in magic" (M-16.11:5). So instead of relying upon our own powers of rearranging the outer chess board, let us rely upon our inner practice.
Here are some of the forms in which we can renew our goal throughout the day:
1. Frequent reminders
This is my term for briefly repeating and dwelling on a particular line from the Course, such as a lesson title. Lesson 122 says that these reminders have the specific purpose of holding in awareness the gifts we gained in the morning, so that they do not "slip by and drift into forgetfulness" (W-pI.122.14:1).
If, like me, your ideal day is one spent with God, I suggest the following frequent reminder:
Let every minute be a time in which I dwell with You. (W-pII.232.1:2)
2. Actively remind yourself that you have a special goal today.
This is an important part of having the ideal day, one which the Course refers to many times. This reminder might even take the form of reading the following passages and applying them directly to this day:
Remember often that today should be a time of special gladness, and refrain from dismal thoughts and meaningless laments. Salvation's time has come. Today is set by Heaven itself to be a time of grace for you and for the world. (W-pI.131.15:1-3)
As often as you can, remind yourself you have a goal today; an aim which makes this day of special value to yourself and all your brothers. (W-pI.126.11:1)
Throughout the day, at any time you think of it and have a quiet moment for reflection, tell yourself again the kind of day you want; the feelings you would have, the things you want to happen to you, and the things you would experience, and say: If I make no decisions by myself, this is the day that will be given me. (T-30.I.4:1-2)
3. On the hour
Practice on the hour is an important piece of this ideal day. Below are some of the things I recommend doing on the hour (though I am not suggesting you do them all at any one time). You may notice that several of these (especially a,b,d, and g-which you may want to combine into a single practice period) are directly related to keeping your ideal day on track:
a. Thank God for all the gifts He gave in the previous hour (W-pI.153.17:2). You might want to think of specific gifts you feel you received from Him in that hour.
b. Search your mind for events from the previous hour that are still weighing on you and forgive those events; free your mind of their burden. "Let no one hour cast its shadow on the one that follows, and when that one goes, let everything that happened in its course go with it" (W-pI.193.12:4).
c. Thank God that He has never left you. " And let me not forget my hourly thanksgiving that You have remained with me, and always will be there to hear my call to You and answer me " (W-pII.232.1:3).
d. Ask for guidance for the coming hour: "And we will quietly sit by and wait on Him and listen to His Voice, and learn what He would have us do the hour that is yet to come" (W-pI.153.17:2).
e. Spend a few moments in quiet meditation, sinking inward toward God, the Christ in you, the happiness and joy that lies in you (this is the main instruction for the five minutes per hour exercises in Lessons 93-110).
f. Spend time dwelling on your lesson for the day.
g. Remind yourself of your goal for the day: "As every hour passes by today, be still a moment and remind yourself you have a special purpose for this day" (W-pI.125.9:5).
4. Rescuing your day from forgetfulness
There will almost inevitably be sections of the day when you completely lose sight of your goal. When you notice that you have let an hour or two or three go by without practicing, do not berate yourself and feel guilty, and most especially do not lose hope and give up for the day. The Course directly addresses this latter issue: "There may well be a temptation to regard the day as lost because you have already failed to do what is required" (W-pI.95.7:4).
Resist this temptation and simply rededicate yourself, reestablish your goal, and start practicing again. If you have the time, take a few minutes to do this. Sit down and really give your mind over to renewing your goal.
Protecting Your Goal Throughout the Day
Of course, your day will most likely be brimming with things that threaten to shatter the peace that you seek. For this reason, protecting your day is a major concern. How do you do so? By not answering the phone? By avoiding the really unpleasant tasks? By pushing angry thoughts out of your mind?
Response to temptation
The Course is deeply concerned with protecting your peace, and it always recommends the same technique: responding to your upset internally with a practice designed to dispel the upset. This is what the Course sometimes calls "response to temptation." Response to temptation can be broken down into four steps: 1) Watch your mind 2) for any form of disturbance of your peace. 3) When one is noticed, make it a habit to respond instantly 4) with a thought from the Course.
This not only has the purpose of protecting your peace of mind; it also is meant to protect your day. I have found that this additional purpose gives me extra motivation for responding to my temptations: I don't want my special day with God derailed. I want to meet any source of upset head-on, with Him beside me and His light in my mind.
During the day, therefore, try to keep a special lookout for any intrusion on your peace. If you are doing the rest of the practice, even the slightest disturbance will show up as distinct ripples in the calm lake of your mind. As soon as you notice an upset, don't shy away from it and sweep it under the rug. Don't try to fix it on the outside. And don't let its ripples keep expanding. Any one of these options has the power to derail your entire day. Instead, respond with a practice from the Course. If you are doing the Workbook, use your idea for the day. If you are doing post-Workbook practice, pull something out of your personal "problem-solving repertoire" (W-pI.194.6:2)-your collection of responses to temptation that you have found effective in the past.
Protecting your day according to "Rules for Decision"
The Text section "Rules for Decision" presents its own picture of how to have the ideal day (a picture that I have incorporated at various points). Roughly half of the section deals with how to rescue your day from potential derailment.
In this section, the key to having an ideal day is to make no decisions by yourself. This also means "that you will not judge the situations where you are called upon to make response" (2:4). At some point in the day, however, you will find that you have done just that; you have judged what the situation means. This judgment automatically defines what the situation's problem is and suggests a specific range of solutions. All of this will make you afraid of listening to the Holy Spirit, for "what you hear may not resolve the problem as you saw it first" (3:3).
There is a sure sign that this has happened: "if you feel yourself unwilling to sit by and ask to have the answer given you" (5:3). Now your day has been threatened. Its whole theme was letting Someone Else make your decisions for you, and you refuse to listen to Him. Here is what the section counsels you to do:
Remember once again the day you want, and recognize that something has occurred that is not part of it.Then realize that you have asked a question by yourself ["How do I think I should solve the problem I have identified?"], and must have set an answer in your terms ["Whatever the solution is, it must meet the criteria I have established."]. Then say:
I have no question. I forgot what to decide. (T-30.I.6:1-5)
These lines mean, "I refuse to define what the question is. I forgot that I need to decide only with the Holy Spirit."
So you face head-on that something has happened that is not part of your ideal day. And then "without delay" (7:1) you dispel it with a response to temptation. This is what the section calls "a quick restorative" (5:5).
However, this section also acknowledges that there will be times when the quick restorative is not enough. For those times it provides an entire process of gently reasoning with yourself in order to dispel your fear of asking the Holy Spirit (Paragraphs 8-12). You are given a series of lines to repeat to yourself. These lines are easily misunderstood, so I will append a brief explanation to each one:
At least I can decide I do not like what I feel now [what I feel is upset because I am afraid of asking for the Holy Spirit's guidance in this situation].
And so I hope I have been wrong [in thinking that I should be afraid of asking the Holy Spirit in this situation].
I want another way to look at this [issue of whether asking the Holy Spirit is fearful].
Perhaps there is another way to look at this [issue of asking] .
What can I lose by asking [What is so fearful about asking the Holy Spirit in this situation?]?
The goal of this process is to release you from your fear of deciding with the Holy Spirit in this particular situation. The goal, in other words, is to return you to the point at which you started the day: being determined to make no decisions by yourself. The goal is to put your day back on track.
All of this underscores the central importance of rescuing your day from derailment. If you have fallen into a state of mind that is not part of your day, don't be afraid to admit it. And don't be afraid to spend time in putting your day back on track.
Asking for Guidance
An integral part of the ideal day of Course practice is frequently asking the Holy Spirit what to do. Think, for instance of the section we just discussed, "Rules for Decision." Its ideal day was one in which we practiced frequent asking. The Workbook trains us in this same practice. There are almost fifty lessons (153-200) in which we are meant to ask each hour what to do in the next hour. Finally, the Manual gives this instruction for daily asking:
If you have made it a habit to ask for help [the specific kind of help just mentioned is what to say to someone you are trying to assist] when and where you can, you can be confident that wisdom will be given you when you need it. Prepare for this each morning, remember God when you can throughout the day, ask the Holy Spirit's help when it is feasible to do so, and thank Him for His guidance at night. And your confidence will be well founded indeed. (M-29.5:8-10)
Here we see the formula for practice given so often in the Workbook: "in the morning and again at night, and all through the day as well" (W-pI.64.5:2). Yet interwoven throughout this familiar structure is frequent asking of the Holy Spirit:
- Your morning quiet time is meant to prepare you for a day of asking.
- Throughout the day you not only "remember God" (a reference to the more usual inner practice given by the Course), you also make it a habit to ask the Holy Spirit's help "when and where you can."
- As part of your evening quiet time you "thank Him for His guidance."
And if you do this, you can be confident that "wisdom will be given you when you need it." It may not come right when you ask. It may not come in a concrete form-the word "wisdom" seems to suggest a kind of inner knowing. But by asking you will open a channel through which the wisdom you need will come when you need it.
When to ask
- In your morning quiet time ask if He has anything He wants to tell you about your day.
- Ask on the hour what He wants you to do in the hour to come.
- …when you have finished one activity and have a choice of what to do next.
- …whenever you have a decision to make.
- …whenever you find yourself confused and uncertain.
- Ask how to perceive a situation when you know you are seeing it wrongly.
- Ask how to approach an upcoming task or interaction.
Many of us complain that we don't hear anything. Yet, when we ask, most of us will often get a sense of what's right. In my experience, that inner sense is not the purest guidance from God Himself, but it is far wiser than my usual mental machinations. So why not use it?
Times of Transition
Whenever you are moving from one part of your day to another-when you are changing locations, when you are leaving work, when you are starting a new task-it is helpful to renew your goal.
This fits with the counsel given in "Setting the Goal" (T-17.VI). This sections says that, whenever you enter a situation, you should set the goal for it by answering these questions: "What do I want to come of this? What is it for ?" (T-17.VI.2:1-2). What you really want to come of the situation, of course, is not ego gratification from some external outcome, but the peace that comes from an inner awakening. Setting the goal at the beginning of a situation will guarantee that you are more likely to use the situation for the sake of the goal (T-17.VI.4:2). It will also guarantee that the internal outcome of the situation will be a fulfillment of the goal, regardless of the external outcome (T-17.VI.5:2-3). In other words, if you set the goal of salvation, salvation is what you will experience.
Notice that this section tells us to do with a situation exactly what we have done with our day. We have treated our day just like it tells us to treat a situation. We set our goal at the outset of the day and have used the day as a means to that goal. Now, when we enter each situation, we can simply set the goal for it that we already set for our day.
For example, let's say my goal is to have a day of pure loving-kindness to others. As I begin a new task-let's say writing this article-my goal will be obvious: I will want this article to be an extension of pure loving-kindness to others. I simply set the same goal (or perhaps a closely related goal) for this situation as I have set for the day. I will now use the situation as a means to my larger goal for the day.
Here are some thoughts on using the day's transitions to renew our goal:
1. When transitioning from one part of your day to another
Try to spend a quiet moment renewing your goal for the day and applying it to the part of your day you are about to enter.
2. When entering a new situation
Set the goal for the situation. Ask yourself, "What do I want to come of this? What is it for ?" Apply to it the same goal (or a related one) that you set for the day. See it as a means to accomplishing your goal for the day.
3. When evening comes
For most people, the end of daylight is a major transition, from work to home, from day to night. I find this to be an excellent place for a kind of mini-quiet time-longer than an hourly practice but shorter than a morning quiet time. There are two quotes in particular I like to dwell on at this time:
As evening comes, let all my thoughts be still of You and of Your Love. (W-pII.232.1:4)
And when the evening comes today, we will remember nothing but the peace of God. For we will learn today what peace is ours, when we forget all things except God's Love. (W-pII.346.2:1-2)
Evening Quiet Time
Remember our formula for a day of Workbook practice: "in the morning and again at night, and all through the day as well" (W-pI.64.5:2)? The nighttime practice time is obviously a basic part of this formula, despite the fact that most of us have a hard time making it a consistent part of our lives. This time is so important that we are meant to see the entire day as preparation for it: "After the morning meeting, we will use the day in preparation for the time at night when we will meet again in trust" (W-pI.92.11:2).
This passages implies that our evening quiet time can be the high point of the day, the time that our whole day has built up to. Even if we do not experience it as the high point, it is still an affirmation that our day really was about the goal of God. It is hard to pretend that our day was dedicated to God when we end it in front of the TV and God has dropped out of the picture entirely. Further, our evening quiet time will prepare us for a peaceful sleep: "It sets your mind into a pattern of rest, and orients you away from fear" (M-16.5:7). For all of these reasons, this final quiet time is essential.
The Course clearly wants this time to be as close as possible to the time we go to sleep. I want to emphasize, however, the phrase "as close as possible." With many of us, unless we take our quiet time earlier in the evening, it will inadvertently become the time we go to sleep. The Course makes allowance for this: "Perhaps your quiet time should be fairly early in the evening, if it is not feasible for you to take it just before going to sleep" (M-16.5:2). You will have to decide for yourself when you take your evening quiet time. I recommend, though, that it be at more or less the same time each night.
Some things you may want to do during your evening quiet time:
- Thank the Holy Spirit for His guidance throughout the day.
- Spend time dwelling on your thought for the day.
- Review the events of the day; forgive the painful ones and thank God for the blessings.
- Say a closing Workbook prayer.
- Have a final meditation.
Going to Sleep
Just as the Course envisions us waking up with God on our lips, so it sees us going to sleep. It sees its student taking the words he practiced all day long and "bringing them with him as he goes to sleep" (W-pI.162.3:1). Our ideal day closes with a final affirmation of what the day was all about, an affirmation that sends us into a quiet sleep in which we rest with God. For many of us, this will simply be the concluding part of our evening quiet time, since we will take that time right before asleep. For those who take that time earlier, this will be an additional moment of dedicating our sleep to God.
If it is expedient to spend this [quiet] time earlier [in the evening], at least be sure that you do not forget a brief period [at bedtime],-not more than a moment will do,-in which you close your eyes and think of God. (M-16.5:8)
There are a couple of things we might do in that brief moment:
1. Dedicate your sleep to God.
The Text actually talks about giving our sleep to God.
How you wake is the sign of how you have used sleep. To whom did you give it? Under which teacher did you place it? Whenever you wake dispiritedly, it was not given to the Holy Spirit. Only when you awaken joyously have you utilized sleep according to His purpose (T-8.IX.4:1-5).
2. Bring words of practice with you into your sleep.
Fall asleep with words of practice in your mind, perhaps the lesson you have been practicing all day. I find that the following words are excellent for this and for the previous point, for they are words of practice that also dedicate our sleep to God:
And let me sleep sure of my safety, certain of Your care, and happily aware I am Your Son. (W-pII.232.1:5)
Now we have given our entire day to God. We have spent the day from beginning to end in pursuit of the ideal day. If we have truly practiced with diligence and desire, then we have probably come close to the day for which we yearn. We perhaps have had moments of genuine peace and exaltation, have experienced long-sought breakthroughs in various situations and relationships, and have sensed that the day was pervaded by a subtle glow from another realm. At the end of the day, we might quite possibly look back and see that Heaven really did set this day apart and cast a timeless light upon it, when echoes of eternity were truly heard (see W-pI.157.1:3).
Who would not want a day such as this? After such a holy day, the Course promises that your sleep will be no ordinary sleep and will lead to no ordinary waking. The Course speaks of you sleeping in perfect peace, with forgiveness resting "upon your eyelids so you see no dreams of fear and evil, malice and attack" (W-pI.122.2:3). As we saw above, this sleep will lead to waking with joy and vitality (T-8.IX.4:5), arising in glory (W-pII.237.1:2), with forgiveness sparkling "on your eyes as you awake, and giv[ing] you joy with which to meet the day" (W-pI.122.2:2).
And when you waken thus, how do you think the day will go? You will be given yet "another day of happiness and peace" (W-pI.122.2:4). One day of peace will lead to another until all of your days become the same, until "this life becomes a holy instant, set in time, but heeding only immortality" (W-pI.135.19:1). For what began as a special day will usher you into the realization of a timeless truth: "This is as every day should be" (W-pII.232.2:1).