Miracle Worker Interview with Ian Patrick

Beloved One,

I have uploaded the latest issue of the Miracle Worker e-newsletter.

My friend Ian Patrick interviewed me back in 2009, and the article was
uploaded
as a PDF file to the online Awakeninginchrist Yahoo group. I will share
it
below as well:

Love & Blessings,

David

_____________________________________________________________________

In Conversation with
David Hoffmeister

Miracle Worker talks to prominent people in the
A Course in Miracles community Interview conducted by Ian Patrick,
February 2009
in San Francisco, California

Ian Patrick (IP): As a Course teacher, what is your `angle' on A Course
in
Miracles?

David Hoffmeister (DH): For me, the
state of mind is the teaching. Without a
consistent state of mind, words and
actions that come from it would make it
an inconsistent teaching. I feel that we
teach by words and actions, but our
attitude is the most important thing. As I
have done my work, traveled and
spoken, resistances and preferences have
seemed to fade far away and the joy and
peace have become more consistent.

IP: Is that the state of mind you talk about
cultivating — being in a place where you
are at peace whatever happens?

DH: Yes. For example, once I found myself at the front of a ferry when a
foghorn
went off behind me. A woman I was with, jumped about a foot in the air
and I did
not even flinch. Things like that are little symbols along the way —
telling me
that this mind training seems to be transferring — because in the past I
would
have jumped. With relationships and all kinds of encounters, I have sunk
deeper
into this peace, which is not disturbed by situations that seem to
happen.

IP: That state of mind is really the aim of the Course. How do you teach
the
achievement of that?

DH: In that state, there is such contentment that the `should's,
`ought to's, `have to's, trying to do something all disappear.
Then, the guidance is there, the prompts, the invitations come.
A lot of people, who find out about me, are excited to talk
about the Course, bring up their issues and learn how to
transfer the training and so on. For me, the metaphysics is important.
We have
to be clear about that, but the actual experience comes from
transferring the
training to all aspects of your mind, without any exceptions. So, I have
been
able to teach that many times since 1991, when my traveling started. It
has
helped stabilize the experience for me.

IP: You apply those principles, moment by moment, to your
everyday experience?

DH: Yes. I read the Course for about eight hours a day for the
first 2 1/2 years, immersing myself in it in every spare moment
I had and, then, I did not hear an audible Voice for God in my
head like Helen. It was more like a chain of thoughts. But it
was very practical and would tell me where to go, what to do.
The first couple of years were about listening carefully and
following it. After a few years, though, the voice began saying:
"I want to speak through you now". And, for someone who
was extremely shy, that was even more of a challenge, initially,
than hearing, because I was not used to public speaking.

IP: Is that what you do now, primarily, when you have a
session or a workshop, let that voice be spoken through you?

DH: Yes. I let it come through and address whatever is
presented. It is not like channeling, in the sense that some
people go to psychics and ask if they should get married, or
divorced, or whatever. My feeling is that people are going to do
what they do, but I can look at their thoughts and beliefs and,
if they have issues, go deeper into the mind. I feel like that is
how the Holy Spirit works with us — loosening our thoughts
and beliefs, not necessarily telling us to do this or do that.

IP: Does the voice sound almost like your own thoughts?
DH: It does. At the beginning, it seemed to be a separate
voice. Because it was consistently speaking such profound
things, I thought it could not be from me. Over the years, I
realized it was teaching me that it was my true voice, my
higher voice, so I was willing to own it. That is why I have never
called them channeling sessions, because I am not
channeling another being or entity from another place. It is
about letting it become so consistent and exemplified in my
mind that it feels like it is me. I think that is the goal of the
Course and that is what enlightenment is all about.

IP: Do you go into a workshop or a session with ideas about
what you are going to speak about, with a plan, or are you
totally open to the guidance, the voice that comes through?

DH: Totally open. If there is a theme, that gives a bit of a
format, but the specific questions that are asked are different.
I have never given the same talk more than once.

IP: How was your life before you started doing this and before
you were a student of the Course? What were you doing?

DH: I was pretty much like a professional student — ten years
at university for my undergraduate and graduate courses. I
had the time to contemplate. I had a strong feeling that I had
to be careful how I would use this lifetime and to be sure
before I jumped onto something. So, I spent a lot of time
pondering, going to nearby woods for long walks. I got
degrees in urban planning and general studies — a lot of
different things that took me all over the university, meeting all
sorts of people. In retrospect, I can see this has helped me
relate to people from many different traditions and professions.
That was an important time in my life.

IP: What were you busy pondering?

DH: I was pondering on the nature of things. I had the
frustrations and struggles that everybody has. I talked to Jesus
a lot — questions about what I was to do with my life and why
I was working so hard at university, doing all these papers and
committees. Gradually, in these dialogues with Jesus, I `got'
that I was going for the things most people do — love,
intimacy, freedom, peace — but that I was going about them
in the wrong way. I was looking for them in form — in
relationships, finding a peaceful place, or having physical
mobility. That helped re-orientate me.

IP: Clearly, you had prior spiritual
or religious belief. What was the
essence of that?

DH: I was raised in Christianity. When I got into university, though,
I began questioning things. I read psychology, philosophy, religion,
esoteric books and opened my horizons. In one sense, I
stepped away from Christianity because there were so many
contradictions. Around 1985, in graduate school, I started
going to many churches and I had different reactions to each.
This was part of my discernment because I was still very
drawn to Jesus, but there were things they were saying that I
was not drawn to, that I thought were distortions.

Sense of Direction

IP: Were you happy during this search period? Were you
frustrated that your life seemed to be lacking a sense of
direction, or curious about what was going to happen?

DH: I would say I was in a state of denial in my high school
years. I would look at the world and say: "I don't know what
I'm going to be when I grow up". I felt disillusionment,
boredom. In my yearbook pictures my eyes were half closed,
as if nothing looked appealing. And I was shy in high school
and in college. I did not go on my first date till I was 27 years
old, so my life was unusual. I think I had a pretty good childhood. I
was not
extremely unhappy, but I was unfulfilled. There was a hole, an
emptiness. I did
not know what my purpose was. Then, I started to get a calling, like
monks and
nuns do. I could feel that Jesus was
involved, but it was not a monastery or a traditional calling. I
did not know how it was going to play out and then A Course
in Miracles came in and I thought: "This is the answer."

IP: How did the Course come into your life?

DH: It was 1986 and I went to California to a humanistic psychology
conference.
It was the last year of Carl Rogers' life and he had touched me. His
books were
so powerful. Abraham Laslo, Virginia Satir — a lot of the humanistic
thinkers —
were also there. I was very drawn to the ideas of transpersonal
thinkers, like
Frances Vaughan, Roger Walsh. I found myself where the psychologists had
their
books and tapes and drawn to the end of the room. There, some students
of Tara
Singh had A Course in Miracles on display and they had a video playing. I
listened and it touched something deep in my heart. It
was almost as if he was verbalizing some of the things that I had been
contemplating. It was a surprise to hear them actually spoken in front
of me. It
was a powerful experience that launched me. I felt waves of love pouring
over
me. I had the feeling that my life would never be the same, that I was
going to
go off on a different vector from what I had been doing before.

Ready to Ascend

I bought the Course, Forgiveness and Jesus, by Ken Wapnick,
and Nothing Real Can Be Threatened, by Tara Singh. I was
ready to go to the next mountain and ascend! But the voice
laughed at me and said: "You are at the beginning, not at the
end. Go back to your relationship and start working". I had
student loans to pay off, so the voice was very practical. I say
voice, but it took me a couple of years of really immersing
myself in the Course before I could hear consistently the
thoughts that were instructing me.

IP: Were you no longer studying, but working at that point?
DH: I started a job training with people who were 18 or 19
years old. I was 27 or 28. One job was in a re-hab, so the
vocational thing was still there. I used some counseling skills.
The jobs helped pay off the student loans, but they took away
all the pride of thinking that I knew how to work with clients.

IP: Had you learned psychotherapy and counseling?

DH: I picked up some of those skills. I was hired to teach
psychology at an art institute though I had not completed a
degree in psychology, but it seemed like the Spirit was going
before me. There were synchronicities that showed me that
Spirit was in charge and, if I was willing, the stuff would come
— which was different from my way of going about life.
I had to learn how to pray — not like Christian prayers, but to
get out of the way and receive inspiration and wisdom. That
was another important phase for me.

IP: How would you describe the process of that kind of prayer?

DH: I had always looked into problem solving using my past
learning to get answers. Now prayer, for me, was coming to a
state of not knowing what was in the best interests of myself,
the client, or whoever was in front of me, and going into a state
of openness and receptivity prior to intake interviews or
counseling sessions. I was amazed at how beautifully the
sessions would go when I did not read the history of the client,
or use strategies I had learned in counseling, psychotherapy
and psychology, but was just open and receptive.

IP: Were you studying the Course as well at this time?

DH: Yes. It was quite intense to be studying and working with
the clients, because it brought up a lot of stuff for me. I started
to see where I needed to be healed.

IP: How did it come about that you became a Course teacher?
Was that the next step?

DH: There was a phase when I was guided to go to up to five
ACIM groups a week. It was perfect for me, because I had
been so shy. I went and the Holy Spirit would start speaking
through me with such clarity and authority that they were very
strange meetings. One long-standing group, for example, had
20 or 30 people and no facilitator. When I started going, the
spirit poured through when a question was asked and all heads
would turn to me. People gained respect for these answers so
quickly it was surprising for me. I did not set out to be a Course
teacher or facilitator. I did that for a number of years. Then, the time
came to
travel, to go to see Ken Wapnick, Tara Singh, Robert Perry and Beverley
Hutchinson and spend weeks with each, immersed in
listening to them. Those trips showed me people who had dedicated their
lives to
the Course, which I think was another important step, because it is one
thing to
read it in a book but when you actually meet the people it is
inspirational.
That moved me more in that direction.

Their Teacher

Then people started showing up, listening to me and calling
me their teacher. That was quite startling. I worked very closely
with a small group and we went deep into more of the
subtleties of mind-training. At one point, they said: "You are an
unrealistic role-model, as you are too happy". That was a
surprise. I felt I had to be authentic and that was how I was
feeling. They said: "You would be more human and a better
learning model if you would get upset, angry, sad and so
forth". I said: "If you had known me, you would see that my
face was wet with tears for many years, working through many
emotional issues" but, by that time, they had washed away.
I started traveling in 1991, going where I was invited, trusting
and living by donation. At some point, one student set up a
non-profit organization, because they said: "You'll be doing
more traveling than you know". That has served to funnel the
donations in a way in which there are no taxes involved. It all
goes back into the `ministry'. I don't collect a salary. It is simple
and really helped.

I had no plans to start a foundation. It was just for me to keep
it as simple as possible. It is called the Foundation for the Awakening
Mind.
There is a group of people who steward it. I do not own things, or have
things
in my name, etc., so it has been a walk of trust. Usually, when people
come
together, there are a lot of legal things that are put in place for
protection.
But I have been strongly guided to trust all along. And it has really
worked out
very smoothly. When I trust, then I get witnesses of trust.

IP: Did you glean something from all the teachers you
mentioned — Ken, Robert, Tara and Beverley?

DH: Right at the start of these travels, Jesus told me: "Every
one of these teachers has a gift to offer you and before you
move on from each, you must receive the gift". So, it was very
important, with every one, that I stay and spend time with
them. I made so many contacts, because when Ken was at
Roscoe, it was such an international hub.

Commentary On the Teaching

It was interesting that, as I listened to each teacher, the Holy
Spirit gave me a commentary on the teaching. It was all for my
own discernment. Even when I popped into the Endeavor Academy in
Wisconsin, or
other offshoots of the Course, I got this commentary.
The Holy Spirit would say, while I was working with Ken: "The
metaphysics are very clear here". When I was with Tara Singh,
Spirit told me that there was a real devotion there, with the
silence and the reverence coming in through the teachings
that I was to pay attention to, which was important. As you
know, the Course's metaphysics is so deep and beyond many
spiritualities that it was like the Holy Spirit was just filling me in:
"OK,
this is good, this is a good example", etc. Going to
Endeavor Academy, there were all kinds of metaphysical
distortions and confusions and a focus on singularity there,
things like physical resurrection. And Spirit said: "No, that's not
it. Ken has got it right there".

With Robert Perry, at the Circle of Atonement, there was a major
teaching, too. In most cases, the Spirit was able to clarify things
for me. That was all very helpful because, like everyone who
studies the Course, I had lots of questions about metaphysics
and applying it, taking it all the way and go for the atonement.
It was interesting because traveling, teaching, living on
donations and facing the things that people face I really got a
practical, hands-on approach to the Course. Sometimes, I
would be guided to a Course group or a friend's house and I
would be told: "You will be staying here", or I would go into a
group, would just hear "Wait", three people would invite me to
stay with them and Spirit would say: "Go with Frank", or whoever.

IP: Very specific instructions!

DH: Yes. That made my life so much easier. It would be like
having a beneficent, loving guide in my mind, who knew my
best interests and was willing to tell me.

IP: Was it later apparent why you had been guided to go home
with Frank, rather than with John or Susan, or whoever?

DH: Yes, I was amazed how things unfolded. Sometimes, I would be with
them for
several days and we would get into something that was a deeper issue for
them.
And there were all kinds of synchronicities. When it was time to move
on, it was
definitely time to move on. Being on the road, there was this
discernment, every
few days, that it was time to move on. If I hesitated or resisted the
guidance,
I would quickly see that I needed to heed it, because it did not feel
right
otherwise.

Spiritual Seekers

IP: How is your life, now, compared with how it was before the
Course came along?

DH: I was quite shut down, isolated. In childhood and through
much of high school and college I was a loner. Now, for
example, this is the first day for me of a month and a half trip
that will take me to Australia, Fiji and Hawaii. I meet thousands
of A Course in Miracles students and spiritual seekers every
year. And a lot of them are brand new. It is extraordinarily
different for me from being voted the quietest in my senior
class. Now, I have many life-long friends — because we share
the same purpose. I feel like I have known them forever. There
is a very different quality. If someone had shown me a picture
of how my life is now, back then, I would either have said:
"That will never be me", or I would have been terrified of it.

IP: How happy and peaceful are you, now, by comparison?

DH: Then, I was disillusioned, bored and fatigued by the ways
of the world. Now, there is a vibrant energy. I love doing what I
do and it could change at any point and I would be OK with that
too. It's been a huge change. I cannot even compare the two.

IP: Are you okay with everything? Do your `buttons' get pushed?
" Every one of these teachers has a gift to offer and before you move on
from
each, you must receive the gift."

DH: No, they really do not. That is the thing about
enlightenment. I cannot remember the last time I had a bad
day. It is beautiful. I think that is the only reason people would
invite me. I get so many invitations and unless I was
consistently happy, I cannot think of another reason. I know
people like the Course, but there are many wonderful teachers
and books out there. There is a deep connection I feel with
people and they invite me back and that has spurred it on.

IP: Do you not think people also like teachers they can identify
with, who are also going through issues that they can relate to?

DH: Yes, I think they do. It is helpful to read in the Bible about
Jesus' 40 days in the desert being tested by Satan, or going
through his trials and tribulations. I have shared a lot of what I
call the Parables of David, so I am transparent in that way. I
think it does make a stronger connection. I do believe that
people need to relate to anyone they are going to learn from,
otherwise it is more like having an alien there. The parables are
teaching examples that really happened. When people are
going through those same things, those examples are useful.
I use movies a lot. I have been in 22 countries and Hollywood
is big everywhere. So, I will show a quantum physics movie,
the Truman Show, the Matrix. Spirit gave me this book called
the Movie Watcher's Guide to Enlightenment, which people
resonate with. They have burned out on church, even on
metaphysics, but they love the movies.

What are unfolding more than ever are metaphysical movies. I
did a session in Venezuela once with the movie Eternal
Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. There was a woman who had
been studying the Course for 14 years and had never had a
mystical experience. In the middle of the movie, as Spirit
poured through, she had her mystical experience and came to
me with tears rolling down her face.

IP: You talk through the movie?

DH: I give the Holy Spirit's commentary during the movie and I
tell people, beforehand, what to look for. I set it up, so people
are ready and open. The Spirit provides such insight that
people have powerful experiences during the movie itself, just
as if it was part of their meditation practice.

Enlightenment

IP: Tell me about enlightenment. You speak about being
enlightened. What does that mean to you from an A Course in
Miracles point of view?

DH: Firstly, it is a consistent state of mind. I do not see
enlightenment as a partial thing. I think of it as much like the
`forgiven world' or the `happy dream' that Jesus talks about,
where it is still a dream, you still perceive the world, but there is
no judgment on it. For example, a year or two ago I was
traveling through Australia and my friend, who was with me,
finally spoke to one of the groups and said: "It is amazing to
travel with someone who is not judging anything". He said he
was eating a pizza with me, saying: "Isn't it a good pizza? And
I was just smiling at him. "He would not even judge the pizza!"
He got so euphoric and giddy that he had to get grounded. So
I asked him what he needed. He said: "A bottle of wine and a
big steak." To me, it is independent of the form, so I went and
had a bottle of wine and a steak with him.

IP: And you still enjoyed it, without judging it?

DH: Yes, it was more like a prop — a way of joining with him —
because it was something he felt comfortable with. So, when
people say: "Let me cook you your favourite meal", I just ask:
"What's your favourite meal?" They tell me and I will say: "Why
don't we have that?" So we both have a good time with it,
because it is just a backdrop for joining. There is not so much
a preference for things, but just what can be used.
That is how my relationships have gone, too, in the sense that
we tend to think, in human terms, of who we are with, how long
we have been with them and `significant others'. For me, it is
more about what serves the whole. I see relationships as being
orchestrated by Spirit to serve the whole, as opposed to
focusing in on a person to be a partner.

Expectations Result in Irritations

IP: Do you have preferences — people you like to hang out
with, or particular things you like to do for pleasure?

DH: No, actually, they have gone. That is part of the
enlightened state I think, too, in the sense that even if you are
just leaning here or there, there are still expectations tied in with
those leanings. And those expectations result in irritations. Like
Jesus says, they are like a "veil drawn over intense fury" (W 32).

IP: How do you make everyday decisions like, say, in the
morning, to go to the shops, go fishing or whatever?

DH: The things I do have more of a communication function. As
it says in the Course the purpose of the body is to let the Voice
for God speak through it. So, in the morning, it is very
spontaneous. I do not really have an agenda. Over these past
20 years, the Holy Spirit has scheduled me into people's lives,
at conferences, workshops, because they are invested in time.
It feels the same to me, but I see how our coming together
helps. A listening takes place. If I am left at home I have to put
a note with a little magnet on the fridge to tell me what day to
put the garbage out, because I do not keep track of the days.
It is almost like a spiritual dementia, or something, because I
am just living in the moment and I do not think of those things.
But when I am traveling the Spirit comes in and is very
attentive with things like airline flights, hotels and talks. It is
more like it is just given to me.

IP: It sounds like you stay open to possibilities, go with the flow
and see what transpires that day — who turns up.

DH: Exactly. I have a cell phone, I go on the Internet and I try to
stay accessible. Then, there are times, even putting all that out,
when there is silence, nobody calls and it is just a time of
stillness. And I feel that is given, too. When I am supposed to be
in motion I am and when I am supposed to be still, then... the
mind stays still anyway.

Deep Into the Course

IP: Was there a particular event that brought enlightenment
about, or was it by consistently working with the Course?

DH: It was gradual. Eckhart Tolle talks about being on a park
bench when, suddenly, wham! Buddha was walking and lotus
petals appeared under his feet. Mine was more gradual, by just
keeping at it. When I look at my early life, no dramatic things
happened. Some aboriginies talk about shape-shifting, or
psychic phenomenon. When I went really deep into the
Course, I started to have psychic episodes. I actually had a
raising the dead experience, like Jesus had — really `far out'
stuff that I would not have predicted. I began mind reading. I
would sit down to meditate before doing a workshop and it
was like having a giant satellite dish, picking up all the
thoughts, judgments, jealousies, etc. from the people waiting
in the next room. I felt like I did not have a private mind. I did
not know where the phase was going. It was intense.
As I got deeper into it, Spirit gave me intuition of what would
be helpful to work with people and I did not react to those
attack thoughts any more. I was being shown that I could "be
hurt by nothing but my thoughts" (W 438), but that these were
not real thoughts. I became more like the witness-self, not
attached.

IP: Are you saying you literally raised a dead person?

DH: Yes, I had one such experience. It was very surprising,
because you do not expect these things! I stopped at a grocery
store to buy some food for my grandmother. That morning, I
was doing the Workbook lesson: "There is no death. The Son
of God is free" (W 309). I was repeating it in my mind, as if it
was involuntary. It was rolling through my mind. In the grocery
store, there was a woman lying on the floor, not breathing. I
watched, with this idea from the Workbook going through my
mind. There had been paramedics working on her for a while,
then they stepped back. As I picked up my food, I felt a strong
energy inside my chest and `third eye' area. Then the woman's
diaphragm started moving again. The most striking thing was
how natural it felt, not like I was raising the dead, in the literal
sense, but more that this was a symbol of the teaching that:
"There is no death. The Son of God is free". I also see how
symbolic Jesus seeming to come out of the tomb, or raising
Lazarus, are. Jesus had a much greater message to teach us
about the resurrection of the mind and the atonement.

IP: Indeed! Why would he not have raised everybody from the
dead? No, he used them as examples.

DH: Yes, that was the feeling. It just felt very natural. I paid the
cashier and went to my grandmother without talking about it.

IP: You really seem to have fun with all this.

DH: When you are going through the darkness to the light and
darkness is coming up, it does not feel good, but the Course
says that the Holy Spirit needs happy learners. I always thought
that sounded pretty good. I can see, now, how enlightenment
and the consistency came much faster as my trust in the Holy
Spirit grew. Then, it became more fun. I would not do it if I did
not feel glee and joy with it. I would do something else that was
fun. So, I really want to convey to people that it does not have
to be painful, like people make it out to be. It can be fun.

IP: Thank you very much.

http://ACIM.cc

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