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  Discovering A Miracle

I have been a student of A COURSE IN MIRACLES since May of 1979. I had just moved to Nashville from Key West, Florida where I was born and grew up. I came to Nashville with a BA degree in psychology and a lovely wife and one son. We moved to be close to her family who lived here, and I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life.

That first Sunday in Nashville I went to First Church Unity. The guest speaker was going around the various Unity churches introducing A COURSE IN MIRACLES. The COURSE had only been given to the public by Helen Shucman and William Thetford in 1976. That Sunday, the guest speaker had a workshop after the church service and then mentioned that if anyone would like a private counseling session, she was open for it.

I had the private session, and for the next seven days I was literally able to view my body from outside myself. I was living an out-of-body experience with such powerful spiritual feeling that I really have no adequate words to describe it. It was a feeling that I cannot compare to anything in this world. I knew I had to seek no further. I had found my purpose in life.

I bought the book that Sunday and began to read and re-read it. Even when a lot of it confused me, I was not a bit discouraged, because the words just called me home. Over the years I have read A COURSE IN MIRACLES well over a hundred times. I continue to read and study it as I teach, because it keeps me focused on my function of peace. And I never tire of seeing others grab it and grapple with it-how it changes and heals their lives in all areas.

Early Days

In the early days there was no supplemental study material. All we had was the BOOK. The first ACIM class I attended just came together informally in the early 80's when a group of us desperately needed to talk about what we were reading. The discussion went something like this. "I don't know what that means what do you think it means?" We didn't get a formal teacher until 1987. When he left the next year, I was asked to take over the class. In truth I had already studied the Course enough and in class when I answered the questions, the students understood me better than the teacher.

In addition to my personal study of the Course I have studied the resource works of Dr. Kenneth Wapnick, the close friend of Helen Schucman and William Thetford who organized their original version of A COURSE IN MIRACLES. From 1986 to1992 I traveled yearly to New York to attend Wapnick's teaching center. The Foundation for A COURSE IN MIRACLES. I attended Wapnick's classes; and I reviewed and discussed the meaning of the Course with Wapnick, himself, until I was confident that I had the deepest meaning that the Course was trying to convey.

A Teacher of Miracles

In 1988 when I first started to teach, I wanted to please everyone, and didn't like that feeling. The night after the first class, I prayed, "Ok, Jesus, if you want me to teach your Course, you are going to have to help me." In my sleep I had a dream, and Jesus appeared. He asked me what I wanted to know. There was a long Q and A session, and when I awoke, I knew I could teach the COURSE. It was like going to bed and not knowing how to play the piano and waking up able to play Mozart. I have been teaching A COURSE IN MIRACLES at First Church Unity in Nashville on Sunday morning and Tuesday night ever since.

In 1989 I began to give 4-hour workshops to augment the one hour class sessions. The subject material in the COURSE is so profound that it is impossible to organize it neatly into isolated topics. To discuss any topic extensively, one has to go all over the book. Each section is like one piece of a ten thousand piece puzzle. In one hour there is no way one can thoroughly cover important topics like relationships, money and sickness.

In my one hour classes I have found it most helpful to allow class members to bring up the questions and topics that are important to them. Then I refer them to the parts of the COURSE that apply to their questions. By contrast in the workshops I focus on one key topic, and concentrate the explanation and discussion on that one area. Over the years I have conducted over 90 workshops and a number of additional weekend retreats.

In 1994 I began offering individual counseling sessions which enable one to get to personal issues he or she might not want to bring up in class. I use the COURSE to give them a different way of looking at what is happening and how to remove the fear that is causing the problem.

In 2006 I became interested in PSYCH-K, a technique which allows you to achieve self healing, forgiveness and clearance without having to delineate and analyze your issues. I attended training and am now a PSYCH-K facilitator.

PSYCH-K stands for Psychological Kinesiology. The kinesiology part refers to the diagnosis system that determines what the real problem is. The psychological part is the undoing of the unwanted thoughts that produce undesirable results in our life. The process is accomplished by putting your body in proper alignment to get your conscious and sub-conscious mind to work in unison.



Gene Skaggs, Copyright 2006. All rights reserved.