I think, even as a child, I was always searching for God. I was raised in a secular Jewish home. We did little to formally practice the religion, but my father always said a goodnight prayer with me when I was little and my mother always lit candles at the beginning of the Sabbath. Later in my childhood, I went with my orthodox grandfather to synagogue. I felt very safe and special sitting with him in what felt like the holiness of the temple.
At that time there were no women in any significant roles in the Jewish religion and, although that bothered me, I didn’t focus on it. It came to a head when I was 16 years old, and my mother passed away. It is a Jewish custom to say a prayer for the soul of the departed for 11 months after their passing, but only males were recognized to say it and my female voice did not count. Although I have always identified as a Jew, I think that was the beginning of the end of my involvement in the formal Jewish religion.
Fast forward to my mid-twenties when a work colleague gave me a six-tape program of Thich Nhat Hahn conducting a retreat. I had never heard anything like what he was saying. I listened over and over. There are no words to express the impact this program had on me. “This is what I am looking for”, I thought. “Where do I get more?”
I investigated many spiritual paths until I was introduced to A Course in Miracles almost 30 years ago by a wonderful teacher and friend. When I first started studying, I had difficulty with the Christian terminology of the Course, but Marianne Williamson (who is also Jewish) helped me move through that with her book, A Return to Love. The psychological approach to spirituality spoke to all my life experiences and showed me a roadmap of how to undo all the seeming pain that had come with those experiences. During this time, I was also given an opportunity to study with a wonderful rabbi who taught mystical Judaism interspersed with Eastern philosophy. I went to his classes three times a week for almost 10 years. What endeared me even more to the Course was that what he taught was exactly (without the Christian terms, of course) what the Course was teaching.
After retirement, I completed a ministerial program offered by Pathways of Light, a non-profit organization whose teachings are based on ACIM. For the last 13 years, I have been a spiritual counselor, teacher and author of several articles based on the Course as well as a book, entitled: Finding Your Self in The Mirror – Awakening Through Mirror Affirmations for the 365 Lessons of A Course in Miracles. I have also continued to learn from teachers of diverse paths, some ACIM and some Eastern.
Four years ago, I was guided to take the Total Transformation Class with Amber, other teachings with Coreen, and most recently, the Presence Process with Nicola and Helen’s Notes with Nouk and Daniel. I am grateful to all – not only the “teachers” but also the “students” who have traveled with me.
I am especially grateful to Nouk for allowing so many wonderful facilitators to teach a variety of spiritual offerings that certainly don’t contradict ACIM or her writings but are not exclusively from those two sources. This is very open and generous of her and extremely rare in the Course world. Nouk is graciously giving opportunity for everyone to find what and who resonates with them. I am honored and blessed to be a facilitator/student and a sister to all who have joined this wonderful family.