When you get this book in hand, you may be shocked at the size of it. It’s massive and well over a thousand pages. More than that, it’s broken up into sections that seem a little confusing to a new reader. I know I was really curious if I was missing something, as I found nothing in the preface to direct me really on how to go about reading it.
These are the sections in A Course in Miracles (ACIM):
Text – 669 pages
Workbook for Students – 488 pages
(the Workbook has 360 lessons making for a lesson a day for nearly a year)
Manual for Teachers
Clarification of Terms
You’re left to wonder…. Do I need a teacher? If not, who is the teacher manual for? Should I start with the workbook or the text?
If I do the text first, at 669 pages slow, deliberate and thought-provoking pages, it seems like an eternity before I get to the daily lessons. Some readers have said to start with the daily lessons, in fact.
For me, I started with the preface and then dove right into the text. I’m a rule follower by nature, and it seemed like the right order I was supposed to read it in. Though I did look ahead anticipating the daily lessons.
Currently, I’m on Day 4 of reading and I’ve decided to dig around a bit to see what suggestions there are from others who have completed the course. This is one recommendation I found that I thought I would share with you here:
How to read a Course in Miracles:
I hope you’ll find it helpful. This site also makes suggestions about finding a study group, or being open to the possibility of finding a teacher.
I particularly liked this statement they shared,
“As a beginner in your first read-through, don’t worry about trying to comprehend everything you read. Just plow through it with the goal of simply letting it soak in.”
Reading that was a bit of a relief because thus far, I’ve been reading extremely slowly. Taking time to jot notes and re-read. But there were occasional sentences of paragraphs that I failed to understand at the moment. I would jot a small question mark beside it when I came across this. I think for now, I’ll continue to read slowly but will have a lighter mindset about it and let it wash over me more now, rather than analyzing each sentence.
What I’ve also decided to do as of today is to read two parts simultaneously. I will continue on with the general text, reading a few pages a day as well as begin adding a daily lesson in as well.
The daily lessons excite me because in addition to reading, absorbing and contemplating, you are given a kind of task for the day. And I’m anxious to put more of what I’m learning into action, so this feels right.
What about you? Where will you start? Have you had experience with a study group? I’d love your comments below.
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