I have been thinking about the role that forgiveness plays in the shift in consciousness. Before I became a student of A Course in Miracles, the only thing that I knew about forgiveness was what I had learned from going to the Baptist Church. From what I remember there was a relationship between sin, forgiveness and the crucifixion: Jesus died on the cross for our sins, and somehow, if I recall correctly, if I slipped up and stole something, coveted my neighbor’s husband, disobeyed my parents (which I did repeatedly), well…I was essentially covered. Jesus’ brutal death on the cross was like an insurance policy that guaranteed my entrance to heaven. Maybe I would have to do a little prison time for the theft, but that was okay. This life only lasts for a second. Heaven is eternal.
I found the teachings of the Baptist Church unpalatable. The Baptist Church and many, if not most, Christian denominations, reject the teachings of A Course in Miracles.
Lorenn Walker, JD, MPH, is a Hawai’i-based public health educator who focuses on building peace and increasing individual and organizational performance. She received the 2011 John Byrd Pioneer Award for Restorative and Community Justice from the National Conference on Restorative Justice. She has meditated for over thirty years.
The article below is published here with permission.
"Buddah Would Probably Like Restorative Justice"
“I’m scared. He’s coming. I don’t know what to do,” says Colleen, crying while wringing tissue in her hands.
“Breathe,” I tell her.
Melissa, Colleen’s 29-year-old daughter, is sitting at the table with us. She silently stares ahead with flush red cheeks.
Minutes later, two loud thuds vibrate the table. A heavy iron door opens and closes in another room, next we hear clanking chains. In a few moments William, a thin man dressed in a tan shirt tucked neatly into matching pants, walks toward us. An armed prison guard follows him.
William sits in an empty chair across from Colleen and Melissa, and I am at the end of the table. The guard walks off to the side to join about 30 other people in a darkened area of the room outside the lit table. Three large television cameras are pointed toward us at the table.
This was the scene at State Penitentiary in Walla Walla, Washington on a rainy grey day in July 2011. The four of us sitting around the table are participating in a restorative dialogue, also known as victim offender mediation. The meeting is being filmed for an Oprah Winfrey Network program.
Seven and a half years earlier, William participated in the robbery and senseless murder of Bob, a tool salesman, and beloved husband of Colleen, and father of Melissa. It was a random theft that turned horrific. It left an innocent man dead, and his family struggling with terrible pain for years. It also created suffering and hardship for William’s family, and for him too. “My life has been a nightmare since that day,” he laments.
The brutal murder and violence took on a terrible life of its own. Anger and hostility fueled Colleen for over seven years. Her resentment was harming her. “You killed me that day too.
Owner, Inner World Press
Metaphysician, visionary and futurist, Akilah focuses on consciousness shifting and expansion. She shares ideas and information about the crucial role that thoughts and beliefs play in creating experience. Her ideas are based in A Course in Miracles and The Course of Love series (The Treatises and The Dialogues). Akilah earned a bachelor's degree in English and a master's degree in women's literature from California State University, Sacramento. Her Ph.D. in metaphysics is from the American Institute of Holistic Theology.
Photo Credit: Jabari Zuberi Images
Accra lives and teaches ceramics for The Clay Studio in Philadelphia. She holds a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She also does illustration and graphic design. She's awesome!
Aaron Joseph, adj.Media
Web Developer & Graphic Designer
Aaron has a passion for printed material as well as the reach and interactivity of the web. He holds a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, having graduated with a focus on fiber art and printmaking in 2006. In addition to his web development and design work–including graphic, 3d, layout, and advertising work–Aaron is also a blog writer for GoBanter.com and has written about the Occupy Oakland movement.
Jabari Zuberi, JZimages.com
"Images have always been an important part of my life. They guide me through my desire to capture life as it unfolds around me, and they have always been a way to create scenes of my imagination and about my curiosity in the world I live in. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or comments." – Jabari Zuberi
President, Graphics Division, Corcoran & Neil LLC
After Akilah started IWP, Lisa was the first person to come onboard. She's awesome, bringing more than 30 years experiences in the publishing business. She is a joy to work with.
Laurie is a freelance language and business consultant in Oaxaca Mexico. She holds a Bachelor's degree from Michigan State University and a Master's from the University of Oklahoma. She dedicates herself to creative expression, focusing currently on photography and poetry. She is also is a Yoga Instructor, certified by The Yoga Institute en Mumbai, India, and gives classes in Oaxaca. She was born and raised in Flint Michigan.
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