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Throw away the to-do list

“You will receive a thousand miracles and then a thousand more.”—A Course in Miracles

I have come to the conclusion that the most controversial statement in the entire Course is this: “I need do nothing.”

“But, but…..” we long-time seekers stammer.

What about meditating?

Opening your chakras?

Forgiving your mother?

All of it—every last strategy and goal and worthy intention–is predicated on the notion that something needs to be fixed, that something is broken.

When we create a list of spiritual to-do’s, we obscure our perfection, we miss the life force, the radiant joy that dances wildly though every cell of our bodies.

I used to describe myself as a spiritual seeker. But “to seek” is to remain captivated by issues and beliefs that are not real. Finding and repairing problems is an impossible quest that keeps dangling a carrot just out of reach.  

The best we can do is base our little “self-improvement project” on what we’ve been so far taught. But those lessons cover but a tiny, insignificant piece of our totality.

So when I commit to “doing nothing,” I create boundless space way beyond the very limited set of facts I’ve been given. In fact, the energy exerted to hold back this unfathomable life force is far greater than the surrender.  

I recently heard an interview on Conscious TV about what many call “waking up.” The host was talking about a guy named John Ray Lewis, who had a spontaneous awakening after nearly dying in Thailand. He was so bamboozled by this “new and unexpected reality” that he set out to interview others who experienced a similar retreat from “consensus reality.”  What he found is that 75 percent of those he interviewed were “doing nothing” when it happened. Not one described themselves as a spiritual seeker. In fact, it had never occurred to most of them that such a spacious, gentle reality was even possible.

Not only is it possible, friends, but it’s the truth of who we really are underneath the thoughts and crazy self-improvement projects.

#222 Forever!

Pam Grout is the author of 20 books including E-Squared, E-Cubed, Thank & Grow Rich and her latest book, The Course in Miracles Experiment: A Starter Kit for Rewiring Your Mind (And Therefore Your World).

46 Responses

  1. Thank you for sharing this, Pam. The message is true. In fact, there is no doer, beyond the One power. Ramesh S. Balsekar often quoted the historical Buddha as stating this: “Events happen, deeds are done, but there is no individual doer, thereof.” 🙏

  2. You are my rock. I love with my whole being todays lesson, “doing nothing”. To know that at least one other person thinks like I do is incredible. Keep doing what you are doing Pam, you make my world so much brighter. Thank you

  3. Thank you! I loved this. I have personally had more profound spiritual experiences when I don’t try. I just want to perfect the art of being. 💗

  4. Oh I LOVE this Pam!!! This is just exactly what I need to hear and know in my life – that “when we create a list of spiritual ‘to-do’s’ we obscure our perfection, we miss our life force, the radiant joy that dances wildly through every cell of our bodies.” Yes!! So good! And the Rumi quote is delicious too. Thankyou for sharing these wonderful truths in your delightful way Pam, and for helping us all to remember what our souls already know. Here’s to dancing to the joyful music of who we already are. 💃🎼🥰

      1. Ohh thank you Pam! That’s so lovely of you to say. Big virtual hugs to you from me 🤗💃❤️🤗

  5. Thank you for all your words of wisdom. I’m on my second year of reading my daily lessons and your companion book, and it’s your words that keep me going and help me understand. You are a gift to me. ❤️

  6. This “do nothing “ approach is so true and so easily forgotten about. The monkey brain just wants a problem to chew on and in the end I find myself sitting in the same spot and in the same body as if nothing ever happened. I only feel cheated out of my time and my energy. Thank you for reminding me that life could feel different!

  7. I am a huge fan of your books & positive philosophy. However, it’s time to speak up against the extreme right wing ideaology. We can’t ignore the hateful rhetoric against marginalized communities.
    I think it’s time to push back…not just have “positive” thoughts about this abhorrent behavior.
    Democracy is hanging on by a mere thread & we must protect it. We can’t just have thoughts…it needs action.

  8. You have some pretty synchronistic timing. All I can say is WOW. It’s funny that I was playing with all of this today while in the car. Why mess with perfection? And yes, I like having radiant joy dancing wildly though every cell of my perfect body and soul. 😉

  9. Interestingly I was just saying to girlfriend this morning is one of my foundational understandings of the Course is simply you do not have to do anything.

  10. This reminds me of the pandemic! The amazing energy or Field of Potentiality somehow forced the entire world to do nothing, to go back to our homes and stay in. And when we all did nothing, no work, no rush, no driving around, no going anywhere, caused nature to flourish. Waters were cleaning up on its own, nature was coming back to life, animals were out, air was clean, and everything outside seemed to be peaceful. This to me was a huge reminder of the importance of doing nothing! Thank you Pam Grout for another beautiful reminder of what my day is going to be like today 🥰

  11. You know the expression “being captivated by the imagination?” That’s all that’s happening! One is being captivated by ones limited or conditoned imagination when in fact, one is already one with one’s entire unlimited imagination and one need do nothing other than just being and enjoying it without resistance to it or clinging to mere facets of it ..tag..you’re it, the whole she and he and we bang lol …nothing to do other than to be : )

  12. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you for your joyful, exuberant takes on the daily Workbook Lessons, and for everything you bring to OUR ETERNAL NOWNESS!


  13. Thank you Pam!!!!!Just started practicing this “doing nothin”. Especially in the midst of “something big’ going on….I’ll just force myself to sit and do nothing and let itself work out and the universe to calmly show me the answers!! Seems to be working!!!

  14. It seems that “doing” is a form of denial, which ensures the ego’s continuance by generating future consequences, Denial of Wholeness parses it into tiny pieces, each to be savored individually – although any given fragment may taste quite bitter.

    And so “doing nothing,” in its absolute sense, reveals what denial would hide.

  15. Thank you Pam for sharing this, a fascinating subject, if not “the most”. Do you recall which episode of Conscious.tv are you referring to when you write: “I recently heard an interview on Conscious TV about what many call “waking up.”? I’d love to see that. Blessings to you for what you do.

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