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Mind Body SoulPodcast

003: A Course in Miracles with Amy Torres

By November 18, 2017February 2nd, 2023No Comments

Would you take a course if it promised to open your life up to miracles? What if I told you it was already working for hundreds of thousands of people?

Today we’ll talk to Amy Torres, a spiritual guide in A Course in Miracles, a 365 day workbook which claims to assist its readers in achieving spiritual transformation.

A Course in Miracles is said to be channeled teachings and has steadily gained popularity over the years, most notably via best-selling author Marianne Williamson who discusses it in her books and even on The Oprah Winfrey show in 1992.

Any Torres will teach us some of the book’s fundamental principles that have helped her achieve the calm joy that she visibly exudes, even during her witnessing of 9/11.

Learn More About Amy Torres

Amy Torres - A Course in Miracles Episode 3 - MindLove Podcast Guest

Amy Torres

Spiritual teacher

Amy Torres is a well-loved spiritual teacher, interfaith minister and Gestalt psychotherapist. In 1998, she had a spiritual awakening which has guided her life ever since. Known for her intuition, empathy, bright smile and penetrating gaze, Amy helps you see through the veils of illusion and recognize what you truly are.

Videos Mentioned in the Show

A Course in Miracles Mythology

Mythology of A Course in Miracles — Who Are We and How Did We Get Here?

Metaphysics of A Course in Miracles

A simplified explanation of the metaphysical foundation of A Course in Miracles.


[00:00:00] Melissa:  Welcome to Mind Love, episode 3. Warning, today’s episode may induce miracles.

[00:00:07] Amy:  You cannot say this to most people. They’ll start to consider committing you to an institution. 

[00:00:15] Female VO: Turn up your frequency with Mind Love, bite-sized brain hacks for seekers, dreamers, and doers. It’s time to give your mind a little love with your host Melissa Monte.

[00:00:32] Melissa:  I keep hearing about A Course in Miracles and I’m more and more intrigued. I’m not sure if any of you have heard of Gabrielle Bernstein, but she is the author of a best-selling book, Spirit Junkie. And New York Times even called her a leader for a new generation of spiritual seekers, or something like that.

I wanted to bring on somebody who is an expert in A Course in Miracles. She’s a spiritual teacher. And when I first met her she just exuded warmth and love. And I felt like I had to know her.

She has been studying A Course in Miracles for over 20 years and has made it the foundation for her life’s work. Along with being a spiritual coach, she’s also developed her own methods of raising your frequency by increasing your levels of love and creativity. 

She also performs healing practices like heart rhythm meditations and EFT. She’s also a certified yoga instructor and author of several books including Sweet Dreams of Awakening: 365 Good Night Blessings, available on Amazon.

I figured if I wanted to learn more about A Course in Miracles Amy would be the perfect person to bring on the show. We started off by asking how the course affected the way that she experienced the world.

[00:01:55] Amy:  Here’s a perfect example. I was living in New York City in 2001, on the morning of 9/11. And I witnessed the towers coming down from the midtown office that I was in. And so you would think it would be traumatic. I grew up in a high strung family where everybody was very nervous. 

And I was a course student by then. I did the workbook of A Course in Miracles in 1998, at the end of which time I had a spiritual awakening. The whole world seemed upside down in a good way. I just kept looking at everything and saying it’s not real. 

And I realized that you cannot say this to most people. They’ll start to consider committing you to an institution. 

[00:02:47] Melissa:  Hold up. What do you mean this isn’t real? According to Amy and A Course in Miracles this world is just an illusion, but this idea isn’t actually unique to A Course in Miracles. It’s actually a strain of thought that has reoccurred tons of times in many different forms in the world of philosophy, most notably by Plato in the Allegory of the Cave. 

And there are even elements of this in Hindu and Buddhist philosophy as well. And in fact this idea even formed the basis for the movies The Matrix, Inception, and even The Truman Show.

[00:03:22] Amy:  So I kept it to myself for the most part, but energetically I started to be attracted to spiritual masters. I was also reading all kinds of spiritual books other than the course. I was immediately guided to a book called Unified and did another six-month course after I did the year-long course of A Course of Miracles. 

And each spiritual practice confirmed and strengthened this new way of seeing. The course says that a miracle is a shift in perception, and I was having major shifts in perception about what the world is and who I am, and clicks of recognition. 

When 9/11 came I noticed that I remained calm. And I felt a great sense of compassion before anybody knew what had happened. I went into the ladies room and I wept, just feeling waves and waves of compassion coming through me. But there was no drama with it, there’s no fear. 

There was no fear Melissa. And I was able to come back into the city two days later once the trains were up and running and just resumed my life as normal. And I knew that I never could have done that before A Course in Miracles. I would’ve been claustrophobic in the subway. I would’ve been paranoid. I just would’ve had all sorts of reactivity from fear that just wasn’t there.

[00:05:04] Melissa:  Like I said, Amy Torres is basically the poster lady for a mind at peace. And like I said before, a mind at peace is in communication or in alignment with God. And communication with God is life, creativity, and limitless power.

Three years ago just the word God would’ve turned me off. And sometimes it’s still something that I have to work through. I was raised very Christian and my biggest problem with Christianity in general was the incongruences that I felt of some god that’s supposed to be love. It says right in the Bible, God is love. But then there are so many stories of fear and punishment. And that just didn’t fit with what I thought a god should be.

For years I thought I didn’t believe in God at all. And it’s taken really diving into my spirituality to realize that I just had to get over what my idea of God was. That idea that has been planted into me from such a young age, this man sitting on an altar with a gate, letting people into his heaven.

One of the ways that I’ve worked around this is by identifying it by a different way, the source, love, energy, the universe, it’s all the same. It doesn’t really matter what you call it. It’s just recognizing that divinity within everything, the thing that makes this world a little bit magical.

But according to Amy I’m not along in this. There’s a ton of people who have to wrap their mind around the god aspect of the course. 

[00:06:52] Amy:  I took a look at it Melissa and I felt like I had an allergic reaction because the terminology, the course is written in a real Christian style. It’s all male gender and it has a lot of Holy Spirit and our father, and atonement, and salvation, terms that I was not comfortable with. And I’ve heard that many people who dive into the course for the first time are kind of turned off by that.

So I put the course down. I just was like, “Not for me.” And I actually told my therapist, “I hope you’re not some kind of Christian zealot or fanatic or something because I don’t want to start all over with a new psychotherapist.

[00:07:45] Melissa:  Okay. If the course isn’t Christian then what is the relationship of the course to other spiritual paths?

[00:07:53] Amy:  It said that the course came out in this form to heal the wounds of Christianity. And that includes every denomination of Christian, Catholics, but also anybody who’s been wounded by Christianity including Jews, and Muslims, and anybody else, because Christianity has affected almost everybody for the past 2,000 plus years.

That’s one reason that when the language triggers us and we feel upset or uncomfortable with it, it’s a sign that we need to release those beliefs and come to the course with wholly open hands. Just really as much of a clean slate as we can be, to be like a sponge absorbing the pure material that the scribe of A Course in Miracles, Helen Schucman channeled through herself. 

[00:08:56] Melissa:  Wait, a scribe, channeling, what do you mean?

[00:09:03] Amy:  Helen Schucman was the scribe. And she was able to produce A Course in Miracles because she was in partnership with Bill Thetford her boss at Columbia University where they were both psychologists, and she was a research psychologist. 

In this academic environment, which was very hostile and backstabbing actually, Bill Thetford finally reached a point where he said to her there has to be a better way. He was so disgusted, especially since it was the psychology department with the pettiness and the competitiveness, and really felt that they should be operating on a more harmonious and loving level.

And he and Helen had a very antagonistic relationship. Even though they respected each other’s intelligence they still were at odds.

[00:09:54] Melissa:  Think of your most annoying co-worker drama. Theirs was like that.

[00:09:59] Amy:  But this one day when he said to her there’s got to be a better way. She uncharacteristically replied back, “You’re right. And I’m going to help you find it.” 

And then she had three months of prophetic dreams over a summer. I think that was the summer of 1965. And then in the fall she distinctly heard a voice that said, “This is A Course in Miracles. Please take notes.”

And that became a period of scribing that went on for seven years, and they kept it a secret, Melissa. As you can imagine being prestigious psychologists they weren’t about to share anybody that they were hearing voices and writing down what they said. 

[00:10:46] Melissa:  I know what you’re thinking. What kind of witchery could this be where some random woman is channeling some random voice to create a new spiritual thought system that thousands of people are following? But it might not be as crazy as it sounds. 

My favorite book series ever is by Paul Selig. And everybody I’ve given this book series to has said it’s changed their life. It has the most profound truths one after the other. These books were said to be channeled. And each session is actually recorded. So the books only took a few weeks to write even though they’re hundreds of pages. There was a witness for all of them. And there was very minimal editing from what was transcribed.

I’m thinking she may have channeled it. And if she did channel it I think most people would agree that this sounds like a miracle, or is it? According to the course when you’re in alignment with God that is when miracles happen. But what are miracles?

[00:11:58] Amy:  The miracles are sort of like the sparkles that are coming off of your energy field. Yes, they may show up as events, like you might see a license plate in the car in front of you. And it’s exactly what you needed at that moment. 

There’s a message in it, or a song comes on the radio. Or a person offers you a job out of the clear blue. Or you noticed that a fight you had with somebody is actually an opportunity to heal something. So every day becomes an opportunity to recognize the miracles that are flowing through you.

The course defines some words differently than we’re used to. It is defining the word miracle differently. And a miracle is a product of forgiveness. Forgiveness is defined differently. The metaphysical definition of forgiveness in the course is that we are dreaming. 

So what we think somebody else has done to us has not actually occurred because this entire life is a dream. Therefore, there’s nothing to forgive, because everyone in the dream is just another aspect of ourselves. It’s all part of the fabric of this dream.

[00:13:18] Melissa:  Forgiveness is a huge part of the course. It’s actually one of the central teachings. And like Amy said, to see forgiveness the way the course describes it requires a shift in perception.

Most of us have thought of forgiveness as being something triggered externally, almost blaming others for needing forgiveness in the first place. But what the course does is it moves it inward. If something needs forgiveness it’s basically part of the self that needs to be worked through.

Anything that makes you feel small, jealous, angry, guilty, or vengeful springs from fear. And that’s just products of the ego that want to screw with you. And that’s really the only temptation, to resist attack in all of its many forms. Because when you attack you’re attacking yourself and cutting off communication with God. There is no sin, just simply lack of love. 

But think about it, if you only have fear and love it really makes decision making easy. Am I making this decision because I’m preventing something that I’m afraid of? Or am I going in with gusto and exuding my love and passion and taking risks? But it does answer the age old question, how can there be a god when there’s so much pain and suffering in the world? The answer’s simple, god didn’t create that, we did.

[00:14:46] Amy:  The ego set us up to have a huge victim consciousness, and also to be in a state of forgetfulness. And many other paths talk about this too, Hinduism, many paths in their own way, so whether you believe in reincarnation or not, or whether you believe that we’re dreaming or not. 

The author Jack Kerouac wrote a fascinating letter where he told his ex-wife it’s all just a dream anyway. Whether you’re playing with Ayahuasca or psychedelics or not, at some point there comes an opening where we realize that who we have taken ourselves to be is not what we really are. We’re really the awareness that’s moving through all the shapes and forms.

We’re called human beings, and when we’re conscious and interested in waking up we’re moving from human to being. 

[00:15:49] Melissa:  Okay. I obviously am interested in waking up. How long is this journey from human to being going to take me? Is that a one lifetime thing or a multiple lifetime’s thing? What does the course say about reincarnation?

[00:16:05] Amy:  We have many dreams within dreams within dreams, and we could call that reincarnation, lives that lead to other lives and other lives. Working out the riddle of who we are because we plunge ourselves into the deepest darkness. And each lifetime it’s as if we’re opening our eyes a little more.

And just like when you wake up early in the morning. It’s Sunday and you know you don’t have to get up for work. So your eyes are still heavy and you just fall back to sleep. That’s how it is. We can spend lifetimes starting to wake up and then hitting the snooze button for five more lifetimes.

But not everybody has to believe that. And it’s just a concept to help us find our way. [Unintelligible 00:17:00] they’re just mythologies to help us awaken to the truth inside. And so people will find it different way. Like aborigines from Australia will work with dream time. I don’t think that they necessarily believe in past lives. But Tibetan Buddhists will be looking for the next incarnation of the Dalai Lama.

[00:17:25] Melissa:  Basically to recognize that we’re all on different paths is to recognize that sometimes different spiritual paths are needed. But this definitely got me interested. What is a day in the life of somebody that is such an avid student of a course in miracles?

[00:17:42] Amy:  My most consistent practice is mindfulness. And by mindfulness I mean that I can’t get through more than hour or two without having an awareness that I am not just the busy person checking off my to-do list, that I am actually the, for lack of a better word I’ll say the energy that is dynamically alive, not just within this particular body called Amy, but also all around.

And that’s an ongoing awareness that increases little by little over the years. I tend to be early to bed early to rise, and go up around 3am and feel very inspired. And I’ll go write. And I feel that my writing is a conduit for God’s creativity to come through me.

It’s a delicious feeling to plug into God, like you’d plug in your cellphone into the power source. And then Amy gets to have her individual expression but it’s totally powered by the source.

Mostly, Melissa, I feel like somehow I’ve gotten pretty good at not interpreting anything, not believing in anything, and just being open to receive. There’s a spiritual law that giving is receiving. And most people misunderstand that and just try to give, give, and give. 

But that becomes [Unintelligible 00:19:26] at giving because there’s some control in it. Like I’m going to be a good person, and I’m going to give, and I’m supposed to give, and I should give, and I will give, and there’s some obligation in the giving. 

The other half of giving is the vulnerability and surrender, being willing to receive. And that I have worked on, and accepted, and embraced, and perhaps mastered is the other half. Because being a receiver of spirit or God, it’s amazing. I feel like I don’t make decisions. I’m guided. I kind of feel like a flowing river or something.

The core says a healed mind does not plan. Because a healed mind does not have to prepare for the future. It says place the future in God’s hands. And of course the ego is going to object and say that’s highly irresponsible. It’s very childish. And it’s a terrible idea not to plan for the future. But you will be guided. 

If there are some things that need to be done like booking a fight or setting up a pension fund you’ll be guided to do that. It’ll take care of itself. 

[00:20:45] Melissa:  Since this podcast is all about action of course I want to know, where do I start? How do I begin to feel this guidance? I asked Amy, what does she recommend that we can all do at home starting today?

[00:21:01] Amy:  I would recommend that first they choose spirit. And it’s as simple as just saying, “Spirit I choose you.” And then acknowledge everything. So start to pay attention to the body. And acknowledge what you’re feeling. Most people are out of touch with their bodies and they describe themselves as feeling things in their heads. Or they might say I feel something all over.

When you get acquainted with the body the body becomes your spiritual temple. And I don’t mean that like in a perfect yoga class way. And by the way, I am a yoga teacher. And I know the perfectionism that can go on there. 

I mean it in a way where the body is energy. When we really get familiar and locate where feeling is, and just acknowledge, I do feel like the victim right now. I do feel some bitterness even though I don’t want to. Then those feelings can move through us and leave us.

Most of us have not been invited into saying or admitting I do feel angry right now, even if I’m wrong for feeling angry, I do feel jealous, just to start to acknowledge all the feelings. And then they will start to clear little by little. 

They may intensify it first because we’ve been holding them down for a while. But after they come up, and you may need to need to do this with a psychotherapist or in a support group, you will start to just have a completely altered perception of yourself. And I use that word alter deliberately because you’ve placed yourself on God’s alter to be transfigured.

I just did a fascinating interview with one of my teachers, Will Johnson, and I haven’t released it yet. But it should be out soon. He takes us all the way through the body Melissa in a way where you can feel your blood flowing. And you feel the edges of your skin disappear. 

And you start to shimmer. And it’s a whole different experience of, you could call it physicality but I’m going to call it embodied spirituality. 

[00:23:14] Melissa:  If you’re as intrigued as I am and you want to find out more about A Course in Miracles, and the services, and books, and videos, and the wealth of information that Amy Torres offers you can head to the show notes at mindlove.com/003. Or you can go straight to her website at amytorres.love.

[00:23:36] Amy:  I would love to invite listeners to explore my course. I have a course called Workin’ the Workbook, and it helps you get through the A Course in Miracles workbook. A lot of people start the workbook and they don’t finish. Or they get up to a certain lesson and then they’re stuck. 

And you can actually start my 365-day course in the middle of the year if that’s where you dropped the ball and need help. And the way that people can explore that is go to my website, amytorres.love/miracles. And there’ll be a page there explaining more about the course. 

And the other thing is my book Sweet Dreams of Awakening: 365 Good Night Blessings. They prime your mind at night to use your sleeping time for spiritual fertility. It’s a beautiful book. It has illustrations. It’s kind of like a lullaby from grownups. And people can explore that at amytorres.love/sweetdreams.

[00:24:43] Melissa:  That’s so interesting that you mentioned using sleep. This last week I’ve been diving into different sleep practices from meditating right before sleep to inducing lucid dreaming. Just like we talked about before where there’s little signs or things just pop into your life at the right time. I’m excited to dive into that.

[00:25:05] Amy:  It’s so cool that you mentioned lucid dreaming because you can also do lucid waking, which is while we’re walking around awake during the day starting to realize, “Holy molly, I’m actually dreaming.” 

[00:25:22] Melissa:  Thank you to everyone out there listening. If you like this show please hit subscribe. And for some extra karma points please take a moment to leave a review. Reviews are actually super helpful for the growth of this podcast.

I’m also giving away a copy of Amy Torres’ book, Sweet Dreams of Awakening on our Facebook page this week. So head to mindlove.com/facebook for your chance to win. Thanks and I’ll see you next week.

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