All A Course In Miracles study groups are different since there is no central organization authorizing them or training their facilitators. Many take place in people's homes and many take place in public buildings like churches and community centers. Some take place in community rooms of larger residential complexes. Most meetings are between an hour and a half, to two hours in length. There are some that are just an hour and rarely are they longer than two hours. They usually meet weekly. A few meet every other week and there are a few monthly meetings.
There is usually someone who facilitates the ACIM study group and this is frequently someone with long time ACIM experience. However, many study groups rotate facilitators and give even new members an opportunity to lead a meeting. In a few study groups the facilitator emerges as an authoritative teacher who is respected and honored. However the facilitator being an authoritative teacher is not the average experience because most facilitators just consider themselves part of the group. Study groups usually start and end with a prayer, frequently with everyone joining hands – but not all meetings do this. Some study groups are very structured with certain pages from the Text read and certain Workbook lessons practiced. Many are much less structured with people sharing randomly how they have used the principles from ACIM in their mirs during the past week. Most study groups have some sort of social aspect. People have tea and chat during a break or after the meeting. Perhaps a few members will go to lunch or coffee after the meeting or maybe certain members will meet before a meeting at a public place.
Many ACIM study groups align themselves loosely around certain of the better known ACIM authors or teachers. They will read all the new books and offerings from this particular author as they are released and members tend to embrace this particular teacher's interpretations. Many have a few authors/teachers they do this with. These are teachers whose ideas flow along similar paths. Many times study groups will focus for some weeks on a particular ACIM author's book. Some study groups can get quite opinionated, thinking that some teachers or authors have it "right" and some have it "wrong." Sometimes study group discussions can get quite "heated" but the overall energy of ACIM study groups is very loving and friendly. Study groups tend to be a good support for their regular members and frequently will rally to help members who are going through big life issues.
The study group phenomena has been around since the earliest days of ACIM practice. Study groups are part of the rich tradition of ACIM practice. However some teachers, authors and students shun the study group experience and will frequently say that ACIM is designed to be a "self-study" course.
Just about all ACIM study groups are very happy to have new members and even visitors drop into meetings. This web site has a study group directory. Click here: ACIM Study Group Directory .
To become a CMC Supporting Member click here: CMC Supporting Members.
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