Relaxing into God by Miranda Macpherson
Have you hungered for an authentic spiritual realization that allows you to release your seeking, grasping and struggling – and find yourself at home in the palpable
presence of the Divine?
If so, it may be your time to let go of the search and truly discover yourself as an aspect of God, a beautiful and unique facet of a dazzling diamond that is filled with light, wisdom and boundless love.
When you continually grapple for a connection or fear that God has abandoned you, you wrap your identity around a very limited idea of who you are.
You are more than a struggling, confused, hurt or insecure seeker.
You are a magnificent Soul, filled with the love-presence that is the Divine.
You are always held in the arms of a vast and universal love, even when you feel most alone.
Indeed, you actually ARE that boundless love.
Mystics throughout the ages have told us that we have forgotten our true nature and become lost in lesser identities.
We become convinced by these limited identities and forget the core of who we are, which is radiant majesty and indescribable beauty.
But you CAN remember, reclaim and rejoice in this deeper wisdom. You CAN come home to your Self. You CAN be enveloped in the warm embrace of God.
As you learn to truly relax into God, the roots of your fear and doubt begin to dissolve away.
You may hear these words and be skeptical that you could experience such a spiritual realization. You may have had openings before, but eventually returned back to depressing old habits. That is completely normal and part of the ebb and flow of true spiritual awakening.
But you can make a permanent shift to knowing yourself as Divine.
This deep, lasting relaxation into God doesn’t solve all of life’s challenges. Navigating the worlds of family, business, community, and the world’s suffering still requires clarity, focus and discernment.
But when you can do so in the deeper security of who you are – and know yourself as the love that animates this world – it makes the journey far more graceful and enjoyable. Your relationships thrive. Your work is more fulfilling. And you feel spiritually at peace.
So How Does this Shift Become Real?
While there are no guarantees on when this shift will happen within you or anyone, you CAN create the circumstances in which you unwind your old beliefs, unravel your old habits of striving, and open to a deeper awakening.
And that is what the Relaxing into God course will provide you: a loving and supportive path that leads to your spiritual awakening.
During the 14 weeks, you will learn to embrace ALL aspects of your being, which are all aspects of the Divine within you. You will learn the power of defenselessness, the real path to humility – and the ecstatic capacities of your heart.
You will learn to drop judgment, open to the unknown, and expand your sense of trust.
You will be called and arrive HOME.
The Power of an Authentic, Awake Teacher
The Relaxing into God program is led by a remarkable female mystic who underwent a life-changing spiritual awakening that shifted the core of her being – and eventually led her to be able to catalyze deep shifts in others.
Her name is Miranda Macpherson, and her story offers a uniquely modern tale of awakening that builds upon the lineages of the past, but also blossoms in new directions.
When Miranda underwent a great unraveling of her ego identity during three weeks in Arunachala, India (beginning in the same cave where Hindu sage Ramana Maharshi underwent his journey of awakening), her husband at the time heard an inner voice say, “The female mystic has landed.”
They both knew that nothing would ever be the same again. A vast, loving, deep presence began to open within her. It then took years to stabilize this opening, begin to live from it, and guide others in making this same shift.
In the years since, Miranda has emerged as a truly global spiritual teacher. She speaks with the refreshing candor born of her Australian roots. She draws from her deep study of world religions and practices as an interfaith minister. And she is well-versed in many modern systems of psycho-spiritual growth.
Miranda’s teaching methods marry an exquisite and piercing capacity for clear insight with an overflowing, loving heart that helps you release your aversion to any aspect of yourself.
She guides you in shedding the conditioning that obscures the truth of who YOU really are, and helps you approach the path with tenderness and self-forgiveness.
In Relaxing into God, she will offer you a distinctly feminine perspective on non-dual realization that leads to the discovery of new dimensions of grace – and the possibility for you to embody and live everyday life from the deeper ground of being.
At The Shift Network, we first learned about Miranda from veterans of the spiritual path who have sat with literally every major teacher of the last 30 years, and said, “You HAVE to meet Miranda. She is the real deal.”
And we found ourselves dazzled by the luminosity and loving realization of this teacher.
In service to your awakening, Miranda brings a wealth of extensive teaching experience – over 20 years – 10 of which she served as spiritual director of a groundbreaking program, training over 600 interfaith ministers and spiritual counselors.
In recent years, she has been guiding groups of advanced aspirants who are ripe for a deep and lasting spiritual awakening.
During this 14-week journey with Miranda, you’ll be able to relax into a larger field of grace – feeling the healing balm of unconditional love AS yourself – and learn why so many of your efforts to improve, grow and evolve leave you unsatisfied.
She will share how you can empty out, again and again, to allow grace to fill you up in a way that creates a lasting sense of fulfillment.
By learning to let go of your habits of control, you can become receptive to grace at a deeper level than your mind.
In the space beyond your strategies, you can discover that strength, clarity, wisdom and love are abundantly present – allowing you to meet life’s personal and collective challenges with spiritual maturity.
During the course, Miranda will share her “Pillars of Awakening” that cultivate the perennial virtues that ripen your soul.
These pillars help you connect to the boundless stream of inner nourishment where you gain access to everything you need to thrive.
Over the course of the journey, you’ll learn:
- How your attempts to transform yourself often backfire as a form of self-rejection.
- Why the impulse to seek God takes you out of the receptive state that allows more and more of the Divine presence to open within you.
- To identify your primary patterns of opening and closing, and be able to shift beyond them.
- How to truly relax into realization, rather than chase after special states.
- How to let your “mother-wounding” heal with the feminine energy of the cosmos.
- How to cut through self-betrayal and reclaim your heart’s ability to say “no” to self-attack.
- How to harness loving-kindness, humor, your vital aliveness and your true will to build an inner altar of protection for your own humanity.
- How to become undefended in a way that allows unconditional love to permeate your being.
- Ways to identify the stories you tell yourself and how to let them go.
- The key to real humility, which is different than putting yourself down.
If you want to unwind the roots of suffering in yourself and access a limitless stream of spiritual nourishment, this program was designed for you.
Greater Connection through Video
As a special addition to this course, Miranda will be offering video of her teaching sessions, so that you can have an even more powerful connection and transmission. The videos can be viewed online or downloaded for offline viewing, and will greatly increase your learning and transformation.
What You’ll Discover in these 14 Modules
In this 14-week transformational training, Miranda will offer you grounded guidance on how to go deeply into yourself and better understand your consciousness, limitations and core patterns so you can open to more love and joy. The course will guide you to experience a substantial shift in your center of gravity, leading to a genuine unwinding of your core patterns that produce suffering and a whole new way of moving through each day.
Each weekly contemplation and training session will build harmoniously upon the next, so that you’ll develop a complete, holistic understanding of the practices, tools and principles you’ll need to awaken to your divine nature and savor the majesty and beauty at your core.
Section 1: SURRENDER
THE UNIVERSAL SPIRITUAL INVITATION
Module 1: The Practice of Ego Relaxation
We begin our 14-week journey together by exploring the paradox of the spiritual path – while we are asked to surrender, the one who is often trying to surrender is the one in the way! How do we genuinely open to access the boundless love, peace, wisdom, clarity and liberating pure awareness all great spiritual traditions promise is at the core of our being? How can we become receptive to God (Sacred Presence) as our inherent foundation? How do we take the inner bunjee jump into deeper dimensions of consciousness?
Miranda will introduce and begin to unpack the central invitation of her feminine approach to non-dual realisation – Ego Relaxation.
In this session, you will:
- Receive the transmission of ego relaxation that invites you to deeply rest in God right now: “Be nothing, do nothing, get nothing, become nothing, seek for nothing, relinquish nothing. Be as you are: Rest in God.”
- Discriminate the subtle ways your ego interferes with grace through constant trying, seeking, proving, chasing after particular conditions you hope will bring you freedom and fulfilment. And learn how this keeps us seeking but never finding.
- Explore specifically what blocks you from deeper direct contact with God within? What is alive and ever-present in the space beyond this? How to stretch into that space.
- Taste the possibility of truly being here, being still, and thus receptive to a grace deeper than your mind.
- Learn the primary methodology that integrates the practice of holistic self-inquiry with devotion and meditation. How all parts of your being are completely welcomed and included on the journey home.
Module 2: The Power of Defenselessness
Learning to Let Yourself BE
Deepening on our spiritual path asks us to substantially “look within and let go.” This sounds simple, and on one level it is, yet we all meet powerful forces of defence that developed out of our survival instinct’s response to overwhelm and pain. Unless we gain awareness and capacity to work with our defences, they will automatically bump us back to the surface of our ego, causing unnecessary limitations and frustrations in our practice. In order to gain deeper access to the jewel of pure being, we must compassionately understand our defences and open through them.
In this session, you will:
- Gain an understanding of your primary habits of closure and defence. How these protect against our ego’s sense of deficiency – feeling separate from the love, strength, power, value, peace and joy of your true nature – as well as how the disconnection itself offers us a direct path back.
- Learn how to stay present with everything that arises, opening, softening and allowing your experience, without getting overwhelmed or taken out by it.
- Learn to appreciate your survival instinct’s orientation to avoid pain and chase after pleasure, through the activities of grasping, rejecting and checking out. Strengthening your spiritual resolve as you turn INTO your vulnerability.
- Learn to accept the ticket price of realisation – to feel everything. How this depth of undefended presence allows absolutely every experience, from the most painful to the most beautiful to become a gateway to deeper liberation.
- Learn not to leave yourself out as an act of the deepest love AND power.
Section 2: THE PILLARS OF AWAKENING
CULTIVATING THE VIRTUES THAT MAKE US SPIRITUALLY RIPE
Module 3: Trust
We cannot force surrender, but we can cultivate the virtues that make us spiritually mature, giving us the tools we need to harness everything as a gateway into deeper direct experience. Any one of the “pillars” has the power to take us all the way, and yet together they function as a supportive container that encourage a holistic awakening, integration of our realisation, ego relaxation and the prevention of spiritual crisis.
In this class, Miranda will introduce the central role of TRUST. This virtue powerfully determines our capacity to allow for the constant change and transformation that authentic spiritual awakening requires. Trust is the antidote to fear, and when it opens fully we know in our bones that we are held in an ocean of love and inseparably part of it. This makes us courageous and confident that we can surrender into the mystery. Even though we are not in control, we feel that all is well.
In this session, you will:
- Learn to unpack the challenges to deep trust, including your personal history around loving that may create instinctual closure, doubt and fear.
- Discover your soul’s need for the mother aspect, letting your mother-wounding unwind in the arms of the Divine Mother, so your limitations to trust can melt in a deeper embrace of total compassion.
- Discover when it is wiser NOT to trust, learning to discern trust from naivete.
- Learn to trust yourself AND open to trusting the grace of God as the underlying beneficent force of life.
- Learn to receive the boundless nature that is independent of your history through the practice of turning your attention to recognize the presence of love.
Module 4: Loving the Truth & Curiosity
The Heart of Inquiry
When trust opens up, it feels like being held in an infinite embrace of love. Truth cuts through our illusions to liberate deeper awareness. Together they blend to become devotion without an object. This love of the truth is the engine of inquiry, blending Bhakti with Jnana yoga. It births in us the true strength to face everything within ourselves and walk the path with dedication. Curiosity, the third “pillar” opens our mind beyond fixed positions, opinions and preconceptions that keep our awareness bound in ego patterns.
In this session, you will:
- Learn to contact the flame of your heart that loves Reality, God and Truth, and open it deeper through devotional practice to become the guiding impetus of your life.
- Inquire what pulls you away from living the truth of your deep heart, identifying your self-images – both the idealised images and the shadow images, that cause you to live out of habitual unconscious reactions.
- Cut through your own self-betrayal, relishing honesty with yourself and honesty with others. Deeper still, you’ll inquire beyond “your truth – and my truth” to open to Truth Itself.
- Learn how curiosity supports right use of mind and turns your awakening process into a joyful adventure.
- Discover what kinds of questions expand the horizons of your consciousness, bringing new depth and dimension.
- Experience the dynamic power of holistic self-inquiry beginning to open up deeper direct experience of God and your true nature.
Module 5: Non-Attack
“Dropping the Knife” of Judgment
Since opening up deeper dimensions of God and our true nature asks us to go towards our vulnerability, it is vital that we cultivate deep compassion for our humanity so that our inner environment is a supportive one. Our ego is a huge call for love. Yet what blights the way of even the most sincere spiritual aspirants is super ego judgment: the internalisation of all the negative messages we absorbed in childhood from parents, teachers, spiritual authority figures, elder siblings, etc. These messages form the outer layer of our ego identity and serve to hold it in place – like a psychic condom over our ego structure. As we deepen beyond our familiar identity, this inner aggressive force gets stimulated – often manifesting as ego kickback reactions.
In this session, you will:
- Discover how to drop the knife you use against yourself.
- Discriminate what your judgment revolves around, and its basic message to you.
- Re-claim your heart’s true inner authority to say NO to the voice of self-attack and YES to the intrinsic compassion of your own deep heart.
- Harness loving-kindness, humor, your vital aliveness and true will to build an inner altar of protection for your own humanity.
- Learn to drop the knife you use on others and the world. Come to see everyone and everything through forgiving eyes that are no longer blinded with prejudices that divide.
- Rest in the presence of unconditional allowing that lets everyone and everything be as they are.
Module 6: Humility
Opening into the Unknown
Since our true nature is boundless, to just cling to the realisations of our journey to date is to block God unfolding freshly in this moment. Yet all ego structures contain a degree of arrogance. Humility invites us to take the posture I do not know what anything is truly for. If we suspend all presumption – about ourselves, others and the world, we are open to the mystery and receptive to be penetrated by a grace deeper than our mind. This invites us into the void, which is not the scary annihilating force our ego thinks it is. Rather, it is the vast open space of consciousness itself in which the learned veils of personality can melt. Humility brings us into right relationship with the mystery. It means admitting we don’t know the way. It invites us to relax all attempts to try to direct the way and the notion that we are supposed to know.
In this session, you will:
- Dissolve the primary barrier to humility: your ego experience of humiliation arising out of pressure to get it right in your history.
- Learn to allow space for the mystery beyond all opinions, leaning into “I do not know” as if listening to the silence before the song, the dark before the dawn.
- Mine the inner gap between what you have discovered so far, and what you don’t know, learning not to close down at the edge of what you know.
- Learn to receive grace as if receiving a stream of light, wisdom, love, peace and guidance direct from the source.
Module 7: Willingness & Patience
Beyond Control and Pushing
Ramana Maharshi said that “One’s dedication needs to be as equal to that of a person kept under water while trying to rise to the surface to
breathe.” Willingness helps cultivate true dedication, through activating the power of our choice. It is the shift away from ego efforting; that stressful pushing for “my will be done,” to allowing a more genuine surrender into “Thy will.” Turning our personal will back to the origin of our being opens a whole universe of support for our life and path. This can feel like we are sitting within an immense mountain that gives us true stability in the ground of being itself.
The blocks to true willingness often bring up anything that is not liberated around our fathering influence, which usually manifests as ego control. When our true will opens we feel steady, grounded and capable of embodying our true intention on the path.
Patience assists us to deal with the pernicious trap of trying to push ourselves into some concept of an enlightened condition. It invites us beyond control, beyond practicing with some subtle agenda to be special, powerful or to fulfill some attachment. Patience is an aspect of love that supports a deeper surrender.
In this session, you will learn to:
- Discern between genuine willingness vs will-full-ness. Engage more deeply with your true desire to help you stay faithful to your practice.
- Explore what causes you to feel alone and unsupported. Bringing your beliefs and past experiences around support that typically link to our father wounds, to the light of awareness for healing.
- Harnessing the power of prayer and the “little willingness” to bring everything to the inner altar of Truth.
- Turning your awareness to recognize and receive the infinite support of the universe. Miranda will introduce the “mountain of presence” meditation practice that helps us relax down into true universal support.
- Cultivate patience and relinquishing your ego bargaining.
Module 8: Review on the Pillars of Awakening
Each “Pillar” offers a whole world of support for us to engage our heart’s deepest intention, and there is way more than we will have had the chance to cover so far. During this module, we will explore how the pillars function together, offering us a true container for the practice of diving in and through our direct experience and opening all the way into non-dual realisation. Miranda will help you identify your areas of development and your weak spots, and give guidance on how to work with them so that you can safely progress into more explicit ego dissolving with balance and safety.
In this session, you will learn to:
- Recognize where your spiritual musculature is strong and weak, and which practices to turn towards that support better balance.
- Experiencing each “pillar” not just as an orienting principle, but as an active PRESENCE you can recognize and access to support ego relaxation.
- Gain greater precision with the practice of self-inquiry, including what is likely to derail you (given your individual spiritual musculature).
- Review and re-commit to your daily spiritual practice.
Section 3: UNWINDING YOUR CORE
Now that we have established a true container and begun to learn the principle of holistic self-inquiry which invites us deeper into our direct experience, we come to the more advanced segment of our journey together. Now we will open in and through your core ego structure itself, allowing for deep transformation of your core knot of suffering.
Module 9: “Diving In & Through”
Process (Part 1)
In an atmosphere of real love, we will explore together the core structure of your ego to gain deeper understanding of your story of separation from your true nature – how it takes shape and is held in place. Miranda will lead you step by step through her powerful “diving in and through” process that has been likened by many mature practitioners as “unlocking the rubik’s cube of your ego.” Together, we will harness a persistent pattern in your life, and turn it into fuel for profound transformation. This process has the power to turn even your more stubborn patterns of suffering into deeper wisdom.
In this session, you will:
- Discover that whatever seems to be IN the way, IS the way. How the inner challenge you might have been spending a lifetime trying to get rid of is actually your gateway home.
- Inquire into the root of your ego deficiency: your personal experience of separation from the love, strength, support, joy, value and peace of our true nature.
- See how your unconscious mind makes meaning from experiences that you don’t understand, turning ego experience into identity.
- Let pure awareness pervade and permeate your assumptions of being “not good enough,” “flawed,” “nothing,” “bad,” “wrong.”
- Learn to look deeper without fear at the very core of your sense of “me,” and thus up-root the patterns that cause unnecessary suffering in your life.
Module 10: “Diving In & Through” Process (Part 2)
Building upon our previous module, we will continue to explore the underpinnings of your ego identity. You will learn to let pure awareness and love’s presence penetrate through the foundations that pattern your life. We will continue working through the “diving in and through process,” to see the actions and projections we move toward that hold our suffering in place.
In this session, you will:
- Awaken through your more subtle defences to see how you keep your deficient ego identity in place through the activities of grasping, rejecting and checking out.
- Understand how projection works to keep you contracted and dis-empowered in your own story, and how to suspend all blame.
- Discover what your core knot of suffering helps you avoid; your subtle attachments to your own suffering.
- Feed through your devotion what it is you truly want to feed now.
Module 11: Who Are You Deeper than “Me”?
Now that we have deeply seen the structure of our core ego identity and gained some clarity about the forces within us that generate pernicious patterns, we can harness this awareness to explore who we are deeper. We access this not by jumping over anything, but engaging the practice ego relaxation in a more substantial way to support surrendering in and through the identity itself. Miranda will share with you the HOW, by taking you step by step through the principles of unwinding. Learning to accept the source of all love and compassion, we can meet the layers we have discovered and rest undefended with everything. Just contact everything without reaching for a single defence strategy. Just let ourselves be, and see who we are afresh.
In this session, you will:
- Contact your core suffering in a compassionate embrace that allows you to open, soften and allow everything to come home.
- Let grace penetrate all the way through body, heart and mind.
- Explore the space deeper than your history, deeper than any idea or imprint.
- Learn how to meet absolutely everything from deeper ground of being.
- Experientially explore the question that all spiritual practice ultimately leads back to in the end: “Who am I?”
- Welcome the whole world, everything and everyone to rest along with you.
Section 4: LIVING YOUR
This section of the course invites us into the boundless dimensions of our true nature, into the non-dual depths of reality as we explore beyond our historical conditioning into the sea of Being itself. We consider our journeying together as service to all beings and dedicate ourselves to actualizing and embodying our deeper understandings in our relationships, work and daily life.
Module 12: Overcoming Resistance & Dealing with Kickback Reactions
Everyone on the path encounters resistance and ego kickbacks at times. This can manifest in many ways: sometimes as distractions to engaging our practice consistently, despite sincere intentions. Sometimes it is like a detox reaction flushing up another level of our attachments and fears. Sometimes we just hit a glass ceiling, as if some hidden identity is saying “go no further” and bumping us back up to the surface of our personality mechanisms.
Understanding the primary dynamics of resistance; such as the “unholy trinity of sin-guilt and punishment,” fear of the void, loss of control, fear of not functioning, fears from our personal history. Miranda will share how to open to the presence of self-forgiveness that dissolves these obstacles.
In this session, you will:
- Recognize resistance and ego kickback reactions, and inquiring into their causes.
- Deal with your split desire: your hidden conflicts and fears of surrendering into what you say you love and want.
- Dissolve the ‘unholy trinity of the ego’ – the existential foundation of sin, guilt and punishment.
- Open to the presence of self-forgiveness that liberates the cause of so much resistance.
- Overcome your fear of no control.
Module 13: Embracing Emptiness
Whatever You Leave Empty, Grace Can Fill