Disciples on the ACIM Path

David is interviewed by Karen Bentley.

 

Meet David Hoffmeister

David Hoffmeister is a surprise. The best kind of surprise. Hereís how the surprise works. If, for example, your very first contact with David is by phone, you notice right away that his phone voice has a youthful, earnest quality. But then when you meet David in person you discover heís closer to 50 than to 30. Then thereís the fact that David has the unique ability to express serious topics in a light way, without any melodrama or heaviness. So again, itís a surprise when you meet him in person and discover that heís much taller and more mesomorphic than his lightness suggests. But mostly, itís Davidís dedication to a nomadic lifestyle as roaming ambassador of the Course that is so very unusual and intriguing. He currently conducts informal gatherings for ACIM practitioners all over the world. It all started back in 1991. ďI began to be impelled by the Holy Spirit to travel throughout the United States and Canada, just to let the Voice for God speak through me. I would get prompts to call people. I would go to ACIM groups and people would give me little strips of paper with contact information and say please go visit so and so. Invitations started coming spontaneously. So I just went where prompted."

David points out that his gatherings are more a state of mind than anything else. ďAs I go to the gatherings I have the willingness to show up in mind and to be truly helpful. I have no agenda. No clue what will be asked or if there will even be talking or not. Instead, I make myself available to answer questions and to facilitate the expression of the Holy Spirit, which comes through many people, not just myself. People come from so many different backgrounds, cultures and languages. Sometimes I donít even speak the language. But translators show up, and it seems like the Holy Spirit is orchestrating the whole thing just for me to share this state of joy and peace and happiness. Iím there to join with everyone.Ē

ďThose that show up in my gatherings, are showing up calling for help.Ē Itís typical for David to be asked to address worldly concerns. Maybe the questions have to do with the dropping of bombs, or anti-American protests, or betrayal, or loss. David offers healing to all. ďIn Argentina there is a perception that the economy has collapsed, the children are struggling and dying, the politicians and police are corrupt. There are no stop signs in Argentina, so every intersection is a telepathic encounter. In this setting, when I was speaking the Voice for the Holy Spirit, people were crying. All of the discussions were not intellectual, but you could feel the healing going on. This is typical of all my gatherings. Another gathering in Massachusetts was no different than that. People came. They poured out their hurts and grief about the loss of loved ones, about children in drug rehab, about sickness, about panic attacks, and fear of the future. So I would say that the Holy Spirit is extremely practical and meets every questioner with what could be most helpful. There is no formula. And there is no set answer that can be given across the board because peopleís consciousness and awareness have such a range. But when Iím showing up, I truly show up to be only helpful. And the Spirit flows through me. And I experience joy and so does everyone else in the room. So typically, by the end of the gathering there are lots of hugs and kisses. Sometimes tears. And always a feeling of lightness and joy."

ďEvery encounter I have is a chance to get to know me in the truest sense. What I am always teaching is that there are no private thoughts and no private minds. So the experience that I have when we gather together is of our sameness. That we share the same Spirit. This is a feeling more than a group of concepts. Itís still always an adventure for me to meet myself over and over in many delightful ways. I like the spontaneity of the encounters. I like the sense of innocence that we experience together. I always share in gatherings that there is nothing off limits. This offers a sense of openness that enables everyone to express whatever theyíre feeling in the moment. This is how we know ourselves. We take the lid off all our feelings and emotions. We bare our soul, and we realize we are not judged for baring our soul. People who Iíve met along the way feel like they can talk to me and unburden their soul no matter how shameful they feel about it. Someone could come to me and claim to be a mass murderer, and I would look at them the same way as I would look at an ACIM student. Because we are all innocent, and it feels good to be innocent.Ē

David sees both Jesus and the Course as symbols of Enlightenment or Awakening. ĒEnlightenment is to know thy Self. Itís a State of Mind that never deviates. It does not dip into unhappiness. There is no sorrow with it. There is no pain with it. It is natural. It is present. It has let go of regrets of the past and of all concerns for the future. It is like watching a movie from a State of detachment, knowing that all things are working together for the good. It makes no demands. It has no agenda. It is very childlike. It has a childlike innocence, and it is untouched by errors and mistakes. It is very simple. Many people are always reflecting back to me that I have a childlike sense of wonder. I can look on things with a sense of peace and openness. In terms of practicality, the Holy Spirit gives me what I am to say, where I am to go, and what I am to do. Everything is given to me, and there is nothing to get. So I have no desire to get anything from anyone. And I can see everyone as mySelf. Enlightenment sees no gap. Sees no differences that are meaningful. Enlightenment still looks on the world and sees the world, but makes no attempt to judge that world, and this is what makes it a happy dream rather than what it seemed to be before.Ē

ďThereís no standard day for me. Every day is spontaneous. I feel as if Iím in a State of constant meditation. Practices and rituals have fallen away. I feel as if Iím in a constant State of prayer. There are no prayers for specific instances and events because prayers are included in the constant State that I am. Itís staying in a State of joy, and I let that direct my day. Except for resting the body at night and watching the body during the day, thereís nothing thatís regular in my life. Iíve even let go of the distinction between sleeping dreams and waking dreams because the Holy Spirit has said really theyíre all the same. I just use my stories and parables to be helpful to my brothers and sisters who I see as one with me.Ē

ďItís the desire to know God thatís the most important thing. Itís important to follow the rituals to train your mind, but this need not take many years. I always tell people when theyíre doing the ACIM Workbook to approach each lesson as if itís their final lesson. With such passion that they expect to wake up during that lesson. My approach is based on willingness and passion and not on on frequency of reading the Course or repeatedly doing the lessons year after year.Ē

ďI have drawn a map of the mind, and desire is in the middle. Desire is our altar. Desire is our prayer. Outside of desire is the ring of belief. And this entire cosmos seems to arise from this belief, the belief that itís possible to separate from God. Outside the ring of belief is the ring of thought, and all thoughts arise from one of two belief systems: the egoís and the Holy Spiritís. Outside the ring of thought is the ring of emotion, and there are but two emotions: love and fear. And then we have what we call the perceptual world. And that arises from the emotions we hold and the thoughts we think and the beliefs that guide them. Why did this happen to me? I was able to get to the core, which is the source of all. And I remember a quote from ACIM, which always touched my heart: truth will be returned to your awareness by your desire as it was lost by your desire for something else. When I first read that quote, I knew that I must let my eye be single and come to a single desire, and that everything else would fall into place once I had cleared the altar of my mind.Ē

ďI think as we live in a State of gratitude we remember who we are. Everything that happens is a reflection of our mind, and it feels like my life is a song of gratitude. Iím grateful for miracles. Iím grateful for everything that shows up. Still feeling completely humbled by this glorious Creator that we have to provide such happiness and joy. If I could share just one message, itís that you donít have to give up anything to be Who You are. The ego was the belief in sacrifice. The ego tried to distort the message of Jesus with sacrifice and punishment and penance. But these are not the teachings of our master. The things that seem to require investment in this world are illusions. And there really is no sacrifice in giving up an illusion once you see it for what it is. The pleasures of the world are very transitory. They come and they go. That is the same with pains. They come and they go. But we have a Purpose that brings stability to the mind. That fulfills us. That shows us we are not lacking, and never have been lacking. This is what I appreciate about ACIM.

 David

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