village at the foot of the monasteryI have been a participant in an excellent ACIM forum for a while, at Acimmonk.com. I strongly recommend anyone studying ACIM to make her or his way over there to meet the monk in person and learn with him for a while. His work has been, and is, an important part of my path.

He recently closed down the forum on his site, and generously offered to make a link on his site to mine (you can find my thoughts on this here). I honour his desire to provide a comfortable place for his whisperers to find a new home, if that is what they wish. I welcome anyone, perhaps many of my old friends, from his site to AcimVillage. I will do my best to provide you with a cosy, structured and useful learning environment, with many bridges back to the Monastery nestled in the hills just up the road.

Of course, nothing will replace the original acimmonk forum. This is a different place, with a different feel, and a different blogger/moderator. But, if we try, perhaps together we can create a learning experience that can be fun and productive and reminds us of that place. I would also like to reassure those people who don’t know me very well that all the pages on this site, as well as my book, have been brought before Ken Wapnick and have received his stamp of approval. While I don’t have as close a relationship with Ken as the monk, we do communicate regularly.

So this is Paulo’s World, a country village surrounded by deep oak and chestnut woods, broad fields of wildflowers and prairie, criss-crossed by stone-wall paths leading to solitary shephard’s huts and quiet sunlit groves; a perfect place for discovery, meditation and rest. Hamlets, collections of small farmers dwellings dot the countryside; each and every door is open, a fire lights the hearth and a warm welcome is extended to everyone who makes his or her way there. Sanctuary is found at every moss-covered stone, at every cobbled pathway turning, under the great chestnut on the north field, or perched on top the stone bridge crossing the river where the water eddies and swirls around its great feet.

In this AcimVillage, we have the great oak that stands in the central village square. Its enormous branches spread out to cover an area wide enough to provide shade on a warm day for many a traveller or tradesman. Water bubbles and trickles from a stone fountain on the eastern side. It is under the oak and by the fountain that wandering monks and sages have traditionally lead conversation with the local people, before setting off again on their way. One monk in particular, living in a small monastery up in the Misty Mountains, descends on occasion from his solitude to buy his rice, tea and other supplies. As he passes through the Village, people wave hello and cheer him on his way. His sacred writings are known far and wide and people love him for his quiet, clear presence.

It is to the Village Square that the townspeople come to exchange views and thoughts on their beloved spiritual philosophy, learning from each other in kindness and wisdom. When their minds have been filled, they retire to the tavern on the western side of the square where they share in social discussion, learning of each other’s events and challenges, happinesses and sometimes sadnesses, too. With a mug or glass in hand, they collect in front of the great Fireplace that dominates the long wall. Benches and chairs are often filled on market day with those who have come from farther away, bringing news of events and views the local people delight in hearing.