Kenneth Wapnick Memorial Tributes
"From the heart, may it go to the heart."
The following tributes and expressions of gratitude were submitted to the Foundation following the death of Dr. Kenneth Wapnick.
While Kenneth's physical presence is no longer with us, his wise, gentle, and loving spirit will forever remain with the Foundation, and with all those whose lives he touched.
February 22, 1942–December 27, 2013
To our beloved brother Kenneth
Wapnick—The voice for truth.
In love and gratitude to a love that was not of this world.
Invitation to Awakening
There within a dream did a voice appear, disguised as a man who
taught no fear.
A symbol of love, in a loveless world he did walk—one who consistently walked his talk.
Giving freely to all who would listen—nothing withheld from anyone, for all were made welcome.
We were strengthened by the voice that knew no doubt, as he gently showed us our whole way out.
A clarity that could not be claimed or owned—repeatedly pointed
to our only home.
Its source, far beyond the form that expressed Its words, effortlessly done in perfect accord.
Always speaking to the strength within us all, to the one who will inevitably answer the call.
Gently unwinding an ancient tale, only to reveal a resplendent love that could never fail.
He spoke not to bodies, but to the mind that still believes its
He fearlessly led us into the depths of what we had to see, in order to ever truly be free.
He invited us out of our darkened world, as the golden light beyond its borders unfurled.
He taught us what forgiveness is, as he unassumingly demonstrated its kind effects.
He continually reminded us to smile, when all we wanted to do
Lightening up our world, reminding us that we could choose peace instead of this.
Trusting fully. without any concern for when that decision would finally be made.
Knowing its inevitable ending because of where he clearly stood,
As he gently and lovingly invited us all to join him there.
Firm and unrelenting with the teacher of untruth, but never
He cleared away the fog, only to reveal the truth it tried to hide.
Teaching us to Look, and fear not, as the hope of a new world appeared before our tired eyes.
Slowly but surely from the ashes of our despair did forgiveness arise to unfold its wings.
Gently lifting us above the battleground we once believed to be our only home.
His smile spoke of what could not be touched by a world mad by
And in his freedom, were we reminded of our own inherent liberation.
In true humility, did he demonstrate that specialness had no place within his world.
As we saw the cost of our own specialness, were we freed from its ceaseless demands.
Through his love of music he taught us to listen for the melody
hidden between the notes.
He spoke of a nod to God, and a golden thread, helping to free us from our hidden dread.
A resting place for our weary hearts and minds, gently undoing our belief in the world of time.
A journey that would soon have its end—only to find there was never truly a beginning.
As all things come to pass within the world of time—yet does
love live on untouched and unchangeable.
Love, always giving what is needed—always pointing us in the direction of our eternal home.
Never confusing content with the form—knowing that love could never be a body.
In gratitude, we give thanks for this gentle, powerful symbol that lives on in the mind that chose it.
FURTHER, FURTHER, it sings, as its joyous melody gently lifts us up to join with Him.
I first met Dr. Kenneth Wapnick in 1979. I was drawn to, magnetized by, his purity and understanding. In those days, he was shy, proper, and a stutterer. He became my teacher, my mentor and my friend. His generosity of time, thought and wisdom never faltered. What he understood changed my life in every particular. He could, and in the early years, did disagree with me. (He was always right). But he never didn't love me. By seeing who I truly am, he gave me back my innocence.
Indeed, that was on of his gifts to us all—he gave us back our innocence. He will always be with me. I still find myself writing letters to Ken in my head. And I will miss his playful, wise, loving form, while I'm still thinking "illusion." Love always love. And so much gratitude....
There are three people in my life I implicitly trust regarding spiritual matters. These three act in accordance with what they say. There is an internal alignment of thought, word, and deed. Over the last 2S years or so, Ken has exemplified this way of being for me. He is truly instrumental as a guide, helping me move towards that experience of the Light within. He is that light bearer humbly standing on a street corner at night, silently beckoning. All the words a person may say are meaningless if they do not live those words. It is who they are that matters. Ken is this principle. He is the Love which is reflected in Jesus' Course. Yes, he was very good at explaining principles and helping students, but his living example is what will continue to resonate in my heart. He serves as an example to all of us, gently reminding us, "There is another way."
There is a picture of Ken in my cubicle in Boston. When I feel tempted to grasp my ego's hand again and look through a darkened glass on the world, I look at his smile and remember his message, be kind.
"My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness." Dalai Lama XIV
Om shanti, shanti, shanti
The deepest peace to you
How can I express my feelings? I am so sad. Yes, I know there is not death, that the Son of God is free, but I am still sad. Ken was my teacher and my friend. When I had a pressing question, I would write to him and always received an answer immediately! Sometimes they were one liners, often they were laced with humor, but they were always caring and profound! When there was no response to the last letter I wrote in October, I thought that Ken was away on a well deserved vacation, or that my letter was lost. Never did I think: he was ill. When I found that he was, I checked his progress on the web, thinking he was getting better.
It is with heartfelt love and gratitude that I send my condolences to Gloria and their family. Ken will live in the hearts and minds of so very many people he has touched through his teaching, and the volumes of work he has produced throughout the years!
Gratitude to Kenneth Wapnick
My deepest condolences to Kenneth's wife Gloria and her family, as well as to Kenneth's brother Alan and his family, and the Foundation staff. Kenneth was far more than an inspiration to me. Through his example, he showed me what the end result of my journey will be practicing A Course in Miracles. For this I am forever grateful.
Of my remembrances of Ken over the past 24 years, this one is my most treasured.
In the fall of 2012 I asked Ken "What do you really hear me saying?" His answer was: "You are afraid to take the next step and you are terrified of life without Benny" (my husband of 60 years).
Then he added "I will help you."
Later I wrote asking, "Who is the Ken who will help me?"
The following was his reply: "As for the Ken who will help you, who else could be but the Self that we both share? But you knew that, silly. You were just testing me."
With deepest gratitude,
Ken was my teacher, living example of the Course and dear friend. My first experience of Ken was hearing a cassette of "this guy from New York who edited that course" explaining why I'd immediately forget the paragraph in the text that I just read. My last experience of Ken was at the Foundation workshop I attended last year where he once again illuminated the Course's holy trinity: Forgiveness, Love and Joining.
I was overjoyed when the Foundation relocated to Temecula, and I could get my heart and soul refreshed and reawakened in The Oasis of Peace that Ken made the Foundation. I delighted in watching him welcome new and veteran Course students with smiles, hugs, the occasional prank and always loving attentiveness to each of us.
Ken truly brought the Course to life. I sought his help when I was in a desperate heart of darkness period. This was just one of the many conversations we had during that dark time. Through tears I said, "Ken, I feel as if I've painted myself into a corner and can't get out." Ken reflected a moment, and looking at me lovingly with his familiar impish smile said, "You don't have to wait for the paint to dry." I see his smile and feel his love now and always.
I came into this world tired and discouraged. As a very young child, I knew that this had to be a "turn around" lifetime for me. I needed to find some way to get off of this treadmill "wheel" that I had been going around on for a very long time, going nowhere. I asked for Help, and small points of light were there for me, guiding my way. When the Course fell into my lap, I recognized it immediately as my Path. I worked with it on my own for 11 years, moving forward at a snail's pace, but experiencing tremendous fear and resistance. I needed to see a living example of where this Path was taking me. And then this blazing Light/Help appeared, in the form of Ken. I saw Ken as the sanest, kindest, most functional human being I had ever met, and if this was where this Course was taking me, "sign me up!" He told me that I had tried to "make it through" before and had failed, and that this time he was "not going to let me not make it." The only way that I could be with him and not be terrified was when we were doing our music together, along with Phil, in our broken down Tennanah Lake Trio ("1 professional and 2 cripples!"). I became his teacher of notes and rhythm, and he was my Teacher of Truth. And so we worked/played together. For Phil and I who had exposure to the greatest musicians all over the world, our little trio was the most gratifying musical experience of our lives, and for me, totally terrifying! In 1997, I was presented with
the long (15 year) walk through my own personal "valley of the shadow of death." Ken held my hand and helped me every inch of the way, even when I wasn't sure that I wanted his help. If he hadn't been there, I would have self-destructed and never made it through. But with his help, I slowly began to emerge from the darkness that I had been clinging to for lifetimes, realizing that the pain was a choice and my way of saying I'm right, and God is wrong (if here is God, there is no pain). As I slowly became stronger, Ken moved to the side, but always kept his eye on me, encouraging me and guiding me. In these last years, as we had less frequent external contact, he became heavily integrated with my Inner Teacher. I talked to him every day in my mind and felt his continued presence and guidance. Now that his physical body is no longer available, nothing has changed in terms of his Inner Help presence that's with me. If anything, it only feels stronger. But it is a new chapter now. I'm calling it the "riding without the Ken training wheels" classroom. I am committed to using the tools that he gave me in my daily practice of "playing only the notes on the page in front of me," as he counseled me to do. Ken has been, hands own, the most important and influential figure in my dream, and I am eternally grateful. The only way I know to thank him is to "pass it on."
Thank you for all your loving support and advice in thoughts and words through the last 17 years of my life.
Thank you for being such an adorable, respectful and humorous teacher for me. As you so often told me, will always keep listening to ourmusic and its loving meloswill gently guide me to the next chapter in my life.
I will miss you, Ken, but I am glad your work will be continued by others, the staff of the Foundation for A Course in Miracles.
Thank you Ken—for teaching me first through your words—and most especially your example—the meaning of Love not of this world. Thank you for teaching me to question every single reaction/perception that I have—which is the route to learning the Answer to "who is the you living in this world?" Thank you for teaching me how not to confuse symbol with source—and how absolutely everything in the illusion of form—including this body and those of my special love/hate partners I so identify with is one big lie! I don't completely believe it—yet—however in observing every reaction/perception that I become aware of—without judgment—including the judgment of my judgment—I am becoming more mindful—softly and gently—at a pace that I as a dreaming split mind can handle. I'm so grateful that I as a decision making mind—wrote you in my script. The image of the symbol of your face in form—and the content of Love that this represents—will remain in my right mind forever—and will make it easier for me to choose once again when needed.
My ongoing tribute and gratitude to you—which of course is for "me"—is to continue to practice—practice—practice—and to observe without judgment when I don't—remembering to be soft and gentle. I am not a guilty sinner—just too frightened to let go of my identity in form except for holy instants/hours/days at a time—yet—with continued practice—this false identity will let go of me. Thanks to you—I trust that.
I sent my poem a few days ago, but I'm sending it again at your invitation on Facebook yesterday. I appreciate your decision not to hold a public memorial for Ken. I never met him, but watching your YouTube videos of him teaching, and listening to his CDs—the presence he shared through himself has helped me so much! His focus on living this Course uncompromisingly, 100 percent! lets me know I can do it too. Thanks for offering us this way of showing appreciation.
I dedicate this poem to you Ken. Your sure understanding comforted me. Your words will always be a crystal clear wind that blows the smoke of confusion out of my mind.
I never left the peace of God to cross a
What God created shines in perfect unity and bliss.
A moment more I walk the-world in innocence and fun,
Till with a gentle smile illusions melt before the sun.
Thanks for your guidance, humor and your gentle smile.
Ken Wapnick is my most beloved teacher. I love him with my whole heart and soul. I would follow him anywhere he asked me to go. He took me through several seemingly impossible situations to a peace that I didn't think was possible. Without his help, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I could not have done it. For my part, I was totally willing, so he had something to work with.
I will miss many things about Ken the person: the plane rides to Temecula, the smell of La Quinta hotel, the Oreo cookies and green tea in the kitchen at break, walking alone down to the Foundation very early Sunday mornings just to be near him. But most of all, I will miss being in his presence. The love that he radiated was unbelievable; it was not of this world. It was truly a gift to have him as my teacher.
What does his death mean? For me, I see him almost literally in front of and a little above me. He is saying, "Nothing here matters. None of it.
Leave it all behind and come to where I am. It will make you so happy."
When I think of being in his presence-that love-I know the only way to have that again is to go to where he is. And so I continue on the journey that I started with him until one day I know that I am not separate from him.
Thank you, thank you, thank you, Ken. I love you.
After reflecting on what to write to honor Ken Wapnick I have realized that, personally, even though the seminars and workshops I attended are memorable, the most valuable part of his legacy for me is his writings. I cherish this memory of one of my first workshops at Roscoe. It was during the summer of 1992 and I asked Ken, "If God doesn't know about this, why do it?" He answered, quick as a flash, "Good question." He then continued his teaching, leaving me sitting there, questioning further, which I am sure was his intention. Over and above my memories of him teaching in person though is this: Ken's body of work when viewed in its entirety is truly breath-taking. His works should be known as were J.S. Bach's; the "Bach-Gessellschaft," (monument). Ken writings constitute a comprehensive and thorough presentation of the Principles and Metaphysics of A Course in Miracles. They are truly monumental; Ken's great bequest to us.
My favorite is "Absence from Felicity: The Story of Helen Schucman and Her Scribing of A Course in Miracles." It an extremely valuable historical document, because it is (not only for us but for readers for centuries to come), a full-fledged, valid, compelling, accurate genesis of the Course written by one who was deeply involved with Helen Schucman and Bill Thetford in developing the Course for publication.
I look forward to the staff at FACIM offering a chronological list of Ken's books; perhaps even some sort of boxed editions according to subject. Also valuable would be a bound set of his Lighthouse articles.
As I come to terms with Ken unexpected passing I will cherish his writing. In place of my joy at being able to listen to him lecture in person I will re-read and study them in order to broaden my understanding of the Course.
That way I need never miss him.
Notwithstanding a life story as a brilliant author with a prodigious and awe-inspiring literary output, at the time of his death he had a most modest public profile. A unique figure and role model for all who knew him, Dr. Kenneth Wapnick's legacy is not principally for our time.
All who tread this earth, at some level know that the ground we traverse cannot be real. Most of us espouse a belief in a higher reality, and still plod through our lives, paying nominal lip service to a notion that at life's end, we will 'move to a better place.' Ken, as he was known to his students, taught that there is no life's end, as there is no life's beginning. A dream, is a dream, is a dream.
His Teachings were founded on A Course in Miracles. In its own words, a text which purported to be a pathway to Knowledge; in form unique but in content parallel to literally hundreds of true spiritual teachings, any of which if faithfully practised would remove the student from the illusory trap of the physical universe.
For those who knew Ken, his greatest gift was not the brillance of his intellect, nor the depth of his writings. His greatest gift was the love without judgment which flowed through him, at all times, in all situations, for all people—even unto all things. He many times said, quite seriously, "Be kind to the chair." The meaning beneath the words is that love or kindness is a state of mind that simply knows no limitation. The mind of the dreamer is in reality part of the One Mind. This is only completely understood when all judgment is forever surrendered as both meaningless and a noose for the judge.
Over decades, centuries and millennia to come, Ken's gift to humanity will be better understood than it is today. For those of us who wish to embrace it now, we have much work to do.
Dearest teacher Ken,
This looks like my last letter to you in this form. I will miss you a lot and also all our brothers and sisters! But your friendly voice will still surround me as it always has almost every day for the last 17 years when translating most of your workshops in French.
I just finished translating" "Taking the ego lightly" and I believe you are this funny little man whom you are describing with your usual wonderful humor, who is tapping on my shoulder wanting to tell me the funniest joke there is!
"It is a joke to think that time can come to circumvent eternity."
I finally integrated what you were trying to teach me since so long—repeating and repeating with so much patience—and finally all the misery of depression and needless suffering went away for good. This dream became a "happy dream" and a real blessing because of your presence in it. No other teacher was able to succeed in doing it as you did. Your way was without any compromise, as Jesus taught, but it has certainly functioned miraculously for me!
What a relief to live this way!
Your personality was so dimmed, that greatness was radiating through you very easily. Please watch over me until we meet again!
Much love and gratitude from your 82 year old joyful parrot puppet.
See you soon...
Papa is very mad at me. I left the
door open and all the ducks flew to the wintr creek.
They frooz. Papa cut them out of the ice with his ax and I carred
the boy duck. The cow pastur is long and there
are bigsnow piles and not a path. My teeth wer jumping
and it was dark but I could see way in front the kerosun
lantrn in papas hand. I was a hundred miles from crying.
I nevr cryed but that yellow light was like love in the snow.
Ana, age 8, 1939.
Ken's reply" "Perfect love is all there is, everything else is borscht." Is that not a treasure?
Dear Gloria and FACIM staff,
Thank you for inviting our personal tributes in honor of our treasured friend and humble, loving teacher Kenneth Wapnick.
To teach is to demonstrate, and Kenneth was among the finest demonstrations of love in this world. I am grateful for having him as my teacher and friend, even if it was only for a brief two years.
His energetic, and sometimes even frisky vitality was irresistible; love poured, extended, lived through him. We students couldn't help but grin as we'd feel him impishly sneak from behind and deliver a smacker in surprise. We were enamored; he brought us with him from the ego domain, reminding us where we are supposed to be. We were like moths to a flame.
So this is what love looks like. To our dear love: it is you who straightened our path! You who brought us nearer our One True Self. Even in our mistakes you were kind, showing us that it is in our mistakes that we can find our innocence and learn, and grow and "see" and that seeing is not done with our eyes. And mostly, because you forgave them.
Love never changes. It stays the same. Thank you, Kenneth, for reminding us every day, every moment that forgiveness is an earthly form of love. Thank you for remembering for us and teaching us to remember too, what we are in truth.
With utmost gratitude and love,
Years ago, when the Foundation was still in upstate New York, my wife and I stopped by the old FACIM location. That was the first time I met Ken, for just a few minutes. I told him I worked at a Catholic school founded by an order dedicated to Mary. He said to me then something which took years to understand, "Jesus and Mary, really two symbols for the same reality." So when I read and re-read the last Lighthouse essays, I appreciate that like the Course, he led me in spirals, revisiting old lessons with new insights.
In the years that followed I attended a few workshops in Temecula and wrote him every other month or so. In his responses he taught me to call him "friend." He saw that I needed to do that before I recognized it myself. And slowly I recognized that any advice he ever gave me was just a rewording of something in the Course.
I know what it feels like here in St. Louis to know Ken is not with us as he was. I cannot imagine what it feels like there. He was such a good friend and so much fun. If there was anyone who ever taught me not to take myself so seriously by smiling at it all, it was Ken. I'm pretty grateful for that lesson, learning not to make the mistake real. As I look back over his notes and remember his comments, my tears turn to smiles. Every day I hear him say, "Keep it simple, Jim." Okay, then, Ken—thanks for all. That should be simple enough.
On that day it was my 36th birthday, and I was sitting with my fellow from the translators' team of A Course in Miracles, Martin Karlícek, and the typographic designer of the Czech version of the Course, Jarda Svoboda, in my new flat I moved in just a week ago. Martin was showing us his photos from the ACIM Translators' Gathering and from our journey to the United States. Me and Martin were telling Jarda about our experience from America because he was the "alternate candidate" for our trip who should have travelled instead of one of us in case anything unexpected happened (but as he doesn't like travelling he was quite happy to stay at home after all). We ended up speaking about Ken whom I, Martin, Karel and PK immortalized on many photos in Tiburon. As usual we were thinking about his surname which in the Old Czech meant "limestone" and which is up to now commonly used in Slavonic languages in Eastern Europe as a family name or a city, village or castle name. Already before our gathering in Tiburon we considered Ken to be a descendant of our fellow countrymen and we haven't been far from the truth–in Tiburon Ken told me that his family probably came from Wapnik, a small town in Poland which is only a few kilometers far from the historical town Königsberg, the birthplace of Immanuel Kant. (Ken himself was well acquainted with our part of Europe; during his lecture in Tiburon I was pleased by the fact that he knew that Sigmund Freud was born in our country, in today's Czech Republic, in the town named Príbor.)
Unlike some of my friends who had known Ken's books and listened to his lectures before, I knew Ken only as a "man on the other end of the line" who was answering dozens and dozens of my questions concerning the meaning nuances of the individual phrases in the Course. Later on we spoke about that on the board of the boat Empress, and I was pleased by Ken saying: "I remember your questions. They were clever. I realized that you are the right guy to do this job." There was one more thing which we had in common and which we spoke about. I don't know why but it just happens that if the Holy Spirit wants to send me a friend He sends me an Italian, thanks to which I have a special relationship to the Italians. One morning during breakfast in Tiburon I told this to Isabella Popani, and Ken who happened to be passing by leaned down, smiled and said: "I have it like that, too!", and he hugged his Italian wife Gloria.
I watched Ken from the beginning of our visit to Tiburon and I have to say: the main genuineness of his healing love was in something else than in his words (which surprised me because I knew he is a psychologist and a teacher who usually heal with words). Ken's love was in touching. During the few days in Tiburon I was watching dozens and dozens of cases when Ken approached someone and touched them; he usually put his arm around their shoulders, hugged them or took them by hand. I felt that the Holy Spirit is healing people through Ken's touches. I personally felt that during my "touching encounters" with Ken all my mental blocks were falling from me and I was getting closer and closer to myself. I experienced the last holy encounter of this kind on the board of Empress, and after that I felt all mental blocks falling from me which partly manifested itself by a burst in tears which some of you who were there maybe saw. It was also my last encounter with Ken.
Thank you, Ken, for your hands.
When I was first introduced to the Course, I knew it was mine though, really, I had no idea what it said. Enter Kenneth Wapnick and the Foundation for A Course in Miracles in Roscoe, New York. Here it was explained to me. I went to New York, I visited California. I listened to tapes and CDs. Slowly I got it. And, yes, it was still mine, even as I grasped exactly what it says. Then Ken's teaching seemed to become more practical: he told us how to do it. This is how you practice this course in your daily life. This is how you forgive. "Yes, I hear what you are saying, Ken. Thanks for the information and I am so glad to know what to do. I'll do it tomorrow."
Well, tomorrow finally became today. I did practice periodically. Now it is different. There was something about his form disappearing that felt like a kick out of the womb directly to adulthood. Now. Now, I must do this. The presence of this teacher, this guide is not at my side anymore and it is time to do this. No fooling around. I'm left without a visible crutch and I must now stand with an invisible pillar beside me. "The time is now and we will carry this forward, Ken, with your continued thoughts. We will practice. We will forgive each instant and then forgive again, trusting this process you helped us understand. And we will do it with gratitude and a light spirit. That is what we will do. Thank you."
Thank you for collecting our tributes to Ken.
I addressed Ken as "My Beloved Papa" and signed off as "Dear" when I wrote him because it was the most respectful way I could address him in my letters and it also reflected our spiritual parent/child relationship. Ken was a spiritual father figure to many, so in no way am I saying he was exclusively my Papa, rather if s the most accurate way of describing his role in my life. Thank you for understanding. Below is my submission:
My Beloved Papa,
Every day, and every minute of every day, you are in my heart.
You cannot die when I demonstrate that you did not die.
Your wisdom and Love are the steady glowing Lights that lead my heart Home.
You left a beautiful peaceful clear path Home for all of us to follow.
No worries ... I won't lose my way Home because I have your and Jesus' invisible Hand in mine.
Whatever the story has in store for us next, you can rest assured that I know that you know that I know it's only a story. Love is all there IS.
I haven't forgotten my math either.
You are a miracle worker, a living work of art, and an integral part of all that is good in my heart.
You raised me up so high at times Heaven held me in Its breath.
You will always be My Beloved Papa, my symbol of God's Love for me.
There are no endings in Love ... (smile!)
As I am reading other ACIM students' tributes to Ken I find that what they have written about him also reflects what I have individually experienced and received from him. And isn't this what we are trying to learn as ACIM students? That we are all One; and therefore all of us are fully and equally deserving of the Love that was so freely passed around by Ken.
Ken, thank you so very much for being our beloved teacher. Without your crystal clear clarity I would not have understood the depth and importance of the Course (and of course I am still learning). I feel so lucky that I have attended one of your week end workshops, and was personally able to feel and experience your never wavering gentleness, and kindness. And your constant reminder not to forget to laugh.
I still feel deeply sad that Ken is no longer in this illusion, and I am no longer able to listen to him on a new YouTube, and perhaps receive a warm, loving hug at another workshop in Temecula. But this is not what Ken would want; so eventually I will have to let go of the sadness but not the gratitude that I feel for this beloved teacher.
I wish you (eternal) peace—from above the battleground.
I have been and still am processing the shock of hearing about Ken's death. Being sad and depressed is not what he would want and not what he taught, so I understand the ego has convinced me I'm a body that has lost another body. I wrote a long tribute, but now have condensed it to essentials. Therefore, here it is:
I have always thought that Ken's mission was to be a beacon of consistency; to keep the Course's message clear and unwavering. No matter how students try to shape it to the ego's needs, he always calls us back to the path. When my own picture becomes cloudy, I can listen to a workshop recording and be pulled instantly back into focus. My tribute to Ken will be to keep doing the daily work, despite resistance and following his example, to grow up.
I understand why you are not having a public memorial and appreciate the chance to offer my thoughts and condolences in this way.
Remembering Ken Wapnick
O' hear the song of Heaven
A symphony of grace~
The universe is singing
Vibrations dance through space~
The veil of sleep is raised now
The drama now is done~
The journey home has ended
A journey not begun~
O' hear the song of Heaven
All innocence remembered
The Miracle is here~
Dear Miraculous Musings Community,
Many of us know by now that Kenneth Wapnick, a leader in the ACIM community, passed away this week. There are many prominent individuals in the ACIM community whose body of work we admire and respect. For us, Ken Wapnick brought with him over the years, the very "heart and soul" of the course. We feel deep gratitude for his inspirational presence and work on the planet as a loving brother in Christ.
To honor Ken's life is to demonstrate A Course in Miracles principles in our everyday lives. We will continue to do so and ask that you join with us as we move forward on this journey.
Love and Blessings,
My beloved wise brother Kenneth, thank you for being my physical teacher in this life. You have been my mother, father, brother, sister, counselor and mentor. You have shown me guidance, kindness, compassion and love. You gave me more than I could ever express in words. I am overwhelming grateful to you. I could not have done the last 20 years without your assistance. appreciate all the advice and support you gave me. You grew me up in a way that I could not have possibly imagined. I will remember you and always love you and keep you in my heart and mind for eternity. Thank you for bringing the Course alive for me and so many others. May our Father the Lord thy God keep you and hold you in His arms. The world loves you and appreciates everything that you have given. We have learned well from you and now it is time that we demonstrate our ability to be right minded. You live on through our thoughts, words and actions and I am so grateful to share your wisdom with all my brothers and sisters. Love your little sister.
I wanted to express my condolences to the family and staff at the Foundation, as well as the thousands of Course students around the world, upon the transition of our dear friend Ken Wapnick.
He was a true teacher of God and my spiritual mentor for many years. After my first meeting with Ken, I began to write him and he always replied; we exchanged well over a hundred letters. Ken was so kind and he never forgot to send regards to my wife, Candace, whom he had also met; he'd often remind us to tickle each other and to laugh.
I still have Ken's books and audios to school me in Course wisdom and right- mindedness. Ken was the voice of the Course for me, and others, and he is forever alive in our minds and hearts.
I am blessed to have known such a gifted teacher; he taught me that forgiveness IS our purpose until we all awaken into the Heart of God, and our dream of separation ends.
Thank you, Ken, for being an advanced teacher, and having completed your work, gently laying your body down, as another act of spiritual awakening. You continue to teach us all to give up our ego-fears and accept our true identity as Love.
Dear, Dear Ken,
Thank you so very much for being such a brilliant, loving, compassionate, authentic, funny, and amazing Teacher for us all! I never had a chance to meet you in person, unfortunately, but after having listened to many of your wonderful lessons from the Academy on CD, I almost feel as if your spirit is sitting on my shoulder whispering sweet reminders in my ear as I go about the day. "Rhonda, please remember to make it about them!" "Hey, what are you doing ... again? How about creating a Community of Love wherever you go!? That's where it's at!" "Really now, Rhonda, you're not worrying about that again?!! Enough already, really! :) It's getting boring! Remember you can always choose peace instead of that and I guarantee that you'll experience more Joy!"
Ken, your brilliance, humility, and infinite generosity knock my socks off and inspire me so very much! You really understand A Course in Miracles and are so incredibly patient as a Teacher of God. You've written so many books, recorded so many talks, and answered so many questions that we all ask of you ... and as a great Teacher, you are always so clear, so real, infinitely patient, compassionate, and funny. I love your sense of humor! You harmonize so well with our barriers and do everything possible to get us to understand this amazing course that is so simple and yet so difficult for us. You have devoted your life to sharing with us your very great gift of understanding, and I am forever grateful to you! Thank you for tutoring us so skillfully, so lovingly and so patiently! My hope and prayer is that as a classroom teacher, I might inspire my students at least a tiny bit as well as you've inspired and continue to inspire me and us! Thank you, thank you, thank you!
I send you my loving prayers and heartfelt thanks, Ken, as you continue on in your mysterious and amazing journey! Thank you so very much for all of the love, understanding, patience, and intelligence with which you've shared your amazing life experience and your lifework with us! We're all going home together, for sure, and thanks to your fine tutoring. we're going to get there faster than predicted! :)
With much love and heartfelt thanks,
Tribute to Ken Wapnick
Within the confusion we believe we live in, Ken Wapnick represented a powerful light in the darkness, a lighthouse that unequivocally guided us to the truth; that guidance did not come from him, but was within him and masterfully we all sensed it, since it is our universal heritage. We hope the light of Ken will continue pointing the way, even after his physical disappearance. Now we feel a loss. It is paradoxical that his absence seems to provoke such tremendous desolation.
The constant teacher that he is corrects me sweetly and lovingly, telling me gently but with great emotion that I am not sad because his vibrant figure has disappeared; I'm feeling [sad] because part of my desire to be special has died. His death reminds me of my belief in my own, but only he who believes he can die dies. My wrong mind serves now to point toward the light and I see more than ever the futility of the dream.
We all admired the prodigy that Helen Schucman was, by performing the purest channeling ever known of Jesus (the Christ Mind). No one can obliterate the fact that without Bill Thetford, Helen would not have been able to take down A Course in Miracles. It was without a doubt a joint venture of love and perfect joining in the mind. However, we would not have known the Course without the intervention of Ken Wapnick and finally of Judith Skutch. A perfect synapse developed among the four of them, which extended the message of forgiveness capable of redeeming humanity from the dream of oblivion.
Kenneth Wapnick continues to be The Voice of the Course, motivating us to choose once again, to understand it in its authentic dimension and voluntarily forgo our special desire, our insanity, our illusion, our lie, to regain our innocence and acknowledge the error.
Finally, the message of the first teacher of God from A Course in Miracles is: Forgiveness does not aim at keeping time, but at its ending, when it has no use. Its purpose ended, it is gone. And where it once held seeming sway is now restored the function God established for His Son in full awareness. Time can set no end to its fulfillment nor its changelessness. "There is no death because the living share the function their Creator gave to them. Life's function cannot be to die. It must be life's extension, that it be as one forever and forever, without end.
And what a joyous thing it is to dwell a little while in such a happy place! Nor can it be forgot, in such a world, it [is] a little while till timelessness comes quietly to take the place of time. God says there is no death; your judgment sees but death as the inevitable end of life. God's Word assures you that He loves the world; your judgment says it is unlovable. Who is right? For one of you is wrong. It must be so. Teach not that I died in vain. Teach rather that I did not die by demonstrating that I live in you."
Ken had a profound influence on my life. It is because of him that I became a committed student of the Course and remained so for the last twenty years.
I am deeply grateful for Ken's lifetime of dedication to teaching the Course. He was an exceptional and brilliant teacher. Without him, I would not have been able to understand the Course—or expand my understanding over the years. I am so thankful that the recordings of his workshops and academies allow his words, wisdom and wonderful sense of humor to remain available to current and future Course students.
From the moment I met Ken, I assumed a totally unjustified familiarity. Upon reflection, it was very funny. Part of me kept waiting for him to say, leave me alone stranger! Aside from classes, I wrote letters and called. I did manage to limit the phone calls, but I think I may have sent hundreds of letters!
Thank you for this opportunity to express my eternal gratitude to my dear teacher. He opened my eyes, told me where to look, and helped me see. For the rest of my life I hope to offer nothing but the smile he never failed to offer me. I love you Ken.
Ken was an amazing man, he had a way of inspiring others and a great sense of humor. I only met Gloria and Ken once and found them both to be so welcoming and cheerful. I am very grateful to Ken for his dedication and for all the work of the foundation.
We didn't have the opportunity to meet Kenneth in person, but we'd like to acknowledge his contribution in helping us to better understand the message of ACIM through his Lighthouse newsletters and several of his many books. He will continue to be an inspiration on our spiritual path.
Thank you Ken. I cannot begin to express my gratitude for the teaching tools you have provided and without them I believe I would not understand A Course in Miracles at all. With them I may really be able to live it. Thank you for this lesson in forgiveness and for the lessons you continue to teach.
Thank you to Gloria and everyone at the Foundation, I can't imagine the what you are going through and my heart goes out to all of you and all of us.
In early September I was listening to one of Ken's tapes and I heard him say I must get in touch with my unforgiveness of Jesus and with this course. I thought I didn't have any and then I wondered what unforgiveness I had of Ken. A few days later I saw the announcement regarding his illness and wham! I knew this was it. Thank you. I am still bring my thoughts back to "God is not fear but Love". And trying to really look at this.
I was concerned; at first; that I wasn't overtly emotional and more upset a hearing Ken had passed away. And then I said to my husband that any grief I have would be for purely selfish (ego) reasons. Not that I haven't cried since then it is just that I know if I am sad it because of some need I think I have to have filled. A need that doesn't give a damn about anyone else. I continue to try to look with Jesus at my attraction to death and hope to truly understand this lesson some day.
I am saddened that I will never meet Ken. As I would have liked to feel the peace and gentle laughter many have spoken about. Alas it is not to be. I am still planning to visit the Foundation when I am able to and I am also continuing to download and purchase many of Ken's teaching aids. I want to be a reflection of that peace and to show that he did not die by demonstrating that he lives in me.
Something that brings a smile to me every time I think I have. a question I would like to ask Ken; I find myself asking them and then hearing Ken give a little laugh and saying are you kidding me? Didn't you get the part about the joke? Or some other response the reminds there is only one question and one Answer. Thank you I will have this as one of my own tools that I will use whenever needed.
Thank you Helen and Bill for all you have done for all of us.
With love and kindness,
TO SEE WITHOUT JUDGEMENT
I woke up from my dream about the
And in my awakening I recognized your face,
my brother. Without judgment.
I woke up from my dream about my
And in my peace I recognized your face,
my brother. With love.
I woke up from my dream about time.
And in my freedom I recognized your face,
my brother. As one.
I woke up from my dream.
And in forgiveness I recognized your face,
I wrote this poem for Kenneth in the winter 2012—2013. I had just started my translation of "What It Says", and I felt very grateful and happy after a long period of depression and confusion.
Kenneth will remain our guide and companion on our journey through A Course in Miracles. Through his any books and articles he will continue to inspire us, through our translation work and studies he will make us understand. We are forever grateful and humble. His generosity and sense of humour will be deeply missed.
Tribute to Kenneth Wapnick
The first time I heard Ken speak was at a conference in the early eighties. I remember that I left the gathering feeling dismayed—Ken had addressed some fundamental misconceptions about the course that went around at the time, all of which I held! It felt as if he had taken "my course" away from me.
It was through his books and recordings that I eventually reconnected with Ken. After waiting in vain for him to come to Europe to teach a class, I traveled to Temecula and told him: "If the mountain doesn't come to Mohammed, Mohammed goes to the mountain!" He laughed and gave me a wonderful hug, the first one of many.
On another occasion—after a week-long class—I left the room with other people waiting for a final "Ken hug." When it was my turn, I told him how bad I felt that I kept getting it wrong with my practicing of the course. Ken quickly took me aside, held my arms, looked in my eyes and impressed on me: "But Frans, that was the whole point of this week, not to feel guilty!" And everything fell into place for me.
Ken and I shared a love for classical music. When I asked him last year for advice on a course-class that I had started teaching in Belgium, he replied: "First give them Stockhausen, then Mozart." I knew exactly what to do.
Ken Wapnick, a dear, dear friend, a great teacher, a "mentsh."*
*I checked the spelling of "mentsh." In German it is "Mensch" of course, but this is the Jiddish spelling, according to sources I checked. Thank you.
YOU TAKE MY BREATH AWAY
You take my breath away and place a song
within my heart.
The melos seems to say we will never be apart.
You tell me time does not exist and surely this is so,
How or why I do not care I do not need to know.
You take my breath away, the child within
The tune I know is soft and slow, a song without beginning.
I hear the beauty of your thoughts, whose words have set the music,
a tone so full of peace and grace with love if you but choose it.
You take my breath away, the man within has
with outstretched arms he lifts the child, who now is just a vision.
A man whose heart is full of love and generous of Spirit,
Who shares the song within my heart because he placed it in it.
You take my breath away, as we travel on
We share the Spirit and our song and journey up the ladder.
Spirit now, our song is sung; we made it home where we are One.
He kept His promise to His Son. You~Take~My~Breath~Away.
It is with great gratitude and humility that I send you this simple poem as a thank you to Ken. It is also to Gloria and to the Foundation staff. I am not a poet but I do know that Ken loved poems and I loved Ken. He saved me thousands of years. His death was heartbreaking. Although I miss him, in my soul I feel him with me. My gratitude to him, and to you all, is immeasurable.
A few weeks after Ken died I noticed that the symbol of dance kept showing up in my so called life. The symbol was stirring something kind within me. I felt it but it was escaping me in my choice for sadness. Then I was listening to a classical music station when a piece of music titled "Invitation to the Dance" by Carl Maria von Weber (1819) came on the radio. I listened with the intention of understanding the symbol. This piece helped me bridge that gap where I was feeling lost and separated from Ken. It filled me with great joy and hope. My heart was dancing with Ken and I was delighted. I truly felt in that moment that Ken would dance us through our ego fears helping us take them lightly if we would simply be his partner in the dance. If we let him lead. The symbols have been a comfort so I wanted to share them. With love,
An Invitation to the Dance
He will dance us Home I promise
If we let him lead the way.
He will dance us Home together.
We can feel him in the quiet
We can sense him; He's the Song.
He was never ours for holding
His dance is only meant to share.
Ken was my spiritual teacher in "the forgiveness of the dream." Although I did not have the chance to meet him, I am familiar of his work about A Course in Miracles. This helped me to assimilate many ideas and shortened "the time of my wandering."
Four years ago, I asked him about "a tiny mad idea," I had at that period. His answer in my letter ended as follows: "So take heart, my friend, and continue your journey to the union of your self with your Self." I continue, my teacher, the journey as you encouraged me to do. My gratitude, you are sharing LOVE with all.
I would be honored to add my voice to the many tributes to Kenneth. I was so sad to learn of Ken's transition as I had always hoped to one day soon make my way to Temecula and meet him in person; now there is no need to travel to "converse" with him in spirit, but I am sad to have missed my opportunity to look into his eyes and take his hand in mine.
What I want to say about Ken is that he truly lived the teachings. I know this because he took the time to personally respond to each and every letter I sent him over the years, despite what I know must have been a grueling schedule and nearly infinite responsibilities to all the other many people who reached out to him. Yet, Ken not only responded to my letters, he even offered to read my book and give me feedback on it—a person he had never met and owed nothing to, nor had any thing to gain from. He took the time to connect; he made himself available—something I have experienced in literally no other person of his stature in the world of "spiritual teachers." So I say, Ken was the genuine article—he walked the walk. He is free now from physical constraints and I sense his joy. I am both delighted for him, and bereft for myself and for all of us who remain behind to do our best to carry forward the work of living the teachings of the Course. I say thank you, Ken, and God bless your legacy and may it thrive.
Dear Students and Admirers of Ken,
What I am so thankful for, and will miss the most is Ken's work and dedication to the Course, and the prolific writings, books, & lectures which created a body of information, that will never be matched in this world again.
His calling, understanding and interpretation was deepened by his close and personal relationship with Helen, which he so gracefully shared with us. He will be missed by course student, until we Collapse this universe, and are all re-united in the Atonement! I can't wait to hug him again!
A very thankful Student who was blessed to be taught in person, by such a learned, great and important Teacher!
His work truly changed my life and mind-set. I think he may have shaved a few "thousands years off" (Chpt. 1- sect. "—Parg 6, Line 6)
The first time I interviewed you one-an-one at the foundation, you took both my hands in yours and simply met my eyes. For the first time in my life, I felt truly forgiven, aligned with your absolute certainty of my innocence. And I somehow knew beyond all shadows of doubt and the blur of tears that this awareness was all I really wanted to know and learn to offer everyone and everything. Thank you, Ken! Without having known you, I would not have the growing trust that 1 will reach this unwavering certainty when I'm ready.
You always seemed to effortlessly embody the presence of our loving-to-all inner teacher, who sees only our uninterrupted union. The Introduction to the second half of A Course in Miracles' workbook refers to the "gracious guidance" of the Holy Spirit/right mind. For me, you externally personified that gracious Guide. You were the most generous person I have ever encountered, treating each and everyone of us like a long, lost friend, graciously giving the gentle, boundless treasure of your full attention; whenever when we believed we needed it. Listening for the real call for love beyond the words of whatever struggle with practicing forgiveness we'd dreamed up, and responding consistently, in every circumstance and without a moment's hesitation, with love and complete acceptance. In whatever form we could best recognize it through the haze of our fear.
The last few years you kept urging us to stop justifying and indulging our abundant resistance to this Course, to simply focus on forgiveness now and kindness for all. "Stop with the baby business!" you often said, quoting your little grandson. Realize every moment offers an opportunity to root myself more deeply in this hell of a dream or take another step toward awakening. I learned, and continue to learn from you, that even though I'm not ready to accept I'm not a body, I can decide right now which inner teacher I want to listen to. I can decide right now to challenge, as you advised, every unkind thought. To remember. regardless of how real whatever seems to be happening seems, that I am never upset for the reason I think and could choose and experience peace right now. The rest will follow!
Since you passed, as the waves of sadness ebb and flow and I ask to look at them with you, I somehow feel your present presence more strongly than ever. Every word I ever heard you speak seems right here, right now. "Well, where would I go?" I can hear you saying. And I have to smile, too. Reluctantly at times, but still, I can't seem to hold on to my sorrow for too long because I surprisingly find you right here with me (us), your teaching now endlessly available within, as it always really was. I can't really bemoan your lack of presence in form when your true presence continues to provide moment-to-moment, palpable evidence to the contrary.
As I sit here staring at the folder on my desk filled with ever-accumulating questions I've been collecting for our future interviews, I realize with so much gratitude that you've really given us all the answers, even though I'd much prefer to still hear them in your voice one more time. What I feel most now is the enduring gift of your faith in me (us) to really live this work. A faith I don't always feel in myself. Recalling you as I practice forgiveness throughout my day. your faith feels contagious.
You often told us to trust that the process that led us this far won't fail us now—the happy ending to all our stories is sure! Our teacher remains alive and well within. As you said during the August 2012 Academy: "It's an insane idea to think we can lose what we love." You remain here, right now, in our hearts and in our work. Your gentle smile and all you have taught us instantly available for consultation as we quicken our steps in our journey home to the place we never really left. Where all dreams of guilt are gone and love for all still abides.
The time has come
I've answered your questions,
I've held your hand,
why keep pretending
you don't understand?
You know what is kind,
you know what is not,
why keep pretending
you just forgot?
You know what is false,
you know what is real.
the time has come
to live this and heal.
With never-ending love and gratitude,
While on one level I feel the loss of Ken's presence; his teachings and spirit are with me always and are very dear to me. As the Course says:
"Awareness of dreaming is the real function of God's teachers."
I believe Ken was ready to awaken from the dream and for that I am joyous.
In deep appreciation and love,
It was with shock and deep sadness that I learned of Kenneth's passing.
It "SEEMS" that he left this dream far too early, but we are not here to judge the path nor the form of another's salvation. This I have learned from THE COURSE.
I was planning a trip to California to attend one of Kenneth's Academy courses and to delight once again in his mentoring in person. Although I am regretful that this cannot be, I am most happy that I have the opportunity to attend his classes daily on my CDs of the entire COURSE.
Synchronicity led me to the Foundation for A Course in Miracles and I am deeply and eternally grateful that Kenneth is my external teacher. I believe he is most likely the ONLY mentor that truly grasps and practices what THE COURSE is really imparting to the student.
Kenneth remarked a couple of times that A COURSE IN MIRACLES contains reflections of the highest forms of Buddhism. I recently re-read (after almost 50 years!!) Hermann Hesse's "Siddhartha." Siddhartha crosses "the river" to a higher expression of Reality guided by the "ferryman" whom he ultimately embodies.
Kenneth is my "ferryman."
In profound gratitude,
Ken was my teacher and my friend. I shall miss his physical presence but I am eternally grateful for finding A Course in Miracles through a workshop in Akumal, Mexico that he gave several decades ago. It has transformed my life and influenced my work as a Marriage and Family therapist, tribute-author and teacher. Peace has become my only goal.
My condolences to Gloria, who was my teacher as well.
A Teacher, A Friend:
I fell in love with Ken. Wapnick in the fall of 1991 through his workshops on tape. Immediately, I became addicted to his humor and confident teaching style along with the message of the Course. In an ironic twist of fate, perhaps because I enjoyed our special relationship too much. to jeopardize it, I would not meet him in person until his last workshop this past summer of 2013. From the beginning, I have had a whole list of "Kenism's" that remain with me and have provided me with insight, smiles and even laughter at the most poignant of times. My favorite being, "I'm telling you, you LOVE IT." I find that most helpful in the midst of drama. and, when I am taking myself too seriously, "You aren't doing anything anyway." And when I am feeling stuck in the mud because my resistance is strong, "Red it again" from one of his teachers. And, when my ego is going insane about this silliness or that... "Why do you want to fight with a puppet, it's only a puppet." He showed us through his love, his brilliance, humility, and kindness that we are loved and thankfully he did not bend in the interpretation of ACIM, for "it says what it says...." In gratitude, to the teacher who filled my life with help to a new way of seeing, as well as being a bright light when all seemed lost. Ken, we thank you,,,and I will "get on with it."
I have often said that Dr. Wapnick is the only reason that I understand a word of The Course. My husband Chad and I had the privilege of coming to the Foundation in Temecula in August of 2009. The first thing that I remember upon walking in the door was Dr. Wapnick bouncing around the room joking with everyone and hugging everyone. While we were registering, I remember him making eye contact with us as while he was speaking to a group of people, acknowledging our presence there. He knew all that was going on in that room and was watching who was arriving while, interestingly enough giving the person he was talking to his full attention.
This was particularly heart warming, because I have a history of being with teachers who are very remote and cut off from their students, ushered in and out without speaking with anyone. To see Dr. Wapnick so engaged and available was really touching. There was no fanfare or big announcements. He walked up to the podium and for the next three days, unraveled mysteries of The Course that I had never even come close to understanding. His energy and focus never wavered. His commitment to The Course and what it says was 100 percent. His enthusiasm was contagious. It made me want to be a more dedicated student of The Course.
Before the event was over, Chad and I had a quick moment with him. It was short, sweet and very kind. Of course, it included a loving hug. I asked him to sign the book Absence of Felicity and he gave a rather embarrassed look before writing: "To Brian and Chad with Love and Peace, Ken."
Dr. Wapnick's passing has reignited my interest and commitment to following The Course. I am grateful to him and to The Foundation for so thoughtfully and carefully recording his seminars and events. He did the work of three lifetimes in one and I consider myself very lucky to be his student as I make my way slowly up the ladder to greet him once again.
In Love and gratitude,
Some twenty-seven years ago, I was fortunate enough to be led to A Course in Miracles and over the space of about eighteen months, I devoured the Text, followed the 365 lessons in the Workbook and finally read the Manual. Since then, it has been the guiding spiritual influence in my life.
But only a mere six weeks ago, did I discover Absence from Felicity and the work of Dr Kenneth Wapnick. Then in December, in the midst of reading this remarkable book I learned he'd slipped away home on the 27th of that very month. So, alas, I will not be able to tell him in person how much I value the honesty and clarity of his insight. Nor let him know the gratitude I feel for his integrity and sensitivity, his faithfulness and his clear and loving vision.
My heartfelt sympathy goes to his family and friends because he will, without doubt, be deeply missed. But the love and wisdom that emanates so strongly from his written work will continue as long as we have a need for words. His contribution to the spiritual growth of those of us on the planet now, and indeed those to come, is incalculable.
With love and light and all blessings,
My thoughts are with you! Please see below what 1 like to express to Ken, and all of you.
Ken, you have been the sane part of my mind. To me ... You saved my life! I hear you say "What life?!" I am eternally grateful for your gift you have given to the Sonship. I now return that to others and with that .. I am awakening.
I am also thankful that I could tell you this in person when I met you in person last year in November 2012.
Remembering Ken Wapnick
A Teacher of God and of A Course in Miracles, Ken Wapnick was "here only to be truly helpful." (T- 2.V.18:2)
Working ceaselessly in service to Truth, he amassed a truly amazing volume of clear Course teachings, making understandable any passage that might seem puzzling to students. His clear and consistent teachings exposed the working of the ego's thought system. Ken elucidated the profound Course statement "I am never upset for the reason I think" (W-5). No matter what may seem to be the "cause" of my upset (something said or done by another or some seemingly external occurrence); whenever I am upset, it is always because I have chosen in the "now" moment to set aside the Peace of God, the Oneness of the Sonship. I am upset because I have chosen to see myself as separate from my brother (in whatever form he may seem to have taken in that moment).
Ken helped Course students with the daily living of Course principles when interacting with others. He stressed the importance of kindness in all situations. And to help overcome an ego-centric view when relating to others, Ken suggested a concept he called "making it about them"— considering the needs and viewpoint of the seemingly "other" person, rather than acting or reacting from the needs and desires of one's own ego- self Ken always "made it about others," not himself, turning no one away who asked him for help and literally embracing everyone who attended his classes or entered his life.
The first time I met Ken (around 2008), we had traveled to Atlanta to attend his workshop and arrived at the conference hall somewhat early. As I approached the classroom, a man seated near the entrance in deep conversation with several people close to him, arose quickly, upon seeing me, to give me a welcoming hug, as if I were a family member or close friend. As I walked away, I thought—who was that man? And then I realized it was Ken Wapnick, a Teacher of God who left no one out and embraced everyone.
He gave the "last full measure of devotion" to Truth. In the days before his transition, Ken insisted that he was not dying. And, of course, he was not dying and could not die because, as he made so clear in his week-long academy class on "death and dying," the body cannot die since it never lives— and more importantly— he was not the body. Ken's life and teachings rest on the firm foundation of the Course principle:
"Spirit am I, a holy Son of God, free of all limits, safe and healed and whole, free to forgive, and free to save the world." (W-97.7:2)
So, although we feel sad at Ken's passing from our earthly sight, we also feel blessed and uplifted by his loving presence in Spirit that cannot be taken from us. We can feel his love with us (the joint Love of the Sonship) and know that we are one with him in Mind/Spirit, His victory is our victory, and we honor him most by living the Holy Spirit's teaching that he exemplified.
Now, my eulogy for Ken, my life-long friend:
If I am a soothsayer and full of that soothsaying spirit which wanders on a high ridge between two seas, wandering like a heavy cloud between past and future, an enemy of all sultry plains and all that is weary and can neither die nor live—in its dark bosom prepared for lightning and the redemptive flash, pregnant with lightning bolts that say Yes and laugh. Yes, soothsaying lightning bolts—blessed is he who is thus pregnant! And verily, long must he hang on the mountains like a dark cloud who shall one day kindle the light of the future: Oh, how should I not lust after eternity and after the nuptial ring of rings, the ring of recurrence?.... For I love you, O Eternity. For I love you, O Eternity! From The Seven Seals or: The Yes and Amen Song, again by F. Nietzsche (Thus Spake Zarathustra, Third Part, p. 340, The Portable Nietzsche , Walter Kauffman, trans.).
Perhaps Helen's poem "With Thanks" sums up our feelings of gratitude for the loving influence Ken still has on our lives today:
"No one can know just what his part will
When God from little lights completes a star
From what we give to Him. Each is unseen
Until the other parts from near and far
Are joined by Him into a form that He
can use to light the darkness....."
Peace be to us all.
And finally, there is "a period of achievement." It is here that learning is consolidated. Now what was seen as merely shadows before become solid gains, to be counted on in all "emergencies" as well as tranquil times. Indeed, the tranquility is their result; the outcome of honest learning, consistency of thought and full transfer. This is the stage of real peace, for here is Heaven's state fully reflected. From here, the way to Heaven is open and easy. In fact, it is here. Who would "go" anywhere, if peace of mind is already complete? And who would seek to change tranquility for something more desirable? What could be more desirable than this? (M-4.I.A.8)
When my long time pal Florian and I decided to sign up for the week long academy in August 2012, we made a great choice. As it turned out, it was the only workshop taught by Ken Wapnick I could attend. Nevertheless Ken and I had become what I would call "close" in a series of typed and mailed letters (no unspiritual emails here ), which were sent back and forth since April 2012. The experiences at the workshop and the ongoing, constant contact to Ken after it led me to think about applying for a leave of absence the first time about one year ago to spend a year in Temecula. I wanted to learn, laugh and be around my "personal Parmenides" (as I sometimes call him) for a longer, continuous time, "bother" him (as we called it) on a daily basis. One thing led to another, and when I finally in February 2013 was ready to make another phone call and tell Ken "yes, I will be coming in September 2013, let's do this," he replied: "That's wunderbar, Andi! Don't change your mind! Don't change your mind!"
I didn't. The first time it took me a couple of seconds after having found out about his cancer just a couple of days before my departing in September. The second time, when I woke up to return after a 3 week—Christmas break at home in Germany and saw 6 messages on my cell about Ken's passing, it didn't take one anymore. "Don't change your mind!" "My" teacher has taught me well.
Now, there is work to do. Work which won't always be "pleasant," but never will be hard, given all the help that is provided and the purpose of these efforts. I'm looking forward to being back in Temecula, meeting the people there again, being around the Foundation. Of course I will miss the chance to "see" Ken Wapnick there in person, in his body with his trademark smile and hugs, to get crazy about "our" beloved Greeks, tease and tickle each other. But at the same time there will be no lack of him, since the "he" that he really was, was and is not dying.
If there is any time or date for this, it might be this one. On my "second anniversary" with the Course I express in this form my deepest gratitude, my happiness, and my love for and to Ken Wapnick. What is behind this form here needs not to be expressed, because it cannot. It is known and does neither have a date nor a name. He has achieved everything that the quote above speaks about. Last but not least, to show all of us who knew, know and will know him, that we are able to achieve the same. In complete accordance with the Course he totally had become one with. Talking about true "intimacy," which is the title of one of his outstanding workshops. All that is left to do, is accept his teaching, the Course's teaching for ourselves to stop "with the baby business," as Ken called it many times. Simple, but not easy. There is a "period of unsettling," then there is one of "achievement." It does not have to be in that order, since there is no linear time, but it is highly probable that we just can't skip or gloss over the unsettling part to directly hurl into a state of constant peace of mind. Yet, achieving the latter is doable. Ken did it, and if one thing is certain in this world: he was not "special".
It is great to have known you (PRESENT perfect), mein lieber Freund!
And, yes: I got it.
A Tribute to Dr. Kenneth Wapnick
In 1980, I felt led to A Course in Miracles, and believed that it would provide meaning for me, in what seemed to be a meaningless existence. Having purchased the books however, I was mystified as to what it was saying. It just seemed like a lot of Christian mumbo jumbo.\In Vancouver Canada, at that time, I discovered that the minister of the Unity church at that time, was also studying the Course, and hoped he might help in my understanding. In one of their meetings, I met a woman who said that she was planning on a trip to Bellevue, Washington, for a workshop on the Course, and the main speaker was Dr. Kenneth Wapnick. And even though I couldn't go at that time myself, I asked her that if they did tape the workshop, would she purchase a set of tapes for me. Which she did, and I later got and listened to.
Over and over again in that workshop Kenneth stressed how the Course was not on becoming more spiritual, but on learning how to forgive.
In the next year or two, both Ken and Gloria, gave a workshop in Burnaby (a suburb of Vancouver) on the Course. I attended and was touched by Ken's devotion to the Course and also to his wife, Gloria.
As I had done the Workbook lessons in 1981, and while studying the text as well, I began to think that this was not going to work for me, because my husband showed absolutely no interest in the Course. He did not mind me doing it, but just did not want to be involved in it himself. It was then that I wrote to Ken about my problem: Below is part of his response to me:
I think I can answer almost all of your questions by pointing out the problem is confusing our famous two levels. Since there is no world out there in form, there can be no person out there either. Everything we perceive and experience in the physical world is nothing but a dreamlike projection of what is only within our minds, just as when we dream we understand on awakening that none of the events in the dream was "real." Thus it would make no sense for us to practice forgiveness with another person physically present in our lives, since again there <is> no person physically present). What it does mean, however, is that within the illusion of relationships involving the body, we must change our mind because it is in the physical relationship that our mind is stuck. Whether a person is physically present in our lives or not is irrelevant, since it is the <thought> of the person that is the issue, and it is that thought that needs to be changed.
So, Martha, you do not have to be in an "actual" relationship with someone to practice forgiveness. Your husband's not being interested in the Course of anything spiritual is hardly relevant to your practicing the Course, except in the sense that his non-interest would probably make him the ideal learning partner for you, so that you can learn the difference between form and content; i.e., spirituality has nothing whatsoever to do with form, but with an attitude of joining. And for you that attitude needs only be changed within <your> mind, because for you there is nothing else.
On one level the Course was written for Helen and Bill, to help them heal their relationship, and it is helpful to remember that context as one reads the material. However, the relationship that had to be healed existed within the mis-perceptions that existed within their individual minds; once healed, they would remember that their minds were indeed not individual at all. The "joint collaboration," however, ultimately does not require the conscious joining of two people, for this would merely make one person's salvation dependent on the decision made by another, which of course is directly counter to the whole thinking of the Course.
On a deeper level, the fact that your husband is your husband is an expression of his having joined with you to learn lessons, whether he is conscious of this or not. Thus, his conscious collaboration is totally unnecessary for your Atonement path, because remember he does not exist outside of your mind anyway. That is why a student of the Course has to keep in mind the integration of the two levels. Also, a holy relationship is not an entity, but a process whereby an individual (in the context of a perceived relationship) invites the Holy Spirit's help to heal his or her mind.
That and other letters he wrote to me, truly helped me, and I still treasure them.
In 2001, along with a friend, I attended the 25th Anniversary of the Course's coming out in Anaheim, California. We sat directly behind Kenneth and Gloria. Kenneth was one of the main speakers, for that week-end. Once again, as I had been almost 20 years before, I was moved by Ken's devotion to the Course, and to his wife Gloria. It was wonderful to observe.
No one else has helped me in sticking with the Course and it's teachings, as much as Ken has, and I am truly grateful for this kind and loving man and for all he gave, and taught.
Appreciating the closeness of a dear teacher in the Oneness of Spirit.
Thoughts conveyed of a higher leading, received and held in mind, expressed through a teaching model, are limitless. In their sharing, they are magnified exponentially.
Kenneth (affectionately thought of as "Ken") was and is such a teaching model. Rather like the metaphor of a comet that leaves a trail of light, such is his effect as a teacher, an earthly brother and friend, a way-shower, a manifest example of vision attained through a willingness to allow and follow a higher leading. His charitable, bold clarity offered his fellow students an adjunct pronouncement of ACIM teachings, helping us to not only see but to contrast our meaningless projections of self-assigned "guilt" as an invented, fearful, transparent identity against the Truth of our Inheritance as the extension of Perfect Innocence immutable, free from fear's chaotic script and returned to the quiet, radiant calm of inner Peace.
The reflection we knew as "Ken" cannot be "gone" from any of us when what he represented and shared remains as an extending integrated awareness, the gift of an ongoing teaching presence being one of content rather than "form". I recognize that the one we identified as "Ken" entered into awareness in a teaching "form" in answer to a mindful (though perhaps unrecognized) call for help.
I happened on a quote a long while back: "When you have come to the edge of all the light that you know and are about to step into the darkness of the unknown ... Faith is believing that one of two things will happen—That there will be something solid to stand on—Or, you will be taught how to fly." Twenty-two years ago, I found myself teetering on that very edge trying to find some kind of "balance;" and ACIM and Ken all but dropped into my lap!
I would say that Ken was so beautiful—a beauty that you could feel with your heart, as he gave you compassion, acceptance and hope. I will miss him so much and love him forever, although it seems that everything that made him what he was, that made him so beautiful was his knowledge of the sameness of everything.
I am thankful to Ken for teaching us the real meaning of ACIM and for showing us the gentleness, the patience and the love of the right mind.
I once said to him that I didn't know how to thank him for all his help in turning my life around, in turning myself around—he said the way I am is thanks enough. It seems that would be the best way to thank him and share his beautiful gift and blessing with all the others in our lives.
Over the years, I have written you so many letters asking for your help with life's classrooms. Even though most of my letters didn't come easily to me, you always encouraged me to continue with the effort. I am so grateful I did. Now, I really need your encouragement once again to write this tribute to you, because I'm certain I don't have it in me to do it alone.
When I reflect upon on our early years, I wasn't quite sure what to do with you, as you were like no one I'd ever known. So, 1 did what any healthy ego would do—I tried to argue with you, to prove you wrong, and to push you away. I was continually met by your firm, but loving, defenselessness. Of course, this just upped my ego's ante, but my antics had no effect upon you. You continued to demonstrate pure and unconditional love towards me in ways that I had never experienced. Your consistent and non-judgmental manner— whenever I took what you called a "detour"— was unwavering, You helped me learn to forgive myself of my past and to understand that my "sins" were just mistakes. You stood strong by my side, as I waded into the deep end of the pool of special relationships. In so doing, you taught me how to heal one of my most difficult relationships—the one with my Mother. As our roles have reversed over time, I can truly love her, thanks to your teachings and guidance.
As my teacher, you embodied everything you taught in A Course in Miracles. You demonstrated through your words, by your actions, and by your very essence that there is indeed. another way to live in this world, peacefully, and the Course offers that way. Even in your. death, you continue to teach me that I can interpret such a loss differently. Your death is a classroom for me to team that You were never your body, but, a reflection of love in this world that my mind translated into a body; and, we have only been, and continue to be, communicating at the level of the mind. I wish I could report that I have learned that lesson, but, as of today, I have not. Kenneth, I miss your hugs, your voice, your smile, and your physical presence in my life. In time, I trust that the love I feel in my heart for you and the love that you feel for me will lessen the pain of my perceived loss. The most I can promise you, at this point, is I will continue to do the work with the goal to experience that shift.
My unending gratitude extends not only to you, but, to your, wife, Gloria. The dedication and commitment you both have had for the Course seemed to even transcend the love you have for each other. Without Gloria's foresight in creating the Foundation as a vehicle for your teaching, I, as well as your many, many other students would not be the beneficiaries of your wisdom and love. In addition, the support and tireless devotion of the Foundation Staff have helped to make all of this possible.
Kenneth, I will never, ever forget you. How can I? You will always remain in my heart and mind. My final tribute to you will be to "teach that you did not die in vain, but to teach rather that you did not die by demonstrating that you live in me." To do this, I will need your help to choose differently; I have no doubt that you will. be there for me... as my teacher, my friend. As in our brief past, all I have to do is just ask.
In gratitude and love,
"How many teachers of God are needed to save the world? The answer to this question is—one. One wholly perfect teacher, whose learning is complete, suffices." (Manual for teachers, p. 31.)
This was Kenneth Wapnick.
What are the characteristics of God's teachers? Trust, Honesty, Tolerance, Gentleness, Joy, Defenselessness, Generosity, Patience, Faithfulness, Open-mindedness. (Manual for teachers, pgs 9-16)
This was Kenneth Wapnick.
A student of the Course for 30 years, I was still somewhat confounded until I went to hear Ken at an academy class. I left everyday with joy because I understood every word he said. "the light in one awakens it in all." (T-21.I.10:6) When watching him at the recess come up behind his wife Gloria and put his arms around her and lean his head on her shoulder, God came rushing into my heart with gratitude for this example of his love. I know in my heart that he was carried home on peaceful wings of love
Thank You Kenneth
Although we never met
I know you more each day
Through every moment spent
In loving grace with Him.
A thousand suns do shine
On every word you made
That light my way up to
The One we share as kin.
Please find hereby my tribute to Kenneth Wapnick.
My thoughts are with you all in this challenging period and I thank you for keeping up the good work! Loving Godspeed as you continue on the way Ken so beautifully showed us. Meanwhile, I keep swimming and hiking to Temecula. I look forward to meeting you all.
To my beloved Music Magister,
I wish you sweet conducting in Heaven. Thank you for teaching me how to hear that joyous melody in my brother's Heart.
Farewell, dear Gandalf! Enjoy the white shores of that far green country under a swift sunrise.
Dear Gloria and FACIM staff,
We feel blessed to have known Kenneth as our physical world teacher and appreciative of all the many kind words of wisdom he spoke and wrote to us in counsel as ACIM students together. Ken's kindness and encouragement have and still are a cherished resource to us. We are greatly appreciative of having him as our trusted teacher since my (Alice) first meeting him and Gloria in 2005 in Alexandria, Virginia. Every occasion after that whenever he presented on the east coast we attended his talks in Philadelphia, Atlanta and multiple times at A.R.E. in Virginia Beach.
Ken's sage tutelage still continues for me (Alice) as now an inner gentle voice (with an occasional stutter) that I hear assisting our shared inner Teacher. I feel blessed to have him as a trusted inner teacher and counsel who has joined with the Voice that has never been apart from. God and speaks for Truth. Ken's great skill at encouraging us to look at the ego together with The Holy Spirit/Jesus in order to recognize its insanity and unreality has greatly helped me become less invested in its delusions. His encouragement to look but not let it deceive us further has been immensely Help fun. As an artist Ken's analogies from classical literature, music, the visual arts and theater sang to me as my song of prayer.
We both greatly admire and appreciate Kenneth's unwavering dedication through his prolific writings and video talks that are now a great legacy for all ACIM students. May we all see peace instead of this as our Lesson 34 reminder to see beyond the veils of ego illusion and worldly distractions to find the Reality of Spirit as Our own.
My earthly teacher in the illusion was Ken Wapnick but in reality he IS a Holy Son of God aka the Christ, but he never pretended to be the "Christ" or special or claim to know it all, even though he did. I wept when I heard of his passing because I did so love him and all the Academy's and absorbing the knowledge that emanated as he spewed forth non-dual reality that washed over me like a healing balm. The Academy class last March 2013 "Weeding Our Garden" gently led me to finally, finally forgive George W. Bush! I will post his expert guidance that led to the experience on my blog www.innerpeaceforyou.me shortly. I know there is no death really but still I feel sorry for myself because he is longer teaching in the illusion but I am happy for him that he is not. Our youngest son died suddenly three months before Ken. I like to think that perhaps he now has Ken's wonderful company and guidance because before his death, the Course lessons were being sent to him daily, by me, so his Mind began to grasp them. Now his Holy Mind can follow Ken, The Teacher who will lead him the rest of the way Home ..... where he/we are and have always been.
Dear Foundation for A Course in Miracles Staff,
It's not even close. In terms of positive influence, no one comes close to the influence that Ken Wapnick had in my life. Of all the people whose paths intersected with mine, Ken Wapnick's influence was in another league entirely. It was if Jesus walked the earth again.
When I first met Ken, I shook my head. How could such a man really exist? I'm still shaking my head. He did exist. And, fortunately, he exists still, within all our hearts.
In wonderment and thanksgiving,
Tribute to Kenneth Wapnick
I have listened to many of Ken's recorded workshops and talks, and I have read most of his books; But I only met him once in person at an Academy Course in Roscoe in August 2000. Three aspects of Ken's vocation stood out for me:
In all of Ken's writings and teachings there was no ego interference. In a disciplined, enormously erudite and intelligent manner, he faithfully dedicated himself to facilitating our understanding of Jesus' course. He never succumbed to being commercial, or to promoting himself. He just taught what the Course said, without personal embellishment, and his notes and commentaries always rang true.
Ken loved Helen's poems. He invariably read and quoted from the Gifts of God. For me, this was a living witness to his joining with Helen, inviting her to accompany us as we studied and practiced what she had brought into the world.
I loved Ken's sense of humor which was always near the surface during his talks. On my visit to Roscoe, I remember the Foundation had laid on some ice cream for our final dinner. I was standing in line waiting to be served, and I happened to mention to Ken how much I enjoyed ice cream. "No, Clive," he replied. "The ice cream is not there to be eaten. We're just going to look at it without judgment." His humor was always fun and, above all, gentle.
Ken was a light shining in the dream. Forgiveness and love flowed through him. He truly lived the course. Jesus did not die in vain. Ken demonstrated that he did not die by showing us that Jesus' thought system of resurrection lived in him. Joy and gratitude are what I place at his altar of tribute.
Thank you, Ken, for not passing us by. For as long as we chose to continue in the dream your work will be a lighthouse, guiding us home.
"We thank you, Father, for the light that shines forever in Ken. And we honor it, because You share it with us. We are one, united in this light and one with You, at peace with all creation and with ourselves." (W-pll.239.3)
Through the gate of unbelief
I no longer see any thought that springs from the ego-mind (always an expression of separation) as what it pretends to say, but as an opportunity-an invitation-to start seeing things differently. I now see such thoughts as gates that I can pass through by joining with the Holy Spirit. Thus, they change from horrible, closed, scary gates of fear and sadness into open gates, passageways to the Light of God's Love.
As the Course says:
The Holy Spirit can use all that you give to Him for your salvation. But He cannot use what you withhold, for He cannot take it from you without your willingness. (T-25.VIII.l:1-2)
Thus, when I first heard the news that Ken passed away, I encountered rock-hard unbelief: "What!! !???" It was a colossal wall of "unbelief," and I crashed into it very hard ... and bounced back. But when I got back on my feet, and carefully looked at it, I also saw a gate in that wall, and thus a possible passageway through it. The word "UNBELIEF" was written on the gate in large letters. And because I had decided to no longer believe in closed gates, but only in open gates, and don't want to hold anything back anymore, so that I believe in possibilities and opportunities, I saw this gate, with the word "UNBELIEF" on it, as an invitation. I decided to go through it, guided by "Trust," symbolized for me by Jesus and now also by Ken. And I stepped right through the gate, which had now become transparent. Effortlessly. And in this way, I could step through all the stages of unbelief-sadness, anger, distrust, missing him-safely holding the hand of Jesus, who had shown me time and again that, by turning around all the emotions I was feeling at any given time, in reality nothing has happened. And with every step, the unbelief and the sadness changed into pure Love and a Happiness that cannot be described with words. And I now find that the way in which Ken left the earthly stage "fit" the "unbelief" that it evoked in me, which is exactly what he taught us via the Course:
Teach not that I died in vain. Teach rather that I did not die by demonstrating that I live in you. (T-ll. VI. 7:3-4)
By going through the gate of "unbelief" in complete Trust, holding hands with Jesus and Ken, I find myself once again with Belief and a new certainty that there is no death, that the idea of death of a body is but a tiny, mad idea that offers me the opportunity to make a choice between either making this idea real by believing in bodies that can die, or seeing the idea of death as a gate through which I can forgive this idea by joining with Jesus. And hence go right through the door by forgiving this idea, right through the experience of unbelief, sadness, etc., and to emerge on the other side where there IS only gratitude and Love. That is the incomparable gift that Ken gives us for eternity. And in this way, he lives on... unchanging, through me and anyone who makes this same choice:
Nothing real can be threatened.
Nothing unreal exists.
Herein lies the peace cf God.
Dear Dr. Ken
We know you are Happy and Laughing on this only Mind of ours, maybe with a sense of gratitude of a great productive " life " on this bad dream of ours. That certainty brings me peace!
But I wanted to go back a few years and tell you, what kind of relationship I had with You living in Brazil and studying A Course in Miracles.
I bought the book over the internet in English based only on my intuition and a few quotes I read on other peoples books regarding the Course. I understood somewhat the Introduction for A Course in Miracles and read the whole book without understanding almost anything at all. But the Light was so strong that I kept at it until finish.
And I only started to understand what it means better after I was introduced to you and your teachings back in 2002. Since then I read your books and heard your seminars hundreds of times. Since you need to have a clear my to really understand what you meant years back. And I still do just that! Hearing now Waking with Angels and Community of Love two of your latest very loving Seminars.
You kept pushing me along the" stages of development of trust " all the way to where I am at now and you keep doing just that.
You might imagine how much I understand your Mind, your personality and soul in a detail. You have been my closest friend through out all these years. Then I meet you in a seminar in 2011 and you kept helping me with all of your lovely letters. With Lillian Paes we have that project of bringing your work to Brazil in Portuguese, which will happen one day.
Dr. Ken when I heard you had moved to this new vibration of yours I must confess I was very sad for several days. I would have to communicate with my best friend through some other way.
And now your Voice and the Voice of the Holy Spirit are the same Voice for me. It made me realize that I have been hearing the Voice of the Holy Spirit all along.
Mine and whole humanity Gratitude and Love for You are Total. God bless You my good friend and father Ken!
In 1992, I took a group of students to Hararit, a small settlement in the Galilee, for a ACIM retreat. In a place full of plants and forests we came upon Ortho Netofa, a place that was built in July 1967 by Jacob, the monk.
We were walking up the top of the mountain when we saw Ortho. We went inside taking a few steps down into the cave. There was Jacob, the monk, with his beautiful blue eyes, and a smile full of light. We asked if we could pray in this place. He asked who we were, and wanted to know more. I told him that we were students of ACIM. "Oh!" He said " Ken Wapnick was here with me, before he left for the Course."
I had met Ken months before this meeting and now I was wondering could it be a coincidence that we had arrived at this place?
Ken had worked with us, the Hebrew team, and it was such a deep and life changing experience for us all. He did not remember much of his Hebrew, but yes, he knew the difference between Shechina and Ruach- Ha-kodesh, the two terms used for the Holy Spirit in Hebrew.
Ken's precision with the Hebrew translation made us all good students, not only for ACIM, but also for life itself. Ken's life project continues to follow every student of the Course in Israel. The wisdom of the Course was translated into Ken's words and understanding. His way has become our way, in which we walk with gratitude.
I can still see this picture from the translators meeting in Tiburon:
Ken is jumping from one person to another for a greeting, a hug, with laughter, kind words, love, at all times. He seemed to be recognizing each and every one of us.
I was looking at it with amazement. Suddenly I knew. Ken was seeing everyone as Christ.
He was greeting Christ. Thank You Ken for the Love and Light that you are spreading in the World.
Dear Judy and Whit,
I just heard the sad news that Kenneth's worldly journey has ended. I can only begin to know how devastating this must be for both of you whose very close friend Ken has been from the beginning of the Course. My heart goes out to both of you and Gloria and I wish that I had the right words that would console you. I and all the translators are deeply grateful for the meeting you arranged in October last year where we had the chance to meet Ken. It was such a happy time and will stay with me forever in fond memories. Kenneth's work with A Course in Miracles was a formidable task, as are his books and tapes. Thank God we still have them to turn to and hear his dear voice–which I do practically daily. But like you said in your message: let's not mourn that his body is not any more with us, but let us be grateful that he spread the word and Truth about our souls that will go on forever.
With much Love,
Tribute to Dr. Kenneth Wapnick
On August 18th 1980 I set down the glass containing my last drink. Within a month I was opening the Text of A Course in Miracles for the first time. The Foundation for Inner Peace in Tiburon, CA had sent me the 7th printing, 3-volume set, free of charge after I wrote them a letter describing my somewhat desperate circumstances while expressing a sincere interest in the Course described in a Psychology Today article. I was at that time what you would call a reluctant Buddhist having studied and tried many other belief systems finding them all too easy to discredit and discount. Buddhism was going to have to suffice, that is, until I began to read the Course. As soon as I read the words of the Course I recognized it was telling me what I already knew but could never clearly comprehend nor express. My spiritual path from that point on was directed solely by A Course in Miracles and the AA program.
I began following Ken's guidance a short time later. The first seminar taught by Ken I attended was at Edgar Cayce's Association for Research and Enlightenment in Virginia Beach in the summer of 1984. I continued to attend his seminars during the summers in Roscoe, NY and since retiring from Ithaca College, I've made two trips to Temecula and am looking forward to another academy class there in March. I own and have studied every book Ken has written. I've also been receiving The Lighthouse newsletter since its inception and have kept them all. So from the start, my Course in Miracles curriculum has been integrated with Ken's teaching and guidance.
If he were to read this he would say emphatically, "Fred, it's not about you and it's not about me. It's not about the details. It's not about the form. It's all about the content, the melos behind the form. Stop with the baby business!" As he stated in his recent publication, When 2+2=5 "A Course in Miracles is no different from any other book. All that is important is the Voice reflected in the blue book. The Voice, not the form, is the only meaningful factor." Also, as Ken pointed out in the December 2013 Lighthouse newsletter, " .. .it may be helpful to have an external teacher as a temporary stand-in for the real One as long as such a person is at least "slightly ahead" of the pupil. Such a help may indeed be almost mandatory in helping students discern the true Voice from the false one." Ken fulfilled this role with near perfection for many thousands of students. He taught kindness by example. He was my one and only Course in Miracles teacher and although I didn't spend very much time with him personally, I know he wouldn't mind me calling him a true friend. Ken knew the Love that is the Source of the material we studied together. Thus he was able to point us toward that Love, that Truth, so effectively. I'll never be able to thank Ken adequately for all the gifts he gave. I will remember him always with pure gratitude.
Thank you, Foundation for ACIM staff, for the opportunity to share this: My tribute to Kenneth Wapnick
Kenneth Wapnick is for me that expression of perfect clarity and lucid awareness that is really within me. When I was in his presence at a workshop, my experience was of this amazing lucidity and awakeness. All the clouds of confusion and obscuration simply dispersed, dissipated and completely disappeared. The same occurred and still occurs when I listen to him on a CD or a DVD, but now it has been dawning upon me, since his death in physical form, that the clarity is in me. I resonated to his clarity, because his clarity and insight and awakeness is really my own inner truth.
I am in the process of increasingly embracing that truth of clarity and lucidity within my own mind and heart. It actually still frightens me to accept that responsibility for clarity in myself, but Ken is now really even more with me, because of his being gone in form. He always brought it back to those he spoke to, to be the light of this path, primarily by being willing to be utterly honest with myself, look at every dark thought and feeling and bring it to the light of Christ within myself. He always emphasized that Jesus never demands we be perfect. Rather he wants us to be honest and look without guilt or judgment at what we've placed as blocks to Love's presence. What else needs forgiveness but the obstacles and illusions I've raised as barriers to Love? What else am I here for but:
Manual For Teachers, Page 61: "Do not despair then because of limitations. It is not your function to escape from them, but not to be without them." Don't deny what you feel. Just don't justify them.
Text, Page 355: "Trust not your good intentions ... concentrate only on this (the minds little willingness) and be not disturbed by the shadows around it. That is why you came."
This, and also his emphasis that the teaching and practice of the Course is never about changing the world or healing the body, but of healing our mind of the one sickness known as our belief in tithe unholy trinity of sin, guilt and fear," that are Ken's ongoing gifts to me. He is very alive in my heart and in my mind, "a child, a man and a spirit" (as one of Helen's poetic birthday presents lovingly honoring Ken expresses) of beauty, blessing, honesty and gentle loving humor and kindness. He was unequivocal when it came to explaining the truth of what the Course is really saying, and he was equally as accepting of other's interpretations and paths.
Something I wrote a while back about Jesus and the Course, goes equally well for expressing my love and gratitude for Ken:
"I am struck by seeing how accessible the Course is and gentle its approach, meeting us where we believe we are—in the duality of "me" and "other" and "me" and "everything else." Krishnamurti always spoke as from "the top of the ladder" and, like Advaita Vedanta, you either "get it" or not. With ACIM you are led in a blessed learning process to where learning and process have no reality. I feel such delicious gratefulness for Jesus being with me (and for Ken for being his and the Course's living embodiment) showing me that he and I are no different and that he and I and everyone is the one ego in illusion and the one Son of God, Christ, in reality. With him comes infinite clarity, patience, kindness; non-judgment, encouragement, forgiveness and love. What more could I ask for?
"Really and truly, what more could I ask for?"
Respectfully and lovingly,
Dear Gloria and Foundation Staff,
I just wanted to write a note to all of you to thank you for your dedication and teaching of the Course, along with Ken, these past 20 years of my life.
I was also deeply saddened by Ken's death and will miss his comforting presence in the world dream. But I know that this is also an opportunity to continue to develop my trust in the Love within me and my Self, aside from my ego's need for a specific presence of love in this world, which Ken certainly was for me.
The Course and all of your teaching and classes have helped me enormously in my life and to own my own mind in the process. Although I have some bumps and setbacks along the way and some fear of going further, I carry on.
I am deeply grateful for the time I spent at the Foundation in New York State and for your commitment, honesty and support in helping me learn the Course and its' application to my personal life.
Thank you for this.
Tribute to Ken
Ken has been the most important and influential person I have had in my life the last 20 years or so.
I have always had the utmost trust and respect for him more than anyone else I have met in my lifetime.
Ken taught me so much it is difficult to even describe all of this.
From him, I have learned to be aware of my ego and to look at it all without so much judgment and fear. I have also learned I indeed have a right mind and to trust in this more. Ken's loving, kind and encouraging presence in my life has allowed me to trust more in the Loving Presence within me and confirmed for me that I am truly a mind, who can choose how I want to see this world, myself and the seeming darkness of things within and without.
Through the Course and Ken's teaching I have more peace and have at least partially let go of unforgiveness in many relationships. The Course and Ken's wisdom has truly helped me understand the nature of the world, that I always felt deeply inside and to have hope in the midst of challenges, increasing my faith that there is another way of being in this lifetime.
While I am still on a journey with all that I have learned and integrated, I remain deeply grateful for Ken's teaching of the Course and his abiding presence in my life. The best way to thank him truly seems to be to trust in the inner Love more and more and to demonstrate this in my life as much as possible.
Linda and I were truly heartbroken at the hearing of Kenneth's passing.
I want you to know that Kenneth was in our hearts every day while he was on this earth and he will continue to be for all time.
Knowing and meeting the both of you has been one of our life's most beautiful highlights.
I don't know what else to say other than I love you both and always will.
My Rock Star.
My first personal contact with Kenneth occurred sometime around 1993.
Having been introduced to A Course in Miracles circa 1987, I had fallen in love with its content and was concerned that perhaps I would say something inaccurate about what this book was teaching.
Because of this fear, I sent Kenneth a letter asking if there was some kind of "accreditation" that one could get with A Course in Miracles so that one would be less likely to say something contrary to its teachings.
Within a week of my mailing I received back from Kenneth a letter kindly informing me that such a certificate did not exist and that he wished me blessings on my journey with A Course in Miracles.
I was so excited to get the letter back from him that I did not care about the fact that there was no accreditation provided for A Course in Miracles. I was delighted because for me Kenneth was my Rock Star, and to just have something tangible from him even if it was only a letter, felt good.
After getting his response I continued my study with A Course in Miracles, while at the same time I virtually read every book Kenneth wrote and listen to every audio tape he produced. I even got the chance to attend a couple of his workshops in Roscoe NY with my sister Linda. I recall being captivated with the man, so much so, that it took every nerve I had just to say hello to him in person—remember he was my Rock Star.
Over time, as I continued to listen to Kenneth speak about what A Course in Miracles was saying, I decided that I would produce a documentary about the nature of Love and human relationships and I knew I would want Kenneth to be a part of it.
So I sent him another letter.
I was having lunch with my sister a few weeks later when my cell phone rang and it was Kenneth at the other end. He simply introduced himself with what I found to be his beautiful mild stutter and said, "Hello Rick, this is Kenneth Wapnick, I received your letter," needless to say I was beside myself with excitement.
When Kenneth agreed to be part of my film, I remember thinking that many would want him to be involved in their projects as well, and so I asked him why he agreed to be part of mine. Again, with a simplicity that seemed to permeate his entire being he easily told me that it seemed like the natural thing to do.
For some reason, I didn't ask him to explain further.
As the film progressed I found it a bit amusing that all those being interviewed wanted a list of questions beforehand, yet when I asked Kenneth if he wished me to email him a list of questions he replied gently, "No that is not necessary, but you can send them to me if you would like to." I should have anticipated his response because for Kenneth there were no questions about Love or human relationships of which he was not prepared to shed light on.
During the post-production period of the film, I was able to join for breakfast Gloria and Kenneth at the Mount Kisco Diner in Westchester county NY. As I entered this crowded diner with my Rock Star and his wife, it seemed odd to me that no one there was aware of whom I had just walked in with.
Yes, Kenneth was an unassuming man and anyone reading this tribute likely knows enough about specialness to understand that the lack of applause as Kenneth entered the diner with me was exactly the way he would have preferred it.
When my film Love's Journey was completed, Kenneth agreed to be part of my anticipated next film, which ironically was about death and dying. Unfortunately I never got to film him for it and I feel slightly haunted by this seeming miss-step.
In Kenneth's workshop on Death & Dying during a question and answer period, a lady commented that she was worried about the day that Kenneth would one day die, and I suspect that she was expressing a fear many of us felt.
Kenneth's lovely response was to remind her that he had simply become a symbol of Love to her and that one-day when he exits this world, another symbol of love will take his place.
Indeed Kenneth was a symbol of Love to many of us and like A Course in Miracles, the presence of love that one would experience anytime we were near him was palpable.
I'm not ashamed to say that I cried privately about Kenneth's passing. To me, he was the third spoke of the trinity that consisted of Helen Schucman and Bill Thetford. He helped me to understand A Course in Miracles in a way that would have likely taken many years longer to have done so without him.
I loved this man and dare I say it, but I feel special to have known him. Love indeed is expressed in many forms and for me; Kenneth was just that. He was Love reflected here in this world and I will carry the warmth of his light for the rest of my days.
Now that you are free and we here to mourn our loss we can only think of you with deep gratitude for illuminating the path so brightly, so succinctly and so beautifully.
Remembering so fondly on our visits to Temecula (far fewer than I would have liked) your kindness and patience in generously offering your wisdom for our many questions as we attempted to decipher the Course. And lest we get too serious about it, there were always jokes and a little teasing to lighten up our silly consternation. (And who could forget the "blue dot!")
As you have now-assumedly-joined again with Helen and Bill, in our limited way we think of you enjoying the freedom, reveling in the reunion and continuing to shine the light for the rest of us.
We join your family in sending love, admiration and deep appreciation for who you have been in our lives. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
So much love
I only met you once during an Academy class in Temecula but from my heart, I miss you. I will miss the manifestation of your presence.
I was not ready for the Course in 1992 when a friend put the book in my hands. I was raised in the Catholic faith and abandoned that in favor of the non-duality teachings of Krishnamurti. I let "him" go in the late 90's because I needed structure. In 2006, I chose again. The workbook lessons of the Course provided the structure I needed plus it integrated my familiarity of Jesus from Catholicism. The Course has been the focus of my spiritual practice but not the only influence since then.
I will miss what I've received while reading, listening to and watching what you understood, have experienced and forgiven from your journey with the Course.
With sincere and deep gratitude for your demonstration of the Course principles.
I was moved to reach out to you in your time of mourning the apparent loss of your beloved husband, Kenneth. Without any doubt, you are not alone in your seeming loss. I, among so many brothers and sisters who have been guided and inspired by Ken, mourn along side you.
I believe it was some time in 2005 when I "found" Ken, after I once again picked up my study of ACIM. From that point on he became the most important Spiritual Teacher/ Mentor of my life. I feel deeply blessed to have had his Light shining in my dream since then. I am grateful beyond words for his legacy, and although he left the world's dream far too soon for me (and all who knew him, I am certain), his Spirit remains in the work he left behind, which will continue to guide and inspire me in my awakening (and so many others who choose this path).
I had the honor of meeting your husband several years ago while he was speaking at an A.R.E. conference (your beautiful self was also there!). My son had recently died prior to Ken's appearance in Virginia Beach. I had the opportunity of sharing my loss with Ken. I will never forget his words, which I would like to now share with you. Ken told me that my son was still with me (in my mind, the mind we all share as One Son) and would always be with me. Ken reminded me that there is no death and love never ends. My son and I remain as One beyond this dream world. From studying ACIM I knew this intellectually, but hearing Ken reinforce this reached me at a deeper level. This conversation with Ken was a balm to my soul.
I know in my heart that you already knew Ken's words to me, how could you not with ACIM being such a major part of you and your husband's life path. Please forgive me, as a seeming stranger attempting to comfort you at this time, should what I write be inappropriate right now. I trust my "good intention" to reach out comes from the Holy Spirit in my mind and not from ego. I'm still working on discerning the difference.
I've written to you as a sister who knows the sorrow of profound loss. Again I ask your forgiveness during this extremely vulnerable time if I have been insensitive in any way. I wanted you to know how much Ken has encouraged and supported my waking up as no one else has ever done (and will continue to do). Ken's life was a blessing beyond words to the brothers and sisters whose lives he touched.
It was only through the Wisdom and Love poured forth in ACIM that I found comfort and Peace, when nothing else in this world was able to bring this to me. Ken's deep understanding of the Course expressed through his words, in his books, and in his CDs, clarified and reinforced the Course's message for me, most especially with my son's apparent death. I don't know how I would have made it through without Jesus' and Ken's Love for us, the separated ones who still struggle with our split minds, and Jesus and Ken's desire, above all else, to show us the way Home.
My prayer of Peace for you is sent from my heart, Gloria.
Tribute to Dr. Kenneth Wapnick
Kenneth Wapnick is clothed in true forgiveness and has unveiled the ultimate state of Innocence & freedom in doing so. His effects to pave this road are undeniable and defeats every excuse to defend this life of contradictions.
His gentle teaching of Release leads to clarity and the soft opening of ones self to the Atonement.
He proves the "death of all judgment is not only attainable, but the only frontier in the Land of the Living.
He shows us the width and depth of our potential to Love ourselves and find happiness.
Kenneth Wapnick is as wide and true as they come.
I am a painter and my work is influenced everyday by the effects of this great teacher and his consistency in the pursuit of Truth.
I will continue to study all his insights into A Course in Miracles and mark my work by them. I am forever grateful for his loyalty to this end. "…nobody not even the rain has such small hands." \
Thank you Kenneth for opening my heart, if only petal by petal to my Awakening.
I am homeward bound...
In his nonfiction book, A Healing Family, Japanese writer Kenzaburo Oe recounts what it's like to live in a family with a severely autistic child. When the book came out, the Associated Press wrote: "Oe has written a moving portrait of life with his son, Hikari, who was as born with a brain deformity so severe that doctors advised the family to let the child die. Oe and his wife decided otherwise. And through the love and attention of the entire family, the boy's musical talent emerged, leading to his unlikely blossoming into a successful composer." One should not assume that Oe's family portrait is sentimental or false in any way. In fact, Kirkus Reviews called the book "honest to a fault."
But what does this have to do with the life and teaching of Kenneth Wapnick? The answer is nothing, and in a generalized way, everything.
With a loving smile on his face, Kenneth quipped that someone once compared his students to autistic children (and that would include me as well), making him a teacher of the autistic—not too far from the truth, if we're being honest here. It's not that we can't learn, we can. But we take on attributes similar to the autistic when we willingly draw the veil of forgetfulness across our minds by continually choosing the ego and its results in the world.
If you read Oe's book, you can see why Kirkus mentioned Oe's "fault" of complete honesty. He writes about the human condition with an unblinking eye, citing both joy and sorrow and everything in between. In a chapter titled "Compassion," he recounts a particularly painful day in his life: the day he let go of Hikari's hand in a crowded shopping mall when he could no longer tolerate his autistic child's erratic behavior. Coming to his senses hours later, Oe frantically searched for his son, finally spotting him through a foggy window. Looking back on the incident years later, he wrote: "…even now, because of this experience, whenever I see an article these days about some young mother dropping her baby on the floor to keep it from crying, I can never bring myself to condemn these inexperienced, unfortunate people; instead, I identify with them, imagine myself in their shoes, feel their torment."
While I think Kenneth was too experienced a psychoanalyst to "feel our torment." he certainly knew where our pain originated (in the mind), and he addressed our choice for the ego within the context of the Course consistently, repeatedly and without fail. Did Kenneth get frustrated with his students' refusal to change their minds (or to even look)? I think so-yes. But don't kid yourself; Kenneth, better than any of us, recognized where all suffering lay.
So do we get a free pass, then? Not exactly.
In the same chapter, Oe goes on to explain how his whole family tried to support Hikari at different times and in different ways, with his daughter acting not unlike the Kenneth of the family. "While my younger son and I tend simply to support Hikari regardless of the circumstances, my daughter first gathers ail the facts in the case and then explains them to him, often urging him to reconsider his position. In the end, I suppose, she proves to be his best ally."
Kenneth understood the facts (the teachings of the Course), and he was willing to explain them. Like Oe's daughter, in this way he proved to be our best ally, always gently urging us to reconsider our position. To me, that was the essence of his being and his teaching.
I'll end my tribute with one last excerpt from Oe's book. In it, he discusses how Hikari grew into a composer of classical music despite his handicap.
"Hikari may not be good with words, but where music is concerned he has a carefully cultivated ability to concentrate, one that his mother and his teachers have helped him develop but which he himself has also honed by listening to recordings and the radio during almost every waking hour for more than twenty years. The French philosopher Simone Weil has written about this sort of concentration, asking what it is that could link such apparently disparate experiences as "study" and "the love of god," and concluding that "the key is in the fact that prayer is a matter of concentration. Prayer is the directing of all the attention of which the soul is capable toward god."
I'd like to thank Kenneth and Gloria for a lifetime of helping us to direct our attention inward and to hear the music within by gently presenting the facts (in this case, asking us to recognize what is really going on in our minds) and urging us to reconsider our position (change our minds).
As I've heard Bob Draper (a.k.a, Mr. Cold Water) say: "There is no free pass." The continuing work is ours.
"For the undoing of the crucifixion of God's Son is the work of the redemption, in which everyone has a part of equal value. God does not judge His guiltless Son. Having given Himself to him, how could it be otherwise?" (T-ll.VI.7: 5-7)
Remembering Blessed Ken
The moment I met Ken at baggage claim in July 1982 at SeaTac Airport I knew I'd met someone extraordinary. During the days that followed at "Miracle Mountain", the first Course in Miracles Retreat which was held in rural Washington State, it became clear to myself and those who were seriously into the Course that he was the one who knew.
I had the privilege to be there to remember his first' coffee grounds talk' and his smile; that smile that has melted so many hearts. And that is where our friendship took root. He came back to lead wonderful CIM workshops in rural Idaho. During those summers he and I would take very early morning walks. He played with my son Rick who was just 9 and called him his "henchman"' and took him to a water slides park where Ken got a nose full of water more than once. He was a regular guy, an extraordinary guy, a fun guy, and a most compassionate man.
From those early days he became my spiritual mentor and my brother, just like he has for hundreds of others throughout the world. He was unassumingly powerful with a heart of gold and a Brooklyn sense of humor. He could slip in witticisms and come on strong effortlessly as an academician. I could always count on him as could the thousands of others who shared knowing him.
Maybe it's that I'm so far away physically that I don't feel Ken is gone. And in the same breath I say, "I can't believe he died". My heart goes out to precious Gloria, my sister, and all of the CIM Staff who had the honor of being so close to him. Thank you for all you do and have done. He would want us to 'stay calm and carry on' with the Course.
Kindest regards and love,
My friend and teacher;
You told me the truth.
Thank you, dear Kenneth.
My love and gratitude.
It seems fitting to write to you because your many letters continue to be treasures beyond description. I cherish them and I have no doubt that your books, articles, workshops, videos, and letters will endure as long as any member of the Sonship needs your help to awaken from the dream of separation.
I have no words that would fully express my gratitude to you, but I can share some giggles that I think you would like.
Okay, so I'm a silly goose. Do you know how long it took me to call you a goofy gander without pangs of guilt? And don't tell me you didn't ask for it.
When I mentioned that we might be Skyping someday, you told me it was unlikely because you still balance your checkbook with an abacus. May I borrow it?
You made fun of my special diet food (so generously offered to you) with the memorable comment: "Yummmmmmmmmmy." Okay then, starve, and no you can't go the San Francisco Zoo with us and eat your Limburger cheese in the car.
I could go on and on. And guess what, I think I finally got your point: Don't take you, myself, the ego, or anything else, (including A Course in Miracles), too seriously.
Humor aside for a moment, I send immense gratitude for your courage in staying true to the non dualism of A Course in Miracles, while teaching in such a way that students at all levels of understanding can benefit. I know of no other western spiritual teacher who can achieve that as you do. In addition, I continue to benefit immeasurably from your extraordinary knowledge of Catholicism, great classical composers, classical literature, Vedanta, Bhakti Yoga, and of course, Freud's work.
We see your death as untimely and we grieve. Still there is the realization that "I know nothing" and therefore do not understand anything about the dissolution of your form or why it occurred when it did in what we call "time." Our small Seattle area ACIM group is consoled as we continue to view DVDs that, in some sense, keep you with us in form and above all, aid us in continuing the practice of A Course in Miracles as you taught it to us and as you made it available for future generations.
In the words of the German children's song, Danke (English translation): "Thank you for everything you give us, thank you for everything we share, thank you for simply being with us. Thanks for being here." We know you haven't gone anywhere.
This will be my last letter to you. As I write these words my ego is telling me to be sad. It is telling me that I lost a good friend. It is telling me to be faithless. It is telling me that death is real.
Yet as you me and all our brothers, the ego lies. It lies when it tells me that you will no longer teach me. It lies when it tells me that you will no longer comfort me. It lies when it tells me you are gone. It lies and lies and lies.
My dear brother, I know you are still with me, with all of us. I remain the beneficiary of your wisdom. I smile as I remember your wonderful sense of humor. I still ill feel the warmth of your hugs. How can I miss you when you are always with me?
You Ken, my teacher, our teacher, you still guide me through this desert. You still point the way to forgiveness. You are my present memory. You appear to me whenever I call to you. Literally.
Even now, at this moment, I see your smiling face. I feel your love and peace. So silent, so still, so sublime. Your Love enfolds me in its Light.
As a Catholic Maryknoll missionary Sister, in 19751 returned to the New York area from Chile after having experienced tremendous turmoil and upheaval—both personally and politically—in the years prior to and after Chile's military coup. I returned home realizing that I needed help in understanding what I had undergone in my personal and spiritual life. I met Ken shortly after and he began to teach me the principles and practice of the Course in counseling sessions, over a period of several years. I knew from the beginning that Ken himself and this teaching embodied some very deep and mysterious level of God's Spirit, far beyond anything I had known before. I was attracted to this teaching as welt as frightened and disturbed by it. Ken's gentle patience and steadfast commitment to my learning process enabled me to continue. Most importantly, he taught me by his own loving, sensitive example. The fact that Ken also stuttered made him somehow more accessible and like one of us.
At that time Ken, based in his New York's East Side studio apartment, lived a very simple, yet busy, life as a "monk in the world," selflessly helping others. What impressed me was that he was always unfailingly happy, loving and kind, even as he showed me the murderous attack thoughts of my own ego. When I expressed gratitude to him, he would thank me for my efforts in learning forgiveness.
Over these many years, I have come to realize how much Ken lived in the world, but was not of it, knowing he was bathed in that resplendent love of God .... even while he joked, teased, exhorted and admonished his students, to "get out of the sandbox" and Join him in the Oneness of Being. While he taught us the machinations of the ego, he looked upon us with the vision of Christ in his loving eyes. We could not have had a better "elder brother" to guide us along the way .... and make us laugh, as well!
The Choice For Peace
The choice for peace is discovered along the path, a tiny flower in a vast and lonely desert, formerly unnoticed, its breath of loveliness transforms a whole desert ... beheld from where I stand ... in the stillness of all things.
The choice for peace, once small and difficult to find, hidden within a desert world, and there within every separate thing, has, in a shining instant grown to be so large, and every other thing so small. Now, every other thing is found within the choice for peace, there found wanting, seen anew, framed within its obvious insignificance. The choice for peace now overwhelms my world—to become larger than a universe. It is not spread thin, for it points faithfully toward the infinite, given wholly to the eternal. In a breath, the choice for peace has become all there is within a finite time-bound world ... a timeless now, where only peace can be found.
Where once there was a world made to fill a little-self with dread; where once a nameless frozen terror did dwell; where once there was one destined forever to flee from what cannot be, to tread along endless winding paths of fear, to commit to carry causeless burdens of betrayal, loneliness, and loss-there is now one elated to take his place in liberation instead.
In the glimmer of an instant, and each one to follow, fearlessness replaces what cannot be ... to everywhere make wholly free. A single instant's recognition returns again, then repeatedly, to give its gift in full. Then once for all, the time of Christ extends to fill a single gladdened vision, thus a joyful heart in its release sings of wholeness to all that ls beheld. In this place, the choice for peace appears as all there ever was ... all there is.
This choice is with me always, in its promise to endure, until every remnant of what is little is given to the Truth. And thus the choice for peace, with the one that seemed to choose, is unremembered altogether with the temporal; for this choice need not cross the bridge where timeless peace stands alone. Swiftly, from this forgiven place, every other thing is seen to pass by one final time, clean and innocent of all I thought it was... all I thought I was, even now, as witness of the Truth. Every holy instant thus washes over me as one, time and space forever gone where only perfect peace abides ... and forevermore is Known. Yes, finally, only peace remains to flow across a world that never was, and never will this fleeting dream be seen, or given ... a single tiny thought again!
In gratitude to our brother Kenneth Wapnick, symbol of a Love that is not of this world. May we all continue to walk toward the boundless grace and peace which you extolled and exemplified, faithfully, in all you said, in all you did. We still hear your voice, we feel your presence, encouraging us to step beyond each little hindrance—to go further! We will not stop until we join you where you are ... where only perfect peace abides as all there Is ... yes Ken, our Home we never left! Received in the gentleness of what we thought you were, do we now turn in gratitude to join with you as what we are in Truth!
You no doubt know you were the most important person in my life. You hooked me with your sudden statements and with your wit before I noticed there was so much more you gave.
You gave and gave and gave and gave—you gave yourSelf.
The first jolt I received from you in 1989 after a workshop in Canterbury where I first got to know you and Gloria. You asked me when we met by chance where I was going, and on my replying that I was going home you said: "You are home."
And then the day Gloria and you invited Margarethe and me to your house (must have been in 1992) we went in to find Archie-pooh on the sofa. Gloria shooed it away, and then you bent down, stroked the cat and said: "Daddy still loves you."
The work with you on the translation is simply unforgettable. Never ever was serious work so light and full of laughter. Staff-walking past us stopped to ask whether we were working, or what?
Another jolt I got when it dawned on me that you were loving, helpful and wonderfully witty with and towards everyone. Ever since I've been coming to the Foundation to see you do this: being the same toward everyone.
Like Jesus, you taught from the mind. You were a master, yet never letting on.
I can't hug you any more, but I still do,
"But a man who has given his heart to learning and true wisdom ... is surely bound ... to have immortal and divine thought, and cannot fail to achieve immortality as fully as permitted to human nature."—-Plato (pg. 301, Love Does Not Condemn )
I first met Ken and Gloria at the conference in Hawaii in 1985. I told him I was much impressed by the Indian philosopher J. Krishnamurti. He told me that he had nothing but the utmost respect for J. Krishnamurti. Then he turned ever so slightly to me and uttered one word "Krishnaji." A holy instant. And that after giving an earlier talk, he overheard someone say "Oh, how like Krishnamurti," which made him very happy. Krishnaji. What a generous comment. I was overjoyed!
Years later when I sent in a donation for The Lighthouse I told him that the issue I liked best was the one on "kindness." When the Foundation acknowledged my gift, he penned a note "That was my favorite issue too." Great happiness!
I recently read his book Absence from Felicity for the second time in twenty years. What a beautiful story. I wanted to tell him I thought the bit about Helen's "back field" walking down the streets of New York was worth the price of admission. I hope it would have tickled his great sense of humor.
His use of the tragedies of Shakespeare to teach the Course's concept of guilt was brilliant. As a good Course student and of Ken's writings, never will you believe that two plus two equals four. For it is written in the stars that if you wish to rise above the battleground into the starry, starry night, sever the surly bonds of earth, reach up and touch the face of God, you must believe two plus two equals five. He had the smell of eternity in his nostrils! Thank you, Ken Wapnick, thank you!
"Beside the tomb the angel stands in shining hopefulness to give salvation's message: 'Be you free and stay not here; go on to Galilee!'" "Transformation" from The Gifts of God by Helen Schucman.
I am going to miss him! And a happy lightheartedness to you all!
For the last four years I have been honored to call Ken Wapnick my friend. While doing the Course I felt a need to write him a ten page hand-written letter. After mailing it I felt silly. Why would a man like him ever write me? Before the week was out I received a reply and received one every week for nearly four years.
I felt like I was writing Jesus. His total lack of judgment, his compassion and humor was an example of everything I want to be. Let me give you an example. After writing him I started having dreams of a life I lived in Egypt long ago. I felt the need to focus on the now so I asked Ken's advice. He suggested I "go with it" and see what happens.
It began with a dream and went from there. To make a long story short, I remembered a life in which I'd raped and murdered Ken. I was a very powerful man and Ken a servant. What "she" possessed was something I did not ... peace. I was outraged and ended up destroying the very person I admired most in the world. This memory literally left me vomiting between sobs as I clung to my toilet.
When I shared the details with Ken I expected him to suggest I find a therapist. I just knew he would never write me again. His unexpected reply read, "I loved you then, I love you now and I will always love you."
Healing began for me that day. There are no words that can describe the gratitude, respect and love I feel for this man, a man who walked his talk. I would also like to express my gratitude to his wife and family for enriching his days so he could be such an inspiration to us all.
To Gloria Wapnick and the Foundation for A Course in Miracles
I just wanted to say that after my initial shock and sorrow upon learning that Dr. Wapnick had passed away, I was able to gradually feel the comfort and security that came with the certainty that his teachings would always be with me.
I was able to "look" at my sadness and understand that I would always hear his guiding voice as I continue on my path.
He came into my dream when it was time for me to start awakening. When it was time for me to discover the path of A Course in Miracles.
He brought me hope and light and it is because of his teaching that I have become much more aware now. Dr. Wapnick's teaching has changed my life.
I am so grateful.
With Much Love
Thank you for bridging the distance, for your devotion and for reminding me without my smile the world cannot be saved.
Thank You, Ken
In this world, each man's life touches so many other lives.
That seems especially true for Ken's life and work which continues to touch many other lives. His life first touched mine in 1987 when I began studying the Course.
Many years later I realized that Ken's life, work, and thoughts were shining through in many ways—in my understanding of the Course through his writings and books, tapes, Gary's books, later YouTube, and more.
In 2011 I got to meet him briefly before a seminar. His warmth, kindness, and generosity remained with me the rest of the day, and I understood later when others described his kindness.
"No thought of God's Son can be separate or isolated in its effects. Every decision is made for the whole Sonship, directed in and out, and influencing a constellation larger than anything you ever dreamed of."
That quote is one of many to sum up and beautifully describe Ken's life.
I imagine all of the tributes received will still only shed light from a fraction of those blessed in a great constellation influenced by Ken's decisions.
So, with love and appreciation, thank you Ken, and a heartfelt thank you to Gloria and everyone who were in Ken's life and live and share A Course in Miracles.
I began reading A Course in Miracles when I was 21-years-old, and I began corresponding with Ken the following year. I'm now 38, which means he was a part of my life for a period spanning from nearly my teens until nearly middle age. During that time, he became one of, if not the, most important mentors I've ever had.
Ken was one of the main people to help me come to terms with the loss of my stepfather in 2001. I remember asking Ken, "What happens when we die?" He responded, "You know the answer to that. You just keep living ...." During one of our conversations, I said to Ken, "This is so difficult for me. How will I ever cope if you die?" His response was, "Well, we'll work on that when the time comes .... "He then told me that I really didn't have anything to worry about because he foresaw himself living into his 90's—"at least."
I remember talking to Ken about the loss of Helen's husband, Louis Schucman. Ken spoke very fondly of Louis, saying that they had spoken about Louis possibly moving to live in Roscoe, where he would "live out his final years .... " Ken said that it was decided it would be better for Louis to remain living where he had always lived. I remember being surprised by the tone in Ken's voice as he spoke about Louis's death, as though Ken accepted that this was just a part of life, not something shocking or "bad." It's just what happens, and it's okay.
I remember asking Ken at one point if he ever thought he'd see Helen again, and he said yes. In what way he meant that—symbolically or otherwise—I didn't ask, as it seemed a very personal question to begin with. In retrospect, I'm even a bit embarrassed by the invasiveness of such a question. But, as they say, "I was young ...."
The last letter I received from Ken, which I keep on my Buddhist altar, was mailed to me during the summer of 2013. It contained the cryptic line, "I will see you at the crossroads." I didn't know what he was talking about, and it scared me a little. In retrospect, it becomes apparent [to me] that he knew.
As for me, I'm not as evolved as Ken was. When I learned of his death, I became so upset that I became physically ill for an entire week. It's hard to consider that he's not "here" anymore. I feel pretty much the same way I felt when I lost my stepfather, and so I strive to remember the support Ken gave me during that time.
I had the feeling Mr. Wapnick was profoundly aware of the fact that the fate of the Course might go the same way as so many other "sacred" text, as shows his latest Lighthouse article.
I always had the feeling much of his teaching circled around this. I wouldn't call it "worry" as I don't think he [took] either himself or the world very seriously. Let's say I felt it had his attention.
So very often he talked about confusing form and content, taking the text literally instead of listening to the music behind the words; the music which speaks to the truth in us. I respect his wisdom in this and I'll remember his words. I am profoundly grateful to him for all his lessons. I'll miss him, (yes I know he's still there) just to know he was there (for me on the other side of the world) was a kind of consolation, security, just to know that such a man existed felt good.
And yes I know: I'm as holy as he is, or anyone else.
Ken was the epitome of kindness. He willingly listened to my history of "victimhood." He encouraged me to seek regular counseling to help me face childhood shame and adult phobias. His compassionate nature led him to put me in touch with Rosemarie. He even requested that I help her with the library; even though I was the one needing help to deal with my grief and guilt after Daniel's suicide. His gentle observations provided a soft landing for my ego faults and perceived slights. His example changed my perception of what the best of us can be.
I am so sorry to hear of Ken's death. One of the things I keep in my box of life treasures is a letter from Ken dated 21 January 1989. He wrote so lovingly and with such great perceptiveness and kindness. I have reread the letter several times over the last few weeks and the message in the letter seems so fresh and pertinent in my life—some 25 years later.
I had the privilege of participating in the first study course the Foundation for A Course in Miracles held at the Centre near Roscoe in upstate New York. I had travelled from my home in Australia to Washington D.C. to undertake a course with Dr Susan Trout. Through a series of "coincidences" I found myself then travelling to Roscoe to be part of a small workshop led by Ken. It was a very powerful experience and I was struck by Ken's humour ("why shouldn't there be a spiritual path for intellectuals?"), unwavering commitment and great teaching ability. He was / still is a great Teacher of God.
Best wishes to you and your family at this time. May your hearts be healed by hearing about the impact Ken had on so many people like myself.
With love and enormous gratitude,
What a friend I've had in Kenneth; the perfect model of what it is to live the message of A Course in Miracles, a message I would never have understood, let alone had hope of experiencing. He has helped me bridge the distance between myself and Jesus in much the same way Jesus speaks of helping us bridge the distance between us and God (T-l.II.4:3-5). I think of the two of them interchangeably now because they symbolize the same thing for me. When I call to mind the way Ken loved us all I can experience the love of God in a form I can understand and aspire to live.
With unspeakable gratitude,
I was guided to ACIM in 2009, and that is when my spiritual journey got really serious. Having bought, listened and read to almost everything I could about ACIM, I quickly realised Dr Wapnick was an tribute-authoritative voice among the many teachers out there. His deep understanding, faith and trust about the message ACIM was delivering were abundantly clear; truly a shining light towards our truth.
I remember reading that Dr Wapnick realised his life's purpose was ACIM, and for me he unassumingly, and quietly, with little or no ego involved carried out his purpose with such grace and love. I will be forever grateful for the shining light of faith in ACIM delivered by him. Without that, my initial fear and grief involved in giving up the ego which at times may well have stopped me learning more, or listening to my own right mind, would have taken over.
With love and gratitude,
For almost 40 years Ken Wapnick was the man who was appointed my brother. I use the word "appointed" as it was given me by Helen, Scribe of A Course in Miracles. It was May 29, 1975, after lunching at Columbia University Medical Center at the invitation of Drs. Helen Schucman and William Thetford, I was ushered into their office where I first met Ken. While they gave me their account of the birth of the Course, it was immediately apparent that Ken was a significant part of that story. I listened in fascination as both Helen and Bill related their impressions of the inner "Voice" that dictated this material. I remember asking Helen if the "Voice" had a name. She seemed quite reluctant to admit it, "He says He's Jesus." "Well, is it?", I asked. "Oh yes," she quietly affirmed.
In the days that followed, as we continued to meet, my impressions of Ken were of a shy, quiet, unassuming, gentle young man who was remarkably devoted to Helen. They both shared magnificent minds and, along with Bill, might be seen as intellectually snobbish. Ken's marked stutter at that time seemed to inhibit free exchanges with new people but when discussing the Course, it never appeared. Ken was Helen's support system, care giver and intellectual equal all at once. He laughed at her jokes, chided her when she chose ego over Spirit and reminded her to pray in difficult situations. His humility in her presence was not without deep respect; yet his eyes danced when he helped her through a situation she considered fearful. As Helen demonstrated both ego and Spirit with lightening changes of mind, I watched in awe at Ken's unique patience with this brilliant yet ambivalent woman. It was clear that Helen loved him deeply and relied upon him to keep her "on course."
As I became slowly absorbed into the group, Helen explained that Ken was to teach the Course and that I had the role of publishing and disseminating "her book." She acted as if she were introducing Ken and me to each other. "This is your older sister," she said to him. And to me she continued, "This is your younger brother." Having no children of her own, it seemed from the beginning that Helen was forging a family with a joint goal. She liked me to call her "Mama" and it was a good thing my own mother did not mind. Early in our relationship Bill had decided that it would be a good idea for Ken's and my Brooklyn Jewish parents to meet. So it was arranged and our mothers became excellent friends. Helen was very pleased at this. So were Ken and I.
Over the years I was aware of slow but profound changes in Ken's persona. He not only came to appreciate and understand the Course in a deeply cerebral way; his practice of the Course also inspired a more open and caring inclusiveness in his attitude towards the people we worked with. It was clear as Ken practiced the Course that he was becoming its message. I think his growing self confidence was reinforced by three abiding elements in his personal life: his commitment to Helen; his partnership with Gloria and the persistent challenge of his public teaching role, which he played with the confidence he had as one who knows Who is with him.
Now, with twenty/twenty hindsight, I realize that what I had been privileged to witness between Helen and Ken was indeed a holy relationship. There was no question in my mind that this duo shared God's purpose and was part of His plan. The faithfulness Ken exhibited to Helen, the selfless way that he served and honored her taught me the meaning of unconditional love. Helen trusted Ken to work with her on the final editing of the manuscript of the Course while being guided by its tribute-author. As they performed this assignment, they never seriously argued, they just asked for and received Higher Guidance. For eight years, Helen gifted Ken with the strong bond of not only teacher/student but also mother/son connection. He was constantly with Helen throughout her last days until she died.
Observing Ken's flowering, his commitment to Helen was an introduction to yet another equally if not greater love story that lasted many more years. I watched as Helen's passing gave way to an even stronger, more dynamic love in Ken's life; a love that supported and allowed him to be who he became for all of us. In 1981, Gloria stepped in to help fulfill Kenneth, the man, through their radiant husband/wife equal partnership connection. I watched and appreciated how the power of Gloria's love, guided by the principles of the Course, helped transform Ken's personal life and enabled him to step into a stronger leadership role to become the teacher we were all blessed to experience.
Without Helen, there would have been no Ken, the Teacher of God, as we now remember him. But without Gloria, there would have been no Foundation, either literally or figuratively for Ken to do the work he was given to do. She inspired and fueled the Foundation for A Course in Miracles. We all reaped the benefits of Ken's superb understanding and analysis of the Course's principles. And we all got to see Ken's steady evolution into the smiling and glowing light that he became. From the beginning I was privileged to witness first hand how the pairing and grounded-in-love partnering of Ken and Gloria made all that possible.
Ken was my dear brother, my partner in fidelity to the Course and my "assigned" brother on the path. In the ego world, like any siblings, at times we had our differences of opinion yet our commitment to healing and love pervaded. So, when I look back on our almost forty years of this focused journey without distance, what stands out the most is that there is nothing more sacred than when special relationships transform into holy relationships. As we are reminded, "The ark of peace is entered two by two, yet the beginning of another world goes with them."
Farewell, my dear Kenneth, First Graduate of A Course in Miracles. Your sister Judy thanks you.
I said that I wasn't going to write this, because you're gone. You're dead. But I'm writing it anyway because my thoughts about you continue to plague me, and ever since you were in Roscoe I would write to you when I was intensely disturbed, and you would always answer. Maybe that will happen again, but differently; maybe not.
I had gone to your website to check on the progress of your recovery and there was the announcement, "It is with utmost sorrow..." My initial reaction, like so many others, was shock. I was stunned and could only ask "How can this be? The newsletter said that he was getting better and would be holding the Academy in March. How could they all be that wrong?" Then came the pain of your loss—that my friend, my mentor, my teacher, my answerer of questions was dead! There was nothing but tears of devastation, abandonment and despair. Being in North Carolina I felt so alone, and reached out to other students, trying to make sense of it all. One said that you were never really connected to your body and just didn't know what was happening. That sounded absurd and I became angry at you. How could you leave us like that, insisting that you weren't dying? Surely you knew that you were, and that we loved you and what our reaction would be! You taught us about living in the world as students, that students act normally; how normal is this? Were you delusional?
The anger passed, to be replaced by quiet grieving. Yet sometimes, that also recedes and I remember what you taught us repeatedly over the years, that there is no death. You said "Do you know what happens at death? Nothing." And when I am in my right mind, however briefly, I accept that thought and I'm at peace.
In your last letter to me, you told me to do my practice "with Jesus (and me) standing by you." When I do that, I know that you are both there in my mind, that that's where you really were all along, and that you are with me now. In Helen's poem, "The Second Easter," I saw these words which I will try to take with me as I say goodbye to your body:
"For those who grieve cannot behold the
Through veils of sorrow. They forget the Word
That promised to redeem their failing sight."
I love you,
During my first trip to the Foundation (Roscoe) I remember now being very excited, and at the same time a little wary. There was definitely some of that desire in me to prove this great teacher wrong, not that I recognized the feeling at the time. But as the week-long academy progressed it seemed that Kenneth wove a spell in which my doubts were put further and further to the side. I continued to try to see that he was not right on all accounts, but the effort seemed tiring and pointless. Then I asked to see him for a personal interview, to which he agreed. As I approached the door to the little meeting room on the set time and day, I remember feeling a wave of apprehension. Something was about to happen.
As I sat before him I knew somehow that this was no ordinary encounter. I tried discussing a couple of questions, but there was no commitment or clarity behind my words. I found it very difficult to concentrate and soon became totally lost. I hoped he didn't see, and it appeared that he wasn't bothered. As I looked at him, I couldn't take my attention off his eyes. Or at least, that was the spot where I was focusing, but my sight went far past that place on his kind and smiling face. To say that I seemed to enter a different world would be putting it mildly. Nothing seemed to matter except that experience of pure gentleness and knowing. He saw all my faults and intentions, and brushed them away to lead me as if by the hand to a far more peaceful, happy place. I seemed to stay there a while, just a few minutes, in that land of freedom to which he had invited me, and my life has not been the same since.
I write this tribute to the one who has led me, and so many others, to that happy and peaceful place, far beyond this world. That place is there; it has not passed. That's where we first met him, and where he waits for us. He lives permanently now in that special, timeless place, the memory of which he brought to us, as these lines from A Course in Miracles capture so beautifully:
It is here that miracles are laid; to be returned by you from holy instants you receive, through grace in your experience, to all who see the light that lingers in your face. What is the face of Christ but his who went a moment into timelessness, and brought a clear reflection of the unity he felt an instant back to bless the world? (W-pI.169. 13:2-3)
His light still lingers and shall certainly never fade nor die.
A tribute to you Kenneth for being the loving teacher, so willing to repeat and teach A Course in Miracles by repeating the same thing over and over and over to my defended and resistant mind, and to do it willingly, with so much love that is tribute-authoritative yet kind and non judgmental. You have made your teaching available in books and articles and commentary and on tapes, CDs, MP3s and even on YouTube, as well as in person. You have touched the world as much of this work has been translated into many foreign languages with your guidance to keep the message pure. This teaching and modeling extends through your demonstration of your love for your wife Gloria and the loving staff who continue to carry the message of A Course in Miracles. You have been and modeled the walking ever presence of love, never excluding anyone, always finding time for loving interaction for everyone in whatever form is needed. Thank you for making teaching and demonstrating A Course in Miracles your life's work for all those who know you and those yet to meet you as they join us all in opening our mind to the presence of Love with the help of your gentle guidance and life's work. I feel so fortunate to have you as a teacher. You have left us everything we need and now I know it is up to me to live and practice A Course in Miracles.
With Love and Gratitude,
I found the Course in 1986 through one of Gerald Jampolsky's books. I found a study group and someone had cassette tapes entitled "The Simplicity of Salvation." by Kenneth Wapnick. I made copies for myself and friends. (Full disclosure) Lots of book sharing went on in those years, too.
In 2007, I wrote a lullaby. Like most of the hymns in my fundamentalist upbringing, it contained a few too many verses. I sent Ken a CD of the lullaby, with a letter about how it came to be, and also telling him how his voice was a very calming influence to me. I was very touched when I received a reply from him, telling me which verses he liked. (so I could tell he actually listened to it) I was even more touched when he closed his letter by saying "Now I have your voice, too."
Soon after that, I was at the Apple store, learning how to download/upload music to an iPod nano. I brought along some CD sets which a friend bought for me in Temecula. My trainer located the FACIM website and said "Wow, this guy has a LOT of content!" (the trainer's word, I swear) I replied something like "Yes, he is the real deal. He has almost single handedly morphed western thought to a new level." This was a random teachable moment for both of us.
When my iPhone 5 arrived, (after driving over my iPhone 4 at a gas station) all of Ken's audio mp3s were re-synced to it, so his voice still calms me, in traffic or even when I am walking my dog.
I would like to express my deep gratitude for all you have done for us Course students. When ACIM fell into my lap—literally!—I felt that it will be my book even though I wasn't quite clear what it's all about. Then I discovered you, and you were a godsend to me for translating the meaning of the Course, both in Roscoe and in Switzerland.
In the past 20 years I have listened to innumerable tapes and videos you and your team made, and the YouTube video I'm always coming back to is entitled "Q & A: Transforming Darkness and Despair." It's so helpful.
You will always be my teacher as long as I'm identifying with this body of mine. Thank you so much,
What an egoless presence,
still shining in my mind.
Thank you Ken.
When I first heard of your passing, my heart grieved and I shed my tears. I came to realize just how much a part of my life you are. I was privileged to have many visits to Roscoe, NY, and I loved the one trip I made to Temecula. When I began an ACIM study group in Syracuse, NY, I started with the "Manual for Teachers," and utilized your "Journey through the Manual." I have read your books, listened to your talks, and have been nurtured by your kind and loving presence. This year I began the workbook again for the eighth time, and your "Journey through the Workbook" is my companion. You will continue to be a significant part of my life.
Thank you for all you have given us, my teacher. I am one student of many, but happy to be among those who filled a small place in your life.
May we meet again in the Light, where you surely now reside.
When I first heard that Ken had passed away, it was like someone pulled the rug out from underneath me. My guide, my teacher, my foundation (excuse the pun) for the past twenty-five years was gone. What was I to do? What am I to do? I am sure Ken would tell me it is not about him, but Him. And, of Course, he would be right. I will be forever humble and grateful for Ken's presence and influence in my life.
In loving memory,
Dr. Kenneth Wapnick was a wonderful teacher of A Course in Miracles. Ken taught with great clarity, love and humor...brought the scholarship of a well trained mind and psychological insights of a therapist to his teachings and writings on ACIM.
In the early 90's I attended many workshops at FACIM, then located in Roscoe, NY. FACIM was established to teach a deeper understanding and appreciation of the theology of the Course...and Ken was a master teacher.
Through Ken's teaching of ACIM my way thinking has been forever changed. As a fellow student once said...attending a workshop at Roscoe brought memories of ancient worlds where the great philosophers played with ideas.
But Ken was not only a master teacher, he was a perpetual student of ACIM. Through his daily practice he brought new insights into his teaching.
Thank you Ken for your dedication to and teaching of ACIM.
With love and gratitude,
Lesson 185, "I want the peace of God"
When I first heard Ken had passed away I felt a great loss. Why do I feel a hole suddenly open up in me? Who will lead us now? Who will continue to interrupt what Jesus has given us in the course?
The answer that eventually came to me was "we must carry on". I can take solace in knowing Ken has left US with many invaluable, uncluttered, straight-forward insights to help us "carry on" along our path. I think of us all as budding teachers of God with many lessons to learn and understand as students, thanks to Ken, we had our first teacher of God.
I have never looked back. My wondering days as a seeker of truth ended in 2007 when through a process of circumstances I found ACIM and Ken. Ken's clarity of explaining what Jesus is teaching us in the course has led me farther along the path than I could have ever done on my own.
I feel truly honored, blessed and grateful to be around at this point in time to have seen the beginnings of ACIM and Ken. Thank you Ken and everyone involved who have unselfishly given their time and insight and love to advancing this course to everyone.
Ken, you have brought us closer to our wish of lesson 185, may it someday become our will.
Grace and peace be with all.
Along my journey with A Course in Miracles, Kenneth has been my invaluable companion, the deeply estimated brother and friend, the advanced teacher on whom I can safely count to help me better understand and practice the sublime lessons of forgiveness, love and peace. Along with Jesus', his are the hands that have held mine while walking the path that leads back home. Through his work, his presence in my life helps to continually deepen my comprehension of the Course, as if by his absolute dominion over the content and meaning of the teachings of Jesus, he represents a giant on whose strong shoulders I climb to have a clearer view of the spiritual landscape conveyed by the Course.
Far beyond such importance on a personal level for me, his is a work that has an inestimable significance for humankind. Endowed with an extremely acute intelligence and sensibility, he leaves us a legacy composed of true masterpieces, that stem from the wisest understanding and lived experience of the Atonement.
By getting in touch with his teachings, one can behold a beautiful thing taking place: he is so absolutely in tune with Jesus, he so truly "chose once again" and transcended the ego, that the flow of his discernment pours straight from the Holy Spirit within. And the softness, the gentle kindness are seals that reveal which internal voice is heard and expressed. How soothing to be surrounded by the delicateness. the sweet love and peace that emanates like a heavenly perfume from this brother's presence!
Ken, may the love and the unbounded, eternal gratitude that stream from my heart reach yours! Your light goes on, a powerful beacon in the sky, forever shining strong and bright! Brother, even as I find myself still in the grip of time and the world's illusion, I see I am with you, I regard our Oneness in the loving embrace of our Father in Heaven.
The Holy Spirit goes on whispering gently for our awakening from the dream and, at the Heart of God, will the Son rejoice with the remembrance that never was his home lost, and recognize that not one note in Heaven's song was missed!
From a kindred spirit,
You came when I cried in my restless
You did not delay, not for an instant
Your beauty brought light to a senseless weep
But how can it be? Were you not distant?
You asked me to learn there is so much
Than what I have thought was all that I had
That my two plus two is not really four<
That "life" as I "see" could only be sad.
You taught me the world is not what it
I thought this nightmare was where you would be
With you now I learn that I dream the dreams
And your gentle eyes watch calmly with me
Where are the tears of sorrow and
Have I not been taught old lessons so well?
We "smile sweetly" at my disbelief
Gratitude the place where my tears dwell.
He was to come in the middle of the wintertime to the land where the cold and white beauty of the snow in stillness await the days of warm light.
As the way he prepared, white cherry tree blossoms were coming to bring their beauty to the land with a strange name where he one day would go, as white as the snow, and to him all just the same.
And then he came, and brought with him the joy of the springtime that only boys long held inside by the bitter cold can learn of its beauty.
Snow and flowers alike learned from him and told of his gracious heart who saw them not as eternal opposites, but only as their white beauty, whose creator he knows to be his own.
And so I took his hand, an artist's hand from which one learns he is himself the Work of Art. It is a place of eternal gratitude and of silence that only the strength of a most loving and gentle teacher could teach.
His hand goes out in softness and kindness to all who now can choose to listen to the timeless gift he offers them with infinite patience; and then they learn to hear the absolute beauty of this forgotten song, like their humble teacher, they will see at last and they will cease to speak.
Let us commemorate the life and work of Kenneth Wapnick. He was the first teacher of A Course in Miracles, as Judy rightly wrote. Because he was the one who explained even to Helen Schucman what was in her own book, while on another level she understood it very well. Ken was the pivot in the field of the Course, supporting Helen till the end of her life, editing the Course with her, stimulating her to write poems and the Supplements to the Course, preserving her archives and being her biographer. But first and foremost he was the most pure and faithful interpreter of the Course. He has written dozens of books and there are thousands hours of audio and video material which will remain to inspire numerous students in the decades to come, helping them to find their way Home. His spiritual work will gloriously outlive the frailty of his body.
What Ken has achieved for the Course world-wide is phenomenal. He made a fundamental contribution to all of the 24 translations which are published now. Over the years he has answered probably over 15.000 questions of all the translators. Undoubtedly the most asked question among them being: "Where does this 'it' referring to?" We, as the Dutch team, faxed him (there was no email yet) our numbered questions with our proposed answers: could it be a, b, or c? Often we received his answers (1b, 2c, 3a etc.) within 24 hours, which was amazing knowing his very busy schedule and the time difference. He always added some jokes, gentle admonitions and patient explanations. Issues which we as a team were beating our minds out and having lengthy discussions about, he solved in a few seconds, seemingly even without thinking.
Ken had a great mind, he could overview much and do much at the same time. We were sitting in the kitchen in Roscoe, I asking questions about the translation of certain passages, or translating them back for him from the Dutch into the English, so he could hear if all the meaning was still contained in it. Every now and then his right hand Elizabeth Schmit entered the room with urgent matters that needed to be organized, or important papers that needed to be read and signed, and Ken did this fully concentrated in a few minutes, and went on with the translation exactly on the comma we left it. Always loving, even when we said stupid things, always with humor, and always a very good host. Knowing that I was a chocolate lover, he took care that it was within hand's reach.
Ken is without a doubt the best and most pure explainer of the message of the Course, no one else understood the Course as profoundly as he did. Thanks to him we can understand its metaphysics and just for this alone we cannot be grateful enough to him. He was very firm in his complete non-dualistic approach towards the Course. Here he was absolutely without compromise, totally clear, literally a lighthouse, symbol of his Newsletter, attracting others with his light. To us translators he said: "Don't bend the Course to the reader, but bend the reader to the Course." This was always his approach. When there is in the Course a ladder where everyone is helped on the level he thinks he is, leading him towards the next rung, and up to the next and the next, then one can say that Ken is standing at the end of the ladder, encouraging us to climb further, and never tired to explain it again. In this respect he is, as Jesus, an elder brother who is leading us the way. When people asked him if there is anyone who became enlightened by the Course, he said with his usual humor that they kept a secret list of names in the Foundation's safe. Maybe we know now one name on it.
He was a very kind and loving man, he had fully integrated the Course in his mind and life. He was without judgment, even when one could notice that he preferred things otherwise. He was patient with our stupid requests, and patiently let himself be photographed with anyone who asked, smiling. He remained friendly and calm, giving himself. When he entered a room, for instance Roscoe's classroom, where an audience of over hundred people were waiting for his lectures, he seemed to know exactly who was in need of a hug, a touch, a kind or joking word. For the person involved always an healing experience.
This direct contact is not possible anymore. And his long awaited book on Freud, Jung and the Course will probably never be published.… But his work will continue, not only in his numerous books, CDs, DVDs and audiotapes, but mainly in the countless many who he touched with his shining example. As Judy wrote in her In memoriam : "Ken devotedly fulfilled his function and we know he will continue to do so, teaching, guiding and inspiring us all to journey along this path."
Let us honour and thank him, and let us end with paraphrasing a short poem he wrote for Helen, at the end of Absence from Felicity , being his wording of Helen's last journey, which we now can use for him:
Now is Ken's most holy purpose done.
For he has come. For he has come at last.
Into Christ's Presence has he entered now,
And be us glad and grateful it is so.
My soul sings thank you to Kenneth, who used the uplifting spirit of music to lift us all up into the arms and continuous song we sing as One in Heaven.
Twenty-two years ago my new partner Muriel, asked if I wanted to study the ACIM with her. I had heard of it, and I said yes. We started and I was captivated by the phrase, "a healed mind." Whatever that was, a healed mind, I knew I wanted it.
When a major illness came upon me a few years later, I felt abandoned by God. The illness, fibromyalgia has been with me since, as I enter my 60ieth birthday. I suffered and studied, why was this happening, where is God in this. Ten years of intense study of the course I thought I had some understanding, until I read Gary Renard's book, The Disappearance of the Universe, and I realized my understanding was so limited. Arten and Pursah said in that book that Ken Wapnick was the principle teacher, and would be for over the next 500 years.
I took note, and began a journey with Ken in 2004 in which I have spent a minimum of 1 hour a day in reading or listening to his material. Countless times Ken took me out of my ego perspective and interpretation of the course, into it's true meaning of how I am only mind in the Mind of God and that I as a decision maker, wanted the separation from God, and it is my choice through the miracle of forgiveness to return my dreaming mind to God's, where I, as the One Son of God never left.
I have read other material, and have studied some Buddhism, but I always come back to ACIM, and Kenneth. He is the teacher that I consistently pick up, and will continue to do so.
In my mind Ken is completely joined with Jesus. I smile to myself when he is commented on Jesus' teachings, "What Jesus means is......". I have marvelled over the years at his deep understanding of the course, and his deep love for Jesus and God.
In my mind I have joined Jesus and Kenneth, and see them both smiling, nodding their One Head, and inviting me to merge into the Great Oneness and Love we share. My principle teacher with Jesus has and is Kenneth, so my depth of gratitude and love reaches beyond this world to the place they continuously sing from to us all.
I feel this same love and gratitude for Gloria, knowing that they have shared the journey together, as well for all of the staff and teachers at the foundation. Thank you all so much for your love and dedication. You have made a difference in my life that words cannot express.
I am very sorry to hear that Ken Wapnick had left his body behind.
I remember Ken not only as a very kind person, but also as a clear teacher of A Course in Miracles.
In the early nineties I met him in a workshop he gave in my country (Holland) and I remember him explaining the metaphysics so clearly that I could understand it very well.
All his books I read, lately Healing The Unhealed Mind, helped me along my path as a student and as teacher of ACIM and a teacher of God. I am deeply grateful for all he did for me and for the world as the very first teacher of God.
And I also know that he will continue to inspire and guide us all.
Your articles, commentaries and books,
removed layers of veils.
Your understanding, humility and acceptance, gave me god's speed.
Your deep insight and symbol interpretation, humbled me.
Your view on the death merely as a transformed symbol, gave me hope.
Love and peace,
Though I never had the good fortune to meet him in person, I think of Ken as a much-loved mentor. The announcement of his death was a shock, but I know that he hasn't gone away. I'll continue to talk to him in my mind often, just as before. It may even be that communication will be better.
I first contacted Ken by letter several years ago. I wanted to write essays and books about ACIM, and needed to know if my thinking was on the right lines. I'd hate to mislead anyone. My great interest is the uniqueness of the Course, while keeping in mind that it's not the only path to awakening. There was only one person in the world I trusted for advice.
Very kindly, Ken answered my letters without delay, with encouragement and reassurance. What a blessing! Two words in capitals have stayed firmly in my mind—"DON'T STOP!"
I've been a student of ACIM for over twenty years, but only began to really understand it after reading Ken's books. I feel great gratitude for all his dedicated years of teaching expressed in his many books, and for the lovely model of personal interaction shown in the workshop videos.
When I began to study the Course, I followed just the Workbook—not knowing that wasn't the best method. Now that I have Ken's Journey Through the Workbook, I can understand much better how the Workbook fits with the Text. Insights such as the poetic use of "loose language" were essential to me. Even my first solitary year was one of startling revelations—now with Ken's books revelations have become bombshells (Ken's own word!).
For all this help and more, I think of Ken with much love and gratitude.
I never met a truly selfless person before Ken. He rarely spoke about himself, but demonstrated the impersonal life, fully identifying with the Atonement, and the common purpose we share. He was always truly present with each of us, as we felt his peace, wisdom, and unconditional love for us. Humorous, Humble, and Happy, along with all the qualities of an advanced Teacher of God, Ken was impeccable in his thoughts, words, and deeds. He wasn't special, He was Holy.
He gave us his all wholeheartedly, fulfilling his function perfectly, so that he could bow out gracefully, to encourage the Christ in us to continue the work. We agreed to go through time together to remember Eternity, Truth, Love, and the Peace of God. Here's to the sacred communion that forever dwells at home in our heart and to the Love between the words.
I love you. Thank you.
Eternity in the twinkling of the eye
One day I found myself going to lunch with Ken and about 10 others. As Ken was pulling up his chair directly across from me our eyes locked for a moment. A kind of a twinkle in his eye connected with mine and I experienced a sense of the infinite. In that micro-second in which everything disappeared, all was eternity; this has stayed with me hence forth. I will be forever grateful to Ken for his love and extending the twinkle.
When I first met Ken in 1981, even in my wildest imagination I could not have predicted that he and I would spend thirty years in a partnership dedicated to translations of A Course in Miracles. However, before that joining began seven years later, meetings in Crompond, Roscoe, New York and California buoyed my deep sense of respect for the intellectual courage, clarity of thought, abiding spirit of inquiry and limitless energy that seemed to sustain Ken and Gloria. If the ambiguity of Shakespearean English sentences ever baffled me, I always felt confident that I could rely on Ken's scholarship for the correct meaning.
In 1988 we signed the first contract to translate the Course into Spanish. As if by an intuitive message from Holy Spirit, my relationship with Ken was immediately challenged by the need to combine our strengths for this new adventure. Our division of labor seemed clear. I would manage the process of selecting and negotiating contracts with translators and publishers. He would teach translators the meaning of the Course and answer questions. Together we would evaluate candidate translators and their work.
Through the next quarter of a century, Ken often listened to my proposals to translators and publishers about "prudent" work schedules and payments, printing formats, color of covers, copyright protection, number of copies in a first edition and so forth. Over time, we began to evaluate the complexity of each such issue with a grade: the number of "Oy Veys" it deserved.
Above all, we needed to discover new levels of patience. We learned that each translation required at least five years from selection of a translator to publication of the work. Thanks to Ken's experience with new students, his patience and kindliness were already mature. My long experience in government with translations and people management had taught me ways to evaluate the work. Our occasional disagreements challenged both of us to rise above the battleground and practice forgiveness. Thus did our collaboration foster our friendship and my deep confidence not only in Ken's understanding of the Course but also in his commitment to its practice when we faced complex decisions.
In October 2012, we met with twenty-one translators in Tiburon, California. Ken and Gloria helped inspire a three-day mood of incomparable spiritual harmony and joy. I like to think that Ken's central message to all of us reflected the lessons that he had learned from the translation experience. He said, "A translation is a great achievement. But you will not understand the Course until you learn to practice and apply it." Little did we know that this would be Ken's personal farewell to most translators. Less than a year later, he began to address physical challenges in this world of dreams.
"How would Ken react to this issue?" remains an intrinsic habit. In my mind I continue to have periodic discussions with him about the fundamental dilemma of any translation, especially the Course. How could we help a translator find a balance between accuracy and fluency? Word for word accuracy would certainly ruin fluency; misplaced fluency would surely sacrifice accuracy. Long familiar with Ken's forgiving compassion for translators who faced that dilemma daily, I will be forever grateful for his social and intellectual partnership, which sustained our uncompromising commitment to preserve the Course's content while having to change its form.
Not just above is heaven found, it is really here and all around. It is within us too where it is still, we will all go home by our common will.
Kenneth is not with us now—but only in form, he lived a life of purpose from the day that he was born.
Yes, We will miss him and his words that were True.
For he was a living demonstration of the Christ that is in you.
Thank you Kenneth.
Oh, how we loved you, Jack and I, from the first time we met you on your first trip to Atlanta in 1982. As you and Jack collaborated on the recording of your classes at Olivia's house that week, he remarked to me that you were "the most like Jesus" of anyone he had ever met. We so loved the time we spent with you and Gloria that week as we drove you to the various venues where you spoke.
I am so very grateful for having known you as a dear friend, teacher, and therapist for so many years.
And now I see you and Jack together there in that peaceful realm where you abide. You lift me up as I see you through my tears.
Today I learned that Kenneth Wapnick died on Dec 27,2013.
How wonderful it is to know the Son of God cannot die, the figure in the dream never lived. I thank him for sharing the light of truth with me. The Sonship only gets brighter as we share with each other. He has left the dream but the Truth remains with us on our journey home. The truth in his mind has reached out to the Truth in all minds. Thank you most Holy Son of God. We are and will always be as God created us. Your journey could never be in vain, it accomplished God's Holy Will.
Ken quietly slipped away Dec. 27, 2013. Each day brings another reminder of all he did with us and for us. As our hearts feel an ending, our trust assures us that Ken continues to live in our minds.
Ken was totally committed to A Course in Miracles so we thank him for his wisdom, sense of humor, integrity and above all his kindness and love. We are richer in our sense of belonging due to his presence and we thank him for revealing to us the compassionate face of Oneness.
We can only believe that the best tribute we can give our beloved teacher is to follow his example with the gentle smile he often mentioned.
There are two words, favorites of Ken's, which characterize him. They were dear to him because they touched his deepest desire and identity. The two words are "WITHOUT EXCEPTION." Those of us who were the recipients of his genuineness can look back on his kindness to everyone, without exception, as genuine gifts to us. We will continue to be inspired by his example and teachings.
One of the most frequent themes that Ken taught us was that we are a mind and only a mind. So it is our role to keep the content of ACIM pure. We are called day in and day out—through our actions, our words, or intentions to provide an example to others.
The best part of all, simply the best, was that Ken shared his journey and his freedom with us—scurrying us along as a Father Abbott herding his flock with wings of love and grace. He made indelible impressions on so many, teaching all of us the gentle art of peacefulness and serenity of the mind.
We thank you, Ken, for still sharing your love with us—you were a turning point in our lives. You will be missed until we awaken from the dream and return HOME to the Oneness joined as One. We are richly blessed by your efforts, your wisdom and your great sense of humor. We are all better off for having been part of your life in this dream knowing we feel your presence forever in the imprint of love that remains in all our hearts.
Ken was in every way a true teacher of Truth.
I started reading ACIM in about 1987 and did not really understand much of it, I knew though that I had to keep reading as it would really help me.
At first, it was only about relieving my deep level of depression and anxiety life seemed painful and did not make sense. It was not until I heard Ken on a Workshop tape that I first had some understanding of the Course principles. Over the next twenty years plus I listened to Ken almost daily and he took me through a journey of deeper levels of understanding. His ability to convey the Course's teachings in both spoken and written word has been the brightest light shining into my mind to help me on the path to awakening.
I know Ken's books and audio programs will inspire ACIM students for generations to come. His voice will be with me as I awaken from the ego's dream.
My deepest gratitude for his role as teacher and mentor.
It has been the great blessing of my life to have had Ken Wapnick as my teacher in the study and practice of A Course in Miracles. His life and teaching were a living demonstration of the loving, non-judgmental, total forgiveness that he taught, and in his presence it was contagious. The depth of his understanding combined with the lightness of his gentle humor, made it clear to me that my search for a teacher was over.
Patience was the quality in Ken that I most valued, since he never implied that I should already know something, no matter how often he had answered the same question. He was always willing to be asked again.
I'm so grateful for the sheer volume of his work, since I feel I'll never run out of learning aides in my continuing study of the Course. The resources he left behind also include the many people he taught, who can continue to extend his teaching by demonstrating the truths that he lived.
In the end his life itself was his teaching, exemplifying all the Course's major lessons and showing us the unlimited possibilities of the willingness to be a vehicle for the healing of God's Son. It was a gift to have known him in this lifetime.
We were so unprepared
expecting your return at any moment
we could have guessed
that what you meant was there is no death!
With that said and understood,
we can rest again, knowing you are fine
knowing you're still here. (because there is no "there")
You belong to us all now.
Now comes the celebration
Of a life lived so deeply and fully
Burning so intensely that only the light remains.
But now it has no limit.
I was very sad to hear of your passing not so long ago. Although I never had a chance to meet you in person, I feel like you are one of my very best friends.
I have been listening to many of your MP3 s over and over again for the last couple of years. Although I had been studying the Course for a number of years prior to that, my learning has been exponential since "taking part" in so many of your workshops.
When I think of how much you have helped me to understand the principles of the Course and to apply them to my everyday life, I feel an incredible sense of gratitude for all the work that you have done over the years. I am constantly amazed at your ability to express the simple and purely non-dualistic message of the Course in so many interesting and varied ways. I really enjoy and admire your gentleness, humility and your great sense of humour!
There's still plenty of your workshops, books and newsletters that I haven't read or listened to, so I am looking forward to many more years of studying this beautiful and awe-inspiring Course with you.
With much love and gratitude,
Listening to Ken from the later eighties onward, he was a voice "calling in the wilderness" of my mind. That voice of truth was (is) with me in the morning getting ready for the day, in the car commute, during the day when cleaning at home and later in my iPod during walks. I have spent more hours listening to him than with some family and friends. The voice was available when they were not. The electronic outreach from Temecula (California) has no boundaries.
His meticulous teaching style, broad range of knowledge of the literary arts; of philosophy; of music; of psychology; of religions; of jokes and of course, complete mastery of ACIM and its teacher, Jesus, made that voice very compelling to listen to. His books also reflected all of the above. My gratitude (to whomever) is boundless.
The voice exuded caring, warmness and love, as he also did in person.
The Ken is gone (not really!), but we have a legacy by which to grow up and become a voice (being) of truth also.
Now he is fully in truth. We are following, brother. Thank you.
I am eternally grateful to Kenneth for what he reflected to me. He showed me Who I really am, by demonstrating Love, Gentleness, and Kindness. When I forget Who I am, I will think of Ken and remind myself what I already know. He exemplified the ultimate teacher by his demonstration of the Course. His scholarliness and erudition about the Course was the instrument he played, the form. What truly emanated from Ken Wapnick was its content of Love, Gentleness, Kindness, and Peace that came from doing what it says, by accepting our inheritance. Being vigilant about doing what the Course says perception by perception is how I will honor Ken and ultimately, myself. I am humbled by his unwavering practice and know that I can choose to do the same. I am aware of his still, quiet presence all around me and know this is the essence of Who I am, who we all are. Thank you, Ken for singing the Song. With Love and Humility,
Dr. Kenneth Wapnick lives in our minds
July 2008 upon the emphatic inner insistence of Gabriela, my wife, I travelled eight hours south from Toronto by highway, to the Omega Centre near Hudson, in New York state for a five-days seminar with Dr. Kenneth Wapnick. I knew of his impeccable reputation through the internet and Gary Renard's book, The Disappearance of the Universe, in which Pursah states, "Ken was identified to the original group by J [Jesus] as the one who would be responsible for teaching people what the Course means ... that does not mean that Ken is the only teacher of the Course, but he will be viewed in the future as the greatest one. He's the one whom teachers and scholars will still be reading hundreds and even thousands of years from now."
The learning phenomenon I experienced in the first ninety minutes at Omega that July Monday, confirmed that description to me. I was keenly aware and immensely grateful that my learning cup vastly overfloweth and I could have gone home right then and there, knowing I had received already five days worth of wisdom teaching. So vital were the in-depth clarities flowing from Ken's lips. He does not stop. The whole experience of a Ken Wapnick seminar beginning to end is potent and life changing. The truth is true and there is no level of differentiation within truth, just as there is no order of difficulty in miracles.
I have experienced a plethora of gurus, teachers, workshops, seminars and lectures during four years at the Findhorn Foundation in Scotland and around the world. Certainly some were flashier and more charismatic, but Ken had that rare ability to observe and accurately describe the "good, the bad, and the ugly" of the ego's suspiciousness to viciousness games without holding back while at the same time not judging. He really knew how to leave that up to Holy Spirit. In Absence from Felicity he relates how Dr. Helen Schucman quoted Year's poem, "Tread lightly on my dreams/ They are dreams/But they are my dreams" and how he learned to love Helen in their friendship unconditionally without needing or trying to change her. Ken's teaching to us always made the point clear that our job in the illusion was acknowledging and correcting our own errors with Holy Spirit's direction. It was not about browbeating another with corrections you think they should be making using Course principles to attack them rather than focus on healing oneself. I am still working on that mighty forgiveness lesson with Ken's continuing help.
Choose any multi-day CD or DVD set and prepare to be moved profoundly starting with the first disc. Highly concentrated but very accessible truth learning. Let me give an example. In 2009 I purchased the twenty CD set derived from the five day Atlanta workshop summer of 2007 called Pathway of A Course in Miracles: From Spirituality to Mysticism. My wife stole away the first CD to her car audio deck and there it remained for over three months, played over and over and over and over perhaps a hundred times travelling back and forth from her University teaching job at U of T. Normally she is a quick study and intellectually impatient, but there was just so much true content available that it was a perfect hologram of the whole Course that invited repeated repetition.
What happens? Ken penetrates a subject rapidly, naturally and in clear understandable language. Within minutes you find yourself hearing an interesting, sometimes startling quality of truth, [often Shakespearean-upside down-things are not what they seem] that you may never have heard expressed before. But you recognize its veracity immediately, [even the seemingly most outrageous principles, in terms of contradicting the ego's insane thought system]. One gets that this man has no spin, that likely his verbal articulation is the most consistent external representation of the Holy Spirit's voice for God that will be encountered in one's entire life. One marvels.
While there at Omega I invited him to come to Toronto the following year to teach a weekend seminar at U of T. Maybe, he said. Some months later he kindly agreed, I asked what topic do you want to teach? He said you choose; whatever it is, it will turn out to be the same old thing. So we selected Narcissism, the Ego's Myth and he was so right, no matter from what angle or subject direction he entered, his symphonic repetition of the key melodic themes of the Course always showed up brilliantly no matter what the subject starting point. When we put out the word that year with the gracious help of the Foundation for A Course in Miracles, 180 people from nearly every province of Canada and about a dozen American states and five other countries rushed to join Ken's seminar. Every year since dozens would ask, "When is Ken coming back?" Every year I re-iterated our invitation. Like Douglas McArthur, he told me, "I will return." Just not necessarily in the outer form.
In person Ken could be a very funny man, wry, ironic, sometimes a little satirical as he took the mickey out of "the tiny mad idea at which the Son of God remembered not to laugh." He was always reminding us that the issue was not with the tiny mad idea of separation, but that we took it so seriously remembering not to laugh treating it like a sin to which we felt guilty and fearful of punishment The problem, and it is the only problem from which all the dream's other seeming problems proliferate, he showed, is our belief in this tiny mad idea of separation and division. Ken was unequivocal with his answer—we had to return to the mind and change our mind about this false belief, to see this and all things lightly, turning them over to Jesus as our Teacher.
Everyone may have their favourite remembrance of Ken's zany humour. Mine involved Gabriela and our ten year old daughter Alzena, and me, arriving in the foyer of FACIM in Temecula for a three day training with Ken in the summer of 2010. Ken spotted us, came bounding over beaming. With his hand gently on top of Alzena's summer felt hat, he was rotating radically around her exclaiming to Gabriela and I "But where is Alzena. You said she was coming, where is she? I am so disappointed. I was so looking forward to seeing her. Why couldn't she come? Gloria will be broken hearted. Where's Alzena, is she sick? Of course Alzena was taking it all seriously, "I'm here Kenny Bear, I'm here, right here, can't you see me? Nope, hilariously he kept this up for a good minute and a half, drawing Gabriela and I in to take the cues and play along. Great fun, we were all in tears of laughter by the end.
For Ken's wife and spiritual partner, Gloria, close family and FACIM colleagues, Judy and Whit and everyone at the Foundation for Inner Peace, we send our heartfelt condolences. It is not easy to lose the presence of one so kind, true and wise and loving. There is no death. Ken lives and extends his love in our minds. He has left an amazing legacy of teaching what the Course means, for now into eternity. Numerous YouTube five to ten minutes bite sized spiritual subject explorations; audio/visual DVD versions of seminars filmed at Temecula; audio CD sets of workshops and books; MP3 downloads; printed Books, varied scholarly in depth explorations numbering about thirty; Archives of the quarterly Lighthouse written by Ken, all designed to us each to bring the illusion to the light, not the other way around. In addition I am sure there are many of Ken and Gloria's courses and works that FACIM staff may find valuable to publish in the future. We are truly blessed. I love the man and his work. Our Path on the way Home has been well lighted by Ken's prodigious output. In the mind, there is no death. "Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists. Herein lies the peace of God." ACIM
I am still shocked and feeling very sad to know that Ken is no longer with us in physical form as our teacher and mentor of ACIM at the Foundation. I am aware that I am not alone with these feelings and he will be greatly missed by countless students, friends and family. Ken Wapnick may very well be the most significant and influential person I have had in my life. Being his student for 25 years, his profound understanding of ACIM and his clarity in communicating what it says along with his unwavering demonstration of the principles stands like a shining light in the darkness. Ken would remind us that Jesus would say that we seem to only drink from the ocean of Love in small increments because of our fear of Love. My experience was that Ken's presence and teaching methods provided an ever growing vessel from which I learned to drink. His warm dark brown eyes were filled with light and often when I sequestered him with my "urgent" questions they would simply disappear in his presence ..... Hmmm ... after a while I realized I just wanted an excuse to sit with him. Another way I resonated with Ken is through music. I too have found music to be a very powerful symbol for me on my journey and I loved and resonated with his usage of musical metaphors. On a sadder note, I must admit that I am feeling a bit anxious now that he is not here to talk with and learn from and in some way for me he played the role of a buffer to soften the blows of the ego's antics. As I have been listening more deeply through my grief, it seems that a message to me (any maybe for many of us?) is to "step up to the plate" with my forgiveness practice. Why delay a deeper acceptance of Love? I keep hearing from others that I have spoken with, that the lesson in our collective classroom is for us to realize that Ken lives within us and I truly hope that I will open to accept and embrace this on my Journey without Distance.
In deep gratitude and sadness,
Ken has been my teacher since he and Gloria recorded a set of audio tapes for Nightingale Conant many years ago. Ken's books and recordings since then have become a bright beacon of light in the world. The clarity of his explanations, his humor and his gentle guidance have given me a place to grow in the awareness of love's presence. I am deeply grateful for the thoughtful attention he devoted to his writing and recording over these many years. His love will indeed live forever.
I first met Ken in 1987, when he & Gloria kindly met me at Kennedy Airport (on the only afternoon available to us), following my arrival there from London. After much conversation, climaxed by a pleasant supper on City Island, they delivered me to my destination in Westchester County.
Ken always commended kindness as a suitable ACIM "virtue." At this first meeting, I felt completely surrounded by kindness. So I knew early on that Ken & Gloria both practiced this virtue themselves.
Such kindness has not diminished over time. Ken has been exceptionally helpful to me during my subsequent work with the Course. And his willingness to review my first book, making one or two suggestions (seemingly minor ones, but important nevertheless) led to his pithy conclusion that my book was "kosher"!
Earlier, in a short note he commented on the fact that I had not yet written the above-mentioned book, despite the fact that I had been discussing it with him for a long time. He finally wrote to me in what must be the shortest letter I have ever received:
"Write the goddamn book!"
Over the years, Ken has been the Course teacher I have found myself able to fully trust. One reason for this is that, as well as being a wonderful teacher, Ken was a scholar. Of all the Course teachers I have known, he alone had what I regard as a credible knowledge of Christianity, along with other contemporary thought systems—his magisterial Love Does Not Condemn is a masterpiece of erudition and remains the first really scholarly book about the Course (hopefully others will follow as ACIM gains wider acceptance in the academic and ecclesiastical worlds).
Ken's brilliant Course scholarship has been extremely helpful to me personally. As a practicing Anglican (Episcopal) priest who has been committed to the Course teachings for over 30 years, I have come to realize that ACIM and Christianity are essentially incompatible (some will disagree)—again, Ken put it best with another pithy admonition:
"You can't have it both ways, Hugh!"
This advice literally changed the course of my entire ministry in the Church.
As a student of the Course and a study group leader for many years, I have always known there is a source of completely reliable information and guidance on ACIM. Ken's incisive grasp and living demonstration of the Course and clear, brilliant scholarship have never failed to help unfold the depth of my experience. His legacy of writings and videos holds us all in a safe embrace as we proceed.
Some years ago, I was blessed to spend an afternoon with Ken and Gloria, along with my husband Hugh, in Roscoe, New York. I fell in love with Ken and his sense of humor within seconds of meeting him, as his opening words to me were (pointing to Hugh): "Don't believe a word this man tells you!"
Dear Gloria and family, and Foundation Staff,
It was with a heavy heart that I learned of Kenneth's passing. My deepest sympathies and love are extended to you and your loved ones and the Foundation staff during this time.
Many of us have "grown up" with the Course through Kenneth's teachings. He led the way up the ladder and always with great clarity, love, gentleness and laughter. He was Christ's messenger as we all shall become. In truth, he lives on eternally in our hearts and minds. He is as near to us as the Christ, a mere thought away.
He demonstrated the greatest lesson of them all in his passing—that we cannot die. In my mind's eye, he teaches us still.
I, like so many others, am extremely grateful to you and to him for the incredible groundwork you laid in creating the Foundation.
With deep love and gratitude for the legacy of his teachings, I wish you peace, love and the comfort of God's angels. You are never alone.
Dear Gloria and Foundation Staff,
Monumental thanks to all of you for being there. Words are inadequate to convey the breadth of love & teaching that Ken's life offered, but I want to extend my heartfelt appreciation and gratitude for Ken's shepherding of the teaching into the larger world—of how to apply the lessons in our daily lives; for his integrity, never wavering from the truth of pure non-duality; for his humour; and for the beautifully written, literate essays which made the Light brighter every quarter.
He's left a tremendous body of work. His Light still shines.
Merci. Thank you so much.
Ken helped me to understand the Course.
I am so grateful to have attended many of his Academy classes and am thankful he left for us all a treasure of books, articles, Lighthouse newsletters, DVDs, CDs and MP3s. His explanations and examples enabled me to dive deeper into the Course's profound Truth. And I appreciated his dedication to keep the Course pure, unalterable.
And to be in Ken's presence was an object lesson in what the Course teaches: kindness, a sense of humor, acceptance and forgiveness. He was an embodiment of the Course.
Ken's teachings changed my life, and I only hope I can demonstrate that he, like Jesus, never died, but that he lives in me, in all.
In deep gratitude,
I first met Kenneth in 1990 at the retreat center in Roscoe, NY. I was brand new to ACIM and I went there with a friend as a vacation. I knew very little about the Course, the center or its teachers. It was a week-long workshop on special relationships and I didn't have a clue what was going on that week. But I did know one thing, Kenneth demonstrated a love and a light that I longed for and I knew I wanted to return.
In the years since that first encounter, I came to love and respect him more and more. He always encouraged me gently but consistently in my work with the Course; continually clarifying the teachings while reminding me not to take everything so seriously. I have observed his interactions with many people over the years and he always demonstrated love, impartiality and gentleness. He taught by example, demonstrating the teachings of the Course by his words and actions. To say that he has changed my life is an understatement. When I first began my studies of the Course I found it extremely difficult and I don't believe that I would still be practicing it without Kenneth's guidance and encouragement.
His death has come as an incredible shock to me as I am sure it has to everyone. I am very grateful to the Foundation for this opportunity to try to express my appreciation and gratitude for the work that Kenneth and the Foundation have done for all of us. While he made it look so easy, I think his life's work was challenging for him and yet he did it lovingly, giving of himself so generously.
When I read the quote that accompanied the announcement of Kenneth's death, "Teach not that I died in vain, teach rather that I did not die by demonstrating that I live in you," I was deeply touched. That quote struck me as the best possible message. I definitely think it would be his message to us now and as I go through the rest of my life I will strive to remember and live by it.
With love and gratitude,
Ever since I went to your workshop for the first time, writing and receiving letters from you had been the greatest source of comfort and support for me. All the time I wanted to write about so many things but at same time I had no idea about what to write except a cry for help. So my letters always ended up with short, kind of matter of fact with what I had been doing. Your letters back to me was exquisite. Just short lines, full of humour, but I could really feel the love, support and all the guidance I needed. It was the perfect example of the true music behind the notes.
Your early departure was a shock to me. I always knew it would be a forgiveness lesson for me, but it was much too soon. However at the same time I really feel your gentle smile in my heart all the time. I know that you haven't really left us.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you Ken. I will love you forever. God bless you.
We are forever grateful to our friend, Ken, for preserving the integrity of A Course in Miracles while deepening our understanding of it through his inspired teaching. And, as important as his life's work was to him, it was always secondary to any opportunity for him to show kindness to others. He was a perfect example of how to live in the world and not of it, and we will miss him tremendously.
I met Ken in 1986 at the Foundation in Roscoe, New York. At that time I had been ostracized by my entire family as I formally disassociated myself from the fundamental religion I was brought up in. As many have experienced, I had only known a God of fear and judgment. The teachings left me feeling totally unworthy of God's love and I would never survive his wrath. I felt I had no one in the entire world but was vigilant searching for a loving God.
One day, the Course in Miracles book was handed to me and the words embossed on the bottom of the book "Foundation For Inner Peace" pulsated and the words spoke volumes to me. I "knew" this was my path.
I had visited the Foundation in Roscoe for a weekend workshop in 1986. There I met Ken as he was walking across the dining room. When I was introduced to Ken, his love and kindness overcame me and I began to cry as I saw the "light" in Ken and was happy to know I'd found my way or at least I was on the path. Ken's presence during the years I attended his lectures and workshops always gave me strength and I would remember Lesson 70 that he referred to often "My Salvation Comes from me."
Ken's passing, leaving his body, at first made me very sad. I knew he would want me to see him as a mind. About two weeks after he passed, I had an out of body experience. I remember going up and up and passed through some darkness before I arrived into the light. There was beautiful bright, bright shimmering light and melodious sounds and then .... I joined with Ken for what seemed to be a short time and then came back to my body.
"Thank you Ken for showing me how to trust and experience the Love of God."
I often learn best not so much through words but by example—and Ken has been that very perfect example for me, and probably will be for a long time to come. No one demonstrated peace more convincingly and more thoroughly to me than he. I'd never have believed someone like him— and the peace and kindness he extended—could actually grace this planet had I not met him myself. If Ken's only purpose was to help us wake up, then I imagine the only purpose of his death is to help us wake up. He did everything for us.
Kenneth Wapnick taught us terrifying concepts, such as that we're not here at all—yet we flocked to hear him say it again and again. He taught us to be kind and we waited in throngs for a smile from him, perhaps a hug or a three-word answer to a question asked years ago but not forgotten. He taught from A Course in Miracles, Plato and Shakespeare and other great minds and advised us to read for the silence between their words. And just when we thought we knew what to expect, Kenneth changed into a capricious child, dunking a pair of spectacles from a hapless admirer's face into coffee light and sweet. He demonstrated universal love. He taught us well and thoroughly. He left us in our own hands, to accept the Holy Spirit within us as our right-minded selves to lead us home.
High above the sky the
arc of Ken's rainbow shines in all its glory
robbing Death of its darkness
Ken's light forever illuminates the
splendors of his gardens
His sunlight welcomes the budding flowers
As bees gather the love nectar for honey
Ken's flowers are perennials that blossom everlastingly
our work is to tend his garden's flowers that grow from Ken's loving seeds
Inspired by his love we will care for his
gardens as he smiles from Heaven
When all is silent
His voice can be heard
Everyday noise and chatter
Makes his voice inaudible
Try to quiet your mind
Focus on the space between thoughts
But listen intently
Stop trying to understand the words
It's the music he wants you to hear
He taught his bird to sing
I asked him why
With a wink and a smile
He said I did it just for you
eally, it was a Lark
There are many stars in the sky
Some twinkle fade and disappear
Others stay bright and guide the mariners on their perilous journey across
Ken is forever our bright guiding star on our voyages
The. clouds of seeming death at times block our vision but when we dissipate
the Illusion of death the shining light of Ken's star once again guides us to our
A tribute to his everlasting and deathless love.
I found myself in Avila, Saint Teresa's
Ken was also living there
They invited me in for tapas and sangria
They asked me why I was so late
I had forgotten that I lived there too.
I hear his song in the wind
I feel the rain on my face
I see the clouds hiding the sun
I look to the sky for guidance
But I can't find him
Where has he gone
He's the smile on your face
He's the sparkle in your spirit
He's the giggle in your voice
He's the chuckle in your chest
He's the twinkle in your eyes
He's love everlasting that lives in your heart and shines in your soul
We dance to his music
Which fills us with joy forever and ever
When the Course in Miracles found me over 20 years ago, I recognized it as my ticket out of hell. If the Course symbolizes the lighthouse to me then Dr Wapnick's voice is the foghorn calling me home. Over and over and over again. Patiently, steadfastly it calls, explaining the thought system so alien to my ego world of torment.
My resistance has always been strong. I once ejected a cassette tape of one of his workshops and threw it over my head while driving my car. It landed on the back windshield where it stayed for about 3 months. I retrieved it when I could take my pain no longer and it called patiently from the back of the car.
Now I actually fall asleep every night listening to one of more than 60 workshops on my iPOD which I place under my pillow. A friend of mine recently shared that some women buy shoes, we buy Ken's workshops. And it is pretty amazing how I sleep quite comfortably with this sound in my ears until something someone says wakes me up. One night I woke to hear Ken say that you can't learn this by putting it under your pillow and expecting to learn it by osmosis. I laughed. Maybe that is what I expected. My greatest learning and also my greatest resistance is just to practice, practice, practice.
Although I did not know him personally, I cannot help but feel an enormous sense of love and gratitude for his brilliance, his generosity and his dedication to the teaching of this life saving work of art. Thank you Kenneth, Gloria and staff of the Foundation for your dedication to this work of love.
The noble shepherd of the unconscious mind Kenneth Wapnick, Ph.D.
'Delay does not matter in eternity, but it is tragic in time." (T-5.VI.3)
"In you is all of Heaven. Every leaf that falls is given life in you. Each bird that ever sang will sing again in you. And every flower that ever bloomed has saved its perfume and its loveliness for you." (T-25. IV.5)
I never did come up with a question I felt worthy of your time to ask you. Looking back, I should have just made the appointment and sat in silence with you for those few minutes.
Nevertheless, I do consider myself one of the lucky few to have met you and to have received a hug and a welcome from you at the Temecula Foundation. What you and Gloria have created along with your dedicated staff is a gift beyond measure.
Since all minds and hearts are joined I haven't a doubt that you know the depth of my gratitude for your contribution and devotion to being the Teacher of Teachers.
And as I strive to comprehend and live the Course you will never be far from my thoughts and for that I am eternally grateful.
Still, I want you to know I miss you so.
We are always saddened by the death of a good person. It is from sadness that a feeling of gratitude emerges. We feel honored to have known him and blessed that his passing serves as a reminder to us that our time on this beautiful earth is limited and that we should seize the opportunity we have to forgive, share, explore, and love. we can think of no greater way to honor Kenneth Wapnick than to live this way.
Thank You Kenneth,
For your Priesthood,
For showing us the way through
A Course in Miracles
Thank you for your patience
With all our questions through the years.
Although you understood the mystery so well
You helped us grow, from child, to man, to Spirit ...
Thank you for your never ending love
To use the symbols, and more symbols
Over and over again to give us understanding
In revealing the veils to our hidden Love
So that we could learn to rise and shine
In our Glory and Oneness.
Thank you for being one of us
A brother and a friend
So that we could feel the love of Jesus
In our hearts through you.
Thank you for showing me the Light
In teaching me forgiveness
So that finally I could recognize
"Who walks with me" ...
In this dream I will miss you,
always, and every day ...
But in Oneness I will rejoice with you,
and all my brothers One with me:
"There is no death, the Son of God is free."
In love and Light
When I was first introduced to A Course in Miracles in the 1980's, I was thrilled to find a body of work that integrated psychology and spirituality. I soon learned of Ken Wapnick, his relationship with Helen and Bill and his role in assisting to organize the material. It was only after I began to read his books and listen to his CDs that I realized what an absolute treasure this man was. Here was a person that had been on a spiritual quest for much of his life, was trained in psychotherapy and was a gifted and inspirational teacher. His understanding of the Course and his expertise in explaining it bring a clarification that is helpful beyond anything or anyone I have ever encountered.
I very much wanted to meet Ken in person and signed up for his week long workshop to be held in March of2014. Now that meeting is not to be but I actually feel like I already know him. I listen to or read his works almost daily and know I will continue to tum to him for clarification. His teachings are consistent and truthful. One feels that he really "got it". He inspired us all to try to practice forgiveness every moment of every day, to be kind to each other. He was a perfect example of principle #8 in Chapter 2 of the Text, "Special Principles of Miracle Workers"; "I am here only to be truly helpful. I am here to represent Him Who sent me."
The Course says that we do not die because we are not bodies and I know that Ken fully believed that. We are only spirit. And so I say to you, Ken, thank you for all your hard work, dedication and shining example. You were, and will continue to be, immensely helpful to me and countless others as we continue along our journeys.
In love and gratitude,
Dear Friends at FACIM,
Although I have not been long familiar with ACIM, I am deeply conversant with its principles. The Course found me after many years of coming to it by other ways, which is but One Way. I simply want to say "Thank You!" to a Son of God I shall not meet face-to-face in this dream-life. It is the Course and Dr. Kenneth Wapnick's vision and interpretation of it that have inspired what I know to be my concluding spiritual development. Dr. Wapnick's work is breathtaking in its range and penetration. Every page I read brings more light. It is my fondest hope that the work of this remarkable and brilliant Teacher will continue to be available for future generations of learners. As a Teacher of the Course he is without peer. Heart-thanks to Ken, Gloria & family, and to Foundation staff for their selfless and loving service to Truth.
His work goes on. Blessed be his memory.
I have tried to write, but tears come flooding my eyes.
I know you would laugh your loving endless laugh saying with your eyes:
-No, Lillian, I am not dead. I am here with you.
Right away tears come, I am afraid of this life without you.
-No, Lillian, I am here with you. I would never leave you.
It must be that I still doubt that I can survive without your voice, your hands, your infinite patience with my lack of trust. It must be that I still doubt I will learn to forgive.
It must be that I feel alone in the universe now that I know I will not see your face again.
-No, Lillian, you are seeing my face now.
-Yes, it is true. I can hear your voice, I can read your books, I can see your eyes in my eyes. I know how you worked so that I would have your words, your love imprinted in every page you ever wrote. I am so deeply grateful for every minute I spent with you.
Tears keep coming. Tears keep coming. Tears keep coming.
Thank you, Ken, thank you, Ken.
I've been following the teachings of A Course in Miracles since 1980 and first met Ken Wapnick when I had the great good fortune to hear him speak in California in 1980 or 1981. I've been following him ever since. In 1981 or 1982 I called him in New York from California. I had a question for him and was so pleased that he took the time and was willing to schedule a call and talk to me. It was 3pm East Coast time and I called from work. I was slightly star struck and put him on a pedestal. In the middle of our conversation he had to stop for a moment. I could hear lively kids voices in the background and I could hear Ken yelling at them (or speaking "firmly" as he would say). The sound was muffled like he had his hand over the receiver but I could hear the intensity in his voice. I was a little shocked ("How could this spiritual person yell so vociferously?"). I also thought maybe he's doing this on purpose to teach me not to put him on a pedestal. I will be amazed if I ever again meet a teacher of A Course in Miracles on a level with Ken. I felt he truly knew what he was talking about and expressed it in a way that I could take in. Seeing him in person a few times at Tennanah Lake and Temecula (not enough!) I felt the love he radiated, teaching, speaking, and as he went from person to person warmly greeting everyone. Some people you put on a pedestal and they stay there, for good reason.
Tribute to Kenneth
Over the years that I've been studying with Ken, his response to my ego machinations often included a reference to music: "just listen to Mozart, Beethoven or Renata Tebaldi and you'll be fine." With Ken's gentle guidance, I'm beginning to recognize the blocks to really hearing the melody and at times I can also perceive Jesus' calling me through the music.
I will continue on with the process of growing into the Course and into the music, but I'll miss Ken—his hugs and kisses, his tickles, his confidence in me, his refusal to judge (although i tried hard on that one), his consistency, his clarity, his patience, his creativity, his scholarly brilliance, and most of all, his sparkling and pure loving presence.
I'm incredibly thankful that Ken spent his life as a "translator" of the Course in Miracles, bringing his depth of understanding of the Course into simple terms and language that I could more easily understand. Although I only attended his talks twice, I have a large collection of his recorded talks, which I gratefully play whenever I travel.
His lessons have been a blessing, and have helped me immeasurably. I have enjoyed his humor, and I particularly appreciate his gentle, elegant responses to audience questions about the Course, since I can relate to the issues discussed.
I will miss him like a father. Godspeed.
Ken has always been there, whenever I needed him.
He suddenly appeared into my life twenty years ago, when—after studying almost alone the Course for about 5 years—I invited him and Gloria to lecture in the Institute I was directing in my town in Italy. At the time my life was offering me a difficult choice, only apparently an outer one, where I was supposed to join assertiveness and gentleness, two qualities that I perceived as incompatible. During his lecture he amazingly demonstrated to me that it was possible. His bright example has been more convincing than his altogether scholarly lecture, and led me to the decision of choosing him as my teacher of life and spirituality.
It has been a true turning point: in my life there has been a "before Ken," and an "after Ken." Ken has always been there, in all my years of "sorting out".
I used to go to Roscoe whenever I could to take his Academy Courses, while engaging at home in my daily study of his books and records. Without his profound understanding of the Course, his extremely detailed comments, his convincing clarity and vision, I would have probably wandered for a long time in the ego's tortuous and diverting interpretations of it. I am sure he has saved me years and years of work, facilitating my understanding, and helping me to consciously go through the snares my ego was laying in front of me as I was proceeding. Thanks to him I have understood the importance of a careful and systematic study of the theory of the Course. And from such an understanding came my decision of transforming what until then had been a solitary spiritual choice into a professional activity, giving birth to my school in Italy. Now I needed his help more than ever, because I didn't always find within myself the answer to the myriad of questions that were surfacing along the way. Yet, knowing how extremely busy he was, I didn't dare to disturb him for asking what I assumed to be too insignificant to deserve his care and attention.
Yet Ken was always present, whenever I needed him.
He impacted my life in a much more consistent way when he began supervising me in 2007. Then our relationship dramatically changed. Until then, for more than 10 years, I had focused almost all my work on the study of the theory. Now Ken started to gently but inflexibly bring my attention to the practical application of the Course to my daily life, encouraging me to go through the seeming tragedies of life with the Mozartian lightness of a spiritual giant. The value of his teaching has been incommensurable. His example, exactly as in our first encounter in 1994, was the perfect demonstration of the same principles he was so masterly teaching in his courses and books. In the following almost seven years I have submitted him dozen and dozen topics, both on personal issues and on my practice as a teacher. He always answered promptly, with impressive patience, with tolerance and gentleness. He demonstrated how being faithful to the content doesn't necessarily mean a formal consistency; how you have to steadily walk with small, equal steps, distrusting your ego's urge to rush; how important it is to face your choices defenselessly and with empty hands, with the levity of one who, flying, is able to suddenly shift his own direction, over and over, yet never loses track of his own inner polar star.
At times Ken was "too much" for me, because his advices seemed too difficult to understand, let alone follow. Therefore I adopted a policy: whenever I would disagree with him, I just didn't judge. I looked at my thoughts and I waited....I knew that I would understand him later. In time I would realize this was true.
Little by little I started to submit him all my writings, especially the ones that were to be printed, because I knew how deceitful the ego is, and I have learned at my own expenses to trust not my good intentions. While supervising my writings Ken always put himself apart—he, who was such a brilliant writer!—for helping me to trust a strength that is within me even if doesn't come from me. He taught me, in a very practical fashion, to be extremely vigilant for a Voice That I had listened to since my childhood, in order to let It become, in a future time, the only Voice I will hear within my mind.
One day, discussing with him about his comment on Mozart's Magic Flute, I told him that for me he symbolized Sarastro and I identified myself with Pamina. He smiled at this idea and since then on I often afforded to call him this way. I also coined an adjective, "wisissimo ", that joins the root of the English word "wise", which perfectly adapted to him, and the Italian superlative suffix "issimo ", which means "the most". Since then on Ken became for me "wisissimo Sarastro ", "the most wise Sarastro". Only now I understand that by inventing such a playful neologism, which links the two languages, I meant him being, for me, a bridge between that supreme wisdom he was so able to daily manifest and my burning aspiration to permanently live it. For years I had been a professional actress, and, by graciously adhering to my invitation to relate to each other as "wisissimo Sarastro'' and "Pamina," Ken demonstrated his excellent capacity of adapting himself to the form presented by his student, in order to transmit a changeless content. Our form was certainly special, yet through it Ken taught me to acknowledge and manifest the sameness that joins all of us.
I know that Ken is, and always will be, there whenever I need him.
His luminous example sparkles in the inner sky of my mind and his teaching is the solid bedrock on which I steadily found my steps.
With profound gratitude I feel I belong to his legacy and with as much profound humility I try to witness it.
Ken came to NYC to gave a weekend lecture at Fordham University in 2008. I believe it was his last lecture in NYC. Most of the audience were from ASP, the Association of Spirituality and Psychotherapy, which organized the lecture.
I was a member of ASP at the time and had already been dedicated to the Course for over 13 years. I was so excited to finally see Ken.
Friday morning, the second day of the lecture, I found that the subway line in my neighborhood was not running. I couldn't find any available cab for a while because everyone was taking cabs that morning. When I finally caught one, time was running out. Then my cab ran into a street fair and was stuck in gridlock.
I was upset for a while. I didn't want to miss any part of Ken's talk. I also didn't want to show myself as a rude student to Ken. I wanted to be a good attendant at his lecture.
Then I remembered, "Wait, Yasuko. Again? You wanted to be a remarkable daughter and student your entire childhood to please your parents and teachers. You wanted to stop it. It was one of the biggest reason you started to study the Course. Stop it. And surrender the thought about being late to Holy Spirit."
I could relax. No worries. Instead, I started conversing with the driver and enjoyed the ride. I thought I would be really tardy, but I somehow arrived at the venue only 15 minutes late.
When I stepped in the lecture hall, the lights turned on. Until that moment, something had been wrong with the electrical system and the lecture hall, full of 1 50 students and Ken at the front, had been patiently waiting in the dark.
Ken said, "Ah, we can start now." Then, he saw I was walking to a vacant seat and said, "Ohayo! [=Good morning! In Japanese] You gave us a starting signal." Yes, Ken welcomed this late student with such a kind humor!
On that day, at lunch time, I witnessed Ken and Jon Mundy talking closely and intimately (candidly) as if they were actual brothers. Jon introduced me to Ken.
Several years later, I received a letter from Ken regarding my Course lesson guidebook, which was about to be published in Japan. Both his manner of talking with me in person and his written correspondence with me were very warm, frank and openhearted. I believe everyone who interacted with him had the same experience.
For the past 20 years, which is the number of years I've been dedicated to the Course, I have always felt that Ken was the strict teacher who was leading us to miracles, not to magic. I really appreciate his teaching. I could check my compass all the time because Ken was pointing out the North Star all the time for me.
And yet, when I heard the news of his body's passing, I realized that I had not known him at all. It's not because I didn't have many opportunities to see him in person.
I had to correct my mind because I heard that "Ken got sick and passed." I repeated so in my mind again and was upset. "Ken got sick and passed,"
No, he didn't. "Ken is now gone." No, he isn't.
It's simply because he was not here from the beginning.
Ken is not a being who used to be in NY and moved to California, and is now not on this earth. He is not a being who is moving around, nor coming and going.
As I said, I met him at Fordham University on 2008. I thought so. But it was not Ken. Ken was/is/will be everywhere. Ken was/is/will be in my mind.
After he passed, I am becoming closer and closer to him. I am feeling him stronger and stronger in my mind. I see him everywhere. I especially see open-mindedness and generosity. Whenever I feel it, I have to stop whatever I am doing for a moment because I am overwhelmed by it.
I am now slowly getting to know him and receive him. Of course, it was Ken to teach me this—all relationships start as a special relationship, but you should correct your mind and see a holy relationship with the person.
Ken, thank you very much. We are your students and are demonstrating your teaching through the experience of accepting you, love itself. Ken, I now truly accept that I don't need to be a good student, just because I am a happy student of you.
Tribute to Ken
My heart goes out to all of you who had the privilege of being with Ken in person and no doubt feel the sadness of his passing.
Being an overseas student, nothing seems to have changed. Ken continues to teach me as he always has thanks to our electronic age and the work of the wonderful FACIM.
It's not as though had he lived longer there were more things he could have taught us. He, like the Course itself says the same one thing over and over, just dressing it up with a different title to each Workshop to satisfy our need for variety. His dedication to not compromising the message and thus keeping us honest, has earned my undying gratitude.
And yet how delightful is his impish sense of humour that might suddenly arise if the moment calls for it and no matter how often I may listen to the same CD, I find myself always laughing at his little quips that endear himself to me constantly, a subtle reminder in itself, not to take it all too seriously.
Ken tirelessly teaches me to remember that I am a decision-maker with the choice to see differently in any given moment instead of seeing the world as the cause of my unhappiness. I was therefore very surprised when only recently it dawned on me that things in my world very often do change when I practise forgiveness but I have been taught so well not to look there that I hadn't even noticed! And having discovered that, it doesn't matter anyway because inner peace from changing my mind has become more valuable to me. There are no words to describe my gratitude to my extraordinary teacher.
K = Kindest Master Teacher I/we ever will know in the experience of the Miracles Course content & materials, so grateful to have studied with you at Roscoe, NY & continued learning through your Oasis of Peace, S. Cal., FACIM Resources.
E = Encouraging & inspiring other minds with our Elder Brother, Jesus, to join in forgiving with integrity what "never happened."
N = "No separation, no death" as you would say, and "not the notes," but "the whole song." We will join our Mind with yours now & forever, dear Dr. Ken Wapnick in "the Arc of Golden Light."
W = Wisdom Teacher & our guide for our Miracles "journey without distance, time and space," one with our right Mind.
A = tribute-author of 36+ books about ACIM's content, DVDs of numerous seminars, teachings and epistles for all of us, your many students—thank you so much—in the Lighthouse Publications & your living legacy of Internet "You Tubes."
P = Professor, Ph.D. "Emeritus" of the Miracles Course content, now graduated into the "Arc of Golden Light," having personally responded to my/our written letters about the Course when we—your many students—requested clarifications. You faithfully coached us with patience, your sense of humor and wit by neatly typing your letters on point back to us. These letters were/are full of profound insights that we treasure forever, pearls of spirituality alongside the garden of "lilies of forgiveness."
N = No "unholy trinity" as you say, "of sin, guilt, and fear" because "nothing happened," "the tiny mad idea"/ego ceased the instant it seemed to occur as the Holy Spirit, the Answer, is in our right Mind eternally. With you, brother Ken, we will choose our right Mind and join with you through "the decision maker."
I = Intelligence you commanded, Dr. Ken Wapnick, Ph.D., about classical, ancient traditions, Biblical archaeology and modern psychology after Freud and Jung. You were well-versed in Hebrew, Judaism, studied Gnosticism, early and modern Christianity, Catholicism, the Gospels including the lost Gospels, those found at Qumram caves, the Apocrypha and finally your life's work found you—A Course in Miracles, the late 20th Century transcribed, transmitted spiritual communication, a Great Book of Life for our escape from time lighting a path for those who will experience this dimension in linear time perhaps for 500 years to follow. You, Ken Wapnick, were the only person capable of putting the Course's message in proper perspective, we know this to be true, and you so beautifully fulfilled your mission with this wondrous document.
K = Key Instructor, our beloved brother, Ken Wapnick, who did not see yourself as better than us, but humble and loving to us, your students who are all escaping madness through practice and application of ACIM principles and workbook lessons. We were all destined in our happy experience to study with you, who taught us the meaning that the ego does not exist and that we are truly Home when we remember that "God Is."
Concluding Prayer for Ken Wapnick
May you rest in peace, dear brother Ken Wapnick, now in the Light of our Creator. We are all eternally grateful for everything you wrote for us about A Course in Miracles, all that you did, and what you will continue to do to educate us reminding us to return to our Source of Light and Happiness in quiet peace. We do remember as we awaken together with you in fields of fragrant white lilies of unchanging, lovely spirit. Pacem aeternae .
If I have neglected to Thank You, I Thank You now for allowing me to experience the worst and most excruciating pain ever in my life—caused by your seeming death.
or the first time (today) there appears to be some clarity in my mind—which I had totally disengaged from. While I continued to think my pain, suffering and tears were due to your death—I am slowly coming to the realization that my ego is clinging to the life I allowed it within my thoughts: one that believes death is real and Ken is gone. Your commentary on What is Death? followed by What is the Resurrection? helped give me the insight that I am mourning the loss of my ego—having nothing to do with your not being present.
For fleeting moments, I find it impossible to feel separated from you—your words are indelibly printed in my heart. I just need to read them or hear them, and I am reminded of your Eternal Presence. Thank you for always being the mench that you are. Paul and I Love You as no other.
With every word, gesture and smile
It was his purpose to teach that we are one
That nothing in this world of devastation is true
That we are holy, forgiven and united with Him forever
That our true nature is one of love and peace.
Friends, let us be still together
And go forward now with hearts and hands
To teach the world that love and joy
Lie in each one of us.
I was very shocked and saddened to hear that Kenneth had died. For about 20 years now Ken has been my spiritual teacher and the most loving mentor I ever allowed myself to experience, I hardly can express my deep gratitude for this wonderful. precious gift of his guidance and companionship along my journey with the Course.
I have been several times at the Foundation in Roscoe, and these times have been the most stunning and transforming experiences of my life. which brought me deeper and deeper into the process with the Course. Gloria, I remember once (many, many years ago) you and Ken saying to me: "Tell the Austrians that the brain and the mind are not the same!"
All the following years, I appreciated the gorgeous contact with Ken through fax letters which helped me so much. I didn't always want to hear what he told me, and I didn't always follow his advice (at least not right away, with some issues it took years), and I was very stubborn and very impatient. By means of Kenneth's consistent demonstration of unconditional love, his gentle patience, and his sweet sense of humor I was able to open up more and. more over the years. And in spite of all my silliness, all of my stubbornness, and all of my fear—I felt loved!!! Which is, was, and always will be the most important lesson of my life.
I've never been in Temecula. Last summer Ken and I agreed that I'll come over for the November academy to meet him again after all those years. I'm so sorry that I couldn't hug him close to me (literally) anymore. Relationship» are in the mind. Nevertheless I'll miss him very much as a concrete symbol of Jesus' love. Now we are called to teach by demonstration as Ken has taught us so beautifully.
I hardly can imagine that this letter will be my last fax to Ken. Kenneth was and still is my model, my beacon for Jesus' love. Dear Ken. thank you. thank you, thank you! I'll always love you!
Gloria, I am so grateful for your teachings and your love. Please accept my sincere sympathy.
You continue to help us navigate through time and space. You guide us on our "journey through the far country of guilt and fear with the light of forgiveness as our guide, and the light of heaven as our goal."
I have been blessed with your talents and love dear Maestro and I deeply express my gratitude to you for helping me hear the Song of Truth. I could not have done this on my own.
Your leadership, humor and unconditional kindness was such a stirring symphony, and it continues to bless a wide community of love. We will all surely meet again in the place that we truly never left. And may your joyful coda of redemption herald the journeys end for us All.
You have meant a lot to me.
I would like to add my words of gratitude to all the thousands of others who have listened to Kenneth's lectures over many years and benefited so very much from them. He has made A Course in Miracles understandable in a way I know I could never have achieved on my own. He had a wonderful gift of bringing this Course off the pages into one's daily difficult life. Just to hear his voice so earnestly and honestly explaining it was something always to look forward to. He was a scholar with a sense of humor that always infused his commentary. And no matter how many times I listened to the lectures, I never tired of hearing them again and again. He's left an inestimable legacy in those lectures as well as his many essential books. Thank goodness his voice will still always be there for us! He'll still be helping us homeward even though he has gone before.
I am so glad that I did get to meet him at one of his lectures in New York many years ago. Both he and Gloria were so graceful and kind to shake hands with students after the lecture. If reflections of divinity find a presence here on earth, Kenneth is for certain one of those reflections. I am very grateful that his voice is still just a tape or CD away and he will continue to help me and others. Heaven knows we need it!
I would like Gloria and his family to know how meaningful he was and still is in my life and I'm certain thousands stand before and after me. He was the most wonderful of teachers because one just knew that he really cared about our understanding of the Course. That means a very great deal when one is struggling to comprehend and endeavor to practice it. I have great sympathy of their loss while trying to think at the same time that Kenneth is supremely happy in the real home we all want to find again. The understanding of the Course, which Kenneth tried so earnestly to teach us, is what will ultimately help us to cope with his no longer being here by our side. Yet I cannot help but miss him!
I was interested to hear the stories about seeing Jesus in Ken's eyes. About 1989 I was in Roscoe and mentioned to Ken I would like to talk to him about a book 1 wanted to write, "Healing the Cause." Whilst in the dinner que he came up and said "let's talk about this book of yours " After a minute into the conversation Ken's eyes started to change into another's. It struck me forcibly. He then said "I will help you with this book."
Afterwards I was so affected by this I left the dining room, went around the corner to a quiet place and she'd a few tears. I wondered, is there a Ken left anymore?
Ken went onto help me with my second book. I would joke with him about when did he have time to sleep but he told me not to be nosy.
Our Beloved Teacher
Beethoven's 14th of the Late String Quartets, just one of the many gifts you have given me, accompanies this tribute.
The first and only time I attended a lecture in person with you was in the late 80s at Unity Church in San Antonio, Texas. I had been studying the Course for three or four years (now I'm in my 31st year, oh my!). As all lectures that you give, most of which I have seen on YouTube, thank goodness there are so many, you were going into great depth. I imagine we were all struggling to make sense of Jesus' iambic pentameter and the simple, yet difficult concepts. You, beloved Dr. Wapnick, Kenneth, Ken, danced around a white board delving into the layers of guilt, trying your best to help us remove the veils with your tireless explanation. All of a sudden you referred to Jesus as Mr. Smarty Pants! The whole congregation burst into riotous laughter. That was when I knew that YOU were my amazing, devoted, loving and hilarious teacher. I have often referred to Jesus the same over the years; it vacillates between Beloved Brother and Mr. Smart Pants. The latter title helps me to laugh through the ego's self-importance and reminds me to smile and it directs me to the purity of the Holy Spirit that sings within us all. What I refer to as the smile within.
Oh, Beloved Teacher,
that which appeared in the form of a man from New York City,
that which appeared as Helen and Bill and Gloria and Judy
and every single one of us,
let us rejoice that it is all just a bit of sand in an eye that dreamt of nothing
and is not an eye
but the heart of love
singing the song of love to itself!
From my first visit to the FACIM in 1991, I knew that Ken Wapnick was the teacher who could answer my questions and erase any doubts that I had about my choice to become a student of A Course in Miracles. How grateful I am that I, who had been a life-long skeptic, found my way to his classroom and he found a way to open my heart with his kindness. Ken, along with his wife, Gloria presented a shining example of how to be in the world and also how to rise above it. Each time I remember to laugh at my ego's foolishness, I remember Ken.
A tribute to Ken Wapnick and the content of his "life".
No other word for it, I was stunned to hear of Ken's physical passing. The seeming world has lost an amazing friend, therapist, scholar, teacher and the last of the core Course trio, Helen, Bill and Ken, obviously, perfectly chosen to participate in the birthing, interpretive and caretaking work that needed to happen with the Course.
We are so blessed by the sheer volume, prolific quantity and quality of the work that Ken has given to the world both in print and electronic media. Not to be overshadowed by the volume of work left behind, Ken personally touched thousands of lives individually with his inimitable kindness, brilliance, generosity, keen ability to listen and truly hear, unforgettable humor, scholarship, and unparalleled therapeutic skill. I experienced all of these gifts on a first hand basis over multiple decades.
During the years in the late 70's, 80's on, whether in Ardsley or Crompond, and later in the Catskills and Temecula I thoroughly appreciated Ken's lighthearted nature. In fact, he was irrepressibly light hearted in all realms except perhaps when it came to elucidating and defending the integrity of the content of the Course against blatant misinterpretation which was not a little ironic because, of all people, he knew, as the Course would state in scores of ways, that the "Truth" needed no defense. [I think it was important to sweep of history and certainly part of some grander plan that the Course be introduced and circulated through the world as a stable intact body of work (FIP) for close to three decades. Certainly, Ken knew this in the core of his being, both implicitly and explicitly.]
When wondering how to "be in the world and yet not oft he world," what to do in any given problematic situation, I can so clearly hear Ken's admonition, "do the 'normal' thing," "nothing wrong with using 'magic', (go to a doctor, take medicine, earn a living, etc) just know that it's magic. .. after all the whole perceptual world in the mind is a magical solution to a tiny mad idea, i.e., the 'separation'."
Again, I will never forget Ken's kindness and generosity, his heart and soul. In these days of Olympic bars being set and breached at incredible heights, Ken's seeming passage through this "life" has set a bar that we very few if any can only dream of. As the world wakes up, no doubt in time he will be revered among the giants of this age, Freud, Jung, Krishnamurti, Ghandi, ML King, but not for who he was but rather for who he knew he wasn't and what he gave to the world out of that no-one-ness.
Finally, I appreciate how Gloria and the others at the foundation must have wrestled with the question of whether to have a gathering to honor the individual person that Ken was and came to a decision to honor the content that Ken's life was all about rather than the form of his life.
My thoughts and prayers go to you Gloria and your family and to the foundation staff.
Thank you, Ken,
For gently guiding me down the "Road to Damascus" and into the Presence of Jesus.
All too soon, our quintessential exemplary teacher of ACIM, Ken Wapnick, has appeared to leave our space-time classroom; he will be missed! However, his teaching lives on in our hearts and minds, every time we practice kindness, forgiveness, mindfulness and inclusion. It would be impossible to put into words the profound impact that Ken's teaching has had on my life and so many others, just as it would be equally daunting to .attempt to convey the ineffable nature of ACIM itself; it seems so appropriate that the last Lighthouse newsletter article about the Treachery of Images conveys a reminder to always seek the higher truth beyond the form, whether it be a physical teacher, a book, or any other specific that we might attempt to forge a special relationship with. Even though words can never fully convey our experience, they can reflect that awareness. The last paragraph of section IV of Chapter 5 of the text speaks also to that grace of our shared eternal truth that has never left Spirit despite our dreamt imaginings to the contrary—how appropriate for Ken's abundant and superbly insightful legacy of gifts to us all:
"How can you who are so holy suffer? All your past except its beauty is gone, and nothing is left but a blessing. I have saved all your kindnesses and every loving thought you ever had. I have purified them of the errors that hid their light, and kept them for you in their own perfect radiance. They are beyond destruction and beyond guilt. They came from the Holy Spirit within you, and we know what God creates is eternal. You can indeed depart in peace because I have loved you as I loved myself You go with my blessing and for my blessing. Hold it and share it, that it may always be ours. I place the peace of God in your heart and in your hands, to hold and share. The heart is pure to hold it, and the hands are strong to give it. We cannot lose. My judgment is as strong as the wisdom of God, in Whose Heart and Hands we have our being. His quiet children are His blessed Sons. The Thoughts of God are with you. "
Thank you, Ken, for your inestimable generosity of Spirit that has blessed us beyond measure.
A Tribute to Kenneth Wapnick
Ken Wapnick has been the most profoundly positive person in my life. He was one of the most brilliant and kindest persons I have ever known.
I first saw Ken at UC San Diego 33 years ago, in 1981, at a talk he gave with Jerry Jampolsky, Bill Thetford, and Carol (sorry, I misplaced her full name). I had just finished 16 months of reading the whole Course, and practicing my first year with the workbook. I needed help in mining the benefits that the Course pointed toward. Thrilled by the depth of his presentation of the Course, I felt that Ken was the person who could help me get what I needed from those books.
Shortly after the San Diego presentation, I wrote Ken a sort of stream of consciousness letter in which I catalogued various ways I hated myself. We had not actually met, yet he responded to me as if I were a close friend. On an ancient typewriter, he wrote me a hugely comforting letter with a hilarious ending "don't sweat the small stuff!"
Not long after, I called him about a break-up with a girl-friend to ask how to use the principles of ACIM to soothe my pain. At the time I was living near the Santa Monica Pier. Once again he knew the right things to say to me, which included "Throw those books off the end of the pier , and be human. "
The half dozen or so times I attended his workshops over the years, Ken always treated me as a treasured old friend. Incredibly gracious, kind, unpretentious, he was the pinnacle of integrity.
Ken's book, "Forgiveness and Jesus" was hugely helpful to me. The recordings of his talks and seminars have been especially helpful. To this day I listen to them-now on my iPhone, with deepening benefit. Ken's personal example amplified the power of his work.
Ken's works have been an ever-present often-relied-upon essential support to me in using the principles of A Course in Miracles. His works have vastly improved my life.
I am eternally grateful.
How many apples are there in a seed? Who knows? I was one of Ken's apples and he was one of God's chosen seeds.
I met Ken once in Temecula. He did not know me. I was just another apple in the barrel that cried out for help and was given the gift of A Course in Miracles.
When I heard that Ken made his transition, I was shocked, mad, angry and sad and fearful. All the thoughts that I have been trying to change just came up and hit me in the face again. Death-Death-Death Blame-Blame-Blame GOD—GOD—GOD. For some reason I thought Ken was exempt. He was not like the rest of us. He knew Helen, Helen knew Jesus. He had connections to the Big Guy. He could live to be 100. I had plenty of time to go back to Temecula.
So Ken's death gave me another opportunity to look at the temporal condition of this life on earth and review once again and grow up.
I spent most of the day with Ken on my computer watching and listening to his messages. My husband and I grieved, cried and gave thanks for Ken.
When we went to bed that night I woke up about 2 am. Ken was in the middle of our bed between me and my husband. He was holding my left hand. He did not talk, but assured me that he was always present. Wow!! Ken came to me.
Nothing real can be threaten, nothing unreal exists, here in lies the peace of GOD,
Thank you Ken, for showing me once again the truth and the way. You are a MIRACLE of LOVE
Happy Valentine's Day February 14, 2014
Thanks Ken. It seems a brother has disappeared from the earth. In truth, a bright and wondrous star appeared above us, to lead our steps to reach him there.
Thanks Ken for your teachings, dedication and brotherhood, but above all, thanks for your Love.
Each day, and each minute of the day your voice resonates within, guiding my steps, caring for me, giving me strength and reassuring me that soon I will be there.
You are the living proof that Jesus' Course does work. The rest is but our own willingness to reach you there, so we are just with you as you have always been with us.
From Colombia we join in this deserved tribute that the students of A Course in Miracles want to offer Dr. Kenneth Wapnick.
Ken, as we usually say when referring to him, has been and will remain present in our daily practice of the Course, shining his light and guidance on us; shedding his clarity and comprehension on our understanding; stressing love, respect and kindness in all our relationships; "shaking us up" so we let go of the unloving thoughts we are enmeshed in; and as though that were not enough, encouraging us to actually live the Course.
We did not have the good fortune of meeting him in person, but through our permanent contact with his valuable materials he became a close and familiar presence evidence of which shows up all the time. It is as though we were having an intimate conversation with him.
Words are not enough to express our affection for Ken, our huge gratitude for his legacy, for everything he gave us and for the mark he has left on our lives. He taught us to love the Course, to understand it, to apply it, to live it and to recognize its full import. With his example, he showed us respect for the purity of the message, he taught us how simple and practical it is; and he enabled us to clearly see with perfect certainty that the Course need not be complemented with anything else.
Ken, thank you for being part of our lives. Thank you for bringing within reach the experience of the plan for salvation that Jesus is showing us through the Course. Thank you for being a light in the darkness of illusions. Thank you for witnessing to awakening and certainty.
A thousand and one thanks!
You are always in our heart!
I just want to extend to Dr. Kenneth Wapnick my heartfelt and INFINITE THANKS!
The best tribute I want to pay him is to uphold my commitment to live this experience choosing the Holy Spirit in everything, with everyone, always.
Thank YOU, Dr. Wapnick, for your wisdom, your teaching, your humor thank you for extending your LOVE.
I feel like I was one of Ken's "last miracles." Of course, it was not his miracle but my own, since it was my shift in perception, but know I could not have done it without Ken's help. Ken always chose Life and so reminded us all how to get there. In the last year or so there were a number of people facing tough issues in their lives, and Ken would happily tell them that they chose Life instead of death. As Ken was laying aside his body, I was moving out to Temecula. I thought I'd have time with him in form, but that was not to be. Still, it was and is a symbol of my choosing Life. And since I know he would never choose death, I know he is still very near. Love and hugs in absolute gratitude for helping me understand, Ken! I miss you but also know you are right here with me.
Dear Gloria & FACIM Family & Staff,
I recently lost my mother and my grief process has surprised me. I have had reactions to expressions of sympathy and support that I could never have seen coming. Remembering the difference between content and form, as Ken so eloquently put it, has been so helpful. I can see the love that is within the communication, regardless of what my ego yammers on about in its rather incessant commentary. And that helps me respond lovingly and appropriately, as Ken advised. But this time it is easy, because I understand why, and I don't have to feel like I am somehow being ''untrue'' to myself because I'm not listening to that very compelling ego of mine.
What a relief1 I can't tell you how many years of therapy did not teach me that difference. And I am so grateful to you, Ken, and your work together. Your delivery of truly effective teaching aids at very affordable prices gave me the opportunity to use his and your wisdom and insight on how to understand and apply the Course.
It is only very recently that I have begun to understand (and practice) forgiveness at all. But every victory of shared interests that I experienced in the last year within my highly divided family system during my mothers illness taught me something both powerful and humbling. I moved beyond judgment into a place that was truly available. I became a much better listener. I was helpful, because it was no longer about me.
I wasn't perfect, but I was different, and I felt it, as did some of my family members, and it has greatly lessened the pain that would have been present now (for all of us) if I hadn't learned, through you and Ken, why and how to apply forgiveness. So it is doubly sad for me to learn of Ken's death. It comes at a time when the world already feels a little empty of loving support. I remind myself that this is part of the illusion, but feelings are feelings, and one of the things I appreciated most about Ken was his patience with process and his understanding of how difficult feelings are the process, not to be ignored, or banished, but ultimately forgiven, too.
I believe the only real value of this life of mine is in studying the Course. I have had a long one of "seek but do not find," and in recent years it has been a great comfort to know that what my ego would call a complete waste of a life has been fully redeemed because of my opportunity to study the Course—and with such a fine, [me teacher. I feel that I am putting pavers in the road to my atonement and that is a great comfort.
I still suffer a great deal from resistance. And perhaps more than anything else I appreciate Ken's talking about that. It has made it possible to stay with the Course especially given the compassion Ken taught me to have for what it is I think I'm doing by giving up the ego. Helen & Bill brought the Course to us, but Ken made it come alive, made it make sense, made it possible for me to understand why I did not want it to make sense.
I believe this letter will arrive too late for your publishing deadline, as I only learned of his death on February 12 and cannot get this into the mail until the 13th • But I wanted to write you, and tell you these things anyway, because I am sad for our loss, and so very, very grateful for the legacy of his life and yours. It has made it possible for me to redeem mine. My life has meaning because I needed the Course and I needed a teacher who would not flinch at telling me what it meant. I needed a teacher who could be as evenhanded and kind as Jesus' voice is in the Course. And I needed a teacher who would not put himself above me as he explained what it was I did not want to hear. I got all of that and more in Ken, who was one of the greatest gifts of my lifetime, even though I only saw him speak twice, but heard him over and over and over again on many a CD and workbook training manual that I will continue to mine for content on how to handle all of this messy form.
Thank you so very much for supporting him so thoroughly in these efforts. They have made a real and lasting difference in my life, and I hope in any lifetimes to come. I cannot express my gratitude deeply enough, but thank you for giving me the chance to try. I have no need or desire to have this published and don't expect you to be able to include it because of the late offering. Certainly you are welcome to if you do, but I don't want my name published. After all, when I am in my right mind, I ask the Holy Spirit by saying: "Well, I'm not here, so, what do you want me to do?" I can't say I "hear" an answer, but it certainly helps me to continue to get out of the way. And that's enough. Thank you again. With love and deep appreciation,
What a fortune to have known this man.
To experience him is to be shocked at inner resistance in the face of a mind distilled of impurities, and then be flooded with the sanity and innocent love that is Ken.
Ken pointed not to himself but to Jesus who said, "There is no veil the Love of God in us together cannot lift." T-16.1V.13:9
Ken is not absent as our friend and guide, and never will be.
In Memory of Dr. Ken Wapnick
I will be forever grateful to Ken as a teacher, friend and mentor. I studied with him for many years attending his classes in New York for psychotherapists who wanted to understand and integrate the psycho-spiritual principles of ACIM into their practices.
He truly helped to keep me on track during the early years of my spiritual path. When I would get discouraged and felt I was making slow progress or making mistakes he would say "Your Job is not to be without an ego, but to forgive yourself for having one. Mistakes call for correction, not condemnation."
He encouraged me when I wrote my "Soul Visioning" book and when (shared ideas for my second book. (feel that he will continue to help many of us who seek his assistance from the other side.
Thank you Ken for your uncompromising dedication to helping us to remember our true spiritual identity and our oneness with the Divine and each other.
Until we meet again . ..love and gratitude,
As every lesson, faithfully rehearsed bring us more swiftly to this holy place and leaves us, for a moment, to our Self. One Self, with one Creator and one goal: to bring awareness of this oneness to all minds.
Our Father, .. we are Your messengers ... We are not separate from your eternal life ... And we abide where you have placed us, in the life we share with You ... to be like You and part of You forever ... Amen.
Ideas leave not their Source. We will not ask for death in any form today.
In Love and Gratitude,
Mini Ken tribute
One thing that delighted me about Ken's teaching style and the academy's he taught was how much fun it all was. I never expected to laugh so much as I listened to Ken talking about making our way back to the memory of God. There were also moments of profound silence and stillness when Ken lectured that were very meaningful. But I remember being so happy to learn that one could talk about non-duality, divine love, unitive consciousness with a matter-of-factness that was unsentimental and schmaltz-free. And that laughter could be a key element of undoing what, at other times, most times, seems so deadly serious. It is a lesson I try and remember as I continue to work the forgiveness process—to laugh more at the tiny mad idea in all the forms I have made real in my life. Thank You Ken!
I corresponded via mail with Ken Wapnick over the last ten or eleven years, maybe seven or eight times. I had several questions that other Course students couldn't answer for me. Ken ALWAYS promptly responded to my questions. He even called me one time per my request. I am deeply grateful for his publications pertaining to the Course—they have helped me immensely in understanding it ... and in releasing my guilt. It seems almost astonishing for me to feel so strongly that I'll miss him deeply when I didn't even know him.
A tribute to my beloved Teacher and Brother—Kenneth Wapnick
I bought a copy of the blue book in year 2000 while working in Hong Kong. Knowing no one reading the strange book at the time so I looked up information on the internet and found Ken's Q&A on Foundation's web page. The Q&A Service Page has been the source I turned to with questions, struggles and inspirations. Ken has been my on-line tutor for years.
After years of listening to his voice and reading his writing, I finally made it to Temecula in 2013 March. Honestly, listening to his lectures for 5 days in class took some focus cause there's no rewind bottom. But, meeting him did untighten whatever residual doubts I had for the Course.
Ken did not "do" something he believes. He was just walking the path and became part of it. There was no intending to demonstrate how I/we ought to practice. It was just a Brother practicing ACIM's teaching.
Thank you, Ken.
Thank you, my beloved Teacher and Brother.
Over the past 14 years, Ken has spoken to me for many hours while I've been driving and many hours while reading. Though I've never met him, he is someone that I think I know quite well, someone I call a friend. In discussions with others I refer to him by his first name, and they too now know him by "Ken." While I knew he was older than me, I had hoped that, should future finances allow it, I would be able to afford to cross the continent and take one of his week-long courses.
Perhaps what I most like about Ken's presentation of printed and audio material is it's similarity to that of A Course in Miracles. When I got my first copy of ACIM, I began by reading the introduction and then the first chapter. Then I skipped toward the back, and finally I would just randomly open the book and read. Every line seemed to speak to me; every line seemed to be true. Ken's tapes are like that. They would stay in the car player and be played irregularly, with the result that I would forget what had been previously said ... but it didn't matter. I could start anywhere on the tapes and within a few minutes I would be happily thinking away, realizing that I was making progress, recognizing more of my fears and sensing the greater calm that is possible. My only complaint was that Ken talked quickly, more quickly than I could take in what he was saying. So I had to listen over and over and over . .. which was a good thing.
Similarly I have so much enjoyed his insight as presented in his articles in The Lighthouse , and have looked forward to each issue.
I do wish to thank Ken and the Foundation for A Course in Miracles for enriching my life by making ACIM available and more easily understood. I owe him big time. While I am sure these are sad and difficult times, I hope Gloria and Foundation for A Course in Miracles will find joy in the future.
With appreciation and in friendship
To Dear Gloria,
We, the members of our Monday night ACIM group in Peoria, Illinois, send to you our love. We are truly grateful for all the years that you and Ken have given to helping ACIM students clearly understand its message of love and forgiveness. We celebrate wit you Ken's life ongoing and know that his guiding light will be with us always.
Both mischievous and soft
Your smile ... comes from far away
From where silence and peace hold sway
From a place where Oneness spreads
Beyond forms, beyond time.
Your smile ... speaks volumes
About your path, about your love,
Telling how you outwitted the traps
And now soar lightly above them
A humorous twinkle in your eye.
Both insightful and loving
Your smile gently slowly awakens me
To the reality which is yours
And that you generously share
As you patiently teach
Offering yourself to the meeting
You remain firmly anchored
In the spirit that dwells in you
And carries you ... before you fly.
Your smile alone sums up in one
The essence of your commitment.
I cherish it and welcome it
Like a flash of lightning in my life
Whose clarity and infinite kindness
Reminds me of that celestial home
Where you now await me.
Dear Ken, I wonder ...
... how I could possibly put into words all that you offered me, all that you represent for me.
You have been and still are such an example, such a wonderful teacher: kind, available, reliable, brilliant, funny, inspiring, honest, .... You have offered a living demonstration of what it means to apply this Course and gave me hope that I can do it too.
By focusing on what is true in me and overlooking the froth of my ego's games, you reminded me patiently over and over again about that part within that is soft and kind, loving and forgiving, that is peaceful, quiet and free because it is not bound to the dream of a world based on completely opposite qualities.
Now that I can't listen to you out there nor exchange letters, sometime I am tempted to think that I am cut off from you ... cannot communicate.
Sometimes I cry over your seeming absence ... ... ... but that tells me that I once again left you and left the quiet center where you abide and so gently invited me and invite me still to join you as you invite everyone.
You have taught me that I can find you there and so how could I feel abandoned by the disappearance of your body?
You have offered your smile, which I remember so clearly and keep lovingly in my heart. It does surface every now and then to cheer me up and like a wink comes to remind me of what is true.
Of your death you made a non-event ... maybe because such it was for you who was already so firmly established in what cannot die.
Did you even notice? ......... I wonder .. .
The written word is incapable of conveying the depth of our respect and deep regard Brian and I had for Dr. Kenneth Wapnick; however, we certainly want our sentiments to be added to the thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of notes, cards and letters that will be delivered to the Foundation.
I will quote the first words out of Brian's mouth upon hearing of Kenneth's passing:
1. A tremendous loss to mankind
2. He was the greatest man I ever knew.
The last day,
Not much to say,
He's gone away,
But his love will stay.
Thank you all.
I love you.
A perfect picture
of what I can be
You show to me, that I might help renew
Your brothers' failing sight. As they look up
Let them not look on me, but only You.
("A Jesus Prayer," The Gifts of God , pg. 83)
It is the first time I write to you after your "passing." I'm translating your Absence from Felicity, I mean, I'm doing the first draft, then it will be thoroughly revised by Isabella and Patrizia. Sometimes I have doubts and think to ask you to dispel them; but then, in a split second, I know I can't send mails to you. Can I ask you all the same? Your words are in my mind. I remember when you called me baby, you started your mails or letters with Ciao baby. I knew I couldn't play games with you, and I think I can't play games with your words in my mind, your words are always in my mind and I feel blessed for this. Sometimes I feel lucky I have met you, and maybe I am. Your "passing" was heart breaking for me, I thought I had to tell you something but I couldn't. I read what other people wrote about you, and I found myself in most, if not all the thoughts being expressed. It's true you were (are) kind, humorous, supportive, always telling me: DON'T BE SERIOUS, BE GENTLE WITH YOURSELF! You always answered my letters and mails, even if I asked the silliest things, you always tried to change my mind pointing always to the OTHER REALITY. I started calling myself the "nuisance" and you answered: yes, our beloved nuisance.
My deepest regards to Gloria and the whole staff at the Foundation, and I wish all of you the best for Christmas and the forthcoming New Year.