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Foundation for A Course in Miracles - Dr. Kenneth Wapnick

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

Memorial Tribute by

Ronald Nachtwey

In Tribute to, and in Appreciation of Ken Wapnick

The following comments are in tribute and appreciation of the extensive work and devotion to the purity of ACIM principles, as taught by Ken Wapnick, and as the primary teaching/disseminator of ACIM materials.

Much gratitude and appreciation goes out to Ken for his immense commitment and devotion to focused teaching, explanation and practical application of A Course in Miracles, and thereby leading humanity through a comprehensive understanding of this material. Without his vast scholarly background of psychology, religion, spirituality and music, as well as his incessant ACIM related writings and lecturing, the intricate nature and understanding of ACIM may have been left to an unneeded speculation and delayed comprehension (within our realm of time and space).

In short, he did the heavy lifting for us around mastering this unique material and helping us to move it forward to the ever increasing new flow of students to the Course. He was a living saint and exponent of Course’s message of forgiveness and love. To put it simply; he was called, and chose to listen. He saw the face of Christ in his brothers... and smiled a lot! Mankind was blessed with his presence, strength, humor and peace, which he lived and taught in the essence of sincerity, and in the untiring passion of a most purposeful instrument of the Holy Spirit.

His dedication to assisting the ACIM scribes was crucially essential to organizing its publication. His endless time in preparing ACIM for publishing and reading-readiness, was the work and honor of a religious and spiritual monastic at heart; of which he really was. Some affectionately refer to him as the third scribe!

As the first comprehensive, mainstream teacher, and commentator of ACIM, he knew why he came at this time. There was never any doubt, as what his mission was. He was the unrelenting and walking conviction of the truth. Anyone who ever met or spoke with him, saw and experienced a depth of spirituality and Christ Presence, which touched our hearts and souls, as only a rare enlightened master graces us.

Ken was God’s messenger - for sure. Ken’s instinctive teaching, which was so very readily shared through his expression of happiness and inner peace, could be clearly seen as a innocent demonstration of his essential function of forgiveness, love and trust. His smile and confidence of the Holy Spirit was so contagious, it transferred lovingly to any open heart he met. The memory of Ken, calls to our mind to let all sorrow go, so we may take our place besides our brother Jesus in God’s plan and be restored to what God wills. It is the living proof that God wills perfect happiness for all who will accept our Father’s gifts as ours.

His name and picture should be put in the dictionary under the terms “conviction” and “commitment”, as well as the tenet “he walked the walk and talked the talk”. Our thanks and appreciation go out to him for helping connect the world to the ACIM scribes, Helen and Bill, along with Jesus’ message of the Holy Spirit.

Ken’s presentation style is as heartfelt, storied and visual, as it is practical intellectual and pragmatic. His academic and spiritual background lends itself to teaching the useful practicalities, as well as its technical facts and principles of ACIM. He was ideal as the first fully comprehensive public teacher/disseminator of the material; and presents his comments to include and distinguish the Course’s use of symbols and metaphors, so that a usable earth-world understanding can be appreciated in a real world practical application (“earth-world” referring to all of us in this seemingly dream life on earth).

He is ideally conclusive in recognizing, absorbing and disseminating the extensive ACIM material, by clarifying and presenting the concepts, along with correlating quotations, with which he breaks down the complex material with simplicity and inspiration. Additionally, he adds the personal conviction of his depth of understanding, comprehension and practical application, so as to help facilitate the reader’s understanding and realistic use in practical every day terms and examples.

Albeit simple in its essence, and complex in its explanation, and enduring in its basic 356 day lesson practice and complementary theory, ACIM is as realistically understandable and usable a thought system, as it is a spiritual path for those who relate to the simplicity of its message of forgiveness for salvation. It is even more so academically rewarding for the intellectually oriented seeker; and we are grateful for this accent, along with his dissemination.

Ken presents his commentary and explanation with the highest integrity to the purity and perfection of the material, as well as with his personal conviction of understanding the truth in ACIM. He is quick to point out ACIM’s very specific differences from most all other spiritual systems, and to purposely not hide the less palatable and diametrically opposite points of view, which some students may be slow to acknowledge and/or apprehensive to commit to owning. His articulation is precise to a fault and leaves no room for needless assumption. He interprets, speaks and writes his commentary with a computer like accuracy, along with the applied pertinent principles of the successive and integrating facts. Also uncanny, is the matter-of-fact conviction/assumption of the obvious truth, as if he had one foot in the real world and the other foot still in our illusory dream world; almost as a tether from the actual truth to our seeming worldly reality of illusory truth.

For the sake of a visualized teaching, as well as a more personalized communication, Kenneth often speaks and writes in an analogously storied fashion, so as to include the reader’s personal application or inclusion into the story; as if it were so from the inception of time and space. That is to say, that his commentary and descriptive presentations of the metaphysical guidelines of ACIM, puts us (the audience or reader) into the picture (the story) of a story-line which speaks to us as if we were actually in the real-life historical story (aka the proverbial driver’s seat).

This is his intriguing talent and ability to take a technical sequence of events (or metaphysical structure) and make them appear to come alive, and speak to us as the primary individual and participant in that story/event. In other words, he makes the story come alive and puts us in the driver’s seat, to choose how we want to participate. That’s enough to trigger our imagination and keep our mind front and center in the teacher/student technical information flow, without loosing our interest and attention to theoretical figurations and curriculum facts. This transpires while our “decision-maker” self makes the integrating conversion of teacher/info to student/relevance; a musing of colorful impact and absorbing satisfaction.

So, while that was quite an obviously large mouth full of descriptives, all in all, Ken’s relevant conviction shows/tells us that he fully knows and sees and understands and experiences the ACIM subject matter, as obvious as the sun in the sky; and makes it as engaging as the radiant moon that follows.

Ken thoughtfully writes, as well as conscientiously and lovingly speaks with the musing artistry and mastery of a Mozart, while being the symphonic enthusiast of a Beethoven! And that he certainly does and is! Such is our blessing to have him author the commanding library of teaching commentaries, as he has (painstakingly) lovingly completed, in order to fulfill his obvious mission in this life and for this world. The Holy Spirit has again blessed and graced us with Kenneth’s devoted work.

- Ron Nachtwey / Scottsdale Arizona / June 2020

Memorial Tribute by

Ken Goulet

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 darkened tales. 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 was frown. 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 condemning. 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 guilt. 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.

Memorial Tribute by

Diane Brook Gusic

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....

Memorial Tribute by

Eric Oddleifson

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

Memorial Tribute by

Pearl Fertell

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!


Pearl Fertell

Memorial Tribute by


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.

Memorial Tribute by

Allison Hughes

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,

Allison Hughes

Memorial Tribute by

Jack Brooks

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.

Memorial Tribute by

Nancy Blum

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

Kenneth Wapnick and Nancy Blum

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."

Memorial Tribute by

Daniela Schultheis

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 our music and its loving melos will 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.

Memorial Tribute by

Melody Vantucci

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.

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