I've been a spiritual searcher for several years. Along with the search for a spiritual practice that would satisfy me, I also have been looking for a way to become the person I want to be rather than the one who seems to be bent on giving everyone the wrong impression of who I am. About 15 years ago "the answer" seemed imminent when I became a member of the Unitarian Universalist church and was introduced to Landmark Forum. It was a beginning but neither was all I hoped for. I left the church, tried another program (Legacy, very similar to Landmark), and reluctantly decided that I would always be a seeker.
I had been active in the many social justice causes (anti-war, anti-racism, anti-homophobia), but when I met someone who was involved in working FOR peace instead of always being against something, I decided that perhaps being with "peaceful people" would bring me the inner peace I longed for. On more than one occasion, when I voiced this need for inner peace, the person I was talking to told me I needed to read The Power of Now, so I did. Then I heard about A New Earth, so I read that too. But it wasn't until I saw Eckhart Tolle with Oprah that it all came together. I love his energy. He's such a precious little elfin man, so unprepossessing, so calm (not at all robotic, as you know). I have tended to shy away from "religions" that rely on the teachings of one person who claims to have all the answers. Somehow, he is different.
What the teaching has done for me personally is to show me a way that I can become the loving person I want to be simply by becoming constantly mindful of the things I do and say; Eckhart calls it becoming the Awareness that sees what is going on. This was not a new message for me. That first Landmark Forum workshop in 1995 had given me my first look at my strong need to be right, and the price I was paying (loss of love). I even had a bumper sticker on the DASHBOARD of my car: "Would you rather be right or be happy?" The answer was obvious; the means, not so much.
The difference between Eckhart's teaching and what I had already learned may be his simple, direct "instructions." He told me about my ego in terms that I had never heard before, as something that we all have that makes us say and do those things we wish we wouldn't. He says not to complain, not to even THINK a complaint. He says not to judge how others live their lives. Just stop. He's convinced me that I will not become diminished if I'm not always right about everything. Those are my biggest obstacles to happiness. I can't explain why Eckhart has been able to do what other practices have not done. Perhaps it has only been possible because I retired last year and have been traveling the country alone in a small motorhome. I used to say that if it were not for other people I'd be happy. Now I'm alone most of the time but I always welcome the opportunity to test my new-found mindfulness.
Eckhart says that if you read his book and you don't know what he's talking about, you're not ready for the message. Well, I was READY, and I've never felt so at peace. A side benefit has been my belief in what Eckhart says about the universal consciousness: that when more and more people become conscious, the whole world will have to become conscious and we will learn to, no, we will HAVE to love one another. And to help that day come I don't have to march or float petitions or "fight" any more. All I have to do is tap into that consciousness; find the frequency; slip into the stream. It feels great to be alive and I'm becoming the real me, more and more every day.
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