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For Eckhart:

Eckhart Tolle's writings at once fused together ---- finally --- a language of spirituality that included my experience. Throughout my life, when people pressed me to label myself with a religion, I refused. Instead, I would answer that I am a spirit of the earth, here and now. To so many people, this is not enough. So, when I explain that when my body leaves, I live on in this world by what I do and how I do it. Their answers always included some way they could package me all up with their labels ---- "Liberal" "Humanist" "Hippie" "Wiccan" "Buddhist" ... and on.

While listening to this program, I remembered an uplifting moment when a good friend and colleague told me, "when you come into the room, there is a calm around you." And I was further encouraged when another women's eyes filled with tears and she said, "please don't think I'm a freak, but you have such a warm aura around you, I feel fortunate for my children to be in your presence and it makes me cry." Wow. Of course, this is not how I always am....I am an average person and I have chosen to love what I do. This is really something others think is special....but little do they know, this is how I am myself in the world when I am at my best ---- in love with the moment I'm in.

One of the many turning points in my life --- many years ago now -- was a quote (I do not know who phrased it, but I should) "If you can't get out of it, get into it." And, to paraphrase -- live what you love and love what you do.

I live and love the work I do everyday with children who have special needs. With the emphasis on inclusion, I believe all children have special needs, so this is my way to mentally refute the limiting language the schools have decided to place on children....namely, a "special ed. student." This label is difficult and limiting for the children at the same time it is this label which our bureaucy finds funding for assistance to these children (and all other children to learn how to be more accepting and caring toward them).

On the concepts surrounding the "pain body" ----- Tolle's words are magical. We see everywhere the drama of cycles of pain bodies in individuals. Especially I see this in my teenaged daughter.

So, today, with my love for her, Tolle's mind/body teachings will be a focus of study.

Thank you Eckhart Tolle for sharing your journey so exquisitely. Your experiential language speaks to me in a way that raises the hair on my neck in something that is so an ancient memory.

With love and admiration, Deb Sweeney