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I recently came out of a rehab facility for substance addiction after attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings for 14 years. Although I identified as an alcoholic all those years, I found that not drinking was not enough. I believed that there was a God, but only as a concept and not a living presence within myself. I became unhappy and desperate. My mind was never at peace. My drinking was the only thing that used to calm my mind, and now even that was no longer an option. So I eventually started drinking and using again, even more so than the first time. I almost died as a result of my substance abuse. It wasn't until a counselor at the rehab facility explained it this way--that I have a disease that wants me dead--that I began to finally comprehend the nature of what I was up against. While in recovery someone there told me about a group of AA meetings in my area focusing on alcoholism, ego and self. I had never heard my disease described this way--alcoholism as a mind-powered disease and how it manifests itself in the day I'm in. I immediately connected with the message. One evening, as I was returning home in my car, I heard the first chapter of Tolle's The Power of Now in the author's own voice on Air America radio. I was instantly transfixed. It was as if the universe had placed exactly what I needed to hear at exactly the right time in my recovery. I have been listening to audio CD's of the Power of Now and A New Earth for several months now. Each time I listen, the teaching becomes richer, deeper and more relevant. My awakening has absolutely transformed my life in the way I interact with others, in the way others treat me and in the peace and inner joy I have in my daily life. I enjoy spending time with people much more than I ever have. I listen more. Strangers smile at me in the street. I sense I am emitting a positive energy flow that i know people feel. I am at complete and utter peace with myself. As Eckhardt says, through pain we create the opening for change. I am grateful for the suffering I needed to go through to get me to "crack open my ego," to recognize my compulsive alcoholic thinking so I could dis-identify from it and find ultimately find serentiy in my life. Tolle's teachings are a wonderful companion to the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. They work together synergistically to deepen my understanding of myself and my conscious contact with my higher power. Thank you, Eckhardt, for making such a profound difference in my life. I hope I can pass along my experience, strength and hope to other alcoholics who are still suffering in sobriety. Much love to you, John S (AA traditions do not allow me to release my full last name as this is a program of anonymity. I hope you will understand.)