13 August 2012


"Be the ever-alert guardian of your inner space. You need to be present enough to be able to watch the pain-body directly and feel its energy. It then cannot control your thinking. The moment your thinking is aligned with the energy field of the pain-body, you are identified with it and again feeding it with your thoughts...
So the pain-body doesn't want to you obserive it directly and see it for what it is. The moment you observe it, feel its energy field within you, and take your attention into it, the identification is broken. A higher dimension of consciousness has come in. I call it presence. You are now the witness or the watcher of the pain-body. This mean that it cannot use you anymore by pretending to be you, and it can no longer replenish itself through you." The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle

I've been slowly easing into The Power of Now and really drinking in the teachings. Although it's a small book and it's not loaded with big words, the concepts are really deep and take time to process. Everything I've read so far is really interesting: recognizing the pain-body; learning to watch the thinker instead of being those thoughts. I'm just finding it a bit intimidating because it's all so new and it seems so difficult to master. But that doesn't mean I'm not willing to try my hardest.

I really like the portions of the book that I posted above. It's about thinking of all your past and present pain as an entity that lives within you and is fed by your negative thoughts. When I think about all of the worries, resentment and judgement (all are tied to fear) I carry around as a demon that is separate from the core of my being, it seems much more attainable to starve that entity and recognize that I am NOT all of those things. It seems creepy, but I like to imagine that when I start experiencing negative thoughts, like how dreadful someone is or how I don't feel pretty enough or brave enough, it's really that terrible pain-body hacking the true me. At the point that I start to identify with the demon's whisperings, I know that I am "unconscious" - as Tolle explains, this implies a complete absence of the watcher (I explain 'the watcher' in my previous post). In those moments, I am allowing my mind to control me instead of assuming power of that mental control panel. I feel like that pain-body not only says things about myself, but it also projects a lot of negativity onto friends, family, and colleagues - I start to see them as attacking me, when really it's just that same pain-body acting up within myself. It's tough to realize that I have been blaming others for their beliefs or judgments when really the problem itself lies in my unconsciousness (aka being ruled by the pain-body).

What seems the most challenging about separating myself from that pain-body is that Tolle says not to analyze its negative thoughts, but just to listen in - draw awareness so that they can't survive. My instinct is to super-analyze and look for the root of the issue. But I now understand that would mean I am further pulling myself out of the present and feeding that dejecting body even more by identifying with it. It's definitely going to take a lot of practice to start believing that those thoughts really are not my own, and that they actually belong to the pain-body. We have the power to flick the "off" switch on that entity, but it requires a strong ability to watch it objectively.
"If you are able to stay alert and present at that time and watch whatever you feel within, rather than be taken over by it, it affords an opportunity for the most powerful spiritual practice, and a rapid transmutation of all past pain becomes possible."
Today I am going to stare down that pain-body and do something that it would definitely advise me not to - face my fear and anxiety about keeping in touch with people that intimidate me. Gotta start somewhere! What can you do today to debilitate your pain-body?

One Republic, Marching On

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