Monday, July 23, 2007

The power of now.

With how I’ve been feeling the past week, I knew I had to do something about it, so I picked up The Power of now by Eckhart Tolle, which I’ve been meaning to read for ages.

The first chapter deals with learning to dis-identify with the mind. Enlightenment Tolle says is a state of wholeness, of being at one and at peace, and identifying with our thoughts can prevent enlightenment and make us feel separate from the world.

Thinking too much can be destructive. Thoughts are often concerned with the past and the future which is not helpful in the now, and creates a distorted view of the present. For example we may rehearse future situations and imagine negative outcomes (this is something I do a lot), or we may judge the present through the eyes of the past. Tolle says:

“Many people live with a tormentor in their head which continuously attacks and punishes them and drains them of vital energy.”

He suggests we try ‘watching the thinker’. By listening to our thoughts and recognizing repetitive patterns, we become a witness to our thoughts as an impartial person and no longer identify with them.

As some people become just as caught up in their emotions as much as their thoughts Tolle suggests we watch our emotions in the same way. Tolle puts forward that emotions are our body’s reaction to our mind. For example anger can be a reaction to an overactive mind. By watching our emotions in the same way as we watch our thoughts Tolle says:

“You can allow the emotion to be there without being controlled by it. You no longer are the emotion, you are the watcher, the observing presence.”

Last night I started watching my thoughts, and felt myself disassociating myself with them. It does work, at that moment my thoughts were no longer me, and as a result did not affect my emotions and mood. Its a simple exercise, which can have a dramatic affect. I have woken up today less fearful of the world and feeling more positive, although I still have a long way to go.

No comments: