Q TO BE FREE OF PAST HURT DO WE HAVE TO RELIVE THOSE EXPERIENCES?
No – not in the primal therapy or psychoanalytic sense, not in the cataclysmic Eckhart Tolle, ‘personality-re-booting’ sense, or the ‘Saul on the way to Damascus’, sense.
If life sends such a mega experience as Eckhart Tolle had so be it – but let us hope that it is something you can process into a fully integrated self. Tolle started by ‘sitting on a park bench’ for two years – and then read, studied & taught twos and threes for a decade or two – a serious apprenticeship!
Q IS THERE AN ALTERNATIVE TO A MEGA EXPERIENCE?
Yes – lots of little ones! In the absence of such a massive self-transforming experience we can have a series of small experiences, smaller satori or ‘aha’ moments – that accumulatively can bring us to enlightenment.
I take enlightenment, salvation, healing and integration to be largely the same reality.
So far as this alternative, incremental, way to enlightenment/integration/maturity is concerned we can answer ‘yes’ to the question. ‘Yes’ in that our hurt, our negative patterns of thought & behaviour are re-lived but in the particular sense of allowing ourselves to be aware of what ‘comes up’. ‘Feeling our feelings’ in our meditation or in ways to developing awareness – and then simply letting them go. That is we don’t resist them, fight them, follow them – just allow them to come to the surface like bubbles and then go. The now is always where it’s at!
In this context – what you fight against persists.
Q WHAT IS THE KEY TO LETTING GO THE PAST?
Breath is the key – or more accurately conscious circular breathing. Let the negative thought-feelings arise. Notice them’ or their interference in your ‘inner radio’. Notice them in a response from you to someone else. Breathe in and let them rise up. Recognize them – say ‘hi’, ‘welcome’. Let them go, as you breathe out – say ‘thanks’ and ‘goodbye’. (Get a coach or spiritual guide if you need a ‘kick-start’.) Thich Nhat Hanh no less says, “Breath is my anchor.”
”“Feelings come & go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor”
~Thích Nhất Hạnh (Stepping into Freedom).
It’s not just Thich Nhat Hanh who puts conscious breathing at the core of practice. Someone showed Tolle a catalogue of courses and asked him which he recommended. Here is what Tolle says, p244 ANE;
“Be aware of your breathing…… Do that for a year, and it will be more powerfully transformative than attending all these courses. And it’s free.”
Q SO WHAT IS ‘THE ATOM’ – IN THE SENSE OF THE SMALLEST TRANSFORMATIVE EXPERIENCE?
A single breath. “Breathing in I know that I am breathing in. Breathing out I know that I am breathing out….”
The conscious breath eases us away from inner chatter and brings us into presence.
The conscious breath re-integrates body mind & spirit – in the now. Between the in breath and the out breath the mind’s’ chatter stops.
Q WHAT IS PRESENCE?
Inner Awareness – of the eternal Now.
Our true Self is Awareness, Being. Awareness is
Via awareness and being in the now we in effect step out of duality into Oneness
Q HOW OFTEN SHOULD I BE CONSCIOUS OF MY BREATHING
Build up from one breath to all!
It allows us to continually to switch in a second back and forth from doing the laundry to being at One. Make sure you are not at One when you are doing the laundry or doing the laundry when seeking at-One-ness! We can switch between the two in micro-seconds.
Q WHAT ELSE CAN I USE TO HELP?
You can assemble a DIY self-help set of tools – conscious breathing, meditation, prayer, a mantra, inspiring writings etc. But sometimes it pays to get help from spiritual teacher, coach or counsellor – to help you to give yourself a push-start.
Mantras, meditation, prayer, Affirmations, Service work, read sacred Scriptures, Tapping ….. whatever works for you. Usually a combination of such ways works best
Q DO I NECESSARILY NEED A COACH OR SPIRITUAL GUIDE?
Tolle has little time for past-centred activity but sometimes we have to prevent activated past hurts from flooding our consciousness. Coupled to breathing we might use ‘intuitive coaching’. Often we can DIY this but we always have one or more blind spots – hence the occasional use of a professional.
Q WHAT IF I AM A ‘BELIEVER’
If you want a religiously spiritual view of this the Universe then God, if you can handle that term, wants each of us to reflect the good, the true & the beautiful. The pain-body as Tolle calls our addiction to past hurt wants to maintain your addiction – yes it’s almost like a separate sub-personality. You can’t love fully – yourself & therefore others, if you continually carry too much interference of past stuff.
Keep breathing on your path to integration and enlightenment – it’s never too late to have a happy childhood! .