Keys to Inner Peace
"... all the things that truly matter -- beauty, love, creativity, joy, inner peace -- arise from beyond the mind, from your inner stillness."
- The Power of Now
How Eckhart Tolle Found His Inner Peace
When in his early 30's, after finishing his studies at Cambridge, Eckart Tolle became deeply unhappy, depressed, and anxious. He says of that time:
"I was looking for some kind of answer to the dilemma of life, but I had been looking to the intellect for the answer; philosophy, religion and intellectual inspiration. The more I was looking on that level, the more unhappy I became."
One day, he had an epiphany. "Suddenly I stepped back from myself, and it seemed to be two of me. The 'I', and this 'self' that I cannot live with. Am I one or am I two? And that triggered me like a koan [a Zen mantra that is intuitively understood rather than mentally reasoned]. It happened to me spontaneously. I looked at that sentence: 'I can't live with myself'. I had no intellectual answer. Who am I? Who is this self that I cannot live with? The answer came on a deeper level. I realized who I was."
For the next two years, Eckhart lived "in a state of the most intense joy". He had discovered a profound state of inner peace. It was then he wrote his first book, The Power of Now.
The Keys to Inner Peace
These can be summed up as:
dis-identifying from the contents of your mind
- identification with our thoughts, fears, problems, roles, shift your thinking away from the content of the thinking mind toward the dynamic aliveness of your physical body
- make it a regular practice to turn away from thinking while brining your awareness into your body
- the more you feel your body, the less identified you are with your thoughts
identifying with your inner sense of aliveness
- as you identify with your true nature, you will be filled with greater and greater peace
- your inner sense of aliveness is your own conscious presence, your being-ness, the you that you really are, beneath your thinking and beyond your story
- you can experience your inner sense of aliveness with simple body-sensing exercises, with yoga, with conscious breathing
living in the present moment
- most of our suffering arises from living in the past or dreading the future
- the peace we crave can only arise when we are here, now, alive in the center of the present
- wherever you are, be there totally
- if the present moment is unpleasant, painful, or intolerable, you can do one of three things: remove yourself from the situation, change it, or accept it as it is
accept what is
- when we reject our experience, we are caught int he trap of attachment and resistance
- judgment and rejection are forms of identification; we are identified with our desire and with preconceived notions of what will make us happy or what will give us peace
- acceptance is not a passive stance of victimhood; acceptance is a proactive and powerful choice to be at peace
- when you accept what is, you free yourself from identification with your small self
- when you accept what is, you are living the truth that you are more than your desires, fears, or circumstances — you are a living embodiment of pure spirit, of love itself
"Love, joy, and peace cannot flourish until you have freed yourself from mind dominance."
- The Power of Now