Saturday, April 17, 2010

An Exercise for Experiencing the Joy of Being

You can sum up all the religious and spiritual teachings that have ever been by simply doing this. You can cut right to the heart of the matter.

Will you do it?

In A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose, Eckhart Tolle recommends the following exercise:
Go to the hands directly. By this I mean become aware of the subtle feeling of aliveness inside them. It is there. You just have to go there with your attention to notice it. You may get a slight tingling sensation at first, then a feeling of energy or aliveness. If you hold your attention in your hands for a while, the sense of aliveness will intensify. . . . Then go to your feet, keep your attention there for a minute or so, and begin to feel your hands and feet at the same time. Then incorporate other parts of the body--legs, arms, abdomen, chest, and so on--into that feeling until you are aware of the inner body as a global sense of aliveness. (Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose, pp. 52-53; to see the entire excerpt, click here)

If you will perform this simple exercise as often as you think of it, your life will change for the better at every level--guaranteed.

The aliveness you feel during this exercise is your natural state, which must be re-learned after years of conditioned suppression. At first it will feel extremely uncomfortable, in the same way that a starving person can't immediately handle rich food. But with time and practice--rehabilitation--you will want to experience this joy of being on a continual basis.

You will want to commune with the Beneficent Universe perpetually.


  1. Great post Todd! I did the exercise as I read the words, pausing several times, and now as I type this comment, my fingers are literally tingling. I love the famous painting of God's hand reaching out to touch Adam's hand- and I had never connected this painting with the powerful but simple practice of feeling the inner body, the miraculous life energy that God gives us in every moment, in the hands, and then in the rest of the body. Getting in touch with the miracle of life energy that we are through bringing awareness to the inner body is indeed the heart of the matter, as you say. I think your point that the practice can initially be uncomfortable is important. My favorite part of this excellent article is your last sentence, "You will want to commune with the Beneficent Universe perpetually." Thank you!

  2. Yes, that picture jumped right out at me when I went a-searching. I'm glad you liked it!

  3. It is a fantastic post – immense clear and easy to understand. I am also holding out for the sharks too that made me laugh. best seats for spin bikes


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