Showing posts with label Mental Health. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mental Health. Show all posts

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Power of Now is in the Public Domain

I'm happy to report that Eckhart Tolle has seen fit to allow his seminal book, The Power of Now, to slip into the pubic domain, which means it's now free. I've posted it in its entirety to my Pages section (right). Let me know if you find this format helpful.

Please take a few moments to take a look at it. Click once or twice on each page to enlarge the print to your liking. A page or two each day while seated at your desk between tasks or clients is guaranteed to change your life.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A Cure for Anxiety - Part 1

Inner peace is a purely physical phenomenon. Your soul is deep and unaffected by the tempests your ego tosses, but your body is not.

Without doubt, anxiety has its roots in attitudes that you hold, but lots of people have those same attitudes without also engaging in anxiety. So it's wise to focus first on the physical dimension.

Once you learn this simple technique to ratchet down the negative energy you're constantly spewing into your physical being, you will then be free to evaluate the spiritual and emotional bases for this behavior as you desire and at you leisure.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Response to Canadian Therapists Concerns About Eckhart Tolle

Here is an article from Integral Options Cafe, discussing a piece by Douglas Todd, originally written for the Vancouver sun:

Canadian Therapists Worry that Clients Use Eckhart Tolle as a Spiritual Bypass

Here is my response:
This is a thought provoking article, but the main argument is a straw man. Tolle doesn't say you should gloss over the past. He simply urges people to deal with the past as it arises in the present, or "in the now." Negativity in the past, if it was dealt with effectively then (if it wasn't grieved and processed at the time), will inevitably resurface as what Tolle calls a "pain-body" attack. This occurs in the present and can be dissolved through awareness, allowing it to be, while focusing on the uncomfortable sensation that it causes (emotion, Tolle says, is the body's reaction to a thought). Inevitably, too, this process brings to mind the unconscious thoughts that are causing the pain and the sufferer awakens a bit further.
You are right when you point out that Tolle's philosophy is more sophisticated that some of his followers realize. But it is not a sophistication of the head, it is that of the heart. Tolle says we learn from the past but we should not live in it, nor the future.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Dealing With the Past on the Level of the Present the Key to Beating Depression

Here is a key passage from Eckhart Tolle's The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment:
[D]eal with the past on the level of the present. The more attention you give to the past the more you energize it, and the more likely you are to make a "self" out of it. Don't misunderstand: Attention is essential, but not to the past as past. Give attention to the present; give attention to your behavior, to your reactions, moods, thoughts, emotions, fears, and desires as they occur in the present. There's the past in you. If you can be present enough to watch all those things, not critically or analytically but nonjudgmentally, then you are dealing with the past and dissolving it through the power of your presence. You cannot find yourself by going into the past. You find yourself by coming into the present.
Depression results when we give up contact with reality, which can only be realized in the present moment, for the mental construct called the past. The past is a present moment that doesn't exist anymore, but people often continue to live in it for long stretches at a time as if it did continue to exist.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Pain-Body: What Is It?

The term, Pain-body was coined (as far as I know) by Eckhart Tolle in his first book, The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment. He develops the idea much more fully in his second book, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose.

The pain-body is a complex of built up thought patterns and emotions that results from unprocessed or unacknowledged pain experienced in the past. (Tolle goes so far as to hypothesize that we can be born with a certain amount of pain, but we need not agree with this view for the concept to be of service to us.) It lies dormant for varying periods of time, depending on the person, and is triggered by certain stimuli.

The Pain-Body in the Workplace

If people could take a sick day from work for a pain-body attack, we would probably find much more malady in the general population than we currently realize.

Check out this training video script from the HR department of a future Fortune 500 company I uncovered (humor alert: this doesn't really exist):

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Conscious Backgammon

Our good friend Eckhart Tolle, in A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose,tells us:"A powerful spiritual practice is consciously to allow the diminishment of ego when it happens without attempting to restore it." (p.215)

This spiritual practice I force upon myself almost everyday (as if driving in Naples isn't enough to diminish my ego).

I start off every writing day playing backgammon against my computer. Computers are generally good at what they do and most games I take a drubbing, and that's painful to what's left of my ego.

Eckhart also tells us that enlightened doing is not attached to outcomes, and I would like to be in a position to tell you that I see each game through to the end, win or lose, and that I concede graciously when a point of inevitability is reached. But generally, the truth is, I shut down the game and start up a new one and keep doing this until I finally win. Hey, what can I tell you? That's my writing process.

But here's the thing, I'm pretty sure the computer cheats. Let's look at the facts.

Monday, March 29, 2010

There But For the Grace of God?

This article was originally published by Technorati on 29 March 2010. To see all my Technorati articles, click Lifestyle in the Contents listing on the sidebar.

According to a New York Times report, Times Square is down to its last homeless person.

Homelessness has risen in other parts of the Big Apple. But Times Square, one of the many flagships of the NYC brand, has made major inroads towards cleaning up its act, a trend that began back in the early nineties under then Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

Tactics in the war on homelessness have changed over the years in New York. While in the past the emphasis may have been on the stick, today the carrot is more in vogue. Social workers have courted the lone holdout, an African-American man who goes by the handle Heavy (see photo). While their daily offers of free housing have fallen on deaf ears in Heavy's case, he is the last of seven hardcore street people who held out until just last summer.

But Heavy appears to be well respected by the long-time locals around Times Square. He's polite, well-groomed, adequately-dressed, finds coffee to drink, cigarettes to smoke, food to eat, a little spending money from generous strangers. Heavy even has a mission: he says he's "a protector of the neighborhood." And who's to say that he isn't?

Sunday, February 28, 2010

A Cure for Anxiety - Part 4

In Stanley Kubrick's Cold War black comedy Dr. Stangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, a character named General Jack D. Ripper goes crazy and launches a B-52 loaded with nukes in the direction of the USSR.

In one classic scene (located at 7:10 on this video clip from YouTube) Ripper explains to a British officer (played by Peter Sellers) the role that fluoridation of drinking water plays in the commie plot to take over the world.

Watch the video and . . .

Friday, December 11, 2009

A Cure for Anxiety - Part 3

If anxiety is a purely physical phenomenon (see Part 1), so is joy. Joy displaces anxiety.

Your soul already knows joy. Your soul is joy because your soul is one with the unmanifested. It's one with God. To experience that oneness in our physical bodies is joy.

So how do we do that?

By taking our awareness more deeply into our physical bodies and thereby sensing our inner bodies, which is the "life that animates" us.

A Cure for Anxiety - Part 2

Remember, anxiety is the hook but enlightenment is the goal. If we deal with the symptoms of anxiety by simply practicing certain techniques or by taking a pill, we're dealing with the problem on a purely physical level.

If we go to a psychologist or psychiatrist, we begin to include the mind in the solution.

But there's also a third level. That's the level of the spirit or soul. If we don't tap into this aspect of our being, we lack the leverage necessary to make lasting change. It's like trying to lift something that you're standing on.

Let me try to show you what I mean with a little experiment. At the end of this paragraph, stop reading and listen to the voice in your head. Almost everyone has an internal monologue going in their head all the time. Take a moment and listen to it.

From the Archives

What's Your Drama?

Ok, I'll go first. My drama has been to allow my pain-body to take over my thinking in the context of a love relationship. No...

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