I would like to begin this piece by noting that what I am writing about is the resulting experience of the practical application of Eckhart Tolle’s teachings. Furthermore, in it’s application, there have been other insights which arose and which I also share. Every individual’s experience is unique when pursuing the spiritual path, writing or expressing it can always bring value to those around you.
Whether you may recognize it or not, you have had a spiritual moment, or moments, in your life. I am not referring to a full or grand spiritual experience, where you become overwhelmed by the unconditional love that surrounds us all, or where you have been given a very clear sign of what direction you should take in your life or in a particular situation. Spiritual moments are smaller, more brief time spans where you suddenly feel calm, relaxed, where there is less mind chatter and you feel a little freer. It can be very simple and does not have to be an immediately life altering experience. If pursued, spiritual moments can lead to progressively deeper spiritual experiences and the exhilaration that comes along with it.
A spiritual moment can happen at any time and in any number of different ways. Perhaps you were in traffic driving home and not thinking of anything in particular. You could be at the gym working out and extremely focused during your set. Maybe you were in a very intense moment like rock climbing where your life is literally on the line and requires your 100% focus and attention. You could have been watching TV, feeling very tired so you just stopped thinking. A spiritual moment is essentially a moment where you are living completely in the moment, and where the clutter in your mind clears up, even if it is just for a second.
The ultimate goal is to recognize it, remember it and eventually try to recreate it. But you may be asking, “Why?”, “What’s the point?”. The answer is in what you felt during your spiritual moment. Did it not feel good? If you think carefully about it, would you not say that for those few moments, you had no care or concerns? The fact is, when you had your spiritual moment, you were calm. Serenity found its way into your life. Perhaps even in the slightest amount. It felt good. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have that more often, or even permanently? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to reduce or eliminate the amount of our worry, stress, tension, anxiety about our past or future? Our true natural state is serenity. It’s how we are supposed to be, it’s where we came from and its what we are supposed to bring into our life here. Once this is accomplished, it then becomes what we bring into the life of others. Not by doing anything in particular, but simply by just being a person who is living completely in the present.
As children, we spent all our time living in the moment. It was only when we grew older that we learned to live in regret about the past and worry about the future. The expectations we gradually developed for ourselves were formed mostly based on worldly and materialistic goals, not spiritual ones. We began choking our true passions just so we could make a buck, finding jobs that did nothing for our spirit. We developed expectations that had nothing to do with getting in touch with our true natural state, but rather to prioritize materialistic ambition. We became lost.
The questions then becomes: How do we live more in the present moment?
I will share what has worked for me, and has put me on this path.
Since much of our tension and worry arises in the mind, it is important to have more control over our thoughts. Give yourself time each day, perhaps even only 5 minutes initially, to allow yourself to become the watcher of your thoughts, the observer. Become separate from your thinking, and as the images of your thoughts arise and appear in your mind, become the being who is watching these thoughts. Do not resist any thought, let the thoughts come. As you continue to observe you will find that the thoughts themselves become less intense. The thought slowly dissolves and become less and less real or concrete. Any emotions that are triggered by any thought also becomes less intense. This is because you are no longer your thoughts, you are simply an observer of your thoughts. BEING our thoughts is where the emotional discord arises. This is the moment where we actually believe we are what we are thinking. But when we separate ourselves from our thoughts, we are no longer controlled by them. We become less reactive to any thought which may arise. Thinking that we are our thoughts is a position in which most of us have lived most of our lives. It is the primary method and direct physical cause for which we become stressed, anxious and worried. When you are the observer of your thoughts, you are no longer capable of being in any of these states, it becomes impossible.
With enough time and an enough practice, you will start feeling an increased sense of calm. At first you may only get glimpses of it, but over time this feeling will begin to last longer. It will be a similar sense of calm you felt during your initial spiritual moments, when you were doing whatever it was you were doing at that time, i.e. watching TV, driving home, etc.… The difference is that you will no longer have to do those activities to feel this way. If you relied on those methods for peace, but it was not practical, you now have another way. A method that can be done anytime and anywhere.
With continued practice, you will find that your moments of calm will turn into feelings of bliss and tranquility and eventually, a constant feeling of divine love. As you grow and improve your ability to control your thoughts, you will become very much in tune with your own internal compass and it will begin to direct you. It will direct you, very naturally, to your own life purpose. Finding one’s life purpose is an issue that many struggle with, but what I’ve presented here can be your ticket to discovering it.
So simple yet so powerful. I challenge you to give it a try, practice it so you can see for yourself.