|can you tell by the post-its that i like this book? ;-)|
restless, unsatisfied, impatient, oversensitive. scrutinizing, assuming...
these are not emotions that a person actively working towards enlightenment wants to feel, but, alas... this is how it is. i'm especially pissed about it b/c i just finished reading The Power of NOW (for the second time), a book by famed enlightenment guru eckhart tolle dedicated to the search for inner peace. it took me several weeks to get through it for a several reasons:
1. i have three loud kids and this book requires quiet contemplation after each profound excerpt.
2. i have three active kids and it's summer time. i crawl into bed at night and am drooling on my pillow before you can say, "i surrender."
3. i have three demanding kids and it's hard to focus on zen when i can smell a poopy diaper, have to drive someone to camp or am playing life guarding at the beach.
but somehow i secreted away enough times to read it thoroughly and intently and would like to overshare my bit of perspective. if you've read it and would like to share perspective, too, please do!!!
here we go. eckhart tolle's "guide to spiritual enlightenment." first time i read the book i thought it was a snooze. i wasn't in a place to think about life meaningfully or spiritually. but now i am in that place so i gave it another chance. this time i was thrilled by the book and, at times, totally frustrated.
so in the beginning, tolle noticed a stream of non-stop banter in his head. a chain of ideas and analysis and nonsense that rattled through his mind constantly. one day he was like, who the fuck am i talking to? okay, my words not his, but you get the picture. he realized that there was another inhabitant of his body - the soul - and it was separate from that unconscious and annoying chatterbox - the ego.
the ego is a drama queen. the ego holds court over your body and reminds you every minute that you are a complicated human being with emotions and stresses and social status. the ego loves to be in control. do, do, do! think, think, think! feel, feel, feel! the soul, on the other hand, just wants to be - in love, in peace, in the moment. one of the tricks to enlightenment is deciphering the difference between the two and getting your mind to shut the hell up long enough to hang tight with your soul. once achieved, you must stroke that beautiful union until the soul's stillness becomes your new normal. your ego will still be there, piping in and demanding attention, but your connection to your inner light will be strong enough to keep that bad boy in his place.
the pain body is the other riff-raff lurking under your skin. your pain body is a big physical ball of emotions that sits in your gut. tolle wants you to know that it's there and he wants you to "watch it." treat it as a separate entity. example, say someone is cruel to you. your emotional reaction is anger and disbelief but there is also a physical reaction. your heart pumps harder and a tight ball forms in your throat. maybe your eyes start to well up with tears. this is the pain body (that bastard). when this happens, tolle tells us to separate ourselves from it and just watch it. be conscious of the physical, emotional effect that this offensive behavior has on your body then let it go. because that feeling isn't you. it's just latching onto you b/c you're not paying close enough attention, b/c you are unconscious. so acknowledge it and dismiss it. make this a habit. in time, dismissal will become the go-to reaction and strife will roll of your back the way a water rolls off a duck's.
during his description of how to manage the pain body, tolle strolls a bit through the forbidden forest: PMS. he actually calls it "menses," which made me choke on my pink lemonade. menses? who says that? whenever a man talks about PMS or periods, i roll my eyes and tolle was no exception. but to my surprise, he had something pretty decent to say. during a woman's menstrual cycle, he says, there is "an opportunity for the most powerful spiritual practice, and a rapid transmutation of all past pain becomes possible." he suggests that we hormonal bitches watch over the painful and emotional waves rather than be pulled down and drown by them. a fast track through evolution via the feminine aisle. well, shit. i gotta try this.
so back to present. here i am, well, in a position to put his theory to the test. my first problem appears to be that when i'm a raving lunatic i don't realize i'm just hormonal. i spend 2 weeks of every month in hormonal flux. it's very easy to forget who i am when half my adult life, i've been a disguised as a freak. (ladies, am i right? or am i right?) so at first, i think my attempt at watching my pain body is a bust b/c even when i was looking for it, i didn't know it was there. does this make sense???
but here i still am, like i said, in this place where i am restless, unsatisfied, impatient, oversensitive. scrutinizing, assuming. is this me? or is it not? according to tolle, it is not. well hal-the-fucking-lujiah! i guess i'll just tell aunt flo i've got my eye on her and i don't like what i see. time to kick that old bitch to the curb and get me some stillness... right after i pick up my kids from camp. did i mention i have three kids? ;-)
peace, love and gratitude,
this book is a treasure trove of inspiration so i'll blog about it more tomorrow. don't worry, though, no more menses speak. and i'll try to curb the cursing. oh, how i love the cursing. ;-)