I have been following the work of Eckhart Tolle for some time now, and I must say I really appreciate his ability to synthesize the wisdom traditions of East and West in such an accessible manner. Nothing he says is “new” per se, but he articulates key insights of sages long past in a very engaging and helpful manner. And despite the simplicity of his teachings, I find myself struggling with them. The “thinking voice” yammers incessantly, and though I have moments of great lucidity I continue to struggle with it. It’s simple, yet it isn’t easy, at least not for me.
However, I have had an insight, so to speak, brought upon by a recent tragedy. I grieved and cried and felt terrible, when I had a moment similar to what Mr. Tolle experienced many years ago when he asked himself “Who is the ‘I’ who cannot live with myself any more?” I asked myself something similar, and was greeted with what I can describe as psychological spaciousness. It is as if the moment of despair was separated from “me” which allowed “me” to regard the memories from a more detached perspective. In doing so, I realized that the memories of what happened were not me, that they were ephemeral.
This is something about which a person can talk for a long time but if you don’t experience it you miss out on its transformative properties. Engaging with psychological space frees you of the incessant chattering of the monkey mind, even if only for a moment at a time, and allows you to live powerfully in the present. This space allows you to feel who you truly are, aside from your egoic mind. It was a breakthrough for me, and I am grateful to the teachings of Eckhart Tolle for allowing me to be who I truly am!