Monthly Archives: August 2009

Why we take a peculiar pleasure in suffering and how to stop

"Observe the peculiar pleasure you derive from being unhappy. Observe the compulsion to talk or think about it." -Eckhart Tolle Have you noticed? We want to be free of pain, but there is a part of us that which takes a peculiar pleasure from reveling in suffering. I had two decades of depression and anxiety before I came to awakening. Some of the episodes were so debilitating that all I could do was atrophy behind a black cloud and watch my life crumble—watching helplessly, as once again, Read more [...]

Call off the Struggle

The Struggle Two Zen monks were walking through the woods. Suddenly, one Zen monk turned to the other and slapped him. “Ouch! Why did you do that!” cried the slapped monk. The first said, “I’m Zen monk, I can get away with shit like that.” It is so very simple. And the ego loves to complicate it. Really, there is absolutely no need to struggle. In the Indian epic, the Mahabharata—the great 50,000 verse epic poem of human delusion and foible, the climactic scene takes place Read more [...]

Do you feel lighter, more compassionate, more joyful, more natural, more playful?

One the most important things Eckhart Tolle has said is rarely mentioned. He said the test of being is a very simple question: Do I feel lighter and more joyful? Ask yourself: Do I feel lighter, more natural, more joyful, more compassionate, more connected, more open, more playful? Am I coming out of the world of fear and sadness? Does life unfold more effortlessly and rightfully? Does life flow? It’s taken me some practice to answer the question truthfully. As awareness expands, and Read more [...]

A Gentle Honesty

Awakening humbles me. A strange thing about awakening is frequently we feel we are very conscious, but then life throws something at us and we react in the same conditioned way we always did. It’s a humbling experience, and that’s the point of it. A year ago I had severe and debilitating anxiety. It was bad enough to have anxiety at all, and this particular bout was especially severe, but on top of that I was upset that I could have anxiety at all. I had thought. with awakening I had overcome Read more [...]