Dear Raphael,

Thanks for clarifying your situation for me … I now have a better idea of where you are in your life-experience.

With regard to the feelings of depression etc. which have arisen in your awareness over the past eight years, I take it that you’ve been having some therapy or counselling for this condition and that this is helping you return to a more normal state of wellness. Is that so, or have you been following some form or ‘self-healing’? If you feel comfortable about it, you may like to tell me something of how the improvement came about.

One important thing we all need to know is that inner peace does not come about as a result of thinking or because one ‘masters’ one’s thoughts etc. If that were so, only highly intelligent people would experience inner peace and content, but that is obviously not so.

Peace is lost the moment we resist the way things are. We either want something we don’t have, don’t want something we do have or pass judgement by convincing ourselves that things ‘should’ be different to what they are.

So, the way to find inner peace is to be able to accept the way things are at any given moment. That doesn’t mean you can’t try to improve your situation if you feel it is a bad one, but at least you can say to yourself, “Well, this is the way things are right now … is there anything I can do about it?” And if there is, do it.

I and many thousands of others, many known to me personally, have found the writings of Eckhart Tolle very helpful and indeed, quite liberating, in getting free of mind-made suffering and finding lasting inner peace. Eckhart is not the only teacher sharing this timeless wisdom but he is one of the clearest.

I would strongly suggest that you persevere not only with his book, ‘The Power of Now’, but also that you get and read his second major book, ‘A New Earth’. Eckhart has read both these books onto CD disks and I’d recommend that you get hold of these if you can and listen to them. There’s something about Eckhart’s voice that helps the understanding of these life-changing teachings.

Whether you read or listen, do not try to ‘comprehend’ everything Eckhart is saying. Just pass over the bits you can’t grasp straight away, just as you would put aside a bit of tough gristle while eating an otherwise enjoyable and nutritious meal. I myself could not understand everything Eckhart said at the first reading, but later, as I reread his books, it all became wonderfully clear and freeing.

What Eckhart is trying to say about time is essentially this … instead of feeling regret or guilt about the past, and/or anxiety or dread about the future (psychological time), we can just focus on this present moment, or, if you like the Now, enjoy what it has to offer, or at the very least, make the best of whatever is happening for us.

Actually, he is trying to help us to see that we are really beings of pure consciousness or awareness, that can never become injured or ill. Illnesses can and do happen to our body and mind structures, but these are temporary episodes, and do not affect our true nature, which simply observes all these comings and goings in and around our person.

When we discover who we really are, instead of what we appear to be or other people tell us we are, then we find that we can find new and creative ways to manage the arising challenges of our unique life-experience. Healing happens naturally when we don’t fight with what is at any given time and simply allow it to be. It’s a bit like allowing a cloud to be a cloud and knowing that it will eventually pass … and maybe other clouds will appear etc. and so on.

All the great sages point to the truth that there is a great providence guiding our lives and that ultimately, we aren’t separate from it in any way. That’s why the saint, Julian of Norwich, was able to say with such confidence centuries ago: “All will be well, and all will be well, and all manner of things will be well.”

So, Raphael, of course you have everything to look forward to, but don’t let that fact keep you from experiencing the wonder and richness of THIS moment, and the ‘next’ one, and etc. etc. etc.

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