Hello everyone, hope all is well!

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Hello everyone, hope all is well!

Postby awakenedspirit » Sat May 05, 2012 1:58 am

Hello! I'm new to these forums, and I figured I might as well start of with an introduction, as well as tell you about my "story," the events that lead to my awakening, among other things. Looking back on my life, it all seems like a nightmare I could never break free from, that is until my sister lent me a copy of A New Earth. At the time, I had been dealing with the grief of losing my Father back in 2010, it put in a bad place, as it was the first time I had ever dealt with the death of someone I knew my entire life. I was in a lot of pain, and because of that, I unintentionally caused much pain and suffering to my friends, my family, and my girlfriend at the time. I was always trying to do the "right" thing, and in the end, I ended up hurting more than helping. I was suicidal for a bit, it was all a lot to deal with.

I remember one night in particular, after me and my girl friend had broken up, I felt lonelier than I had ever felt before. I went to sleep in tears and depressed.
I woke up that next morning, and some of those feelings were still there. And a thought came into my head. It said "forget this, I don't want to feel this way anymore, I want to be happy. I want to stop worrying, I want to be free."

And after I thought that, I saw the light shine through my window, the specs of dust illuminated. It was beauty beyond words. Beauty I hadn't experienced since I was very young. I then proceeded to google "How to meditate." And that was the first time I realized... Happiness is a choice.

Fast forward a few months later, and my sister, (whom happens to practice yoga) recommended that I read a great book, called "A New Earth." Intrigued, I began to read... and read, and read. And every time I looked up from reading a page of the book, I saw the clarity, I heard the sounds, I felt the energy, the aliveness inside me. I recognized how my ego had run rampant, how despite my wanting to do good and help people, how I had in the end, been contributing to their suffering. I have taken these changes to heart, and I live a happy, meaningful, and fulfilling life now... and I'm only 22 years old!

One of my few frustrations however, is how many of my friends no longer understand me, or the changes I've made. I love them so much, but I'm feeling disenchanted at the moment, I know where their coming from, but its hard for them to relate to any tiny observation I make. Of course, I do have a few friends who are exceptions to this, and I have found much comfort with talking to them. But my purpose for being here, is to have a safe place to discuss spirituality, living in the present moment, and to having nice, thoughtful discussion with like minded people.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I look forward to getting to know you all!

Peace and Love,

Awakenedsoul
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Re: Hello everyone, hope all is well!

Postby erict » Sat May 05, 2012 2:34 pm

Welcome to the forum.

Having gone through the suffering you mention, however painful and difficult it may have been has greatly increased your potential to experience a conscious, peaceful, meaningful life, with so much more appreciation for the things that really matter. And now especially that you've found a teaching that resonates with you and helps you see things differently, experience life differently, you've started realizing this potential.

awakenedspirit wrote:And that was the first time I realized... Happiness is a choice.

I've been reading a lot about happiness lately, and this is one of the things that resonates the most, the same realization you mention here. Happiness is a skill, it is something one must develop, not merely the consequence of aligning your life circumstances into what you believe you need/want.

Actually, I like Andrew Weil's approach to this subject even better. He talks about the lifelong process of attaining and maintaining optimum emotional well-being. According to him it is unrealistic and even damaging to expect to be happy all the time, and what one should strive for is to find inner balance and resilience, as we experience the normal range of emotions, without getting stuck on any particular emotion.

awakenedspirit wrote:Fast forward a few months later, and my sister, (whom happens to practice yoga) recommended that I read a great book, called "A New Earth."

If you still haven't read The Power of Now, you should definitely put it on your to-read list. For me personally TPON is infinitely, incomparably better.

awakenedspirit wrote:I have taken these changes to heart, and I live a happy, meaningful, and fulfilling life now... and I'm only 22 years old!

I remember similar feelings of the high of first discovering and experiencing certain teachings, including Eckhart Tolle. They can last for days, weeks, months, maybe even become a permanent change. But I think more often than not, especially talking from personal experience, a single exposure is not enough and the old mental patterns and habits tend to resurface, especially in particular circumstances you may be sensitive to.
If this indeed happens to you, just remember that it is normal, and just as certain dysfunctional habits may have formed over the years, you can now reshape them and form new ones in their place, through making more conscious choices over and over again.

awakenedspirit wrote:One of my few frustrations however, is how many of my friends no longer understand me, or the changes I've made.

I'm sure a lot of people here know exactly what you mean. But I think you should keep in mind, that just as you don't expect all your friends to share a particular interest or understanding you have with one/few of your friends, much the same way a lot of them may not be interested in this, or even as you'll see, there are many people who are interested in these or similar teachings, with whom you will not really be able to communicate well.

Alright, I'm getting a little too preachy even for my own taste, so I should stop. :) If any of this resonates, let me know, I might have some book to recommend, some experiences to share, or some more preaching to do.
"Be sincere; don't ask questions out of mere interest. Ask dangerous questions—the ones whose answers could change your life."
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Re: Hello everyone, hope all is well!

Postby runstrails » Sat May 05, 2012 6:41 pm

Welcome, Awakenedsoul. Enjoy the forum. Looking forward to your contributions.
Nice post, Eric. Is there a particular book from Andrew Weil that you like. I've not heard of him, but he sounds interesting.
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Re: Hello everyone, hope all is well!

Postby erict » Sat May 05, 2012 7:22 pm

The book I've read and highly recommend is called Spontaneous Happiness.

I've made a post about it here:
viewtopic.php?f=27&t=10479

Later on I will try to post some excerpts from the book.
"Be sincere; don't ask questions out of mere interest. Ask dangerous questions—the ones whose answers could change your life."
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Re: Hello everyone, hope all is well!

Postby awakenedspirit » Mon May 07, 2012 5:23 am

Thanks for the kind responses! Eric, don't worry about being preachy, I understand that there's still a lot I have yet to experience on this journey I call life, and I love hearing other's input/opinions/suggestions.

I have not yet read The Power of Now, but it is certainly next on my list! I've heard many great things about it after all!

I would love more book recommendations, reading is one of my favorite activities, and I simply wish to learn and take in as much as possible. I'll definitely take a look at spontaneous Happiness. Sounds like something that would help me a lot! One of the things I noticed after reading A New Earth, is when I did start to feel unhappy, I wondered why I did. I kind of beat myself up for not being happy for a brief period, mostly while i was still grasping the concepts I was learning at the time. I'm starting to realize while I have control over my emotions, there still seems to be that trigger, so to speak, that brings up the pain body.

There was actually a beautiful moment, while I was on the train, that happened to me. You see, I had just received my first paycheck from a new job of mine, and I used that money to pay for a month pass for the train. Now, something had gone wrong with the pass, and gave me a negative balance. I called customer service, and they were not willing to refund me. I took it so personally, because I grew up in a family with financial hard ships, and I completely lost my senses.

So there I was, on the train, broken down in tears. Thats when a girl sat down beside me and hugged me, and said "It's ok, you can talk to me, let it out."

Now I notice that this forum is based in the UK I believe? I live in Calfornia, so I'm not familiar with how racial barriers are portrayed in the media, but in the states, they are mentioned quite often. Especially between Caucasians and African-Americans. Well, I'm white, she was black. But it didn't matter. We were just two human beings. No more, no less. I was suffering, and she lent her shoulder to cry on. She listened to me when everyone else on the train just ignored me. I'll never forget that moment.

Later that night, I flipped to a random page of A New Earth, and the passage describing pain bodies and how even the awakened still become unconscious because of it, helped me realize and understand what had been going on emotionally for me at the time.

So with all that being said, I'll make sure to pick up a copy of Spontaneous Happiness! Sounds like its right up my ally!
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