Intense difficulty attaining presence.

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Zade
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2012 11:08 am

Intense difficulty attaining presence.

Post by Zade » Thu Feb 16, 2012 11:33 am

Hello,

I found Eckhart's books a few months ago and I must say that it made some sort of complete sense to me, at least in theory. Whenever I try to become aware of my mind and my thinking, a few things happen. First there is an immediate pain in my chest/abdomen, sometimes in my shoulders.This becomes acute whenever I try and focus solely on sensing the body, which also is difficult for me. Next an intense wave of uncertainty flows over me, not towards the future, but whether the values and ideas I have about life are right, though I do have plenty of uncertainty towards the future as well. Usually, but not always, a second wave of sadness/depression follows suit, though it subtly creeps in through the noise of uncertainty.

I get the feeling as though my mind is too clever to overcome, for once I thought I had attained some sort of presence. I had felt this covering over this inner light of mine was peeled back for just a few moments, and in those moments was a sense of profound joy and light-heartedness, I could not help but smile. Now it seems it has learned from that and it is now more difficult to achieve that again.

I suppose I'm looking for some guidance towards this situation, whether or not I'm attempting to attain presence correctly, or what, as this is all uncharted territory for me. I won't go into my life situation but I feel that unless I can attain some sort of peace, there isn't much left to do, and that of course worries me constantly.

My thanks,
Zade

GiveUpTheGhost
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2011 1:59 am

Re: Intense difficulty attaining presence.

Post by GiveUpTheGhost » Thu Feb 16, 2012 6:26 pm

I can't offer much in the way of advice, but thanks for articulating this as it is the same for me. I've had lots of "peak experiences" where I have entered a state of intense presence for periods of a few hours but they remain anomalies. It's almost as if my egoic mind is a virus constantly adapting to the anti-biotics that are Eckhart's teachings. I realise that analogy reveals a major error in my approach to this, I am treating the mind as enemy, but it is so difficult to be at peace with something whose very nature is resistance. I have had limited success with inner body awareness, it feels like I am too much "in my head" to even sense my body or emotions. Bringing awareness directly on to mind seems to work best for me, although Eckhart doesn't really put that much emphasis on observing thoughts (he seems to talk about inner body awareness much more) so I wonder if it can ever be a truly liberating technique. When I can sense my inner body (rarely) I feel a complex knot of muscular/energetic contractions that do not dissolve when I bring them into awareness, they seem to intensify. I have been working at this for sometime now, it seems to require more skill than I am capable of. Does practice make this better (it seems to create frustration for me)? Or does it all depend on sudden moments of insight that come out of the blue...
Gather up the lost and their souls...

ugotlammad
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Feb 29, 2012 5:54 am

Re: Intense difficulty attaining presence.

Post by ugotlammad » Wed Feb 29, 2012 6:33 am

Zade wrote:Hello,

I found Eckhart's books a few months ago and I must say that it made some sort of complete sense to me, at least in theory. Whenever I try to become aware of my mind and my thinking, a few things happen. First there is an immediate pain in my chest/abdomen, sometimes in my shoulders.This becomes acute whenever I try and focus solely on sensing the body, which also is difficult for me. Next an intense wave of uncertainty flows over me, not towards the future, but whether the values and ideas I have about life are right, though I do have plenty of uncertainty towards the future as well. Usually, but not always, a second wave of sadness/depression follows suit, though it subtly creeps in through the noise of uncertainty.

I get the feeling as though my mind is too clever to overcome, for once I thought I had attained some sort of presence. I had felt this covering over this inner light of mine was peeled back for just a few moments, and in those moments was a sense of profound joy and light-heartedness, I could not help but smile. Now it seems it has learned from that and it is now more difficult to achieve that again.

I suppose I'm looking for some guidance towards this situation, whether or not I'm attempting to attain presence correctly, or what, as this is all uncharted territory for me. I won't go into my life situation but I feel that unless I can attain some sort of peace, there isn't much left to do, and that of course worries me constantly.

My thanks,
Zade
Thanks for posting your experience. It takes a lot to open up and tell people what's going on inside when this is so new.

I would suggest that the feeling in your abdomen and chest is your pain-body. As Eckhart describes in TPON, the pain-body can come up in physical manifestations, and often does. It is possible to overcome this though with a degree of effort. It happens when you're focusing on the present because you're engaging in a completely new process. The process of purification has started.

The good news is that after a little while, although the pain is still there, it will feel as if there is a "light at the end of the tunnel" during those times of intense tension. This will manifest as a calmness around the tension/pain. You will want to examine this mentally, but until you allow those sensations "to be" so to speak, they will remain.

Also, maybe some emotions that have been stuffed deep down long ago are beginning to come out?

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