“Identification with thoughts and the emotions that go with those thoughts creates a false mind-made sense of self, conditioned by the past: the “little me” and its story. This false self is never happy or fulfilled for long. Its normal state is one of unease, fear, insufficiency, and nonfulfillment.”
“To be identified with a mental image of who you are is to be unconscious, to be unawakened spiritually. This unawakened state creates suffering, but suffering creates the possibility of awakening. When you no longer resist the diminishment of self that comes with suffering, all role-playing, which is normal in the unawakened state, comes to an end. You become humble, simple, real.”
“When you look closely at the nature of human suffering you will find that an essential ingredient in most kinds of suffering is a diminishment of one’s sense of self.
In reality, of course, what feels like a diminishment or loss of your sense of self is the crumbling of an image of who you are held in the mind. What dissolves is identification with thought forms that had given you your sense of self. But that sense of self is ultimately false, is ultimately a mental fiction. “
“For many people, illness – loss of health – represents the crisis situation that triggers an awakening. With serious illness comes awareness of your own mortality, the greatest loss of all.”
Tolle talks about people who walk out in nature while listening to their earbuds, talking on their phone and doing other activities that take them out of being present. I realized I really have enjoyed listening to music and podcasts while walking my dog, but that in doing so, I am missing out on being 100% present.
For the past two weeks, I have walked my dog without using my phone except to take one picture of a flower or cactus. In this short period, I’ve realized a difference in the rest of my day. I feel calmer and my mind does not go (as bonkers) as it used to. In fact, when my mind starts to go astray, I can bring it back to the present much faster now.
“As people around you pass away, you become increasingly aware of your own mortality. The body will dissolve. Many people still, in our civilization, they deny death. They don’t want to think about it, don’t want to give it any attention.
There is enormous potential there for spiritual flowering. Even in people who, up to the point of the beginning of the fading of the form, were completely identified with the form. It’s your last chance in this incarnation, as your body begins to fade – or you are becoming aware of this limited lifespan. It’s your last chance to go beyond identification with form. This is true whether it’s to do with your body or somebody else’s body.”
Spring – the jumping off time
of green buds and birds’ trill
of thriving and spreading
when souls vault with thrill
Summer – enlivened bustle
of limitless affection
of prime corporeality
when spirits rouge the complexion
Autumn – abated season
of settling gratitude
of tranquil sanctuary
when ego battles disquietude
Winter – gradual repose
of profound cogitation
of placid acceptance
when the form meets salvation