February 2, 2023

Pinoy Trekker

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3 things that turned my suffering into blissful peace

“Experiencing peace does not mean that your life is always blissful. It means you are able to tap into a blissful state of mind amidst the normal chaos of a hectic life.” ~Jill Bolte Taylor

I was trapped in my own worst nightmare for just over six years. Then, in a split second, my entire reality shifted into an experience of exquisite peace and bliss. As I walked the streets of my hometown, I seemed to radiate unconditional love outward and into everything around me.

I didn’t know it then, but I had just tasted the ultimate state of deep peace and presence that most people long for on the spiritual path.

Pretty cool right? But before I tell you what happened, let’s rewind and put it in context to the rest of my life.

My first eighteen years on this planet took me to a place of depression, self-loathing, fear, and self-harm. After another five years of severe stress and struggle, my body just gave up and my life ground to a halt.

I was in my mid twenties. I had never imagined being dependent on government services and a nursing team because of severe pain and chronic fatigue syndrome.

So I went from one doctor and alternative therapist to another hoping they could heal me. I saw small improvements but not enough to be able to live normally.

I honestly don’t know how I carried on through those dark days, but I was determined to find the key to my freedom. Through many small insights I came to realize that the answers must be within me, not “out there”. But how could I access them?

Then one day in 2010, my whole life changed again. A friend gave me a copy of Eckhart Tolle’s book A New Earth. The way he spoke about awareness and presence brought life to the depths of my weary soul. Then a miracle happened.

I woke up one morning in this state of total bliss. My mind was still, the pain and fatigue went away and all my suffering stopped for a full five days. I had just experienced what I really was beyond my mind.

When that experience ended, I was plunged into sickness and suffering again. I knew I had to find a way back Home to that incredibly deep peace and freedom.

I spent the next five years devouring countless spiritual books, courses, and YouTube videos. There was a lot of vague talk about this experience, but nothing told me how to get there.

The search finally ended when I met a group of monks who taught advanced meditation and the theory of consciousness. I could feel that same blissful peace oozing from every cell of her being. Knowing that they could teach me how to regain this state, I went to Spain to study with them.

If you want to experience that peace too, you need to understand how to go beyond your mind. Many spiritual teachers talk about this. But what does that really mean?

1. If you want to find peace, stop believing your thoughts.

Let me start with something that might surprise you. You don’t have to stop your thoughts to find peace.

Thoughts don’t interrupt your peace when you learn to see them flowing through your consciousness. Suffering begins when you hold onto them and go into unconscious thinking.

When this happens you are no longer aware of what is going on around you in the present moment. The stories in your head have literally become your reality. let me explain.

Have you ever walked a route that you know well and can’t remember anything about your destination? Instead of paying attention to what was going on around you, you thought about another moment. Maybe it was the argument you had with your spouse that morning or the presentation you plan to give tomorrow.

Here’s the thing – those thoughts only have power over you if you believe them. When you stop believing the scary thoughts about everything that will go wrong, your suffering will stop immediately. These horror stories don’t actually happen in the present moment!

So if you want peace, the first thing you have to do is bring your attention to what is real right now.

Tune in to your senses to perceive what is going on around you. Pay more attention to that than what your mind is doing. It will help you break out of stress and suffering.

2. Break the cycle of stress and negative emotions.

Now think of something that makes you happy. Let’s think about it for a moment. Did that feel good? Maybe you got that warm fluffy feeling and your body felt lighter.

Now think of something you don’t like. How do you feel now? Anxious, angry, stressed, heavy, sluggish or something else?

You sense what you focus on, so thinking about good things will make you feel good. When you think about painful things, you experience more stress and negative emotions.

Now back to unconscious thinking. Can you see how losing in stories about life’s dramas fuels stress and negative emotions?

The next time you notice that you’re feeling down, take it as a signal that you haven’t thought of something you don’t like. Come back to the reality of what is around you.

Let the remaining sensations of stress and emotions flow through your body. You should feel better within a minute or two.

But there’s a lot more available to you than “feeling just a little bit better.” The truth is that you can experience peace no matter what is happening in your life. You might want to re-read that statement because the implications are huge!

3. Connect to the permanent source of peace.

If you want to access the enduring source of peace, you must first practice returning to the present moment when you are lost in your mind. Only then will you be able to go completely beyond your mind and experience what you really are.

Your true self is the source of this exquisite peace, freedom and bliss. You are pure conscious awareness, the observer that is beyond mind, negative emotions and suffering.

You feel what you focus on. Since what you are is always still and peaceful, if you put your attention on it, you will feel peaceful.

You don’t have to stop your thoughts or change anything in your life to do this. You simply need to pay less attention to your thoughts and circumstances. Instead, allow more of your awareness to rest directly on your true self.

How can you do that? You can use the fact that consciousness is vast and spacious. In fact, it is in the peaceful space that all things exist in this universe.

look around now You may notice many objects such as a chair, a lamp, or even the building you are sitting in. But have you ever stopped to notice the space these things take up?

Now focus as much attention on the room as possible. Notice the space between you and the objects around you. Then allow yourself to feel the space in the whole room.

Now imagine this space within you. Wide, open, scattering your obsessive thoughts so far that you can barely hear them. do you feel more peaceful

If I can connect to that ultimate state of deep peace, I know you can too. We all have the power to do this within us.

It’s really just a matter of remembering to choose what you put your attention on. If you forget and get lost in your thoughts, don’t worry! Just come back in peace when you remember.

The more you practice connecting with the space around you and creating space within yourself, the more peace you will invite into your life. Gradually, the stress and struggle will melt away as you learn a new way of being. Over time, you’ll find that you just don’t pay as much attention to all the mind drama.

Keep it light by treating it like a game. Play with being aware of space as you go through your day. Can you feel the gap when brushing your teeth? How about during a conversation?

For me, this practice was the gateway to deeper and deeper levels of peace. By committing to playing with it, I’ve trained my brain to stay in that state for an extended period of time. It has always become easier to pull myself out of any drama when life is turned upside down.

It’s not about perfecting life. It’s about the ability to deal with whatever happens. If I need to take action, I do it from a calm and grounded state of mind. It’s in stark contrast to the desperate struggle I used to experience.

The answers really had been with me the whole time. It applies to you too. This small but powerful shift in attention has the power to completely transform your life.

Since I stopped listening to that voice in my head, I have experienced deep and lasting healing. I no longer believe in all the self-criticism, anxious thoughts, or stories about how I’m not good enough. Sure, the stuff pops up from time to time, but I prefer to smile and let my mind go.

As it turned out, connecting to my true self was also key to healing my body. Stress and negativity has drained my energy and vitality for years. Now that I’m much calmer, my body has been able to use the extra energy to heal.

I want you to know that this is not some mystical adventure reserved for a lucky few. This experience is for everyone. Living in peace and happiness is your birthright!

So connect to your own source of peace. I would like to hear how you are doing.

About Clare Elderkin

Clare Elderkin is a UK-based spiritual life coach and meditation teacher. With over 10 years of experience on the spiritual path, she teaches her clients to rewire their minds so they can create the life they want and deserve. Sign up for their free Freedom Activation Code guide to find out how you can bring even deeper levels of peace into your reality.

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