The Mother Of All Self-Help Techniques

    Welcome to the Easter edition of my newsletter!

    Easter is here! – a time when Christians celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. More generally, it’s known as the beginning of new life. For Christian’s it’s also a time to remember the suffering that Jesus went through on the cross.


    Click the PLAY button above to here the audio

    So today I want to talk about suffering. Suffering is something we all go through in varying degrees.

    There are areas of my life where I have suffered “just a tad” 😉 And maybe there’s just the “outside-chance” that somebody listening to this may have suffered at some point as well 😉

    So what I want to talk about today is the MOTHER of all self help techniques. I’ll explain what that is in a minute.

    It’s true, I’ve studied lots of techniques to engineer “quantum shifts” and “accelerated change” in people. I’ve studied NLP and hypnosis with a passion for ten years and had some pretty good results. Not to mention holistic practices like meditation and Qigong. Again … changed my life … changed many people’s lives for the better.

    But when the sh-1-t is really hitting the fan, sometimes the finest techniques just don’t cut it. Now it’s time to employ the mother of all techniques – what I’m trade-marking as “The H-Bomb” of Self Help (TM) (c) 2008. It’s called…

    Surrender

    … or what my hero Bruce Lee called “The Art Of Dying”.

    At SGM right now, we’re discussing the work of Eckhart Tolle. I’ve found it truly eye-opening and very enlightening. I recommend you get his book “The New Earth” and also check out the webcasts at Oprah.com. They are excellent.

    I believe that tremendous suffering is something to be VERY grateful for when you encounter it. Why? Because if it’s intense enough, it can force you out of identification with your felt self – your ego – who you think and felt yourself to be.

    If the suffering weren’t that bad, you could probably go on for YEARS chipping away at your ego with various self-help techniques. Little change here. Little change there! But the fundamental misperception continues – the misperception that you are this “person” with it’s story, it’s past pains and future hopes of salvation.

    The overriding cause of suffering remains.

    Now I want to be clear that suffering in not REQUIRED in order to dis-identify with form. I’m not suggesting you go out and create extra suffering intentionally so that you can become enlightened. 😉

    The challenge with what you don’t want is that there’s usually resistance to what is, which in fact only fuels what you don’t want. So no, I’m not saying suffering is required. I’m saying perhaps it can be helpful. But really what we’re talking about here is full acceptance and surrender to what is.

    In that way you can realize who you are no matter what the circumstances of your life.

    Now speaking of suffering, I was brought up as a “born again” Christian (which might explain my rather manic zeal for this stuff).

    I used to believe “The Church’s” interpretation of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ – that if you believe a story about what happened then you would live forever in paradise. I don’t believe that anymore. And especially having read Eckhart Tolle’s “The New Earth”, this has really helped to gel things for me, so I can see what I now believe it was all about.

    Jesus was demonstrating to us how we could realize everlasting life right here, right now – by letting go of identification with ANY form that arises and recognizing yourself as the SPACE in which perception happens. Eckhart says that suffering can be your greatest spiritual teacher – the impetus needed to dis-identify with the self you thought you were.

    What’s required is total unequivocal, uncompromising surrender to what is, which isn’t always obvious when you’re suffering.

    In that surrender Eckhart reminds us that you begin to dis-identify with the suffering itself because yes, you’re aware of the suffering but you’re also aware of the space in which the suffering arises.

    By being aware of it, accepting it and refusing to resist it, you’re actually bringing consciousness into it which dissolves it over time. There is tremendous spiritual power in that. But it’s not a power “you” (as an identified someone) can ever have or use.

    Such was power of Jesus of Nazareth that his mere presence could heal. Where did that power come from? His willingness to surrender was so great, that even when nailed to a cross, suffering one of the most horrific kinds of torture imaginable, his response was “Not my will Lord but yours be done”.

    So, the mother of all self-help techniques is surrender to what is.

    Accepting what you don’t want when it arises in your consciousness. What happens, as Eckhart so beautifully describes in his books, is that the act of bringing consciousness into what you don’t want is enough to begin to dissolve the egoic self and the pain-body.

    We’ve all had experiences of connection to Source and insight where you realize that you are the Universe. But then what usually happens is that the mind steps in and wants to own the experience again. But just that recognition of ego and the pain-body is transformational in and of itself. Because once it’s recognized, there’s no way you could every go back to that for long.

    It’s also true that, like Eckhart says in one of the videos below – the “no” still has a momentum. But what a relief it is to know that you are NOT that no when it arises. You are the space in which the no and everything else happens

    So I just want to end with a quote from “The Power Of Now”

    “You have had a glimpse of how the timeless can transform your perspective. But an experience is not enough, no matter how beautiful or profound. What is needed and what we are concerned with is a permanent shift in consciousness”

    When I heard that I thought, “Yes, that’s it! That’s what we’re endeavoring to do at “Spiritual Growth Monthly”. It’s great to see a community of people feeling like they’re at home and enjoying the interaction.

    So if any of this is making sense to you (if it hasn’t I do apologize 🙂 and you’d like to take the next step, I highly recommend Eckhart’s Tolle’s “The New Earth”.

    Check out the webcasts at Oprah.com and join us as well! We’re a community of people committed to practicing this realization into every moment. Yes, we’re here to help so join us!

    Be happy,

    Matt Clarkson
    The Mind-Body Training Company

    P.S. As a bonus for SGM members, we’re having our very first Group Meditation Call this Sunday 23 March at 3pm Eastern.

    Kevin Schoeninger will be leading us in meditation using a new cueing technique from the Princeton Biofeedback Center. This new format can lead you more effortlessly into a meditative state. Click here for access to the call and to try SGM for just $1.

      4 Responses to “The Mother Of All Self-Help Techniques”

      1. Jeanne May says:

        Hi

        I can understand the logic and sentiments of adopting the surrender stance for suffering… theory sounds good and premises behind it are solid… for most people however it would be easier said than done!

        Such a technique would need to be practised and developed and strengthened long before suffering occurs.

        I get so much from Eckhart Tolle…

        Jeanne

      2. Hi Jeanne,

        I know where you’re coming from, especially given the fact that resistance happens at the unconscious level. In other words we don’t know we’re resisting it until it’s too late. In fact you could say that suffering **IS** unconsciousness.

        Just the willingness to fully pay attention when suffering happens is enough to break the identification with it. Then it’s just a case of watching it diminish over time.

        It may not sound like the magic bullet solution, but in my experience, it’s all that’s required.

        Try for yourself and see what happens.

        All the best,

        Matt

      3. andy says:

        Hi Mark,

        Very good article and i agree with you. I my opinion you dont need to suffer in order to be spiritual. However if you have to suffer accept it and look what you can learn from it and even be greatful(even if it sound strange to you). Because everything that happens to you is for the reason.

      4. Nishat Mazhar says:

        Hi Matt,
        Thanks for the article on “Surrender”. You mentioned Jesus Christ said “Not my will Lord but yours be done” on the cross. Interesting to tell you that the meaning of my religion Islam is also “submission to the will of God.” Just wanted to share with you. By the way Jesus Christ occupies a very high status in Islam also.

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