Conscious living

Can you imagine, for even just a moment, a world where the majority of folk thought and behaved with conscious intent – rather than the ego (fear-driven, sub-conscious/auto-pilot) – driven world we seem to be living in today?

The following is an exerpt from one of my favourite books – “A New Earth – Create a Better Life” by Eckhart Tolle.

“Carrying the past.

The inability or rather unwillingness of the human mind to let go of the past is beautifully illustrated in the story of two Zen monks, Tanzan and Ekido, who were walking along a country road that had become extremely muddy after heavy rains. Near a village, they came upon a young woman who was trying to cross the road, but the mud was so deep it would have ruined the silk kimono she was wearing. Tanzan at once picked her up and carried her to the other side.

The monks walked on in silence. Five hours later, as they were approaching the lodging temple, Ekido couldn’t restrain himself any longer. “Why did you carry that girl across the road?” he asked. “We monks are not supposed to do things like that.”

“I put the girl down hours ago,” said Tanzan. “Are you still carrying her?” Now imagine what life would be like for someone who lived like Ekido all the time, unable or unwilling to let go internally of situations, accumulating more and more “stuff” inside, and you get a sense of what life is like for the majority of people on our planet. What a heavy burden of past they carry around with them in their minds.

The past lives in you as memories, but memories in themselves are not a problem. In fact, it is through memory that we learn from the past and from past mistakes. It is only when memories, that is to say, thoughts about the past, take you over completely that they turn into a burden, turn problematic, and become part of your sense of self. Your personality, which is conditioned by the past, then becomes your prison. Your memories are invested with a sense of self, and your story becomes who you perceive yourself to be. This “little me” is an illusion that obscures your true identity as timeless and formless Presence.”

Excerpted from Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth, pages 139-141.

How many times a day do you find yourself in this autopilot mode?

At least once today, catch yourself – get conscious – rehashing an old thought from the past that is not serving you…and let it go.


2 thoughts on “Conscious living

  1. Thanks, Claire. Unless conscious awareness is practiced every day – every moment, even – it is too easy to slip back in to old ways. It’s like flexing a muscle – repetition will make it stronger!

  2. ahhh! So needed to read/hear this today! So many times I hang onto things – words, feelings, experiences that hurt or bothered me – and mull them over and over and over. It doesnt improve the situation (which is now in the past) it just keeps me in a negative mind space. Loved this post – thank you! 🙂

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