A few months ago, I attended a talk by Nick Roach (organized, as it happens, by The Secret Of Life reader Andy). Nick claims to be enlightened (the state I described in the previous post, Waking Up). I use the word 'claims' here not because I have any reason to doubt what Nick says but so that I can make a statement of fact, there being no way of knowing whether someone is enlightened or not. (A flashing beacon on the top of the head might have been useful, but neither God nor evolution have managed to get this together.)
My limited experience of enlightened people is that they don't always communicate very well with people who are not enlightened. Nick Roach, however, speaks very clearly and simply, and just appears to be a very nice, ordinary guy. Indeed, he still works for the council!
The main thing I took from his talk, and which I would like to share with you here, is that what gets in the way of our becoming enlightened, of reaching a sense of peace, are our emotions.
This certainly ties in with my own experience - and all too often, the emotion can seem to come out of nowhere. For instance, I can be walking along, full of the joys of spring, and apparently connected to some bottomless well of benevolence, only to find myself suddenly seething with inexplicable anger, just because someone has pushed in front of me at the supermarket checkout queue.
Where this seething emotion comes from is never clear to me, though it always seems to be out of proportion to whatever has provoked it. I can only presume it is rooted in previous emotions which have long been suppressed.
What, then, can we do when something like this happens, when an emotion such as anger or something else seems to literally 'take us over', either for seemingly trivial reasons - as in my case - or for more substantial ones?
Nick suggests a technique which involves allowing ourselves to feel the emotion but without getting sucked into a mental conversation about it. He argues that all the seething inside about whatever has happened, about who did what to whom and the reasons why we were so badly treated only serve to fuel the emotion. Once we have taken whatever steps we can to resolve the situation, we should let go of these thoughts and simply allow ourselves to feel the emotion. Then, without its fuel, the emotion will simply dissolve away.
The really good thing, according to Nick, is that this technique will also dissolve any underlying emotions . So whatever long-suppressed feelings may lie behind my supermarket rage should also dissolve away.
The full technique is a bit more complicated than this; Nick gives full instructions for it on his CD Dealing With Life, Living With Enlightenment. So if you'd like to try the technique, please get hold of a copy of this. It's better to hear the technique from the man himself, so you know you're doing it properly. (It may be worth mentioning that I'm not on an affiliate deal for this!)
Nick also has other books and CDs available and a recording of the talk in Leeds, which I attended, is forthcoming. You can
find his web site here.
So, does this technique sound too good to be true? Well, perhaps - but my experience suggests that small shifts in perspective or behavior can make a big difference to things. And bear mind in mind that you have to be prepared to feel the emotion here, which may not be as easy as it seems.
Does the technique work? I tried it out myself for several weeks after I attended Nick's talk and it seemed to be helping to staunch my bouts of inexplicable anger. Then something big came along and I started forgetting to use it!
This is the thing to remember about this and similar simple techniques which can change our perspective on life. They may seem too easy. They may seem too simple to make a difference. But this is the difficult bit: you have to remember to use them and go on using them if you want to make a difference to the way you see the world. Change rarely happens overnight. So it's not safe to stand next to me in the supermarket queue just yet...
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