Before I met Elysha and Julie Sarah Powell
At that time, the things that I used to enjoy no longer held much for me. There seemed little point in life. My partner and I were locked in a battle over half of everything, and the source of what I had believed love to be, appeared to have dried up and to have been withdrawn.
I’d been saturated in pain for 10 months, and had started meditating for several hours a day to try and straighten my life out. Eckhart Tolle’s first book “The Power of Now” was out and I was inspired by his story. I read it several times, searching for clues that would set me free. During these times I had some profound breaks into deep peace, and these powered me on through the humdrum, searching for that apparently elusive inner peace again.
I felt the urge to get on with this freedom, and realised that I needed help from someone who knew more than me on this subject. That is how I came to find the group at True Nature Centre.
After coming and going away again, it was clear to me that it was a great advantage to be with people who had a common interest in learning to live their true nature. Elysha was an inspiration to be with. Watching him made me want to be like him. It‘s as simple as that. I knew right away that I would join the group. I wasn’t too keen on others being around, but there was no choice. I had to go with things as they were.
In the early days being in the group provided a lot of friction for us all. That meant our problems were free to rise up and give us a good slap around the face. We were all novices jumbled up together in one small room for 9 hours a day. We were all really quite different to each other. There was a lot of laughter and some tears, as we shared time together. There was frustration and joy. In fact there was every possible emotion humans can come up with, bubbling up in our cauldron.
We got to know each other at a depth that most people rarely experience. We were a part of something new that was emerging for the first time, and we all knew it. It was an inspiring thing to be part of. We were breaking down stuff that had been keeping us bogged down in our lives. It was a visible thing. You could see people loosening up, dropping tendencies, moving forwards, becoming nicer to be around.
Slowly, over time, spiritual growth made the person start to crack and break open. Things that had always made me furious no longer did so in the same way. Life became more relaxed. Things started to not worry me as they had. Easefulness quietly crept into my life. We were living together in a little community. The joys and hardships we all experienced were always shared openly between us. Whatever one experienced, the rest of us heard about it. Nothing was hidden, no matter how embarrassing it seemed to be.
It was during these times that I knew there was nowhere else for me to be. I knew that by myself, out in the swirling mayhem of the noisy world, I would have nearly no chance at all of freeing up at the rate we all were.
Wonderful Spiritual Growth Spurt
With the dissolving of Julie’s person came a wonderful spiritual growth spurt for all of us. The crystal clarity and super-simple instructions from her were just what we needed to make it even easier for us to stabilize.
With this, and the living example of this amongst us, we all moved forwards rapidly, becoming stronger in resting in the powerful inner peace.
There was a noticeable jump in the group towards working together. I watched everyone meshing in with each other, working as a unit. It truly was something special to watch. The cooperation and dedication to whatever they were producing was a pleasure to behold.
At this point, I noticed I wasn’t becoming a part of this group movement. Even though I openly admired it, I just wasn’t allowing myself in. It was then that I understood that I wasn’t open enough to jump in with them.
Listening to the Mind
Things bubbled up from the thinking mind, as they do, and I suddenly wondered what I was doing there, whilst all those around me were clearly working towards one goal, but not me.
With this mental realisation I decided I would go out into the world once again and live a simple life. My passion had always been for living with the land, looking after it and growing everything I needed. That is what I had been doing for eight years before I joined the group and I’d loved it. I’d been hoping it would happen whilst I was in the group. But it just didn’t go that way.
I left with a great deal of apprehension. I was scared that all I had leant might fall apart, and I would collapse into the heap of mind chaos, from which I’d come.
Fortunately that didn’t happen. After cautiously emerging into the world, I found much to my surprise, that it was full of wonderful things and people. My interactions with whoever I came across were a joy. I was stunned. This was not the way I remembered the world and the people in it! Where was all the pain and grief? Where was the hopelessness, the frustration at a system that was designed to fail?
I was pleasantly blown away with the wonder of it all. At first I thought the world had changed for the better, but then I realised that through my spiritual practice and growth I had deeply changed. It was the simple way that I saw things as they were, accepting all the pain, disorder, joy, love, and hate that surrounds life on this planet. Not wanting to change it. A painful scene is painful, I just didn’t get as lost in the pain as I used to.
I do really enjoy interacting with people now. There’s a joy in it. Even when plans apparently go wrong, I don’t get so upset about it. Quite often I find myself laughing at the situation.
With the absence of the group to call me back when I get a little disconnected, I soon learned to notice what was going on inside me. If I start feeling a little uneasy; when grumpy, angry, irritable, critical, sarcastic, and unpleasant thoughts are entertained in my mind and it's becoming a problem, then I know that even if it seems like my attention is aligned to the inner peace, that it cannot possibly be so. I then have the choice of getting deeper in that unpleasant outward movement, or I can bring my attention back to the anchor that Julie shared with us, to notice exactly where I am right now.
When you are aligned there is a clear easefulness, a lightness about everything you do. I still get a little caught out by thinking I’m free, when I’m not, but it soon becomes obvious that I’m not when the niggly feelings start welling up and the mind's restlessness starts getting out of hand.
This Is How My Life Is Now
This is how my life is now. My attention is drawn to the slight dis-ease that surrounds my actions, and I realign to the anchor and whatever is happening right in front of my eyes right now. The easefulness returns, until I notice a little irritation again. Then I realign to the inner peace again, and on and on we go.
If I stop and look back to how I lived before all this happened, and I compared it to how I now live, then it would be like awakening out of a nightmare in which I had no control, and entering into a place where everything comfortably exists with everything else.
I now live as I had always wished was possible, even though I could never have imagined it. I've realised that I alone am responsible for my reality, and that this depends on where I put my attention, on a moment by moment basis.
Would I have learnt this on my own? Very unlikely!!!