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With a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction degree (Goucher College, August 2014), I am looking at a new phase in my life. From 1992 to 2009, I served as Founding Executive Director of Miriam's House, a residence for homeless women living with AIDS. I left this position when Chronic Migraine Disease overtook my ability to do my job. Now I hope that a writing career will both accommodate the migraines and give me a creative, productive outlet. And soon, September 4, I will launch my Inkshares author page in a bid to hit the 1,000 pre-order goal in 90  days. The book I want to publish is "Nowhere Else I Want to Be," a memoir of ten of my years at Miriam's House.

14 November 2011

"The Power of Now" and Pain Management: One

Eckhart Tolle's writings have had a profound effect on my emotional and spiritual life for over a decade.  Within the past year, I realized that I am now primarily relating his teachings to the practice of pain management and the realities of living with chronic pain.  So it seems natural to begin a series of posts about Tolle's writings, in particular, "The Power of Now."

This first post will briefly (I am now on the fourth day of a migraine, and my resources are low) discuss some reasons for creating the series, as well as propose an overall structure.

When I cite quotations with page numbers, I refer to the New World Library / Namaste Publishing edition (1999) that was reprinted in 2004. 

I'll go chapter by chapter, although will not discuss every concept therein.  I'll pick out what is most relevant to my own pain management and the spirituality of living with chronic pain.

Although Tolle explicitly avoids proposing a spirituality, or religion, or belief system - and that is one of the reasons I love his writing so much - he does use examples from world religions such as Christianity and Buddhism.  But he does not expouse or proselytize for any particular religion.  Neither do I.

He also uses terminology that is as neutral as he can make it because he is speaking to all of us about eternal truths:

"This book can be seen as a restatement for our time of that one timeless spiritual teaching, the essence of all religions.  It is not derived from external sources, but from the one true Source within, so it contains no theory or speculation."  Introduction, final paragraph, page 10

This is appealing to me for many reasons, but for the purposes of this blog, the appeal has to do with the unifying nature of pain: Muslims suffer pain as do Hindi as do Native Americans and so on.  In my posts, I shall strive to follow Tolle's example - and my own habit thus with this blog - by writing in as inclusive a way as possible while still focusing on spirituality and spiritual health.

As I have said before, I do not claim to be an expert.  Nothing in this series or in this blog is meant to be taken as expert advice or as a substitute for professional care.  Anyone with chronic pain should be under the care of a medical professional.

My next post will be about two concepts from the Introduction (pp 3-10): freedom from esnlavement to the mind; and consciousness without identification with form.

I am excited about beginning this series, which I have been planning for many months.  And I look forward to your comments and emails.

I would love to hear from you.  Please use the Comment link below, or email me at carold.marsh@gmail.com.


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