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Relating To Others, Practice "Understanding"

Two significant keys in relating, communicating, and understanding others are developing compassion for yourself and empathy for others.  Understand that all of us are flawed in some way, and all of us are destined to make mistakes.  The more risks you take, the more innovative you are, and the more you strive to improve the world or your life, the more mistakes you’re likely to make along the way.

 Try to read between the lines when it comes to others, but also know yourself.  The better you understand yourself and what makes you tick, the better you will understand others.  Many times the very idiosyncrasies you seem to criticize in others may be found in you.  Someone once said, "Beware when you point a finger at someone, because three fingers are always pointing back at you."  Before you criticize others, catch yourself.

  We all grow up in different environments, with different influences and experiences that shape our opinions and views of life.  In essence, you could say that we all come from different "worlds." Due to these differing views, we have our own individual opinions regarding the things in life that are important to us and the things that aren't.  In spite of our differing views and opinions, it's important to realize that what constitutes a "good" human being can not necessarily be judged by the external things one sees about them.  For example, just because a teenager may have a pierced eyebrow, pierced nose, pierced lip, and tattoos covering his or her body, doesn't mean he or she is a bad person. We must be careful not to prejudge a person's goodness based on how we think goodness should be packaged.  That's where understanding comes in.  We cannot judge someone until we first try to understand the "world" he or she comes from.

 My daughter, now a teenager, is forming her own opinions and establishing relationships.  I find that, initially, my advice falls on deaf ears.  So I have to remember how it was when I was a teenager.  At this stage in my parenthood, patience is a necessity.  Part of being patient is just being quiet and listening.  She may tell me things that shock me, but I just listen.  The world I grew up in and the world she is growing up in are both very different.  She is faced with situations at her young age that I did not have to encounter when I was her age.  However, to merely get angry that the world has changed and that she is confronted with these situations will not help my daughter.  I must try to relate to the world she is living in and offer wisdom, guidance, and sound advice to help her face the challenges that will come her way.

  Perhaps there is someone in your life that you find hard to relate to.  You just don't “get” him or her—the person’s actions or viewpoints.  Take some time to just sit still and think about that person.  What may his or her "world" be like?  What is the person’s background?  Where did he or she come from?  Perhaps they are dealing with insecurities, family issues, or other personal issues.  Think of ways that you can talk to the person or find out about him or her and begin to develop an understanding.  You may never fully understand some people, but endeavor to mentally walk in their shoes as they do.  You don't have to agree with them, but try to understand them and be sympathetic to their plight.
By: John Alston


When you are present in this moment, you break the continuity of your story, of past and future.
Then true intelligence arises, and also love.The only way love can come into your life is not through form, but through that inner spaciousness that is Presence. Love has no form.

- Excerpt from Eckhart Tolle's Stillness Amidst the World

Living in the Now
Nature. A flower - perfect in every way and fully present in the now. The flower doesn't worry about whether the sun will shine or whether it's going to rain. It doesn't worry about whether it will be watered later, tomorrow or next week. It simply exists in the full beauty of itself and for us to enjoy.

It is this sense of being absolutely present that Eckhart Tolle teaches in his writings. For when we are absolutely present in each moment, is when we live life to its fullest. It's when we are absolutely focused and all our attention is now that we are most alive.

When one stops to think about it for even a moment, one couldn't imagine living life any other way, and yet most of us do. We live in the past, in the future, anywhere but here and now.
"What you focus on is what you get" is a saying that describes how people experience their lives. Those who focus on the "good stuff" are happy and content. Those who focus on the "bad stuff" and all the things that are "missing" experience their lives as frustrating and empty.

Connecting with the Breath
Eckhart Tolle gives us a very simple method for bringing our attention into the present. It is something we all do every day and all the time that we are alive. Breathe. All we have to do to bring our attention to the present moment, become aware of our breathing. In and out, In and out. In and out. Ideally there shouldn't be any breaks in between - it should run in a continuous cycle.

Why Do We Want To Live In The NOW?
By living in the Now we can consciously choose what we would like our lives to be like, and we can overcome pain, regret and feeling powerless, and feeling as though we are victims of circumstance. Eckhart Tolle tells us that we are in fact the architects of our destiny.

By focusing on this moment right NOW, and living it to its fullest we choose our outcomes and our destiny. By making the choice to be happy, fulfilled and unafraid in each moment we create our world and the outcomes in it.

The Evolution Of Human Consciousness
Eckhart Tolle's  work is designed to awaken our awareness to the fact that we are spiritual beings having a human experience, and as such we are so much more than we imagined we could be.

For as long as we can remember as a species we have experienced suffering. It seems that we have been mistaken and that suffering is not mandatory just because we are human.

  Eckhart Tolle is one of a myriad of teachers that are showing us the way to an evolved human consciousness that understands that suffering is not an inescapable consequence of being alive.
In fact, we are all capable of living joyful, healthy, productive and happy lives.

A New Earth, Tolle expands on these powerful ideas to show how transcending our ego-based state of consciousness is not only essential to personal happiness, but also the key to ending conflict and suffering throughout the world. Tolle describes how our attachment to the ego creates the dysfunction that leads to anger, jealousy, and unhappiness, and shows readers how to awaken to a new state of consciousness and follow the path to a truly fulfilling existence.

About the Author
ECKHART TOLLE is a contemporary spiritual teacher who is not aligned with any particular religion or tradition. In his writing and seminars, he conveys a simple yet profound message with the timeless and uncomplicated clarity of the ancient spiritual masters: There is a way out of suffering and into peace. Eckhart travels extensively, taking his teachings throughout the world.
Eckhart Tolle - Who Is He?
Eckhart Tolle was born in Germany and completed his education in England, graduating from the University of London, after which he went to work as a research scholar and supervisor at the University of Cambridge.

Eckhart Tolle's teachings have now reached millions of people around the globe as a result of his collaboration with Oprah Winfrey. This was done via the "A New Earth Webcast with Eckhart Tolle." Once a week for 8 weeks Oprah interviewed Eckhart Tolle and discussed and reviewed the ideas and teachings found in his book "A New Earth - Awakening To Your Life's Purpose".

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