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The End of Suffering (Eckhart Tolle) (Germany)
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Eckhart Tolle is one of the most famous mystics of the moment. He teaches that only through a de-indetification with the past and the future can we get to really live in the present and thus live fully.

Living the present and accepting the present as it is, not as we would like it to be, will put an end to all suffering.

You won’t surrender, which means…surrender means only accept this moment as it is. But you won’t be able to surrender unless you are completely fed up with suffering. You’ve had enough suffering.

And at some level, you recognize that most of your suffering is self-created. It is created out of resistance to what is. It is created out of an interpretation of something that is. It comes from a thought, from an interpretation, not from the situation.

So you realize really that “I’ve had enough suffering”, and only when you have truly had enough suffering in your life, are you able to say “I don’t need it anymore”.

Suffering is a wonderful teacher. Suffering is most people’s only spiritual teacher.

And suffering deepens you. It gradually erodes the mind-made sense of self, the ego.

And for some people, the point arrives when they realize “I have suffered enough” and that, for example, is the case with almost all the people who come to a retreat. If you ask them, they’ve all had their share of human suffering. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be open to the message. They’ve had their share of human suffering and they have reached a point where they are ready to listen to the message that says there is another way to live. There is another way in which you can live that does not create further suffering for yourself, because to a large extent humans create their own suffering.

And so, when you are ready to hear that message, and that is really the message that is in every religion. It’s the message, the central message of Buddhism is the end of suffering and even the central message of the teaching of Jesus is finding the pearl of great price, finding the kingdom of heaven that is within you, here and now, as Jesus says. And that of course is the end of living in the state of suffering.

So, one could say that you need suffering for you to realize, for you to come to a point of realization, that you do not need to suffer anymore. There’s a paradox here. If I had not suffered, I would not... this teaching would not exist. So you could say it has come partly as a result of intense suffering, because as a human being, I would not have evolved spiritually if I had not suffered. So suffering was my main teacher, and suffering is for many people their main teacher, but then there are... some people, when they are ready, they come into contact with a spiritual teaching or a teacher and that can speed up the process of realization that you don’t need to suffer anymore and you are ready to hear that.

So that was... the Buddha talked about nothing else 2600 years ago, that there can be an end to self-inflicted suffering. And when you don’t inflict suffering on yourself anymore…and remember it’s’s the thoughts, your thoughts that make you suffer more than anything else, it’s not usually the situation, it’s your interpretation of the situation of how dreadful it all is, and so when you see that, then you see that there is another way to live in which I no longer mentally argue with what is. And that’s the end of self inflicted suffering…and if I no longer inflict suffering on myself, I no longer inflict suffering on others, because the two go together.


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