Same teaching, different teachers

Posted by Karen Degen on 30th June 2014

Tags: Buddhists, Byron Katie, Eckhart Tolle, attachment, meditation, thoughts

It has occurred to me for a while now that the teachers of this age, the writers and speakers such as Eckhart Tolle and Byron Katie are teaching the same thing but just in different ways and using different words.  It hit home to me yesterday that the Buddhists are teaching the same stuff, except they have been teaching it longer of course.  I occasionally attend a meditation class run by the Buddhists and there is a short teaching before the meditation. They teach that it is your mind or your thoughts that are the only problem you have, something I agree with of course.  The other day at meditation the lady taught about attachment.  We can be unhappy if we haven’t got something we are attached to.  It could be as simple as getting a bad cup of coffee and you are unhappy because you have become attached to having your coffee tasting differently.  We can be unhappy if we have plans that we are looking forward to and they get changed, because we are attached to the plan or the outcome, or maybe because we miss our favourite TV program.  We can become attached to people or relationships and also to things, like if you lost your favourite shoes, broke your most valued possession or had your car stolen.  We are unhappy because we are attaching our happiness to a certain, thing, person, situation or outcome.  Bryon Katie says that the only time we are ever unhappy is when we are in conflict with reality.  When we are thinking that it shouldn’t be this way.  When we want something else.  Eckhart Tolle says that the primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it.  He says “Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it.”  I found it interesting that the Buddhists have been teaching this for over 2500 years, but we still haven’t got it.  I think that’s why we have different teachers teaching it with different words and in different ways.  Or perhaps it is because the concept is easy to understand, but the achievement of it is the work of a lifetime.  I know I still have some work to do.

P.S.  There’s an interesting blog about meditation here, written by Elly Mcguinness.  She’s an online fitness and wellbeing trainer who can help you to lead a fitter, healthier life.