The clocks have gone back. The days are darker. These are dark times too. The world seems troubled as does the United Kingdom. The political landscape and Covid-19 point towards a bleak winter. Isolation, mental health issues, fear, uncertainty, sickness, unemployment, bereavement and so much more have touched all of us. We are all suffering to a lesser or greater degree. In that sense, we are all in this together and need to reach out to one another. We also need coping mechanisms.
In the last 22 months I have been floored by three catastrophic losses. The totally unexpected deaths of firstly my partner, then my eldest son, and last month, my brother, who lived in Australia, from Motor Neurone Disease. Living alone, denied touch, can be hard. Fortunately, I have been given some tremendous support, but there are still difficult days when I struggle and wonder what the point of it all is.
I have just finished reading a book that has helped me deal with the above and radically changed the way I cope with things. My widowed sister-in-law sent it to me. It has clarified my thinking and explained the intuitive spiritual journey I have been muddling through for decades. It has literally been a blessing and I want to tell the world about it. If you have not already read it, read it!
The Untethered Soul is written by Michael A. Singer, a Zen Buddhist. The book, however, has so much to offer those of any faith, or none. He is not proselytising Buddhism. He is offering a way of finding inner peace. Although profound, it is written simply enough to understand and is not didactic. It is a practical guide to living without fear. I am convinced that there is something to be taken from this for everyone, particularly in these uncertain times.
It has five parts: Awakening Consciousness, Experiencing Energy, Freeing Yourself, Going Beyond, and Living Life. Each part is split into chapters. These are examples from each part: The Voice Inside Your Head, The Secrets of the Spiritual Heart, Removing Your Inner Thorn, Letting Go of False Solidity and Contemplating Death. The last example I found extremely helpful and comforting.
It is not a book to be rushed. I read a chapter at a time, and for want of a better word, ‘meditated’ on its contents, let it sink into my mind before I moved on. I did not read more than one part on any single day and sometimes I only read one chapter and spent time trying to put into practice what I had learned, experienced, through the words.
So many people from different faiths and none sing its praises. Perhaps, most significantly, Deepak Chopra said, “Read this book carefully and you will get more than a glimpse of eternity.” It would have been amazing to have discovered this book years ago, but the important thins is that I have encountered it now.
I hope that you will read it or buy it for a troubled friend. After all, you don’t have to finish a book if it does nothing for you. I have long learned not to worry about giving up on a book, after a little perseverance, if it is not connecting with me. Life is too short to waste the time and energy. So many great books out there that I won’t have time to read. Just so glad I’ve read this one.