Eckhart Tolle’s Bridge to EFT
By Forrest Samnik, MSW, LCSW, EFT Cert-I
Having just finished Eckhart Tolle’s, A New Earth, I am feeling exhilarated. Imagine! A New York Times best seller that describes and explains how and why the Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) works! Obviously, that wasn’t the point of the book. I don’t know if Mr. Tolle is currently aware of the effectiveness of EFT and how it is transforming the lives of millions of people all over the world. I am quite sure, however, if he had been aware at the time of his writing, he would have instructed his readers in at least the basic technique.
Tolle’s answer to how to break free of the “pain-body” has spiritual merit. He states that the pain-body (i.e., the accumulation of emotional pain carried in a person’s energy field) does not cause the suffering that we inflict on ourselves and others, but the identification we have with it. He reports that once we know that the toxic emotions we are feeling is the pain-body in us, this knowing is all we need to break from our identification with it.
I agree that in separating our authentic selves from our ego created thought of self, we become conscious and thus awaken from our illusion of suffering. And, I’m not saying we shouldn’t strive to live our lives in consciousness. I’m saying we can rise above our “pain-body” by becoming conscious of our egoic thoughts and subsequent pain-body response through EFT. It’s another means through which to meet the same end…Emotional Freedom.
What Tolle has provided those of us who practice EFT is a wide spread education as to the interactive relationship between our thoughts and our energy system and how this relationship creates our toxic emotions and our subsequent discontent. It offers us a conceptual framework and language that is now understood by the many who have read his book.
For example, Tolle writes:
“What is a negative emotion? An emotion that is toxic to the body and interferes with its balance and harmonious functioning. Fear, anxiety, anger, bearing a grudge, sadness, hatred or intense dislike, jealousy, envy—all disrupt the energy flow through the body, affect the heart, the immune system, digestion, production of hormones, and so on.”
Though Tolle contends that the emotion creates the disruption of the energy flow and Gary Craig contends in his Discovery Statement that “The cause of all negative emotion is a disruption in the body’s energy system”, I say mox nix. The important concept here is that by restoring the flow of energy, the toxic emotions are freed.
My experience is that many of my clients are reticent to “focus on the negative” when developing the “setup statement.” I often hear, “Why do I verbalize the issue I’m trying to get rid of? Doesn’t thinking about it make it stronger?” This is an unfortunate backlash, in my opinion, to the positive thinking movement.
Tolle deftly explains why it is important to tune into the thought, memory, or belief that signals the energy disruption and accept this state without judgment. He states:
“The remnant of pain left behind by every strong negative emotion that is not full faced, accepted, and then let go of join together to form an energy field that lives in the very cells of your body. You can’t argue with what is. Well you can, but if you do, you suffer. Accepting [what you feel] means you allow yourself to feel whatever it is you are feeling at the moment.”
Now, during the initial consultation with a prospective client, I ask if they have read A New Earth. Many have either read it, watched the interview series Oprah had with Tolle and/or listened to the taped podcasts of this series. For those who have been exposed to A New Earth, it easily serves as a reference point to introduce EFT and the concepts of energy disruptions as the source of emotional dis-ease. This bridge has greatly reduced the initial apprehension to engage in EFT.
Thank you, Eckhart Tolle, for bringing the paradigm of energy disruptions as the cause of emotional pain into the mainstream. Oh, and thank you too, Oprah!
Forrest Samnik, MSW, LCSW, EFT Cert-I is a psychotherapist and life coach with a private practice in Palm Harbor. For questions or comments call LifeWorks Counseling & Coaching at (727) 781-6567.