Our word for that pain which is experienced consciously is ‘suffering’, and its injustice and resistance to logic can be enough to send faith flying.
As the Biblical story of Job demonstrates, suffering often powerfully brings home to us our attachment to ourselves and what we believe we deserve. Eckhart’s doctrine of abgeschiedenheit however offers those who suffer an alternative to anger or atheism; because the detached soul, living ‘without a why’, is able to transcend suffering’s ‘why me?’. In detachment we neither over-identify with our pain, nor deny it; rather, we are present to it and accept it.
This day will combine exploration of Eckhart’s teachings on suffering with discussion and practical demonstration of the work of Ursula Fleming, founder of the Eckhart Society.
Ursula, who worked in the field of pain control, found that a doctrine of acceptance and self-grounding, through focus on breath and letting-go, enabled even those experiencing insupportable pain to reduce their suffering. Her simple and practical approach was profoundly influenced by her study of Meister Eckhart, whose rehabilitation she advocated.
The Fleming Method has much in common with restorative practices such as Yin Yoga. Together we will work through simple floor-based relaxation (with chair-based variations for those unable to lie). As we learn to let go of each moment and accept each new moment in all its objective reality, we will find ourselves able to change our reaction to seemingly intractable circumstances, as we allow ourselves to surrender into the (literal and metaphorical) ground.
The talks will be recorded and made available for all those who register