Sounds True: How do you address the person who is immediately suffering from grief or a tragedy?
Eckhart Tolle: The first step is to actually feel the suffering in the very cells of the body—not to deny it, but to feel it. When you feel it, it is an opportunity to accept the suffering, to say “yes” to what you feel. Not making it into mental stories, but to feel it directly, to feel the feeling of suffering, and to cry if necessary. Allow the suffering to be there in a state of complete surrender to what is.
And then—what that surrender does you can’t really explain in the head. “Why, why, why?” people ask—but the surrender only comes when you let go even of seeking an answer to why. It’s not possible to know. In complete spiritual surrender, you embrace the state of not knowing.
Intense suffering of this kind is an enormous opening into spiritual realm in the deepest sense. Accept that there’s deep pain and that you have no answer, and suddenly there’s an openness. You find spaciousness in the midst of pain…in the midst of hell, an openness, a great sense of peace.