Eclectic Spirituality: Tolle and others.
Practicing the Power of Now:
Essential teachings, meditations, and exercises from The Power of Now.
Realizing the power of now [an in-depth retreat],
a 6-CD recording.
The flowering of human consciousness everyone's life purpose,
a 2-DVSD recording.
The flowering of human consciousness,
a 2-DVD recording (2001)
A terrific opportunity to see Eckhart Tolle as he speaks about consciousness to a large audience.
Practicing the Power of Now:
Essential teachings, meditations, and exercises from The Power of Now (2001)
A more accessible collection of the practical aspects and meditative readings:
exercises, meditations, and short quotations from The Power of Now.
Some highlights below: see the book for context and details.
Part 1: Accessing the Power of Now.
- Being and enlightenment
- "Being is not only beyond but also deep within."
- "Instead of 'watching the thinker' you can also create a gap
in the mind stream simply by directing the focus of your attention into the Now."
- "Enlightenment: rising above thought."
- "Emotion: the body's reaction to your mind."
- The origin of fear
- "As long as you are identified with your mind, the ego runs your life."
- "Watch for any kind of defensiveness within yourself.
What are you defending?
An illusory identity, an image in your mind, a fictitious entity."
- "To be identified with your mind is to be trapped in time:
the compulsion to live almost exclusively through memory and anticipation."
- Entering the now
- "Step out of the time dimension as much as possible in everyday life."
- "Don't judge or analyze what you observe.
Watch the thought, feel the emotion, observe the reaction."
- "The only place where true change can occur and where the past can be dissolved is the Now."
- "Your life situation may be full of problems ... but find out if you have any
problems at this moment. ... Do you have a problem now?"
- Use your senses without judgment or interpretation.
- "A situation needs to be either dealt with or accepted. Why make it a problem?"
- "Do not be concerned with the fruit of your action -- just give attention
to the action itself. The fruit will come of its own accord."
- Dissolving unconscious
- "Learn to be the witness of your thoughts and emotions, which is an essential part of being present."
- "Make it a habit to monitor your mental and emotional state through self-observation."
- "You can always cope with the Now, but you can never cope with the future."
- "Give attention to your behaviors, to your reactions, moods, thoughts, emotions,
fears, and desires as they occur in the present ... not critically or analytically
- Beauty arises in the stillness of your presence
- Practice feeling the "inner body."
- "Whenever an answer, a solution, or a creative idea is needed,
stop thinking for a moment by focusing attention on your inner energy field.
... think with your whole body."
Part 2: Relationship as Spiritual Practice.
- Dissolving the pain-body
- "The pain that you create now is always some form of nonacceptance,
some form of unconscious resistance to what is.
On the level of thought, the resistance is some form of judgment.
On the emotional level, it is some form of negativity.
... The more you are identified with your mind, the more you suffer."
- "The accumulated pain is a negative energy field that occupies your body and mind.
... It's the emotional pain body."
- "The awakening pain body ... can take the form of irritation,
impatience, a somber mood, a desire to hurt, anger, rage, depression,
a need to have some drama in your relationship."
- "Observe the peculiar pleasure you derive from being unhappy.
Observe the compulsion to talk or think about it."
- From addictive to enlightened relationships
- "True love has no opposite.
If your 'love' has an opposite, then it is not love but a strong ego-need for a more complete
and deeper sense of self, a need that the other person temporarily meets."
- "There comes a point when your partner behaves in ways that fail to meet your needs,
or rather those of your ego.
The feelings of fear, pain, and lack that are an intrinsic part of egoic consciousness but had been covered up by the
'love relationship' now resurface.
... When these painful feelings reappear, you feel them even more strongly than before,
and ... you now perceive your partner as the cause of those feelings.
This means that you project them outward and attack the other
with all the savage violence that is part of your pain.
... The ego ... [hopes]
that its attack or its attempts at manipulation
will be sufficient punishment
to induce your partner to change their behavior,
so that it can use them again as a cover-up for your pain."
- "If you stop investing it with 'selfness', the mind loses its compulsive quality,
which basically is the compulsion to judge, and so to resist what it,
which creates conflict, drama, and new pain."
- "The relationship becomes your sadhana, your spiritual practice."
- "You do not need to wait for the world to become sane, or for somebody else to
become conscious, before you can be enlightened."
- "The moment you start to argue, you have identified with a mental position
and are now defending not only that position but also your sense of self.
The ego is in charge."
- "Learn to give expression to what you feel without blaming.
Learn to listen to you partner in an open, nondefensive way."
- "The ego needs problems, conflicts, and 'enemies' to strengthen the sense
of separateness on which its identity depends.
The unenlightened partner's mind will be deeply frustrated because its
fixed positions are not resisted, which means they will become shaky and weak."
- "In the state of enlightenment, you ... do not judge yourself,
you are not proud of yourself, you do not love yourself, you do not hate yourself, ... The
split caused by self-reflective consciousness is healed, its curse removed.
There is no 'self' that you need to protect, defend, or feed any more."
Part 3: Acceptance and Surrender.
- Acceptance of the Now
- "All negativity is resistance. ...
Its only 'useful' function is that it strengthens the ego,
and that is why the ego loves it.
... You will then ignore, deny, or sabotage the positive in your life.
This is a common phenomenon.
It is also insane."
- "Whenever you feel negativity arising within you,
... look on it as a voice saying,
'Attention. Here and now. Wake up.
Get out of your mind. Be present.'"
- "As an alternative to dropping a negative reaction,
you can make it disappear by imagining yourself becoming
transparent to the external cause of the reaction.
... Allow the noise, or whatever causes a negative reaction,
to pass right through you.
It is no longer hitting a solid 'wall' inside you.
... Somebody says something to you that is rude or designed to hurt.
... Offer no resistance.
... That is forgiveness. In this way you become invulnerable"
"unconscious reactions and negativity such as attack, defense, or withdrawal".
- "Meditate deeply on the mortality of the physical forms,
including your own.
Your physical form is dissolving, is not more.
Then a moment comes when all mind-forms or thoughts also die.
Yet you are still there ... Radiant, fully awake."
- "By witnessing the resistance, you will see that it serves no purpose.
By focusing all your attention on the Now, the unconscious resistance
is made conscious, and that is the end of it."
- "Only an unconscious person will try to use or manipulate others,
but it is equally true that only an unconscious person can be used and manipulated.
If you resist or fight unconscious behavior in others,
you become unconscious yourself.
But surrender doesn't mean that you allow yourself to be used by unconscious people.
... It is perfectly possibly to say 'no' firmly and clearly to a person
or to walk away from a situation
and be in a state of complete inner nonresistance at the same time.
... a 'no' that is free of all negativity."
- Transforming illness and suffering
- "By focusing on this instant and refraining from labeling it mentally,
illness is reduced to one or several of these factors:
physical pain, weakness, discomfort, or disability.
That is what you surrender to -- now. You do not surrender to
the idea of 'illness'."
- "If you cannot accept what is outside, then accept what is inside.
... Allow it [the pain] to be there.
Surrender to the grief, despair, fear, loneliness, or whatever form the suffering takes.
Witness it without labeling it mentally."
- "When there is no way out, there is still always a way through."
Realizing the Power of Now,
a 6-CD recording of an in-depth retreat with
- From thinking to awareness
- The silent spaces between the words
- A "Me" in every thought
- Noticing the dimension of space
- The essence of your being is emptiness
- Stillness in nature
- All thought is limited
- Signposts to awareness
- Sense perceptions without labels
- Finding God through suffering
- The portal is the present moment
- A shift in collective consciousness
- To be there as clear space
- Surface and depth
- Silent intelligence
- Cooperating wiht the movement of life
- The knot of ego
- One foot in each dimension
- Loss and the world of form
- Conscious suffering
- From anger to aliveness
- Noble silence
- Losing the Now
- Relationship and space
- Saying "Yes" to what is
- Out of the story into Now
- Presence without thought
- Things let you down
- Conceptual identities
- Sitting with craving
- There is only one of us
- Beyond the trap of the mind
- Stop thinking without falling asleep
- Working with performance anxiety
- People love to hear the truth
- Out of thought
- Whatever you accept, you go beyond
- A sacred meeting
- Fierce alertness
- The signpost is enough
- Fear of loneliness
a 3-CD recording of Eckhart Tolle reading his book of that name.
Tolle converts and combines the ideas of several main spiritual traditions (including Buddhism
and Christianity) into words that Westerners may find easier to understand.
He advocates that we
discover lasting peace, contentment, and serenity,
through connection to the stillness within us:
Stillness is the only thing in this world that has no form. But then, it is
not really a thing, and it is not of this world.
Clusters of topics:
- Silence and Stillness
- Beyond the Thinking Mind
- The Egoic Self
- The Now
- Who You Truly Are
- Acceptance and Surrender
- Suffering and the End of Suffering
I like his "pay
attention to the gap ... between two thoughts ... or between the in-breath
and the out-breath". I might even remember that because at the London Tube
Stations, they say 'mind the gap' so you don't fall into the gap between
platform and the train!
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