Funnily, it wasn't always this way... You know this saying?
"When the student is ready, the teacher appears"
Well, this wasn't the case with Eckhart.
When I first came across his book, The Power of Now*, I had just moved to Melbourne and my cousin gave it to me saying, "I think you'll get into this." And he's usually right. But I just couldn't get into this one. In hindsight, I believe Tolle would have said at the time, I just wasn't ready.
Fast forward a few years when I'd started working at my acupuncturist's on reception, a client gave my boss the book and it sat on the reception desk before that one fateful day I decided to open it. The words on that random page hit me hard, and every other time I opened it, and thus began our relationship.
Soon after, Tolle next appeared in my life in audiobook form thanks to a friend. It was his latest book at the time, A New Earth*. I also discovered Oprah had started a book club for it and this is when my practice truly began. Don't ask me the exact lessons I learnt from the book because it was a very practical experience for me. But in a nutshell he teaches that the only moment of true power we have is this moment. Now! The more I practiced connecting to the inner sense (innocence?) of presence he talks about, the more it opened up within me and was guiding me down some truly magical paths, one of which lead to becoming a yoga teacher.
Some find it hard to listen to Tolle's unique voice and tone on audio. But as he often says when the awakening has begun within you, you'll hear these teachings in a new light. For me, every time I found myself emotional, stressed or scattered, I was drawn to taking a drive and listening to Eckhart. It would never take long with his guidance for me to feel myself, present and calm again. Our relationship continued for the rest of my time in Melbourne in this way and I lived there for 10 years all up.
But then life fell apart, got busy, and changed direction completely and somewhere along the way we had stopped connecting in the way old friends do. That is until now...
Not often does a spiritual teacher like Tolle come out to little ol' Perth, so after much deliberation over price, I bit the bullet and bought a ticket, as I knew in my heart I couldn't miss it. And of course, I'm so grateful I did.
It was like reconnecting with an old friend again. We clicked straight away, laughed easily and had many an ah-ha moment. It was the perfect reminder from Life of how much these teachings resonate for me and to reconnect with them. The biggest ah-ha was recognizing my love of yoga in so much of what he taught.
here are 18 things (only because I couldn't narrow it down any further) I learnt on my date with Eckhart...
- There needs to be a little crack/opening in the stream of mental chatter for consciousness to penetrate.
- Beyond the personality is a deeper essence of which you truly are.
- Flashes of spaciousness, when we dis-identify with the voice in the head, keep us sane.
- Once we can transcend above the stream of thinking and not identify with it as who we are then we can use thinking for creativity and manifesting and more.
- True “happiness” comes from a deeper place inside of you connected to the essence of who you are, beyond the personality.
- The question of “Who am I?” is nothing you can speak or think, but rather what is left when you let go of looking for yourself in thoughts.
- You don’t have a life. You are Life!
- Discover who you are beyond all the physical identification. Move from form identification to essence identification.
- Accept each moment as if you had chosen it.
- Suffering comes from what your mind thought about it.
- Let go of the commentary and imposing thoughts on things – accept what is as it is.
- There are 4 Portals into Presence:
2) Breath awareness
3) Awareness of sense perception without labeling.
4) The present moment
(note: it's everything we practice in yoga)
- The more you choose presence, the deeper you go into it, until it choses you and comes through you with time.
- Allow presence to come through you into the world.
- Presence is who you truly are
- Success is to become a vehicle for consciousness and help bring it into the world.
- Don’t allow crisis to take you over, use it as an opportunity to turn up the volume on your light and presence
- The "Now" is the narrow path that leads to Life. Become a Master of Presence.
I'd love to hear in the comments if you are a Tolle fan too? Is there one teaching in particular you love?
What can you do today to deepen your connection to the only real point of power we have....this moment! Now!