Eckhart Tolle

Sublime Illusion

photo by Pez Owen

From Eckhart Tolle’s Findhorn Retreat: Stillness Amidst the World:

“The sun never sets. It is only an appearance due to the observer’s limited perspective. And yet, what a sublime illusion it is.”

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“The original reason for art is the sacred—to be a portal, an access point for the sacred. When you see it or experience it, you experience yourself. In it you see yourself reflected. In true art, the formless is shining through the form.

Ultimately, it is not everybody’s purpose to create works of art. It is much more important for you to become a work of art. Your whole life, your very being, becomes transparent so that the formless can shine through. That happens when you are no longer totally identified with the world of form.

It happens when you have access to the realm of stillness within yourself. Then something emanates through the form that is not the form.”

Life Without the Interference of the Mind

Excerpts from “The Power of Eckhart Tolle’s Now,” a conversation with Krista Tippett on Speaking of Faith (October 8, 2009):

The Power of Eckhart Tolle's Now[What we are talking about is] being fully alive and fully engaging with life in the present moment, which is where life happens. Fully responding to the needs of this moment, not rejecting this moment, not arguing with this moment, but being open to it.

The vastness of it all and the compulsion to continuously interpret whatever you are experiencing at any given moment, that is no longer there. And there's great freedom in not compulsively interpreting other people, situations, and so on. Not imposing all these judgments. That's another word for it. Imposing thinking, thinking continuously on the world, which is so alive and so fresh and new at every moment.

When we impose the continuously compulsive thinking on it, then we deaden it, and we become dead to the aliveness of the world. We become dead to the aliveness in others. And so we can no longer have empathy for others when we are behind a screen of conceptualization through which we judge others.

And so, yes, the mind is beautiful. The ability to think is a great thing...It doesn't mean you become semiconscious or it doesn't mean it's like the thing that happens to you when you have a few drinks.

What we are talking about here is a state of alert attention to what is where compulsive thinking no longer operates. This means you rise above thinking to a large extent in your life. The whole thing of Zen is really about that. Zen is a very practical way of taking you beyond compulsive thinking where you can face life without the interference of the mind. Still being able to use the mind when it's needed, but not being used by it.


The Ability to Be Still

Excerpts from Stillness Speaks by Eckhart Tolle:

Stillness Speaks Silence is helpful, but you don’t need it in order to find stillness. Even when there is noise, you can be aware of the stillness underneath the noise, of the space in which the noise arises. That is the inner space of pure awareness, consciousness itself.

You can become aware of awareness as the background to all your sense perceptions, all your thinking. Becoming aware of awareness is the arising of inner stillness.

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Any disturbing noise can be as helpful as silence. How? By dropping your inner resistance to the noise, by allowing it to be as it is, this acceptance also takes you into that realm of inner peace that is stillness.

Whenever you deeply accept this moment as it is—no matter what form it takes—you are still, you are at peace.

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Pay attention to the gap—the gap between two thoughts, the brief, silent space between words in a conversation, between the notes of a piano or flute, or the gap between the in-breath and out-breath.

When you pay attention to those gaps, awareness of “something” becomes—just awareness. The formless dimension of pure consciousness arises from within you and replaces identification with form.

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Do you need more knowledge? Is more information going to save the world, or faster computers, more scientific or intellectual analysis? Is it not wisdom that humanity needs most at this time?

But what is wisdom and where is it to be found? Wisdom comes with the ability to be still. Just look and just listen. No more is needed. Being still, looking, and listening activates the non-conceptual intelligence within you. Let stillness direct your words and actions.

A Position of Imagined Superiority

A Position of Imagined Superiority

"Through habitual mental judgment and emotional contraction, you have a personalized, reactive relationship to people and events in your life. These are all forms of self-created suffering, but they are not recognized as such because to the ego they are satisfying. The ego enhances itself through reactivity and conflict.

How simple would life be without those stories."

~ Eckhart Tolle

Form and Space

"When the eye finds nothing to see, that no-thingness is perceived as space. When the ear finds nothing to hear, that no-thingness is perceived as stillness. When the senses, which are designed to perceive form, meet an absence of form, the formless consciousness that lies behind perception and makes all perception, all experience, possible, is no longer obscured by form. When you contemplate the unfathomable depth of space or listen to the silence in the early hours before sunrise, something within you resonates with it as if in recognition. You sense that vast depth of space as your own depth, and you know that precious stillness that has no form to be more deeply who you are than any of the things that make up the content of your life."


"A sane, balanced, and fruitful human life is a dance between the two dimensions that make up reality: form and space. Most people are so identified with the dimensions of form, with sense perceptions, thoughts, and emotions, that the vital hidden half is missing from their lives. Their identification with form keeps them trapped in ego."

~ Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose

Going to the Root

"Fear, greed, and the desire for power are the psychological motivating forces not only behind warfare and violence between nations, tribes, religions, and ideologies, but also the cause of incessant conflict in personal relationships. They bring about a distortion in your perception of other people and yourself. Through them, you misinterpret every situation, leading to misguided action designed to rid you of fear and satisfy your need for more, a bottomless hole that can never be filled.

A New Earth "It is important to realize, however, that fear, greed, and the desire for power are not the dysfunction that we are speaking of, but are themselves created by the dysfunction, which is a deep-seated collective delusion that lies within the mind of each human being. A number of spiritual teachings tell us to let go of fear and desire. But those spiritual practices are usually unsuccessful. They haven't gone to the root of the dysfunction. Fear, greed, and desire for power are not the ultimate causal factors. Trying to become a good or better human being sounds like a commendable and high-minded thing to do, yet it is an endeavor you cannot ultimately succeed in unless there is a shift in consciousness. This is because it is still part of the same dysfunction, a more subtle and rarified form of self-enhancement, of desire for more and a strengthening of one's conceptual identity, one's self-image. You do not become good by trying to be good, but by finding the good that is already within you, and allowing that goodness to emerge. But it can only emerge if something fundamental changes in your state of consciousness."

-- Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose
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