An evening with Eckhart Tolle

NamasteCJ-156

25 April 2017

I admit it. I found The Power of Now a hard slog and didn’t finish it on first attempt.

So when Eckhart Tolle announced he was coming to Melbourne on 24 April 2017, I bought a ticket and the date was set to finish reading his first and best-selling book on spiritual enlightenment and living in the now, first published in 1997.

If you’re not familiar with Eckhart Tolle, Oprah, Deepak and the Dalai Lama speak highly of him.

In other words, he’s a next level author, thinker and teacher.

After struggling with depression, he had a spiritual awakening aged 29 that changed the course of his life.

Since then he has devoted his life to learning and teaching the world how to transcend their ego-based state of consciousness and not deny the present moment by focusing on the ‘other now’, your mind’s stories of your past or fantasies about the future.

Did I come away from the event feeling more enlightened and determined to intentionally set the course of my day-to-day life to live in the present?

I didn’t leave with that post-rock concert feeling of euphoria.

More a sense of calm, reassurance and love as well as acceptance that the path to spiritual enlightenment is a marathon that will take a few lifetimes.

Tolle has a similar presence to the Dalai Lama.

A small, hunched, ageing, softly spoken man with a smile that says “everything is going to be alright”.

His talk covered many of the themes of The Power of Now and possibly his other books, which I admit I haven’t read.

He discussed how he believes humans are still a work in progress – an unfinished product.

One of our greatest flaws is our delusion that the world is designed to produce comfort zones.

Rather, life is meant to be challenging because this is where the greatest spiritual growth occurs.

In the absence of challenges humans fall below thought, which he likened to a state of inebriation.

When our living situation, career, relationships, health and financial situation are all going well, he says we must accept that this state isn’t permanent.

Despite what we consume in the mass media, he still believes the future of humanity is bright and we will evolve to a higher level of thinking and being, before we destroy ourselves and the planet.

Although he admits, with a reassuring chuckle, the short-term future is not so positive.

He left us with these kind and fatherly words.

“You are already a success.

“Despite what’s happened in your past or what you mind is telling you, the fact you have started on the journey towards spiritual awakening means you have found your purpose.

“You are already a success.

“Know this.”

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