Question for long term Tolle students

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Question for long term Tolle students

Postby steve Davidson » Sun Apr 09, 2017 6:25 am

My question for those who have been long term Tolle students, I myself have been familiar with him for a long time, but just started re-reading his book "Power of Now" after a long absence and find it one of the best spiritual books out there. For some reason I never gave it much reflection or time when I first discovered it. I guess Now is the right time.

So my question is: Is this book still enough to take one to enlightenment or awakening or whatever word you want to use? Do you still work daily with his teachings? Or have you moved on to some other teachers like Byron Katie or Adyashanti or Mooji or Gangaji, etc? As maybe his work is a little limited or not complete enough or deep enough? Do you combine Tolles teachings with some of these other teachers/teachings? Or is Tolles teachings enough? And you just stick with his, one teaching and work hard on it? Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this matter.
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Re: Question for long term Tolle students

Postby eputkonen » Sun Apr 09, 2017 3:28 pm

steve Davidson wrote:So my question is: Is this book still enough to take one to enlightenment or awakening or whatever word you want to use? Do you still work daily with his teachings? Or have you moved on to some other teachers like Byron Katie or Adyashanti or Mooji or Gangaji, etc? As maybe his work is a little limited or not complete enough or deep enough? Do you combine Tolles teachings with some of these other teachers/teachings? Or is Tolles teachings enough? And you just stick with his, one teaching and work hard on it? Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this matter.


Hi Steve,

Enlightenment or awakening is realizing the answer to the question, who/what am I. I define enlightenment/awakening as a radical and permanent change of our identification. Basically, we see through the mirage called “ego” and are never fooled by the mirage again. Believing the mirage (not seeing it for what it is) causes suffering, seeking, fear, and problems. Even when Eckhart awakened, just prior he has asked himself who is this me that can't live with himself.

Back in 2005, I watched Eckhart's DVD , "The Flowering of Human Consciousness." At that time, I had already given up the spiritual search (after 13 years of seeking) because every new book seemed to be a repeat of what I already read. But I had learned to follow intuition, synchronicity, and guidance...so when Eckhart's name kept popping up a couple times a week for a couple weeks...I knew I had to find out what Eckhart taught. During the video, when he was walking people through an experiment and then the exercise of inhabiting the body...I became present for the first time in my life. I had heard of being present before, and I thought I was doing that...but it is not a thought or a doing.

Anyway, I was present for the first time and the thoughts in my mind stopped. It was utter silence. In that moment, I woke up. Funny enough, what I realized was different than everything I had studied before (I had read nothing about nonduality or awakening before). I saw through the "me" I had previously identified with. I was free...and suffering, seeking, fear, and problems ceased. They never came back. There was no need to go to other teachers for something that was missing.

Now, when someone says they are interested in enlightenment and awakening and wonder how to get there...I always say you have to be present first. I have come to understand we distract ourselves endlessly and what-is does not reveal itself in an environment of distractions and noise. Be silent. Be quiet. Be so present that thought stops. Thoughts are only about past or future anyway...and if the focus is on now, what is there for thought?

Eckhart's work is very good at teaching presence. I particularly liked the DVD (check it out - I checked out a copy from the library). Being present is key. Sometimes that is all that is needed. If there is only silence - but you feel you still haven't got it and need a push - then ask once, "who am I" or "what am I" but don't think, don't try and figure it out, and make no effort. Just send it out into the void and the answer may reveal itself to itself.

Ramana Maharshi focused entirely on "who am I"...like Eckhart focuses on presence. If people wanted things to read, I would recommend both. But all the reading, studying, and searching is a distraction. Be present. Be quiet. This is better if you want to awaken.
Namaste,

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Re: Question for long term Tolle students

Postby Rob X » Sun Apr 09, 2017 3:31 pm

steve Davidson wrote:My question for those who have been long term Tolle students, I myself have been familiar with him for a long time, but just started re-reading his book "Power of Now" after a long absence and find it one of the best spiritual books out there. For some reason I never gave it much reflection or time when I first discovered it. I guess Now is the right time.

So my question is: Is this book still enough to take one to enlightenment or awakening or whatever word you want to use? Do you still work daily with his teachings? Or have you moved on to some other teachers like Byron Katie or Adyashanti or Mooji or Gangaji, etc? As maybe his work is a little limited or not complete enough or deep enough? Do you combine Tolles teachings with some of these other teachers/teachings? Or is Tolles teachings enough? And you just stick with his, one teaching and work hard on it? Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this matter.


Hi Steve

It depends on how you define awakening. For me awakening is the felt-sense realisation of no-separation/oneness. (Prior to the designation of THAT as awareness/consciousness or other metaphysical considerations.) When thoughts of the past - and fantasies of the future - and other thought generated constructions subside and there is an utter present-ness with what is - as it is, the illusion of separation also subsides and our true nature is revealed.

In regards to that definition, yes, The Power Of Now is ‘deep enough’ to assist the facilitation of that felt-sense realisation for someone who is truly receptive. (At the very least, it’s as good as any other book.)
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Re: Question for long term Tolle students

Postby rachMiel » Sun Apr 09, 2017 3:49 pm

I agree that Tolle pretty much nails it. And he does so in an extraordinarily clear and understandable way. When I go back to one of his books (which I do, regularly) I almost never run into anything that seems wrong/off. Like I said: very clear and right view imo.

But exposing yourself to different teachers can be a great thing for your practice. The ones you listed are all good afaik. Let me add Rupert Spira to the list ... there are lots of excellent satsang teachings of his on YouTube. Unlike Tolle, Spira can be difficult to fathom, his language verges on the poetic at times. But working at doing so really pays off, at least it does for me.

Happy journey!
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Re: Question for long term Tolle students

Postby steve Davidson » Sun Apr 09, 2017 7:56 pm

Thanks for the sincere replies and for taking the time to share. And I will say thank you for any future replies, now. It is all read and appreciated and pondered.

What I get so far from the replies is that Tolle is enough to take you all the way, but if you find other teachers that speak to you too, you can read them as a supplementary for further understanding, but definitely Tolle is enough, no need to seek further.

Part of the reason I asked this question is I know someone who started off thinking Don Miguel Ruiz's teachings (The Four Agreement material) was enough, and then he later switched and found Eckhart Tolle and same thing, immersed himself in it for a long time and then eventually moved on to some form of Advaita I think, where he believes there is no self or something like that. So I have seen how each time he thinks he found the highest and end all of end alls, and then later moves on to another teaching. So that has stuck with me and is one of the reasons I asked the question. I am still curious and waiting to see if some long time Tolle students have moved on from him too as their main teacher or found some other teachers that added something that was missing in Tolles teachings. We will see, if any respond like that.

Thanks again for the responses and I look forward to reading more and I also was curious if someone can tell me if all the posts are moderated? Every time I post something it says it needs to be approved by a moderator, I didn't realize when I joined here that my posts would be moderated like this. Can someone please clarify this for me, thanks.
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Re: Question for long term Tolle students

Postby ashley72 » Mon Apr 10, 2017 2:07 pm

You only seek when you're in a state of discontentment . Im no longer a seeker because I'm chopping wood & carrying water. Forget enlightenment & find contentment by doing the same. ;)
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Re: Question for long term Tolle students

Postby rachMiel » Mon Apr 10, 2017 3:07 pm

I don't think there's a one-size-fits-all answer to your question about teacher(s).

Some stick with one teacher/school all the way through. Others are more eclectic, prefer variety, different points of view.

I will say that learning and assimilating traditional Advaita Vedanta teachings provides a solid foundation for all seekers of our ilk. It's like the Mama+Papa of what Tolle and similar people are teaching. Dennis Waite and James Swartz are both well regarded Westerners who teach traditional Advaita Vedanta. Here's a quick but surprisingly comprehensive intro read:

https://www.amazon.com/Advaita-Made-Eas ... bc?ie=UTF8

I'm a fan of Dr. Sadananda's writings, here's a 52-part series for free at the excellent Advaita Vision site:

http://www.advaita.org.uk/discourses/sa ... ananda.htm
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Re: Question for long term Tolle students

Postby eputkonen » Mon Apr 10, 2017 4:51 pm

steve Davidson wrote:So I have seen how each time he thinks he found the highest and end all of end alls, and then later moves on to another teaching. So that has stuck with me and is one of the reasons I asked the question.


The jumping around can easily turn into another distraction and doing...which becomes an obstacle to awakening. That is why in my earlier post I said I just just being quiet, still, and silence. Cease doing. Basically, be present.

The answer is not out there...at some point you need to quit looking anywhere else.
Namaste,

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Re: Question for long term Tolle students

Postby Sighclone » Mon Apr 10, 2017 6:42 pm

Welcome, steve!

Your first three posts (I think) - maybe two, are reviewed before posting, (I forget the exact number). But after you have posted a few times, no more reviews are necessary. This filter is used to eliminate what appear to be clearly trolling goofball hackers, etc. (And the judgement rules on that are somewhat clear, but ultimately fall to the individual moderators. - see here: viewtopic.php?f=9&t=2051 ). We've been around since 2004 with basically this same set of rules.

Great responses from long-time members to your original post!

"Is Tolle enough?" is your basic question. Who can answer that for an individual person? Maybe yes, maybe no. But it is a general consensus that meditation or yoga, and some form of rational inquiry ("Who Am I?" "What is THIS?" etc.) help speed the process. And, it is my opinion only, that psilocybin can also help. HUH? A moderator encouraging people to take drugs??? Well, it's just my opinion, but it is based on some empirical studies:

http://www.maps.org/news/bulletin/artic ... ch-project

http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/Press_re ... 11_06.html

There is a fundamental neurophysiological change in the brain that accompanies "awakening." It has been measured, and generally has to do with the relaxing of the "default mode network" (google that).

And Jud Brewer's work at Yale - here is one interview: http://bloggingheads.tv/videos/22155

I also like Gary Weber's material (several books) and his blog: http://happinessbeyondthought.blogspot.com/

You have clearly read some of the better writers, Steve. But I believe that more than reading is necessary, and that some form of personal exploration, discovery of the "present moment," or other exercise is necessary. Ramana lay on his back and explored what it might be like to be dead, Eric (above) "inhabited" his body, and virtually all the other "shifts" on record included some form of specific individual spiritual exercise (Susan Segal was washing the dishes, Byron Katie saw a bug, etc.) Frankly, I think that if a person is truly "seeking" that they will stumble across the right internal event.

We hear writers talk about the ego "resisting" awakening, partly by offering up fear in subtle ways. I believe that is perhaps true, and actually somewhat valid in that "the end of your world" (Adya's book by that name) actually does happen. And, in my case, it was, shall we say, disorienting. But in a good way. That is to say it came at a time in my life (2008) when I had some time to drift around...my dear wife will tell you that I was a bit goofy, as will a number of people who got copies of ET's books on their doorstep, from me!

I think Eckhart Tolle has a very gentle way of expressing the fundamental truth, and frankly think that "A New Earth" is a better introduction than is PON, for most readers.

But maybe Mooji, or a Zen koan, or a sunrise will be the trigger for any given person.

Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce
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Re: Question for long term Tolle students

Postby Onceler » Mon Apr 10, 2017 9:38 pm

You got some great answers to your question, but of course I'll add my two cents. In my experience Tolle is a good place to start and, as some posters say, end. But I moved on restlessly seeking answers from other sources. I too gave up at some point and quit. I then found the answer to who I am by a simple inquiry into deep self. I asked "How does it feel to be me?" Life got rough for a bit then gradually evened out to a sweet flow.....not without its thorns, but sweet nothing less. I believe we are each on our own path, with help along the way, but ultimately we have to do it on our own.
Last edited by Onceler on Tue Apr 11, 2017 2:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Question for long term Tolle students

Postby rachMiel » Tue Apr 11, 2017 1:20 am

ashley72 wrote:Im no longer a seeker because I'm chopping wood & carrying water.

Mazel tov! :-)
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Re: Question for long term Tolle students

Postby steve Davidson » Tue Apr 11, 2017 5:21 am

Great responses from the other posters, I agree. I checked out a few links to Advaitic stuff, but that does not interest me too much. It seems too intellectual and heady and endless for me.

I am still reading "Practicing the Power of Now" right now and am finding it quite good, speaking to me at the moment. I read "Power of Now" years ago and just found and bought this smaller version of it and going through it. The real work is in doing the exercises or practices he suggests. Which so far I havent been doing, just reading and getting used to his ideas and approach again, right now. Then I will try to put it into practice.

I agree wholeheartedly with so many of the responses and think many of you are well seasoned and mature people. This is a great site and I am glad to have found it.
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Re: Question for long term Tolle students

Postby steve Davidson » Tue Apr 11, 2017 6:34 pm

Another question popped into my mind. I hope someone can help with this.

Tolle had his awakening, which he shares in The Power of Now. Did all these insights, understanding come to him instantly, instantaneously? Or did it take time and did he read other spiritual material to come to this understanding? Did the whole teachings of Power of Now come to him at once, or over time I am basically asking. And did he later use thought, to come to some of this? Or it came to him without the use of the mind or thought?

I have read about Byron Katies awakening and it seems if I am not mistaken, she had a similar awakening and then used what she called the Work to hone it out. She would go off into the desert and work through all her thoughts. But the essential understanding or insight came to her already, and she was just expressing or working it out, honing it lets say. Is the case similar with Tolle? Or was he a student of spirituality and this experience only confirmed what he already knew and then he later studied more and put it into words? I hope I am making this clear and some can share about this, for I dont know much about Tolles personal life and background. But I think it would be interesting to hear more about this.
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Re: Question for long term Tolle students

Postby rachMiel » Wed Apr 12, 2017 2:00 pm

steve Davidson wrote:I checked out a few links to Advaitic stuff, but that does not interest me too much. It seems too intellectual and heady and endless for me.

It's good that you can recognize -- and say No! to -- what's *not* right for you at this point in your journey. A wise man wrote this to me recently:

"... go with the teacher or teaching that gives you a warm, mysterious sense of resonance."
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Re: Question for long term Tolle students

Postby Sighclone » Wed Apr 12, 2017 6:46 pm

Tolle tried to go back to his academic career path and that did not work for him. He spent a few years as a "spiritual teacher," then moved to Vancouver, BC and wrote PON. And yes, he began study of nonduality, both reading and meeting with teachers - Barry Long was one. In a way, awakening is like riding a bike. You are far from competing in the Tour de France when you can balance and ride around the block. It's a question of identity, really. After you recognize that "you" are way more than you thought, there is a question of what to do with the "old me." Tolle discovered that the inertia and motivation to become a linguist paled before his deeper objective/direction.

Personalities don't really change too much. Leonard Jacobsen, Osho and Ramesh Balsekar remained pretty assertive and a bit radical. Gangaji is a sweet as ever. Gary Weber is a fine scholar and producer. Adya still fusses about what to wear. The expression of Source appears through whatever human vehicle discovers it. I do think that, since stresses and psychological suffering pretty much fall away, that awakened folks are generally calmer. That is not to say that Nisargadatta could not tee off on someone, or even that ET would not intervene when a person was beating his dog...or the soup was cold... :)

Andy
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There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce
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