Is Eckhart Tolle teaching Mindfulness or Non-Duality?

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krakenhh
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Is Eckhart Tolle teaching Mindfulness or Non-Duality?

Post by krakenhh » Wed May 03, 2017 2:30 am

Often, I think Tolle is sending mixed messages. Sometimes, I think he's teaching mindfulness, and other times, I think he's teaching nonduality. As far as his books go, I'd say mindfulness. As far as his retreats and talks, I'd say nonduality.


Prime examples : Be present to the moment. vs You are the present moment.
Feel the inner body. vs become space consciousness.

Is he just teaching some sort of conglomeration of Eastern wisdom? Is it just that there are deeper levels to his teachings? Or are these just two ways of being? Two perspectives from which you can choose to occupy? Entering one and entering the other at times?

randomguy
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Re: Is Eckhart Tolle teaching Mindfulness or Non-Duality?

Post by randomguy » Wed May 03, 2017 6:08 am

They're just pointers and suggestions. They point to the same truth.
Thoughts and language being form don't ever truly describe the formless and are not truth themselves.
Mind tries to work it out but it's futile on that level. What is being pointed to is ever present. It is recognized. Figuring it out just obscures it. In this regard, there's nothing to figure out or understand.
Do the yellow-rose petals
tremble and fall
at the rapid's roar?
- Basho

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eputkonen
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Re: Is Eckhart Tolle teaching Mindfulness or Non-Duality?

Post by eputkonen » Wed May 03, 2017 3:55 pm

krakenhh wrote:I think he's teaching mindfulness, and other times, I think he's teaching nonduality.
The same could be said for Zen. At times it teaches mindfulness (being present) and at times it teaches nonduality.

To realize nonduality (i.e. the Self), it is important to be present...so present that there is no thought. Because, realizing nonduality is difficult in a noisy mind. When I say realizing nonduality...I am not saying a mental realization or believing some knowledge, I mean a realization that hits wholely through your being (head, heart, etc.) and can not be denied. Once you realize the Self (i.e. nonduality) there is no going back...like an apple that fell from a tree. That happening is also the end of suffering, problems, fears, etc. The illusions of the mind have been seen through.

Being present and nonduality are not competing or contradictory things. When you are deeply present, just ask yourself "who/what am I"...and you may realize the Self. Then what Eckhart is saying will make sense. It is not two ways of being...but one way of being.
Namaste,

~ Eric Putkonen
@EngagedNondual on Twitter
Blog at http://www.EngagedNonduality.com - Insights into Nondualism and Living Awake & Engaged

krakenhh
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Re: Is Eckhart Tolle teaching Mindfulness or Non-Duality?

Post by krakenhh » Thu May 04, 2017 9:06 am

eputkonen wrote:
krakenhh wrote:I think he's teaching mindfulness, and other times, I think he's teaching nonduality.
The same could be said for Zen. At times it teaches mindfulness (being present) and at times it teaches nonduality.

To realize nonduality (i.e. the Self), it is important to be present...so present that there is no thought. Because, realizing nonduality is difficult in a noisy mind. When I say realizing nonduality...I am not saying a mental realization or believing some knowledge, I mean a realization that hits wholely through your being (head, heart, etc.) and can not be denied. Once you realize the Self (i.e. nonduality) there is no going back...like an apple that fell from a tree. That happening is also the end of suffering, problems, fears, etc. The illusions of the mind have been seen through.

Being present and nonduality are not competing or contradictory things. When you are deeply present, just ask yourself "who/what am I"...and you may realize the Self. Then what Eckhart is saying will make sense. It is not two ways of being...but one way of being.

I'm starting to think that presence and nonduality are 2 perspectives and 2 ways of being, actually, but only in the sense that they are states of varying degrees of presence. Presence to me is when you are still 'human', but with awareness in the background, while you are still in the body. In other words, a human that is being present to the moment. On the other hand, nonduality is 100% presence. When you are just complete awareness, and duality slips away. Body identification, thought identification, etc, have all momentarily slipped away. Becoming presence itself. In other words, no human.

As I'm typing this, I am not in a state of pure nonduality. And if you form a response, neither are you in a state of pure nonduality. You are in your body, as a human, with that awareness in the background. And that's fine, because I don't think that it would be beneficial in the modern world to abide in a state of nonduality at all times. That doesn't mean that you can't enter into the state of nonduality.

I think they are both perspectives of the mind with their own truths and own sets of rules. I think that saying either one or the other is 'absolute truth' is jumping to conclusions, a bit reductionist, not taking the whole picture into account, and a likely dogmatic. They are each a perspective and way of being with their own set of rules, implications, and truths. Different perspectives. Different capabilities of the mind.

Now my thought is that they are just 2 perspectives of the mind and states of mind that can be entered.

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Re: Is Eckhart Tolle teaching Mindfulness or Non-Duality?

Post by eputkonen » Thu May 04, 2017 2:09 pm

krakenhh wrote:And if you form a response, neither are you in a state of pure nonduality. You are in your body, as a human, with that awareness in the background.
What you describe as "pure nonduality" is just another form of duality. That is not nonduality. In nonduality, duality does not slip away...you just realize there never was separation in the first place. All separation is a figment of imagination in the mind. The world will still appear as it always has, just without the concepts that mentally dissect and split up what you see into separate things.

As long as you stick to the idea that it is two perspectives/states of mind...neither state is truly nonduality.
Namaste,

~ Eric Putkonen
@EngagedNondual on Twitter
Blog at http://www.EngagedNonduality.com - Insights into Nondualism and Living Awake & Engaged

krakenhh
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Re: Is Eckhart Tolle teaching Mindfulness or Non-Duality?

Post by krakenhh » Thu May 04, 2017 7:27 pm

eputkonen wrote:
krakenhh wrote:And if you form a response, neither are you in a state of pure nonduality. You are in your body, as a human, with that awareness in the background.
What you describe as "pure nonduality" is just another form of duality. That is not nonduality. In nonduality, duality does not slip away...you just realize there never was separation in the first place. All separation is a figment of imagination in the mind. The world will still appear as it always has, just without the concepts that mentally dissect and split up what you see into separate things.

As long as you stick to the idea that it is two perspectives/states of mind...neither state is truly nonduality.
Hmm... I guess I just don't 'get' nonduality. Here my thing. My consciousness goes where my body goes, and I see the scene that I direct my eyes too. If this body gets cut, then I am aware of the pain on my arm. I can also feel the inner body of this body.

Now, if someone else looks somewhere, you for instance, I don't see the scene that your eyes see. And If you get cut, I do not feel the pain. And I also do not feel your inner body.

How would you even describe nonduality? Do you consider yourself a disembodied floating etheral awareness? How would you even forumlate and type a response to me? Do you make choices?

I am thoroughly confused.

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Re: Is Eckhart Tolle teaching Mindfulness or Non-Duality?

Post by eputkonen » Thu May 04, 2017 7:51 pm

Nonduality does not mean seeing through everyone's eyes and feel their cuts/pain. Think about when you are dreaming at night. In reality, there is no other...it is all one consciousness...it is all a creation of your mind. And yet, you are only aware of that one point of view of the single dream character you play. So if it is a nightmare, and you dream of being chased by someone trying to kill you...it is you chasing you. In the dream, you only see what your character sees and only feel the pain your character feels...but for other characters in the dream - you don't see what they see or feel the pain they feel. And yet...it is all you from your own brain.

"How would you even describe nonduality?"

I kind of did above, but I will refer to a couple blog posts I made about this...if you want more detail.
http://www.engagednonduality.com/what-d ... an-to-you/
http://www.engagednonduality.com/is-non ... rate-wave/

"Do you consider yourself a disembodied floating etheral awareness?"

No. That again is separation and getting apart...so not nonduality.

"Do you make choices?"

Ultimately...not really, but I stick with the illusion of choice because it makes the illusion more fun.


The concepts won't make sense to the mind...because how would it grasp what is not two...nor one, nor nothing, nor any combination, nor all of these, nor none of these?
Namaste,

~ Eric Putkonen
@EngagedNondual on Twitter
Blog at http://www.EngagedNonduality.com - Insights into Nondualism and Living Awake & Engaged

krakenhh
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Re: Is Eckhart Tolle teaching Mindfulness or Non-Duality?

Post by krakenhh » Thu May 04, 2017 7:56 pm

eputkonen wrote:Nonduality does not mean seeing through everyone's eyes and feel their cuts/pain. Think about when you are dreaming at night. In reality, there is no other...it is all one consciousness...it is all a creation of your mind. And yet, you are only aware of that one point of view of the single dream character you play. So if it is a nightmare, and you dream of being chased by someone trying to kill you...it is you chasing you. In the dream, you only see what your character sees and only feel the pain your character feels...but for other characters in the dream - you don't see what they see or feel the pain they feel. And yet...it is all you from your own brain.

"How would you even describe nonduality?"

I kind of did above, but I will refer to a couple blog posts I made about this...if you want more detail.
http://www.engagednonduality.com/what-d ... an-to-you/
http://www.engagednonduality.com/is-non ... rate-wave/

"Do you consider yourself a disembodied floating etheral awareness?"

No. That again is separation and getting apart...so not nonduality.

"Do you make choices?"

Ultimately...not really, but I stick with the illusion of choice because it makes the illusion more fun.


The concepts won't make sense to the mind...because how would it grasp what is not two...nor one, nor nothing, nor any combination, nor all of these, nor none of these?

Hmm, I don't get how you would choose the illusion of choice if you have no choice.. Why would there even be a deliberation on which is better for that matter?

Are you sure that you really know what nonduality is? And are you sure that this isn't just a philosophy, and state of mind/perspective?

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Re: Is Eckhart Tolle teaching Mindfulness or Non-Duality?

Post by eputkonen » Thu May 04, 2017 8:56 pm

I can only speak of my experience and understanding. In a way, nonduality is living the paradox.
Namaste,

~ Eric Putkonen
@EngagedNondual on Twitter
Blog at http://www.EngagedNonduality.com - Insights into Nondualism and Living Awake & Engaged

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Re: Is Eckhart Tolle teaching Mindfulness or Non-Duality?

Post by krakenhh » Thu May 04, 2017 10:09 pm

eputkonen, I appreciate your sincerity and honesty. Few in nonduality circles will admit that they don't quite understand all things. I wasn't trying to antagonize you, but you have to admit the inherent self-contradiction in saying 'I choose the illusion of choice even though I don't have choice, but I do choose to believe in the illusion of choice'. What I think that points to is that from one perspective, we have choice. From another we don't.

Are you sure that you're living a paradox, or perhaps your model of reality and therefore description isn't sophisticated enough, or perhaps even delusional itself?

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Re: Is Eckhart Tolle teaching Mindfulness or Non-Duality?

Post by eputkonen » Thu May 04, 2017 10:26 pm

Language is inherently dualistic. The term "chair" only makes sense when there are things that are not chairs. Language simply can't handle talking about nonduality directly and so there are always flaws embedded in the description of nonduality. The closest description of nonduality I have is that nonduality is not two, nor one, nor nothing, nor any combination, nor all of these, nor none of these. But that does not tell you at all what it is like living with the realization/understanding that there is no separateness. And so the more you talk about it, the more flawed it becomes. The Tao that can be spoken is not the eternal Tao. Ramana Maharshi once said - "the 'I' casts off the illusion of the 'I' and yet remains 'I'. Such is the paradox of Self-realization. The Realized do not see any paradox in it." Nonduality is exactly the same...it is living the paradox without seeing any paradox in it.

I am still trying to figure out how to speak about choice. It is not simply explained.
Last edited by eputkonen on Fri May 05, 2017 6:12 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Namaste,

~ Eric Putkonen
@EngagedNondual on Twitter
Blog at http://www.EngagedNonduality.com - Insights into Nondualism and Living Awake & Engaged

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Re: Is Eckhart Tolle teaching Mindfulness or Non-Duality?

Post by krakenhh » Thu May 04, 2017 10:39 pm

eputkonen wrote:Language is inherently dualistic. The term "chair" only makes sense when there are things that are not chairs. Language simply can't handle talking about nonduality directly and so there are always flaws embedded in the description of nonduality. The closest description of nonduality I have is that nonduality is not two, nor one, nor nothing, nor any combination, nor all of these, nor none of these. But that does not tell you at all what it is like living with the realization/understanding that there is no separateness. And so the more you talk about it, the more flawed it becomes. The Tao that can be spoken is not the eternal Tao. Ramana Maharshi once said - the 'I' casts off the illusion of the 'I' and yet remains 'I'. Such is the paradox of Self-realization. The Realized do not see any paradox in it. Nonduality is exactly the same...it is living the paradox without seeing any paradox in it.

I am still trying to figure out how to speak about choice.

It sounds to me less like you are living a paradox and more like you are caught between perspectives.

You make choices, but you don't.
You don't make choices, but you do.
You are human, but you aren't.
You aren't human, but you are.
Everything is an illusion, but it isn't.
Everything isn't an illusion, but it is.

You see the issue here?

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Re: Is Eckhart Tolle teaching Mindfulness or Non-Duality?

Post by eputkonen » Thu May 04, 2017 11:31 pm

You see the issue here?
No issue...what you wrote is true.
You make choices, but you don't.
You don't make choices, but you do.
You are human, but you aren't.
You aren't human, but you are.
Everything is an illusion, but it isn't.
Everything isn't an illusion, but it is.
Namaste,

~ Eric Putkonen
@EngagedNondual on Twitter
Blog at http://www.EngagedNonduality.com - Insights into Nondualism and Living Awake & Engaged

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Re: Is Eckhart Tolle teaching Mindfulness or Non-Duality?

Post by painBody » Fri May 05, 2017 9:12 am

randomguy wrote:They're just pointers and suggestions. They point to the same truth.
Thoughts and language being form don't ever truly describe the formless and are not truth themselves.
Mind tries to work it out but it's futile on that level. What is being pointed to is ever present. It is recognized. Figuring it out just obscures it. In this regard, there's nothing to figure out or understand.
Great response ! I think this is all that needs to be said here.

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Re: Is Eckhart Tolle teaching Mindfulness or Non-Duality?

Post by randomguy » Fri May 05, 2017 5:50 pm

<3 eputkonen
Do the yellow-rose petals
tremble and fall
at the rapid's roar?
- Basho

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