Is anyone here in/running a silent ET local group?

This is the place to post whatever questions you have related to the teachings of Eckhart Tolle. The rest of us will do whatever we can to help you achieve a better understanding :)
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Suzanne
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Is anyone here in/running a silent ET local group?

Post by Suzanne » Sun Dec 30, 2007 3:16 am

On Eckhart's official site he has local groups that conduct silent meetings. I'm wondering if anyone here has participated and if you have any advice for me? I volunteered to host one, and we haven't met yet. How should I get it off to a good start? :D

Zanne
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Re: Is anyone here in/running a silent ET local group?

Post by Zanne » Sun Dec 30, 2007 4:16 pm

Hi Suzanne,

I recently watched an ET DVD. Someone specifically asked about starting a silent group, and this is what he recommended. He suggested that you start out with some spiritual music ( your speciality). Then watch an ET DVD for an hour or so, then some silent time. He said that this was the best way to keep presence. He said that if people just meet, that it is very easy for everyone to start talking and voicing their agenda's, about what presence is, etc. It sounded like a very easy format to follow.
The name of the DVD is "Beneath the World Drama There is Peace", #7 DVD, the Q&A Session. IT was at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY in October of 2001. I got it through Namaste Publishing.

I hope this is helpful. Only Peace and Love to you,

Zanne, a.k.a., Suzanne

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Suzanne
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Re: Is anyone here in/running a silent ET local group?

Post by Suzanne » Sun Dec 30, 2007 11:17 pm

Another Suzanne! :D Hey, Suz! Sorry I took the name from this board.

Thanks for the info. You remembered that detail from 6 years ago! Your memory's way way better than mine!
I ordered the Findhorn retreat. I already have that in audio and I like it. I'll see if anyone else has any. If not, I'll look up yours. I'm still not sure I prefer the DVD format to audio. I kind of like him just as a voice.

We are all new and so I think we'll have to discuss our meeting dates and protocals and materials. But I think he really means not to discuss spirituality. That's going to be tough!

Do you have anyone you discuss this with? I know 2 people who are into Eckhart but are stuck in ego, so, I have a hard time discussing him with them. They sort of boss me around, and don't even realize that I'm the one who is accepting and in presence, and so they're the ones who need to be reminded! But I don't say anything about that. :mrgreen:

As Eckhart says, humans are difficult.

weopposedeception
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Re: Is anyone here in/running a silent ET local group?

Post by weopposedeception » Mon Dec 31, 2007 3:45 pm

I am fortunate to be able to attend a local Tolle group. It is run every other week. We have 10 minutes silent meditation before and after watching a Tolle DVD. Some soft music playing, nice atmosphere. You can feel the energy of the group, maybe 12 people. The leader sounds a gong to denote the beginning and end of the meditation period. Occasionally we have a brief sharing at the end.

BevBeing
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Re: Is anyone here in/running a silent ET local group?

Post by BevBeing » Wed Jan 02, 2008 9:39 am

Hi Suzanne

I attend a Silent Group here in Sydney, Australia. It is one of 2 running at the moment in this city and has been going for about 3 years I think.

For the first 2 years groups were held on the 1st & 3rd Monday evenings each month, following Eckhart's suggested format of 10 mins silent meditation / silence, followed by watching one of his videos / DVDs for about 1 hour, then another 10 mins meditation / silence. The meditation sections were concluded with the sounding of the small cymbals that Eckhart uses in his sessions. For the longer videos / DVDs, we watch approximately 1 hour segments, thus seeing the remainder on the following fortnights.

However, last year we tried a slightly different setup. On the 1st Monday each month, we followed the previous pattern, however on the 3rd Monday, we still had the meditation / silence before & after the session, but for the intervening hour, we allowed a period of time (in Presence) we we shared how we were able to put some of Eckhart's teachings / pointers into practice in our daily lives. We also had Eckhart's 4 books available, as well as his 3 sets of cards. People in the group could pickup a book or card during the session, and read / a particular passage or teaching with the group. The group was held in presence, and analytical discussions were avoided. We tried to maintain it as a sharing of experiences of presence.

We have decided to continue this new format in 2008 as many people have found it very positive.

The numbers that attend vary, from around 6 to a maximum of 16.

Hope this helps you

Happy New Year (isn't every moment a New Year ?

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Suzanne
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Re: Is anyone here in/running a silent ET local group?

Post by Suzanne » Wed Jan 02, 2008 4:27 pm

Dear Bev,

Thank you for the information. I'll pass it along to the group if they're interested.

I'm curious, if you don't mind, how the members arrange to "get their turn" at readings or discussions. Did you set down some group rules for making sure everyone is included? Does one person keep track and appoint speakers? How much is your group led by someone and how much it is random? I know at work, some personalities tend to follow and others dominate and it becomes rather lop sided. I'd like to avoid that and try to keep our insecurity and ego out of the process. Any more advice, since you're a veteran at this?

I really appreciate your experience. Thank you,
Suzanne

weopposedeception
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Re: Is anyone here in/running a silent ET local group?

Post by weopposedeception » Thu Jan 03, 2008 7:43 am

At the group I attend they have a brief discussion only sporadically, maybe every 3rd meeting or so. The members pass a feather around, each person shares only a few minutes. We are currently watching a Tolle retreat series from India.

Zanne
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Re: Is anyone here in/running a silent ET local group?

Post by Zanne » Thu Jan 03, 2008 3:07 pm

Hi again Suzanne,

I know I started out listening to Eckhart at first. I must admit I was quite mesmerized initially watching his DVD's. It is a whole other experience. It is still amazing to me that each time I either listen or watch him, how I get something totally different out of it each time.

I do have a new friend who I gave the AUDIO Power of Now book to. It has really reasonated with her and so we are able to discuss it somewhat. As much as it can be discussed... I find that people close to my age, that is 53 years, seem to relate to Eckhart's style, per se.

Peace and love to you.

Zanne

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Suzanne
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Re: Is anyone here in/running a silent ET local group?

Post by Suzanne » Fri Jan 04, 2008 2:25 am

Thank you, weopposedeception. I like the idea of passing something around. I'll try to think of something symbolic to use. I think it's amazing that Eckhart goes to the heart of Buddhism, India. Most new leaders might feel a little too intimidated to hold sessions there. I'm sure he's inspired by the location. What's the india retreat like? More advanced? Are the people there western?

Suzanne, I have to aggree with you that it takes some years on this earth for most of us to be taught these lessons in the real world, making Eckhart's words ring true. Alot of what he says is really about perspective, and it might require the perspective of middle age to totally embrace it. The ego is still pounding along, hoping to "be discovered" as something unique or special in our 30's and 40's, perhaps. But the ( I'm getting close!) 50's bring a wisdom and a stillness when the kids are grown and on their own, and the career is established. So, I realize that talking about this with someone of another age group probably requires lots of space and acceptance that the seed of awakening will sprout when the time comes. But the validation of early stirrings of awareness is important to youth. So we should accept whatever fresh breezes waft past, however transient they seem. I know that for me, it took innumerable little questions and events, compounded over these decades, to reach a tipping point where I just had to question everything and start over. Anything that is considered "common knowledge" in our culture is questionable. With this kind of introspection, the only explanation for all of my worldly connundrums is consciousness, and the lack of it.

And you're right, that everytime I read or listen or watch Eckhart, I peer through another new facet to the same wisdom. It's always fresh and true and deepens the longer you trust it and live it. :)

weopposedeception
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Re: Is anyone here in/running a silent ET local group?

Post by weopposedeception » Fri Jan 04, 2008 3:30 am

I don't think the location (India) made it special. Tolle mentions that many may experience inconvenience/discomfort in the place, so I assume most are Westerners. It's a great series of talks. The last one was "addiction to suffering". Most of the attendees are 50-ish like myself now that you mention it. Burnt out egos? :lol:

BevBeing
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Re: Is anyone here in/running a silent ET local group?

Post by BevBeing » Fri Jan 04, 2008 1:31 pm

Suzanne wrote: I'm curious, if you don't mind, how the members arrange to "get their turn" at readings or discussions. Did you set down some group rules for making sure everyone is included? Does one person keep track and appoint speakers? How much is your group led by someone and how much it is random? I know at work, some personalities tend to follow and others dominate and it becomes rather lop sided. I'd like to avoid that and try to keep our insecurity and ego out of the process. Any more advice, since you're a veteran at this?
We do not have group rules or a group leader. There are times when there is silence at that is OK
As we have a period of meditation / silence before starting the sharing, we have found that the amount of ego involved is greatly reduced. The people who attend the experience sharing sessions are often those who have been in touch with Eckhart's teachings for a longer period of time. We find that as they are not "discussion" sessions, there is very little need to keep the conversations on track. Conscious awareness in practice is powerful !

We have a spread of age groups attending & while predominately it most ar 40+, we also have some 20 - 40 year olds as well.

Yours in presence

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Suzanne
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Re: Is anyone here in/running a silent ET local group?

Post by Suzanne » Sat Jan 05, 2008 1:31 am

Thankyou, Bev. It's nice to get a snapshot of this experience before our first meeting.
Stillness-
Suzanne

AnastasiaNYC
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Re: Is anyone here in/running a silent ET local group?

Post by AnastasiaNYC » Mon May 06, 2019 1:53 am

Eleven years later, what say ye? I am also about to start a new local group through Meetup. I found this post and forum via a Google search regarding having your local group added to the group directory available on Eckhart Tolle's website, and found the format discussion very valuable. I've just emailed them regarding any criteria they may have for adding local groups. Right now, their website plainly states the format for "Silent Local Groups" just as you've discussed here. I like the idea of not only silent meetings. The NYC group on Meetup meets for coffee afterward, and they are in the official local group list. Perhaps I could do a sharing event afterward, instead. Anyway, any insights or feedback, looking back on this 2008 discussion, would be very welcome!

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