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Changing careers due to Tolle's influence?

Posted: Sat May 30, 2009 9:04 pm
by meg
Hi, I have been enjoying Tolle's ideas through audios and some reading, and slowly incorporating his message into my life. My work is teaching, specifically substitute teaching in public schools. Tolle's influence has really made me question everything about how kids are being conditioned/programmed in the public school classroom, and I see endless examples of how children will have to de-program themselves later should they ever decide to seek self-realization. I've been a critic of educational methods for along time anyway (too Cartesian for me as an art teacher) and the assumptions that are built into educational "priorities." But with Tolle I'm seeing more and more the toxic forms of communication used by many teachers towards children and the ways they are developing in children an extremely egoic sense of self.

Furthermore, this environment is just not conducive to my being "present" and I want to seek a more peaceful work place. Tolle's influence has helped some at dealing with the chaos, but I still want out. There was a point when I thought I might be in a position to influence children in Tolle's ways, but frankly I'm losing interest. Before Tolle, I was weary of subbing (behavioral problems an enormous drain and it's hard to live on the pay). Now I'm ready to make a clean break and am seriously considering shredding the teaching license renewal form that just arrived in the mail.

I'm wondering if anyone else has found their work situation intolerable and ready to make a change? Would love to hear others' experiences...

Re: Changing careers due to Tolle's influence?

Posted: Sun May 31, 2009 8:37 pm
by RCharles
Hi Meg,

Nothing wrong with changing careers if you believe you can find your work passion can't make the world become present. Only you can become present. Also, your job cannot keep you from being present. Only you can keep yourself from being present (although it may be tougher on some jobs than others).

I know I'm paraphrasing Eckhart when I say being present is an inside job. We change the world one person at a time by becoming present ourselves. Of course, if you want to become a school administrator and change your little part of the world by influencing the curriculum, that's great! But for now, the only one you can change is you, and you can change yourself no matter what is going on around you.

If you need help thinking your career choices through, you might drop by the Career Center and look at the resources for career-changers (Career Tools menu). A Google search on career change will also bring up many resources to help you.

Hope you find what's right for you!


Re: Changing careers due to Tolle's influence?

Posted: Mon Jun 01, 2009 7:33 pm
by meg
RCharles wrote:Hi Meg,

Also, your job cannot keep you from being present.
Thanks for your thoughts RCharles. In his audio "The Flowering of Human Consciousness" Tolle responds to a question from a participant about work choices that are compatible with presence. Tolle comments that there are many work environments that are full of "nervous energy" and a constant preoccupation with the next thing that needs to happen, and the next thing, and the next thing and a feeling of never being able to keep up. He cites schools and hospitals as examples. I heard this a few months ago and probably fed my growing desire for a change.

When you are teaching a group of 25 first graders, you don't know their names, they are spinning around the room with a need every half second, they are tapping you, crying to you, "he hit me" and "he cheated" and "he's sitting in the wrong chair" and they won't do their work, on and on all day, and no relief because then you have recess duty, yes it becomes a big challenge to stay present. Or when you are in a district that supports a radically inclusive special ed program .... you are teaching music and in walks a special kid who proceeds to bang on drums and crash cymbals for 20 minutes, while a para-educator looks on and refuses to intervene, regardless of your kindly asking them to do so, it is very hard to stay present. (I love the special kids, but many of these programs are poorly-conceived and do not help them.)

On the "Flowering" program he suggests in this kind of work environment one might periodically re-direct awareness to the inner body. A great idea but tough in this case, especially for a person who is just starting to assimilate these practices.

I am fully aware that I cannot make the world present. My question was not "how do I come to terms with this increasingly incompatible work." I have already decided to leave. My question was are there others out there who have made professional changes as a result of Tolle's influence. (Perhaps it was hard to distinguish my question from my ranting - I apologize) Tolle himself left the academic environment around the time of his awakening.

Re: Changing careers due to Tolle's influence?

Posted: Mon Jun 01, 2009 8:19 pm
by karmarider
I was a software executive and with awakening, I've lost interest in that area. The cultural environment, unfulfillable accomplishments--I don't know why, I just know that I'm not interested.

Life can change with awakening. What you consider important certainly changes, friends may change, career, money, the's a fundamental shift.

For some time, I was uncomfortable with the loss of interest in the corporate world--what else can I possibly do? Now there is trust that everything always works out...

Your issue seems to be the environment you're in. Sometimes these challenging situations are our best teachers.

Re: Changing careers due to Tolle's influence?

Posted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 3:36 am
by pieutr
Hello meg,

how are you since last time ?

I read your post and even though I have not changed my carreer yet, I have been considering that idea.
Actually, I have not really started my career yet since I am in the last year of my studies (I'm 23). I discovered Tolle 3 months ago. I am right now doing the final 5 months internship which will normally end on getting my diploma in september, and then after finding a job. It is in the field of optics engineering.

Here is my relation to my "career" :

First of all, Tolle's words made me loose interest in science a bit more than I already lost it before because of reading self-help books. I realised I no longer want to be the one who spends 8 hours a day in an office (like I am doing during this internship) making my brain work almost all the time, staring at the computer screen or whatever. (Tolle also talks about it in "the flowering of human counsciousness" that I saw 3 days ago).

Second, I kind of step back of this "desire to change" which was making me listening tolle's audios or doing whatever on the net during work time. Actually a quote from Ramana maharshi drew my attention and made me get rid of this desire. This quote was : "You don't need to change anything in your life to be at peace now". This helped me realising the depth of the word "acceptance" and the difference between acceptance and passivity: Acceptance is inner acceptance. Whatever is happening on the surface (whether there is lots of noise and restlessness or silence and nature) cannot prevent you from being present. It's a connectedness to the essence of this moment beyond the form it takes.

Third, I started to appreciate just sitting on my chair, allowing me to go on the net when Iwanted, or to work and actually I did work almost all the time.
I let go the question "should I leave here or not ?" as well as the question : "what will I do after september ?" because those questions appeared to create useless anxiety. I am here, now. If a change has to come, it will come through the space I allow to be in my life now. And the more space there is (meaning the more present I am right now without wondering about what I will do and whether I should do it or not) the more likely I am alert and open to what Life has to tell to me.

Eventually, I don't know if I will change it or not. This is no longer really important.

Now, This is only my experience. Please let me just remind you that you will not find answer to what you should do in your life here, and even what is wrong to do or what is right to do.If you are disappointed or enthousiastic after having read some answers to your post, it means that you are uncounsciously looking for answers to complete yourself. If you have the strong impulse to change, just do it. It is so simple when it is not accompanied by all the thoughts around it worrying and wondering about if it is the right choice and so on. One movement at a time. And if you fear doing it, observe this ego-created fear and let it be.

Bring gratitude to whatever form arises in this moment as something sent by god to give you exactly what you need now.


Re: Changing careers due to Tolle's influence?

Posted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 8:02 pm
by Mesquared
Hi, Meg!

I've not changed careers, but Tolle helped me immensely in my "career" as a mother.

Before I was pregnant, I was quite anxious from time to time about how I would keep up the momentum of getting my teaching certificate, the excitement of getting to teach, and getting a job with having a baby.

Once I was pregnant, I could conceive (no pun intended) of no other thing I needed to do. My attention was with the life growing in me. The acceptance was almost immediate, if not so.

Once the baby came, A New Earth knocked my socks off. It helped me surrender even more and articulate the process that was already occurring.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I accepted where I was and knew it was already the most sacred place to be. There was a bit of a career change in my life, so to speak, but it wasn't like I went from being a banker to a yoga instructor. :)


P.S. I'm with you on the conditioning of children. We will probably homeschool.

Re: Changing careers due to Tolle's influence?

Posted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 9:54 am
by johny
I quit my job and have been a freelancer for the last 6 months. Not due to tolle, but my egoic mind maybe. I would not ask tolle what to do if I did not like something and wanted to change it. I just can not work 9 to 5 for someone.

Re: Changing careers due to Tolle's influence?

Posted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 10:06 am
by anne
Hi Meg,
I can really appreciate what you describe about the evironment of teaching, that in many ways there are real challenges there in terms of what the intention is of mainstream education and also how it can be difficult to work in a way that feels authentic to oneself when the system seems to operate in such a limited and often unconscious way. I have worked in social work where many of the same limitations exist.

Whilst I made a big change in career before meeting with Tolle's teachings, these have really influenced how I see career now. Previously I experienced a lot of anxiety about whether I was working in the 'right' field, if I should change and when. Basically I was led a lot by ego in the area of work.

Now I know that all work, no matter where, is of such value because it is one of the ways we transmit energy into the world, and so whatever work we do ,with consciousness, is a real contribution and it is in the how we do rather than in the what we do that counts most.

And you seem to know that perhaps you could be more present working in another area. I wish you well.

peace to you

Re: Changing careers due to Tolle's influence?

Posted: Thu Jun 04, 2009 5:22 am
by weopposedeception
You can make changes WITHIN a profession. I am a pharmacist. I changed from retail to hospital setting and the difference is like day and night for me.

Re: Changing careers due to Tolle's influence?

Posted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 10:56 pm
by meg
Thank you everyone for taking the time to share your experiences ...
karmarider wrote:...

Your issue seems to be the environment you're in. Sometimes these challenging situations are our best teachers.
Hi Karmarider -- Yes, this environment is a great place to practice a focused presence without attachment as the perfectionistic (and neurotic) "doer" ... along with an acceptance of the kids as imperfect humans.

Pierre thanks for quoting Ramana Maharshi. I love him and his clarity. Also, good point you make about making the decision without fear. Excellent advice.

Anne, your point about "authenticity" very good. Your descripion of the system as limited and unconscious -- yes.

Johny, I'm not a desk job type either. Can't do it. The body is made to move.

M2, congrats on your new motherhood! What a lovely place to be and, yes, what could you possibly need beyond that at this time. I don't have kids, but I think your homeschooling idea is inspired. Here's a book I saw at a local bookstore that might be nice in the homeschool library: Mr. Ego and the Bubble of Love by Amber Hinton and Gabreyhl Zintoll. ... 1897238363

Weopposed... thanks for your thoughts, and I'm glad to hear you're enjoying the change. I'm considering new ways to be in the role of educator, outside of the public school setting ... a good opportunity to get creative.

Re: Changing careers due to Tolle's influence?

Posted: Sun Jun 07, 2009 7:55 am
by student2u
Hi everyone one,

I just registered here and this will be my first post.

I'm drawn to this thread because I'm considering abut changing my job partly (if not all) because I want to be present.

The situation is at my current job, something not so pleasant happened and my ego keeps telling me I was a victim and I have practiced a lot of forgiveness and I feel I can make peace with the situation now. However, it can be difficult at times when the old stories would pop back up in my mind. I feel I can be more easily present if I go to a new work place with new people around...

My confusion is whether I should take the challenge and try to be present as much as possible or take the easy way and be present at a new environment. I believe ET said challenging situation is good for practice of awareness, but he also said acceptance, enjoyment and enthusiasm are the three modalities of awakened doing.

Any insight will be greatly appreciated.

peace :)

Moderator note - please reply to this post in its new thread here: http://eckhart-tolle-forum.inner-growth ... 821#p43821

Re: Changing careers due to Tolle's influence?

Posted: Sun Jun 07, 2009 8:40 pm
by titu
This thread is crazy and important. I think we are all learning to surrender cos we create our own suffering sometimes. If ownly DUKHA can be avoided by all of us ... if only we could let go of all attachments and desires...

I have been saved by a terribl job by ET before 6 months... He said change, surrender or leave!!! I left before I read this part in TPON. But I missed the main thing... DROP THE NEGATIVITY BEFORE YOU PICK ANY OF THE THREE!!!


You could practice 'Oneness'... It helps in forgiving yourself and others.

We think we change lives of others. That is why any service or teaching professions seem hurting and impossible perhaps(actually to our own ego cos we don hav control). It is the role that we all pick unconsciously even when we pick a career! ANE says it so simply... A NEW consciousness creates healers, teachers(of being), organizations supporting the new consciousness itself(providing satsang perhaps).

Its hard to get a job with preconceived notions of expectations and expectations in every colleague... including ones own ego's. And to contribute to the corporate world and belong to any plastic society is what is hard and forcing about such jobs which disturbs the mind.

Thats a beautiful post. Great pointers there. Stop wanting change and create more space. I think we ll be just fine if we can remember this everytime and have enough reminders and satsangs to reinstate this wisdom in us all the time.

Are there any specific career lines that appreciate being?Any suggestions from finders?

Re: Changing careers due to Tolle's influence?

Posted: Sun Jun 07, 2009 9:08 pm
by HermitLoon
Are there any specific career lines that appreciate being?
All of them.... :wink:


Re: Changing careers due to Tolle's influence?

Posted: Sun Jun 07, 2009 9:27 pm
by titu
The mind hopes for any other suggestion ... Thanks I know thats the truth!

Love & Peace

Re: Changing careers due to Tolle's influence?

Posted: Sun Jun 07, 2009 9:28 pm
by RCharles
Sorry for the misunderstanding, Meg. Hope you find what you seek, both in terms of career and peaceful Presence.