Here you may share how the words Eckhart Tolle have affected your life.
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Post by quitesane » Fri May 13, 2005 2:24 pm

I am not a teacher and so I feel particularly circumspect about giving an account of my experience. At the same time, I realize the story needs to be told. No words can adequately describe any experience unless they are used as pointers and not taken as the objective. Please allow them to do that. Furthermore, I do not suggest my experiences as a path or practice. With that, let me begin this journey with you.

Seeking and suffering could sum up the years of life prior to realization. The details and circumstances are unimportant. Suffice it to say that by the time I reached my 48th year in this form, I had given up on ever finding the answers I so desperately sought. I had read and done all there was and had concluded that there simply were no answers. I recall one night being in a particularly intense anguish. It was more extreme than any I had experienced before. Then suddenly I "popped" out of it into a... still... quiet... space. No sight, no sound, no pain. I thought to myself, "This must be what death is like." From that day forward, my thoughts began to change. Death took on an almost comforting appearance and I secretly began to long for it.

I mention these things because I believe that two conditions arose in me that may have set the stage for what was to come. First, I had given up seeking and second, I had given up on living. I abandoned the belief there was an answer out there and I no longer viewed living as something of value - to be held onto.

A few months later, an engineering contract took me to Seattle. That is where I met Jane. She offered to loan me the audio book, "The Power of Now". I was completely skeptical of the notion that any teaching could help me, but Jane was such an incredible human being that I decided to accept her advice. After all, I had nothing to lose... and nothing to gain.

Early one Saturday morning, I began listening to "The Power of Now". During the chapter, "You Are Not Your Mind", my world started to deconstruct - disintegrate. As Eckhart taught, the truth became so clear. I saw that everything "I" was, was no more than a collection of mental concepts – thoughts, feelings, belief systems and so forth. I also noticed there was no longer a real-ness about them. The illusion was unveiled. At some point, I realized there was a choice to be made.

Some teachers say that there is no choosing. Technically, that is true. There is only Being, from which all action and form arise. Still, we are not separate from Being either. Anyway, I can only say that a choice seemed to emerge from the revelation in that moment. On one hand, there was the egoic life of suffering which I hated but was strongly identified/familiar with and on the other, there was the letting it go of it… and plunging into a vast unknown. I became afraid - panicky even. It felt like I would fall into an eternal abyss or go mad if I chose the latter. Then something like a voice inside said, "This is your chance." So I let go.

I don’t know what happened immediately after I let go. I don’t even know how long it was before my next conscious thought. Later, I found myself sitting in the chair in the small apartment I had rented. I was in an indescribable state of bliss. The thought occurred to me that I had gone mad but it evaporated quickly. Everything seemed so… One. I felt as though I had finally been made whole. I wept deeply throughout that day, so overcome with gratitude and joy.

I did consider leaving it all and going to a monastery or ashram… seriously! Then I realized the monasteries and ashrams do not need presence. The workplace and markets do. My family and neighbors do. So, I kept my external identities and my mortgage. I don't have a physical teacher and I don't subscribe to any religious, social or political causes or beliefs. I believe that real change must take place internally first. After that, beliefs don't really matter.

I listen to Eckhart daily. I practice the teaching. I work through my pain body – no it did not leave me. I just no longer suffer as a result. I feel the emotions and the pain but there is no self that suffers with them. And I still think too much, I think. But I can find the “off switch” now fairly easily. I enjoy being with people. It is a great chance to practice and influence consciousness in others by being present with them.

There is nothing so beautiful as the flowering of consciousness. It is happening here and now. If you are reading this, you are consciousness and you are enabling divine plan of the universe to unfold. I will share with you a truth: You are the universe and it is unfolding with you and it is unfolding in you and you are not separate from anything that is. The mind does not understand this. That is okay. Allow the words to point.



"Enlightenment is a door that you step through... and then gradually disappear."

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Post by barbarasher » Fri May 13, 2005 3:59 pm

Such a beautiful story! How wonderful for you! I look forward to seeing your views on the issues of PON.

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Post by Triple T » Fri May 13, 2005 4:04 pm

Thank you for sharing! and for pointing... :)

I first read your post at work during my lunch break.
The feeling that I have about it now that I can read it at home in the quiet
is the similar to what I experience with Eckhart.
Its the 'feelingness' for lack of a better is a deep sensation of calm and healing as if I am hearing a voice come from the center of my chest.
Last edited by Triple T on Sat May 14, 2005 2:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by summer » Sat May 14, 2005 12:32 am

Very profound, Patrick,
thanks for sharing.

It sounds like you and Eckhart had similar experiences of surrendering to the fear of death. And discovering that instead of madness, there was a deep sense of peace.

Something that I still wonder about is do we all have to go through an intensely fearful experience such as yours?
Eckhart says that we have all suffered enough already. That we can voluntarily disengage from the mental thoughts. But I don't know?

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Post by quitesane » Sun May 15, 2005 10:07 pm


Thank you for your encouraging comments.

Summer asked:

"Something that I still wonder about is do we all have to go through an intensely fearful experience such as yours?"

I don't think so. The fear seems to be common but there are some people who have had a full awakening experience without that manifestation. Byron Katie's story comes to mind. But her ordeal seems to have been much much more severe.

Disengaging from mental thought and disidentification from mental conceptualities of self are both inter-related but not the same thing. One leads to the other. To disengage is the practice. To disidentify is the purpose of the practice. Disidentification with ego, succincly put, is enlightenment.

"Whatever works." - Tolle

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Post by ECM » Thu May 19, 2005 4:29 am

Thanks P!

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