They may well be going into some sort of focussed zone during their activities but it is NOT that state because one true glimpse of that state - even for a split-second - will shatter everything and bring you to an end.
Is this how it has been for you?
It has taken time for the body to recalibrate itself, blocks to be cleared, past memories to be shed, and so on but that split-second moment is like being hit by lightning. There was no practice involved leading up to it and everything changed after it.
I don't see how it can happen the way Tolle says. You can't carry on living the way you did and have This
at the same time. It lies outside of time so you're fooling yourself to believe it can happen with gradual practice. I mean, did it happen like that for Tolle? So why is he throwing all these concepts about it at us?
James wrote:To me that sounds like all or nothing thinking, It has that dry Advaitic quality to it. identifying solely in the absolute realm, yet there is an undeniable appearance of a relative realm, called the human experience. I think a good teacher is able to balance both of those realms, that is what Tolle and others do in my view. It is easy to make such proclamations as "I no longer exist", "it is all an illusion", "there is no one here doing it", such statements are nothing new, they have been around for centuries. And are often hurled around spiritual discussion forums such as this, worn as a badge of honor. But that can also be an excuse or rationalization for unaccountable behavior and arrogance. Someone can say, "since there is no ego, then there is no one here acting arrogant", or "I am not doing anything, it is just happening through me".
Of course you're right but remember, Tolle's persona of a spiritual figure is also centuries old and cliched. Always calm, gentle, polite, never gets angry. So how do you know that behaviour is also not worn as a badge of honour by him and those on spiritual forums? His proclamations are as old as time. Consciousness, presence, ego, peace, love, looking at flowers, all the things he speaks of and the language he uses is cliched.
James wrote:The fixation on the absolute can be very alluring and blissful, but there still can be self deception within that, since the fact is, one is still living and operating in this relative state of existence. When someone comes off the mountaintop experience to interact in the relative world, they will find out just how enlightened, or not they are. Life will present challenges, difficulties or temptations, that will question this new identification in the absolute realm. Life leaves no stone unturned. Neither identify with the relative nor the absolute, but these are not discarded either.
I'm not here to get fixed on the absolute. I'm just pointing out some traps I see in Tolle's teachings. When he says things like we all access that state when we look at anything in nature, he's fooling people. These things are no different to any other pleasurable experience - like eating chocolate cake. They are just experiences. Anything that comes and goes cannot be that state. So if it were a real experience it should stop there. Why is it more beautiful to look at a sunset? It encourages that romantic, poetic side of us that the mind kids on is leading to enlightenment. There is beauty in the cracks in the pavement or hearing a truck go by.