Oprah's Workbook Questions

Talk about anything Tolle-related here.
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heidi
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Oprah's Workbook Questions

Post by heidi » Sat Mar 08, 2008 8:07 pm

I'll post the questions here for those who can't access the workbook. I invite everyone to share their answers. :)

1. Why did you decide to read this book?

2. Are there specific areas of your life that you think will benefit from the lessons of A New Earth? How can you incorporate the book's teachings in your life today?

3. Think about the question on page 5: "Can human beings lose the density of their conditioned mind structures and become like crystals or precious stones... transparent to the light of consciousness?" What makes you feel more alive and open, less dense, less bogged down by heavy thoughts and feelings? Could this be the beginnings of what A New Earth is pointing toward?

4. Spend some time in the presence of something you consider beautiful—a flower, a gem, a piece of artwork, etc. As you look at the object, try to see it without naming it mentally. When we appreciate beauty in this manner, a window opens into the formless, and into a state of gratitude. See if you can experience that. Write your experiences here.

5. Do you consider yourself a religious person? What about a spiritual person? Is there a difference between the two?

6. "Humanity is now faced with a stark choice: Evolve or die. … If the structures of the human mind remain unchanged, we will always end up re-creating the same world, the same evils, the same dysfunction" (p. 21–22). Are you aware of this dysfunction? Where is it most apparent in your own life and in the world? Do you think humanity is ready for a transformation of consciousness?
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Re: Oprah's Workbook Questions

Post by heidi » Sat Mar 08, 2008 8:10 pm

Here are mine.:)
1. Why did you decide to read this book?
I had read The Power of Now years ago, and I moderate an Eckhart Tolle discussion group, so I read A New Earth when it first came out. I gave the book to a friend so need to get another to properly quote passages.

2. Are there specific areas of your life that you think will benefit from the lessons of A New Earth? How can you incorporate the book's teachings in your life today?
After reading the book, I was more conscious of when thinking was not serving me and when the ego would rear up unnecessarily, and now when those thoughts happen, I breathe space around them as a habit. I tend to laugh at many thoughts - not identifying with them, and not taking them seriously.


3. Think about the question on page 5: "Can human beings lose the density of their conditioned mind structures and become like crystals or precious stones... transparent to the light of consciousness?" What makes you feel more alive and open, less dense, less bogged down by heavy thoughts and feelings? Could this be the beginnings of what A New Earth is pointing toward?
When people stop taking their thoughts so seriously, they stop identifying with them. The spaciousness that occurs opens up the space for divine intuition to be heard. When men and their egos become conscious, there will be much less suffering and warring. This is where a new earth begins.
When I am running or walking in nature, out on the water, and doing art is when I am most alive.

4. Spend some time in the presence of something you consider beautiful—a flower, a gem, a piece of artwork, etc. As you look at the object, try to see it without naming it mentally. When we appreciate beauty in this manner, a window opens into the formless, and into a state of gratitude. See if you can experience that. Write your experiences here.
I teach a class called Art as a Verb where I and my students do exactly that - really see what is there, the essence of things without the brain getting in the way. When we put the brain down, like the tool that it is, creation flows through us.

5. Do you consider yourself a religious person? What about a spiritual person? Is there a difference between the two?
I am not religious. I have great reverence for all of creation. Religious ones tend to identify with precepts, they are identified with mindmade ideas. Much of the suffering and woes of the world are because of this identification. Spiritual ones tend not to identify but to have reverence and acceptance for the workings of the universe. Somwrhere in the early part of the book, Tolle talks about religion and how the real core truths have gotten fettered by identification and ego based stuff. This is very cool: Recently I read Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett, and currently I am reading the sequel - World Without End. To see the workings of the egoic mind in these works while re-viewing A New Earth and the consciousness it provokes is a wonderful way to bring about even more witnessing awareness.

6. "Humanity is now faced with a stark choice: Evolve or die. … If the structures of the human mind remain unchanged, we will always end up re-creating the same world, the same evils, the same dysfunction" (p. 21–22). Are you aware of this dysfunction? Where is it most apparent in your own life and in the world? Do you think humanity is ready for a transformation of consciousness?
I agree with this statement. The sooner people can become conscious of their attachment to ideas and let got of those attachments, the sooner mankind will stop destroying each other and the environment. In my own life I experienced this especially during the last election where I had to let got of my attachment to the outcome of the election. In that same vein, take a look at how our government has used the attachment to thoughts to bring us to war. Enough said.


I probably won't do much more workbooking, but it's kind of cool to reflect. So, I posted here so you can do your own workbook, and share if you like. :)
I'll post them for each session.
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Re: Oprah's Workbook Questions

Post by lakeswimr » Sat Mar 08, 2008 11:30 pm

Thank you. I was very curious about what type of questions would be there. I also wonder who wrote the questions. ET or OW or someone else.

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Re: Oprah's Workbook Questions

Post by heidi » Mon Mar 10, 2008 6:13 pm

Here is the batch of questions for chapter 2:
1. On pages 30–33, Eckhart tells the story of a woman on the subway who appeared “quite insane.” Later in the story, he realizes there were only differences in degree between that woman and himself—and all of us—because we all have a “voice in the head” that we mistake as our self. Start listening to that “voice in the head” as often as you can. Pay attention to any repetitive thought patterns, particularly negative ones about yourself, your life or other people. Write down any such repetitive thought patterns that you detect.

2. In childhood, we start looking for a sense of self in the things we want and get. "My toy later becomes my car, my house, my clothes" (p. 35). Things themselves are not bad, but our identification with those things keeps us unsatisfied and unhappy. Investigate your relationship with the world of things, and in particular, things that are designated with the word my. Be alert and honest. Take some time to honestly answer the following questions from page 38, using examples from your daily life:

Do certain things induce a subtle feeling of importance or superiority? Do you casually mention things you own or show them off to increase your sense of worth?

Does the lack of them make you feel inferior to others who have more than you? Do you feel resentful and somehow diminished in your sense of self?

3. "There are people who have renounced all possessions but have a bigger ego than some millionaires. If you take away one kind of identification, the ego will quickly find another" (p. 44). What do you think this means?


4. "No matter what your body's appearance is on the outer level, beyond the outer form it is an intensely alive energy field" (p. 52). Close your eyes for a moment and see if you can feel the life energy inside your hands. This is your “inner body.” Make it a habit this week to feel the inner body in your hands as often as you can. If you like, you can incorporate other parts of the body—feet, legs, arms, chest, abdomen and so on—into that feeling until you are aware of the inner body as a global sense of aliveness. This kind of body awareness not only anchors you in the present moment, it is also a doorway out of the prison that is the ego. Record your experiences here.

5. Have you ever had the experience of standing before the open refrigerator, not really hungry, but looking for something anyway? Many people try to fill up their life with food, drink, drugs or other addictive behavior. The “need for more” can turn into insatiable hunger. The next time you find yourself reaching for something you think you want, get in touch with your inner body—your “essence identity”—and see what happens to your “need for more.” Record your experiences here.

6. Whenever loss occurs, we can either resist or yield. "Yielding means inner acceptance of what is. You are open to life. Resistance is an inner contraction, a hardening of the shell of the ego. You are closed. … When you surrender, a new dimension of consciousness opens up. … Your action will be in alignment with the whole and supported by creative intelligence. … Circumstances and people then become helpful. … Coincidences happen" (p. 57–58). Have you ever had an experience of loss that you resisted? Have you had an experience of loss that you yielded to? What happened? Write about these experiences.

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Re: Oprah's Workbook Questions

Post by weichen » Mon Mar 10, 2008 7:06 pm

Chapter 1, Question # 6. "Humanity is now faced with a stark choice: Evolve or die. … If the structures of the human mind remain unchanged, we will always end up re-creating the same world, the same evils, the same dysfunction" (p. 21–22). Are you aware of this dysfunction? Where is it most apparent in your own life and in the world? Do you think humanity is ready for a transformation of consciousness?

This question seems most relevant question in the total 6 questions, maybe that is why it is the last question for chapter 1.

Evolve or die!

I think Tolle brought out this point from the angle that human self destruction (madness) is increasing due to high technology, and if the madness is not watched and disidentified, it may very well destroy the entire humanity.

I feel that there is another angle to this 'Evolve or die'. This has to do with the magical manifestation power of the realm of unmanifested. When a significant number of people evolved according to Tolle's vision, inevitably they will manifest beautiful magical external forms, at least some of them will be perceived as super powerful by the unevolved people. This creates evolution pressure on the unevolved people, they are losing the game in the material world, their ego will shrink due to defeat (i.e. they die). To me, this is a more meaningful angle, something we can relate to everyday.

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Re: Oprah's Workbook Questions

Post by Sighclone » Mon Mar 10, 2008 8:39 pm

weichen wrote: I feel that there is another angle to this 'Evolve or die'. This has to do with the magical manifestation power of the realm of unmanifested. When a significant number of people evolved according to Tolle's vision, inevitably they will manifest beautiful magical external forms, at least some of them will be perceived as super powerful by the unevolved people. This creates evolution pressure on the unevolved people, they are losing the game in the material world, their ego will shrink due to defeat (i.e. they die). To me, this is a more meaningful angle, something we can relate to everyday.
This is an interesting point, weichen. ET is very circumspect on this kind of thing, but does allow essentially that 'thought precedes matter' and suggests in ANE that we would create things in a more efficient way (maybe by just imagining them??) I guess from the quantum mechanical perspective this would be a directed collapse of the waveform of just the right particles in just the right place. Who knows. From a purely statistical perspective, however, it is likely that other intelligent beings are out there and that they are more awake than we are, doing this already, etc....I guess I'm less interested in the 'die' part than the 'evolved' condition.

Namaste, Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce

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