Stillness Speaks by Eckhart Tolle

  • If you can recognize, even occasionally, the thoughts that go through your mind as simply thoughts, if you can witness your own metal emotional reactive patterns as they happen, then that dimension is already emerging in you as the awareness in which thoughts and emotions happen – the timeless inner space in which the content of your life unfolds
  • The stream of thinking has enormous momentum that can easily drag you along with it. Every thought pretends that it matters so much. It wants to draw your attention in completely.
  • Wisdom is not a product of thought. The deep knowing that is wisdom arises through the simple act of giving someone or something your full attention. It is the healer of separation
  • Whenever you are immersed in compulsive thinking, you are avoiding what is. You don’t want to be where you are. Here. Now.
  • The realm of consciousness is much vaster than thought can grasp. When you no longer believe everything you think, you step out of thought and see clearly that the thinker is not who you are.
  • You discover that a “bored person” is not who you are. Boredom is simply a conditioned energy movement within you. Neither are you an angry, sad, or fearful person. Boredom, anger, sadness or fears are not “yours”, not personal. They are conditions of the human mind. They come and go. Nothing that comes and go is you. You are the knowing, not the condition that is known.
  • Prejudice of any kind implies that you are identified with the thinking mind. It means you don’t see the other human being anymore, but only your own concept of that human being. To reduce the aliveness of another human being to a concept is already a form of violence.
  • The next step in human evolution is to transcend thought. This is now our urgent task. It doesn’t mean not to think anymore, but simply not to be completely identified with thought, possessed by thought.
  • Feel the energy of your inner body. Immediately mental noise slows down or ceases. Feel it in your hands, your feet, your abdomen, your chest. Feel the life that you re, the life that animates the body. The body then becomes a doorway, so to speak, into a deeper sense of aliveness underneath the fluctuating emotions and underneath your thinking
  • On the surface it seems that the present moment is only one of the many, many moments. Each day of your life consists of thousands of moments where different things happen. Yet if you look more deeply, is there not only one moment, ever? Is life ever not “this moment”?
  • This one moment – Now – is the only thing you can never escape from, the one constant factor in your life. No matter what happens, no matter how much your life changes, one thing is certain: it’s always Now.
  • Since there is no escape from the Now, why not welcome it, be friendly with it?
  • The division of life into past, present and future is mind-made and ultimately illusionary. Past and future are thought forms, mental abstractions. The past can only be remembered Now. What you remember is an event that took place in the Now, and you remember it Now. So the only thing that is real, the only thing there ever is is the Now.
  • There is something that matters more than any of those things and that is finding the essence of who you are beyond that short-lived entity, that short-lived personalized sense of self.
  • You find peace not b rearranging the circumstances of your life, but by realizing who you are at the deepest level
  • By knowing yourself as the awareness in which phenomenal existence happens, you become free of dependency on phenomena and free of self-seeking in situations, places, and conditions. In other words: what happens or doesn’t happen is not that important anymore. Things lose their heaviness, their seriousness. A playfulness comes into your life. You recognize this world as a cosmic dance, the dance of form – no more and no less.
  • Most people’s lives are run by desire and fear. Desire is the need to add something to yourself in order to be yourself more fully. All fear is the fear of losing something and thereby becoming diminished and being less.
  • Surrender is surrender to this moment, not to a story which you interpret this moment and then try to resign yourself to it
  • For instance, you may have a disability and can’t walk anymore. The condition is as it is. Perhaps your mind is now creating a story that says, “this is what my life has come to. I have ended up in a wheelchair. Life have treated me harshly and unfairly. I don’t deserve this. Can you accept the isness of this moment and not confuse it with a story the mind has created around it?
  • Suffering is necessary until you realise it is unnecessary
  • Unhappiness needs a mind-made “me” with a story, a conceptual identity. It needs time – past and future. When you remove tie from your unhappiness, what is it that remains?? The such-ness of this moment remains.
  • Much suffering, much unhappiness arises when you take each thought that comes into your head for the truth. Situations don’t make you unhappy. They may cause you physical pain, but they don’t make you unhappy. Your thoughts make you unhappy. Your interpretations, the stories you tell yourself make you unhappy.
  • “The thoughts I am thinking right now are making me unhappy.” This realization breaks your unconscious identification with those thoughts.
  • What a miserable day.
    He didn’t have the decency to return my call
    She let me down
    Little stories we tell ourselves and others, often in the form of complaints. They are unconsciously designed to enhance our always deficient sense of self through being “right” and making something or someone “wrong”. Being “right” places us in a position of imagined superiority and so strengthens our false sense of self, the ego. This also creates some kind of enemy: yes, the ego needs enemies to define its boundary, and even the weather serves that function.
    Through habitual mental judgement and emotional contraction, you have a personalized, reactive relationship to people and events in your life. These are all forms of self-created suffering, but they are not recognized as such because to the ego they are satisfying. The ego enhances itself through reactivity and conflict.
    How simple life would be without those stories.
    It is raining.
    He did not call.
    I was there. She was not.
  • When you are suffering, when you are unhappy, stay totally with what is Now. Unhappiness or problems cannot survive in the Now.
  • Suffering begins when you mentally name or label a situation in some way as undesirable or bad. You resent a situation and that resentment personalizes it and brings in a reactive “me.”
    Naming and labelling are habitual, but that habit can be broken. Start practising “not naming” with small things. If you miss a plane, drop and break a cup, or slip and fall in the mud, can you refrain from naming the experience as bad or painful? Can you immediately accept the “isness” of that moment?
    Naming something as bad causes an emotional contraction within you. When you let it be, without naming it, enormous power is suddenly available to you.
  • The contraction cuts you off from that power, the power of life itself
  • Accept that you cannot accept. Bring acceptance into your nonacceptance
  • As long as the ego runs your life, most of your thoughts, emotions, and actions arise from desire and fear. In relationships you then wither want of fear something from the other person.
    What you want from them may be pleasure or material gain, recognition, praise or attention, or a strengthening of your sense of self through comparison and through establishing that you are, have, or know more than they. What you fear is that the opposite may be the case, and they may diminish your sense of self in some way.
    When you make the present moment the focal point of your attention – instead of using it as a means to an end – you go beyond the ego and beyond the unconscious compulsion to use people as a means to an end, the end of being self-enhancement at the cost of others. When you give your fullest attention to whoever you are interacting with, you take past and future out of the relationship, except for practical matters. When you are fully present with everyone you meet, you relinquish the conceptual identity you made for them – your interpretation of who they are and what they did in the past – and are able to interact without the egoic movements of desire and fear. Attention, which is alert stillness, is the key.
    How wonderful to go beyond wanting and fearing in your relationships. Love does not want or fear anything.
  • If her past were your past, her pain your pain, her level of consciousness your level of consciousness, you would think and act exactly as she does. With this realization comes forgiveness, compassion, peace.
    The ego doesn’t like to hear this, because if it cannot be reactive and righteous anymore, it will lose strength.
  • To know another human being in their essence, you don’t really need to know anything about them – their past, their history, their story. We confuse knowing about them with a deeper knowing that is non-conceptual. Knowing about and knowing are totally different modalities. One is concerned with form, the other with formless. One operates through thought, the other through stillness.
    Knowing about is helpful for practical purposes. On that level, we cannot do without it. When is it the predominant modality in relationships, however, it becomes very limiting, even destructive. Thoughts and concepts create an artificial barrier, a separation between human beings. Your interactions are then not rooted in Being, but become mind-based. Without the conceptual barriers, love is naturally present in all human interactions
  • Most human interactions are confined to the exchange of words – the realm of thought. It is essential to bring some stillness, particularly into your close relationships. No relationships can thrive without the sense of spaciousness that comes with stillness. Meditate or spend silent time in nature together. When going for a walk or sitting in the car or at home, become comfortable with being in stillness together. Stillness cannot and need not be created. Just be receptive to the stillness that is already there, but is obscured by mental noise.
    If spacious stillness is missing, the relationship will be dominated by the mind and can easily be taken over by problems and conflict. If stillness is there, it can contain anything.
  • True listening is another way of bringing stillness into the relationship. When you truly listen to someone, the dimension of stillness arises and becomes an essential part of the relationship. But true listening is a rare skill. Usually, the greater part of a person’s attention is taken up by their thinking. At best, they may be evaluating your words or preparing the next thing to say. Or they may not be listening at all, lost in their own thoughts.
    True listening goes far beyond auditory perception. It is the arising of alert attention, a space of presence in which the words are being received. The words now become secondary. They may e meaningful or they may not make sense. Far more important than what you are listening to is the act of listening itself, the space of conscious presence that arises as you listen. That space s a unifying field of awareness in which you meet the other person without the separative barriers created by conceptual thinking. And now the other person is no longer “other”. In that space, you are joined together as one awareness, one consciousness.
  • You free yourself from the pain body by becoming aware of it. Realize that it is not who you are, and recognize it for what it is: past pain. Witness it as it happens in your partner or in yourself. When your unconscious identification with it is broken, when you are able to observe it within yourself, you don’t feed it anymore, and it will gradually lose its energy charge.
  • When you appreciate an object for what it is, when you acknowledge its being without mental projection, you cannot not feel grateful for its existence. You may also sense that it is not really inanimate, that it only appears so to the senses.
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~ by antinomian on June 10, 2009.

One Response to “Stillness Speaks by Eckhart Tolle”

  1. EVERYTHING THAT YOU SAID HAS STRENGTH AND LOGIC BEHIND IT ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU SAID “By knowing yourself as the awareness in which phenomenal existence happens,” YOU HAVE TO HAVE KNOWLEDGE OF “SELF” BEFORE YOU CAN START TO UNDERSTAND THIS STATEMENT. If you are interested in accuring this knowledge I recommend that you read The Power of Self Separation, you will enjoy reading it.

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