Eckhart Tolle

Let me tell you about a highly respected spiritual teacher.

I had heard Eckhart Tolle's name mentioned a few years before reading any of his books, but I didn't know anything about him or his teachings.

Anyhow, while living in a Buddhist monastery in the UK in 2004, a monk told me about his impressions of a talk given by Eckhart Tolle, which he and other Buddhist monks and nuns had been invited to. His impressions were summed up in a single phrase, "He knows what he's talking about."

The Power Of Now

Then, in spring of 2006 a friend of mine lent me The Power Of Now. I was living in the south of Thailand at the time and read it three times in just two weeks. The Power Of Now made a really deep impression on me, and mind you, I had been a dedicated meditator for 13 years by that time.

Before reading The Power Of Now I had read a lot of books about Zen Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhism, Thai Buddhism and anthroposophy. I had lived in Japanese, Tibetan, Burmese and Thai monasteries and had also been active as a reiki teacher.

My general understanding of spirituality was already quite good, however, the The Power Of Now touched me deeply and I started to feel more and more drawn to Eckhart's teachings.

Eckhart's Local Groups

Later on, I visited Eckhart Tolle's website and found out there were local meditation groups all around the world, that follow a format set by Eckhart himself. Since I was so into his teachings, I moved to Chiang Mai in the north of Thailand to join the only Eckhart Tolle group in the whole country.

The meditation group met once a week and followed the recommended format. First, we sat down and meditated in silence for about 5-10 minutes. Then, we watched an Eckhart Tolle dvd or listened to one of his cds for about 1-2 hours, followed by another 5-10 minutes of silent meditation.

Eckhart's Approach

What I like about this approach is how you spend a few minutes meditating before watching or listening to a talk by Eckhart which gives you a chance to center yourself and connect with the present moment.

Then, you maintain mindfulness throughout the talk which turns it into a meditation. Most great masters agree that spiritual teachings should be received with the mind rooted in the present moment.

Finally, after the talk you meditate in silence for awhile and that forms the end of the meeting.

You can do the same thing at home. I've really taken to this three-step model and highly recommend it. One of the great benefits of meditating this way is that motivation comes naturally, it's as if you are not on your own.

What about Eckhart Tolle's approach to spirituality? He uses modern language and examples which in combination with his clear understanding of the human mind, make his teachings easy to understand. Another plus is that he's not affiliated with any religious movement which makes his wisdom suitable for anyone.

I strongly recommend The Power Of Now to anyone who wants to grow spiritually. It's full of wisdom and easy to follow. If you are interested in Eckhart's dvds, The Flowering Of Human Consciousness is a nice summary of his teachings.

Best of luck!

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