A Moment of Silence in a Busy World

The psychoanalyst and social philosopher Erich Fromm claimed that humankind's most basic fear is the threat of being separated from other humans. He believed that the experience of separateness, first encountered in infancy, is the source of all anxiety in human life. John Bowlby agreed, citing a good deal of experimental evidence and research to support the idea that separation from one's caregivers—usually the mother or father—during the latter part of the first year of life inevitably creates fear and sadness in babies. He feels that separation and interpersonal loss are at the very roots of the human experiences of fear, sadness, and sorrow.

Dalai Lama

from The Art of Happiness

The ending of Jesus' life in John is completely different than in Mark. In Mark, Jesus' last breath was a loud death cry from exhaustion and torment. In the Gospel of John, Jesus right to the very end maintains his dignity and balance, and remains centered in divine being. With his last breath, Jesus simply says, "It is finished." Jesus has lived out his destiny; he's played his part well, and he has no regrets.

Adyashanti

from Resurrecting Jesus: Embodying the Spirit of a Revolutionary Mystic

Real meditation is not about mastering a technique; it's about letting go of control. This is meditation. Anything else is actually a form of concentration. Meditation and concentration are two different things. Concentration is a discipline; concentration is a way in which we are actually directing or guiding or controlling our experience. Meditation is letting go of control, letting go of guiding our experience in any way whatsoever. The foundation of True Meditation is that we are letting go of control.

Adyashanti

from True Meditation: Discover the Freedom of Pure Awareness

As we go through life, we eventually have enough experience to see that sometimes profound difficulty can also be profoundly heart opening. When you are in a tough position, when you are facing something hard, when you feel challenged, when you feel like you are at your edge, it is a gift to be willing to stop, to sit with those moments, and not look for the quick, easy resolution for that feeling. It is a kind of grace to be able and willing to open yourself entirely to the experience of challenge, of difficulty, and of insecurity.

Adyashanti

from The Most Important Thing: Discovering Truth at the Heart of Life

The underlying emotion that governs all the activity in the ego is fear. The fear of being nobody, the fear of nonexistence, the fear of death. All its activities are ultimately designed to eliminate this fear, but the most the ego can ever do is to cover it up temporarily with an intimate relationship, a new possession, or winning at this or that. Illusion will never satisfy you. Only the truth of who you are, if realized, will set you free. Why fear? Because the ego arises by identification with form, and deep down it knows that no forms are permanent, that they are all fleeting. So there is always a sense of insecurity around the ego even if on the outside it appears confident.

Eckhart Tolle

from A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose

Sometimes when I meet old friends, it reminds me how quickly time passes. And it makes me wonder if we've utilized our time properly or not. Proper utilization of time is so important. While we have this body, and especially this amazing human brain, I think every minute is something precious. Our day-to-day existence is very much alive with hope, although there is no guarantee of our future. There is no guarantee that tomorrow at this time we will be here. But we are working for that purely on the basis of hope. So, we need to make the best use of our time. I believe that the proper utilization of time is this: if you can, serve other people, other sentient beings. If not, at least refrain from harming them. I think that is the whole basis of my philosophy.So, let us reflect what is truly of value in life, what gives meaning to our lives, and set our priorities on the basis of that. The purpose of our life needs to be positive. We weren't born with the purpose of causing trouble, harming others. For our life to be of value, I think we must develop basic good human qualities—warmth, kindness, compassion. Then our life becomes meaningful and more peaceful—happier.

Dalai Lama

from The Art of Happiness

See if you can catch, that is to say, notice, the voice in the head, perhaps in the very moment it complains about something, and recognize it for what it is: the voice of the ego, no more than a conditioned mind-pattern, a thought. Whenever you notice that voice, you will also realize that you are not the voice, but the one who is aware of it. In fact, you are the awareness that is aware of the voice. In the background, there is the awareness. In the foreground, there is the voice, the thinker. In this way you are becoming free of the ego, free of the unobserved mind. The moment you become aware of the ego in you, it is strictly speaking no longer the ego, but just an old, conditioned mind-pattern. Ego implies unawareness. Awareness and ego cannot coexist. The old mind-pattern or mental habit may still survive and reoccur for a while because it has the momentum of thousands of years of collective human unconsciousness behind it, but every time it is recognized, it is weakened.

Eckhart Tolle

from A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose

The ego doesn't know that the more you include others, the more smoothly things flow and the more easily things come to you. When you give little or no help to others or put obstacles in their path, the universe—in the form of people and circumstances—gives little or no help to you because you have cut yourself off from the whole. The ego's unconscious core feeling of "not enough" causes it to react to someone else's success as if that success had taken something away from "me." It doesn't know that your resentment of another person's success curtails your own chances of success. In order to attract success, you need to welcome it wherever you see it.

Eckhart Tolle

from A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose

All that you ever have to deal with, cope with, in real life—as opposed to imaginary mind projections—is this moment. Ask yourself what "problem" you have right now, not next year, tomorrow, or five minutes from now. What is wrong with this moment? You can always cope with the Now, but you can never cope with the future—nor do you have to. The answer, the strength, the right action or the resource will be there when you need it, not before, not after.

Eckhart Tolle

from The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

Real love doesn't make you suffer. How could it? It doesn't suddenly turn into hate, nor does real joy turn into pain. As I said, even before you are enlightened—before you have freed yourself from your mind—you may get glimpses of true joy, true love, or of a deep inner peace, still but vibrantly alive. These are aspects of your true nature, which is usually obscured by the mind. Even within a "normal" addictive relationship, there can be moments when the presence of something more genuine, something incorruptible, can be felt. But they will only be glimpses, soon to be covered up again through mind interference. It may then seem that you had something very precious and lost it, or your mind may convince you that it was all an illusion anyway. The truth is that it wasn't an illusion, and you cannot lose it. It is part of your natural state, which can be obscured but can never be destroyed by the mind. Even when the sky is heavily overcast, the sun hasn't disappeared. It's still there on the other side of the clouds.

Eckhart Tolle

from The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

I was walking across the living room when all of this happened. I can't tell you how long I was walking. It could have been five seconds—because all of this is outside of time—I don't actually know. I could have been walking across the living room floor for five hours, but I was, literally, just walking across the living room. And it's not like I stood still; I was walking, and it all happened right in the midst of what I was doing. I walked across the living room, I went into the backyard, I was doing something, I don't even remember what I was doing, and simultaneously this whole other thing was happening, too. I know it sounds odd. This didn't happen in a moment of meditation; it was completely mixed in as a part of ordinary life. As you know, I haven't talked much about this ...

Adyashanti

from The End of Your World: Uncensored Straight Talk on the Nature of Enlightenment

The modalities of awakened doing are acceptance, enjoyment, and enthusiasm. Each one represents a certain vibrational frequency of consciousness. You need to be vigilant to make sure that one of them operates whenever you are in engaged in doing anything at all—from the most simple task to the most complex. If you are not in the state of either acceptance, enjoyment, or enthusiasm, look closely and you will find that you are creating suffering for yourself and others.

Eckhart Tolle

from A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose

In many cases, you are not buying a product, but an "identity enhancer." Designer labels are primarily collective identities that you buy into. They are expensive and therefore "exclusive." If everybody could buy them, they would lose their psychological value and all you would be left with would be their material value, which likely amounts to a fraction of what you paid. What keeps the so-called consumer society going is the fact that trying to find yourself through things doesn't work. The ego satisfaction is short-lived, and so you keep looking for more; you keep buying and keep consuming.

Eckhart Tolle

from A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose

Every time you are present when the pain-body arises, some of the pain-body's negative emotional energy will burn up, as it were, and become transmuted into Presence. The rest of the pain-body will quickly withdraw and wait for a better opportunity to arise again, that is to say, when you are less conscious. A better opportunity for the pain-body to arise may come whenever you lose Presence, perhaps after you have had a few drinks or while watching a violent film. The tiniest negative emotion, such as being irritated or anxious, can also serve as a doorway through which the pain-body can return. The pain-body needs your unconsciousness. It cannot tolerate the light of Presence.

Eckhart Tolle

from A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose

Negativity is not intelligent. It is always of the ego. The ego may be clever, but it is not intelligent. Cleverness pursues its own little aims. Intelligence sees the larger whole in which all things are connected. Cleverness is motivated by self-interest, and it is extremely short-sighted. Most politicians and businesspeople are clever. Very few are intelligent. Whatever is attained through cleverness is short-lived and always turns out to be eventually self-defeating. Cleverness divides; intelligence includes.

Eckhart Tolle

from A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose

Meditative self-inquiry is the art of asking a spiritually powerful question. And a question that is spiritually powerful always points us back to ourselves. Because the most important thing that leads to spiritual awakening is to discover who and what we are—to wake up from this dream state, this trance state of identification with ego. And for this awakening to occur, there needs to be some transformative energy that can flash into consciousness. It needs to be an energy that is actually powerful enough to awaken consciousness out of its trance of separateness into the truth of our being. Inquiry is an active engagement with our own experience that can cultivate this flash of spiritual insight.

Adyashanti

from True Meditation: Discover the Freedom of Pure Awareness

If we're willing to look in a deep way underneath the appearances, what we expect to discover—or perhaps hope to discover—is some great, shining image. Most people, deep in their unconscious, want to find an idea of themselves, an image of themselves, that's really good, quite wonderful, quite worthy of admiration and approval. Yet, when we start to peer underneath our image, we find something quite surprising—maybe even a bit disturbing at first. We begin to find no image. If you look right at this moment, underneath your idea of yourself, and you don't insert another idea or another image, but if you just look under however you define yourself and you see it's just an image, it's just an idea, and you peer underneath it, what you find is no image, no idea of yourself. Not a better image, not a worse image, but no image. Because this is so unexpected, most people will move away from it almost instinctively. They'll move right back into a more positive image. But if we really want to know who we are, if we want to get to the bottom of this particular way in which we suffer, arising from believing ourselves to be something we're not, then we have to be willing to look underneath the image, underneath the idea that we have of each other, and most specifically of ourselves.

Adyashanti

from Falling into Grace: Insights on the End of Suffering

It is impossible to experience the appearance of awareness. We are that awareness to which such an appearance would occur. We have no experience of a beginning to the awareness that is seeing these words. We have no experience of its birth. We have no experience that we, awareness, are born. Likewise, in order to claim legitimately that awareness dies, something would have to be present to experience its disappearance. Have we ever experienced the disappearance of awareness? If we think the answer is, 'Yes', then what is it that is present and aware to experience the apparent disappearance of awareness? Whatever that is must be aware and present. It must be awareness. When we are born or when we wake in the morning, we have the experience of the appearance of objects. When we die and when we fall asleep at night, we have the experience of the disappearance of objects. However, we have no experience that we, awareness, appear, are born, disappear or die. That ...

Rupert Spira

from You Are the Happiness You Seek: Uncovering the Awareness of Being

Humanity is under great pressure to evolve because it is our only chance of survival as a race. This will affect every aspect of your life and close relationships in particular. Never before have relationships been as problematic and conflict ridden as they are now. As you may have noticed, they are not here to make you happy or fulfilled. If you continue to pursue the goal of salvation through a relationship, you will be disillusioned again and again. But if you accept that the relationship is here to make you conscious instead of happy, then the relationship will offer you salvation, and you will be aligning yourself with the higher consciousness that wants to be born into this world. For those who hold on to the old patterns, there will be increasing pain, violence, confusion, and madness.

Eckhart Tolle

from The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

In fact, the more you make your thoughts (beliefs) into your identity, the more cut off you are from the spiritual dimension within yourself. Many "religious" people are stuck at that level. They equate truth with thought, and as they are completely identified with thought (their mind), they claim to be in sole possession of the truth in an unconscious attempt to protect their identity. They don't realize the limitations of thought. Unless you believe (think) exactly as they do, you are wrong in their eyes, and in the not-too-distant past, they would have felt justified in killing you for that. And some still do, even now.

Eckhart Tolle

from A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose

The mental illness that is called paranoid schizophrenia, or paranoia for short, is essentially an exaggerated form of ego. It usually consists of a fictitious story the mind has invented to make sense of a persistent underlying feeling of fear. The main element of the story is the belief that certain people (sometimes large numbers or almost everyone) are plotting against me, or are conspiring to control or kill me. The story often has an inner consistency and logic so that it sometimes fools others into believing it too. Sometimes ...

Eckhart Tolle

from A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose

"Is it not possible to attract only positive conditions into our life? If our attitude and our thinking are always positive, we would manifest only positive events and situations, wouldn't we? Do you truly know what is positive and what is negative? Do you have the total picture? There have been many people for whom limitation, failure, loss, illness, or pain in whatever form turned out to be their greatest teacher. It taught them to let go of false self-images and superficial ego-dictated goals and desires. It gave them depth, humility, and compassion. It made them more real. Whenever anything negative happens to you, there is a deep lesson concealed within it, although you may not see it at the time. Even a brief illness or an accident can show you what is real and unreal in your life, what ultimately matters and what doesn't. Seen from a higher perspective, conditions are always positive. To be more precise: they are neither positive nor negative. They are as they are. And when you live in complete acceptance of what is—which is the only sane way to live—there is no "good" or "bad" in your life anymore. There is only a higher good—which includes the "bad.

Eckhart Tolle

from The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

You might say, "I know I am an immortal spirit," or "I am tired of this mad world, and peace is all I want"—until the phone rings. Bad news: The stock market has collapsed; the deal may fall through; the car has been stolen; your mother-in-law has arrived; the trip is cancelled, the contract has been broken; your partner has left you; they demand more money; they say it's your fault. Suddenly there is a surge of anger, of anxiety. A harshness comes into your voice; "I can't take any more of this." You accuse and blame, attack, defend, or justify yourself, and it's all happening on autopilot. Something is obviously much more important to you now than the inner peace that a moment ago you said was all you wanted, and you're not an immortal spirit anymore either. The deal, the money, the contract, the loss or threat of loss are more important. To whom? To the immortal spirit that you said you are? No, to me. The small me that seeks security or fulfillment in things that are transient and gets anxious or angry because it fails to find it. Well, at least now you know who you really think you are.

Eckhart Tolle

from A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose

Words, no matter whether they are vocalized and made into sounds or remain unspoken as thoughts, can cast an almost hypnotic spell upon you. You easily lose yourself in them, become hypnotized into implicitly believing that when you have attached a word to something, you know what it is. The fact is: You don't know what it is. You have only covered up the mystery with a label. Everything, a bird, a tree, even a simple stone, and certainly a human being, is ultimately unknowable. This is because it has unfathomable depth. All we can perceive, experience, think about, is the surface layer of reality, less than the tip of an iceberg.

Eckhart Tolle

from A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose

In identifying one's mental state as the prime factor in achieving happiness, of course that doesn't deny that our basic physical needs for food, clothing, and shelter must be met. But once these basic needs are met, the message is clear: we don't need more money, we don't need greater success or fame, we don't need the perfect body or even the perfect mate—right now, at this very moment, we have a mind, which is all the basic equipment we need to achieve complete happiness. In ...

Dalai Lama

from The Art of Happiness

The greater part of human pain is unnecessary. It is self-created as long as the unobserved mind runs your life. The pain that you create now is always some form of nonacceptance, some form of unconscious resistance to what is. On the level of thought, the resistance is some form of judgment. On the emotional level, it is some form of negativity. The intensity of the pain depends on the degree of resistance to the present moment, and this in turn depends on how strongly you are identified with your mind.

Eckhart Tolle

from The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

If we are absorbed in a movie it may seem at first that the screen lies behind the image. Likewise, if we are so captivated by experience that we overlook the simple experience of being aware or awareness itself, we may first locate it in the background of experience. In this first step, being aware or awareness itself is recognised as the subjective witness of all objective experience. Looking more closely we see that the screen is not just in the background of the image but entirely pervades it. Likewise, all experience is permeated with the knowing with which it is known. It is saturated with the experience of being aware or awareness itself. There is no part of a thought, feeling, sensation or perception that is not infused with the knowing of it. This second realisation collapses, at least to a degree, the distinction between awareness and its objects. In the third step, we understand that it is not even legitimate to claim that knowing, being aware or awareness itself pervades all experience, as if experience were one thing and awareness another. Just as the screen is all there is to an image, so pure knowing, being aware or awareness itself is all there is to experience. All there is to a thought is thinking, and all there is to thinking is knowing. All there is to an emotion is feeling, and all there is to feeling is knowing. All there is to a sensation is sensing, and all there is to sensing is knowing. All there is to a perception is perceiving, and all there is to perceiving is knowing. Thus, all there is to experience is knowing, and it is knowing that knows this knowing. Being all alone, with nothing in itself other than itself with which it could be limited or divided, knowing or pure awareness is whole, perfect, complete, indivisible and without limits. This absence of duality, separation or otherness is the experience of love or beauty, in which any distinction between a self and an object, other or world has dissolved. Thus, love and beauty are the nature of awareness. In the familiar experience of love or beauty, awareness is tasting its own eternal, infinite reality. It is in this context that the painter Paul Cézanne said that art gives us the 'taste of nature's eternity'.

Rupert Spira

from Being Aware of Being Aware

... next time you say, «I have nothing in common with this person,» remember that you have a great deal in common: A few years from now - two years or seventy years, it doesn't make much difference - both of you will have become rotting corpses, then piles of dust, then nothing at all. This is a sobering and humbling realization that leaves little room for pride. [... ] In that sense , there is total equality between you and every other creature.

Eckhart Tolle

from The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

As long as you perceive that anyone is holding you back, you have not taken full responsibility for your own liberation. Liberation means that you stand free of making demands on others and on life to make you happy. When you discover yourself to be nothing but Freedom, you stop setting up conditions and requirements that need to be satisfied in order for you to be happy. It is in the absolute surrender of all conditions and requirements that Liberation is discovered to be who and what you Are. Then the love and wisdom that flows out of you have a liberating effect on others.

Adyashanti

from The Impact of Awakening: Excerpts From the Teachings of Adyashanti

Illness is not the problem. You are the problem—as long as the egoic mind is in control. When you are ill or disabled, do not feel that you have failed in some way, do not feel guilty. Do not blame life for treating you unfairly, but do not blame yourself either. All that is resistance. If you have a major illness, use it for enlightenment. Anything "bad" that happens in your life—use it for enlightenment. Withdraw time from the illness. Do not give it any past or future. Let it force you into intense present-moment awareness—and see what happens. Become an alchemist. Transmute base metal into gold, suffering into consciousness, disaster into enlightenment.

Eckhart Tolle

from The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

particular activity to be in that state. But you don't need to climb the north face of the Eiger. You can enter that state now. Since ancient times, spiritual masters of all traditions have pointed to the Now as the key to the spiritual dimension. Despite this, it seems to have remained a secret. It is certainly not taught in churches and temples. If you go to a church, you may hear readings from the Gospels such as "Take no thought for the morrow; for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself," or "Nobody who puts his hands to the plow and looks back is fit for the Kingdom of God." Or you might hear the passage about the beautiful flowers that are not anxious about tomorrow but live with ease in the timeless Now and are provided for abundantly by God. The depth and radical nature of these teachings are not recognized. No one seems to realize that they are meant to be lived and so bring about a profound inner transformation.

Eckhart Tolle

from The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

The psychological condition of fear is divorced from any concrete and true immediate danger. It comes in many forms: unease, worry, anxiety, nervousness, tension, dread, phobia, and so on. This kind of psychological fear is always of something that might happen, not of something that is happening now. You are in the here and now, while your mind is in the future. This creates an anxiety gap. And if you are identified with your mind and have lost touch with the power and simplicity of the Now, that anxiety gap will be your constant companion. You can always cope with the present moment, but you cannot cope with something that is only a mind projection—you cannot cope with the future. Moreover, as long as you are identified with your mind, the ego runs your life, as I pointed out earlier. Because of its phantom nature, and despite elaborate defense mechanisms, the ego is very vulnerable and insecure, and it sees itself as constantly under threat. This, by the way, is the case even if the ego is outwardly very confident. Now remember that an emotion is the body's reaction to your mind. What message is the body receiving continuously from the ego, the false, mind-made self? Danger, I am under threat. And what is the emotion generated by this continuous message? Fear, of course.

Eckhart Tolle

from The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

If you resist or fight unconscious behavior in others, you become unconscious yourself. But surrender doesn't mean that you allow yourself to be used by unconscious people. Not at all. It is perfectly possible to say "no" firmly and clearly to a person or to walk away from a situation and be in a state of complete inner nonresistance at the same time. When you say "no" to a person or a situation, let it come not from reaction but from insight, from a clear realization of what is right or not right for you at that moment. Let it be a nonreactive "no," a high-quality "no," a "no" that is free of all negativity and so creates no further suffering.

Eckhart Tolle

from The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

For example, every time you walk up and down the stairs in your house or place of work, pay close attention to every step, every movement, even your breathing. Be totally present. Or when you wash your hands, pay attention to all the sense perceptions associated with the activity: the sound and feel of the water, the movement of your hands, the scent of the soap, and so on. Or when you get into your car, after you close the door, pause for a few seconds and observe the flow of your breath. Become aware of a silent but powerful sense of presence. There is one certain criterion by which you can measure your success in this practice: the degree of peace that you feel within.

Eckhart Tolle

from The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

The more you are identified with your thinking, your likes and dislikes, judgments and interpretations, which is to say the less present you are as the watching consciousness, the stronger the emotional energy charge will be, whether you are aware of it or not. If you cannot feel your emotions, if you are cut off from them, you will eventually experience them on a purely physical level, as a physical problem or symptom.

Eckhart Tolle

from The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

Motivation included purifying the mind of any past disturbances, anything that might cast a shadow on the pure perception of luminous emptiness. It's not helpful to simply say, Everything is essentially empty, everything is essentially pure. Although that happens to be absolutely true, in order to know this absolute truth from the inside out, we must work with those thorns that cannot be plucked through intellectual reasoning or dharma philosophy. To be effective, working with subtle knots of guilt and remorse must be embodied experiences. Furthermore, these knots prevent the full expression of our compassion. In subtle ways, they keep us stuck on ourselves and hold us back from giving everything we have to the welfare of others.

Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche

from In Love with the World: A Monk's Journey Through the Bardos of Living and Dying

When you walk through a forest that has not been tamed and interfered with by man, you will see not only abundant life all around you, but you will also encounter fallen trees and decaying trunks, rotting leaves and decomposing matter at every step. Wherever you look, you will find death as well as life. Upon closer scrutiny, however, you will discover that the decomposing tree trunk and rotting leaves not only give birth to new life, but are full of life themselves. Microorganisms are at work. Molecules are rearranging themselves. So death isn't to be found anywhere. There is only the metamorphosis of life forms. What can you learn from this? Death is not the opposite of life. Life has no opposite. The opposite of death is birth. Life is eternal.

Eckhart Tolle

from Stillness Speaks

If you think only of yourself, if you forget the rights and well-being of others, or, worse still, if you exploit others, ultimately you will lose. You will have no friends who will show concern for your well-being. Moreover, if a tragedy befalls you, instead of feeling concerned, others might even secretly rejoice. By contrast, if an individual is compassionate and altruistic, and has the interests of others in mind, then irrespective of whether that person knows a lot of people, wherever that person moves, he or she will immediately make friends. And when that person faces a tragedy, there will be plenty of people who will come to help.

Dalai Lama

from The Dalai Lama's Book of Wisdom

The mind is essentially a survival machine. Attack and defense against other minds, gathering, storing, and analyzing information—this is what it is good at, but it is not at all creative. All true artists, whether they know it or not, create from a place of no-mind, from inner stillness. The mind then gives form to the creative impulse or insight. Even the great scientists have reported that their creative breakthroughs came at a time of mental quietude. The surprising result of a nationwide inquiry among America's most eminent mathematicians, including Einstein, to find out their working methods, was that thinking "plays only a subordinate part in the brief, decisive phase of the creative act itself."1 So I would say that the simple reason why the majority of scientists are not creative is not because they don't know how to think but ...

Eckhart Tolle

from The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

Because we live in such a mind-dominated culture, most modern art, architecture, music, and literature are devoid of beauty, of inner essence, with very few exceptions. The reason is that the people who create those things cannot—even for a moment—free themselves from their mind. So they are never in touch with that place within where true creativity and beauty arise. The mind left to itself creates monstrosities, and not only in art galleries. Look at our urban landscapes and industrial wastelands. No civilization has ever produced so much ugliness.

Eckhart Tolle

from The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

When I occasionally quote the words of Jesus or the Buddha, from A Course in Miracles or from other teachings, I do so not in order to compare, but to draw your attention to the fact that in essence there is and always has been only one spiritual teaching, although it comes in many forms. Some of these forms, such as the ancient religions, have become so overlaid with extraneous matter that their spiritual essence has become almost completely obscured by it. To a large extent, therefore, their deeper meaning is no longer recognized and their transformative power lost. When I quote from the ancient religions or other teachings, it is to reveal their deeper meaning and thereby restore their transformative power—particularly for those readers who are followers of these religions or teachings. I say to them: there is no need to go elsewhere for the truth. Let me show you how to go more deeply into what you already have.

Eckhart Tolle

from The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

Focus attention on the feeling inside you. Know that it is the pain-body. Accept that it is there. Don't think about it - don't let the feeling turn into thinking. Don't judge or analyze. Don't make an identity for yourself out of it. Stay present, and continue to be the observer of what is happening inside you. Become aware not only of the emotional pain but also of "the one who observes," the silent watcher. This is the power of the Now, the power of your own conscious presence. Then see what happens.

Eckhart Tolle

from The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

In fact, the moment that judgment stops through acceptance of what is, you are free of the mind. You have made room for love, for joy, for peace. First you stop judging yourself; then you stop judging your partner. The greatest catalyst for change in a relationship is complete acceptance of your partner as he or she is, without needing to judge or change them in any way. That immediately takes you beyond ego. All mind games and all addictive clinging are then over. There are no victims and no perpetrators anymore, no accuser and accused. This is also the end of all codependency, of being drawn into somebody else's unconscious pattern and thereby enabling it to continue. You will ...

Eckhart Tolle

from The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

The particular egoic patterns that you react to most strongly in others and misperceive as their identity tend to be the same patterns that are also in you, but that you are unable or unwilling to detect within yourself. In that sense, you have much to learn from your enemies. What is it in them that you find most upsetting, most disturbing? Their selfishness? Their greed? Their need for power and control? Their insincerity, dishonesty, propensity to violence, or whatever it may be? Anything that you resent and strongly react to in another is also in you. But it is no more than a form of ego, and as such, it is completely impersonal. It has nothing to do with who that person is, nor has it anything to do with who you are. Only if you mistake it for who you are can observing it within you be threatening to your sense of self.

Eckhart Tolle

from A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose

Your mind is an instrument, a tool. It is there to be used for a specific task, and when the task is completed, you lay it down. As it is, I would say about 80 to 90 percent of most people's thinking is not only repetitive and useless, but because of its dysfunctional and often negative nature, much of it is also harmful. Observe your mind and you will find this to be true. It causes a serious leakage of vital energy. This kind of compulsive thinking is actually an addiction. What characterizes an addiction? Quite simply this: you no longer feel that you have the choice to stop. It seems stronger than you. It also gives you a false sense of pleasure, pleasure that invariably turns into pain.

Eckhart Tolle

from The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

Many things in your life matter, but only one thing matters absolutely.It matters whether you succeed or fail in the eyes of the world. It matters whether you are healthy or not healthy, whether you are educated or not educated. It matter whether you are rich or poor—it certainly makes a difference in your life. Yes, all these things matter, relatively speaking, but they don't matter absolutely.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.

Eckhart Tolle

from Stillness Speaks

When you are aware that you are thinking, that awareness is not part of thinking. It is a different dimension of consciousness. And it is that awareness that says "I am." If there were nothing but thought in you, you wouldn't even know you are thinking. You would be like a dreamer who doesn't know he is dreaming. You would be as identified with every thought as the dreamer is with every image in the dream. Many people still live like that, like sleepwalkers, trapped in old dysfunctional mind-sets that continuously re-create the same nightmarish reality. When you know you are dreaming, you are awake within the dream.

Eckhart Tolle

from A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose

Spiritual autonomy is knowing who and what you are—knowing that you are divine being itself, knowing that the essence of you is divinity. You are moving in the world of time and space, appearing as a human being, but nonetheless you are eternal, divine being, the timeless breaking through and operating within the world of time. To Jesus, spirit is everything. Nothing matters more than spirit or, as I like to say, divine being. Divine being is what Jesus is here for; it is the vitality source from which he moves, from which he speaks, from which his critique arises. He is the living presence of divine being. He's a human being too, but he's here to convey divine being, and that comes out most clearly in the Gospel of Mark.

Adyashanti

from Resurrecting Jesus: Embodying the Spirit of a Revolutionary Mystic

There is no need to investigate the unconscious past in you except as it manifests at this moment as a thought, an emotion, a desire, a reaction, or an external event that happens to you. Whatever you need to know about the unconscious past in you, the challenges of the present will bring it out. If you delve into the past, it will become a bottomless pit: There is always more. You may think that you need more time to understand the past or become free of it, in other words, that the future will eventually free you of the past. This is a delusion. Only the present can free you of the past. More time cannot free you of time. Access the power of Now. That is the key.

Eckhart Tolle

from The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

happiness nor your sense of self depends on the outcome, and so there is freedom from fear. You don't seek permanency where it cannot be found: in the world of form, of gain and loss, birth and death. You don't demand that situations, conditions, places, or people should make you happy, and then suffer when they don't live up to your expectations. Everything is honored, but nothing matters. Forms are born and die, yet you are aware of the eternal underneath the forms. You know that "nothing real can be threatened."3 When this is your state of Being, how can you not succeed? You have succeeded already.

Eckhart Tolle

from The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

Your sense of who you are determines what you perceive as your needs and what matters to you in life -- and whatever matters to you will have the power to upset and disturb you. You can use this as a criterion to find out how deeply you know yourself. What matters to you is not necessarily what you say or believe, but what your actions and reactions reveal as important and serious to you. So you may want to ask yourself the question: What are the things that upset and disturb me? ...

Eckhart Tolle

from A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose

The important thing is allowing the whole world to wake up. Part of allowing the whole world to wake up is recognizing that the whole world is free—everybody is free to be as they are. Until the whole world is free to agree with you or disagree with you, until you have given the freedom to everyone to like you or not like you, to love you or hate you, to see things as you see them or to see things differently—until you have given the whole world its freedom—you'll never have your freedom.

Adyashanti

from The End of Your World: Uncensored Straight Talk on the Nature of Enlightenment

We can see that there are many ways in which we actively contribute to our own experience of mental unrest and suffering. Although, in general, mental and emotional afflictions themselves can come naturally, often it is our own reinforcement of those negative emotions that makes them so much worse. For instance when we have anger or hatred towards a person, there is less likelihood of its developing to a very intense degree if we leave it unattended.However, if we think about the projected injustices done to us, the ways in which we have been unfairly treated, and we keep on thinking about them over and over, then that feeds the hatred. It makes the hatred very powerful and intense. Of course, the same can apply to when we have an attachment towards a particular person; we can feed that by thinking about how beautiful he or she is, and as we keep thinking about the projected qualities that we see in the person, the attachment becomes more and more intense. But this shows how through constant familiarity and thinking, we ourselves can make our emotions more intense and powerful.

Dalai Lama

from The Art of Happiness

The more attention you give to the past, the more you energize it, and the more likely you are to make a "self" out of it. Don't misunderstand: Attention is essential, but not to the past as past. Give attention to the present; give attention to your behavior, to your reactions, moods, thoughts, emotions, fears, and desires as they occur in the present. There's the past in you. If you can be present enough to watch all those things, not critically or analytically but nonjudgmentally, then you are dealing with the past and dissolving it through the power of your presence. You cannot find yourself by going into the past. You find yourself by coming into the present.

Eckhart Tolle

from The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

Thinking that is not rooted in awareness becomes self-serving and dysfunctional. Cleverness devoid of wisdom is extremely dangerous and destructive. That is the current state of most of humanity. The amplification of thought as science and technology, although intrinsically neither good nor bad, has also become destructive because so often the thinking out of which it comes has no roots in awareness. 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.

Eckhart Tolle

from Stillness Speaks

Make it your practice to withdraw attention from past and future whenever they are not needed. Step out of the time dimension as much as possible in everyday life. If you find it hard to enter the Now directly, start by observing the habitual tendency of your mind to want to escape from the Now. You will observe that the future is usually imagined as either better or worse than the present. If the imagined future is better, it gives you hope or pleasurable anticipation. If it is worse, it creates anxiety. Both are illusory. Through self-observation, more presence comes into your life automatically. The moment you realize you are not present, you are present. Whenever you are able to observe your mind, you are no longer trapped in it.

Eckhart Tolle

from The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

Being is the eternal, ever-present One Life beyond the myriad forms of life that are subject to birth and death. However, Being is not only beyond but also deep within every form as its innermost invisible and indestructible essence. This means that it is accessible to you now as your own deepest self, your true nature. But don't seek to grasp it with your mind. Don't try to understand it. You can know it only when the mind is still. When you are present, when your attention is fully and intensely in the Now, Being can be felt, but it can never be understood mentally. To regain awareness of Being and to abide in that state of "feeling-realization" is enlightenment.

Eckhart Tolle

from The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

Whenever I associate with someone, may I think myself the lowest among all and hold the other supreme in the depth of my heart! ... When Isee beings of wicked nature, pressed by violent sin and affliction, may I hold these rare ones dear as if I had found a precious treasure! ... When others, out of envy, treat me badly with abuse, slander and the like, may I suffer the defeat and offer the victory to others! ... When the one, whom I have benefited with great hope, hurts me very badly, may I behold him as my supreme Guru! In short may I, directly and indirectly, offer benefit and happiness to all beings; may I secretly take upon myself the harm and suffering of all beings! ...

Dalai Lama

from The Art of Happiness

We spoke of ways to help her live with this tragic loss. About two years later, this woman's best friend found herself struggling through a very painful divorce. The first woman explained to her friend: My son is never coming back. I entertain no fantasies about this. My relationship to myself and to how I relate to the world has changed forever. But the same is true for you. Your sense of who you are, of who is there for you and who you will travel through life with, has also changed forever. You too need to grieve a death. You are thinking that you have to come to terms with this intolerable situation outside of yourself. But just as I had to allow myself to die after my son's death, you must die to a marriage that you once had. We grieve for the passing of what we had, but also for ourselves, for our own deaths.

Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche

from In Love with the World: A Monk's Journey Through the Bardos of Living and Dying

Ego is not an object; it's more like a process that follows through on the proclivity for grasping, and for holding on to fixed ideas and identities. What we call ego is really an ever-changing perception, and although it is central to our narrative story, it is not a thing. It therefore cannot really die, and cannot be killed or transcended. This tendency for grasping arises when we misperceive the constant flow of our body and mind and mistake it for a solid, unchanging self. We do not need to get rid of the ego—this unchanging, solid, and unhealthy sense of self— because it never existed in the first place. The key point is that there is no ego to kill.

Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche

from In Love with the World: A Monk's Journey Through the Bardos of Living and Dying

There is the dream, and there is the dreamer of the dream. The dream is a short-lived play of forms. It is the world -- relatively real but not absolutely real. Then there is the dreamer, the absolute reality in which the forms come and go. The dreamer is not the person. The person is part of the dream. The dreamer is the substratum in which the dream appears, that which makes the dream possible. It is the absolute behind the relative, the timeless behind time, the consciousness in and behind form. The dreamer is consciousness itself -- who you are.To awaken within the dream is our purpose now. When we are awake within the dream, the ego-created earth-drama comes to an end and a more benign and wondrous dream arises. This is the new earth.

Eckhart Tolle

from A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose

THE SECRET OF HAPPINESS All of the above are assumptions, unexamined thoughts that are confused with reality. They are stories the ego creates to convince you that you cannot be at peace now or cannot be fully yourself now. Being at peace and being who you are, that is, being yourself, are one. The ego says: Maybe at some point in the future, I can be at peace—if this, that, or the other happens, or I obtain this or become that. Or it says: I can never be at peace because of something that happened in the past. Listen to people's stories and they could all be entitled "Why I Cannot Be at Peace Now." The ego doesn't know that your only opportunity for being at peace is now. Or maybe it does know, and it is afraid that you may find this out. Peace, after all, is the end of the ego. How to be at peace now? By making peace with the present moment. The present moment is the field on which the game of life happens. It cannot happen anywhere else. Once you have made peace with the present moment, see what happens, what you can do or choose to do, or rather what life does through you. There are three words that convey the secret of the art of living, the secret of all success and happiness: One With Life. Being one with life is being one with Now. You then realize that you don't live your life, but life lives you. Life is the dancer, and you are the dance.

Eckhart Tolle

from A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose

If in your relationships you experience both "love" and the opposite of love—attack, emotional violence, and so on—then it is likely that you are confusing ego attachment and addictive clinging with love. You cannot love your partner one moment and attack him or her the next. True love has no opposite. If your "love" has an opposite, then it is not love but a strong ego-need for a more complete and deeper sense of self, a need that the other person temporarily meets. It is the ego's substitute for salvation, and for a short time it almost does feel like salvation.

Eckhart Tolle

from The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

Dogmas—religious, political, scientific—arise out of the erroneous belief that thought can encapsulate reality or the truth. Dogmas are collective conceptual prisons. And the strange thing is that people love their prison cells because they give them a sense of security and a false sense of "I know." Nothing has inflicted more suffering on humanity than its dogmas. It is true that every dogma crumbles sooner or later, because reality will eventually disclose its falseness; however, unless the basic delusion of it is seen for what it is, it will be replaced by others.

Eckhart Tolle

from Stillness Speaks

"This (liberation) isn't something I can help you with. I can tell you what you need to do, but you have to do it. In the beginning, teachers can help a lot. But the deeper you go, all they can do is point, and clarify, and tell you what you need to do. Only you can take this step. Nobody can push you into this place. It's like Buddha's final night under the Bodhi tree. What did he do when confronted with this? He reached down and touched the ground and said, „I will not be moved." Finally—when everything that could be thrown at him was thrown, and he was still unmoved—it was done. He never looked back.

Adyashanti

from The Impact of Awakening: Excerpts From the Teachings of Adyashanti

The most common ego identifications have to do with possessions, the work you do, social status and recognition, knowledge and education, physical appearance, special abilities, relationships, personal and family history, belief systems, and often also political, nationalistic, racial, religious, and other collective identifications. None of these is you. Do you find this frightening? Or is it a relief to know this? All of these things you will have to relinquish sooner or later. Perhaps you find it as yet hard to believe, and I am certainly not asking you to believe that your identity cannot be found in any of those things. You will know the truth of it for yourself. You will know it at the latest when you feel death approaching. Death is a stripping away of all that is not you. The secret of life is to "die before you die"—and find that there is no death.

Eckhart Tolle

from The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

To become conscious of Being, you need to reclaim consciousness from the mind. This is one of the most essential tasks on your spiritual journey. It will free vast amounts of consciousness that previously had been trapped in useless and compulsive thinking. A very effective way of doing this is simply to take the focus of your attention away from thinking and direct it into the body, where Being can be felt in the first instance as the invisible energy field that gives life to what you perceive as the physical body.

Eckhart Tolle

from The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

This ability to change the brain's wiring, to grow new neural connections, has been demonstrated in experiments such as one conducted by Doctors Avi Karni and Leslie Underleider at the National Institutes of Mental Health. In that experiment, the researchers had subjects perform a simple motor task, a finger-tapping exercise, and identified the parts of the brain involved in the task by taking a MRI brain scan. The subjects then practiced the finger exercise daily for four weeks, gradually becoming more efficient and quicker at it. At the end of the four-week period, the brain scan was repeated and showed that the area of the brain involved in the task had expanded; this indicated that the regular practice and repetition of the task had recruited new nerve cells and changed the neural connections that had originally been involved in the task. This remarkable feature of the brain appears to be the physiological basis for the possibility of transforming our minds. By mobilizing our thoughts and practicing new ways of thinking, we can reshape our nerve cells and change the way our brains work. It is also the basis for the idea that inner transformation begins with learning (new input) and involves the discipline of gradually replacing our "negative conditioning" (corresponding with our present characteristic nerve cell activation patterns) with "positive conditioning" (forming new neural circuits). Thus, the idea of training the mind for happiness becomes a very real possibility.

Dalai Lama

from The Art of Happiness

This accumulated pain is a negative energy field that occupies your body and mind. If you look on it as an invisible entity in its own right, you are getting quite close to the truth. It's the emotional pain-body. It has two modes of being: dormant and active. A pain-body may be dormant 90 percent of the time; in a deeply unhappy person, though, it may be active up to 100 percent of the time. Some people live almost entirely through their pain-body, while others may experience it only in certain situations, such as intimate relationships, or situations linked with past loss or abandonment, physical or emotional hurt, and so on. Anything can trigger it, particularly if it resonates with a pain pattern from your past. When it is ready to awaken from its dormant stage, even a thought or an innocent remark made by someone close to you can activate it.

Eckhart Tolle

from The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

Religion's primary function is to awaken within us the experience of the sublime and to connect us with the mystery of existence. As soon as religion forgets about its roots in the eternal, it fails in its central task. Jesus was so critical of the religion of his time because he saw that not only was it not connecting people to the mystery, but that it was actually an active participant in veiling the mystery of existence, in obscuring the Kingdom of Heaven. And so he was a critic from the inside; he didn't necessarily reject the religion he was brought up in, but he felt called to challenge it, to transform it. Jesus' keen insight into the potential for the corrupting influence of power in all institutions—whether they're political, economic or religious—is very relevant to the modern day. If Jesus existed here and now as a human being, what he'd have to say about these subjects would be as shocking now as it was two thousand years ago. I've talked to many people ...

Adyashanti

from Resurrecting Jesus: Embodying the Spirit of a Revolutionary Mystic

When you contemplate the big, full sunrise, the more mindful and concentrated you are, the more the beauty of the sunrise is revealed to you. Suppose you are offered a cup of tea, very fragrant, very good tea. If your mind is distracted, you cannot really enjoy the tea. You have to be mindful of the tea, you have to be concentrated on it, so the tea can reveal its fragrance and wonder to you. That is why mindfulness and concentration are such sources of happiness. That's why a good practitioner knows how to create a moment of joy, a feeling of happiness, at any time of the day.

Thich Nhat Hanh

from Your True Home: The Everyday Wisdom of Thich Nhat Hanh

Almost every thought you think is then concerned with past or future, and your sense of self depends on the past for your identity and on the future for its fulfillment. Fear, anxiety, expectation, regret, guilt, anger are the dysfunctions of the time-bound state of consciousness. There are three ways in which the ego will treat the present moment: as a means to an end, as an obstacle, or as an enemy. Let us look at them in turn, so that when this pattern operates in you, you can recognize it and—decide again. To the ego, the present moment is, at best, only useful as a means to an end. It gets you to some future moment that is considered more important, even though the future never comes except as the present moment and is therefore never more than a thought in your head. In other words, you are never fully here because you are always busy trying to get elsewhere.

Eckhart Tolle

from A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose

SPIRITUALITY AND RELIGION What is the role of the established religions in the arising of the new consciousness? Many people are already aware of the difference between spirituality and religion. They realize that having a belief system—a set of thoughts that you regard as the absolute truth—does not make you spiritual no matter what the nature of those beliefs is. In fact, the more you make your thoughts (beliefs) into your identity, the more cut off you are from the spiritual dimension within yourself. Many "religious" people are stuck at that level. They equate truth with thought, and as they are completely identified with thought (their mind), they claim to be in sole possession of the truth in an unconscious attempt to protect their identity. They don't realize the limitations of thought. Unless you believe (think) exactly as they do, you are wrong in their eyes, and in the not-too-distant past, they would have felt justified in killing you for that. And some still do, even now.

Eckhart Tolle

from A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose

To the ego, death is always just around the corner. In this mind-identified state, fear of death affects every aspect of your life. For example, even such a seemingly trivial and "normal" thing as the compulsive need to be right in an argument and make the other person wrong—defending the mental position with which you have identified—is due to the fear of death. If you identify with a mental position, then if you are wrong, your mind-based sense of self is seriously threatened with annihilation. So you as the ego cannot afford to be wrong. To be wrong is to die. Wars have been fought over this, and countless relationships have broken down.

Eckhart Tolle

from The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

So whenever your relationship is not working, whenever it brings out the "madness" in you and in your partner, be glad. What was unconscious is being brought up to the light. It is an opportunity for salvation. Every moment, hold the knowing of that moment, particularly of your inner state. If there is anger, know that there is anger. If there is jealousy, defensiveness, the urge to argue, the need to be right, an inner child demanding love and attention, or emotional pain of any kind—whatever it is, know the reality of that moment and hold the knowing. The relationship then becomes your sadhana, your spiritual practice. If you observe unconscious behavior in your partner, hold it in the loving embrace of your knowing so that you won't react. Unconsciousness ...

Eckhart Tolle

from The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

This clear mind of awareness is always with us, whether we recognize it or not. It coexists with confusion, and with the destructive emotions and cultural conditioning that shape our ways of seeing things. But when our perception shifts to meditative or steady awareness, it is no longer narrowed by memory and expectation; whatever we see, touch, taste, smell, or hear has greater clarity and sharpness, and enlivens our interactions.

Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche

from In Love with the World: A Monk's Journey Through the Bardos of Living and Dying

Remember that your perception of the world is a reflection of your state of consciousness. You are not separate from it, and there is no objective world out there. Every moment, your consciousness creates the world that you inhabit. One of the greatest insights that has come out of modern physics is that of the unity between the observer and the observed: the person conducting the experiment—the observing consciousness—cannot be separated from the observed phenomena, and a different way of looking causes the observed phenomena to behave differently. If you believe, on a deep level, in separation and the struggle for survival, then you see that belief reflected all around you and your perceptions are governed by fear. You inhabit a world of death and of bodies fighting, killing, and devouring each other. Nothing is what it seems to be. The world that you create and see through the egoic mind may seem a very imperfect place, even a vale of tears. But whatever you perceive is only a kind of symbol, like an image in a dream. It is how your consciousness interprets and interacts with the molecular energy dance of the universe. This energy is the raw material of so-called physical reality. You see it in terms of bodies and birth and death, or as a struggle for survival. An infinite number of completely different interpretations, completely different worlds, is possible and, in fact, exists—all depending on the perceiving consciousness. Every being is a focal point of consciousness, and every such focal point creates its own world, although all those worlds are interconnected. There is a human world, an ant world, a dolphin world, and so on. There are countless beings whose consciousness frequency is so different from yours that you are probably unaware of their existence, as they are of yours. Highly conscious beings who are aware of their connectedness with the Source and with each other would inhabit a world that to you would appear as a heavenly realm—and yet all worlds are ultimately one.

Eckhart Tolle

from The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

No thought can encapsulate the vastness of the totality. Reality is a unified whole, but thought cuts it up into fragments. This gives rise to fundamental misperceptions, for example, that there are separate things and events, or that this is the cause of that. Every thought implies a perspective, and every perspective, by its very nature, implies limitation, which ultimately means that it is not true, at least not absolutely. Only the whole is true, but the whole cannot be spoken or thought. Seen from beyond the limitation of thinking and therefore incomprehensible to the human mind, everything is happening now. All that ever has been or will be is now, outside of time, which is a mental construct.

Eckhart Tolle

from A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose

If we ask, "Who am I without the me-concept? What am I without the me?" instantly the wordless can open up, the concept-less can open up. Allow the experience of that, because that is the living answer to the questions, "What am I? Who am I?" This is not the dead conceptual answer, but the living answer. It is alive! In this moment of radiant awakeness there's a mystery unfolding unto itself, moment to moment to moment. This living state of being, call it what you will, is the only thing that you always have been, always will be, and are right now. You are not a human being, you are being appearing as human.

Adyashanti

from Emptiness Dancing

Try a little experiment. Close your eyes and say to yourself: "I wonder what my next thought is going to be." Then become very alert and wait for the next thought. Be like a cat watching a mouse hole. What thought is going to come out of the mouse hole? Try it now. Well? I had to wait for quite a long time before a thought came in. Exactly. As long as you are in a state of intense presence, you are free of thought. You are still, yet highly alert. The instant your conscious attention sinks below a certain level, thought rushes in. The mental noise returns; the stillness is lost. You are back in time.

Eckhart Tolle

from The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

So whenever you feel negativity arising within you, whether caused by an external factor, a thought, or even nothing in particular that you are aware of, look on it as a voice saying "Attention. Here and Now. Wake up." Even the slightest irritation is significant and needs to be acknowledged and looked at; otherwise, there will be a cumulative buildup of unobserved reactions. As I said before, you may be able to just drop it once you realize that you don't want to have this energy field inside you and that it serves no purpose. But then make sure that you drop it completely. If you cannot drop it, just accept that it is there and take your attention into the feeling, as I pointed out earlier.

Eckhart Tolle

from The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

Do you hear that dog barking in the distance? Or that car passing by? Listen carefully. Can you feel the presence of the Unmanifested in that? You can't? Look for it in the silence out of which the sounds come and into which they return. Pay more attention to the silence than to the sounds. Paying attention to outer silence creates inner silence: the mind becomes still. A portal is opening up. Every sound is born out of silence, dies back into silence, and during its life span is surrounded by silence. Silence enables the sound to be.

Eckhart Tolle

from The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

For most things in life, you need time: to learn a new skill, build a house, become an expert, make a cup of tea... . Time is useless, however, for the most essential thing in life, the one thing that really matters: self-realization, which means knowing who you are beyond the surface self—beyond your name, your physical form, your history, your story.You cannot find yourself in the past or future. The only place where you can find yourself is in the Now.Spiritual seekers look for self-realization or enlightenment in the future. To be a seeker implies that you need the future. If this is what you believe, it becomes true for you: you will need time until you realize that you don't need time to be who you are.

Eckhart Tolle

from Stillness Speaks

Pleasure is always derived from something outside you, whereas joy arises from within. The very thing that gives you pleasure today will give you pain tomorrow, or it will leave you, so its absence will give you pain. And what is often referred to as love may be pleasurable and exciting for a while, but it is an addictive clinging, an extremely needy condition that can turn into its opposite at the flick of a switch. Many "love" relationships, after the initial euphoria has passed, actually oscillate between "love" and hate, attraction and attack. Real love doesn't make you suffer. How could it? It doesn't suddenly turn into hate, nor does real joy turn into pain.

Eckhart Tolle

from The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

What remains [when you deny the illusion of self] is the light of consciousness in which perceptions, experiences, thoughts, and feelings come and go. That is Being, that is the deeper, true I. When I know myself as that, whatever happens in my life is no longer of absolute but only of relative importance. I honor it, but it loses its absolute seriousness, its heaviness. The only thing that ultimately matters is this: Can I sense my essential Beingness, the I Am, in the background of my life at all times? To be more accurate, can I sense the I Am that I Am at this moment? ...

Eckhart Tolle

from A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose

Be present as the watcher of your mind—of your thoughts and emotions as well as your reactions in various situations. Be at least as interested in your reactions as in the situation or person that causes you to react. Notice also how often your attention is in the past or future. Don't judge or analyze what you observe. Watch the thought, feel the emotion, observe the reaction. Don't make a personal problem out of them. You will then feel something more powerful than any of those things that you observe: the still, observing presence itself behind the content of your mind, the silent watcher.

Eckhart Tolle

from The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

Most human relationships consist mainly of minds interacting with each other, not of human beings communicating, being in communion. No relationship can thrive in that way, and that is why there is so much conflict in relationships. When the mind is running your life, conflict, strife, and problems are inevitable. Being in touch with your inner body creates a clear space of no-mind within which the relationship can flower.

Eckhart Tolle

from The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

Many people are already aware of the difference between spirituality and religion. They realize that having a belief system—a set of thoughts that you regard as the absolute truth—does not make you spiritual no matter what the nature of those beliefs is. In fact, the more you make your thoughts (beliefs) into your identity, the more cut off you are from the spiritual dimension within yourself. Many "religious" people are stuck at that level. They equate truth with thought, and as they are completely identified with thought (their mind), they claim to be in sole possession of the truth in an unconscious attempt to protect their identity. They don't realize the limitations of thought. Unless you believe (think) exactly as they do, you are wrong in their eyes, and in the not-too-distant past, they would have felt justified in killing you for that. And some still do, even now.

Eckhart Tolle

from A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose

When we believe what we think, when we take our thinking to be reality, we will suffer. It's not obvious until you look at it, but when we believe our thoughts, in that instant, we begin to live in the world of dreams, where the mind conceptualizes an entire world that doesn't actually exist anywhere but in the mind itself. At that moment, we begin to experience a sense of isolation, where we no longer feel connected to each other in a very rich and human way, but we find ourselves receding more and more into the world of our minds, into the world of our own creation.

Adyashanti

from Falling into Grace: Insights on the End of Suffering

"In the proximity of death, the whole concept of ownership stands revealed as ultimately meaningless. In the last moments of their life, they then also realize that while they were looking throughout their lives for a more complete sense of self, what they were really looking for, their Being, had actually always already been there, but had been largely obscured by their identification with things, which ultimately means identification with their mind. "Blessed are the poor in spirit," Jesus said, "for theirs will be the kingdom of heaven.

Eckhart Tolle

from A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose

For someone possessed by a heavy pain-body, it is often impossible to step outside his or her distorted interpretation, the heavily emotional "story." The more negative emotion there is in a story, the heavier and more impenetrable it becomes. And so the story is not recognized as such but is taken to be reality. When you are completely trapped in the movement of thought and the accompanying emotion, stepping outside is not possible because you don't even know that there is an outside. You are trapped in your own movie or dream, trapped in your own hell. To you it is reality and no other reality is possible.

Eckhart Tolle

from A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose

Complaining and reactivity are favorite mind patterns through which the ego strengthens itself. For many people, a large part of their mentalemotional activity consists of complaining and reacting against this or that. By doing this, you make others or a situation "wrong" and yourself "right." Through being "right," you feel superior, and through feeling superior, you strengthen your sense of self. In reality, of course, you are only strengthening the illusion of ego. Can you observe those patterns within yourself and recognize the complaining voice in your head for what it is? ...

Eckhart Tolle

from Stillness Speaks

Through the whole trajectory from birth to childhood to adolescence and then into adulthood, we change so much, not only physically but also emotionally and intellectually, yet something remains unchanged. That sense of something unchanged is the eternal spark within. At the beginning it may be felt as a very subtle, almost incomprehensible intuition, but when we bring our full attention to that felt intuition of what's the same throughout our whole lives, then that little seed of divine radiance can begin to reveal itself, can begin to shine brighter and brighter in our lives.

Adyashanti

from Resurrecting Jesus: Embodying the Spirit of a Revolutionary Mystic

That sense of pride, of needing to stand out, the apparent enhancement of one's self through "more than" and diminishment through "less than" is neither right nor wrong—it is the ego. The ego isn't wrong; it's just unconscious. When you observe the ego in yourself, you are beginning to go beyond it. Don't take the ego too seriously. When you detect egoic behavior in yourself, smile. At times you may even laugh. How could humanity have been taken in by this for so long? Above all, know that the ego isn't personal. It isn't who you are. If you consider the ego to be your personal problem, that's just more ego.

Eckhart Tolle

from A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose

The Dalai Lama has repeatedly emphasized that inner discipline is the basis of a spiritual life. It is the fundamental method of achieving happiness. As he explained throughout this book, from his perspective inner discipline involves combating negative states of mind such as anger, hatred, and greed, and cultivating positive states such as kindness, compassion, and tolerance. He also has pointed out that a happy life is built on a foundation of a calm, stable state of mind.

Dalai Lama

from The Art of Happiness

expectations that anything or anybody in the future will save you or make you happy. As far as your life situation is concerned, there may be things to be attained or acquired. That's the world of form, of gain and loss. Yet on a deeper level you are already complete, and when you realize that, there is a playful, joyous energy behind what you do. Being free of psychological time, you no longer pursue your goals with grim determination, driven by fear, anger, discontent, or the need to become someone. Nor will you remain inactive through fear of failure, which to the ego is loss of self. When your deeper sense of self is derived from Being, when you are free of "becoming" as a psychological need, neither ...

Eckhart Tolle

from The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

The reason why some people love to engage in dangerous activities, such as mountain climbing, car racing, and so on, although they may not be aware of it, is that it forces them into the Now—that intensely alive state that is free of time, free of problems, free of thinking, free of the burden of the personality. Slipping away from the present moment even for a second may mean death. Unfortunately, they come to depend on a particular activity to be in that state.

Eckhart Tolle

from The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

If your partner is still identified with the mind and the pain-body while you are already free, this will represent a major challenge—not to you but to your partner. It is not easy to live with an enlightened person, or rather it is so easy that the ego finds it extremely threatening. Remember that the ego needs problems, conflict, and "enemies" to strengthen the sense of separateness on which its identity depends. The unenlightened partner's mind will be deeply frustrated because its fixed positions are not resisted, which means they will become shaky and weak, and there is even the "danger" that they may collapse altogether, resulting in loss of self. The pain-body is demanding feedback and not getting it. The need for argument, drama, and conflict is not being met.

Eckhart Tolle

from The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

If the situation or problem is such that it can be remedied, then there is no need to worry about it. In other words, if there is a solution or a way out of the difficulty, then one needn't be overwhelmed by it. The appropriate action is to seek its solution. It is more sensible to spend the energy focusing on the solution rather than worrying about the problem. Alternatively, if there is no way out, no solution, no Possibility of resolution, then there is also no point in being worried about it, because you can't do anything about it anyway. In that case, the sooner you accept this fact, the easier it will be on you. This formula, of course, implies directly confronting the problem. Otherwise you won't be able to find out whether or not there is a resolution to the problem.

Dalai Lama

from The Art of Happiness

The pain-body wants to survive, just like every other entity in existence, and it can only survive if it gets you to unconsciously identify with it. It can then rise up, take you over, "become you," and live through you. It needs to get its "food" through you. It will feed on any experience that resonates with its own kind of energy, anything that creates further pain in whatever form: anger, destructiveness, hatred, grief, emotional drama, violence, and even illness. So the pain-body, when it has taken you over, will create a situation in your life that reflects back its own energy frequency for it to feed on. Pain can only feed on pain. Pain cannot feed on joy. It finds it quite indigestible. Once the pain-body has taken you over, you want more pain. You become a victim or a perpetrator. You want to inflict pain, or you want to suffer pain, or both. There isn't really much difference between the two. You are not conscious of this, of course, and will vehemently claim that you do not want pain. But look closely and you will find that your thinking and behavior are designed to keep the pain going, for yourself and others. If you were truly conscious of it, the pattern would dissolve, for to want more pain is insanity, and nobody is consciously insane.

Eckhart Tolle

from The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

I've been operating according to the idea that it is almost impossible to let go of mental patterns that operate unconsciously and that I have to know such a pattern of thinking first in order to let go of it and abide in my true nature. Leave all those mental habits and patterns alone. The self that is apparently operating, that seems to know these patterns and that would 'let go of them' is itself simply one such pattern. These patterns of thinking and feeling have taken their shape, over the years, from the belief that we are a separate self, without our making any particular effort. In just the same way, as our experiential conviction that we are not a limited, located self deepens, so our thoughts, feelings and subsequent behaviour will slowly, effortlessly and naturally realign themselves with this new understanding. In order to know our self we do not need to know the mind. No other knowledge than the knowledge that is present right now in this very moment is required to know our self. What does it mean to know our self? We are our self, so we are too close to our self to be able to know our self as an object. Our simply being our self is as close to knowing our self as we will ever come. We cannot get closer than that. In fact, being our self is the knowing of our self, but it is not the knowing of our self as an object. To say 'I am', (in other words to assert that we are present), we must know that 'I am'. Being and knowing are, in fact, one single non-objective experience. But we do not step outside of our self in order to know our own being. We simply are our self. That being of our self is the knowing of our self. This being/knowing is shining in all experience. This experiential understanding dissolves the idea that our self is not present here and now and that it is not known here and now. And when our desire to know or find ourselves as an object is withdrawn, we discover that our own self was and is present all along, shining quietly in the background, as it were, of all experience. As this becomes obvious we discover that it is not just the background but also the foreground. In other words, it is not just the witness but simultaneously the substance of all experience. Completely relax the desire to find yourself as an object or to change your experience in any way. Relax into this present knowing of your own being. See that it is intimate, familiar and loving. See clearly that it is never not with you. It is shining here in this experience, knowing and loving its own being. It runs throughout all experience, closer than close, intimately one with all experience but untouched by it. As this intimate oneness, it is known as love. In its untouchable-ness it is known as peace and in its fullness it is known as happiness. In its openness and willingness to give itself to any possible shape (including the apparent veiling of its own being), it is known as freedom and, as the substance of all things, it is known as beauty. However, more simply it is known just as 'I' or 'this'. Who Is? Q: All these questions about consciousness ...

Rupert Spira

from You Are the Happiness You Seek: Uncovering the Awareness of Being

In fact, the harder the mind struggles to get rid of the pain, the greater the pain. The mind can never find the solution, nor can it afford to allow you to find the solution, because it is itself an intrinsic part of the "problem." Imagine a chief of police trying to find an arsonist when the arsonist is the chief of police. You will not be free of that pain until you cease to derive your sense of self from identification with the mind, which is to say from ego. The mind is then toppled from its place ...

Eckhart Tolle

from The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

If there is no joy, ease, or lightness in what you are doing, it does not necessarily mean that you need to change what you are doing. It may be sufficient to change the how. "How" is always more important than "what." See if you can give much more attention to the doing than to the result that you want to achieve through it. Give your fullest attention to whatever the moment presents. This implies that you also completely accept what is, because you cannot give your full attention to something and at the same time resist it.

Eckhart Tolle

from The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

Instead of "watching the thinker," you can also create a gap in the mind stream simply by directing the focus of your attention into the Now. Just become intensely conscious of the present moment. This is a deeply satisfying thing to do. In this way, you draw consciousness away from mind activity and create a gap of no-mind in which you are highly alert and aware but not thinking. This is the essence of meditation. In your everyday life, you can practice this by taking any routine activity that normally is only a means to an end and giving it your fullest attention, so that it becomes an end in itself. For example, every time you walk up and down the stairs in your house or place of work, pay close attention to every step, every movement, even your breathing. Be totally present. Or when you wash your hands, ...

Eckhart Tolle

from The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

I am that which knows or is aware of all experience, but I am not myself an experience. I am aware of thoughts but am not myself a thought; I am aware of feelings and sensations but am not myself a feeling or sensation; I am aware of perceptions but am not myself a perception. Whatever the content of experience, I know or am aware of it. Thus, knowing or being aware is the essential element in all knowledge, the common factor in all experience.

Rupert Spira

from The Nature of Consciousness: Essays on the Unity of Mind and Matter

If you are pulled into unconscious identification with the emotion through lack of presence, which is normal, the emotion temporarily becomes "you." Often a vicious circle builds up between your thinking and the emotion: they feed each other. The thought pattern creates a magnified reflection of itself in the form of an emotion, and the vibrational frequency of the emotion keeps feeding the original thought pattern. By dwelling mentally on the situation, event, or person that is the perceived cause of the emotion, the thought feeds energy to the emotion, which in turn energizes the thought pattern, and so on.

Eckhart Tolle

from The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

The ego cannot distinguish between a situation and its interpretation of and reaction to that situation. You might say, "What a dreadful day," without realizing that the cold, the wind, and the rain or whatever condition you react to are not dreadful. They are as they are. What is dreadful is your reaction, your inner resistance to it, and the emotion that is created by that resistance. In Shakespeare's words, "There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so."2 What is more, suffering or negativity is often misperceived by the ego as pleasure because up to a point the ego strengthens itself through it.

Eckhart Tolle

from A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose

there are no enlightened individuals, there is only enlightenment. Enlightenment wakes up. Not you or I. You and I are rendered insignificant and nonexistent. Enlightenment wakes up. That's why it is said that everybody is inherently enlightened. But that statement is misleading because it implies that everybody is a separate, special, unique little somebody who is inherently enlightened, and that misses the point. An illusion can't be enlightened. So it's not really true that everybody is enlightened. It's only true that enlightenment is enlightened.

Adyashanti

from Emptiness Dancing

The word God has become empty of meaning through thousands of years of misuse. By misuse, I mean that people who have never glimpsed the realm of the sacred, the infinite vastness behind that word, use it with great conviction, as if they knew what they are talking about. Or they argue against it, as if they knew what it is they are denying. This misuse gives rise to absurd beliefs, assertions, and egoic delusions, such as "My or our God is the only true God, and your God is false," or Nietzsche's famous statement "God is dead."

Eckhart Tolle

from The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

No matter what activity or practice we are pursuing, there isn't anything that isn't made easier through constant familiarity and training. Through training, we can change; we can transform ourselves. Within Buddhist practice there are various methods of trying to sustain a calm mind when some disturbing event happens. Through repeated practice of these methods we can get to the point where some disturbance may occur but the negative effects on our mind remain on the surface, like the waves that may ripple on the surface of an ocean but don't have much effect deep down. And, although my own experience may be very little, I have found this to be true in my own small practice. So, if I receive some tragic news, at that moment I may experience some disturbance within my mind, but it goes very quickly. Or, I may become irritated and develop some anger, but again, it dissipates very quickly. There is no effect on the deeper mind. No hatred. This was achieved through gradual practice; it didn't happen overnight.'Certainly not. The Dalai Lama has been engaged in training his mind since he was four years old.

Dalai Lama

from The Art of Happiness

It read: 'Danger. All structures are unstable.' I said to my friend, 'That's a profound sutra [sacred scripture].' And we stood there in awe. Once you realize and accept that all structures (forms) are unstable, even the seemingly solid material ones, peace arises within you. This is because the recognition of the impermanence of all forms awakens you to the dimension of the formless within yourself, that which is beyond death.

Eckhart Tolle

from A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose

"Forgiveness" is a term that has been in use for two thousand years, but most people have a very limited view of what it means. You cannot truly forgive yourself or others as long as you derive your sense of self from the past. Only through accessing the power of the Now, which is your own power, can there be true forgiveness. This renders the past powerless, and you realize deeply that nothing you ever did or that was ever done to you could touch even in the slightest the radiant essence of who you are. The whole concept of forgiveness then becomes unnecessary.

Eckhart Tolle

from The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

The Second Arrow the buddha speaks about the "second arrow." When an arrow strikes you, you feel pain. If a second arrow comes and strikes you in the same spot, the pain will be ten times worse. The Buddha advised that when you have some pain in your body or your mind, breathe in and out and recognize the significance of that pain, but don't exaggerate its importance. If you stop to worry, to be fearful, to protest, to be angry about the pain, then you magnify the pain ten times or more. Your worry is the second arrow. You should protect yourself and not allow the second arrow to come, because the second arrow comes from you.

Thich Nhat Hanh

from Your True Home: The Everyday Wisdom of Thich Nhat Hanh

The greater part of human pain is unnecessary. It is self-created as long as the unobserved mind runs your life. The pain that you create now is always some form of nonacceptance, some form of unconscious resistance to what is. On the level of thought, the resistance is some form of judgment. On the emotional level, it is some form of negativity. The intensity of the pain depends on the degree of resistance to the present moment, and this in turn depends on how strongly you are identified with your mind. The mind always seeks to deny the Now and to escape from it. In ...

Eckhart Tolle

from The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

SERMON ON THE BODY What you perceive as a dense physical structure called the body, which is subject to disease, old age, and death, is not ultimately real—is not you. It is a misperception of your essential reality that is beyond birth and death, and is due to the limitations of your mind, which, having lost touch with Being, creates the body as evidence of its illusory belief in separation and to justify its state of fear. But do not turn away from the body, for within that symbol of impermanence, limitation, and death that you perceive as the illusory creation of your mind is concealed the splendor of your essential and immortal reality. Do not turn your attention elsewhere in your search for the Truth, for it is nowhere else to be found but within your body.

Eckhart Tolle

from The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

As we sit allowing these thoughts and, more importantly, uncomfortable feelings to arise, it is important not to have any subtle agenda with them, not to 'do this' in order to 'get rid of them', That would be more of the same. Just allow the full panoply of thoughts and feelings to display themselves in your loving and indifferent presence. In time their ferocity will die down, revealing subtler and subtler layers of thinking and feeling on behalf of a separate entity, until we come to the little, almost innocuous background thinking about which we were speaking earlier. This is the sense of separation, the 'ego', in its apparently mildest and least easily detectable form. Be very sensitive to this. Be sensitive to the 'avoidance of what is' in its subtlest forms. It is the sweet, furry baby animal that later turns into a monster! As time goes on we become more and more sensitive and we see how much of our thinking and feeling, as well as our activities, are generated for the sole purpose of avoiding 'what is', of avoiding the 'this' and the 'now', It is this open, un-judging, un-avoiding allowing of all things which, in time, restores the 'I' to its proper place in the seat of awareness and which, as a natural corollary to the abiding in and as our true self, gently realigns our thoughts, feelings and activities with the peace and happiness that are inherent in it. Nobody Has, Owns or Chooses Anything Q: While allowing the body, mind and world to be as they are, different thoughts arise, some not so savoury and others that might be better left not acted upon. You have said that, once one begins to abide knowingly as presence, responses to situations will flow naturally from there. Some thoughts will engage the body, others ...

Rupert Spira

from You Are the Happiness You Seek: Uncovering the Awareness of Being

Once you have disidentified from your mind, whether you are right or wrong makes no difference to your sense of self at all, so the forcefully compulsive and deeply unconscious need to be right, which is a form of violence, will no longer be there. You can state clearly and firmly how you feel or what you think, but there will be no aggressiveness or defensiveness about it. Your sense of self is then derived from a deeper and truer place within yourself, not from the mind. Watch out for any kind of defensiveness within yourself. What are you defending? An illusory identity, an image in your mind, a fictitious entity. By making this pattern conscious, by witnessing it, you disidentify from it. In the light of your consciousness, the unconscious pattern will then quickly dissolve. This is the end of all arguments and power games, which are so corrosive to relationships. Power over others is weakness disguised as strength. True power is within, and it is available to you now. So anyone who is identified with their mind and, therefore, disconnected from their true power, their deeper self rooted in Being, will have fear as their constant companion. The number of people who have gone beyond mind is as yet extremely small, so you can assume that virtually everyone you meet or know lives in a state of fear. Only the intensity of it varies. It fluctuates between anxiety and dread at one end of the scale and a vague unease and distant sense of threat at the other. Most people become conscious of it only when it takes on one of its more acute forms.

Eckhart Tolle

from The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

Choice implies consciousness—a high degree of consciousness. Without it, you have no choice. Choice begins the moment you disidentify from the mind and its conditioned patterns, the moment you become present. Until you reach that point, you are unconscious, spiritually speaking. This means that you are compelled to think, feel, and act in certain ways according to the conditioning of your mind. That is why Jesus said: "Forgive them, for they know not what they do." This is not related to intelligence in the conventional sense of the word. I have met many highly intelligent and educated people who were also completely unconscious, which is to say completely identified with their mind. In fact, if mental development and increased knowledge are not counterbalanced by a corresponding growth in consciousness, the potential for unhappiness and disaster is very great. Your friend is stuck in a relationship with an abusive partner, and not for the first time. Why? No choice. The mind, conditioned as it is by the past, always seeks to re-create what it knows and is familiar with. Even if it is painful, at least it is familiar. The mind always adheres to the known. The unknown is dangerous because it has no control over it.

Eckhart Tolle

from The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

most ordinary, intimate and familiar experience there is. Everybody can say from their own direct experience, 'I know that I am', irrespective of the condition of their mind or body, or whatever is taking place in their environment. It is our experience that I am. 'I am' refers to our knowledge of our self before it is qualified by experience. Before we know that I am a man or a woman, of such-and-such an age, married or single, a mother, father or friend, before we know anything about our self, we simply know that I am. Before we know what I am, we know that I am. Everything we know about our self is added to the simple knowledge 'I am'. If we feel that our self is not clearly known as it essentially is, it is not because we do not know it but because we have forgotten or ignored it in favour of objective experience. We have become so accustomed to giving our love and attention to the content of experience that we have simply overlooked that which is closest and most familiar to us. To remedy this, we first make a distinction between the knower and the known, the experiencer and the experienced, the witness and the witnessed. Later on we will collapse this distinction, but for one who is lost in experience, who identifies with every passing thought, feeling, activity and relationship, it is first necessary to make the distinction.

Rupert Spira

from Being Myself

In the Gospels, Jesus repeatedly challenges the religious authorities of the day, but ultimately what he's saying is relevant to all forms of religion. It wouldn't matter if he grew up a Jew, or a Christian, or a Buddhist, or a Hindu, because he's speaking about the structure of religion itself—its hierarchy, its tendency to become corrupted by human beings' desires for power, for influence, for money. Jesus, I think, had a profound understanding that the religion itself, instead of connecting us to the radiance of being, connecting us to that spiritual mystery, could easily become a barrier to divinity. As soon as we get too caught up with the rites and the rituals and the Thou shalts and Thou shalt nots of conventional religion, we begin to lose sight of the primary task of religion, which is to orient us toward the mystery of being and awaken us to what we really are. Of course, ...

Adyashanti

from Resurrecting Jesus: Embodying the Spirit of a Revolutionary Mystic

When you know yourself only through content, you will also think you know what is good or bad for you. You differentiate between events that are 'good for me' and those that are 'bad.' This is a fragmented perception of the wholeness of life in which everything is interconnected, in which every event has its necessary place and function within the totality. ... Behind the sometimes seemingly random or even chaotic succession of events in our lives as well as in the world lies concealed the unfolding of a higher order and purpose. ... But we can glimpse it, and more than that, align ourselves with it, which means be conscious participants in the unfolding of that higher purpose.

Eckhart Tolle

from A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose

I have also met many others who may be technically good at what they do but whose ego constantly sabotages their work. Only part of their attention is on the work they perform; the other part is on themselves. Their ego demands personal recognition and wastes energy in resentment if it doesn't get enough—and it's never enough. "Is someone else getting more recognition than me?" Or their main focus of attention is profit or power, and their work is no more than a means to that end. When work is no more than a means to an end, it cannot be of high quality.

Eckhart Tolle

from A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose

All negativity is caused by an accumulation of psychological time and denial of the present. Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry—all forms of fear—are caused by too much future, and not enough presence. Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness, and all forms of nonforgiveness are caused by too much past, and not enough presence. Most people find it difficult to believe that a state of consciousness totally free of all negativity is possible. And yet this is the liberated state to which all spiritual teachings point. It is the promise of salvation, not in an illusory future but right here and now.

Eckhart Tolle

from The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

But I think that as time goes on, you can make positive changes. Everyday as soon as you get up, you can develop a sincere positive motivation, thinking, 'I will utilize this day in a more positive way. I should not waste this very day.' And then, at night before bed, check what you've done, asking yourself, 'Did I utilize this day as I planned?' If it went accordingly, then you should rejoice. If it went wrong, then regret what you did and critique the day. So, through methods such as this, you can gradually strengthen the positive aspects of the mind.

Dalai Lama

from The Art of Happiness

By habit we perceive ourselves and the world around us as solid, real, and enduring. Yet without much effort, we can easily determine that not one aspect within the whole world's system exists independent of change. I had just been in one physical location, and now I was in another; I had experienced different states of mind. We have all grown from babies to adults, lost loved ones, watched children grow, known changes in weather, in political regimes, in styles of music and fashion, in everything. Despite appearances, no aspect of life ever stays the same. The deconstruction of any one object—no matter how dense it appears, such as an ocean liner, our bodies, a skyscraper, or an oak tree—will reveal the appearance of solidity to be as illusory as permanence. Everything that looks substantial will break down into molecules, and into atoms, and into electrons, protons, and neutrons. And every phenomenon exists in interdependence with myriad other forms. Every identification of any one form has meaning only in relationship to another. Big only has meaning in relation to small. To mistake our habitual misperceptions for the whole of reality is what we mean by ignorance, and these delusions define the world of confusion, or samsara.

Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche

from In Love with the World: A Monk's Journey Through the Bardos of Living and Dying

Everything seems to be subject to time, yet it all happens in the Now. That is the paradox. Wherever you look, there is plenty of circumstantial evidence for the reality of time—a rotting apple, your face in the bathroom mirror compared to your face in a photo taken thirty years ago—yet you never find any direct evidence, you never experience time itself. You only ever experience the present moment, or rather what happens in it. If you go by direct evidence only, then there is no time, and the Now is all there ever is.

Eckhart Tolle

from A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose

I have found over the years of working with people, even those who have had very deep and profound awakenings, that most people have a fear of being truthful, of really being honest-- not only with others, but with themselves as well. Of course, the core of this fear is that most people know intuitively that if they were actually truthful and totally sincere and honest, they would no longer be able to control anybody.

Adyashanti

from The End of Your World: Uncensored Straight Talk on the Nature of Enlightenment

Let me summarize the process. Focus attention on the feeling inside you. Know that it is the pain-body. Accept that it is there. Don't think about it—don't let the feeling turn into thinking. Don't judge or analyze. Don't make an identity for yourself out of it. Stay present, and continue to be the observer of what is happening inside you. Become aware not only of the emotional pain but also of "the one who observes," the silent watcher. This is the power of the Now, the power of your own conscious presence. Then see what happens.

Eckhart Tolle

from The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

Or is there something that you "should" be doing but are not doing it? Get up and do it now. Alternatively, completely accept your inactivity, laziness, or passivity at this moment, if that is your choice. Go into it fully. Enjoy it. Be as lazy or inactive as you can. If you go into it fully and consciously, you will soon come out of it. Or maybe you won't. Either way, there is no inner conflict, no resistance, no negativity.

Eckhart Tolle

from The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

In ancient times, people having this experience entered protected environments such as monasteries—places where those around them would understand. They'd be put in a nice little cell and left alone to let the process happen. They were fortunate to experience awakening in a context in which it was understood, seen as normal, and given the space it required. In today's society, most of us having these realizations are not living in monasteries; we are not in a particularly supportive environment. In fact, in our society it is possible to have an amazing realization on Saturday and be back in the office on Monday morning. If your mind is still blown out in bliss, this can be very disorienting! Yet it's the reality of the situation we live in. Most modern people do not have the luxury of sitting in a cave for a few months and letting things shake down naturally. This is the state of our world, and it can be a challenge for some people.

Adyashanti

from The End of Your World: Uncensored Straight Talk on the Nature of Enlightenment

The ego loves it. Instead of overlooking unconsciousness in others, you make it into their identity. Who is doing that? The unconsciousness in you, the ego. Sometimes the "fault" that you perceive in another isn't even there. It is a total misinterpretation, a projection by a mind conditioned to see enemies and to make itself right or superior. At other times, the fault may be there, but by focusing on it, sometimes to the exclusion of everything else, you amplify it. And what you react to in another, you strengthen in yourself. Nonreaction to the ego in others is one of the most effective ways not only of going beyond ego in yourself but also of dissolving the collective human ego. But you can only be in a state of nonreaction if you can recognize someone's behavior as coming from the ego, as being an expression of the collective human dysfunction. When you realize it's not personal, there is no longer a compulsion to react as if it were.

Eckhart Tolle

from A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose

It requires honesty to see whether you still harbor grievances, whether there is someone in your life you have not completely forgiven, an "enemy." If you do, become aware of the grievance both on the level of thought as well as emotion, that is to say, be aware of the thoughts that keep it alive, and feel the emotion that is the body's response to those thoughts. Don't try to let go of the grievance. Trying to let go, to forgive, does not work. Forgiveness happens naturally when you see that it has no purpose other than to strengthen a false sense of self, to keep the ego in place. The seeing is freeing.

Eckhart Tolle

from A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose

What you think of as the past is a memory trace, stored in the mind, of a former Now. When you remember the past, you reactivate a memory trace—and you do so now. The future is an imagined Now, a projection of the mind. When the future comes, it comes as the Now. When you think about the future, you do it now. Past and future obviously have no reality of their own. Just as the moon has no light of its own, but can only reflect the light of the sun, so are past and future only pale reflections of the light, power, and reality of the eternal present. Their reality is "borrowed" from the Now.

Eckhart Tolle

from The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

In True Meditation, we're in the body as a means to transcend it. It is paradoxical that the greatest doorway to the transcendence of form is through form itself. And so, when you sit down to meditate, connect with your senses— connect with how you feel, what you hear, what you sense, what you smell. Your senses actually anchor you in the moment. When your mind wanders, anchor yourself in your senses. Start to listen. What are the sounds outside? Start to feel. How do you feel in your body? Enter into the felt sense, the kinesthetic sense of your being. Connect not only with what you feel in your body, but also with what you sense in the room. Start to smell. As you are sitting, what does it smell like? Through your senses, open to the whole world within and around you. This grounds you in a deeper reality than your mind, and it also helps focus you in a place other than your mind. Allowing everything to be is extraordinarily simple, but it's not as easy as people imagine. If you're actually doing it correctly, you'll find yourself vividly present to your five senses, vividly present to your body, vividly present to your experience. If, on the other hand, you find that you're in a hazy dream zone, then it's very important to come back to your senses. Your body is a beautiful tool to anchor consciousness in a deeper sense of reality.

Adyashanti

from True Meditation: Discover the Freedom of Pure Awareness

Once you have decided you want the present moment to be your friend, it is up to you to make the first move: Become friendly toward it, welcome it no matter in what disguise it comes, and soon you will see the results. Life becomes friendly toward you; people become helpful, circumstances cooperative. One decision changes your entire reality. But that one decision you have to make again and again and again—until it becomes natural to live in such a way.

Eckhart Tolle

from A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose

There is an incredible diversity among human lives, infinite variations among people with respect to how they can experience a sense of closeness. This realization alone offers us a great opportunity. It means that at this very moment we have vast resources of intimacy available to us. Intimacy is all around us. Today, so many of us are oppressed by a feeling of something missing in our lives, intensely suffering from a lack of intimacy. This is particularly true when we go through the inevitable periods in our life when we're not involved in a romantic relationship or when the passion wanes from a relationship. There's a widespread notion in our culture that deep intimacy is best achieved within the context of a passionate romantic relationship—that Special Someone who we set apart from all others. This can be a profoundly limiting viewpoint, cutting us off from other potential sources of intimacy, and the cause of much misery and unhappiness when that Special Someone isn't there. But we have within our power the means to avoid this; we need only courageously expand our concept of intimacy to include all the other forms that surround us on a daily basis. By broadening our definition of intimacy, we open ourselves to discovering many new and equally satisfying ways of connecting with others.

Dalai Lama

from The Art of Happiness

that smallest point of light was a thought, just floating out there. And the thought was: "I." And when I turned and looked at the thought, all I had to do was become interested in it, in any way interested, and this little point of light would move closer and closer and closer. It was like moving close to a knothole in a fence—when you get your eye right up to it, you don't see the fence anymore; you see what's on the other side. So as this little point of "I" came closer, I started to perceive through this point called "me." And I found that in that point called "me" was the whole world. The whole world was contained within that "I," within that little point called "me." There wasn't really an I, but an emptiness that could go into and out of that point, in and out of it, and it's like the whole world could flicker on and off, and on and off, and on and off.

Adyashanti

from The End of Your World: Uncensored Straight Talk on the Nature of Enlightenment

At some point after awakening—sometimes very soon, sometimes not for quite a while—you reach a stage that I call "trials and tribulations." In the Jesus story, this is symbolized by Jesus' forty days in the desert and his encounter with Satan in the desert immediately following his baptism. In Buddhism, this stage is mythically portrayed by the image of Buddha sitting under the bodhi tree, assaulted by Maya, the force of illusion. Maya is an impersonal force of illusion, while Satan is a personification of what we think of as evil, but the source of evil is actually illusion, so these are really two different mythic representations of the same experience.

Adyashanti

from Resurrecting Jesus: Embodying the Spirit of a Revolutionary Mystic

Artistic creation, sports, dance, teaching, counseling—mastery in any field of endeavor implies that the thinking mind is either no longer involved at all or at least is taking second place. A power and intelligence greater than you and yet one with you in essence takes over. There is no decision-making process anymore; spontaneous right action happens, and "you" are not doing it. Mastery of life is the opposite of control. You become aligned with the greater consciousness. It acts, speaks, does the works.

Eckhart Tolle

from Stillness Speaks

Essentially, we fall into grace. By that I mean that a certain mysterious quality reveals itself and cradles us within an intimacy with all of existence. This is something that many people are looking for without even knowing it. Almost everybody is looking for intimacy—a closeness, a sense of union with their own existence or with God, or whatever their concept of higher reality is. All this yearning actually comes from our longing for closeness, intimacy, and true union. When we open to life in this way, we begin to find an inner stability simply because we're no longer at odds with our experience.

Adyashanti

from Falling into Grace: Insights on the End of Suffering

If you strip it of all the complex terminology and all the complex jargon, enlightenment is simply returning to our natural state of being. A natural state, of course, means a state which is not contrived, a state that requires no effort or discipline to maintain, a state of being which is not enhanced by any sort of manipulation of mind or body—in other words, a state that is completely natural, completely spontaneous.

Adyashanti

from True Meditation: Discover the Freedom of Pure Awareness

So the pain-body doesn't want you to observe it directly and see it for what it is. The moment you observe it, feel its energy field within you, and take your attention into it, the identification is broken. A higher dimension of consciousness has come in. I call it presence. You are now the witness or the watcher of the pain-body. This means that it cannot use you anymore by pretending to be you, and it can no longer replenish itself through you. You have found your own innermost strength. You have accessed the power of Now.

Eckhart Tolle

from The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

If peace is really what you want, then you will choose peace. If peace mattered to you more than anything else and if you truly knew yourself to be spirit rather than a little me, you would remain nonreactive and absolutely alert when confronted with challenging people or situations. You would immediately accept the situation and thus become one with it rather than separate yourself from it. Then out of your alertness would come a response. Who you are (consciousness), not who you think you are (a small me), would be responding. It would be powerful and effective and would make no person or situation into an enemy.The world always makes sure that you cannot fool yourself for long about who you really think you are by showing you what truly matters to you. How you react to people and situations, especially when challenges arise, is the best indicator of how deeply you know yourself.

Eckhart Tolle

from A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose

All negativity is caused by an accumulation of psychological time and denial of the present. Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry - all forms of fear are caused by too much future, and not enough presence. Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness, and all forms of non-forgiveness are caused by too much past, and not enough presence. Most people find it difficult to believe that a state of consciousness totally free of all negativity is possible. And yet this is the liberated state to which all spiritual teachingspoint. It is the promise of salvation, not in an illusory future but right here and now.

Eckhart Tolle

from The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

See if you can catch yourself complaining, in either speech or thought, about a situation you find yourself in, what other people do or say, your surroundings, your life situation, even the weather. To complain is always nonacceptance of what is. It invariably carries an unconscious negative charge. When you complain, you make yourself into a victim. When you speak out, you are in your power. So change the situation by taking action or by speaking out if necessary or possible; leave the situation or accept it. All else is madness.

Eckhart Tolle

from The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

Every complaint is a little story the mind makes up that you completely believe in. Whether you complain aloud or only in thought makes no difference. Some egos that perhaps don't have much else to identify with easily survive on complaining alone. When you are in the grip of such an ego, complaining, especially about other people, is habitual and, of course, unconscious, which means you don't know what you are doing. Applying negative mental labels to people, either to their face or more commonly when you speak about them to others or even just think about them, is often part of this pattern. Name ...

Eckhart Tolle

from A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose

One of the positive side-effects of maintaining a very high degree of awareness of death is that it will prepare the individual to such an extent that, when the individual actually faces death, he or she will be in a better position to maintain his or her presence of mind. Especially in Tantric Buddhism, it is considered that the state of mind which one experiences at the point of death is extremely subtle and, because of the subtlety of the level of that consciousness, it also has a great power and impact upon one's mental continuum. In Tantric practices we find a lot of emphasis placed on reflections upon the process of death, so that the individual at the time of death not only retains his or her presence of mind, but also is in a position to utilize that subtle state of consciousness effectively towards the realization of the path. From the Tantric perspective, the entire process of existence is explained in terms of the three stages known as 'death', the 'intermediate state' and 'rebirth'. All of these three stages of existence are seen as states or manifestations of the consciousness and the energies that accompany or propel the consciousness, so that the intermediate state and rebirth are nothing other than various levels of the subtle consciousness and energy. An example of such fluctuating states can be found in our daily existence, when during the 24-hour day we go through a cycle of deep sleep, the waking period and the dream state. Our daily existence is in fact characterized by these three stages. As death becomes something familiar to you, as you have some knowledge of its processes and can recognize its external and internal indications, you are prepared for it. According to my own experience, I still have no confidence that at the moment of death I will really implement all these practices for which I have prepared. I have no guarantee! Sometimes when I think about death I get some kind of excitement. Instead of fear, I have a feeling of curiosity and this makes it much easier for me to accept death. Of course, my only burden if I die today is, 'Oh, what will happen to Tibet? What about Tibetan culture? What about the six million Tibetan people's rights?' This is my main concern. Otherwise, I feel almost no fear of death. In my daily practice of prayer I visualize eight different deity yogas and eight different deaths. Perhaps when death comes all my preparation may fail. I hope not! I think these practices are mentally very helpful in dealing with death. Even if there is no next life, there is some benefit if they relieve fear. And because there is less fear, one can be more fully prepared. If you are fully prepared then, at the moment of death, you can retain your peace of mind. I think at the time of death a peaceful mind is essential no matter what you believe in, whether it is Buddhism or some other religion. At the moment of death, the individual should not seek to develop anger, hatred and so on. I think even non-believers see that it is better to pass away in a peaceful manner, it is much happier. Also, for those who believe in heaven or some other concept, it is also best to pass away peacefully with the thought of one's own God or belief in higher forces. For Buddhists and also other ancient Indian traditions, which accept the rebirth or karma theory, naturally at the time of death a virtuous state of mind is beneficial.

Dalai Lama

from The Dalai Lama's Book of Wisdom

Often, if we are not careful, these ancient traditions and techniques—many of which I myself was taught, and which have great value—become an end instead of a means to an end. People end up with what is simply a discipline. They end up watching their breath for years and years and years, becoming perfect at watching their breath. But in the end spirituality is not about watching the breath. It's about waking up from the dream of separateness to the truth of unity. That's what it's about, and this can get forgotten if we adhere too closely to technique.

Adyashanti

from True Meditation: Discover the Freedom of Pure Awareness

When that little button gets pushed, something unconscious arises, and the invitation is to stay awake. That's it. Just stay awake, and then the alchemy happens. Just stay awake. Don't do the spiritual thing, like back up fifty steps and witness it from some infinite distance. That's somewhat better than being lost in it, but even that is a subtle form of unconsciousness because it's a subtle form of avoidance or withdrawing awakeness from what is. Awakeness is just here. You don't need to bring it backward or up or down or behind something to be essentially free of what's arising. It already is free. It doesn't need to back up.

Adyashanti

from Emptiness Dancing

Do not fight against the body, for in doing so you are fighting against your own reality. You are your body. The body that you can see and touch is only a thin illusory veil. Underneath it lies the invisible inner body, the doorway into Being, into Life Unmanifested. Through the inner body, you are inseparably connected to this unmanifested One Life—birthless, deathless, eternally present. Through the inner body, you are forever one with God.

Eckhart Tolle

from The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

Direct your attention into the body. Feel it from within. Is it alive? Is there life in your hands, arms, legs, and feet—in your abdomen, your chest? Can you feel the subtle energy field that pervades the entire body and gives vibrant life to every organ and every cell? Can you feel it simultaneously in all parts of the body as a single field of energy? Keep focusing on the feeling of your inner body for a few moments. Do not start to think about it. Feel it. The more attention you give it, the clearer and stronger this feeling will become. It will feel as if every cell is becoming more alive, and if you have a strong visual sense, you may get an image of your body becoming luminous.

Eckhart Tolle

from The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

In either case, you can only go beyond it by taking responsibility for your inner state now. Even if blame seems more than justified, as long as you blame others, you keep feeding the pain-body with your thoughts and remain trapped in your ego. There is only one perpetrator of evil on the planet: human unconsciousness. That realization is true forgiveness. With forgiveness, your victim identity dissolves, and your true power emerges—the power of Presence. Instead of blaming the darkness, you bring in the light.

Eckhart Tolle

from A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose

In the original Greek, one of the meanings of sin [hamartia] is simply "to miss the mark." Now, imagine you've gone to confession, and the priest says to you, "Confess your sins." Imagine that this priest even accuses you of being a sinner; imagine how that would feel in your mind and heart, to be considered a moral failure. Now imagine instead how you'd feel if that priest were to say, "So, tell me, how have you missed the mark in your life?" There's an enormous difference in how these two interpretations of sin are held in our hearts, in our minds, in our bodies. If we understand that sin means to miss the mark, it's not so personal and damning.

Adyashanti

from Resurrecting Jesus: Embodying the Spirit of a Revolutionary Mystic

The word God has become empty of meaning through thousands of years of misuse. I use it sometimes, but I do so sparingly. By misuse, I mean that people who have never even glimpsed the realm of the sacred, the infinite vastness behind that word, use it with great conviction, as if they knew what they are talking about. Or they argue against it, as if they knew what it is that they are denying. This misuse gives rise to absurd beliefs, assertions, and egoic delusions, such as "My or our God is the only true God, and your God is false," or Nietzsche's famous statement "God is dead." The word God has become a closed concept. The moment the word is uttered, a mental image is created, no longer, perhaps, of an old man with a white beard, but still a mental representation of someone or something outside you, and, yes, almost inevitably a male someone or something.

Eckhart Tolle

from The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

Nonresistance is the key to the greatest power in the universe. ... Resistance makes the world and the things of the world appear more real, more solid, and more lasting than they are, including your own form identity, the ego. It endows the world and the ego with a heaviness and an absolute importance that makes you take yourself and the world very seriously. The play of form is then misperceived as a struggle for survival, and when that is your perception, it becomes your reality.... Things, bodies and egos, events, situations, thoughts, emotions, desires, ambitions, fears, drama... they comes, pretend to be all-important,...

Eckhart Tolle

from A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose

Carl Jung tells in one of his books of a conversation he had with a Native American chief who pointed out to him that in his perception most white people have tense faces, staring eyes, and a cruel demeanor. He said: "They are always seeking something. What are they seeking? The whites always want something. They are always uneasy and restless. We don't know what they want. We think they are mad." The undercurrent of constant unease started long before the rise of Western industrial civilization, of course, but in Western civilization, which now covers almost the entire globe, including most of the East, it manifests in an unprecedentedly acute form. It was already there at the time of Jesus, and it was there six hundred years before that at the time of Buddha, and long before that. Why are you always anxious? Jesus asked his disciples. "Can anxious thought add a single day to your life?" And the Buddha taught that the root of suffering is to be found in our constant wanting and craving. Resistance to the Now as a collective dysfunction is intrinsically connected to loss of awareness of Being and forms the basis of our dehumanized industrial civilization. Freud, by the way, also recognized the existence of this undercurrent of unease and wrote about it in his book Civilization and Its Discontents, but he did not recognize the true root of the unease and failed to realize that freedom from it is possible. This collective dysfunction has created a very unhappy and extraordinarily violent civilization that has become a threat not only to itself but also to all life on the planet.

Eckhart Tolle

from The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

"Someone recently showed me the annual prospectus of a large spiritual organization. When I looked through it, I was impressed by the wide choice of interesting seminars and workshops. It reminded me of a smorgasbord, one of those Scandinavian buffets where you can take your pick from a huge variety of enticing dishes. The person asked me whether I could recommend one or two courses. "I don't know," I said. "They all look so interesting. But I do know this," I added. "Be aware of your breathing as often as you are able, whenever you remember. Do that for one year, and it will be more powerfully transformative than attending all of these courses. And it's free.

Eckhart Tolle

from A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose

Since patience or tolerance comes from an ability to remain firm and steadfast and not be overwhelmed by the adverse situations or conditions that one faces, one should not see tolerance or patience as a sign of weakness, or giving in, but rather as a sign of strength, coming from a deep ability to remain firm. Responding to a trying situation with patience and tolerance rather than reacting with anger and hatred involves active restraint, which comes from a strong, self-disciplined mind.

Dalai Lama

from The Art of Happiness

I remember hearing a talk from a very famous Tibetan teacher, a man who had spent many years in a small, stone hut in the Himalayas. He was crippled, and so he couldn't use either one of his legs. He told a story of how a big boulder fell on his legs and broke them, and he spent many years in a stone hut, because there was really nothing that he could do. It was hard for someone with broken legs to get around much in the Himalayas. He told the story of being in this small hut, and he said, "To be locked in that small hut for so many years was the greatest thing that ever happened to me. It was a great grace, because if it wasn't for that, I would never have turned within, and I would never have found the freedom that revealed itself there. So I look back at the losing of my legs as one of the most profound and lucky events of my whole life." Normally, most of us wouldn't think that losing the use of our legs would be grace. We have certain ideas about how we want grace to appear. But grace is simply that which opens our hearts, that which has the capacity to come in and open our perceptions about life.

Adyashanti

from Falling into Grace: Insights on the End of Suffering

Knowing yourself goes far deeper than the adoption of a set of ideas or beliefs. Spiritual ideas and beliefs may at best be helpful pointers, but in themselves they rarely have the power to dislodge the more firmly established core concepts of who you think you are, which are part of the conditioning of the human mind. Knowing yourself deeply has nothing to do with whatever ideas are floating around in your mind. Knowing yourself is to be rooted in Being, instead of lost in your mind.

Eckhart Tolle

from A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose

Until there is surrender, unconscious role-playing constitutes a large part of human interaction. In surrender, you no longer need ego defenses and false masks. You become very simple, very real. "That's dangerous," says the ego. "You'll get hurt. You'll become vulnerable." What the ego doesn't know, of course, is that only through the letting go of resistance, through becoming "vulnerable," can you discover your true and essential invulnerability.

Eckhart Tolle

from The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

"Problem" means that you are dwelling on a situation mentally without there being a true intention or possibility of taking action now and that you are unconsciously making it part of your sense of self. You become so overwhelmed by your life situation that you lose your sense of life, of Being. Or you are carrying in your mind the insane burden of a hundred things that you will or may have to do in the future instead of focusing your attention on the one thing that you can do now.

Eckhart Tolle

from The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

Sometimes when I meet old friends, it reminds me how quickly time passes. And it makes me wonder if we've utilized our time properly or not. Proper utilization of time is so important. While we have this body, and especially this amazing human brain, I think every minute is something precious. Our day-to-day existence is very much alive with hope, although there is no guarantee of our future. There is no guarantee that tomorrow at this time we will be here. But still we are working for that purely on the basis of hope. So, we need to make the best use of our time. I believe that the proper utilization of time is this: if you can, serve other people, other sentient beings. If not, at least refrain from harming them. I think that is the whole basis of my philosophy.

Dalai Lama

from The Art of Happiness

Should a situation arise that you need to deal with now, your action will be clear and incisive if it arises out of present-moment awareness. It is also more likely to be effective. It will not be a reaction coming from the past conditioning of your mind but an intuitive response to the situation. In other instances, when the time-bound mind would have reacted, you will find it more effective to do nothing—just stay centered in the Now.

Eckhart Tolle

from The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

Nothing makes sense anymore, because all the meaning and purpose that life had for them was associated with accumulating, succeeding, building, protecting, and sense gratification. It was associated with the outward movement and identification with form, that is to say, ego. Most people cannot conceive of any meaning when their life, their world, is being demolished. And yet, potentially, there is even deeper meaning here than in the outward movement.

Eckhart Tolle

from A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose

When we go into a forest that has not been interfered with by man, our thinking mind will see only disorder and chaos all around us. It won't be able to differentiate between life (good) and death (bad) anymore since everywhere new life grows out of rotting and decaying matter.... The mind is more comfortable in a landscaped park because it has been planned through thought; it has not grown organically. There is an order here that the mind can understand. In the forest, there is an incomprehensible order that to the mind looks like chaos. It is beyond the mental categories of good and bad. You cannot understand it through thought, but you can sense it when you let go of thought, become still and alert, and don't try to understand or explain. Only then can you be aware of the sacredness of the forest. As soon as you sense that hidden harmony, that sacredness, you realize you are not separate from it, and when you realize that, you become a conscious participant in it. In this way, nature can help you become realigned with the wholeness of life.

Eckhart Tolle

from A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose

The modalities of awakened doing are acceptance, enjoyment, and enthusiasm. Each one represents a certain vibrational frequency of consciousness. You need to be vigilant to make sure that one of them operates whenever you are engaged in doing anything at all—from the most simple task to the most complex. If you are not in the state of either acceptance, enjoyment, or enthusiasm, look closely and you will find that you are creating suffering for yourself and others.

Eckhart Tolle

from A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose

So with awakening, the stakes go up. The more awake we get, the higher the stakes get. I remember when I was staying at a Buddhist monastery for a while. The abbess there, a wonderful woman, talked about this process of awakening as climbing a ladder. With each step you go, you have less and less tendency to look down. You have less tendency to act in ways you know aren't true or to speak in ways you know aren't true or do things you know aren't coming from truth. You start to realize that the consequences have become greater; the more awake we get, the greater the consequences are. Finally, the consequences of acting outside of truth become immense; the slightest action or behavior that's not in accordance with the truth can be unbearable to us.

Adyashanti

from The End of Your World: Uncensored Straight Talk on the Nature of Enlightenment

This is not to deny that you may encounter intense inner resistance to disidentifying from your pain. This will be the case particularly if you have lived closely identified with your emotional pain-body for most of your life and the whole or a large part of your sense of self is invested in it. What this means is that you have made an unhappy self out of your pain-body and believe that this mind-made fiction is who you are. In that case, unconscious fear of losing your identity will create strong resistance to any disidentification. In other words, you would rather be in pain—be the pain-body—than take a leap into the unknown and risk losing the familiar unhappy self.

Eckhart Tolle

from The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

they also strengthen the ego in another way by giving it a feeling of superiority on which it thrives. It may not be immediately apparent how complaining, say, about a traffic jam, about politicians, about the "greedy wealthy" or the "lazy unemployed," or your colleagues or ex-spouse, men or women, can give you a sense of superiority. Here is why. When you complain, by implication you are right and the person or situation you complain about or react against is wrong.

Eckhart Tolle

from A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose

What appears to us as space in our universe perceived through the mind and the senses is the Unmanifested itself, externalized. It is the "body" of God. And the greatest miracle is this: That stillness and vastness that enables the universe to be, is not just out there in space - it is also within you. When you are utterly and totally present, you encounter it as the still inner space of no-mind. Within you, it is vast in depth, not in extension.

Eckhart Tolle

from The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

[The ego] cannot tell the difference between an event and its reaction to that event. Every ego is a matter of selective perception and distorted interpretation. Only through awareness—not through thinking—can you differentiate between fact and opinion. Only through awareness are you able to see: There is the situation and here is the anger I feel about it, and then realize there are other ways of approaching the situation, other ways of seeing it and dealing with it.

Eckhart Tolle

from A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose

Focus not on the one hundred things that you will or may have to do at some future time but on the one thing that you can do now. This doesn't mean you should not do any planning. It may well be that planning is the one thing you can do now. But make sure you don't start to run "mental movies," project yourself into the future, and so lose the Now. Any action you take may not bear fruit immediately. Until it does—do not resist what is.

Eckhart Tolle

from The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

If you feel your life lacks significance or is too stressful or tedious, it is because you haven't brought that dimension into your life yet. Being conscious in what you do has not yet become your main aim. The new earth arises as more and more people discover that their main purpose in life is to bring the light of consciousness into this world and so use whatever they do as a vehicle for consciousness. The joy of Being is the joy of being conscious.

Eckhart Tolle

from A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose

TS Part of the reason I am bringing up the topic of past lives is that I have heard several people say something like this about you: "Adya must have been a realized being in a past life, and that's why he's had such tremendous breakthroughs at such an early age and is able to articulate teachings on awakening in such an original way." What do you think about that comment? ADYA If you ask me point blank, then yes, I've seen myself doing something similar to what I'm doing in this lifetime many times before. But again, I don't know the whole metaphysics of past lives and how they work, and I don't see things happening in terms of linear cause and effect. In fact, my experience of past lives isn't that they are actually past. I call them that, because that's how people relate to them, but if I were to say what my real experience is, it's more like simultaneous lives.

Adyashanti

from The End of Your World: Uncensored Straight Talk on the Nature of Enlightenment

She believed I had 'done something' to her, but I had done nothing. Instead of asking what I had done to her, perhaps she should have asked what I had not done. I had not reacted, not confirmed the reality of her story, not fed her mind with more thought and her pain-body with more emotion. I had allowed her to experience whatever she was experiencing at that moment, and the power of allowing lies in noninterference, nondoing. Being present is always infinitely more powerful than anything one could say or do, although sometimes being present can give rise to words or actions.

Eckhart Tolle

from A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose

Until my thirtieth year, I lived in a state of almost continuous anxiety interspersed with periods of suicidal depression. It feels now as if I am talking about some past lifetime or somebody else's life.One night not long after my twenty-ninth birthday, I woke up in the early hours with a feeling of absolute dread. I had woken up with such a feeling many times before, but this time it was more intense than it had ever been. The silence of the night, the vague outlines of the furniture in the dark room, the distant noise of a passing train – everything felt so alien, so hostile, and so utterly meaningless that it created in me a deep loathing of the world. The most loathsome thing of all, however, was my own existence. What was the point in continuing to live with this burden of misery? Why carry on with this continuous struggle? I could feel that a deep longing for annihilation, for nonexistence, was now becoming much stronger than the instinctive desire to continue to live.‘I cannot live with myself any longer.' This was the thought that kept repeating itself in my mind. Then suddenly I became aware of what a peculiar thought it was. ‘Am I one or two? If I cannot live with myself, there must be two of me: the ‘I' and the ‘self' that ‘I' cannot live with.' ‘Maybe,' I thought, ‘only one of them is real.'I was so stunned by this strange realization that my mind stopped. I was fully conscious, but there were no more thoughts. Then I felt drawn into what seemed like a vortex of energy. It was a slow movement at first and then accelerated. I was gripped by an intense fear, and my body started to shake. I heard the words ‘resist nothing,' as if spoken inside my chest. I could feel myself being sucked into a void. It felt as if the void was inside myself rather than outside. Suddenly, there was no more fear, and I let myself fall into that void. I have no recollection of what happened after that.I was awakened by the chirping of a bird outside the window. I had never heard such a sound before. My eyes were still closed, and I saw the image of a precious diamond. Yes, if a diamond could make a sound, this is what it would be like. I opened my eyes. The first light of dawn was filtering through the curtains. Without any thought, I felt, I knew, that there is infinitely more to light than we realize. That soft luminosity filtering through the curtains was love itself. Tears came into my eyes. I got up and walked around the room. I recognized the room, and yet I knew that I had never truly seen it before. Everything was fresh and pristine, as if it had just come into existence. I picked up things, a pencil, an empty bottle, marvelling at the beauty and aliveness of it all. That day I walked around the city in utter amazement at the miracle of life on earth, as if I had just been born into this world.

Eckhart Tolle

from The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

The source of all abundance is not outside you. It is part of who you are. However, start by acknowledging and recognizing abundance without. See the fullness of life all around you. The warmth of the sun on your skin, the display of magnificent flowers outside a florist's shop, biting into a succulent fruit, or getting soaked in an abundance of water falling from the sky. The fullness of life is there at every step. The acknowledgment of that abundance that is all around you awakens the dormant abundance within. Then let it flow out. When you smile at a stranger, there is already a minute outflow of energy.

Eckhart Tolle

from A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose

Every limit that the mind suggests turns out to be some kind of an object. The mind claims that our self is a body and, having made this initial presumption, subsequently claims that it has an age, a history, a future, a nationality, a gender, a colour, a weight, a shape and a size. However, all these characteristics are qualities of the body, not of our self. They are known by our self but do not belong to our self. They do not limit our self any more than an image limits the screen on which it appears.

Rupert Spira

from Presence, Volume I: The Art of Peace and Happiness

Egos are drawn to bigger egos. Darkness cannot recognize light. Only light can recognize light. So don't believe that the light is outside you or that it can only come through one particular form. If only your master is an incarnation of God, then who are you? Any kind of exclusivity is identification with form, and identification with form means ego, no matter how well disguised. Use the master's presence to reflect your own identity beyond name and form back to you and to become more intensely present yourself. You will soon realize that there is no "mine" or "yours" in presence. Presence is one.

Eckhart Tolle

from The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

With a true and authentic awakening, who and what we are becomes clear. There's no longer a question about it; it is a done deal. In this way, one of the hallmarks of a true awakening is the end of seeking. You no longer feel the momentum, the push and the pull. The seeker has been revealed as the virtual reality it always was, and as such it disappears. The seeker has in some sense accomplished its task.

Adyashanti

from The End of Your World: Uncensored Straight Talk on the Nature of Enlightenment

Whenever any kind of deep loss occurs in your life—such as loss of possessions, your home, a close relationship; or loss of your reputation, job, or physical abilities—something inside you dies. You feel diminished in your sense of who you are. There may also be a certain disorientation. "Without this... who am I?" When a form that you had unconsciously identified with as part of yourself leaves you or dissolves, that can be extremely painful. It leaves a hole, so to speak, in the fabric of your existence. When this happens, don't deny or ignore the pain or the sadness that you feel. Accept that it is there. Beware of your mind's tendency to construct a story around that loss in which you are assigned the role of victim. Fear, anger, resentment, or self-pity are the emotions that go with that role. Then become aware of what lies behind those emotions as well as behind the mind-made story: that hole, that empty space. Can you face and accept that strange sense of emptiness? If you do, you may find that it is no longer a fearful place. You may be surprised to find peace emanating from it. Whenever death occurs, whenever a life form dissolves, God, the formless and unmanifested, shines through the opening left by the dissolving form. That is why the most sacred thing in life is death. That is why the peace of God can come to you through the contemplation and acceptance of death.

Eckhart Tolle

from Stillness Speaks

A victim identity is the belief that the past is more powerful than the present, which is the opposite of the truth. It is the belief that other people and what they did to you are responsible for who you are now, for your emotional pain or your inability to be your true self. The truth is that the only power there is, is contained within this moment: It is the power of your presence. Once you know that, you also realize that you are responsible for your inner space now - nobody else is - and that the past cannot prevail against the power of the Now.

Eckhart Tolle

from The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

Non-forgiveness is often toward another person or yourself, but it may just as well be toward any situation or condition - past, present or future - that your mind refuses to accept. Yes, there can be non-forgiveness even with regard to the future. This is the mind's refusal to accept uncertainty, to accept that the future is ultimately beyond its control. Forgiveness is to relinquish your grievance and so to let go of grief. It happens naturally once you realize that your grievance serves no purpose except to strengthen a false sense of self. Forgiveness is to offer no resistance to life - to allow life to live through you.

Eckhart Tolle

from The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

Through the practice of shamata meditation, the tumultuous habits of mind calm down; and then we can investigate the characteristics of the calm waters beyond the monkey's control. This is called vipashyana—or insight—meditation. I knew monkey mind intimately. I also knew that when we dismiss any value to knowing this monkey, it's like owning a car without knowing how to drive. The less we know about the chattering, muttering voice in our heads that tells us what to do, what to believe, what to buy, which people we should love, and so forth, the more power we grant it to boss us around and convince us that whatever it says is true.

Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche

from In Love with the World: A Monk's Journey Through the Bardos of Living and Dying

So does TV watching create inner space? Does it cause you to be present? Unfortunately, it does not. Although for long periods your mind may not be generating any thoughts, it has linked into the thought activity of the television show. It has linked up with the TV version of the collective mind, and is thinking its thoughts. Your mind is inactive only in the sense that it is not producing thoughts. It is, however, continuously absorbing thoughts and images that come through the TV screen. This induces a trancelike passive state of heightened susceptibility, not unlike hypnosis. That is why it lends itself to manipulation of "public opinion," as politicians and special-interest groups as well as advertisers know and will pay millions of dollars to catch you in that state of receptive unawareness. They want their thoughts to become your thoughts, and usually they succeed. So when watching television, the tendency is for you to fall below thought, not rise above it. Television has this in common with alcohol and certain other drugs. While it provides some relief from your mind, you again pay a high price: loss of consciousness. Like those drugs, it too has a strong addictive quality. You reach for the remote control to switch off and instead find yourself going through all the channels.

Eckhart Tolle

from A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose