Eckhart Tolle: The Power of Now

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Collective
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Eckhart Tolle: The Power of Now

Postby Collective » Tue May 25, 2010 5:50 pm

Eckhart Tolle: The Power of Now

He speaks of being present and meditation.

I was wondering if anyone had read this book and how's it viewed on here?

Thank You

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Re: Eckhart Tolle: The Power of Now

Postby PeterB » Tue May 25, 2010 6:02 pm

" Step way from that PC now please...step away and put your hands on your head "....

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Re: Eckhart Tolle: The Power of Now

Postby saltspring » Tue May 25, 2010 6:28 pm

Dhamma Wheel is a Theravadin discussion board, so its not the best place to discuss Tolle. Clearly he is not a Buddhist although he does draw from the Buddhas teachings, and I believe he did spend some time with Ajahn Sumehdo. I think he's fine and he can actually help bring people towards Buddhism through his writings. His path I don't believe can help people on its own, but if it can push people towards discovering the Buddhas teachings then its worthwhile.

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Re: Eckhart Tolle: The Power of Now

Postby Collective » Tue May 25, 2010 7:04 pm

Ok thank you, and sorry

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Re: Eckhart Tolle: The Power of Now

Postby PeterB » Tue May 25, 2010 7:33 pm

No need to apologise Collective..mine was a joke. If you find Tolle helpful then fine. I think he has taken one little bit of a view of life and built a whole career around it. Its a bit like a snack that might keep you going until its time for the real meal.

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Re: Eckhart Tolle: The Power of Now

Postby Pannapetar » Wed May 26, 2010 7:00 am

I had read Tolle's book some years ago shortly after it was published. I was quite impressed, not because of its unique message, but because he managed to put a message that has been told before into fresh, concise, and surprisingly simple language. The book is authentic, convincing, and very much to the point. Unfortunately, the books and talks that followed repeated the same thing over and over, which has caused some attrition. It appears that Tolle has build a well-oiled business on his initial success, which is understandable, yet further contributes to symptoms of fatigue.

Cheers, Thomas

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Re: Eckhart Tolle: The Power of Now

Postby Fede » Wed May 26, 2010 8:13 am

saltspring wrote:Dhamma Wheel is a Theravadin discussion board, so its not the best place to discuss Tolle. Clearly he is not a Buddhist although he does draw from the Buddhas teachings, and I believe he did spend some time with Ajahn Sumehdo. I think he's fine and he can actually help bring people towards Buddhism through his writings. His path I don't believe can help people on its own, but if it can push people towards discovering the Buddhas teachings then its worthwhile.


I'm sorry, but this is highly patronising. If the question had been posted in any other sub-forum specifically suited to Theravada Discussion and sutta teachings, I would understand. But it's in the lounge....! Are we regulating topics here too? (unless of course, the thread had been moved from there....)
For what it's worth, my opinion is entirely in line with pannapetar's.....
"Samsara: The human condition's heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment." Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)
Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself. ;)

I am sooooo happy - How on earth could I be otherwise?! :D


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Re: Eckhart Tolle: The Power of Now

Postby Collective » Wed May 26, 2010 8:30 am

I tend to agree, I have read the first of his books (I just wanted your opinion on them as I'm new to Buddhism) and he seems to teach the 'present awareness' concept in a simple to understand refreshing way. Seems to me it's a very much 'stripped down to the bare bones' take on living in the here and now.

I'll probably go back to dipping in it as I read other Buddhist books.

Thanks all :namaste:

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Re: Eckhart Tolle: The Power of Now

Postby PeterB » Wed May 26, 2010 8:34 am

It is not another Buddhist book Collective. It is not a Buddhist book. It is a book that some Buddhists have found useful.

It is also doubtful that "living in the here and now " has ever been seen as a goal in itself by most teachers of Buddhism.

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Re: Eckhart Tolle: The Power of Now

Postby Ben » Wed May 26, 2010 8:44 am

Dear Saltspring, Fede and all,

Fede wrote:
saltspring wrote:Dhamma Wheel is a Theravadin discussion board, so its not the best place to discuss Tolle. Clearly he is not a Buddhist although he does draw from the Buddhas teachings, and I believe he did spend some time with Ajahn Sumehdo. I think he's fine and he can actually help bring people towards Buddhism through his writings. His path I don't believe can help people on its own, but if it can push people towards discovering the Buddhas teachings then its worthwhile.


I'm sorry, but this is highly patronising. If the question had been posted in any other sub-forum specifically suited to Theravada Discussion and sutta teachings, I would understand. But it's in the lounge....! Are we regulating topics here too? (unless of course, the thread had been moved from there....)
For what it's worth, my opinion is entirely in line with pannapetar's.....


The thread was born in this forum and is appropriate for this forum and if there was an issue with the content of the thread - it would have been moved. If members have an issue with a thread or a post, the right thing to do is to make a report by clicking on the ! button associated with the post. Please also keep in mind that, generally, meta-discussion is not permitted on DW.

Having clarified that, lets now get back on topic!

kind regards

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725

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Re: Eckhart Tolle: The Power of Now

Postby Shonin » Wed May 26, 2010 9:25 am

I enjoyed much of the content of the book. It isn't Buddhism, but it is accessible. My mum read it and my wife. The drawbacks for me are the inclusion of New Age ideas about 'energies' and the 'evolution of cosmic consciousness', plus the fact that he doesn't actually give a method for practising mindfulness/living in the now (eg. meditation).

I suspect that it's an unrealistic goal to live in the now at all times.

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Re: Eckhart Tolle: The Power of Now

Postby Ben » Wed May 26, 2010 9:32 am

Shonin wrote:I suspect that it's an unrealistic goal to live in the now at all times.


I agree Shonin, unless one has a technique, dedication and perhaps years of practice.
My teacher has a slogan that one hears when they do a ten-day course:
continuity of practice is the secret of success.
And I belive tht is very true.
kind regards

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
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Re: Eckhart Tolle: The Power of Now

Postby PeterB » Wed May 26, 2010 9:36 am

Shonin wrote:I enjoyed much of the content of the book. It isn't Buddhism, but it is accessible. My mum read it and my wife. The drawbacks for me are the inclusion of New Age ideas about 'energies' and the 'evolution of cosmic consciousness', plus the fact that he doesn't actually give a method for practising mindfulness/living in the now (eg. meditation).

I suspect that it's an unrealistic goal to live in the now at all times.


I would question that it is even a desirable goal.

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Re: Eckhart Tolle: The Power of Now

Postby Ben » Wed May 26, 2010 9:42 am

Hi Peter
I think it depends what "living in the now" means.
The definition I had in mind above, are those famous words in the satipatthana sutta: atapi sampajjano satima.
What better definition of "living in the now" than to be ardent, aware and clearly comprehending the anicca characteristic of phenomena rising and falling?
metta

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
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Re: Eckhart Tolle: The Power of Now

Postby Shonin » Wed May 26, 2010 9:52 am

Ben wrote:I agree Shonin, unless one has a technique, dedication and perhaps years of practice.
My teacher has a slogan that one hears when they do a ten-day course:
continuity of practice is the secret of success.


What I actually meant to say was that I suspect it is unrealistic for most people. Whether an arahat is mindful 24/7 or not I don't know. Even the matter of length/depth of practice aside, the goal-oriented mode of being serves important functions that allow people to plan for the future, hold down a job, support themselves, others etc. Perhaps it's different if you are a monastic, I don't know.

For me, the most important thing is to be able to switch into mindfulness mode at will.

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Re: Eckhart Tolle: The Power of Now

Postby Ben » Wed May 26, 2010 10:51 am

Hi Shonin

My modem's playing up, so I hope this post gets through.
In response, here is what U Ba Khin (SN Goenka's teacher) said in Essentials of Buddhadhamma in Meditative Practice.

The experience of Anicca, when properly developed, strikes at the root of ones physical and mental ills and removes gradually whatever is bad in him, i.e., the causes of such physical and mental ills. This experience is not reserved for men who have renounced the world for the homeless life. It is for the householder as well. In spite of drawbacks which make a householder restless in these days, a competent teacher or guide can help a student to get the experience of Anicca activated in a comparatively short time. Once he has got it activated, all that is necessary is for him to try and preserve it; but he must make it a point, as soon as time or opportunity presents itself for further progress, to work for the stage of Bhangañana — the third level of knowledge in Vipassana. If he reaches this level, there will be little or no problem because he should then be able to experience Anicca without much ado and almost automatically. In this case Anicca will become his base, to which all his physical and mental activities return as soon as the domestic needs of daily life for such activities are over. However, there is likely to be some difficulty for one who has not reached the stage of Bhanga. It will be just like a tug-of-war for him between Anicca within, and physical and mental activities outside. So it would be wise for him to follow the motto of work while you work, play while you play. There is no need for him to be activating the experience of Anicca all the time. It should suffice if this could be confined to a regular period, or periods, set apart in the day or night for the purpose. During this time, at least, an attempt must be made to keep the attention focused inside the body, with awareness devoted exclusively to Anicca; that is to say, his awareness of Anicca should go on from moment to moment so continuously as not to allow for the interpolation of any discursive or distracting thoughts which are definitely detrimental to progress. In case this is not possible, he will have to go back to respiration-mindfulness, because Samadhi is the key to the contemplation of Anicca.

-- http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... l231.html-

lomd regards

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725

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Re: Eckhart Tolle: The Power of Now

Postby Shonin » Wed May 26, 2010 10:59 am

Hi Ben,

Thank you. And look at my changed emphasis below.

The experience of Anicca, when properly developed, strikes at the root of ones physical and mental ills and removes gradually whatever is bad in him, i.e., the causes of such physical and mental ills. This experience is not reserved for men who have renounced the world for the homeless life. It is for the householder as well. In spite of drawbacks which make a householder restless in these days, a competent teacher or guide can help a student to get the experience of Anicca activated in a comparatively short time. Once he has got it activated, all that is necessary is for him to try and preserve it; but he must make it a point, as soon as time or opportunity presents itself for further progress, to work for the stage of Bhangañana — the third level of knowledge in Vipassana. If he reaches this level, there will be little or no problem because he should then be able to experience Anicca without much ado and almost automatically. In this case Anicca will become his base, to which all his physical and mental activities return as soon as the domestic needs of daily life for such activities are over. However, there is likely to be some difficulty for one who has not reached the stage of Bhanga. It will be just like a tug-of-war for him between Anicca within, and physical and mental activities outside. So it would be wise for him to follow the motto of work while you work, play while you play. There is no need for him to be activating the experience of Anicca all the time. It should suffice if this could be confined to a regular period, or periods, set apart in the day or night for the purpose. During this time, at least, an attempt must be made to keep the attention focused inside the body, with awareness devoted exclusively to Anicca; that is to say, his awareness of Anicca should go on from moment to moment so continuously as not to allow for the interpolation of any discursive or distracting thoughts which are definitely detrimental to progress. In case this is not possible, he will have to go back to respiration-mindfulness, because Samadhi is the key to the contemplation of Anicca.


It looks like he agrees with me.

Ben wrote:lomd regards


:tongue: You might want to shift your right hand over to the left very slightly

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Re: Eckhart Tolle: The Power of Now

Postby Ben » Wed May 26, 2010 11:19 am

Indeed! But my experience has been that the more i engage with this practice the more the meditative awareness imbues itself in the daily mundane activities.
The advice is good for those who are starting out on their practice career wanting to develop that 24-7 awareness. I think its better just to keep the daily practice going and constant meditative awareness happens gradually, and importantly, sustainably.

Thanks for alerting me to my typo! its been an interesting night being kicked off the internet every other page refresh by my delinquent modem! I need to watch those keystrokes.
metta

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
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Re: Eckhart Tolle: The Power of Now

Postby Shonin » Wed May 26, 2010 11:46 am

Ben wrote:But my experience has been that the more i engage with this practice the more the meditative awareness imbues itself in the daily mundane activities.


Me too - absolutely. The arising of awareness is not too much of an issue. On the other hand, there are activities that actually require abstract thought and cannot be handled effectively in the 'being mode' of moment-to-moment awareness of phenomena. Our ability to go on 'automatic pilot' (not traditional Buddhist terminology I know) while driving a car or walking is very useful.

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Re: Eckhart Tolle: The Power of Now

Postby Ben » Wed May 26, 2010 11:57 am

I understand.
Metta

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia
e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com


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