Thursday, 28 October 2010

Eckhart at the RDS

Eckhart Tolle’s teachings changed my life. Not a small amount or a significant amount; totally. His books about life in the present moment blew to smithereens my outdated thinking in one almighty mind bomb. If that sounds like more inner destruction than it’s worth, consider that his second book, A New Earth, sold over five million copies. That’s a lot of people paying money to have their heads torn apart. Maybe, then, there’s something to be gained from destroying old thought patterns to make room for head space. Maybe, there’s something about Eckhart...

When Oprah Winfrey hosted a live web chat with The Power of Now author over a ten-week period, 35 million people tuned in. It’s clear that the man has universal appeal – even though he basically tells you that all of your pain is self-created and unnecessary.

Though Tolle is widely considered the leading spiritual teacher of the modern age; to look at him – which I did last Thursday in the RDS – you’d think him an ordinary Joe Soap. His humility and diminutive disposition are awe-inspiring. It’s easy to see that the man, a German-born ex-academic, has shed all ego. There are a rare few people in the world who can truly say they have no ego, and I’m definitely not one. But I’d like to be one some day, which is why I went to Tolle’s surprisingly packed-out talk in Dublin. Looking around at people my age; or older people in professional garb getting out of BMWs and Mercs, I got a first, real taste of just how prevalent alternative philosophies have become in Ireland. It wasn’t a hippy fest, or a meet-up for neurotics; it was normal. Scrap that; it was better than normal. It was, and I don’t use this word willy-nilly: enlightening.

Eckhart inspires because his every word and movement come, quite obviously, from a place of focused, still and uninterrupted consciousness. He preaches nothing – no doctrine, law or gospel. Instead, he points seekers of truth to inner peace. Ignore thoughts and see what happens, he smiled, as he addressed worried people in the audience who were convinced they just couldn’t. Stop identifying with thoughts, his books say, and see just how vast your true identity is. Live your life without future or past; stay only in the present moment. After all, he points outs, amused at the beautiful simplicity of it: the present moment is all you ever have.


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