Eckhart Tolle is a contemporary spiritual teacher who conveys a simple yet profound message with the timeless and uncomplicated clarity of the ancient spiritual masters. He lives in Vancouver, British Columbia and travels extensively, taking his teachings throughout the world. The essence of Eckhart Tolle's message is easy to grasp: If we connect to the stillness within, we move beyond our active minds and emotions and discover great depths of lasting peace, contentment, and serenity.
Eckhart says ...
The transformation of human consciousness is no longer a luxury, so to speak, available only to a few isolated individuals, but a necessity if humankind is not to destroy itself.
At the present time, the dysfunction of the old consciousness and the arising of the new are both accelerating. Paradoxically, things are getting worse and better at the same time, although the worse is more apparent because it makes so much ‘noise’.
The book Stillness Speaks, of course, uses words that in the act of reading become thoughts in your mind. But those are not ordinary thoughts – repetitive, noisy, self-serving, clamouring for attention. Just like every true spiritual teacher, just like the ancient sutras, the thoughts within this book don't say, ‘'Look at me',’ but ‘'Look beyond me'.’ Because the thoughts came out of stillness, they have power – the power to take you back into the same stillness from which they arose. That stillness is also inner peace, and that stillness and peace is the essence of your Being. It is inner stillness that will save and transform the world.
Silence and Stillness
When you lose touch with inner stillness, you lose touch with yourself. When you lose touch with yourself, you lose yourself in the world.
Your innermost sense of self, of who you are, is inseparable from stillness. This is the I Am that is deeper than name and form.
Stillness is your essential nature. What is stillness? The inner space or awareness in which the words on this page are being perceived and become thoughts. Without the awareness, there would be no perception, no thoughts, no world.
You are that awareness, disguised as a person.
The equivalent of external noise is the inner noise of thinking. The equivalent of external silence is inner stillness.
Whenever there is some silence around you – listen to it. That means just notice it. Pay attention to it. Listening to silence awakens the dimension of stillness within yourself, because it is only through stillness that you can be aware of silence.
See that in the moment of noticing the silence around you, you are not thinking. You are aware, but not thinking.
When you become aware of silence, immediately there is that state of inner still alertness. You are present. You have stepped out of thousands of years of collective human conditioning.
Look at a tree, a flower, a plant. Let your awareness rest upon it. How still they are, how deeply rooted in Being. Allow nature to teach you stillness.
When you look at a tree and perceive its stillness, you become still yourself. You connect with it at a very deep level. You feel a oneness with whatever you perceive in and through stillness. Feeling the oneness of yourself with all things is true love.
Silence is helpful, but you don't need it in order to find stillness. Even when there is noise, you can be aware of the stillness underneath the noise, of the space in which the noise arises. That is the inner space of pure awareness, consciousness itself.
You can become aware of awareness as the background to all your sense perceptions, all your thinking. Becoming aware of awareness is the arising of inner stillness.
Any disturbing noise can be as helpful as silence. How? By dropping your inner resistance to the noise, by allowing it to be as it is, this acceptance also takes you into that realm of inner peace that is stillness.
Whenever you deeply accept this moment as it is - no matter what form it takes - you are still, you are at peace.
Pay attention to the gap - the gap between two thoughts, the brief, silent space between words in a conversation, between the notes of a piano or flute, or the gap between the in-breath and the out-breath.
When you pay attention to those gaps, awareness of ‘'something' becomes - just awareness. The formless dimension of pure consciousness arises from within you and replaces identification with form.
True intelligence operates silently. Stillness is where creativity and solutions to problems are found.
Is stillness just the absence of noise and content? No, it is intelligence itself - the underlying consciousness out of which every form is born. And how could that be separate from who you are?
The form that you think you are came out of that and is being sustained by it.
It is the essence of all galaxies and blades of grass; of all flowers, trees, birds, and all other forms.
Do you need more knowledge? Is more information going to save the world, or faster computers, more scientific or intellectual analysis? Is it not wisdom that humanity needs most at this time?
But what is wisdom and where is it to be found? Wisdom comes with the ability to be still. Just look and just listen. No more is needed. Being still, looking, and listening activates the non-conceptual intelligence within you. Let stillness direct your words and actions.
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