Any of you who’ve read my stuff these past four years knows that I’m a major fan of Eckhart Tolle. So much so that I’ve paid 200 dollars a year for the past twelve years for access to his paid website, Eckharttolle.com.
What’s on his site? Mainly recordings of his talks, most of which come from the retreats he and his wife, Kim Eng, put on around the world.
How I use Eckhart’s site
My main “use” for Eckhart’s talks is to listen to them for around fifteen minutes right before meditating in the morning. Experiencing his presence smooths my transition into attaining presence in my meditation sessions.
Yes, I loved his iconic book The Power of Now. And yes, I value his basic teaching that we are not our thoughts, but rather the deep, spacious presence that is aware of those thoughts.
But I find that listening to and watching Eckhart is a spiritual practice in itself. People like Eckhart, and there aren’t many, who are so conscious — i.e., they project almost no ego — have the ability to tap into that deep essence awareness that all of us possess…but that is mostly buried by our egoic baggage.
Why Eckhart makes me feel better
So every time I listen to Eckhart or, more accurately, experience him, I just feel better. Calmer. It’s as if his awakened self-talks to my awakened self. And that feels good.
Truth be told, most of his talks sound the same. There’s little variety in his subject matter.
But it doesn’t matter to me because, again, it’s about his consciousness, not his teachings. Bottom line: I just love the guy.
Eckhart is like Ram Dass’s guru
He’s like a modern-day guru in that people learn by simply experiencing him. Much like Ram Dass’s relationship with his guru, Neem Karoli Baba (Baba) who apparently taught very little, but whose mere presence was enough to literally transform people’s lives.
There are countless instances, many of them recounted in Ram Dass’s book Miracle of Love, of people crumbling into a pile of tears merely by looking into Baba’s face. It’s almost eerie how they all describe the “why” of it in the same way: The look on Baba’s face was one of pure love, and that look melted their hearts.
In a good way, of course. For many, including Ram Dass, that look and the subsequent opening of the heart, was a moment that changed their lives forever. In Ram Dass’s case, he devoted the rest of his life to serving Baba.
Sitting with Ramana Maharshi
In the case of one of my other favorite gurus, Ramana Maharshi, he said that the highest teaching he could offer anybody was to simply have someone sit beside him and experience the silence. He would not utter a word. It was a form of spiritual osmosis. It was all about simply being in his presence.
No words. That concept was so central to Lao Tzu that he opened my favorite book of wisdom, the Tao te Ching, with this line:
“The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao.”
(I wrote an entire article about this — link here.)
So what does all this mean for you? There’s a goldmine to be learned from why I pay to simply be in the presence of somebody, Eckhart Tolle, who exudes presence itself.
The lesson is that the deepest spiritual experiences and teachings come not from the written or spoken word. Yes, there is a place for those teachings…like this article!
But connecting with and accessing that deep “I” within you, your eternal consciousness, is a thousand times more important than anything you’ll read in a book or article.
We can achieve that connection through getting quiet inside, via meditation and other spiritual practices.
And also through simply being in the presence of those, like Eckhart Tolle, who’ve shed so much ego that the eternal consciousness they exude mingles with our own.
Which is why so many broke down in tears being in the presence of Neem Karoli Baba.
And why I’ve subscribed to Eckhart’s site for twelve years.