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This morning we’ll do the “final” listen to our program with Eckhart Tolle, which goes out to stations around the country and live on our web site next week on August 14th. It’s not final really, but it’s the last listen to the program in draft form, and it’s where a lot of fine tuning and fussy tweaking occurs.

At this stage in the process, we’ve been neck deep in the work for a little while, and we begin to use a sort of lingua franca based on the material — words and phrases from the guest or their writing populate our speech, to serious and comic effect.

With the Niebuhr show, one of our favorites was, “I am my own most vexing problem,” intoned with overdone gravitas. It’s a twist on Niebuhr’s famous dictum: “Man is his own most vexing problem.”

This week, we are making casual diagnoses of our pain bodies, and sharing earnest stories about how focusing on the now in normally stressful situations really works!

There are some great moments in this program with Eckhart Tolle, and this sample of the interview will give you a feel for it.

What are the catch phrases or terms you find yourself quoting most from Tolle’s work? Has his work or his books had an impact on your stress level?


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14 Comments

I go frequently to the practice of pausing and asking myself "Am I still breathing?" It's a first step toward awareness in "A New Earth." The practice did me good while sitting in the Newark airport for nearly 10 hours. Despite the potential stress of this sort of travel delay, I was awake and alert to make the 2 hour drive home at midnight.

I'm looking forward to this show.

Eckhart Tolle's books have enriched my life in so many unimaginable ways. By learning to become Present, I am able to release Stress as it comes to me and I have come to new level of seeing and appreciating the infinite details of Life.

I think besides Breathing into Presence, the most valuable lesson I learned is to practice Surrender, Acceptance, and non-judgment in my daily life. The Issness is what it is so accept it.

My favorite Tolle quote is "Leave life alone, let it be".

His books changed my stress level and my life in many ways. Practicing Present Moment Awareness has led me to experience life in a very different way.

I can't be exact as I don't have the books near by today but a "quote" I love is something like, Nothing could be as delicious/satisfying as full attention to what's happening right now. Since I have noticed the difference in how I feel when multitasking and dreaming compared to complete present moment attention I know this is true. This "mantra" reminds me.

I remember the first time I heard Eckhart speak to an audience: I was watching a talk he gave in India. He sat on his chair, waited . . . and waited . . . and waited, and then when he spoke, there was all this space between each word. I remember holding the arms of my chair, literally ready to come forward, I was so jumpy, not used to all that space surrounding the words. Within a few minutes I was relaxed, still, and as a teacher of English in a rural high school, I have found that simply pausing between words calms all of us -- what a lesson he taught with his actions.

What I enjoy about Eckhart is his ability to compose ancient wisdom in contemporary fashion. He makes the ancient contemporary (I am reminded of T.S. Eliot's phrase, "the contemporaneity of antiquity" in this regard.) Eckhart never claims to say anything new (something some of his critics seem to find shameful), but I find his wisdom resides in the ability to share the ancient in new ways. That is what I fond so beautiful about him. I consider him a brother, and I enjoy all he offers his fellow travelers.

The only thing that could have been more stressful than my job was to get laid off from it last month. I had just started to read Tolle and realized that he was the answer to my prayer to the universe for a teacher of buddhism without the "ism," an awakened one who I could understand. My time would have been filled with being angry at my previous employer, worrying about my future and feeling sorry for myself. Instead it is filled with Tolle's teaching and I am grateful for this time and space to absorb them. The quote that I keep in mind is "If you can recognize illusion as illusion, it dissolves." Using the methods he describes, recognition is my daily practice.

I found Eckhart Tolle a wonderful writer. I read his books at time when I needed someone to show me how not worry and obsess over everything. I too now find that life is what it is. Being aware and having aha moments is wonderful! Enjoying and discussing his book A New Earth with everyone is even more exciting!.

Ah, good ones. Kate. I also ask myself if I am breathing through out the day. When I am under a lot of stress I find myself actually holding my breath for big chunks of time--some kind of control mechanism I guess. Good for you, Colleen, for using the Tolle work to get you through a tense period. Thanks, all.

Is that so?

This is my favorite quote of Eckart Tolle! How simple! How clean a response for all the nonsense we are subjected to listen to, day in, day out.

xoxox mm

I've started to use this word 'Pain Bodies' now to describe my frustrations. I came to know Eckhart's work through Li-Young Lee. Would be great if Lee was on the show!

Duc,
I'm actually somewhat familiar with Li-Young Lee's poetry and you are right, he'd be a great guest on the show! Thanks for the idea.
Kate

Great Interview with Tolle. Love the John O Donahue also. If you can get Bono on the show then i may become and SOF evangelist.

Ron, you wouldn't believe the number of conversations we've had about Bono. If we ever get him on the schedule, I will immediately post it on SOF Observed.

I am so greatful to Eckhart Tolle and Oprah for tuirnng me onto Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor and her beautiful book ""My Stroke of Insight"". Her story is amazing and her gift to all of us is a book purchase away I'm happy to say. Dr Taylor was a Harvard brain scientist when she had a stroke at age 37. What was amazing was that her left brain was shut down by the stroke - where language and thinking occur - but her right brain was fully functioning. She experienced bliss and nirvana and the way she writes about it (or talks about it in her now famous TED talk) is incredible.What I took away from Dr. Taylor's book above all, and why I recommend it so highly, is that you don't have to have a stroke or take drugs to find the deep inner peace that she talks about. Her book explains how. ""I want what she's having"", and thanks to this wonderful book, I can! Thank you Dr. Taylor, and thank you Eckhart and Oprah.

apples