The picture above, taken with my iPhone, is the view from my desk on a rainy day. The flowers in the vase are fake, the vase itself a left-over from Mitch Hanley’s wedding, the artifacts hard to make out on the shelf include an amethyst and a piece of old tile from a town on the Croatian coast called Opatija; one of the pictures too backlit to make out is a photo of Albert Einstein with Rabindranath Tagore.

I took this photo of the view I see before me even as I type (though it is brilliantly sunny today) to remind me of something. The something is, to wake up to what is before me; to not become inured by habit into thinking any moment of my day need necessarily resemble the previous moment; to remind me to throw off the routinization to which I am so prone, and in which I take equal amounts of dread and comfort.

Being alive to the present moment, which Ram Dass gave us decades ago as the injunction to Be Here Now isn’t a new idea, but it’s back in a big way and it has a massive new audience because of the work of Eckhart Tolle, whom Krista interviewed recently, in a warm and wide-ranging 90-minute conversation we are about to produce into an episode of Speaking of Faith that will be distributed on August 14th.

It’s a change up for us to interview someone so much in the limelight of popular culture as Tolle, thanks to the exposure of his new book A New Earth in Oprah’s Book Club and in several web seminars with Oprah. Normally, to be honest, we seek out people who are somewhat under the radar, whom we feel a duty to bring to public attention, given the significance of their story, their thought, their work. People like V.V. Raman and Ingrid Jordt, who may never become household names but have incredible intellectual and spiritual wealth to share. We also do interview big names: Jimmy Carter, Elie Wiesel, Rick Warren, Barbara Kingsolver all come to mind.

In this case, as Krista and other staff members sank into his work, we felt it was an opportunity to explore the mind of a genuine spiritual teacher and philosopher who is having an unprecedented experience of celebrity, to hear the story of his own spiritual development, and the effect of his unexpected fame. We found this understated man to be fun and warm, and we’re excited to offer up our very particular conversation with him. I’m reminded in the conversation with Tolle of our recent conversation with Kevin Griffin, who says in that program on spirituality and addiction that after all there is nothing difficult about being mindful except remembering to be mindful. That’s the hard part. And, to complete the circle, I love this nugget from Ram Dass which is cited by Tolle: “If you think you’re so enlightened, go spend a week with your parents.”

Stay tuned for our delightful program with this thinker, philosopher, and teacher.

Share Your Reflection




May I begin by complimenting you on the excellent job you do for the show. You bring fine material to your listeners. I didn’t know who Eckhart Tolle was a month ago. A book club companion told me that, “you have to read this guy; he says all the stuff you do!” My wife then told me he changed his name to Eckhart in honor of Meister. Now you say he is about living in the moment. Sounds like someone I would like and I look forward to your program.

When one becomes a super-popular media darling, as it appears Eckhart has become, some of their followers turn into “Eckhart Groupies”. The best spiritual advice I was ever given was by a J. Campbell who stated: “find someone you like and read everything they wrote and then read everything they read”. I think that would be sound advice for Eckhart to pass on to his fan group.

“God is not found in the soul by adding anything but by subtracting….”

“Man’s last and highest leave-taking is leaving God for God...”

The above are two of my very favorite quotes as I would assume they are also Eckhart’s.

Kate, I too am a big admirer of Einstein, not for his math skills but for his understanding of the numinous and the imagination. The fecund seed of those skills!

Best of luck with your program,

David Richardson

I'm so glad to know about this. I am finding A New Earth to be the best therapy book
I've read. A group of ladies met once a week and we went through the book chapter by
chapter. I have found the book to be so helpful in really understanding mindfulness. I've
read other books by other teachers...but I never got it , like I did with this book.
Thanks for all you do. I love your program and do the podcast so I can take them with me.

I do a weekly pod cast interview program titled The Illumined Heart and have to tell you that my inspiration and model is based your work at SOF. Someone said, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery! So please be flattered! Btw,

I'm somewhat frustrated (I'm still a student of enlightenment) because I can't find where Eckhart Tolle's 90 minute enterview will be aired (distributed). This is my first to know about ""Speaking of Faith" site. Please consider including obvious info for newcomers like myself. Thank you.
ginny z

I hope you ask about his new children's book that is due sometime this fall.
I'm so excited about that prospect...because I can't put it into words for my
grandchildren, and am hoping he is making it clear so they can understand.
Love your work....and listen almost every week or podcast them.

I would be very interested in his new children's book too, both for my grandchildren and children I tutor in a city school. I think if we can teach children these wisdoms, it would make a huge difference in tht world.

eckhart tolle ,....has a way of teaching t live in the moment , we only have now which keeps one present...ther is no tomorrow nor yesterday..only now.

That view out the window looks like somewhere downtown Minneapolis or is it St Paul? ... I use to live in both cities ... wonderful place the twin cities. I've have read, listened to and one retreated with Eckhart Tolle since the days after he published his first work of The Power of Now. Hearing Tolle is recognizing what I knew inside all along but to enjoy the power of his Zen Koan like pointers to the 'I am" behind my mind. So his works and this interview have given me opportunity to have a deeper relationship with something precious ... my spiritual nature ... our spiritual nature. Thanks SOF / APM and Eckhart!

Hmmm. Bare turf. My overly busy mind says -- "those grounds people should really spruce up that patch of green with some shrubbery!"

But seriously, nice posting. Thanks for sharing with us.

such a simple spiritual presence, like all great teachers. He came to the Findhorn Foundation in Scotland in 2004. It was a special event, there is even dvd/book set of that weekend.