I discovered Tolle nearly ten years ago now. I have read both of his books, I think twice each. I have found him to be totally congruent with the life lessons I have learned through my long-time 12 step work.
Although there is much more to it than this, I tend to boil Tolle's message down to this: Be here now. And this is a mantra I use in my daily life. Whenever my mind drifts to the past or the future, I try to bring it back into the present. Even if all I do is recognize, be aware, that in this present moment my monkey mind is cavorting in the psat or rambling through the future. If nothing else, this awareness serves as a pressure valve to release whatever regret, resentment or remorse I may have about the past, and whatever fear, anxiety or expectation I may have about the future. I can say to myself: Okay, in this moment, my mind is in the past, but recognize it for what it is, something already gone by that will not come again, and there's no need to experience emotional stress around it anymore. LIkewise when I spin off into the future.
I find that this message of be here now has made me far more aware of everything in this moment. As right now I am aware of the tactile feeling of the laptop keys as I type away. I see more things in my vision in the present moment. I notice that I notice things that others with me don't notice. I believe this intensified awareness of the moment is a direct outcome of my study and adoption of Tolle's philosophy, if that is what it is. It also grows out of my long-time 12 step work, for the message is very similar, and there are techniques we learn to help.
To those who have just discovered Tolle, or are just now trying to become more aware of the here and now, learning to live in the present moment as fully as possible, I offer this: It isn't easy to get to that point. It takes a lot of practice. Kind of like learning to play a musical instrument. So just keep at it. Even five minutes a day spent sitting in an easy chair and paying attention to your breath going in and out -- call this meditation if you wish but you can also just call it breath awareness--this will help estblish a sense of the present. I don't find this to be the case all the time now, but more often than not (51 percent of the time maybe?) i experience myself experiencing the here and now, even as I stated earlier if that just means a heightned awareness that my monkey mind is tromping through the past or future and I can watch that like I would watch a movie.
I can't recall if this is directly from Tolle's writing or something I read elesehwere or something I came up with myself through his insipration. Anyway I don't want to take credit for it, so I'll give him the credit: Be here now because full awareness and experience of this moment is the closest thing we mortals can come to experiencing eternity.
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