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It seems like so much today in personal growth from self-help, 12-steps, to religion requires following a step-wise process or a code or precepts ... in other words they all require me to believe in something and if I don't then convince me to shift my belief system to a new one that promises happiness or salvation or some sense of freedom spiritual or otherwise.

Eckhart Tolle's simple teaching has been literally a breath of fresh freedom for me. The teaching says Presence for me ... simply to short circuit all the "thought" based philosophy and faith beliefs by simply going beyond belief. Why believe when I can just simply be. Why have faith when I can have something beyond belief ... I can have the direct experience of universal Presence.

I have read Tolle's Power of Now, A New Earth, and Stillness Speaks,
and listened to several DVD and CD retreats. I have also gone to one
of Tolle's 5 day retreats live ... with all the above speaking to me ... resonating to my stillness.

The teachings I imagine seems very much like the core essence of
many of the great masters throughout the millennia ... find the Stillness within ... quiet the mind ... be aware of the Universal Presence that I am ... the very same that you are ... beyond personality. This message ... this teaching is so profound for me.

Of all it has real and practical application within my everyday life. First off whenever possible ... which is whenever I remember I practice watching my breath ... and feeling my inner body and awareness flowing about my body. This alone has given me a stronger feeling of Presence in my life ... a strength of grounding. I feel a stillness ... an internal silence that has grown to supplant mental noise .. I no longer ruminate about past and future events and anxieties. I feel what I might call a deep sense of inner peace that emanates throughout my life. ... and when thought, planning and is needed it presents itself in my mind ... but so much clearer is the canvas that the thought will paint on when I am spacious and free.

I feel spacious, more light-hearted, less "serious" ... life is more fun. If I don't like something then I either (1) get more present and possibly start to like it ... even become enthusiastic about it OR (2) change it if I can, OR (3) say yes to the way things are this moment ... acceptance. In any of the above cases I am really saying "yes" to the present moment.

It is amazing how relaxed I can get internally and my breath and life then gets more flowing. I love how there is no hocus pocus involved ... no rules or many step plans. No achievement other than getting more still inside ... which is in a very core way quite the opposite of achievement. OF course then with the peace I can launch off into achievement if it is warranted. Please note that the truly amazing thing is that there needs to be NO preconditions in the world around me or in the thought forms of my mind for me to move directly
into the state of Presence and have all stress fall away to relief and freedom. This is such an important observation for me. It truly amazes me each and every time.

This has changed my life in a natural organic and real way.

--Joel Peters