Posted by: meditati0n509 | October 23, 2010

Eckhart Tolle in Dublin

Eckhart Tolle in the RDS – Oct 19 2010

It is four days now since I was in the presence of Spiritual Teacher Eckhart Tolle in the RDS, Dublin (Ireland).  Since then I am living in an ocean of Stillness –  partly because of this talk and partly because of the wonderful Eckhart books, CDs, and DVDs which I am privileged to own and be able to read, to listen to and  to watch.  Eckhart Tolle is the author of ‘The Power of Now’ and ‘A New Earth’ among other books.

So what is this Stillness?  What is Eckhart’s teaching? What draws  thousands of people to Tuesday evening’s venue and holds them mostly silent and enthralled for the duration of his talk? I will try to summarise the essence of this teaching in so far as I see and understand it.

Stillness is Alert Attention

Eckhart begins by explaining that the evening is about becoming still – becoming present here and now – and that we are either meeting this for the first time or we are deepening this in ourselves.

He asks “Is it joyful to be here?” or is it more like “I wish I were somewhere else?”, and then explains that it is this dimension (of stillness) within us which makes the talk enjoyable.   He uses other words to describe Stillness, which is really indescribable – such as Consciousness, Alert Awareness, Being, or Transcendence,  and he tells us that it is ‘being conscious without thought’.

What is Transcended?

He says there is a transformational shift in human consciousness occurring on our planet and asks “What is it that is transcended?” and “How does that happen?”  He says there are two levels of consciousness which he calls Mind or Object Consciousness and Space Consciousness. Objects are any of the myriad things that make up our daily lives such as our houses, cars, jobs or careers, finances, health, relationships, families, colleagues, friends and so on, and also our thoughts and emotions, our hopes and our fears about these.  All of these he calls Things or ‘Objects’ of Consciouness  – even our thoughts and emotions are objects in Consciouness and says that most people on the planet are caught up in this personalised egoic level of Consciousness, which is a necessary stage in human development.

Stillness is Space Consciouness
Space Consciousness on the other hand is a deeper consciousness in us and all around us; it is our essence, which is aware of, and is present in, and underlies all of the above.  This is the realisation of the ‘I-Amness’ that experiences objects in our everyday lives.  Our ‘awareness of awareness’ is another description he gives, all the time noting that words are only pointers to a reality that is wordless; but says that it is characterised by deep peace and joy.

So Awareness or Space Consciousness creates space in ourselves, space in our relationships, and space around our experiences.  Just as it is outer space which contains the galaxies, stars and planets so too it is inner space which contains the ‘objects’ which make up our life experiences or ‘life situation’. Our Life is this Inner Space, Stillness, this Awareness, this ‘I-Amness’, this Consciousness.  

Not believing or realising that there is a deeper level of Life –  present in and giving rise to all of the above – people feel trapped by the limitations inherent in things and so are largely frustrated with their lives. This he calls suffering, which prompts the search for more possessions, more relationships or more experiences because we hope to find happiness in them, or completeness in them or to find ourselves in them.

The Now

Our greatest enemy is perceived to be the present moment, the Now.  We don’t like our current situation and so we strive constantly for a time in the future when things will be better and we will feel complete and happy.  We can even bring our ego state into our Spirituality and strive to become more spiritual, more realised or more enlightened.  This can become a trap for it is no different to wanting to own a BMW or to succeed in our career or to become famous.   All of these things are good in themselves but not when we seek to find ourselves in them.

Everything happens in the Now.  Nothing can happen except now.  ‘It is always Now!’, so we need to befriend ‘what is’ because it already is. It is the ‘ Isness’ or ‘suchness’ (A Buddhist word)  of this moment.  ‘There is only one moment!’ It is the form of this moment which continually changes.

How does Transcendence Happen?
The process of Transcendence happens gradually for most people.  The steps, though he stresses that this is not a technique, but rather his observations of what occurs as Stillness arises in us, are:

  • ‘First, realise that there is a compulsive thinker in you.   A voice in the head that is largely complaining, comparing, judging, analysing and so on.’ He says that 90% of all thought is of this type.
  • ‘Become aware of the nature of the thoughts it thinks – the conditioning in us.’  (Our conditioning is familial, experiential, religious, cultural and so on.  . . )
  • Notice the gaps in between thoughts which arise spontaneously – maybe just for 3 seconds at a time – which are characterised by Joyfulness, Aliveness, Love, and deep Peace.
  • Consciously use Visual perception in the way you do when seeing something new, seeing something for the first time.  That is, really look at things without ‘the veil of thought’, not looking ‘at the present through the lens of the past.’
  • Similarly any of the modes of perception, such as listening to sounds, or feeling the roughness or smoothness of an object, feeling the energy of the inner body, can be doors to stillness.  Becoming aware of the silence between sounds is another example just as being aware both of the words he is speaking and of the silence underlying and in between the words – is leading us there now. He says ‘silence is the great teacher.’
  • Acceptance of ‘what is’ is the most powerful practice when there is no resistance whatever.

Acceptance is Letting Go  

Transcendence is letting go of things, letting go of the ‘mental images of who you are’ of ‘the box of my life’.  It is a disidentification with thought, a realisation that we are not the thinker – not the voice in our head.   All things, ‘Objects in consciousness’ are really Forms which by their very nature are temporary and have limitations.  Who we really are, our Essence, on the other hand is complete and eternal.  Everything that happens – the manifest – has its origins in Consciousness, in ‘the unconditioned’, in ‘the unmanifest.’  As we slowly begin to be still for longer periods and are able to carry Stillness into our everyday activities then we create space around all of these.  Inner space allows inspired thought. 

  • We are more creative because ‘Life is an intelligence which can move through you’.   
  •  ‘You work with whatever life gives you.’
  • ‘You begin to realise who you are in Essence’ which cannot be named but can be known by being – being yourself.’  This is liberation from an illusory identity.
  • ‘Awareness knows Itself’.
  • ‘You are Life expressing itself in human form.’
  • There is deep peace even in difficult situations.

Stillness is Transformative

When asked whether we can reconcile Accepting ‘what is’ with our concern, say for a sick family member or friend he suggests holding an image of the person or the concern in Stillness for a moment.  He says a state of deep Stillness is healing.   Then to let go of the conscious image or intention and simply be in the Stillness.  He says that Stillness is transformative; that Love is the recognition of the essence, the formless Being in the other and that the ultimate reality of that person does not need healing.  We have the same essence as the other. Jesus’ saying ‘love thy neighbour as thyself’ ‘ is a statement that we are the other.  So any situation to which we bring Presence / Stillness is healing because it is Love.  (This is the essence of prayer.)   There is one Whole, one Consciousness (for me, personally, this is God) so Stillness is a unitive experience.

He says “It is how you do what you do”  that is the key to any transformation either in ourselves or in others.  When we live Now as conscious awakened human beings our very presence will be transformative; he adds that this is our primary purpose.  Great  power flows through us then and great peace and joy.  We do not devalue forms; in Stillness we honour all forms because we are recognising and honouring the essence of them which is also our essence.  We are not so ‘heavy’; we can play with forms.  We no longer regard the present moment as a means to an end.  Our secondary purposes are in the Objects sphere and once we in Stillness we bring pesence and  wisdom into these also.

Our Institutions may Dissolve or may be Transformed

Bringing Stillness into situations and Institutions can enable these to be transformed.  He says that all our existing structures, political, medical, educational (and religious) are still rooted in the old thought dominated, egoic, Object Consciousness and that the old egoic ways of thinking are being intensified in them.  Many of these are crumbling or will dissolve or disintegrate but some may be transformed by people within them who bring the New Consciousness. Being an aware practitioner in any field has the potential to transform an institution.  He says the survival of humanity depends on this. 

In his DVD ‘The Deepest Truth of Human Existence’,  he teaches that “knowing yourself at the depest level and knowing God are one and the same” and that surrendering to (Acccepting) ‘what is’ is surrendering to God.  He uses the word ‘God’ sparingly because like Stillness, and Consciousness, and Presence, the word ‘God’ is incomprehensible from a conceptual point of view.  He uses other words like Being or Stillness or Consciouness; so his teachings are accessible to many with differing belief Systems simply because in essence what he teaches is experiential.  Also the word ‘God’ can alienate many who might otherwise benefit from his teachings or who may have had bad experiences with organised religions.  Hence his teachings on the ‘Power of Now’ are inter-spiritual  wherein lies their strength. He regularly cites sayings from the Bible and sayings of the Buddha, (and other sages) – to illustrate points  – with the result that people can benefit from experiencing Stillness  which they can then incorporate into their own beliefs sytems.

With such thoughts as these but mainly because of the experience of Stillness on Tuesday evening and since, I have tried to write something which in part captures this experience.  He says that challenges are good for us.   We live in a time of great change, great challenge, great crises yet Eckhart brings us joy and hope.  Thank you, Eckhart Tolle and the many other Spiritual Teachers who accompany me on this path.  


My Life




  1. Love it, well done

  2. hi Claire

    Sounds like it was a great evening. I’m glad to see you’re still writing on your blog too. Looking good.

    Carpe Dream!

    • Thanks Sean,

      Yes it was a brilliant evening; Eckhart is very inspiring.

      I don’t know how to put an image on that black square for my replies to comments. Maybe you could email me some simple instructions!

      Thanks for your comment.


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