On the ride up to RI at the beginning of my MINIs on Top trip, I popped into my CD player a series of CDs my friend Jason loaned to me two or three years ago: it was a talk by Eckhart Tolle called The Flowering of Human Consciousness. It was pretty good – both for the content and because it took my mind away from the traffic of the drive.
For my trip this past weekend, I bought Tolle’s first book The Power of Now on CD to listen to on the longer sections of the drive. I got through about half of it and am looking forward to another long drive as an opportunity to finish it.
I’m not really one for books-on-tape (I prefer paper), but I don’t think I’d read Tolle’s book even if I bought it – or I’d probably put it down halfway through. But Tolle has an interesting enough voice (he speaks the Queen’s English with a German accent), and I find this kind of material to be better transmitted through the spoken word than in print.
Tolle’s main thesis isn’t all that different (and, to his credit, he admits as much) from what various spiritual teachers have been saying for pretty much millennia: that all we have is this moment – there is no past and no future, and thus no point in spending time living in either. That we must be completely present in the now in order to live a complete and fulfilling life.
He talks about transcendence and enlightenment as well, but these are relatively foreign concepts to me and while they seem nice to think about as ideals, they’re not part of my everyday life. I dig the fact that he brings an element of everyday life to his spiritual teachings.
I’m not going to go all starry-eyed for the guy, but I can get with many parts of what he says. I think I most identify when he relates things to zen and yogic teachings.
Anyway, listening to this was an excellent set-up for my vacation: it reminded me to stay in the moment. I did so as much as possible and doing so played an integral role in the fulfillment I received while I was in the woods.
I have plenty more to say on this topic, but I think that’s enough for now.