A New Earth

26 Mar

I’ve been fascinated with Eckhart Tolle ever since I read The Power of Now, years ago. The time I first read it, I would read and re-read passages, trying so hard to understand. I somehow knew that book would help me, and it did – but it wasn’t at all easy for me to grasp what he was talking about. Fast forward six years and a lot of studying and meditation later. This time around, reading A New Earth, and listening to recordings of Tolle’s speeches, it’s a joy. This book pulls together many of the thoughts I’ve had floating randomly around in my mind, as well as many of the concepts I’ve picked up over the years in my eclectic studies.

Lately, I look forward to Tuesdays. I get online in the morning and load my i-pod with the Oprah/Tolle webcast from the night before and enjoy my daily work as a chauffeur, listening as I drive. Last night, he made a comment that struck me as both comforting and true. A mother asked him how she could help her son and raise him to be a conscious human being. Eckhart spoke to her about how simply staying present with herself was the most effective thing she could do for her son. He would learn from the energetic connection she maintained with him as he struggled in life.

Here’s the part that really touched me. He said, (paraphrasing) “If you use these opportunities with your son to cue into your own state of consciousness, you will be far better off than having spent years in a monastery studying meditation.”

This, I’ve always thought to be true. It doesn’t sound nearly as enticing or as dedicated to simply shift awareness as it does to forsake worldly things, don the orange robe and wander off in sanyasi bliss. I have to admit, every once in a while it’s all I can do not to hop on a plane to India and pull an Elizabeth Gilbert – living in an ashram, or escaping off to find a quiet cave of sorts for myself to really be able to meditate without the interruption of tiny footsteps during my morning meditation. But when we really pay attention, we find that life provides us with exactly what we need for our own evolution. Every little tantrum, interruption and pause to wait for little legs is like a little bell ringing to remind us as parents to wake up. Every little annoying comment from a co-worker, every person in front of you who’s taking forever to complete a transaction or the car on the freeway that’s driving way too slow. Whatever is right in front of us is our “way in”, our best tool to a deeper connection to ourselves and our universe.

I’ve been singing Beatles songs to Drew at night, she loves them. Somehow I manage to channel the mystical joy of John and Paul even though I truly can’t carry a tune. By night-time we are so tired, but I try to really soak up the cuddles and her sweet voice singing “let it be”. So today at the beach, I had one of those magical moments, realizing how that connection had really soaked in with her. I was spying on her through my camera lens as she piled sand up over her feet making herself a pair of sand roller skates. She caught my eye through the lens and lingered there as if we were two old souls connecting. She leaned into the camera spontaneously and lilted, “All you need is love….”

The mystical and the mundane = a beautiful new earth.

all you need is love

All you need is love

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2 Responses to “A New Earth”

  1. ScottyDoo March 28, 2008 at 5:26 pm #

    I’ve got the audiobook for A New Earth, as well as the physical book. I’ve been trying to make my way through it and I continually find myself distracted, unfocused, and it’s seemingly difficult to sit and read. I got much further with the audiobook, but as I would listen while I drove I tended to miss alot. I’m also only in the car for about 7-8 minutes on my way to work so it feels very disjointed and I can’t really sink in and ponder on the words and truly listen.

    That being said however…the book is amazing. It just makes so much sense to me. I’ve even been reading parts of it to my wife and she’s actually been enjoying it. She said the core of it makes sense, though much of it is too abstract for her.

  2. barefootbhakti March 28, 2008 at 10:04 pm #

    Yes, that’s exactly how I read The Power of Now years ago. I gleaned what I could, but had to let it really sink in. It helped me to take one little idea and use my own life as a lab to see if I could understand it. I also found that it really complemented what I’ve picked up through my Buddhist studies as well, Tolle just seems to make it more accessible.

    It’s one of those books you read once a year and learn something new every time.

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