I started to uncover the secret to true happiness and inner peace, late one busy Sunday afternoon. I was working on a project with a Monday morning deadline when suddenly an inclination to check my email struck me. I have a standing ban on email and Internet surfing while working. However, faint echoes of a voice murmuring, "check your email," triumphed, and triggered a breach in protocol. I discovered that Eckhart Tolle was leading a live meditation that day, which started three minutes prior.
Right away, my internal dialogue began working against me: "I don't have time to meditate, I need to finish and I'm hungry..." Yet, something deep within me said, "Wake up."
I put my work aside for the moment and clicked on the link to join the live meditation. I saw Eckhart silently looking at me from somewhere out there. In that moment I awakened to the Now. I felt like I could breathe again. By stopping my work and making the choice to participate in the live meditation, a pause in my thinking occurred long enough for me to observe that I'd lost touch with the present moment.
In this meditation, Tolle speaks about how the present moment has nothing to do with man-made time. Interestingly, time is exactly what my mind thought I didn't have enough of.
Eckhart explains that the present moment doesn't have anything do with the man-made sense of time, but rather, to be aware of the Now is the state of presence. He uses the analogy of furniture in the room as the thoughts in our minds. The essence of the room is not the furniture, it is the space in the room. Most people mistake the thoughts in their minds for who they are. The furniture comes and goes, as do the thoughts in our minds.
Eckhart goes on to say that presence is being aware of the deeper dimension in us, so that we do not delude ourselves into believing that we are the content of our minds.
Many of us spend our lives trying to eliminate our problems, but it is only in the imaginary future of our minds that our problems cease to exist. Tolle bursts that illusory bubble, by suggesting that life is rarely without struggles. He chuckles, and asks if this point of view could be perceived as pessimistic or negative. My ego would love to say, "yes, Eckhart, that is a negative point of view and as soon as I solve all my problems I'll be just fine." In truth, I used to believe that was true. I thought if could get my life "figured out," then it would be smooth sailing. However, trying to solve all my so-called problems and fix things only left me exhausted and disappointed.
Here's the shift... for us to actually be aware of awareness there needs to be a cessation of our thinking. For me, stillness lay within waiting for a moment when my continual stream of thinking would cease. On that Sunday, a choice to stop my work and watch a meditation was exactly what I needed to bring me back to self-awareness into the present moment. Eckhart's words come from a deep presence, and sensing that presence in another reminded me of the deeper dimension within me. I have a feeling that we are all here to remind each other that true happiness and inner peace are within us Now.
To learn more about Eckhart Tolle, please click here.