Deepak Chopra & Eckhart Tolle Talk Consciousness & the Present Moment — Part 1[updated Nov 23, 2017]

As part of The Chopra Center’s “Seduction of Spirit” retreat at La Costa Resort & Spa in Carlsbad, Calif., on April 24, 2013, EckhartTolleTV hosted a live-streaming event called “A Conversation with Deepak Chopra and Eckhart Tolle.”

Both authors discussed consciousness, the present moment, discovering silence and more to an audience of more than 1,400 locally in California, and thousands more over the Internet.

Eckhart Tolle took the stage first and asked everyone to join him in the present moment rather than be absorbed by their thinking, which by itself is a shift in consciousness, he explained. An easy way to enter the present moment is through sense perceptions – noticing whatever a person can see and hear at the moment. A huge amount of our attention is “continuously absorbed by thinking,” and much of what we think is not relevant to anything important, and is negative, said Tolle.

“Every thought has a seductive quality, and it wants to draw you in,” he said. “But if you follow each thought you are at the mercy of what is in your mind.”

Living this way, consciousness is actually being absorbed by the mind. All the things that make life worth living – beauty and joy – actually involve less thinking.

“For joy to come into your life – a moment of joy – you might not realize it, but at that moment there is a space that opens up inside you where you are not thinking,” Tolle explained. “To recognize beauty anywhere, the thinking mind needs to subside and a little bit of space opens up … you might not recognize it, but you are not thinking. If you are thinking, you are not really seeing it. To really see it, there has to be a moment of alert presence where thinking subsides.”

This moment or gap in thinking is the presence or consciousness that resides within us all. This is the space that does not judge another human being, and where we can feel empathy and compassion, said Tolle. However, many people are so trapped by their minds, they live in a “totally conceptualized universe where every human being they meet, they judge, and they take entire groups of humans and judge them – they dehumanize them – and this is how violence can happen,” he said.

Recognizing Consciousness
Most people identify themselves based on images and thoughts in their mind, which have been taken from what they are told by others – their mother, father, siblings, environment and culture. They take this self-image on as their “story,” and it becomes the foundation for their sense of identity.

They often believe in order to feel better about themselves and their place in the world, they need to collect more possessions, or find the right relationship. They believe these things will bring them peace and happiness, but it is never enough.

“We are never satisfied for long and always things will go wrong,” Tolle said. You will never be satisfied for very long if you don’t know who you are and you try to enhance the mind-made sense of self.”

By identifying with the mind, we are only focusing on half of who we are – they physical and physiological form. “That is how most people live their lives, and they don’t know what they are missing,” Tolle told the audience.

While those who find themselves on a spiritual path understand there is a state of enlightenment, they often mistake it for something that needs to be reached or achieved. The truth is, this state, which Tolle called “the transcendent dimension” is who we really are and is always present. The reason people don’t recognize its presence is because they are tied up in the movement of thought and emotions in the mind.

‘Those things absorb your attention, and there is something very vital that you overlook, and that is something that without which you couldn’t even think. There would be no thought, and there would be no emotions. That something is presence – the formless presence of consciousness itself, which is always there if you stop thinking for three seconds,” Tolle explained.

While meditation helps us get there, we can be aware of this state at any moment. This is our other half known as inner presence, he said. Using the room where the event was taking place as an analogy, he compared the people and the furniture or chairs to the thoughts in our mind, and the space holding the people and furniture as the essence representing consciousness.

“Without the space, the room means nothing. It couldn’t even exist,” he said explaining the same is true within us. “There is a spaciousness within you that is continuously missed because you are so interested in the furniture in your head.”

Humanity is beginning to enter into an evolutionary shift where thinking is transcended, said Tolle. We are moving away from identifying ourselves as a thought-based entity and moving toward recognizing ourselves as presence-based entities.

“If you derive your sense of identity from the presence within you, and more and more you become comfortable with spaces of not thinking, you can walk from one building to another, or from the building to your car and just be in the state of alert presence. You see beauty everywhere, and you don’t need to label anything.”

One of the great spiritual practices is the practice of not labeling anything and not interpreting what we perceive. This can be done anywhere, said Tolle, recommending we try it the next time we find ourselves waiting at a checkout, traffic light or airport.

“Instead of waiting, invite the state of alertness in and realize there is nothing wrong with waiting. You either stand, sit or lie somewhere. Does it really matter where you stand, sit or lie?” he asked the audience. “You can use your waiting periods – instead of complaining – to just be present. Enter the field of presence that you are and at that moment you become a spiritual master.”

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7 Questions About Enlightenment Answered By Sri Sri Shankar

November 21, 2017 | Views: 132

How long should I meditate to get enlightened?

There is no limit. Time will do it. Your job is to keep the window open, but time will bring the sunlight in. You can’t make sunlight come into your home just because you have opened the window. You can’t say, “I opened the window, but the sunlight has not come yet.” If you keep your shutters on, even if the sun has risen, you will remain in darkness. So your effort is needed.

Can married couples also attain enlightenment?

See, the example of Ramakrishna Paramahamsaji. He was married, Sharada Devi was his wife. There are many such examples like this. So even couples can attain enlightenment. Enlightenment is not something that just drops from somewhere. It is present in all of us.

If the purpose of life is to attain liberation, is there any value for all the time we spend on our education, profession and career?

Each one has its own place. You need to do both. To make a living, you need to work, and to grow on the spiritual path, you need to meditate. Both go together, they do not oppose each other.

Often, we think that only when we leave everything will we be able to meditate here, that is not the case. We see many people who have left everything and sit here, but they take up something else to occupy their mind.

It is not necessary that you have to leave everything, and then meditate.
Want More?

If you have taken up some responsibility, fulfill it.

Gurudev, Is enlightenment just a realization?

Yes, that is why it’s called Pratya Bhigya which means Realizing.
See the elephant that is here does not know its power. With great love, he holds your hand with his trunk and pulls you. He doesn’t know that he can break the person’s hand whom he is pulling. For him it’s a play. In the same way, we do not realize our inner potential. We think we are just this body mind complex with a few emotions, some little thoughts, little likes and dislikes. The truth is that we are much beyond these things, and that is why enlightenment is like the peeling of it.

The word enlightenment is used so many times, that is why it is so confusing. Enlightenment is simply the peeling off layers and becoming hollow and empty. Get to that spot where you feel absolute comfort and absolute freedom. That is liberation, that is nirvana, that is self-realization, that is yoga, and that is unity. You can call it by so many names. And too much reading also confuses you about it. That’s why I say be natural, be simple

We are all on the path towards enlightenment. If we do not achieve it this lifetime, do we pick up from where we left off?

Yes, correct.

What is enlightenment? How does a regular person find out if someone is enlightened?

It cannot be said in words, it has to be felt. You cannot describe love. You can’t say that love is endorphins or oxytocin getting produced in your body, it is something that only the heart can know; your existence can feel something different. The funniest thing is that it is in everybody, it is in the original nature of our being and everybody has it, but it has not been uncovered.

Have you seen anyone in The Art of Living get enlightenment?

Yes, there are many who have this experience — they feel something and it starts happening. They have the ability to love everyone and be a nobody.

You don’t have to label yourself that ‘I am enlightened, I am enlightened’, not at all! If you want enlightenment, the first thing you need to remember is total detachment from all that you see, good or bad. Do you still want enlightenment? Are you ready for it? For enlightenment you need to have total detachment because it is your desire which is the only thing that blocks you from enlightenment. The moment you drop all that and say, “I want nothing and I am nothing”, that moment you realize that all the forms and names are nothing, they are all like waves in the ocean; the wave is nothing but the ocean. This conviction is enlightenment. The sea is there, the sun is there, the moon is there and like that I too am here, that is it. Going beyond time is enlightenment. Not being constrained by space is enlightenment. Realizing you are love, everything else is love, that is enlightenment. Being so natural and feeling at home with everyone because there is no other, is enlightenment.

Source: Sri Sri

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