Skip to comments.The Tolle Way
Posted on 04/21/2008 6:44:34 AM PDT by stan_sipple
Ryan Alberti had a pretty good idea what to expect when he signed up for the Web class jointly taught by Eckhart Tolle and Oprah Winfrey.
Hed already listened to a CD of Tolle reading his books The Power of Now and Stillness Speaks and liked his simple, gentle way of speaking.
I think hes really a genuine guy that has an ability to translate some spiritual things in a very down-to-earth way, Alberti said.
Alberti doesnt watch Winfreys daily TV show, but his wife is a big fan and tells him about it. Even though I havent seen (the show), Ive lived through several episodes, he quipped.
Since March, hes been watching the online class, and says hes been impressed with both Tolle and Winfrey. Ive mentioned Tolle to other people, and they think hes pretty out there, dealing with such topics as enlightenment and oneness with the universe. Shes a good balance between what he says and pop culture. She puts the homegirl twist on it.
Alberti sounds like a fairly down-to-earth guy himself, a family man with three children and another on the way. He describes himself as pretty religious, being the son of a Community of Christ pastor.
Like other local people who have been watching the class, Alberti said he was impressed with Tolles concept of the pain body, a sort of creature inside a person that keeps itself alive by dwelling on hurts and wrongs. I think I have what Eckhart described as a dense pain body, Alberti said.
Tolle teaches that by recognizing your pain body you can move beyond it to a state of inner peace. With each 90-minute class, Alberti said, I have the best frame of mind right after I watch it, then slowly I return to my normal state.
Deb Eisloeffel, who has been watching the class every Monday night with three friends, said the class has helped her deal with conflicts in her personal life.
Recently when her husband became angry, instead of getting mad herself, she was able to recognize that his pain body was fueling his emotions. I didnt focus on what he was saying (the words), but I decided to hear his frustration and allow him to have the frustration.
She tried to follow Tolles advice to be transparent and let the angry comments pass right through her. By staying calm, she found the emotional energy was defused.
Eisloeffel grew up a Baptist, then was an agnostic for several years but said she couldnt completely abandon the idea of God.
Tolles emphasis on the true self as a timeless consciousness gives new meaning to the biblical idea that the kingdom of God is within, she said. He really puts a new light on all of Jesus teachings. I see no conflict between Tolles ideas and religion.
Many critics of Tolle and of Winfreys choice of A New Earth for her Web class dont share that view, however. In a recent news release, Don Swarthout, president of Christians Reviving Americas Values, said that Winfrey denies Jesus Christ by promoting a non-biblical view of God.
At one point, Swarthout said, a viewer called in to ask, What about Jesus? and Winfrey responded by explaining how she had rejected the notion of a jealous God in favor of a God of love.
Oprah Winfrey has in reality just exposed her own lack of understanding about the God of Christianity, Swarthout said. God may be a God of love, but he is also a God of justice and judgment.
Others watching the Web class, however, said they appreciated Tolles emphasis on being non-judgmental.
Connie Backus-Yoder, a member of St. Marks on the Campus Episcopal Church, said she believes Tolles message is in line with the promises of God in the New Testament. He (God) has promised to heal us of our pain, to give us the mind of Christ and give us forgiveness and the power to forgive others, she said.
In fact, Backus-Yoder said, Tolles message isnt really new, but is the same thing Christian mystics have been saying since the early days of the church. Hes kind of teaching us how we can all access the mystical, she said. What people dont understand is that Buddhists, Christians, Muslims and Hindus are saying the same thing, only in different language.
Tolle also talks about going beyond an ego-based consciousness in which we identify with the roles we play and the image we project to others to a deeper level of awareness. Egos are the root of conflicts, wars, exploitation and other human problems, he says.
I do believe the worlds ills are created by our egos, said Randy Nuss, who has been viewing the class each week on Winfreys Web site.
Nuss had listened to The Power of Now on CD and was a fan of Tolle before the class started. Hes just this kind of quiet spirit; theres something about listening to him that is very peaceful, Nuss said.
Watching the class each week is kind of like church. He (Tolle) keeps talking about the same thing, but it drives the message home.
Married and the father of a 5-year-old, Nuss has a pretty full life, but he still takes time to meditate regularly. Through the online class, hes learned some practical exercises for recognizing his own ego and thereby deflating its power.
You definitely have to be patient, Nuss said. I can recognize the ego when it clicks in and wants to take over. The goal isnt to be completely free of ego it will always crop up but to not let it take you over.
Several of the participants agreed that Winfrey herself has a big ego, which shows when she rephrases Tolles comments in her own words. His reaction is to smile gently and allow her version to stand.
But the participants also said they believe the class is serving a worthwhile purpose by helping raise the consciousness of people all around the world.
Jeanie Wilkinson said the class came at a good time for her. Recently divorced and starting a new business, shes had a lot of stress in her life.
Wilkinson said shes learning that you cant worry about tomorrow or yesterday all we have is now. Its kind of interesting to try to implement that in your life.
She enjoys doing some of the exercises Tolle recommends, such as paying attention to the movements of her feet and body while walking or climbing stairs, rather than having random thoughts. Wed have a lot less accidents and mishaps if we were always in the present moment, she said.
Tolle says that people become more creative and productive in whatever they do and more understanding and compassionate of others when they learn to live fully in the present.
Wilkinson described herself as a non-practicing Catholic who practices yoga and considers herself spiritual but not religious. She identifies with Tolles concept of an eternal consciousness within all of us call it God or the universe.
Marcie Young, another participant, has read A New Earth twice but said shes getting new insights while watching Tolle and hearing Winfreys questions. The discussion of the pain body hit home with her.
Im not always polite in traffic, she said. I holler at the guy whos driving too slow. I find myself annoyed at whatever; thats my pain body coming out. I have a 16-year-old daughter, and I can really see when her pain body is kicking in.
Young said she is learning to make a mental space between herself as an observer and her often chaotic thoughts and emotions, as Tolle suggests.
Young was raised Catholic, but now is a member of First-Plymouth Congregational Church and has explored a variety of religious practices. Ive been on a spiritual search for many years, she said.
She agrees with Tolle that there is a rising consciousness throughout the world bringing the human race to a new level of spiritual development. The spirit world, or God, however you want to call that the veil is thinning, and were able to be in closer communication with God. We all are part of God.
More Mainstream Protestants going over to the Antichrist
Hey..I got your pain body...right here!
The Christian martyrs just failed to recognize their pain bodies (sarc)
Is there any message that a current-day Episcopal would believe not to be in line with the New Testament?
No offense intended to the Episcopal faithful--I assume there are still some who have not bowed the knee to Baal.
Eckhart Tolle is a good guy whose clear, simple teachings are pulling the rug out from under Big Christianity and its fear-based money machine. Nobody who reads his books is ever going to fall for the Original Sin scam again. So it’s not surprising that the hierarchy feels threatened and starts invoking the Antichrist - their whole game of charades is about to come crashing down.
I see the Episcobaalian follower of Tolle left out Judaism from one of our universal “languages.”
Hucksters have been selling this snake oil for generations. The delivery mechanism is more sophisticated.
Just watch PBS during their beg-a-thons. They have the best line up of hucksters in the business; from the likes of Leo Buscaglia, John Bradshaw, Wayne Dyer, and Deepak Chopra.
“pain body”. OK, got it. Any other buzzwords and neologisms we need to learn to be hip and up-to-date?
Odd you should say that, since original sin is the one doctrine that is clearly evident when examining the state of the world and ourselves.
There’s a good 4-part article about this here:
Some of us have read the book and we know who wins in the end. :-)
Is this anything like a "body thetan"?
Warmed over version of "the Aquarian experience" of the 1970's.
Conservatives like Sean Hannity are reading “A New Earth” and recommending it. And “The Power of Now” is an excellent, well-received book (again, Hannity-recommended.)
Thereseems to be a major resistance to Tolle and other such teachers. Yet all tehy are teachingis empoerment, whcihI thought was a conservative value.
Maybe it’s because they don’t drop Jesus every third word.
Your comments are intereating, Mr. Jeeves. I wouldn’t address it in quit that tone.
I agree with you that his teachings are clear and simple. And I agree with a lot of what he says.
Watch for a FReepmail.
As the eminent physicist Dr. Amit Goswami puts it, "Consciousness is the ground of all being."
We are the conscious, deliberate, intetional expression of God.
Frankly, a God who would absent Himself from the world and condemn two-thirds to three-quarters of His creation just doesn't make sense to me. It's WAAAAAAAAAYYYYYY too small a conception of God.