And he enjoys a beer once in a while, especially in the summer!
I felt a collective sigh of relief when Eckhart Tolle, the reigning expert on staying present and relief from suffering in our everyday lives, said that YES, he too has paperwork and mail that piles up on his desk! It was an adorable moment of humility and of course humanity when the intimate group of people whom had come from all over the world to hear him speak exhaled as he talked of his ‘human’ challenges.
It’s not uncommon for us to compare ourselves to others, and falsely assume that other people somehow have it all figured out. (I think Spiritual teachers get especially high pedestals:) And I have to admit, I especially relaxed at hearing that he was going to head home and enjoy a beer on what was an especially hot August night in Vancouver. I falsely assumed that he didn’t drink and although it didn’t sound like he was likely to go on an all night bender, he certainly didn’t speak as though he set out to deprive himself of anything.
In fact, there is an incredible amount of simplicity in his teaching – release yourself from thought and allow the awareness of consciousness to grow inside you. Embrace each present moment, open yourself up to the moment with joy and enthusiasm, see what comes of it and don’t waste your life, living in your mind, feeding off the never ending recounting of the past or projection in to the future.
Easy right? Ha!
The mind chatter, as you become increasingly aware of it is absolutely astounding. So far today (it’s just past noon) I delivered speeches that aren’t due to be delivered for months, renegotiated the terms of my visa (a couple of different times), got a job, turned down a job, created an entirely new model for my business, had conversations with people about the new model, tweaked the model, dreaded doing the dishes, questioned my fatigue, floated back to yesterday to try and come up with a decent explanation for my fatigue, decided on something that seemed plausible, still didn’t feel like doing the dishes, but pictured myself doing them and thought about how nice it would be for them to be done, received kudos from my bf for the house being so clean when he got home at 5 tonight (yeah, it’s still just after noon, the house is still a mess and no bf in sight), shot the best round of golf all year (which I won’t be teeing off to start for about four more hours) – and that’s just a scattering of all that’s gone on, in my MIND, not in REALITY.
In reality, I woke up, realized I had no clean gym clothes, I ironed my gym clothes (b/c I had to pull them out of the dirty laundry that’s piled up out of control), ironed my bf’s costume for today (b/c I’m just a nice girl like that – ha!), went to the gym and worked out with my trainer, meditated on the beach, wrote in my journal, went to Starbucks and got coffee, responded to email, made breakfast, ate breakfast, made lunch, ate lunch, showered, bought laundry tokens from my landlord (still haven’t done the laundry, ha!) watched 3 youtube videos for 2 different programs I’m involved in, and started writing this blog post.
Mind chatter + Reality = new plausible explanation for fatigue
As I listened to Eckhart’s wise words on Saturday I was reminded of so much that I’ve learned: there is no merit in beating myself up, comparing myself to others, saying things like “so and so wouldn’t be so lazy, they would have the laundry and dishes done by now” and instead I just notice. I become aware, I enjoy the awareness and I enjoy the moment. I already feel a release from stress as I recognize that the stress is not real – it’s in my mind.
And if you’re wondering if you’re in the present moment or in your mind, here’s a great way to find out.
Ask yourself: AM I STILL BREATHING?
And as you make sure you are (still breathing that is) – suddenly there you’ll be – PRESENT, in the moment, aware and alive.
Thank you Eckhart, for being human, for being present, for being conscious, for being alive, and for sharing this with me. xx
“The realm of consciousness is much vaster than thought can grasp. When you no longer believe everything you think, you step out of thought and see clearly that the thinker is not who you are.” – Eckhart Tolle