Episode 23: Rational Spirituality With Oprah and Eckhart Tolle #1: 3 Keys to Presence, Purpose, and Power
In this episode Mark Michael Lewis of RationalSpirituality.com examines the teachings of Eckhart Tolle as seen on the Oprah show. This week, Mark explores the tension between spiritual meaning and material/social wealth as exemplified in conversation between Eckhart, Oprah, and their skype video call-in questions. Why is it that so many questions center around money and mission, when Eckhart’s teach focuses so heavily on meaning? In the process, Mark outlines the 3 key messages in Eckhart’s work, and the profound opening they offer into the eternal and beautiful nature of who we really are.
Welcome to Money Mission and Meaning, Passion at Work, Purpose at Play, where we explore how we can integrate our personal values and professional skills to Create Pleasure and Profit in the Business of life. I’m your host, Mark Michael Lewis, of RationalSpirituality.com, Author of RelationDancing: Consciously Creating What you Really want in your relating, Problems Are The Solution: Embracing Conflict As The Gateway to Love, and The Key Is In The darkness: unlocking the door to a spiritual life.
Today we're starting a series of pod casts on the breakthrough interactive event on Oprah with a tart Tolle and eckhart ole author of a new earth.: Awakening to your life's purpose. This course brings at carts work on "the power of now" to the mainstream in an unprecedented way. It's exciting and fascinating to see such profound and insightful teachings offered on such a wide scale. It is also a bit frustrating, because the show raises so many absolutely critical questions that eckhart either does not have time to answer, or does not choose to answer. In this show, I will explore and address we can apply the spiritual insights eckhart and Oprah talk about without abandoning the passion and fun of fully participating in the material world that we wake up to every day.
You see, The name of the show is money, mission, and meaning,. The important word in that show title is the word " and". Because this essence of this Show Is About Having All Three Together Unfortunately, many people have gotten caught up in the so-called spiritual idea that it is not "and" but "or." As if we must make a choice between money or meaning, between soul or body, between selfishness and selflessness. As if they are somehow opposites that are like the angel and the devil on our shoulders leading us down completely different paths.
In the face of this false choice between material success and spiritual well being, people normally make one of three choices first, they work hard to develop their spiritual awareness, and understand their material and social work to be a type of distraction or a temptation to lead them off of the spiritual path. Second, they decide that spirituality is a luxury they cannot afford, and a band in any spiritual practice so that they can focus on making money and achieving their career in social goals. Third, and most commonly, people waiver back and forth between these two positions, sometimes seeking material wealth but feeling guilty about it, while other times seeking spiritual awakening, at the cost of investing in their material health and wealth.
Fortunately, this is simply a mistake. We do not have to choose between money or mission or meaning in fact, when we understand their true nature, we discover that money, mission, and meaning, all support one another, such that the more we have of one, the more fully we can experience the others. In the best of all possible senses, the theme of money, mission, and meaning, is that the rich get richer, which also means that the purposeful become more passionate, the open hearted experience more love, and those most satisfied with their lives become the most successful.
So, as I have been watching eckhart and Oprah teach this class, I hear beautiful and powerful teachings from eckhart ole in the realm of meaning. He is brilliant at helping people C how they have gotten caught up in their ego, and guiding them to the P's and the freedom that comes when you do is dis identify from the ego and remember that you are the consciousness experiencing all of life. It is both profound and practically valuable teaching in the realm of meaning.
At the same time, I notice that eckhart teaches almost nothing about how to integrate money and mission into this deep profound stillness of consciousness and meaning. It is all about meaning, meaning, and more meaning. Because of this, I believe, people keep calling in asking question after question about how they can approach the material world when they relax into the column center of the spiritual world. They want to know how they can integrate these spiritual perspectives into their everyday lives?
These are the same questions that I have heard herd again and again from people concerned with spiritual awakening, and they are questions which must be answered.
Unfortunately, the answers that eckhart has offered continually bring the focus back on meaning, suggesting that the concerns people have with money and mission all belong to the realm of "ego." While these answers are not "wrong" because meaning is so critically important, they are, from my perspective, not right enough. My experience with hundreds of clients and thousands of seminar participants is that it is not enough to become spiritually awakened. Rather, we must learn how to bring our spiritual awareness to the material and interpersonal tasks that make up the fabric of our lives.
We must learn to have money, mission, and meaning all express the deep truth that we ourselves, just as we are, are the true happiness that we seek.
To start, let's first get clear about the true gift that eckhart this teaching offers and Y Oprah liked him so much that she gave him an international platform to teach his work.
The heart of eckhart S teaching can be thought of in three different parts. First, eckhart points out that that who you think you are determines how you respond to your experience. It is yourself concept that determines your levels of happiness and satisfaction in life. If you identify yourself withe your social position, for example, if you think who you are is your social position, that your social position somehow determines your value is a human being, anything which threatens your social position will feel like it is threatening your very self. Hence, you will become fearful or angry with anything which threatens your social position, while being excited and relieved about things which enhance your social position. This leads to a tumultuous emotional life in which our minds and consciousness becomes dominated by all of the concerns associated with our social life. We worry about it and hold grudges about it, and sacrifice our relationships or our health because we are so focused on it. This same pattern holds true no matter what we identify herself with in the world. Whether in it is our relationships, with our family, with A political movement, religious, or ethnic groups.
So at carts first point is that Whenever we identify ourselves with some part of our lives, we do ourselves to a roller-coaster ride around to changing conditions of that part of our lives, and sooner or later discover they'd never truly for fills us or makes us happy.
Eckhart second point is that when we focus our minds on the present moment, and allow the voice in our head to go quiet, we discover that we are not inI of the objects in our awareness. Our essential self is not our mind, or our body, or our relationships, our bank account, or anything else that we can become aware of. Rather, we are the consciousness that is aware of all of that stuff. We are the still space in which all of our experience happens. Our thoughts come and go, our relationships come and go, our possessions come and go. Our consciousness however, remains constant. In this sense, spiritual realization is understanding that you are not any of the things that you think, feel, desire, or experience. Your that which is experiencing them, and that which is experiencing them can never be hurt. The more we learn to relax into the stillness that we are, and DIS identify with all of the objects of our awareness, what we think, feel, desire, and experience, the more freedom we will have to experience the world as it is in this moment, and the more depth and happiness will become our natural state.
Eckhart SP third point is that once we begin to realize who we really are and experience moments of stillness and true inner peace, we will begin to notice how easily and regularly we get caught up in identifying with some part of our lives, and chum back on the roller coaster of drama and emotions. This process or mechanism that leads us to identify with some heart of are thinking, some aspect of our experience, is what eckhart refers to as our "ego." Normally, our ego works unconsciously and we simply experience the emotional results of its workings. However, by focusing our attention on the present moment, and remembering who we really are, we can begin to recognize how are the go works. As we learn to focus our attention on the shenanigans of R ego, and its roller-coaster ride, we begin to get freedom from it. The more we learn to recognize our ego for what it is, a false identification of who we are, the more peace and happiness will begin to fill our lives. The more we bring our attention into the present moment, the more we free ourselves from the prison of our ego and experience through spiritual power, the power of presents. It is discovering and bringing this presents to every aspect of our lives that is the purpose that we are to awaken to. It is this new purpose, and the communities in societies that will be built out of this understanding of purpose and presents, that constitute a new world.
In summary, the essence of eckhart teaching is that 1) when we identify our self, who we think we are, with some aspect of our experience, we will feel the need to protect that aspect, and get caught up in fear, anger, and suffering. 2) when we focus on our present moment experience, we can remember that we are the consciousness that experiences the various aspects of our lives. we free ourselves from our fear, anger, and suffering, and awaken into profound spiritual peace. And 3) the more we practice focusing on the present moment, and relaxing into pure consciousness, the more we learn to recognize and free ourselves from the false self and emotions of RE go. Our ego. This awakening is our true purpose, and our collective awakening will create a new earth.
Again, these teachings offer deep insights into the nature of meaning. Next week, I will continue to highlight the valuable teachings of eckhart Tolle a and Oprah, and begin to add additional insights that integrate this meaning with the passionate and practical desires desires of mission and money.
I’m your host Mark Michael Lewis SEE-Inc. A Beautiful Future Now, and that brings us the end of our show. Thanks for listening and join us next week on Money Mission and Meaning; Passion at Work, Purpose at play as we offer you practical ideas to bring you Pleasure And Profit in The Business Of Life.
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