Favourite quotations from A New Earth

Here are some of my favourite quotations from A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle.

  • It is at this moment that you decide what kind of relationship you want to have with the present moment. Do I want the present moment to be my friend or enemy? Be friendly toward it. Welcome it in.
  • A powerful spiritual practise is to allow the diminishment of ego without attempting to restore it. For example, when someone criticizes you, blames you, or calls you names, instead of immediately retaliating or defending yourself – do nothing. Allow the self image to remain diminished and become alert to what that feels like deep inside you. For a few seconds it may feel uncomfortable, as if you have shrunk in size. Then you may sense an inner spaciousness that feels intensely alive. You haven’t been diminished at all. In fact, you have expanded. When you are seemingly diminished in some way, and remain in absolute nonreaction, not just externally but also internally, you realise that nothing real has been diminished. Through becoming less, you have become more. When you no longer defend or attempt to strengthen the form of yourself, you step out of identification with form, with mental self image. You in fact undergo an expansion and make room for Being to come forward.
  • The ego asks “how can I make this situation fulfil my needs” or “how can I get to some other situation that WILL fulfull my needs” When you are present, you ask “how do I respond to the needs of this situation, of this moment? Look and listen. Thus you become one with the situation.
  • When instead of reacting against a situation, you merge with it, the solutions arises out of the situation itself.
  • This is most peoples reality: as soon as something is perceived, it is named, interpreted, compared with something else, liked, disliked, or called good or bad. You do not awaken until the compulsive and unconscious naming ceases, or at least you become aware of it and thus are able to observe it as it happens.

Here are some ways in which people unconsciously try to emphasize their form identity:

  • demanding recognition for something you did and getting angry/upset if you don’t get it.
  • trying to get attention by talking about your problems, the story of your illness or making a scene giving your opinion when nobody asked for it and it makes no difference
  • being more concerned with how the other person sees you than with the other person trying to make an impression on others through possessions, knowledge, good looks, status, etc
  • bringing about temporary ego inflation through angry reaction taking things personally or feeling offended

Find out what it feels like and what happens if you let go of that pattern.

Awakening Activities

  • Start listening to the voice in your head as often as you can >> pay particular attention to any repetitive thought patterns.
  • Take any routine activity and give it your fullest attention, so that it becomes an end in itself. Be totally present and pay attention to all the sense perceptions associated with the activity.
  • You can allow an emotion to be there without being controlled by it – you are no longer the emotion – you are the watcher, the observing presence.
  • Whats going on inside me at this moment? Watch out for any kind of defensiveness within yourself. What are you defending?
  • Forget about your life situation for a while and pay attention to your LIFE. Narrow your life down to this moment. Your life situation may be full of problems – most are – but find out if you have a problem at this moment. Not tomorrow or in ten minutes but now. do you have a problem NOW?
  • Use your senses fully, be where you are. Look around. Just look, don’t interpret. See the light, shapes, colours, textures. Be aware of the silent presence of each thing. Be aware of the space. Observe your breathing.
  • Whenever you feel negativity arising within you, look on it as a voice saying Attention. Here and now. wake up and get out of your mind. Be present.
  • Your primary focus is now to enable consciousness to flow into what you do. The secondary purpose is whatever you want to achieve through the doing.
  • Whereas the notion of purpose before was always associated with future, there is now a deeper purpose that can only be found in the present, through the denial of time.
  • When you meet with people, give them your fullest attention. You are no longer there primarily as a person, but as a field of awareness, of alert presence. The field of awareness that rises between you becomes the primary purpose for the interaction.

The 3 modalities

Modality means the underlying energy-frequency that flows into what you do and connects your actions with the awakened consciousness that is emerging into this world. What you do will be dysfunctional and of the ego unless it arises out of one of these modalities.

The modalities of awakened doing are; acceptance, enjoyment and enthusiasm. You need to be vigilant to make sure that one of them operates whenever you are engaged in doing anything at all. If you are not in the state of either acceptance, enjoyment or enthusiasm, look closely and you will find that you are creating suffering for yourself and others.

Acceptance means >> for now, this is what this situation, this moment, requires me to do, and so I do it willingly.

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