Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Nature of Reality in the Present Moment

There have been endless books, essays, & discussions about the nature of our experience. I have tried to absorb many people's insights from throughout history, in an effort to affect my own consciousness.

A very wise & insightful friend introduced me to the teachings of Eckhart Tolle. I saw the book she was reading, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose, which led me to watch several of his talks online. He is like a German Yoda. I consider myself to be a very laid back personality, but Meister Tolle is probably one of the most chilled-out dudes I've ever seen. Even on video, he emanates a sense of peace & good-natured calm.


Like any guru, he is simply a human & has no special powers. However the essence of his teachings resonates with me, and they are no doubt helpful to many people.

The main focus of his lectures is the importance of stopping the mind-stream, that produces the endless chatter inside our heads.

This internal dialogue of our conscious mind, known as The Monkey Mind to Buddhists, drowns out our ability to directly & fully appreciate the present moment...the continual experience of NOW.

Our mind somehow constructs the models of reality we call "The Past" & "The Future". However, these ideas are just creations of our mind used to navigate the flow of our experience.

When Tolle talks about the essential, pure stillness of the mind, I cannot help thinking back to a near-death experience I had in my early 20's. My consciousness shifted into what I can only describe into an all-encompassing bright white light. The closest analog I can find is the idea of The Clear Light, also in Buddhist teachings. There was no thought, perception, or feeling. It was like my brain had rebooted, & I was getting a white start-up screen inside my mind.

I've been able to refer back to that empty, yet illuminating pure state when I try to still my mind. Maybe it was just my neurons firing in a last gasp of activity, but I feel like a window was opened into another aspect of the process of consciousness.

When you cleanse the mind of mental analysis, learned knowledge, & emotional judgement... even temporarily... you can begin to glimpse the infinity we are a part of.

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