Monday, April 28, 2008

the biggest thing to hit the planet since Buddha?

It used to be i wondered if a cure for AIDS would be miraculously discovered if ever the United States President's son or daughter was unlucky enough to become HIV+.

Then i used to wonder if Oprah embraced Buddhism would there be a huge increase of people across the globe using the precious teachings of the Buddha to attain perfect peace, compassion and wisdom.
Would that be the beginning of the end to the world's problems?

Even though Miss Oprah has always professed to being a committed Christian,
a few years ago i actually thought my aspiration was starting to manifest when she gave huge support and valuable airtime to the spiritual teachings of Gary Zukav and his ground-breaking book The Seat of the Soul. However, while it brought about an enormous shift in the consciousness of her viewers, Oprah's good intentions were not fully realised.

It has taken many years for Eckhart Tolle to emerge as the Western Guru of the moment.
But emerge he has. After seeing Eckhart today on Oprah [i don't get out much] i was really impressed with what he has to say and how Oprah is presenting him to the world.

The first thing that struck me - like a ton of bricks - was the thought 'but this is BUDDHISM!'

It was amazing to hear pure Zen or Dzogchen being presented in this way - and with no reference whatsoever to Buddhism!

Well - as you can imagine - i spent some time online afterwards researching this new phenomenon and came up with quite a lot and very little [if you pardon the koan-like conundrum]. In the end, Herr Tolle remains an enigma - but isn't that just how we prefer our gurus?
I cannot find anything on his own website www.eckharttolle.com
about exactly what spiritual teachers he studied with - although he does mention he had some.
That aside, i don't think for one moment he is anything less than the real thing.

I have always believed if any of the world's religions contain the truth then it must be the same truth.
So, i shouldn't really be so surprised when a western teacher starts teaching the same truth as Buddhism.
He can't very well be accused of stealing the truth.
Neither can he be accused of only being in it for the money - both his books are extremely inexpensive [unlike many other spiritual books, including Buddhist ones].
In fact, Eckhart and Oprah host a weekly online class together for free ! - so committed are they to spreading these teachings worldwide
Details on www.oprah.com

But what exactly are these teachings?...

we are not what we appear to be.... nothing is

everything is changing, impermanent, inter-connected, 'empty'[=open]

to become enlightened is to discover within ourselves all the happiness and peace we mistakenly search for outside

this moment of realisation can come in a flash or in a series of glimpses

the path to this enlightenment is MINDFULNESS, dwelling in the PRESENT MOMENT, and by not identifying with our THOUGHTS and EMOTIONS


... sound familiar?

May all beings continue to benefit from the teachings of the Enlightened Ones [Buddhas], wherever they come from.

May westerners continue to embody the teachings and realise their teachers' aspirations for them.

May we all quickly develop the Wisdom of Discernment, avoid frauds, and have the courage to recognise and follow a true spiritual teacher til enlightenment.

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