On Becoming Aware and Present

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

In 2008, I participated in a ten-part series presented by Oprah Winfrey and spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle. Oprah and Eckhart took millions of viewers on a chapter-by-chapter journey through A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose (Eckhart’s seminal work).

Their intention: To teach viewers how to focus and become more aware and present.

Since that time, I have reread A New Earth several times and also picked up Eckhart Tolle’s other book, The Power of Now. I highly recommend both books.

Whenever Oprah hosts Eckhart on Super Soul Sunday, I make a point of watching and taking notes. I was inspired and entertained by the following interview segment from the November 12, 2012 broadcast:

Oprah: How do you accept an unpleasant situation, if change is not possible?

Eckhart: You must accept a situation, even if change is not possible. The basis for effective enlightenment is to come in alignment with the present situation. When you accept the “isness” of life, greater intelligence arises. If you are angry and resist the unpleasant situation, you will remain stuck in it.

Oprah: How do you calm the voice in your head?

Eckhart: This question implies you know that your mind can’t stop. This is a good first step. Take the energy away from these thoughts, by asking yourself if you can feel the energy in your hands. Wait and you will feel it. Then move to your legs and other body parts. The inner body serves as a wonderful anchor for a sense of presence. This allows you to be distracted from your other thoughts.

Oprah: How does one clear the mind of bad memories?

Eckhart: Recognize that these memories are thoughts only in your head. They are not realities because they have already happened.

Oprah: How do you have fun?

Eckhart: I enjoy the present moment wherever I am and that’s fun for me.

Oprah: Are you happy?

Eckhart: I am in a state of peaceful aliveness.

Oprah: What do you believe in?

Eckhart: I believe in nothing in particular. LOL

Oprah: What are you grateful for?

Eckhart: I am grateful for always this moment…the now, no matter what form it takes.