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I don't read a lot of best sellers or New Age books and have definitely not read a book that spanned both those categories but I am reading Eckhart Tolle.

His book A New Earth is on my night table.  It  has a bright orange cover with a wrapper full of text about an Oprah / Eckhart web event.  And it brings with it a sense of possibility I had just about forgotten. 

I first saw and heard of Eckhart Tolle just last night on public access TV. It was almost 3 a.m. on the morning of my birthday and I couldn't sleep and I eventually found myself on the couch watching late night TV.  Surfing through the channels, I paused at Eckhart Tolle because I liked his voice.

A peaceful voice is a welcome thing on a sleepless night and I liked Tolle's lilt and his ill-fitting peasant vest and hobbit-like demeanor. He talked about spaciousness, attachment to objects and enlightenment. All of interest to me.  And he did not seem to take himself especially seriously which I find appealing in just about anyone.

Curious, I researched Tolle on the internet.  I learned that he was born in 1948 and had an unhappy childhood in the shadow of post-war Germany. He later relocated to Spain then England where he attended the University of London. He completed his post graduate work in 1977. I am not clear on his area of study.

Also in 1977, following years of depression, anxiety and spiritual seeking he underwent a self described spiritual transformation. Following this transformation, he lived with friends at a Buddhist monastery or slept on the open ground of Hampstead Heath in a state of peace and contentment. Following or during this period he began to provide spiritual instruction to individuals and small groups in England.

He found himself compelled to move to the North American West Coast in 1995 and has stated that the energy of northwest Canada made it possible for him to write a book he couldn't have wrote in England. That book, the Power of Now, was published in 1999. Other books followed, including "A New Earth" which I am surprised to find myself reading.

I have been meaning to start a blog for some time thinking that, perhaps, if I make a commitment to review a book I will finish it.  I have fallen into a bad habit lately of wandering away from them.  So this is the blog, please wish me luck with it.

~August 22nd 2010
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  1. I've started to read ETs 'The Power of Now', as heard a lot from New Age friends who applaude it. It's a fairly interesting read, but tbh have found so far, to be virtually no different to Buddhadharma teachings have received myself, so wonder why is he so popular?
    He does make a mistake about '...the majority of Buddhists still believe that enlightement is for the Buddha, not for them, at least not in this lifetime...'

    Will post again when finished.

  2. I'd love to hear what you think as you progress through the book. I am not very well versed in Buddhism (though I am a great admirer of Thick Nhat Hanh) but I think that one point at which Tolle probably diverges is his belief in universal world wide shift in consciousness. As I understand it, and please do correct me if I'm wrong, Buddhist see enlightenment more on a case by case basis. Thank you so much for commenting! Hope to hear back as you progress through the book.

  3. I did another short post on Tolle which talks a bit about his ideas specific to a world wide shift in consciousness.


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