Eckhart Tolle on christmas

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Re: Eckhart Tolle on christmas

Postby justsit » Wed Jan 02, 2013 10:24 pm

What exactly is Tolle's Path?

And how exactly is he "further along" than the Dalai Lama? :shrug:
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Re: Eckhart Tolle on christmas

Postby lowlydog » Wed Jan 02, 2013 10:45 pm

justsit wrote:What exactly is Tolle's Path?

And how exactly is he "further along" than the Dalai Lama? :shrug:


Ask him.

The level of attainment of others is really of no consequence to me, I just find his teachings to be coming from a place of wisdom and not mere regurgitated thought.
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Re: Eckhart Tolle on christmas

Postby justsit » Wed Jan 02, 2013 11:35 pm

I'll pass, thanks.
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Re: Eckhart Tolle on christmas

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Thu Jan 03, 2013 5:07 am

Dharma is Dharma expressed through any form, Why do you guys always want to put dead guys on such unreachable pedestles and ignore the living enlightened ones who can exemplify the path?


While I confess I don't know exactly what he teaches, can it really be said to be Dharma?

To me calling something Dharma is serious stuff, I might call something conventionally good, or conventionally true, but to me it would not be "true" in the way that Dharma is true. Dharma is true no matter what angle one views it from. There are lots of things that I think are for the good that aren't Dharma, I enjoy them, read them..am glad they are in the world. However, they still aren't Dharma.

What does he teach that you consider to be Dharma? From what little I read there was mention of bascially Anatman, but it sounded like a bit of a blunted version of it.

Can you sum up his teachings, and how they relate to Buddhism?
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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Re: Eckhart Tolle on christmas

Postby nilakantha » Thu Jan 03, 2013 7:13 am

Well Tolle is alive, the Buddha is dead(so words coming from presence).

How can the Buddha be dead? What an odd idea. We're told in the Lotus Sūtra:

Although I am always here without extinction
Through the power of skilful means
I manifest extinction and nonextinction.
If there are any sentient beings in other worlds
Who respect and believe in me,
I will also teach them the highest Dharma.
May I be a poet in birth after birth, a devotee of the feet of Lord Avalokiteśvara,
with elevated heart, spontaneously directed towards his Refuge,
wholly occupied with the solemn duty of saving others.

--Lokeshvarashatakam of Vajradatta
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Re: Eckhart Tolle on christmas

Postby lowlydog » Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:08 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:While I confess I don't know exactly what he teaches, can it really be said to be Dharma?

To me calling something Dharma is serious stuff, I might call something conventionally good, or conventionally true, but to me it would not be "true" in the way that Dharma is true. Dharma is true no matter what angle one views it from. There are lots of things that I think are for the good that aren't Dharma, I enjoy them, read them..am glad they are in the world. However, they still aren't Dharma.

What does he teach that you consider to be Dharma? From what little I read there was mention of bascially Anatman, but it sounded like a bit of a blunted version of it.

Can you sum up his teachings, and how they relate to Buddhism?


Hi Johnny, his teachings are very much the dharma, take the time to read one of his books it will be worth your effort and will not conflict with any dharma teachings you have been given.

I don't have to defend Tolle I simply shared some of his wisdom, and have noticed that it has not been recieved well, it is those who have a problem with Tolle"s teachings (who have actually read them) that need to provide an example of how his teachings are not in line with the dharma.

The arrogance of Buddhists never ceases to amaze me, to feel that they somehow own these teachings. :rolling:
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Re: Eckhart Tolle on christmas

Postby lowlydog » Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:13 pm

nilakantha wrote:Well Tolle is alive, the Buddha is dead(so words coming from presence).

How can the Buddha be dead? What an odd idea. We're told in the Lotus Sūtra:

Although I am always here without extinction
Through the power of skilful means
I manifest extinction and nonextinction.
If there are any sentient beings in other worlds
Who respect and believe in me,
I will also teach them the highest Dharma.


Pure mind is eternal, the form that was recognised as Siddarth Gotama has dissolved away.

Siddarth Gotama the form has passed away(dead).
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Re: Eckhart Tolle on christmas

Postby catmoon » Thu Jan 03, 2013 4:09 pm

lowlydog wrote:
justsit wrote:What exactly is Tolle offering that the Buddha does not?


Well Tolle is alive, ...


Haven't had such a laugh in ages. Touche!
Sergeant Schultz knew everything there was to know.
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Re: Eckhart Tolle on christmas

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu Jan 03, 2013 6:18 pm

There is one area where Tolle falls flat on his face, an area that is considered rather important by Buddhists (especially Vajrayana Buddhists): it is called lineage.

You see maybe what Tolle says is "true", maybe what he teaches is effective, maybe, maybe, maybe...

What lineage gurantees is that the stuff being taught and practiced has been thoroughly tested, scrutinised, etc... That is why it has stood the test of time. You can find people associated with the lineage that you can verify (through personal contact or via records) displayed certain characteristics that arose as a consequence of the practice. When you have a shiney, new, self-proclaimed messiah (okay, he's not self-proclaimed, Oprah proclaimed it, so it must be true :tongue: ) where is the guarantee that what they are saying actually stands true? What can you point to as long term evidence of its efficacy? :shrug:

You may say: "Well the lineage didn't exist forever now, did it?" This is true. But (theoretically) the lineages can be traced back to an enlightened founder, in this case the Buddha. If you find the original teachings/practices have not been effective, then your criticisim of the current practices will also be valid.

You may also say: "Yes, but there are organisations that have practice lineages that go back x years and they are clearly not liberatory." This is also valid, to an extent. In this case one must look past the organisation and look, again, to the practices and people that practiced to see if the teachings had an overall positive result.

So, you can run with your friend Tolle, you have every right to. But, be careful, because to an untrained eye well polished brass and gold are difficult to tell apart. Vajrayana teachers say that we should observe and analyse a teacher for twelve years before commiting to them as a guru. Not a bad idea, wouldn't you say?
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Eckhart Tolle on christmas

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Thu Jan 03, 2013 7:27 pm

Ok Lowlydog i'll bite:

Buddhism is an old tradition, with a ton of stuff to read and experience, what is it that he offers or teaches that is not found within Buddhism?

If what he teaches is Dharma, and does not conflict with Dharma..why do I need to read him? Just from what I glean for book reviews and such it sounds more like Hinduism than Buddhism (albeit something like Advaita that is closer to Buddhism). There appears to be no Sunyata in what he is teaching...this seems like maybe it does conflict with Dharma substantially to me. In this case the "Buddhist objections" would be the same ones made towards any form of eternalism.


Do you think there is some point or aspect that he teaches more clearly than traditional Dharma does? Not asking that as a challenge, if you believe the answer is yes I would actually like to know.

If on the other hand what he is teaching is just Buddhism that is not being called Buddhism, with some important bits left out, that is problematic in a number of ways.
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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Re: Eckhart Tolle on christmas

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu Jan 03, 2013 7:39 pm

PS
He seems to be at least at par with the Dalai Lama or a little further along the path.
On what grounds do you base this judgement?
The level of attainment of others is really of no consequence to me...
So why make the above mentioned judgement?
...I just find his teachings to be coming from a place of wisdom and not mere regurgitated thought.
Are you insinuating that the Dalai Lama merely spouts regurgitated thought? That the Dalai Lama does not come from a "place of wisdom"?

How do you explain the fact that HHDL spends so much time approaching and contacting other religions and scientists, philosophers, artists etc...? Surely if he was merely "regurgitating thought" then he would limit himself to the thought that he is the representative of, rather than trying to broaden his knowledge and wisdom base?
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Eckhart Tolle on christmas

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Thu Jan 03, 2013 7:56 pm

Another question would be, would Tolle agree with, or refute the First Noble Truth?

I think this is where my main criticism of MANY of the quasi-buddhist new agers would come from, without the understand of dukkha, and believing that existence is dukkha, the entire thing just turns to self-help, a way to feel better. That's fine for what it is- maybe the way to add a little brightness to a dreary world, but from a Buddhist perspective, i'm not sure you can say it's Dharma.
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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Re: Eckhart Tolle on christmas

Postby Jikan » Thu Jan 03, 2013 8:02 pm

How does Tolle explain bodhicitta? (since we're on a Mahayana Buddhism board...)

Does he?

How is one motivated to practice in Tolle's doctrine?
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Re: Eckhart Tolle on christmas

Postby Astus » Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:03 pm

lowlydog wrote:What is the truth about Christmas?

In the history of Christianity, if you believe you are the sole possessor of the truth then that belief has the power to corrupt your actions, even to the point of insanity – whether it’s the Catholic Inquisition or a big shopping spree. The Truth is inseparable from who you are. If you look for it in ideas, beliefs, or even gifts from the store, you will be deceived every time.

The true meaning of Christmas is that the very Being that you are is Truth. This is what Jesus meant when he said, “I am the way and the truth and the life.”

Jesus speaks of the inner essence identity of every human being. Some Christian writers call this the “Christ within”. The real meaning of Christmas is to find that essential self that is universally experienced as the Christ within no matter what your cultural or religious upbringing is. As we approach the ceremonial date of the birth of Christ and as many of you gather with friends and family, perhaps standing in the silence of the Christ within can keep bringing you back to Being - the eternal life that Christ promised human kind.


How does this match with the Buddha's teachings?

"if you believe you are the sole possessor of the truth then that belief has the power to corrupt your actions, even to the point of insanity"

"Those who dispute, taking hold of a view, saying, "This, and this only, is true," those you can talk to. Here there is nothing — no confrontation at the birth of disputes." (Snp 4.8)

"The Truth is inseparable from who you are."

What "Truth"?

"the very Being that you are is Truth"

"If a bodhisattva abides in the signs of self, person, sentient being, or life-span, she or he is not a bodhisattva." (Diamond Sutra, ch. 3)

"the inner essence identity of every human being. Some Christian writers call this the “Christ within”."

"the assertion of philosophical views which are non-existent [i. e., not true], is meant that in the Skandhas, Dhatus, and Ayatanas, [some philosophers] assume the existence of an ego, a being, a soul, a living being, a nourisher, or a spirit. This is said, Mahamati, to be the assertion of some philosophical views which are nonexistent [i. e., not true]." (Lankavatara Sutra 2.XXV)

"the eternal life that Christ promised human kind"

"Regard heaven and earth and consider their impermanence. Regard the world and consider its impermanence." (The Sutra of Forty-Two Sections Spoken by the Buddha, section 19)

What Tolle does in this short quote is first denying that there is a person or organisation in sole possession of the Truth, claims that there are many religions and spiritual traditions in possession of the Truth, to eventually say that what he calls the Truth is the Truth of everyone else, practically making himself the representative of everyone else and denying their own definition of their own truth. But as we can see, his teachings don't agree with the Buddha's, and it's also unlikely that mainstream Christians would accept his interpretation.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Eckhart Tolle on christmas

Postby lowlydog » Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:44 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:PS
He seems to be at least at par with the Dalai Lama or a little further along the path.
On what grounds do you base this judgement?
The level of attainment of others is really of no consequence to me...
So why make the above mentioned judgement?
...I just find his teachings to be coming from a place of wisdom and not mere regurgitated thought.
Are you insinuating that the Dalai Lama merely spouts regurgitated thought? That the Dalai Lama does not come from a "place of wisdom"?

How do you explain the fact that HHDL spends so much time approaching and contacting other religions and scientists, philosophers, artists etc...? Surely if he was merely "regurgitating thought" then he would limit himself to the thought that he is the representative of, rather than trying to broaden his knowledge and wisdom base?
:namaste:


Hey greg,

I didn't mean to insinuate that the Dalai Lama's words are also not coming from a place of wisdom, but after re-reading what I posted I can see how you interpreted it that way, my apologies for this confusion. I am a big fan of the Dalai Lama, he is a great man and I wish him a long life.

Eckhart does not claim to be an arahant as he does not claim to be Buddhist, he just states that the ego completely dissolved, I'm not sure what claims if any the Dalai Lama has made, in one interview where both Eckhart Tolle and The Dalai Lama were present, Tolle was talking about deep presence and the Dalai Lama simply stated that very few people reach this level of awareness, from this I assumed that the Dalai Lama had recognised Tolles presence as a high level, and therefore concluded that Tolle's aparent enlightenment was either at par with the Dalai Lama or possibly higher.
But this cannot be proven and is really pointless, thats why I posted that the level of attainment of others is of no consequence to me.

From what I know about Tolle is that after his enlightenment he simply wandered about for three years, it wasn't until he spoke to monks that it became aparent to him that what others seek had happened to him. He then studied Buddhism and other religions and they just made sense to him he saw the similarities.

To be clear I practice a Burmese technique with its roots in Theravaden, I have not attended a retreat held by Eckhart personally. Through my own experience from practice I have found Eckhart's teachings completely in line with the teachings of the Buddha and his talks have helped me greatly. Lineage is not important to me, just results that help me to lead a more harmoneous life. Maybe as I progress on the path these things will become more important :smile:
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Re: Eckhart Tolle on christmas

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:42 am

Lineage itself isn't important, but what it delivers is.

Buddhism is not unique in this regard either, there is also things like martial arts...if one's teacher had an excellent teacher and so on, you can at least know that whatever "it" is you are learning, it is vetted through a tradition, not just the trappings of a tradition, but the actual substance of it as well. Whether or not we choose to accept the tradition as a whole, piecemeal, on our own terms or whatever is another question - but it's hard to argue that coming from a tradition is not worth caring about, especially with something spiritual matters.
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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Re: Eckhart Tolle on christmas

Postby greentara » Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:57 am

I don't understand this clinging to lineage? It can limit your understanding if you are too rigid. Surely a rare one can become enlightened without a teacher or teaching to follow. Who was the Buddhas teacher? Take Mahavira, who did he follow? Did Kabir follow any particular teaching or was his enlightenment any less extraordinary or his bijaks any less inspirational. Ramana Maharshi was said to be advaitic but upon questioning he said it depended on the understanding of the devotee. You might ask where is the 'real' teacher? What is his lineage? But then where are the 'real' devotees? Enlightenment is beyond words, beyond description so don't get stuck!
I'll just add, I've never been attracted to Eckhart Tolle, his teaching or his boisterous relationship with Oprah.
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Re: Eckhart Tolle on christmas

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Fri Jan 04, 2013 1:28 am

It's not clinging to lineage exactly..just acknowledging the benefits of it within the framework of a tradition.

The Buddha had all kinds of teachers, and was a part of, and arguably a reformer of the Sramanic tradition, but it can't be said (to my eyes at least) that he was divorced from tradition in the process, can it? "tradition" is not something that stays the same, it changes with time, at least in some ways.

Trust me I tend to gravitate towards mavericks so i'm not some traditionalist...but in the context of this thread it makes sense.
Last edited by Johnny Dangerous on Fri Jan 04, 2013 1:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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Re: Eckhart Tolle on christmas

Postby lowlydog » Fri Jan 04, 2013 1:33 am

Astus wrote:How does this match with the Buddha's teachings?


TRUTH: RELATIVE OR ABSOLUTE?
Beyond the realm of simple and verifiable facts, the certainty that “I
am right and you are wrong” is a dangerous thing in personal relationships as
well as in interactions between nations, tribes, religions, and so on.
But if the belief “I am right; you are wrong” is one of the ways in
which the ego strengthens itself, if making yourself right and others wrong is
a mental dysfunction that perpetuates separation and conflict between
human beings, does that mean there is no such thing as right or wrong
behavior, action, or belief? And wouldn't that be the moral relativism that
some contemporary Christian teachings see as the great evil of our times?
The history of Christianity is, of course, a prime example of how the
belief that you are in sole possession of the truth, that is to say, right , can
corrupt your actions and behavior to the point of insanity. For centuries,
torturing and burning people alive if their opinion diverged even in the
slightest from Church doctrine or narrow interpretations of scripture (the
“Truth”) was considered right because the victims were “wrong.” They were
so wrong that they needed to be killed. The Truth was considered more
important than human life. And what was the Truth? A story you had to
believe in; which means, a bundle of thoughts.
The one million people that mad dictator Pol Pot of Cambodia ordered
killed included everybody who wore glasses. Why? To him, the Marxist
interpretation of history was the absolute truth, and according to his version
of it, those who wore glasses belonged to the educated glass, the bourgeoisie,
the exploiters of the peasants. They needed to be eliminated to make room
for a new social order. His truth also was a bundle of thoughts.
The Catholic and other churches are actually correct when they
identify relativism, the belief that there is no absolute truth to guide human
behavior, as one of the evils of our times; but you won't find absolute truth if
you look for it where it cannot be found: in doctrines, ideologies, sets of
rules, or stories. What do all of these have in common? They are made up of
thought. Thought can at best point to the truth, but it never is the truth. That's
why Buddhists say “The finger pointing to the moon is not the moon.” All
religions are equally false and equally true, depending on how you use them.
You can use them in the service of the ego, or you can use them in the
service of the Truth. If you believe only your religion is the Truth, you are
using it in the service of the ego. used in such a way, religion becomes
ideology and creates an illusory sense of superiority as well as division and
conflict between people. In the service of the Truth, religious teachings
represent signposts or maps left behind by awakened humans to assist you in
spiritual awakening, that is to say, in becoming free of identification with
form.
There is only one absolute Truth, and all other truths emanate from it.
When you find that Truth, your actions will be in alignment with it. Human
action can reflect the Truth, or it can reflect illusion. Can the Truth be put
into words? Yes, but the words are, of course, not it. They only point to it.
The Truth is inseparable from who you are. Yes, you are the truth. If
you look for it elsewhere, you will be deceived every time. The very Being
that you are is Truth. Jesus tried to convey that when he said, “I am the way
and the truth and the life.”2 These words uttered by Jesus are one of the most
powerful and direct pointers to the Truth, if understood correctly. If
misinterpreted, however, they become a great obstacle. Jesus speaks of the
innermost I Am, the essence identity of every man and woman, every lifeform,
in fact. He speaks of the life that you are. Some Christian mystics have
called it the Christ within; Buddhists call it your Buddha nature; for Hindus,
it is Atman, the indwelling God. When you are in touch with that dimension
within yourself – and being in touch with it is your natural state, not some
miraculous achievement – all your actions and relationships will reflect the
oneness with all life that you sense deep within. This is love. Laws,
commandments, rules, and regulations are necessary for those who are cut
off from who they are, the Truth within. They prevent the worst excesses of
the ego, and often they don't even do that. “Love and do what you will,” said
St. Augustine. Words cannot get much closer to the Truth than that.

Hi Astus, I'm hoping that this clip from his book will answer your questions. :smile:
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Re: Eckhart Tolle on christmas

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Fri Jan 04, 2013 1:39 am

It really sounds like Vedanta.

You can even get some of this viewpoint just taking Hatha or Kundalini yoga, I have done a sadhana where you say "the truth that I am" over and over during the movements. It's a monist viewpoint...in that sense you could argue it's fundamentally different from Dharma.

Not saying one can't get anything out of it for sure, I don't want to comdemn it on it's own merits or anything. From the above though I can see that it contradicts Dharma, unless you consider the "middle path" between eternalism and nihilism to not be an important feature of the Dharma, personally I do.
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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