Eckart Tolle - master of the park bench

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Re: Eckart Tolle - master of the park bench

Postby duffster1 » Mon Dec 23, 2013 7:25 pm

One doesn't have to identify with a dzogchen lineage or any other lineage to abide in the natural state.
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Re: Eckart Tolle - master of the park bench

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Mon Dec 23, 2013 7:28 pm

duffster1 wrote:Simply by listening and seeing that he speaks spontaneously and a lot of the time not using terminology from traditions.


Whether or not he uses specific terminology, he is not saying anything new, so what does he bring of value that would not be better accomplished by going with one of the traditions? For instance, the beginning of this video of "thought watching" is quite basic instruction in nearly any form of Buddhism, and his instructions are not really particularly different, minus the fact that they seem to lack specifics on actual meditation..i.e. in terms of posture etc.

And yes Padma, that is the point..his teachings sounds "remarkably like" Buddhism, if you want to view it that way.
"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: Eckart Tolle - master of the park bench

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Mon Dec 23, 2013 7:32 pm

duffster1 wrote:One doesn't have to identify with a dzogchen lineage or any other lineage to abide in the natural state.



Great. Personally though, I scrutinize people that claim they are in that state, and to me he seems to be trying awfully hard. So if the argument is that one should simply follow him because you believe he has attained some degree of realization, more power to you. For myself, I maintain some skepticism about him due to the reasons already given.
"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: Eckart Tolle - master of the park bench

Postby padma norbu » Mon Dec 23, 2013 7:34 pm

is it just me or did it sound like dzogchen, though? When I dusted off and read that bit of Naturally LIberating Whatever You Meet by Khenpo Gangshar again, I was kind of like "huh." I was also glad to have done so because it describes rigpa so succinctly.
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Re: Eckart Tolle - master of the park bench

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Mon Dec 23, 2013 7:36 pm

padma norbu wrote:is it just me or did it sound like dzogchen, though? When I dusted off and read that bit of Naturally LIberating Whatever You Meet by Khenpo Gangshar again, I was kind of like "huh." I was also glad to have done so because it describes rigpa so succinctly.



Honestly the descriptive language used between Zen/Chan, Mahamudra, Dzogchen, to a degree even Advaita Vedanta (at least in translated form) have always sounded pretty similar to me. Heck depending on the teacher even basic Shamatha instruction can sound like that.
"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: Eckart Tolle - master of the park bench

Postby padma norbu » Mon Dec 23, 2013 7:37 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
duffster1 wrote:One doesn't have to identify with a dzogchen lineage or any other lineage to abide in the natural state.



Great. Personally though, I scrutinize people that claim they are in that state, and to me he seems to be trying awfully hard. So if the argument is that one should simply follow him because you believe he has attained some degree of realization, more power to you. For myself, I maintain some skepticism about him due to the reasons already given.



I understand completely your skepticism. Thanks for the discussion. I think I'm about done for now. Maybe I'll have something else to add if I ever actually do finish that book.
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Re: Eckart Tolle - master of the park bench

Postby duffster1 » Mon Dec 23, 2013 7:47 pm

padma norbu wrote:
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
duffster1 wrote:One doesn't have to identify with a dzogchen lineage or any other lineage to abide in the natural state.



Great. Personally though, I scrutinize people that claim they are in that state, and to me he seems to be trying awfully hard. So if the argument is that one should simply follow him because you believe he has attained some degree of realization, more power to you. For myself, I maintain some skepticism about him due to the reasons already given.



I understand completely your skepticism. Thanks for the discussion. I think I'm about done for now. Maybe I'll have something else to add if I ever actually do finish that book.


I second that.
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Re: Eckart Tolle - master of the park bench

Postby Qing Tian » Mon Dec 23, 2013 7:49 pm

Whether or not he uses specific terminology, he is not saying anything new, so what does he bring of value that would not be better accomplished by going with one of the traditions?


He brings accessibility to those who feel that the 'traditions' are not accessible (for whatever reason).
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Re: Eckart Tolle - master of the park bench

Postby bob » Mon Dec 23, 2013 8:02 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:Whether or not he uses specific terminology, he is not saying anything new, so what does he bring of value that would not be better accomplished by going with one of the traditions?


IIRC, it was the previous Karmapa who said that these days, Bodhisattvas would not necessarily be appearing in the traditions, but outside of them, because the nature of the modern world required that sort of manifestation. Clearly, there are many people who do not really find any attraction to the traditions, but can and do nevertheless benefit from folks like Tolle. in other words, seeds of liberation from ignorance are planted, and though the planter may not be dressed in monk robes and wearing a funny hat, they may still be serving to open minds and helping to relieve suffering. It is sheer arrogance to imagine any religion or system has a lock on truth, and is the sole dispenser of wisdom. For example, Alan Watts is often sneered at by traditional zennists, but he served to turn a whole generation on to an interest in eastern thought. There are many similar examples, but suffice it to say that traditional biases can often be misdirecting, and need to be scrutinized before we rush to scorn or belittle others. Indeed, humans are the least qualified to pass judgment on each other, and when that fact sinks in, we become a bit more humble in our appraisals.
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Re: Eckart Tolle - master of the park bench

Postby dzogchungpa » Mon Dec 23, 2013 8:07 pm

I don't have anything against Tolle and I've never heard about any abusive behavior on his part. I read "The Power of Now" and I don't remember there being anything harmful in there, and I imagine that many people would probably benefit from reading it and taking it to heart. That said, I've often wondered why he's become so popular. His teachings don't seem particularly original, and he's not exactly what I would call charismatic. How did he become such a superstar?
Last edited by dzogchungpa on Mon Dec 23, 2013 8:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Eckart Tolle - master of the park bench

Postby reddust » Mon Dec 23, 2013 8:19 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:I don't have anything against Tolle and I've never heard about any abusive behavior on his part. I read "The Power of Now" and I don't remeber there being anything harmful in there, and I imagine that many people would probably benefit from reading it and taking it to heart. That said, I've often wondered why he's become so popular. His teachings don't seem particularly original, and he's not exactly what I would call charismatic. How did he become such a superstar?


I think Tolle's popularity has something to do with how barren our society is regarding spiritual culture and a close knit community humans have always lived in until now :shrug:
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Re: Eckart Tolle - master of the park bench

Postby bob » Mon Dec 23, 2013 8:28 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:How did he become such a superstar?


Because his message is non-denominational, it has much broader appeal than traditional voices associated with a particular religious or social persuasion. Conditions were ripe for the emergence of his considerations, and so if you look at the phenomenon from the point of view of niche marketing, he was simply exploiting an opportunity to step into a role that was heretofore unoccupied. There are many people who are attracted to neither religious provincialism nor scientific materialism, but intuit that there is another way to look at life and consciousness -- a view that Tolle has helped to successfully propagate.
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Re: Eckart Tolle - master of the park bench

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Mon Dec 23, 2013 8:36 pm

bob wrote:
dzogchungpa wrote:How did he become such a superstar?


Because his message is non-denominational, it has much broader appeal than traditional voices associated with a particular religious or social persuasion. Conditions were ripe for the emergence of his considerations, and so if you look at the phenomenon from the point of view of niche marketing, he was simply exploiting an opportunity to step into a role that was heretofore unoccupied. There are many people who are attracted to neither religious provincialism nor scientific materialism, but intuit that there is another way to look at life and consciousness -- a view that Tolle has helped to successfully propagate.


I think it's more about westerners general arrogance about their own culture, and the idea that other cultures could possibly offer something that ours can't, that keeps people away from spiritual teachings of this sort, based simply on my own conversations with people who are vehemently "anti tradition". Viewed through this lens there are two ways to look at it, either Tolle is bringing something to the table in way that this segment of people can get, or he is simply reinforcing their already deeply ingrained cultural biases about where knowledge can come from.

Maybe it's a bit of both.

I'm still interested to know whether people really engage (from a Buddhist standpoint) in serious practice via exposure to Tolle, or if he is more a stepping stone.
"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: Eckart Tolle - master of the park bench

Postby bob » Mon Dec 23, 2013 8:50 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:I'm still interested to know whether people really engage (from a Buddhist standpoint) in serious practice via exposure to Tolle, or if he is more a stepping stone.


Some will use what they have gotten from Tolle as an expedient means to expose themselves to more rigorous formal practice in this life, but the majority will mostly be influenced in the sense that a seed has been planted, that will ripen and mature in its proper time. We really can't know how this sort of thing will play out, but we can be grateful that others have at least heard something of the Dharma who otherwise would have not, even if the vehicle was an Oprah tv show. "God" works in mysterious ways, eh.
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Re: Eckart Tolle - master of the park bench

Postby greentara » Mon Dec 23, 2013 10:37 pm

dzogchungpa, If you are surprised by his popularity is no surprise. His fortune changed when Oprah endorsed him to her adoring fans.
Many of these so called 'new' teachers are only too happy to prey upon the gullible and revel in name and fame.
All his teachings have been cherrypicked from Buddhism and Advaita.
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Re: Eckart Tolle - master of the park bench

Postby Lindama » Mon Dec 23, 2013 10:40 pm

would you say that about any buddhist?
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Re: Eckart Tolle - master of the park bench

Postby bob » Mon Dec 23, 2013 10:46 pm

greentara wrote:dzogchungpa, If you are surprised by his popularity is no surprise. His fortune changed when Oprah endorsed him to her adoring fans.


Actually, he was doing quite well prior to Oprah, his first book having sold millions, and his bookings filled on the Circuit.

Many of these so called 'new' teachers are only too happy to prey upon the gullible and revel in name and fame.
All his teachings have been cherrypicked from Buddhism and Advaita.


Name a lama teaching today who is not basing his teachings on Buddhism. Moreover, there are quite a few predators walking around in Buddhist robes, passing themselves off as teachers . . .need more be said in that regard?
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Re: Eckart Tolle - master of the park bench

Postby padma norbu » Mon Dec 23, 2013 10:52 pm

greentara, would you rather he cherry-picked from Wicca and Islam? Why wouldn't he accept Oprah's offer, if he felt these were good teachings to benefit people?

I think people forget that Buddha was not a traditionalist.



I'm not really comparing Tolle to Buddha, but I find it weird how people are so quick to jump to the conclusion that he's got no bodhicitta and is merely an opportunist liar. So far, I haven't seen any evidence to support the putdowns. I guess people must think Tenzin is a conman, too, since he discusses Tolle's concepts in his work.
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Re: Eckart Tolle - master of the park bench

Postby Lindama » Mon Dec 23, 2013 10:56 pm

say, awakening is beyond it all

amazed that we judge those by one standard... another religous war, eh?

the only thing is value lies in those who receive it :namaste:
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Re: Eckart Tolle - master of the park bench

Postby greentara » Mon Dec 23, 2013 11:06 pm

Padma norbu, "Why wouldn't he accept Oprah's offer, if he felt these were good teachings to benefit people?" Well if only he was doing it to benefit people? If only he had no other motive!
Padma discrimination is always needed when dealing with a teacher. How much is he charging and are his talks nothing but a huge money making venue? Work it out for yourself, I think its best to say no more.
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