Eckhart Tolle was teaching at Cambridge University in England as a graduate student. He had suffered from severe suicidal depression from childhood in Germany. One night at Cambridge, despair overcame him that he decided to commit suicide. While thinking again and again that he must kill himself, Eckhart suddenly realized that there were two selves in him. Only one could be his true self.
It was such a shock that his mind stopped. All his thoughts disappeared as a vortex of energy drew him in. He immediately felt an intense fear. There was an inner voice telling him: “resist nothing.” Then the fear too disappeared, as he plunged into a void inside him. He does not remember what happened afterwards.
He woke up to hear the sweet melody of a bird chirping outside and opened his eyes to see the light of dawn filtering through the curtain. In that moment he strongly felt that there was “infinitely more to light than we realize. That soft luminosity filtering through the curtain was love itself.”
Eckhart Tolle described his experience further: “Everything was fresh and pristine, as if it had just come into existence. I picked up things, a pencil, an empty bottle marveling at the beauty and aliveness of it all. That day I walked around the city in utter amazement at the miracle of life on earth, as if I had just been born into this world.”
Eckhart Tolle’s false and suffering self had vanished altogether. He spent almost two years sitting around in park benches in a “state of the most intense joy.” People approached him wanting for them the palpable peace that he seemed to emanate. Answering their questions, he became eventually a spiritual teacher.
Strangely enough, Eckhart Tolle did not know about the possibility of Self-realization before his own enlightenment. It took some years before he came to know that there were, and are other Self-realized Masters.
Eckhart Tolle’s book‘The Power of Now’ provides some powerful techniques to find inner peace and realize our true Self. As our thoughts and feelings veil the peace and joy within us, witnessing them without any judgment (if judging happens, see it as another thought) allows us to see the silent space underneath the thoughts. As we continue to witness, which means, accepting and surrendering to what is, the silent space deepens. We will feel the peace and joy.
Acceptance and surrender does not mean mere passivity or that we will not act to alter a life situation, if needed or necessary. Without the agitation of inner resistance, we will have the energy and wisdom to act more effectively. We will be able to deal with whatever problems that may arise.
Another technique is to feel the life energy within our body. Stretch the right hand in front, feel the energy in your palm; then, feeling the energy, go up the arm to the shoulder, neck, and thus on to the left side. Continue to feel the energy in the face, head, chest, stomach, abdomen, thighs, knees, calves and the feet. As we continue to be aware of the life within the body, we can feel the same energy spreading around our body to connect with everything around us.
Practice this technique as often as you can, especially as you wake up, and before you fall asleep. Once you get into the habit of practicing it, there would be no need to go part by part. You will feel the energy in your whole body and around you at once. This practice improves the quality of life. The body becomes more healthy, and the mind calm.