The Source Of All Satisfaction – Eckhart Tolle Retreat Day 5
The retreat is well underway. In fact it will already end, be over and behind us, tomorrow. Today Kim Eng will be leading sessions one and two. Eckhart will do sessions three and four. A full on day after the day off yesterday.
Kim is Tolle’s partner. She’s a yoga teacher. Over the past days she has given yoga classes to us all divided into four groups. One and a half hour of physical fun, release, pain and relaxation under Kim’s caring guidance have inspired me to look into a yin-yoga class when I return home.
Bridging us and him
Kim is like a bridge between many of the participants and Eckhart: she is more ‘human’ than Eckhart is. He himself would probably laugh about this. Eckhart is quite a bit further evolved and advanced in his own teachings than most of us are :-). And Kim is somehow bridging us and him, because her personal ‘level of consciousness’ seems to relate more to human emotions and issues than that of her husband – or is it simply because she is a woman and a mother? Women and mothers often are more practical than men; especially when these men like to study and think, and like Eckhart, like to ‘sit quietly, doing nothing’.
Sessions one and two are Q&A sessions. Kim talks about the teaching in a very practical way. She gives an example from her life with Eckhart – how it has been challenging for her to live with a man who doesn’t cook or clean. ‘I’m happy to report that we have found a way: Eckhart now helps with the cooking!’ Kim says with a radiant smile. I love that she is so open about the fact that the ‘chopping wood and carrying water’-principle (see Day 2) applies to the Tolle-Eng household as well. My spouse is less interested; he prefers the more abstract approach of the master himself. He takes the afternoon off to float in the pool… 🙂 (yes, I find it challenging too, and yes we too are finding ways, I too can happily report).
Stand on one leg
A question that most of us have, is: how can you be present and conscious in the middle of an argument with someone? Kim has a wonderful solution: stand on one leg! You cannot continue forgetting to be consciously present when trying to keep your balance on one leg. I will definitely do this next time hubby and I have a misunderstanding.
Not every question resonates with me. I catch my mind thinking that a certain answer is taking too long. Then I realise that if one person stays behind, as a whole, we cannot move on. If we are ‘all one’, in which I like to believe, we as a whole have to take care of that one little part that needs more attention, love and patience. My sense of compassion is injected with a powerful boost!
The source of all satisfaction is within you
Late afternoon Eckhart returns to the stage for his sixth talk this week. He tends to speak about the same things always. He may use different words – pointers – but also in this talk he mentions how to be a good human being, to remember to take a conscious breath when you catch yourself losing conscious awareness in situations; he mentions Presence, going either above or below a situation (see Day 3), and the ability to turn Presence up or down like a dimmer switch.
He talks about the Source of All Satisfaction. Lasting, genuine satisfaction is not to be found in new gadgets, food, drugs and not even in sex. It is to be found within you. Within me. Within. Because the wording is almost the same, I take it that ‘the source of all satisfaction is within you’ points at the same truth as ‘the kingdom of heaven is within you’ (see Day 2). Please comment below if you think I got that wrong.
Finding the source of all satisfaction within, makes you independent of circumstance, and ultimately free. In The Sedona Method this is called: being imperturbable, or hoot-less. It is a most desirable state of being because no-thing and no-one can affect your sense of genuine satisfaction, or your experience of being (in) oneness, spaciousness, is-ness, consciousness, and ultimately: God.
Fulfilling life’s purpose
During the last evening session of this retreat Eckhart Tolle speaks about being active in the world while being deeply rooted in stillness.
Tolle has said that the purpose of life is to find balance between doing and being (see Day 2). We can fulfil this purpose by being deeply rooted in stillness as we go about our daily activities. It sounds simple. It is easy to write down these words. But to actually perform what these words are pointing at, is a challenge. I will only speak for myself when I say that I need a lot of practice to fulfil this purpose. How about you?
I tend to prefer to stay away from crowds and parties, simply because I find it hard to remain rooted in stillness when I bring my body-mind to noisy places. I suppose they are the best places to practice though! The day I will succeed to be deeply rooted in stillness while having a chat with a stranger at a Christmas party, I will be so proud of myself – I shall experience true fulfilment!
Now look what I was doing in the previous alinea: I was projecting fulfilment into a far away future, anticipating it to be very hard to achieve. How about this very moment? I am writing this blog post, my mind is busy finding the right English words to tell you about Day 5, I am conscious of the high temperature of the air in my study, I hear the birds chirp, I can still feel the coolness of the water I just drank … I am aware of the vast spaciousness of which I’m a part – which I am; in and on which I do what I do … I reckon I am fulfilling the purpose of life in this very moment! This is it! I Am, and as I am being the I Am, I am doing whatever I do. This moment is perfect.
And now the mind kicks in again, saying: ‘Yeah but this is easy, you’re all by yourself without any distraction – go try this in a cafe in the city’.
Okay, the mind is probably right, but that doesn’t change the fact that in this very moment I know what it feels like to have fulfilled the purpose, and I won’t let the mind spoil this very moment for me. Congratulations, me. You/I have just ‘nailed it’! (see why I put ‘nailed it’ between apostrophes in the Sickest Buddhist-video, Day 4).
Drifting off in reactivity
Eckhart tells us all we have to do when we catch ourselves drifting off in reactivity, is to take one or two conscious breaths, and bring our awareness back into the present moment. Kim Eng suggests we stand on one leg. Personally I like to visualise a vast stillness in and around the earth, and many elegantly weaving thread-like roots that are growing from my heart deep into this stillness, to continuously connect me with the Is-ness of all being.
My intention and my wish are to be able to realise this always. Should I stumble or fail, I will not beat myself up about it – I will accept my body-mind’s limitation, I will love me for my efforts, and pick up where I left off.
‘Thank you for everything, I have no complaints whatsoever.’
Miriam van Keulen