Eckhart Tolle, a spiritual teacher and author of The Power of Now, says that we are here to access non-conceptual knowing. He says “In many cases, what you think of someone is your projection. You don’t see things as they are, you see them as you are”.
To grasp what he refers to as “non-conceptual knowing” or knowing from a place of stillness/non judgement versus your mind, here is an exercise for you:
As you perceive things, your practice is to not form an opinion, observation or judgment, but to stay with your breath and live from the deep “I” or depth of the ocean (here is a link to previous blog to clarify this if necessary).
If a thought comes, recognize it as conditioned thinking, which is a part of your ego. Acknowledge it, and do not feed it with more thoughts or assessments, but instead go to that deeper place of knowing that resides in you using your breath. When you do this, you no longer get taken over by every thought that comes into your head. This is non-conceptual knowing, being the space between the “information” and “knowledge” of the world and its words, thoughts, judgments, etc.
When we move to the place of non-conceptual knowing, we allow a deeper dimension to come in. Start to practice this as you interact with those in your life – family, friends, colleagues, and people you pass by throughout your day – just be the presence behind the thinking. Eckhart Tolle suggests: “While you are engaging with others, are you thinking of the next thing you are going to say? Are you judging and evaluating what you are listening to? Or, can you be there as the aware space that is listening.” If you can, also start to sense your own presence while you look. Observe if you are able to do that – to be present between the thoughts.
If you rearrange the letters in the word “listen”, it spells silent. When we are really listening, we need to do so from a place of stillness which requires our internal dialogue to be silent. The challenge is to listen to the other person from a simple place of alertness where you aren’t judging what you are listening to. If you can, then you are there as a presence, not as a person. This brings a deeper level of awareness, and a deeper level of connection.
I encourage you to try this on. See if you can bring a spacious, aware presence to your interactions with others. See how your relationships shift when people truly feel heard by you. This is especially important in our relationships with our children and significant others.
It has been through practicing stillness, watching my “Monkey Mind” and learning how to navigate my thoughts back to the present moment shifting to acceptance of whatever is arising but not attaching to the next thought….that I have been able to regain my mental health.
I have studied under many teachers, including Eckhart Tolle, and now I teach patients how to approach their life from a mindful perspective. If you’d like some coaching in this area, check out the online training program that I have created. I look forward to teaching you how to manage your mind so that you are no longer at the mercy of it!
Sending you healing thoughts,
The above was derived from notes I took at a lecture by Eckhart Tolle. Lachlan Crawford and I interpreted the teachings and created the above