Power of Now – Summary of Chapter 7

Chapter 7 – Portals into the Unmanifested

In this chapter Tolle invites us to consider different ways of connecting to the “unmanifested” presence of the Now that we carry with us at all times.  He notes that there are times with this energy can break through unexpectedly, but there are also ways for us to nurture these portals.  After the last class I had conversations with a couple of people who’d discovered a portal of their own.

One person is a woman who’s children are grown, and who has suffered tremendous loss and heartache.  However, one day she was asked to keep a two-year-old boy for a friend.  She told me that being with this little boy… pulling out children’s books that had been packed a way… finding her kids old toys… had opened her up to a kind of simplicity and purity she had not felt for years.

The other person is a retired man who has taken up the art of crafting violins.  He recently completed his first instrument, and listening to him describing the focus and joy that filled him in this work allowed me to experience a taste of this portal with him.

Tolle points us in the direction of these experiences, but if you have discovered a portal he doesn’t mention, please pass it on!

Here’s an outline of Chapter 7, Portals into the Unmanifested

  • Going Deeply Into the Body
    • Tolle recommends we practice being present to inner energy for 10-15 minutes at a time.
    • He encourages us to move past the awareness of body to the an awareness of energy.
  • The Source of Chi
    • Tolle offers an explanation of Chi as the flow of energy from the Unmanifested to manifested form.
    • He says that as we develop the discipline to take attention away from the external world and experience the inner energy, we open the flow of Chi.
  • Dreamless Sleep
    • Tolle asserts that we enter the Unmanifested during sleep, but that it is not liberating until we enter it consciously.
  • Other Portals
    • Conscious awareness of the Now is the main portal.
    • Cessation of thinking is another portal.
    • Surrender – letting go of resistance to what is – is a portal.
  • Silence
    • Tolle identifies silence as a particularly important portal since all of our manifested experience is shaped by the interplay of sound and silence.
    • He recommends that we pay particular attention to the silence between sound.
  • Space
    • Tolle also asserts that space is similar to silence since space is the emptiness among the atoms of form.
    • We can “study” that which is manifested.  We can only be present to space.
    • You cannot think and be aware of space—or of silence, for that matter. By becoming aware of the empty space around you, you simultaneously become aware of the space of no-mind, of pure consciousness: the Unmanifested. This is how the contemplation of space can become a portal for you.
  • The True Nature of Space and Time
    • Tolle offers thoughts on the nature of space and time.
    • Hence, the ultimate purpose of the world lies not within the world but in transcendence of the world. Just as you would not be conscious of space if there were no objects in space, the world is needed for the Unmanifested to be realized. You may have heard the Buddhist saying: “If there were no illusion, there would be no enlightenment.” It is through the world and ultimately through you that the Unmanifested knows itself. You are here to enable the divine purpose of the universe to unfold. That is how important you are.
  • Conscious Death
    • Apart from dreamless sleep, which I mentioned already, there is one other involuntary portal. It opens up briefly at the time of physical death. Even if you have missed all the other opportunities for spiritual realization during your lifetime, one last portal will open up for you immediately after the body has died.
    • I’m reminded of Rohr’s contention that all people make peace with death.  Unfortunately many only do so a few seconds before they die.  The younger we are when we make peace with death, the more years of rich living we have.

Our study of Chapter 8, Enlightened Relationships, coming up on October 27, should be particular interesting.  Tolle will be inviting us to consider how the power of Now can shape, or reshape, our relationships with the people to whom we are closest.  You can register for the class here: Power of Now Study.

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Power of Now – Summary of Chapter 6

May all that is Sacred within you, encourage you to let go, and forgive.  May you grasp the Grace that is all around you, not so you let others or yourself off the hook, but so that you may take another step towards the freedom that awaits you.

Here’s a summary of my opening thoughts on the this chapter, and an experience I led the group through

  • Tolle’s greatest contributions are his simple observations (i.e., Over-identification with mind invites suffering).  As with many gifted observers, he also has a need to explain why things are the way they are.  This is where he begins to walk into the trap that he has so wisely warned us of.  I understand this, but I find myself wanting him to show more awareness of it… Perhaps he does, but I’ve missed it.
  • Body is our closest connection to animal life.
    • Animals live instinctively and reactively
    • The more we befriend our bodies, the more we are able to live intentionally
    • Virtually all religions have some strain that is very anti-body.
      • The body is seen as dangerous and in need of severe control.
      • The tool of choice is repression, rather than transformation.
  • Tolle underlines the importance of present attention to Body
    • I would add the important ingredient of curiosity
  • My guess is that those who overcome addictive impulses most successfully are those who are willing to be curious about sabotaging behavior.
    • If you have impulses that are clearly self-destructive, plain old willpower and accountability are important.
    • However, a person who never gets around the curiosity angle, and listens to Body, is not likely to get too far down the transformation road.
  • This evening I want to invite you to explore what Tolle presents as a key body issue, forgiveness, in three stages.
    • First, we will engage an 8 minute relaxation exercise from TolleTV.
    • Second, we will reflect on a key paragraph in Chapter 6.
    • Third, I will lead a meditative exercise related to forgiveness
      • If I ask you to forgive someone in your past or present, who comes to mind?
        • Imagine this person.
        • Be aware of your feelings… Mad, Sad, Glad, Afraid
        • What would it cost you to forgive?
        • How might it serve you to forgive?
      • If I ask you to forgive yourself, what situation or issue comes to mind?
        • How do you finish this sentence, “It is time for me to forgive myself for…”
        • Be aware of your feelings… Mad, Sad, Glad, Afraid
        • What would it cost you to forgive yourself?
        • How might it serve you to forgive yourself?
      • Closing affirmation: May all that is Sacred within you, encourage you to let go, and forgive.  May you grasp the Grace that is all around you, not so you let others or yourself off the hook, but so that you may take another step towards the freedom that awaits you.

Section by section summary of Chapter 6.

  • Being is Your Deepest Self
    • The physical body can be a point of connection with Being.
    • Connection with the body can help us overcome the “sin” of self-inflicted suffering.
  • Look Beyond the Words
    • Tolle acknowledges how mind can over-react to words like “sin,” and invites the reader to look beyond the word symbol to the reality under-girding the symbol.
  • Finding Your Invisible and Indestructible Reality
    • Mind can overtake virtually all awareness.
    • One way of moving past Mind is to simply attend to the body.
  • Connecting with the Inner Body
    • Tolle invites the reader to stop for a few moments and pay attention to the sensations present in the body.
  • Transformation Through the Body
    • Our bodies are our closest connection to animal life.  Human bodies serve exactly the same functions for us as animal bodies serve for animals.
    • Tolle surmises that our need to see ourselves as different from animals led to a theology of body denial.
    • Tolle says, “The fact is that no one has ever become enlightened through denying or fighting the body or through an out-of-body experience.” (He would certainly get arguments on this point.)
    • He key point, though, is “Transformation is through the body, not away from it”
  • Sermon on the Body
    • “Do not fight against the body, for in doing so you are fighting against your own reality. You are your body. The body that you can see and touch is only a thin illusory veil. Underneath it lies the invisible inner body, the doorway into Being, into Life Unmanifested. Through the inner body, you are inseparably connected to this unmanifested One Life—birthless, deathless, eternally present. Through the inner body, you are forever one with God.”
  • Have Deep Roots Within
    • Tolle encourages us to develop and maintain body awareness.
    • Tolle recommends we use moments of waiting (i.e., standing in line) to practice body awareness.  These are moments in which the mind typically offers irritation and impatience.
  • Before You Enter the Body, Forgive
    • Tolle seems to be saying that the body offer us clues regarding grievances we are carrying. So, he turns to some discussion of forgiveness.
    • Forgiveness is to relinquish your grievance and so to let go of grief. It happens naturally once you realize that your grievance serves no purpose except to strengthen a false sense of self. Forgiveness is to offer no resistance to life—to allow life to live through you. The alternatives are pain and suffering, a greatly restricted flow of life energy, and in many cases physical disease.  The moment you truly forgive, you have reclaimed your power from the mind. Non-forgiveness is the very nature of the mind, just as the mind-made false self, the ego, cannot survive without strife and conflict. The mind cannot forgive. Only you can. You become present, you enter your body, you feel the vibrant peace and stillness that emanate from Being. That is why Jesus said: Before you enter the temple, forgive.
    • Tolle is equating temple with body.
  • Your Link with the Unmanifested
    • Tolle gets a bit more esoteric in this section.
    • He says that the Unmanifested is the same as Being.
  • Slowing Down the Aging Process
    • Tolle says that the inner body does not age, and that our connection with it will slow down the physical aging process.
  • Strengthening the Immune System
    • Tolle sides with many approaches to holistic approaches in asserting that the lower stress that a connection to Being brings can strengthen the immune system.
  • Let Breath Take You into the Body
    • Tolle affirms the benefits of conscious breathing.
  • Creative Use of Mind
    • Connection with Being via the body enhances creativity.
  • The Art of Listening
    • Listening to Body elevates the capacity to listen to others.

Power of Now – Summary of Chapter 5


Well, I just realized I did not post a summary from Chapter 5, so this post will be immediately followed by the post for Chapter 6

Chapter 5 – The State of Presence

Tolle is moving more and more toward philosophical and psychological underpinnings for his perspective.  He says that the wider the time gap between perception and thought, the more depth there is to you as a human being, which is to say the more conscious you are.  I would add a third element: reaction.  In immature persons, there is virtually no time gag from perception, thought, and reaction.  As we mature, we create more space in this cycle.

  • Immature
    • Perception: That person just cut me off in traffic.
    • Thought: The person is an idiot.
    • Reaction: I offer him the universal hand signal of ill will.
  • Mature
    • Perception: That person cut me off in traffic
    • Thought: Driving can be stressful and unpredictable.  I wonder how often I cut people off when I’m not paying attention.
    • Reaction: A quick prayer for all my fellow travelers, and gratitude for the patience I seem to be developing.

Here’s a section by section summary of Chapter 5

  • It’s Not What You Think it Is
    • You cannot “think” your way to presence.
    • Presence in anchored in body awareness.
  • The Esoteric Meaning of “Waiting”
    • Waiting, in the sense that Jesus described, is not about focusing on some future situation that you expect, or hope, will unfold.
    • Waiting, in the Now sense, is being fully present to each moment.
    • Tolle asserts that Jesus’s parable’s about waiting were NOT about the end of historical time, but rather about the end of psychological time.
  • Beauty Arises in the Stillness of Your Presence
    • Satori is the Zen word that refers to those flashes of Presence which are not in themselves transformative, but provide a flash of insight regarding the experience of Presence.
    • Satori moments are flashes of “no mind.”
    • The wider the time gap between perception and thought, the more depth there is to you as a human being, which is to say the more conscious you are.
    • A mind dominated culture produces ugliness.
  • Realizing Pure Consciousness
    • Tolle offers his philosophy of Being and consciousness.
    • Being is the eternal home of “God,” and is our home as well.
    • Consciousness seems to naturally create “forms” which create the world.
    • We become attached to these forms, and lose awareness of the Being behind them (Plato’s Cave?)
    • When we are able to then reconnect to Being, the “world” ends.
  • Christ: The Reality of Your Divine Presence
    • Tolle asserts that “Christ” is synonymous with “Presence.”
    • To connect with Christ is to connect with Presence.
    • The “second coming” of Christ is a transformation of human consciousness, a shift from time to presence, from thinking to pure consciousness, not the arrival of some man or woman.

The Power of Now – Chapter 4 – Mind Strategies for Avoiding the Now

Chapter 4 – Mind Strategies for Avoiding the Now

Loss of Now: The Core Delusion

  • In some rare cases, this shift in consciousness happens dramatically and radically, once and for all.  When it does, it usually come about through total surrender in the midst of intense suffering.  Most people, however, have to work at it.
  • See Trails, Snakes and Cabins
  • Knowing you are not present is a great success because this knowing is a form of presence.

Ordinary Unconsciousness and Deep Unconsciousness

  • [Ordinary unconsciousness] is most people’s normal state.  In that state, you are run by the egoic mind, and you are unaware of Being.  It is a state not acute pain or unhappiness but of an almost continuous low level of unease, discontent, boredom, or nervousness — a kind of background static.
  • We use “idols” (wme’s word) to distract ourselves from this background noise.
  • The pain of deep unconsciousness appears when things go wrong, and the ego cannot not manage the pain through it’s typical idolatries.
  • In ordinary unconsciousness, habitual resistance to or denial of what is creates the unease and discontent that most people accept as normal living.
  • The best indicator of your level of consciousness is how you deal with life’s challenges when they come.
    • Do you become more intensely conscious, or
    • Do you ramp up your avoidance strategies?
  • It is essentially that we bring more consciousness to everyday life so that we can be prepared to deal with the challenges (Eades: Its what we do when we feel good that determines how we handle life when we feel rotten.)

What are they Seeking?

  • We are all caught up in a collective resistance to the Now.
  • We do not know what we are seeking collectively or individually.

Dissolving Ordinary Unconsciousness

  • The first step in dissolving ordinary unconsciousness is to make it conscious.
  • Monitor the state of your Being.

Freedom from Unhappiness

  • Consider why you do things that generate unhappiness.
    • ACT theory suggests that we choose to do some “unhappy” things because they reflect our values, and this is positive because it adds meaning to life.
    • However, if we are caught up in unhappy choices mindlessly, then we begin to experience ourselves as victims.
    • Either stop doing what you are doing, speak to the person concerned and express fully what you feel, or drop the negativity that your mind has created around the situation and that serves no purpose whatsoever except to strengthen a false sense of self.
    • Are you polluting the world or cleaning up the mess?
    • Are you defending your right to be unconscious, your right to suffer?  Don’t worry: Nobody is going to take that away from you.  Once you realize that a certain kind of food makes you sick, would you carry on eating that food and keep asserting that it is okay to be sick?

Wherever You Are, Be There Totally

  • If you find your here and now intolerable and it makes you unhappy, you have three options: remove yourself from the situation, change it, or accept it totally. If you want to take responsibility for your life, you must choose one of those three options, and you must choose now.  Then accept the consequences.  No excuses.  No negativity.  No psychic pollution.  Keep your inner space clear.
  • Stress is caused by being “here” but wanting to be “there,” or being present but wanting to be in the future.  It’s a split that tears you apart inside.
  • Die to the past every moment.  You don’t need it.  Only refer to it when it is absolutely relevant to the present.  Feel the power of this moment and the fullness of Being.  Feel your presence.
  • A few mind strategies that disrupt the Now
    • I’m worried about the future.
    • One day I’ll make it.
    • I need to wait for something to happen.
    • I must work to improve my life.
    • What I have is not good enough.

The Inner Purpose of Your Life’s Journey

  • [The] inner purpose concerns a deepening of your Being in the vertical dimension of the timeless Now.
  • Eades: The world’s great religious traditions say this is characterized by sacrificial love.

The Past Cannot Survive in Your Presence

  • Tolle believes it is a mistake to pursue the unconscious past.
  • The unconscious past is a bottomless pit.
  • Attention to Now will reveal as much of the past as is helpful and relevant.
  • It is not necessary to make sense of the past to live fully in the now.

Meeting 3 – Chapter 3 – Moving Deeply into the Now

Thanks again to the group for providing stimulating conversation.  We focused on one particular idea that came from this chapter:

We are obessessed with the past because we believe it defines us.
We are obsessed with the future because we believe it will redeem us.
Both are illusions.

Core Points

  1. Distinguish between psychological time and clock time.
  2. Psychological time is obsessed with memory and anticipation.
  3. Clock time makes use of past and future in order to make the best use of Now.

Chapter Summary

  1. Don’t seek yourself in the mind.
    1. The ego’s needs are endless.
    2. My thoughts
      1. Once the ego’s basic need for security is met.
      2. It then turns it’s attention obsessions with belonging, love, and power.
  2. End the delusion of time.
    1. Stop living through memory and anticipation.
    2. “[The] past gives you an identity, and the future holds the promise of salvation.”
  3. Nothing exists outside the Now.
  4. The Key to the spiritual dimension.
    1. Emergencies, or other intense situations, focus most people on Now.
  5. Accessing the power of Now
    1. Withdraw energy from past and future whenever you become away that they have no practical value in the moment.
    2. Develop your “witnessing presence” (Authentic Self).
    3. Identification with the mind gives it energy.  Observation of the mind withdraws energy.
  6. Letting go of psychological time (by using “clock time”)
    1. If you recall a mistake from the past and correct yourself in the present, you are using “clock time.”
    2. If you recall a mistake and become caught up in shame or fear, you have lost the Now.
  7. The insanity of psychological time.
    1. Many political movements have used violence to move toward some perceived, ideal end.
    2. I would say we use great violence on ourselves in order to achieve such ends (judgement versus curiosity).
  8. Negativity and suffering have their roots in time.
    1. “Usually the future is a replication of the past…. real transformation is rare and depends upon [your ability] to dissolve the past by accessing the power of the Now.”
    2. “All negativity is caused by an accumulation of psychological time and a denial of the present”
    3. You cannot achieve presence to Now because you are already there.
  9. Finding the life underneath your life situation.
    1. Your life situation is the result of all that has happened to you.
    2. Your life is occurring at this moment.
    3. Again, the discipline needed is mindfulness.
  10. All problems are illusions of the mind.
    1. You cannot have a problem in the now.  Problems are all mind made.
    2. the Now (Authentic Self) always receives the moment as information.  (A fireman does this naturally…)
    3. In a true emergency, time stops.
  11. A quantum leap in the evolution of consciousness.
    1. Tolle believes there is a creation-wide evolution of consciousness occurring.
  12. The joy of Being.
    1. Living in the Now is characterized by joy, ease, and lightness.
    2. Be present to the current action rather than the goal of the action.
    3. In the Now, you can pursue goals with the illusionary burden of expectation.
    4. “Being free of psychological time, you no longer pursue your goals with grim determination, driven by fear, anger, discontent, or the need to become someone.”
    5. “When this is your state of Being, how can you not succeed?  You have succeeded already.”

Power of Now – Class 2 Summary

Thanks to all who attended this challenging discussion.  We experienced together how difficult it can be for the mind (small self) to wrap itself around the possibility that we create much more of our pain than is necessary.

Wes

Meeting 2 – Chapter 2: Consciousness: The Way Out of Pain


Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout
Would not take the garbage out!
She’d scour the pots and scrape the pans,
Candy the yams and spice the hams,
And though her daddy would scream and shout,
She simply would not take the garbage out.
And so it piled up to the ceilings:
Coffee grounds, potato peelings,
Brown bananas, rotten peas,
Chunks of sour cottage cheese.
It filled the can, it covered the floor,
It cracked the window and blocked the door
With bacon rinds and chicken bones,
Drippy ends of ice cream cones,
Prune pits, peach pits, orange peel,
Gloppy glumps of cold oatmeal,
Pizza crusts and withered greens,
Soggy beans and tangerines,
Crusts of black burned buttered toast,
Gristly bits of beefy roasts. . .
The garbage rolled on down the hall,
It raised the roof, it broke the wall. . .
Greasy napkins, cookie crumbs,
Globs of gooey bubble gum,
Cellophane from green baloney,
Rubbery blubbery macaroni,
Peanut butter, caked and dry,
Curdled milk and crusts of pie,
Moldy melons, dried-up mustard,
Eggshells mixed with lemon custard,
Cold french fried and rancid meat,
Yellow lumps of Cream of Wheat.
At last the garbage reached so high
That it finally touched the sky.
And all the neighbors moved away,
And none of her friends would come to play.
And finally Sarah Cynthia Stout said,
“OK, I’ll take the garbage out!”
But then, of course, it was too late. . .
The garbage reached across the state,
From New York to the Golden Gate.
And there, in the garbage she did hate,
Poor Sarah met an awful fate,
That I cannot now relate
Because the hour is much too late.
But children, remember Sarah Stout
And always take the garbage out!
Shel Silverstein, 1974

Review of Chapter One: You are not your Mind

Main points

  • If you buy in to your mind’s perception of reality, then you are doomed.
  • Behind the chattering mind lies pure consciousness.
  • You have the ability to put your mind in to neutral, and allow pure consciousness to emerge.
  • Emotion, which is a product of the mind, adds to the fog which obscures consciousness.

Chapter Two

  • Core idea: You can eliminate pain by remaining conscious of the Now.
  • Main points
    • You can let go of past emotional pain.
    • The physical body carries memories of pain which the mind (ss) identifies with.
    • The ss believes that you ARE your pain, so if you let go of your pain, you’ll no longer exist.
    • Instinct fear and psychological fear are not the same.
    • The ss does not trust the wholeness of the AS, so it continually draws us towards victimhood.

Deeper Points

  • Create No More Pain in the Present
    • Emotional pain that we feel is the result of the mind not being Present.
      • Past: guilt, regret, bitterness
      • Future: stress and anxiety
    • My comment: He comes close to suggesting that the AS does not experience pain
      • I’m curious about what he would say about grief and “righteous anger”
      • Still is still a distraction from his main point, that the Now is infected by the past and present.
  • Past Pain: Dissolving the Pain-Body
    • Our bodies, which includes our brains, carry the memory of pain.
    • The degree to which that pain continues to shape us is determined by how we choose to be present to the Now.
    • Developing awareness with the ss pain-body
      • Watch the emotions in your body.
      • Feel them.
      • Don’t label or judge what you feel.
      • Allow the emotions to be there.
  • Ego Identification with the Pain-Body
    • The ss, or ego, believes that you are your pain.
    • The ss wants you to identify pain with Self
      • I am a victim of abuse.
      • I grew up in an abusive home.
  • The Origin of Fear
    • Instinctive fear and psychological fear
      • Instinctive fear, which is real fear, is a response to an actual threat.
      • Psychological fear is fear of things that may happen in the future.
      • (I would add that spiritual fear is anxiety over non-being)
    • Stress and anxiety are psychological fears.
    • Mindfulness of emotion helps a person let go of anxiety.
  • The Ego’s Search for Wholeness
    • the ss struggles to acknowledge the wholeness of the AS
    • the ss says, “I can’t be okay until…”
    • the AS says, “I am becoming more whole.”

Task: Becoming a Witness

  • “Sustained conscious attention severs the link between the pain-body and your thought processes and brings about the process of transmutation.”
  • Tolle notes that being the presence of a highly conscious person also fosters this process.
  • fostering conversation between your ss and your AS
  • developing curiosity rather than judgment.

Power of Now – Class 1 Summary

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Introduction to the Enneagram,  Thursday, April 21,  5:30 to 7:00.  If you would like to attend, please email me at wmeades@gmail.com Cost will be $10 if we can get at least 20 people who want to attend.

Power of Now – Class 1 Summary

Thanks so much to all of you who came to our first meeting last Thursday evening (3/31).  Here’s a summary of what we covered, along with some suggestions for other resources.   Please post your comments, questions, and suggestions below.

Tolle begins his book by asking us to own a single core concept: “You are not your mind.” Or, to put it another way, “You are not your thoughts.”

Tolle then makes 4 sub-points

  • If you buy in to your mind’s perception of reality, then you are doomed.
  • Behind the chattering mind lies pure consciousness.
  • You have the ability to put your mind in to neutral, and allow pure consciousness to emerge.
  • Emotion, which is a product of the mind, adds to the fog which obscures consciousness.

My comments on this were:

  • These are statements of faith, not statements of fact.
  • My definition of faith is simply Living as if something is true even though it cannot be proven true.
  • Tolle’s assertions, though unprovable, are well grounded in the world’s great spiritual traditions.
  • Just like with any faith system, it will only be meaningful if you can make two commitments:
    • I will live as if these things are true.
    • I will practice the disciplines that have been effective in helping others incarnate this faith.

I then asked the question: Why is this so hard to live in to?

  • To paraphrase E.O. Wilson, The brain is a machine designed for survival, not for understanding.
    • Your brain defines a good day according to one simple question, “Am I still alive?”
    • Your brain has a very crude warning system to supposedly help you achieve this goal of staying alive: Anxiety
  • Our friends, the neuroscientists, have helped us understand how our brains develop and function.
  • The tripartite brain
    • reptilian – the most primitive part of the brain, most associated with survival.
    • limbic – the source of emotion and attachment.
    • neocortex – the source of rational thought.
      • Tolle is making the point that the neocortex, our greatest tool as human beings, ends up being our greatest challenge.
      • I suggest that this is due to the ways in which we experience and respond to anxiety.

How do we Start?

  • Your first responsibility is to become acquainted with your small self mind chatter, through mindfulness
  • One of the first chatterings I’d like you to pay attention to is critical judgment.
    • Immature people are judgmental… Mature people are curious
  • Your second responsibility is to become more familiar with the nature of your small self chatter.
    • Everyone’s chatter is unique, yet there seem to be universal patterns of chatter.
    • The Enneagram is a helpful tool for understanding the nature of your anxiety and how it is likely to be expressed in your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

I explained my use of the terms small self and Authentic Self.  These terms were coined by Burt Burleson, and correspond to Tolle’s description of the chattering mind versus the centered connection to Being.  I recommend that you read The Authentic Self for a fuller understanding of Burt’s concepts.

I also would like to recommend the following books for those who would like to read ideas very similar to Tolle’s but within a more distinctly religious context:

Next class currently scheduled for 4/28.