Ray Hemachandra: Eckhart, the practice of being in the moment by definition is not goal-oriented, correct?
Eckhart Tolle: Correct. You are not seeking to attain some future state.
That is the fallacy of many spiritual seekers. They have an image of some state — enlightenment, or whatever they call it — they want to achieve.
But it does not work like that. The future is only a thought form.
Work with the present moment. Be with what is.
The difference between you, if you consider yourself not enlightened, and an enlightened master is not that the enlightened master has more knowledge. University professors have knowledge, and many enlightened masters have very little knowledge.
Jesus probably had less knowledge than any university professor alive today in terms of raw information. Even a relatively uneducated person has more information than Jesus or Buddha ever had about things, such as political things and so on.
So, what is the difference? The enlightened master simply is one with life, with what is, which is the now. That is the only difference.
It is so simple! Some people say it is hard to live in such a way, being completely one with the present moment. Of course, it is not hard. The opposite is hard. Not being one with life is hard, and that is how most people live.
Being one with the now actually is the easy way. But the habit patterns of the human mind are very strong and make it seem that the hard way is easy and the easy way is hard.
I invite you to read and enjoy other interview excerpts with leading spiritual teachers posted on the blog. Please share them on social media, as well! Here are links to just a few of them:
- Dr. Wayne W. Dyer on the law of attraction, cultural memes, and your purpose
- Life Loves You: interview excerpts with Louise Hay
- Interview with Doreen Virtue: excerpts from two of my interviews with the angel reader and teacher
- Byron Katie on living in joy and love
- Sister Chan Khong on interbeing, service, and our little wars
- Marianne Williamson on the political obligations of spiritual people and on midlife
- Eckhart Tolle on stress, the present moment, consciousness, and your awakening
- Rabbi David Zeller on the meaning and melding of transpersonal psychology and Jewish spirituality