From https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/23711362

What stage is this description from Eckhart Tolle?

x xx, modified 1 Day ago.

What stage is this description from Eckhart Tolle?

Posts: 3 Join Date: 2/24/22 Recent Posts
https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9mZWVkcy5zaW1wbGVjYXN0LmNvbS91M042OVI3TQ?sa=X&ved=0CAMQ4aUDahcKEwjYsvvEtM32AhUAAAAAHQAAAAAQAQ

At 13:41 to 14:45 in the "we are designed to awaken" episode here Eckhart Tolle describes his perceptual experience. If possible can we tell what path this aligns with, ie first path, second path, third path, fourth path?
Soh Wei Yu, modified 1 Day ago.

RE: What stage is this description from Eckhart Tolle?

Posts: 63 Join Date: 2/13/21 Recent Posts
Eckhart Tolle is at the I AM stage (stages 1 & 2) here: http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2007/03/thusnesss-six-stages-of-experience.html

It may not correspond to MCTB paths.
SigmaTropic, modified 22 Hours ago.

RE: What stage is this description from Eckhart Tolle?

Posts: 173 Join Date: 6/27/17 Recent Posts
If I had to make a crude guess I would say Eckhart is 2nd path in Therevada terms.  

He doesn't talk about structured meditation very much but I will say listening to him was very useful and applying his simple presence techniques are good background practice to be doing as a habit. Something about Eckhart's voice and presence has a calming effect and I would sometimes listen to his talks back in grad school while I was working in the lab and I got a lot out of his teachings. 

Good teachers will teach through interaction and not only the words. They will transmit a state of consciousness and invite you to resonate with that state of consciousness and give you guidance for doing so. 
T DC, modified 20 Hours ago.

RE: What stage is this description from Eckhart Tolle?

Posts: 424 Join Date: 9/29/11 Recent Posts
I've always put his initial awakening experience where he basically saw through the entire conceptual self during intense depression near the very end of the path, far beyond MCTB 4th, but clearly your milage may very.
Soh Wei Yu, modified 4 Hours ago.

RE: What stage is this description from Eckhart Tolle?

Posts: 63 Join Date: 2/13/21 Recent Posts
http://www.awakeningtoreality.com/2021/10/the-power-of-now-by-eckhart-tolle.htmlT DC
I've always put his initial awakening experience where he basically saw through the entire conceptual self during intense depression near the very end of the path, far beyond MCTB 4th, but clearly your milage may very.

No, Eckhart Tolle only realised the I AM and impersonality. I have been through all the phases and am deeply familiar.

For more explanation on Eckhart Tolle's realisation and the issues at that stage, see:

http://www.awakeningtoreality.com/2021/10/the-power-of-now-by-eckhart-tolle.html

And

http://www.awakeningtoreality.com/2007/03/mistaken-reality-of-amness.html
T DC, modified 2 Hours ago.

RE: What stage is this description from Eckhart Tolle?

Posts: 424 Join Date: 9/29/11 Recent Posts
Actually these things are open to interpretation - you or I or thusness or whoever is not categorically right or wrong, we're just interpreting it differently based on our own unique experiences.

Personally I had a very powerful experience late on the path, way after MCTB 4th, in which the entire concept of a separate self arose in my mind and was then seen through and discarded - this was basically right before full enlightenment.  I have always thought this sounded very similar to Ekart Tolle's initial awakening experience. 

​​​​​​​Maybe I'm giving him too much credit, maybe he would feel he actually realized some other prior stage.  However until we talk to him directly, we'll never know if he chanced upon an initial stage in your map, or a final stage in my map, or something else entirely. 

Hence ymmv  ;)
Soh Wei Yu, modified 39 Minutes ago.

RE: What stage is this description from Eckhart Tolle?

Posts: 63 Join Date: 2/13/21 Recent Posts
Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now, on his I AM/Eternal Witness realization:


"The good news is that you can free yourself from your mind. This is the only true liberation. You can take the first step right now. Start listening to the voice in your head as often as you can. Pay particular attention to any repetitive thought patterns, those old gramophone records that have been playing in your head perhaps for many years. This is what I mean by “watching the thinker,” which is another way of saying: listen to the voice in your head, be there as the witnessing presence.

When you listen to that voice, listen to it impartially. That is to say, do not judge. Do not judge or condemn what you hear, for doing so would mean that the same voice has come in again through the back door. You’ll soon realize: there is the voice, and here I am listening to it, watching it. This I am realization, this sense of your own presence, is not a thought. It arises from beyond the mind.

So when you listen to a thought, you are aware not only of the thought but also of yourself as the witness of the thought. A new dimension of consciousness has come in. As you listen to the thought, you feel a conscious presence — your deeper self — behind or underneath the thought, as it were. The thought then loses its power over you and quickly subsides, because you are no longer energizing the mind through identification with it. This is the beginning of the end of involuntary and compulsive thinking." - The Power of Now



Notice this is very different from MCTB 4th path where the view and sense of an unchanging Witness apart from witnessed, along with any sense of a watcher, perceiver, doer, be-er besides self-luminous experience, sensation, colors, sounds, action, thoughts, is seen through and dissolved.


Sim Pern Chong, 2007/2008:


"I think Eckhart Tolle may have been suffering alot and suddenly he 'let go' of trying to work out his problems. This results in a dissociation from thoughts which give rise to the experience of Presence.

To me,  'I AM' is an experience of Presence, it is just that only one aspect of Presence is experienced which is the 'all-pervading' aspect. The non-dual and emptiness aspect are not experienced.. Because non-dual is not realised (at I AM stage), a person may still use effort in an attempt to 'enter' the Presence. This is because, at the I AM stage, there is an erroneous concept that there is a relative world make up of thoughts AND there is an 'absolute source' that is watching it. The I AM stage person will make attempts to 'dissociated from the relative world' in order to enter the 'absolute source'.

However, at Non-dual (& further..) stage understanding, one have understood that the division into a relative world and an absolute source has NEVER occcured and cannot be... Thus no attempt/effort is truly required." - http://www.awakeningtoreality.com/2018/09/a-compilation-of-simpos-writings.html


2006, conversation with John Tan/Thusness:

(5:25 PM) John: For one that truly experience anatta and emptiness, he will know that there is no other way towards liberation. Dualistic view is itself suffering. There is no escape and
cannot be compromised. so though ET [Soh: Eckhart Tolle, who is at the I AM stage] talked about the silence, there is the experience but there is no liberation. There is constant struggle. do not be deceived.  though what he said about the experience is quite true.
(5:27 PM) AEN: non-effort can only come from longchen's (Sim Pern Chong) sort of 'non doer' understanding am i right
(5:27 PM) AEN: oic why no liberation?
(5:27 PM) John: one cannot experience that blissful liberated experience in a dualistic mode.
(5:28 PM) John: yes....longchen (Sim Pern Chong) is beginning to understand more... just beginning...
(5:28 PM) AEN: oic
(5:28 PM) AEN: eckhart tolle in dualistic mode?
(5:28 PM) John: there are just certain experiences that cannot be described in words.
(5:28 PM) AEN: oic
(5:29 PM) John: it is like what ken wilber say about the non-duality experience and absolutely no witness without the layer of separation... how is this possible. it is 'seeing', awaking of wisdom, awakening of anatta and emptiness nature.  no other way can lead us to liberation.
(5:30 PM) AEN: icic..
(5:30 PM) John: i mean maintaining it like every moment. I mean the description of ken wilber is there. but the depth of the experience...i got to read the simple feeling of being.
(5:31 PM) John: however by the title, i think he is still not there.  (comments by Soh: it became clearer later that Ken Wilber is at Thusness Stage 4 and have not reached Stage 5 clarity of anatta realization)
(5:31 PM) AEN: o icic
(5:31 PM) John: lol
(5:31 PM) AEN: the title? u mean the simple feeling of being. wrong?
(5:31 PM) John: i have to read first lah. the title cannot reflect out one that is fully authenticated in suchness.  nevertheless, none i have read can correctly describe it so far.
(5:33 PM) AEN: oic.. so how to correctly describe it
(5:33 PM) John: the next thing to look out is the stability.
(5:33 PM) AEN: oic
(5:34 PM) John: i think ken wilber has engaged too much in theoretical conceptualization after the experience of non-dual. Seems to retrogress....hehe
(5:34 PM) AEN: hahaha icic
(5:35 PM) John: must practice hard. ”
 
“He [XYZ Rinpoche] focused more on awareness as background. Without realizing the nature of mind and phenomena, karma continues to be generated.
 
When there is a background, one can't liberate actually but generates subtle karma IMO. Only through realizing the nature of mind and phenomena one can self liberates (karma).” – John Tan, 2018
 
“There is thinking, no thinker
There is hearing, no hearer
There is seeing, no seer
 
In thinking, just thoughts
In hearing, just sounds
In seeing, just forms, shapes and colors.”


.....


Depending on the conditions of an individual, it may not be obvious that it is “always thought watching thought rather than a watcher watching thought.” or "the watcher is that thought." Because this is the key insight and a step that cannot afford to be wrong along the path of liberation, I cannot help but with some disrespectful tone say,


    For those masters that taught,
    “Let thoughts arise and subside,
    See the background mirror as perfect and be unaffected.”
    With all due respect, they have just “blah” something nice but deluded.

    Rather,

    See that there is no one behind thoughts.
    First, one thought then another thought.
    With deepening insight it will later be revealed,
    Always just this, One Thought!
    Non-arising, luminous yet empty!



    John Tan, 2009, the two stanzas of anatta in On Anatta (No-Self), Emptiness, Maha and Ordinariness, and Spontaneous Perfection

 
“The most direct and succinct explanation of anatta is that there is no actual seer of sights, no actual hearer of sound, etc., there is no actual internal point of reference, or subject, that is apprehending alleged referents, or objects.” – Kyle Dixon, 2020 https://www.reddit.com/r/Buddhism/comments/in52dv/new_here_can_someone_explain_the_concept_of/
T DC, modified 11 Minutes ago.

RE: What stage is this description from Eckhart Tolle?

Posts: 424 Join Date: 9/29/11 Recent Posts
https://vbchange.com/eckhart-tolle/

This is the classic Eckart Tolle awakening experience to which I was refering - it seems to me like he went real deep all at once, much more so than any initial stage.  Hope that helps.
Soh Wei Yu, modified 2 Minutes ago.

RE: What stage is this description from Eckhart Tolle?

Posts: 63 Join Date: 2/13/21 Recent Posts
T DC
https://vbchange.com/eckhart-tolle/

This is the classic Eckart Tolle awakening experience to which I was refering - it seems to me like he went real deep all at once, much more so than any initial stage.  Hope that helps.


That is just I AM awakening. I experienced all that during my I AM phase.

This is the I AM awakening and Nirvikalpa Samadhi (absorption in I AM):

"This withdrawal must have been so complete that this false, suffering self immediately collapsed, just as if a plug had been pulled out of an inflatable toy. What was left then was my true nature as the ever-present I am: consciousness in its pure state prior to identification with form. Later I also learned to go into that inner timeless and deathless realm that I had originally perceived as a void and remain fully conscious. I dwelt in states of such indescribable bliss and sacredness that even the original experience I just described pales in comparison."




And this is the intensity of luminosity, one of the Four Aspects of I AM that one experiences and should continue practicing after I AM, and I even quoted Eckhart Tolle in my article https://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2018/12/four-aspects-of-i-am.html :
"I was awakened by the chirping of a bird outside the window. I had never heard such a sound before. My eyes were still closed, and I saw the image of a precious diamond. Yes, if a diamond could make a sound, this is what it would be like. I opened my eyes. The first light of dawn was filtering through the curtains. Without any thought, I felt, I knew, that there is infinitely more to light than we realize. That soft luminosity filtering through the curtains was love itself. Tears came into my eyes. I got up and walked around the room. I recognized the room, and yet I knew that I had never truly seen it before. 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.
A beautiful Groundsel flower blossom shows the harmonious manifestation of nature

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."



All these are before nondual and anatta awakening, all these are before the MCTB 4th path realization. 
 
 
 
 
Soh Wei Yu, modified 0 Seconds ago.

RE: What stage is this description from Eckhart Tolle?

Posts: 64 Join Date: 2/13/21 Recent Posts
For anyone who has the interest, there is a thousand page+ Awakening to Reality Guide in my blog that elaborates on all these. https://app.box.com/s/157eqgiosuw6xqvs00ibdkmc0r3mu8jg


About 50+ people in my AtR group has gone through the stages and realized at least anatta realization (Thusness Stage 5 and above).
 
 
T DC, modified 6 Minutes ago.

RE: What stage is this description from Eckhart Tolle?

Posts: 425 Join Date: 9/29/11 Recent Posts
Just because he described it as "I am" doesn't necessarily mean it's the same "I am" in your system, developed independently by a completely different person.  Different people can have different interpretations and understandings of experiences on the path - basically my entire point.

Anyhow agree to disagree. 
Soh Wei Yu, modified 27 Seconds ago.

RE: What stage is this description from Eckhart Tolle?

Posts: 65 Join Date: 2/13/21 Recent Posts
T DC
Just because he described it as "I am" doesn't necessarily mean it's the same "I am" in your system, developed independently by a completely different person.  Different people can have different interpretations and understandings of experiences on the path - basically my entire point.

Anyhow agree to disagree. 



Everything I have read -- and I have read all three of his books multiple times, and countless of his videos (I used to subscribe to Eckhart TV more than 10 years ago before I unsubscribed), and everything was consistent with what I experienced during my I AM phase. So I am 100% sure it is similar. 
 
 
 
T DC, modified 8 Hours ago.

RE: What stage is this description from Eckhart Tolle?

Posts: 426 Join Date: 9/29/11 Recent Posts
Thank you for explaining. I used to be similarly hardline in thinking that certain experiences I read about related directly and exactly to my own map and experience. 

However in retrospect, such black and white thinking did not allow appropriate openness towards the diversity of other views on the path.  And it caused increased division and argumentation, and was unnecessarily alienating.  My way or the highway is never a good way to win people over to your side or find common ground. 

Just something to consider.  I am also more or less certain that what ET described is similar to my own experience, but I'm not pressing that point because it is clear you have your own interpretation, and I am fully aware of the futility of arguing about it.  ;)
thumbnail
Ni Nurta, modified 5 Hours ago.

RE: What stage is this description from Eckhart Tolle?

Posts: 840 Join Date: 2/22/20 Recent Posts
Eckhart looks like someone who is at level of mature Stream Enterer.
Technically to be Stream Enterer in Buddhism person needs to be Buddha's student but not to be on the level.

And I mean real 1st path, not blip blop something changed experience which might some day evolve in to realization what we are emoticon
Chrollo X, modified 4 Hours ago.

RE: What stage is this description from Eckhart Tolle?

Posts: 23 Join Date: 1/11/22 Recent Posts
Yeah stream-entry without some strong eureka factor doesn't make any sense. Awakening is a w/o a shadow of a doubt kinda experience. No sussing out needed. The suttas don't talk about any wiffling and waffling with SE. If you know, you know. 
 
 
 
 
 
Soh Wei Yu, modified 5 Minutes ago.

RE: What stage is this description from Eckhart Tolle?

Posts: 66 Join Date: 2/13/21 Recent Posts
Ni Nurta
Eckhart looks like someone who is at level of mature Stream Enterer.
Technically to be Stream Enterer in Buddhism person needs to be Buddha's student but not to be on the level.

And I mean real 1st path, not blip blop something changed experience which might some day evolve in to realization what we are emoticon

I would disagree.

First of all we need to know that MCTB stream entry is not universally agreed as the standard sutta stream entry. For example, my understanding of sutta stream entry is similar to this guy: https://www.reddit.com/r/streamentry/comments/igored/insight_buddhism_a_reconsideration_of_the_meaning/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=ios_app&utm_name=iossmf%20

Which would make it more akin to MCTB 4th path.

But in any case, Eckhart Tolle's realization would not line up with either 1) MCTB's 1st path and fruition cessation, nor, 2) MCTB 4th path, or my own definition of 'sutta stream entry'.

It is a distinct realization, the I AM, more akin to Thusness Stages 1 and 2 http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2007/03/thusnesss-six-stages-of-experience.html, or Kenneth Folk's Second Gear.

0 Responses