Tuesday, March 4, 2008

A New Earth: The Flowering of Human Consciousness

Jenn's thoughts and learnings from the first week of A New Earth: The Oprah Web Event.

I just want to start by saying how awesome I think it is that over half a million people turned out for last night's A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose web event, where Oprah and Eckhart Tolle spoke with each other and several participants about the background of this book and the contents of the first chapter. Wow! What an incredibly exciting time to be awake and aware on this planet. From my perspective, even if only a small percentage really get this book, it will still be revolutionary in terms of a consciousness shift on our planet. That said, I was disappointed I didn't get to watch it "live." The huge turnout affected some people's ability to watch the webcast live, including mine--about 18 minutes into the 90-minute event, my viewer crashed completely and I wasn't able to get back in, so I downloaded it today to catch back up again.

While there is nothing new under the sun, getting a new perspective always brings new Aha! moments to light for me, and this was no exception. In addition to just enjoying Eckhart's gentle presence, I was pleased to feel a shift in me in watching this program even after having already read the first chapter twice through. Plus, the power of knowing how you are part of a global consciousness is simply amazing. Overall, I would say participating in this process is well worth just about anyone's time and attention. Here are the highlights from my perspective:

What does life want from me? So much of our energy gets focused on what it is that we want from life. When you're awakening to your life's purpose, a better question might be what does life want from me? Eckhart talked about asking this question everyday for years without an answer. When it finally came, he had an impulse, a feeling like something wanted to be born. Instead of coming to a place where he wanted to write a book, he realized that a book wanted to be written. I loved this concept of allowing your purpose to come through you in such a conscious manner. As much as I know in my head that life is answering your prayers through you, this concept opened up expansively for me with this slightly different way of looking at things. I will be interested to see how this affects the way that I view the messages I receive moving forward from here.

Global change begins within. This is one that I've known for years but always appreciate a deepening understanding. It is essentially Ghandi's thoughts on being the change you want to see in the world. If you look around you and see a world in need of a consciousness shift, then begin that consciousness shift in the only way you can--within yourself. In the case of A New Earth, it's about breaking down the dysfunction of the ego, the thing in your head that is constantly chattering, constantly throwing up thoughts and fears to distract you from being aware of who you really are. At a global level, this egoic dysfunction is the source of warfare, oppression, poverty, disease. If you want to be a part of mining this dysfunction from the world, begin by mining it within you, on the scale that is appropriate to you, which mostly means your negative, pessimistic, fear-based thoughts and patterns. Start by becoming aware and begin to shift yourself, and you will ultimately affect the world.

All you need is now. While our thought processes have evolved through thousands of years of conditioning, it doesn't take years and years to reverse. All you need is the present moment. Take a moment right now to breathe and notice the breath--that was you shifting your consciousness into the present, even if it was just for a second. It's the kind of exercise that can be practiced throughout the day. For me, appreciation of beauty is a huge way for me to connect with the oneness and return to the present moment. Driving, walking, looking out the window--take a moment to really soak up the beauty around you, to really see it and appreciate it. You will instantly feel the shift in your body, in your mind as you open up to this awareness. The more we can find these moments throughout the day, the more we are shifting our thought processes away from the old patterns and habits that our ego is holding onto into the awareness of who we really are. Eckhart suggests any time you do a simple action, like washing your hands or walking up the stairs, pull your consciousness fully into that action. When you're on your way to work, really be on your way to work, not there already in your head. Now is the only moment you have--make sure you are experiencing it.

Towards the end of the program an email came in about whether or not the world is ready for this type of shift. The answer lies in a different question, the only question any of us can really answer--am I ready? When I ask this question of myself, I know for sure that I am ready (and now doubly motivated) to take time each day to pay attention, to experience the stillness in the present moment, to ask life what it wants from me. What about you, are you ready?

Photo: "lotus-blooming," originally uploaded by Jun

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