I didn’t waste much time getting into listening to Mr. Tolle on my cross-country road trip. As I chugged along in my Volkswagen Jetta Diesel I had the CDs cued up and started listening from the beginning of The Power of Now. I had some initial concerns since earlier I would have to nap so much when I read his books. “How will I be able to stay awake for driving?” I would ask myself. And, I was on a tight time schedule. I had to really make some miles to get to the Atlanta area of Georgia in time to do a book presentation at a local healing center. But I just dropped my concerns and decided that I would drive till I got sleepy and then pull over and sleep if I needed to.
Even so, I found I could not listen a long time to Eckhart reading. He would say something so significant that I would have to turn the CD player off and just be with it. His voice also comes from a very deep place and just listening to it would evoke a deep state of stillness and peace.
As I listened I became increasing aware of my mind and it’s attempts to get carry my attention away from NOW and into the past or future. Past things were often past sexual experiences or emotionally charged experiences that would elicit either passion or sorrow. Future things were also often sexual fantasies but also rotated into future work ideas and plans. All were quite interesting but all took me away from the present moment and into my mind. I saw this more and more as I was hearing Eckhart describe the very inner workings of the mind/ego identified self. At first I would have the tendency to become dismayed at just how little control I have over my attention. But Eckhart offers many gentle reminders that this is how it often is in the beginning along with encouragement for better results with practice.
I can’t say that the miles went by any faster. In contrast, the trip seemed painfully slow as I realized just how habitually unhappy I am about the present. Being locked in my car, in one seat, with no distractions like television and the internet made me want to jump out of my skin. But a growing awareness had me just watching all of that, without judgment. In addition I was very hungry at some core level, for the things I had been listening too. I realized that more than anything else in my life, I wanted to experience the ‘peace that passeth all understanding.’