Most People's Spiritual Teacher is Deep Suffering

My soup is cold!  Aren't things sometimes worth the complaint?  Don't we need to speak up in certain cases?

When the complaining is because something needs to be said to bring about change as in: "the soup is cold please bring me hot soup", that is fine. One thing is to complain with ego, to make someone wrong, then a personal element comes about, to blame the waiter for example, personalizing it, making the other person an enemy.

There is another way of complaining, perhaps not called complaining, of just stating the facts, without the negativity.  Once the negativity is out, the situation might be a lot more effective than if you make it personal.

This is Eckart Tolle speaking to Operah in the webcast they did on 10 chapters during 2008 going over his book A New Earth. I am listening to all 10 again.
The goal of yoga, explained step by step
in one book
Eckart Tolle is what I call a "chapter one guy", and by chapter one I am referring to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, to getting to the goal of yoga, the stopping of the projections of the mind right here and now.

He makes chapter one, the one dealing with leaping to the goal of yoga instead of following the eight limbs of chapter 3 and 4, accessible. You can tell he is there already, and he addresses issues we all have in these days and times, as our attention competes in so many levels.

The book discussion continues: Complaining mostly goes on in our heads.  It is important to notice it, to catch it.  Complaining comes from the ego, and ego means we are NOT aware, we are un-conscious (see here how I went unconscious in New York City a few weeks ago). 

Tolle is the only Western acknowledged to be in the state of yoga
and allowed to give a speech at Ramana Maharshi's Ashram
So, what can we do? We can say is: "I hear myself complaint,  I am aware of the voices in my head" then let it go, not put energy into it, just notice.  Especially bad is to seek recognition for the negative complaining, as in trying to get others to agree with us on how bad things are. Then we are fueling the fires of the ego,

Someone calls from a faraway place, she asks about resentment being the emotion that goes with complaining.  It often happens that if someone criticises you, you feel hurt because you are attached to  what you are doing. It is the ego that feels hurt.  You can't say "I should not feel hurt", you can acknowledge "I am feeling hurt", and notice that it is a mental image of yourself that has become hurt.  People can get angry, the ego wants to defend itself. The ego goes into self repair mode.

If somebody gives you a finger or calls you an idiot, many people would be hurt. If you are in touch with the deeper part of yourself you would notice that they are actually having a bad day.

Grievances are also collective ego.  They fuel a never ending set of fights. Families, nations, etc.  All grievances are based at the core of the ego. The ego keeps itself alive by holding on to grievances, the story of our suffering, etc.  Don't try to let go to forgive the grievance, forgiveness happens happens when you realize that the resentment is only helping you carry around this false sense of who you are, your ego.

Exckart and Oprah, she was joking about what if Tolle would
come in with dark glasses and an entourage. He did not

In the case of war, asks someone, if  I protect myself with war I am part of the unconscious. Is it possible to fight a war and stay in the present? 

I have known people -says Tolle- who experienced awakening in the midst of the turmoil of a war situation, where death was eminent, and something in them dis-identified, ego broke down, collapsed. As it has happened in prison camps or concentration camps.   So yes it is possible to become conscious there.  Every human being has a spiritual teacher, and for most people this teacher is suffering. Even that which looks very negative, even that may lead us to an awakening.

Here is chapter two of the webcast. 10 chapters.  May we all become conscious.


  1. Great post. I didn't know about the podcasts. I recently read A New Earth, and was particularly struck by his writing on complaining and relationships. It inspired me to go back and reread the Power of Now, a book I didn't appreciate much when it was given to me ages ago.

  2. The podcasts are fantastic. Skype was sort of new back then and Oprah got millions of people from all over the world to skype question Eckart... every time I re-watch I learn something, or rather, un-learn... :-)

  3. :-) I am hoping to get into chapter 4 at some point in the now - hee hee, in the "now" hee hee


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