'Stillness Speaks' By Eckhart Tolle

'Stillness speaks' consists of a collection of short "thoughts" to help us arrive at stillness on a number of subjects, such as relationships, nature, our ego, resistance, or being in the present.

These thoughts can be read independently from each other, which allows for random reading and reflection.

As Eckhart Tolle explains, sometimes we become trapped in a stream of thought, we are anchored in the past or dreaming or worrying about the future, and we miss the now: 

"The stream of thinking has enormous momentum that can easily drag you along with it. Every thought pretends that it matters so much. It wants to draw your attention in completely."

The thoughts of 'Stillness speaks' help us to be in the present and to find stillness.

Being in the present

Indeed the only thing that exists is the present: "The past can only be remembered Now. [...] The future, when it comes, is the Now. So the only thing that is real, te only thing there ever is is the Now."

This is linked to our taking responsibility for our lives: "Ultimately you are not taking responsibility for life until you take responsibility for this moment - Now. This is because Now is the only place where life can be found."

Stillness in other areas of life

This little book brings us thoughts to find stillness in many other areas and circumstances of our lives:

  • In suffering: "Much suffering, much unhappiness arises when you take each thought that comes into your head for the truth. Situations don't make you unhappy. They may cause you physical pain, but they don't make you unhappy. Your thoughts make you unhappy. Your interpretations, the stories you tell yourself make you unhappy."

    The solution Tolle gives: "When you are suffering, when you are unhappy, stay totally with what is Now. Unhappiness or problems cannot survive in the Now."

  • Regarding our ego: "The mind is incessantly looking not only for food for thought; it is looking for food for its identity, its sense of self. This is how the ego comes into existence and continuously re-creates itself."

  • On love and relationships: "How wonderful to go beyond wanting and fearing in your relationships. Love does not want or fear anything."

  • On acceptance: "Whatever you accept completely will take you to peace, including the acceptance that you cannot accept, that you are in resistance."

  • On death and endings: "Death is not the opposite of life. Life has no opposite. The opposite of death is birth. Life is eternal. [...] If you can learn to accept and even welcome the endings in your life, you may find that the feeling of emptiness that initially felt uncomfortable turns into a sense of inner spaciousness that is deeply peaceful."

'Stillness speaks' offers invaluable gems of wisdom to let go of thoughts and come back to the present. 'Stillness speaks' shows us that, ultimately, and through stillness, we can get to know who we really are.

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"I am not my thoughts, emotions, sense perceptions, and experiences. I am not the content of my life. I am Life. I am the space in which all things happen. I am consciousness. I am the Now. I Am."

Eckhart Tolle

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