Every once in a while, a book comes along that changes you and, for me, that was A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle. The book came to me when I needed serious inspiration and guidance, and provided a way out of suffering and into peace for me.

I want to share my reflections and learnings with all of the readers of this blog especially in these times, when every day, every headline is about yet another crisis facing the world. I hope you too are reading a book that is helping you achieve peace and if you are looking for a recommendation, here is mine!

About A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle

Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth guides the reader through the process of emerging out of suffering by grounding oneself in the moment by realizing that “wherever you are is where you are supposed to be, and whatever you are doing in the now is what you are supposed to do.” 

To be clear: this is not meant to imply that we need to be complacent about what is happening, or about the direction of our lives.

Tolle teaches that when one is able to stay present and not succumb to fear (because of who we assume, believe or think we are, in other words, our egoic state), then one can clear the noise (continuous, negative, repetitive chatter or self-talk), and be guided by what we know deep down, in our gut, from our intuitive state.

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Staying in the Present Moment

Staying in the present moment enables us to notice when our mind inevitably wanders – pulling us away, into judgment and fear-based thinking. Meditation is the most powerful tool we have to build up that muscle of conscious awareness, watching those thoughts rather than being carried away by them. 

I realized from the start that in order to fully embrace the teachings in A New Earth, I would need to commit to a daily meditation practice. I am grateful that I picked up this book many years ago for various reasons, but predominantly because it was the single motivating factor for initiating and maintaining my regular daily meditation practice.

When I first embarked upon reading the book, it had recently come out and I was fortunate enough to participate in a class that was devoted to going through the book chapter by chapter; deciphering the message and creating an action plan to implement the work into daily life as the chapters progressed. That workshop was a helpful deep-dive to putting the practice of finding a way out of suffering into peace.

Outside Forces Create Fear

Tolle speaks of how outside forces like the media can project fearful messaging and that if we stop and observe, not just believe and get carried away by the media when they tell us that we should be afraid, then, we will be able to watch from a distance and not be affected so deeply.

He says, “Acute crises and dysfunction always precede or coincide with any evolutionary advancement or gain in consciousness.”

Tolle continues: “All life-forms need obstacles and challenges in order to evolve. In the case of the ego, most of the challenges it encounters are self-created through its unconscious patterns.” 

A Roadmap to Recognize Unconscious Patterns

I found the book to be a road map providing directions for me to learn how to recognize my automatic assumptions, preconceived notions, and unconscious patterns.

Tolle says his teachings were written “to speed up the process of spiritual awakening that has already begun, as well as to enable greater numbers of people to become part of that process and thus find a deeper meaning in their lives that transcends the merely personal dimension of existence.”

Creating Concern for Fellow Humans 

The current confluence of global climate change, civil unrest and war in Ukraine, has brought with it a growing “awareness of and deep concern for our fellow humans, the countless animals that are our traveling companions, and the planet itself.” 

Tolle indicates that “Such awareness implies that there is indeed a lessening of the ego in a growing number of people, and in some parts of the planet more than in others. This diminishment of the ego gives rise to empathy and compassion beyond tribal, racial, national, or religious affiliations. It is those qualities that make us truly human. 

As we no longer identify with our assumptions, our unconscious mental positions, we are able to be more open and more tolerant of other people’s beliefs and perspectives. We can temporarily shift our own perspective and see things through their eyes. With this comes the ability to compromise in our interactions with others, which is a prerequisite for any peaceful coexistence. 

In fact, it is precisely in those parts of the world where most people are as yet unable or unwilling to compromise that most of the dysfunction or violence occurs.

The ego, and particularly the collective ego, strengthens itself through emphasizing the otherness of others. Eventually, the ego brings about its own demise. In that sense, it can be considered a necessary precursor for the next stage in human evolution, which is the awakening of consciousness. 

Navigating Crisis

Tolle’s prescient message provides guidance for navigating the current crisis at hand. 

“Make sure the present moment is your friend, not your enemy. Honor it by giving it your fullest attention. Appreciate it by being thankful for it. Become internally aligned with it by allowing it to be as it is. That is the arising of the new earth.” 

I interpret this to mean for us to have gratitude for what we have, and to utilize our intuitive guidance in the moment to know what we can and need to do to take care of ourselves and others in times of hardship.

A New Earth teaches that moment by moment, we can build our self-awareness and do our part, take actions that come from intuition, creating changes in behavior that can bring peace and fulfillment into our lives. It is a practice, a cultivation of what we’ve learned. 

I am so grateful to have found A New Earth and the opportunity it gave me to learn the practice of self-awareness and also gave me a way out of suffering into peace.

And, now as a Professional Coach, my mission is to inspire others towards collective consciousness. 

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