Posts Tagged ‘Eckhart Tolle’

Eckhart Tolle – Online Meditation Nov.11

06/11/2012

Eckhart Tolle

Eckhart Tolle, who we certainly think has a few good things to say,  will be providing an opportunity for a world-wide live meditation broadcast event for their community friends on November 11 at 1 PM PT / 4 PM ET / 9 PM BST (London time). This free event is their way in helping to raise the consciousness on the planet and bring Eckhart’s message of peace, stillness and awakening to as many people as possible.
You will need to pre-register here.
Click here to view what time this event will be broadcasted in your area.
From Tolle’s Website: “We invite you to experience this powerful process and collective energy with us on November 11. We are excited to see you then.”

Justifying My Existence

02/11/2012

A case for the hard working travelers & educators

Finally Realizing I Actually Did Make the Best Life Decisions
By R. Richards, Founder
Mountain Spirit Institute
Andrew McCarthy in his book  “The Longest Way Home – One Man’s Quest for the Courage to Settle Down “  writes, “Whenever I would tell people that I was going off on some trip or another, I was met with remarks like, “Oh, tough life,” or, “That’s rough.” Even good friends reacted with outright hostile envy-“Must be nice,” they often said. I used to try to explain and justify my travels.  It was pointless.  Travel, especially by people who rarely do it, is often dismissed as a luxury and an indulgence, not a practical or useful way to spend one’s time.
“People complain, “I wish I could afford to go away.” Even when I did the math and showed that I often spent less money while on the road than staying home, they looked at me with skepticism.  The reasons for not traveling are as varied and complex as the justification for any behavior.  Perhaps people feel this way about travel because of how it’s so often perceived and presented.
“They anticipate and expect escape, from jobs and worries, from routines and families, but mostly, I think, from themselves-the sunny beach with life’s burdens left behind.  For me, travel has rarely been about escape; it’s often not even about a particular destination. The motivation is to go, to meet life, and myself, head-on along the road. There’s something in the act of setting out that renews me, that fills me with a feeling of possibility. On the road, I’m forced to rely on instinct and intuition, on the kindness of strangers, in ways that illuminate who I am, ways that shed light on my motivations, my fears. “

The author as a child on Lake Sunapee

My wife, who had been reading McCarthy’s book this week, showed the above passage to me the other day.  Although I’ve done more than my fair share of “inner work”, in one instant, after hearing her read these words, I realized, I too have been carrying a chip on my shoulder about supposedly not working hard enough, about being a mountain guide and facilitator and director of a non-profit organziation. I’ve tried to defend what I do to  family, friends and the fellow community members in my home town. It has not been the work of my imagination – that some have thought I “was on permanent vacation”.

After graduation from University of Utah, I was on a fast track to represent an Austrian ski boot company in the U.S. by taking a Master Boot-maker program in Austria. However, the combination of two main life events,  meeting Erga and Luciano Cappella, (see my earlier post: Reconnecting with a Mentor)  and one day, simply realizing I was on the wrong side of the window in that little mountain workshop where I was learning how to make ski boots, made me have a paradigm shift. I needed to be “out there in the mountains”, in the Alps. Something in me snapped, and I realized at that moment, I was the closest I would ever get to corporate life, (aside from later conducting Outward Bound Professional corporate team-building workshops). I took a left-hand turn out of the corporate ski business, and never looked back.  With that decision, came a shift in perception, and future decisions  led me to international mountain guiding, a long stint with Outward Bound as a lead instructor and staff trainer, and lastly, founder of Mountain Spirit Institute.

Richards rappelling in his twenties, Newbury, NH

I’ve worked hard, as do most people in the outdoor education field. Anyone who has started a  non-profit organization from the ground up also knows program building and organizational management on a small scale takes a lot of energy, more so than punching a timeclock.  It has sometimes felt like pushing a boulder uphill.  That’s not even taking into account the fun, but hard and endless hours of making sure the participants get what they need on any given program.  I’m committed to what I do, and feel I’m  good at it. It has been my passion since I started teaching in the outdoors at age thirteen, and I feel it’s my life’s purpose.

But from the outside,  it looks like I’ve been galavanting around since my twenties. “When are you going to get a real job” is what if not said, is implied sometimes. Indeed, even my parents occasionally expressed concerns about my not “biting the bullet” , a nice term. Then, later in her life, my mom was just happy knowing that I was doing what filled me up.

With Dr. Theo Paredes, Peru

I didn’t know this article needed to be written until a few nights ago, but now realize it has been long overdue.  I quoted Eckhart Tolle in an earlier post
“Most people are only peripherally aware of the world that surrounds them,  Especially if their surroundings are familiar. The voice in the head absorbs a greater part of their attention. Some people feel more alive when they travel and visit unfamiliar places or foreign countries because at those times sense perception, experiencing takes up more of their consciousness than thinking. They become more present.”

I never looked back – Guiding in Alaska

It’s almost a cliché, but I think this is what other climbers, outdoor leaders and guides are up against when they encounter the world of the conventional. It’s almost like two worlds intersecting. Many articles and books have been written about this. Of course we’re all connected on one level. On another, there very different lives happening in my small hometown.  Said Oliver Wendall Holmes  “A mind that is stretched to a new idea never returns to its original dimensions.”

Fortunately my mind has been stretched. Now it is up to me, with this new perspective, (thanks to McCarthy), to compassionately nod to those who don’t understand my lifestyle and career choice, and to move on.
For more information on R. Richards’ career choices you can read his short bio at Mountain Spirit Institute’s About Page.
Re-edited on 11/3/12 16:46EST (My motto, post first, edit later)

Some responses from my personal Facebook Page, also see the comment posted below by Jay for additional insight.

  • Peter Canaday Hard to explain unless you come across others of the same mind, and then, no explanation is necessary….
  • Wendy Gilker Randy, I understand living a life different from the norm. Generally, people do question it. How many times have people asked me – “When do you get a life Wendy”. As Joseph Campbell said ” the Journey begins with a” call to adventure in which the He…See More
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  • Wendy Gilker Helen Keller – “Many people admire what I did with my life because I seemed to be at such a disadvantage. But, they’re mistaken. If anything , I was greatly blessed. The danger in my “zone unknown” was great, but so was the treasure since eternal pr…See More
  • Randy Richards Good comments Wendy, I like the quotes.
  • Irene Powell Thank you for sharing….I will be allowing this words to percolate inside and see where they take me in my inner voyage of discovery.
  • Kevin Sleeper Randy, I have to say that it is/was probably jealousy which produces those comments. Be comfortable that it is our loss and your gain. Being outside was always a passion of mine, mostly expressed through scouting. Check out my posting of the Sailors take warning sky last Sunday at 6:15 or so over Lake Sunapee. I am sure you will recognize the place?
  • Randy Richards Thanks Jay Leavitt for the comment and poem (posted on our blog). You bring up some good points I failed to include. Also, I’ve done some re-edits of the blog post – My motto: Post first, edit later.
  • Randy Richards Hey Kevin Thanks for that..Yeah I remember that about you.
  • Dale Morrow I agree with Kevin, Randy. Feel a little sympathy for us who look at you, and feel the need to needle you, because we covet your life. But don’t take it all to heart. They mean no harm. People have to learn to accept the choices they’ve made.
  • Kevin Sleeper Randy, I learned a long time ago if U R going to swim upstream U R going to need a thick skin.

Is your social network sabotaging your health?

10/04/2012

With whom do you hang out?

Choose your friends carefully, your health depends on it.
By: Deborah Kotz, Boston Globe, Daily Dose

MSI Editor’s Note: Eckhart Tolle mentions in the Power of Now that negative emotions can spread more easily than a cold. Holding one’s center, being the fire of peace, in an insane world, is part of the function of those who are truly interested in making the world a better place.   Krishnamurti said, “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” What I get from that declaration is that most people one comes across will be still be acting out their lives relatively unconsciously. So don’t be surprised when you encounter unconscious behavior as you go about your day, and seek to be with people that support your being. R. Richards
———————-

Let’s say you want to adopt some healthier habits: start biking to work, give up the 300-calorie Starbucks Frappuccinos, quit smoking once and for all. All it takes is a little willpower, right?

Or perhaps you need to take a good hard look at your social network, the friends, family, and co-workers that influence how you eat, spend leisure time, and prioritize what’s important in life. Both good habits and bad can spread like the flu through that circle of your closest connections, and research suggests this network could be the single biggest predictor of your overall state of health.

The Social Network

“It definitely seems like there’s a contagion effect,” said Miriam Nelson, a Tufts University nutrition professor and author of The Social Network Diet. “Once you move in certain circles, it’s tough to change habits unless you make an effort to join a new network.”

Friends who make friends with others trying to lose weight have a higher likelihood of losing weight themselves — something Weight Watchers discovered back in the 1960’s.

Nelson, herself, relied on social networks to get her back to marathon running after having three babies in quick succession. “I hadn’t been active for almost 10 years until Tufts started a marathon team,” she said. She joined in 2003 and has been running with the group weekly. “It got me back on track and kept me there.”

After a landmark 2007 Harvard study found that Read the rest of this story…

Does Death Exist? New Theory Says ‘No’

16/01/2012

Many of us fear death. We believe in death because we have been told we will die.
Editor’s Note:

Dannion Brinkley

For some reason, death has not been a stranger in my life. Western society is almost totally ignorant of death, it is something to be brushed under the rug, and feared. Stay tuned for a posting on “Death, The Funny Side” a talk by Dannion Brinkley, author of Saved by the Light. I heard Brinkley speak at a Whole-Life Expo in Seattle in the late ’80’s – he was promoting his book. I liked his half-hour talk so much that I bought a copy of it andeventually converted it mp3 format.  I plan on posting it here, once I have Brinkley’s permission of course. It’s a classic, that has changed my understanding of what death is, and what it means to be fully alive.  His sense of humor perspective, depth and compassion, after having died  more than once and come back to talk about it,  is remarkable, especially after having been a hit man for the U.S. government.  Ykes.
At Mountain Spirit Institute, one of our core values is addressing our “ultimate concerns”. We believe that by helping to reconnect people to the natural environment, each other and a deeper connection to one’s self, we can help participants start looking beyond the veil. Eckhart Tolle writes” The secret to death is to die before you die, and realize there is no death.” Hmm. Maybe he’s onto something.  Dannion Brinkley is, as well.
R. Richards

Does Death Exist? New Theory Says ‘No’
From: KipNews (Open your mind, Prepare)

A case for staying no death - Biocentrism

We associate ourselves with the body, and we know that bodies die. But a new scientific theory suggests that death is not the terminal event we think.
One well-known aspect of quantum physics is that certain observations cannot be predicted absolutely. Instead, there is a range of possible observations each with a different probability.  One mainstream explanation, the “many-worlds” interpretation, states that each of these possible observations corresponds to a different universe (the ‘multiverse’).

A new scientific theory – called biocentrism – refines these ideas.  There are an infinite number of universes, and everything that could possibly happen occurs in some universe. Death does not exist in any real sense in these scenarios.

All possible universes exist simultaneously, regardless of what happens in any of them. Although individual bodies are destined to self-destruct, the alive feeling – the ‘Who am I?’- is just a 20-watt fountain of energy operating in the brain.  But this energy doesn’t go away at death. One of the surest axioms of science is that energy never dies; it can neither be created nor destroyed. But does this energy transcend from one world to the other?
Consider an experiment that was recently published in the journal Science showing that scientists could retroactively change something that had happened in the past.

Particles had to decide how to behave when they hit a beam splitter. Later on, the experimenter could turn a second switch on or off. It turns out that what the observer decided at that point, determined what the particle did in the past. Regardless of the choice you, the observer, make, it is you who will experience the outcomes that will result. The linkages between these various histories and universes transcend our ordinary classical ideas of space and time. Think of the 20-watts of energy as simply holo-projecting either this or that result onto a screen.  Read the rest of this story…

“This Just In” Department

01/12/2011

Keith Richards, Breathing: The drug of choice

Quotes:
“The best drug is breathing. I mean, heroin is fantastic, until you’ve had too much of it and then you’re likely to be dead.”
Keith Richards,
The Rolling Stones interview, The Guardian, through the Otago Daily Times, New Zealand

Another study proves it, breathing ranks right up there with the best of drugs. According to Eckhart Tolle, the breath is one of the doorways to the present moment, the now. And being fully present means being conscious. Sounds like a great alternative to the heroin route.

Joe Simpson’s Beckoning Silence

26/05/2011

Bravo, Joe Simpson

Joe Simpson’s documentary, The Beckoning Silence, is a well-done re-enactment of Tony Kurtz’s infamous climb on the Eiger. It’s part adventure, part history and part personal reflection. It shows the insight of wisdom that, in this case, comes with age. Having almost died more than once, the first time in Peru, Simpson has arrived at place in his life that is refreshingly thoughtful. Simpson is a climber who is growing older and facing his own mortality. Congrats to Simpson for making this “on the edge of your seat” film and letting us into his personal growth.

I reflect on Eckhart Tolle who writes in his first book The Power of Now about thrill seekers such as climbers who get addicted to the calm that comes with climbing, where past and future fade away and one must focus next move or ice axe placement,  because “taking your attention away from the task at hand, even for a split second can mean death”. Tolle  adds, “Fortunately you don’t have to climb the north face of the Eiger in order to feel the presence of the moment,  you can do it, right here and now*.”

I just did a bit of leading on rock yesterday, for the first time in a while, getting out from behind the desk here in New Zealand. It was great to clear the head and be on the  cliffs right outside our house here in Kingston on Shirttail Cliffs.

Top of Shirt-tail Cliffs, Kingston, NZ

Great quality climbs in a spectacular setting. Moving on the rock again felt great, and motivating, being on the sharp end. However,  I’ve never had that wild-eyed look of adrenaline, pumped, on the sharp end, need of the thrill . I like to test myself, but my survivalist instinct is too strong to be too bold. There are old climbers, bold climbers but not a lot of old bold climbers.   I know quite a few fellow climbers who I’ve lost to the mountains over the years, including one of my mentors, Alan Bard. I think of these things too, as does Simpson, as we have a baby boy expected to arrive in four weeks.  It’s good to be in the mountains, but to those hardcore dudes, don’t be afraid to take the easy way up, it won’t kill you.

*A free translation

Nature’s Seven Doctors in New Zeland

29/03/2011

A book for the ages

Hanging out at the Telemark Inn and Llama Farm (Newry, Maine)  years ago, when I was a ranch hand, and pack guide, I came across a little book on Steve Crone’s bookshelf called “Nature’s Seven Doctors” by Kirschner and White. This little volume espoused the basics of how simple living and paying attention the basics keeps one healthy.

After the Christchurch Earthquake and all, I guess the readjustment and stress of an unplanned move had me melancholy the last few days. I went with the flow, in line with Tolle, was in accepting and allowing my state to be, I  just didn’t feel at the top of my game. Even though we’ve found ourselves in a beautiful place, 7 hours south of the quake zone, it’s still been an adjustment of sorts.

Today I got it together and climbed to the top of the cliff outside our new rental home, sat for a short meditatino, and ran back down the trail, and on my way back to the house,  jumped in Lake Wikatipu on lake’s southern beach. The run and dip did me good, and I’ve been reminded all day of Kirschner and White’s book.   I’ve been feeling like new person all day.

The Seven Doctors are: (I usually can do this from memory, let’s see..) Fresh air, fresh water, fresh food, rest, mental/spiritual development, adequate exercise and adequate sleep.  Nothing to remember really, it’s common sense.

A view of Kingston, NZ from the top of Shirttail Cliffs

Hello. We’re back… but not in U.S.

27/12/2010

Greetings from Australia, Mate.
By R. Richards

Caution in Australia...

Sorry we’ve been a bit out of touch. We’ve been busy packing up our New Hampshire home, updating our programs’ webpages and heading to the Southern Hemisphere for a while. We’ve been on the eastern coast of Australia for the Holidays, and will be headed to New Zealand on January 10th.

We’ve got an exciting  drumming program in Jamaica with master drumming instructor Bob Bloom, and a Personal Sustainability program called Creating a Sustainable Lifestyle in Vermont this spring in the northern hemisphere.

This is my first time in AU, and my first impressions are that the people are very generous, sincere and welcoming. the power of the continent is overwhelming. My first time sitting down to meditate, I clearly heard the words, “It’s about time you showed up.” I take this to mean, not only arriving in Australia but taking the time to sit down since my arrival and sit quietly with the place. More on this in an upcoming post.

Anyway, expect to see posts more regularly from here on out. We’ll be posting from New Zealand of course. Rumors have it that board member Bob Stremba might even come down for a visit and recon some program areas with me.

Sydney Stopover

We had a stopover in Sydney for a week seeing Amanda’s friends, (my newly found friends), before heading north to stay with family for the holidays. A very expensive city but such generous people with a welcoming attitude. It’s Amanda’s ol’ stomping ground, and she still has to show me around a bit, when we head back there on our way to New Zealand.  We happened to arrive just as Oprah Winfrey was shooting a week-long segment of her show here. As it turned out, she was welcomed with opened arms, along with 300 of her audience members. I mention her because of some of the good work she’s doing, such as bringing Eckhart Tolle’s message to a broader audience, and encouraging more conscious living. The people and government of Australia were happy to have her here. The coverage will be invaluable for Australia’s tourism exposure.

The continent is proving itself to be powerful and beautiful. Although I’ve only seen a portion of it, I can feel its power taking hold.

The Mind: “Just Stop It!”

10/04/2010

Be Here Now
Being in the present moment is all there  is. This light-hearted skit by Bob Newhart on MadTV illustrates this message with brevity and humor.
Amanda and I attend a wonderful “Open Hearted Listening” group along with other couples, once per month,  facilitated by the wise Don Rosenthal, about whom I’ve written in a prior post.  Last night, some of were talking about first, observing our behaviors that are like useless baggage we’re carrying around, and simply drop the behavior, like one would a hot coal.  Enjoy..

Editor’s Note: Thought I’d include something:  That those with cases of clinical depression and similar diagnosed issues, being told to “stop it” could probably cause quite serious repercussions.  I was talking with a friend today who’s a psychologist (it wasn’t an appointment). I mentioned this skit and the premise. She replied, “That’s funny, sometimes I feel like saying “Stop it” to my clients,” adding, “Who would they be without their stories.”, Indeed, who would each one of us be, without our stories.

Tolle states that the there really isn’t that much difference between a stranger wandering down the sidewalk muttering to himself, and the rest of us, only the rest of us don’t do it out loud. We’ve don’t know to find the “off button”. The instrument has taken us over. Similar to an air conditioner making a background hum, the mind makes background noise with endless commentary and thought. Only  when we “stop it” do we notice the peace. That’s something to think about.

Eckhart Tolle Online

26/02/2010

Eckhart Tolle Launches new Online Video Series
Over the years, Tolle’s words have rung true to many. His new online video should prove helpful to those who like his message.
From Tolle’s Welcome Video:
“Welcome to the present moment, here, now, the only moment there is, ever, and welcome to our little experiment. This is how I consider it, of bringing the truth of presence, the truth o f spiritual transformation of consciousness to you through this strange medium that we call the internet, through this new technology. It’s a little ironic that a person like myself is using this technology, of course with the help of many people,  a person that is totally computer illiterate and doesn’t even use email. And yet here I am, and here you are in this moment, together.”

Tolle's Online Video Page