Years ago, I had an epiphany while listening to Eckart Tolle’s Gateways to Now . The recording/talk, Gateways to Now, was given at the Findhorn community in northern Scotland. It was a fascinating and enlightening talk. However, there was one point he made that I found upsetting.
This is what I heard: He said that Gateways to now are right here, right now, always and it takes nothing special except awareness and attention to live in the now. Some people will spend their entire lifetimes meditating, doing yoga or some other “spiritual” activity to come to it, but it’s always right here, and then he kind of chuckled in that special Eckhart Tolle kind of way, as if to dismiss any activity or exercise related to mental awakening.
That kind ticked me off. I listened that section over and over trying to understand where he was coming from. In hindsight, I’m confident what I heard wasn’t really what he was saying, but it became a point of contemplation for me. After all, I had spent years dedicated to meditating and reading spiritual books to achieve exactly this thing he was now chuckling about, seemingly, in mockery of my dedicated practice!! Gateways to now are nothing special and they’re everywhere, all the time, I thought angrily in disbelief, harrumphing and crossing my arms in frustration.
But, he was right…
It took a handful of years, maybe ten, for me to realize he was right. I came to understand this while working through Michael Brown’s The Presence Process, a remarkably, practical book for “achieving” presence. In some ways, I would say that it’s the practical manual to achieving the things that Eckhart Tolle talks about in The Power of Now and later, in A New Earth.
All of this is to say, that gateways to now are everywhere, all the time. One of the primary gateways to now, for me, is the Ambient Soundbath. I don’t listen to the Ambient Soundbath as the composer or creator, but rather as somebody just looking to get centered, aligned with the now and aware of the present moment. I’ve found a way to remove my ego from “my” work and just immerse myself in the sound. I can use the Ambient Soundbath to wash the troubles of the day away and bathe in the pure sound of the present moment. Eckart was right: Gateways to now are always right here, right now.
Do you use the Ambient Soundbath as a gateway to now, I’d love to hear about it: