on November 25, 2003
This is another great gift from the delightful Mr. Tolle, a soul who has done the nearly impossible: achieved stillness in a human incarnation.
I have called the Power of Now the best self-help book ever and have listened to it over a hundred times. I always hear something new because my ego feels threatened and doesn't want me to learn this stuff.
My ego almost fooled me once again when I first listened to Stillness Speaks. It said to me "Eckhart is just rehashing stuff in aphorisms". But soon I found that there is much richness and wisdom to be mined here and if I can just take the principles to heart and start practicing them I might very well achieve inner peace in this lifetime. The deeper truth about this work is that it is divinely inspired and is of incredible depth and value.
What we do with this priceless gift is up to us.
on September 29, 2003
Eckhart Tolle's second book has been awaited for a while by those who found the wisdom and grace of the first to be an extraordinary experience. This book is smaller on content and perhaps more complex in profundity. The Power of Now operated at all levels; it was one of those rare books which could actually get people to begin a spiritual practice with some seriousness, while those already in the swim found it to be a valuable guide. Stillness Speaks tilts a bit towards the already serious spiritual practitioner. Not that a beginner would not profit from it but my guess is that people who have done their processes and transformed themselves are likely to extract the most from this tight little spiritual classic.
Stillness Speaks has some of the feel of an Upanishad. A master discourses on important spiritual issues and you access the level you are capable of. When you come back to it, you find that the book has changed too, speaking to you at a depth you might not have suspected even existed - in you! Tolle is evolving towards an aphoristic style of communication; anything longer would tend to be false to the essence of being in the Now which is his difficult/simple message. It is a book that triggers rumination in you even more powerfully than The Power of Now. My personal favorite, something that set off a liberating snort of laughter, is the conclusion to Chapter Six -"Leave Life alone. Let it be."
I feel that not learning from this book would be a blunder.
on September 21, 2003
For all those that choose to criticise this book, they are clearly missing the point. First of all, the guy that read the entire book while standing in the bookstore cannot have possibly gotten the full impact of what Tolle is saying. Yes, you can wolf down a $100.00 meal and say there was nothing there, but that is more a reflection of you than the meal. Having authored 8 books, including a popular motivational one here on amazon.com, I can tell you that Tolle says more, using fewer words, than any other writer I know.
Indeed, even savoring one sentence can instantly change your state. Yes, the material is simliar to "The Power of Now," but that's like saying a gold ring is not good because it's made out of the same thing as a gold necklace. Hello! When you have the best there is, there is no need to improve on it. Everything Tolle puts out comes from that same golden place, and indeed, I found "Stillness Speakers" to have many even deeper and more refined ideas than the brilliant "The Power of Now." Or should I say, he finds new and creative ways to further drive home his life altering concepts. If you "get it," you will know what I mean, if not, than no amount of words will change your mind.
on November 11, 2003
The fact that this book stirs up controversy speaks of its real power, and the power of any teaching that goes beyond the narrow range of our human expectations.
In the Introduction, Tolle says, "If you come to a spiritual teacher - or this book - looking for stimulating ideas, theories, beliefs, intellectual discussions, then you will be disappointed. In other words, if you are looking for food for thought, you won't find it, and you will miss the very essence of the teaching, the essence of this book, which is not in the words but within yourself."
And later, "Allow the book to do its work, to awaken you from the old grooves of your repetitive and conditioned thinking."
"This book, of course, uses words.... the thoughts within this book don't say 'Look at me.' but 'Look beyond me.' Because the thoughts came out of stillness, they have power -- the power to take you back into the same stillness from which they arose."
I have nothing to add to this clarity.
on September 29, 2003
Stillness Speaks is a quiet book. It's small, filled with empty spaces and words that are succinct and point in a certain direction -- towards stillness and silence.
Those who are looking for concepts and ideas to give them "MORE", or to fill up their minds, will not find it here.
Many reviewers on this site sound annoyed and feel they didn't get something worth their money - that they read it quickly and felt nothing afterwards.
If you're ready, this book will speak to you. When I first read "The Power of Now", my reaction was something like, "Yeah, yeah, we're supposed to be in the present moment. Now what?" I felt frustrated by the book. But when I read it several months later, it was a completely different experience.
Stillness Speaks takes you into an even quieter place, if you let it and if you are ready.
on March 22, 2005
I'm a fan of Tolle - I consider his previous book a masterpiece. In my humble opinion, It's the best rendering of unitary/enlightened/samadhi consciousness humanity could ever hope for.
When I started reading this book I became irritated at first. Again with the repetitions? Wasn't the theory explained already? Until I let myself go and tried to accept what Tolle is trying to do.
THIS IS NOT A BOOK IN THE ORDINARY SENSE!!! Tolle is explicitly stating the reader should spend more time experiencing the content than reading (careful: thinking is not experiencing). I was wrong to dismiss this instruction and when I did figure it out I was BLOWN AWAY.
I can't believe Tolle has actually managed to top himself. While "The Power of Now" is where you should start, this book is a perfect follow-up. A profound METHOD (not really a BOOK in the classic sense) to stir the profound and by all accounts EXTREMELY COOL form of existence you could be having, hidden from you by experiencing existence as a continuous stream of thought and by the involuntary and habitual identification with that stream ("thought-identification"). Although difficult to do in everyday life, the basic truth in the thought dis-identification premise is easy to verify in meditation: even as a beginner, your thoughts go away for all of 2 seconds yet you are still you. So you are in fact THE AWARENESS THAT EXPERIENCES THOUGHT. Get it?
So this "book" goes over from theory and touches the actual practice. But meditation still seems to be the effective way for calming down, combined with the lifestyle additions that support it by reducing stress in our nervous system: trigger point therapy followed by a steady yoga practice (trigger points are best explained in "The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook" - you wouldn't believe the amount of pain in your body of which you are not aware! unlikely you are brave enough to work it out by yourself, so give the book to a massage therapist!), and a diet as free of stimulatnts as possible: nicotine, caffeine, alcohol, garlic, aerated drinks etc.
Although most yoga teachers are unaware of it, the deepest yogic meditative state of Samadhi meditation - letting go of thoughts WITHOUT concetrating on an object as in "ordinary" yogic meditation - can be learned directly, without 20+ years of yoga practice. It's easy to learn, but you need to practice for a few months for the full effect. Example: [...] (mostly India-based org, courses in English are conducted in Pune, near Bombay).
(note: Samadhi consciousness, or the consciousness component in enlightenment, is the result of the continuous practice of Samadhi meditation)
on November 20, 2003
Stillness Speaks is a concise delivery of what the experience in Stillness is when put to words. Tolle's book this time is written in a kind of Zen like prose. A true economy of words, just the bare expression and simple flow of the quiet Spirit of life that is underneath (and through)the life of form.
I've read some of the negative reviews that people have written and would like to briefly address the common theme. It seems that people are having a very difficult time accepting a book of so little words and content.
I understand that if you are searching for a 'fix it', self-help type book, this book will be a big disappointment to those. In this book, Tolle is now expressing his theme of Presence, that he so thoroughly covered in The Power of Now, in a more deeper manner, through...Stillness. The book can be seen as a meditative experience through reading. For those that object to the economy of words, you can read any serious, well respected spiritual text and you'll find that richness and simplicity. Look at Tao Te Ching, Bhagavad Gita, Gospel of Thomas, Jesus' Parables and Zen writings to name a few things. Great sages like Ramana Maharshi, when asked questions would often not even reply and just sit in silence in front of you, making you go deeper within yourself beyond mental modifications.
If you really crave more content, Tolle has many helpful tapes/videos available with lectures that discuss spiritual growth and all it's aspects in an extremely thorough fashion with quite a lot of content. (Go to his website for a long catalog of materials)
Please remember, Tolle's teachings are about dissolving your false, mind made self, not self improvement (especially in some pop pyscology kind of way!). That might be a bit tricky for some to comprehend, but that is where the difference lies in Self-Realization & self-help. Tolle is not a self-help guru, his teachings point towards deconstructing the false self you've too closely misidentified with---the source of all your psycological suffering.
Read this book with a Zen-Like mindset and you might enjoy it.
The other issue people had was the cost of the book. I might go along a bit with that, I do feel the publishers did overprice the book by at least a few dollars and have taken advantage of Tolle's popularity. However, it is still an interesting book and I did find it worthwhile.
Once again Eckhart Tolle brings us a gift of enlightenment that speaks to our soul. I read this book from cover to cover, enthralled by the simplicity of the messages and their important application to my life. What I love about this book is how wonderful it is to go back to and re-read even a simple sentence, and how much of a difference that sentence makes when our ego has us caught in appearances, rather than in simply Being.
Thank you Eckhart Tolle for adding much needed Light to our world. This book is a classic, a wonderful contribution, and will certainly raise the peacefulness within the consciousness of humanity for all who are wise to take in the messages you brought us. Highly recommended.
Barbara Rose, Ph.D. author of Know Yourself: A Woman's Guide to Wholeness, Radiance & Supreme Confidence and Stop Being the String Along: A Relationship Guide to Being THE ONE
on June 4, 2004
If you are new to Eckhart Tolle, I would suggest 'The Power of Now' and the wonderful 'Realizing the Power of Now' as introductions to this amazing material.
Personally, after studying Mr Tolle's work for several years I got to a point where no more explanation was really necessary. I think he would say that it's essentially a simple message, but it can be difficult for it to get through our years of habitual and continual mental chatter.
Once you finally find that quiet place, a wonderful little handbook of 'signposts' like 'Stillness Speaks' is really all you need to help get back in that quiet place when you lose it.
I highly recommend this book to those who have experienced for themselves the stillness that Eckhart tries to help us find in ourselves.
on October 11, 2004
Stillness Speaks is, by design, a shorter and smaller book than the author's previous one "The Power of Now". It's as if to demonstrate visually that it's not about "reading more" and "learning more" that brings one to a place of peace. In fact, Tolle often argues for the opposite, the quieting and stilling of the noisy mind, as the way to allow a greater peace and presence to appear.
The author's assumption is that this "presence/stillness/force" is benign and intelligent and good. Some people with traditional views may struggle with the ambiguity of exactly who or what this source of wisdom and peace is, since it's only loosely defined.
To get the most out of this book, the reader may need to suspend some long held beliefs about the world and their part in it, and see things from a new perspective that's free from a sense of self and ego. That's a major shift for many of us. So this is not light reading. To be taken seriously, it requires an examination of your belief system and that's always a bit scary and challenging. But that's often where growth occurs.
I would recommend this book for anyone who's goal is not so much success as it is peace of mind and congruity of life.