Friday, August 18, 2006

Ripples on the Surface of Being

Ripples and Stillness, Ala Moana Park, Honolulu, HI, February 2006, HP Photosmart R817, Exposure 1/240 sec @ f4.7, ISO 102, no flash © Steven Crisp [Click on the photo to enlarge]

It's been a while since my last post. Sorry about that. Work-stuff got in the way. And increasingly that feels like a competition for time -- at least for quiet time, in the morning or in the evening -- when there is nothing else to think about. Or time to spend outdoors in nature. Time that becomes no time. Timeless time. Only experiencing the present moment.

I am reading the latest edition of the magazine What Is Enlightenment?. It is a recollection of selected articles over their 15 year publishing history. And right in the middle I came to an interview between Eckhart Tolle and Andrew Cohen. You can read that interview, entitled Ripples on the Surface of Being, if you are interested.

There is something about Eckhart Tolle that really reasonates with me. He seems to have a very simple way of relating the material world that we all live in to the unmanifest ground of being from which the world emerges. The metaphor he uses here is that the material world is "real" insofar as it is a small part of the vastness of being, like ripples on the ocean are a part, but only a small part, on the surface of its vastness.

He also clearly articulates that you can get in touch with the unmanifest simply by being present in the moment, and by surrendering your egoic wants and needs through being open to what is unfolding Now. He also makes clear that this work on the self -- enlightenment, transcendance, egoless being, or whatever term you wish to call it -- can happen at any point in time, whenever you are ready. It need not wait another day. You can read about the little epiphany I had based on my could-not-put-it-down read of his most famous book, The Power of Now.

There are many other take-aways, but instead I commend the article to you as a worthwhile read. So many sages and thinkers can be hard to uderstand and fully appreciate. I think Eckhart Tolle just speaks from his experience, and his curent state of awareness, and is very easy to understand. Good reading.


Pat said...

It's good to see your posts and photos again! Welcome back! I, too, got a lot out of reading Eckhart Tolle's book, The Power of Now. It rings like a bell.

Guri said...

Hi Steve,

Thanks for posting about Tolle. I recently finished reading the Power of Now and wanted to re-read it as soon as I finished it. There are so many subtleties to learn from over and over. I also read "Stillness Speaks," which is also very good (especially for those daunted by The Power of Now.


P.S. Great photo!

Steven Crisp said...

Pat, Good to hear from you -- I saw you have been consistently posting with great reflections and photos. Thanks, they soothe my soul when I get the chance to visit. Why am I not suprised that you resonate with Tolle as well.

Guri, Thanks for the recommendation of another of his book; I will have to check it out. And thanks for the visit, please feel free to sample my other linked blogs as well. BTW, I love yours, and your journey. How inspiring.

Anonymous said...

You mention, "Only experiencing the present moment" but what does that mean? Back when I was a junkie I sat waiting in an extremely painful "now", waiting for my dealer to show, experiencing the present moment was for me an excruciating pain, plagued by paranoic fears that he would not show. I was there, in the moment, and it was not good. But I never recall comsidering suicide, as painful as that waiting was, because I realized that as soon as I killed myself, he might show if only I had waited another minute supreme fulfillment would have arrived.

Now it is later, and I guess it is clear that we all is experiencing these present moments differently.

You know I think I know what you are getting at in what you wrote, and it is closer to where I am now. Where I am these days is what I have been calling waking up to the divine presence in the world. What a beautiful kingdom to wake up to. And to feel it, the divine, moving within my own body, and waking to see my own being in some mysterious way connected with that divine, if not part of it, oh, whatever, who really knows? Anyway, once you wake to the divine in this world it pervades everything you do, and nothing is the same ever again (unless it changes). Hard to expres this though, there is a old Chinese poem that comes to mind that goes something like "Sitting by the stream it is lunchtime, and looking into the water I realize that I could easily gather small fish and pawn, but I did not dare to plunder these divine beings, and instead had a lunch of simple greens." Maybe you can get the idea from that poem.

Steven Crisp said...


I admit to having few life experience points, and therefore have no appreciation of the kind of intense addiction and physical craving that you describe. So I won't try to exlplain how being in the "Now" has no perspective of waiting for a future point -- by definition. I do not really understand what your experiences were like.

But it is remarkable your turnaround, for I do appreciate your "waking up to the divine presence in the world". I don't experience it very often, but when I do, it is when I am fully present, and there are no thoughts of the future, no other thing I should be doing, no worry, no rush -- JUST THIS -- and a wave of beauty envelopes me, and a smile comes so naturally to my face. It most certainly could be seen by some as divine.

And I absolutely love your poem -- from that divine place, with nothing but compassion for all beings, it seems obvious how you "not dare to plunder these divine beings" and I am sure the "lunch of simple greens" taste wonderful instead. I will remember that poem.

Thanks much for the visit and thoughtul comment; please do come back again.

Anonymous said...

i read that interview, some time ago when it was published in the What is Enlightenment (wie)magazine. I remember being in one of those bookstores that sells really strong coffee. I remember having an experience of total silence where the ambient noises fell to the background, and I sat in a state of no thought, total peace and quiet with no sense of 'me' or where 'here' was. It was utterly aloneness, yet it was perfectly neutral and 'as it is' rather than 'good' or 'bad'. I'll always remember that experience as key in my spiritual development which brought me to where I am today... that article seemed to spur something inside that resonated deeply. Just wanted to share this.

Steven Crisp said...


Thanks for the wake-up call. I really needed a reminder of what that state of inner tranquility can be. Thanks for that, and for it a this moment.