We live in a world obsessed with advertising. “Look at me! Buy my things!”
There are other, more mysterious paths through which that which we need comes to us. To wit: walking through a bookstore, a title catches your eye. You open to a page in the middle of the book. The sentence says exactly what you need to hear in that moment.
I do not know if the man is enlightened, but I love this story about him.
“For two years, a small man sits quietly on a park bench. People walk by, lost in their thoughts. One day someone asks him a question. In the weeks that follow there are more people and more questions. Word spreads that the man is a “mystic,” and has discovered something that brings peace and meaning into our lives. It sounds like fiction, but today that man, Eckhart Tolle, is known worldwide for his teachings on spiritual enlightenment through the power of the present moment.”
“For two years…” Two years! Think about that. Imagine what was going through this intelligent, sensitive man’s mind, 437 days in, butt numb, feet cold, staring at the same lamp post he had been staring at for days, weeks, months. I have heard him say he was in bliss, content, in the moment. But my experience tells me the mind still functions — thoughts float by like clouds in an open sky. Tolle talks about the few times he tried to go back into the world — to do something. And how *his* efforts failed. It was as if Existence told him, “wait. Be patient.”
And then the first question…
When I worked in the arts, my peers and I attended a meeting with the local critics, to find out how to generate more press for our work. Near the end of the gathering, I remember one reporter saying, “Just do your work. The recognition will follow.”
Words worth thinking about…