From "Mentor News"

By · May 18, 2007 · Filed in Awareness, Change, Growth, Intention

Eckhart Tolle

(Editor’s note: one of the most frequent requests to Peer Resources is for information on how mentoring, coaching and peer assistance are different from each other. While this is a valid question, our emphasis is more on what these three areas have in common. The following article by Canadian author and spiritual teacher, Eckhart Tolle, adds a unifying perspective for coaching, mentoring, and peer assistance.)

When you are on a journey, it is certainly helpful to know where you are going or, at least, the general direction in which you are moving. But don’t forget that the only thing ultimately real about your journey is the step you are taking at this moment. That’s all there ever is.

Your life’s journey has an outer purpose and an inner purpose. The outer purpose is to arrive at your goal or destination, to accomplish what you set out to do, to achieve this or that, which, of course, implies future. However, if your destination, or the steps you are going to take in the future, take up so much of your attention that they become more important to you than the step you are taking now, you completely miss the journey’s inner purpose, which has nothing to do with where you are going or what you are doing, but everything to do with how.

It has nothing to do with future and everything to do with the quality of your consciousness at this moment. The outer purpose belongs to the horizontal dimension of space and time. The inner purpose concerns a deepening of your Being in the vertical dimension of the timeless Now. Your outer journey may contain a million steps. Your inner journey has only one: the step you are taking right now.

As you become more deeply aware of this one step, you realize that it already contains all the other steps, as well as the destination, within itself. This one step becomes transformed in an expression of perfection, an act of great beauty and quality. It takes you into Being and the light of Being shines through it. This is both the purpose and the fulfillment of your inner journey, the journey into yourself.

Does it matter whether or not we achieve our outer purpose, or if we succeed or fail in the world? It will matter to you as long as you haven’t realized your inner purpose. After that, the outer purpose is just a game you may continue to play simply because you enjoy it. It is also possible to fail completely in your outer purpose and, at the same time, totally succeed in your inner purpose, or the other way around, which is actually more common: outer riches and inner poverty, or, as Jesus put it, “gain the world and lose your soul.”

Ultimately, of course, every outer purpose is doomed to “fail” sooner or later, simply because it is subject to the law of the impermanence of all things. The sooner you realize that your outer purpose cannot give you lasting fulfillment, the better. When you have seen the limitations of your outer purpose, you give up your unrealistic expectation that it should make you happy and you make it subservient to your inner purpose.

There is no need to investigate your unconscious past, except as it manifests at this moment as a thought, an emotion, a desire, a reaction or an external event. Whatever you need to know about the unconscious past within yourself will be revealed by the challenges of the present.

If you delve into the past, it will become a bottomless pit. There is always more. You may think that you need more time to understand the past or to become free of it. This is a delusion. Only the present can free you of the past. More time cannot free you of time. Access the power of Now. That is the key.

What is the power of Now? None other than the power of your presence, your consciousness liberated from thought forms. So deal with the past on the level of the present. The more attention you give to the past, the more you energize it, and the more likely you are to make a “self” out of it.

Don’t misunderstand; attention is essential, but not the past as past. You cannot find yourself by going into the past. You find yourself by coming into the present.

(Adapted from The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment)

Cultivate your ability to be consciously in the present more often with help from a Coach like Russell (mail to:

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