ECKHART: When you watch a tree, just be there as the aware presence perceives the tree. Nature is very helpful for people who want to connect with the stillness. Man-made things generate more thinking because they are made through thinking. Go to nature. Eventually you can sustain the state of stillness even in the midst of a city. I enjoy walking along busy streets with infernal noise and people rushing about and feeling the deep sense of stillness in the background.
OPRAH: So it's like being in the world, but not of it.
ECKHART: That's exactly what it is.
OPRAH: You've said that spirituality has nothing to do with what you believe but everything to do with your state of consciousness.
ECKHART: It's the stillness that's the spiritual dimension.
OPRAH: And beliefs are not spiritual?
ECKHART: No, because beliefs are thoughts. Thought in itself is not spiritual, though it can sometimes be helpful because it can be a pointer. If we say, "Find the stillness that's already inside you," that's a thought, but the thought is pointing beyond itself.
OPRAH: At the end of A New Earth you say that the foundation for a new earth is a new heaven, the awakened consciousness.
ECKHART: Yes, and that's a wonderful thing. Jesus said, Heaven does not come with signs to be observed. It is already within you.
OPRAH: The stillness.
OPRAH: Do you think it will ever be possible to live peacefully in the now, or is that too much of a lofty goal?
ECKHART: Rather than asking if you can ever be free, because "ever" is a huge amount of future time, ask if you can be free at this moment. The only place where you can or need to be free is this moment. Not the rest of your life. Just now.
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