Reading Guide

A New Earth (Oprah #61)

A New Earth (Oprah #61)

INTRODUCTION

The Power of Now established Eckhart Tolle as one of the leading spiritual teachers writing today. Now, his long-awaited follow-up brings his inspiring and profound message to a whole new audience.

Building on the astonishing success of The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle takes us beyond our own lives to show that we now have the opportunity to birth a new, more loving world. This involves a radical inner leap of consciousness from the current identification with our ego to an entirely new way of thinking about who we are. For this to happen, the very strictures of the human mind need to undergo an evolutionary transformation.

In A New Earth, Tolle shows how this transformation can occur not only in ourselves, but in the world around us. In illuminating the nature of this shift of consciousness, Tolle describes in detail how our current ego-based state of consciousness operates. He then gently and in very practical terms leads us into this new consciousness. We will come to experience who we are truly are, which is infinitely greater than anything we currently think we are.

ABOUT ECKHART TOLLE

Eckhart Tolle is a contemporary spiritual teacher who is not aligned with any particular religion or tradition. In his writing and seminars, he conveys a simple yet profound message with the timeless and uncomplicated clarity of the ancient spiritual masters. There is a way out of suffering into peace. Tolle travels extensively, taking his teachings throughout the world. He lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

  1. In Chapter One, Tolle discusses the reasons for reading A New Earth, and what leads people towards awakening. He writes: “For some, it may have begun through loss or suffering; for others, through coming into contact with a spiritual teacher or teaching, through reading The Power of Now or some other spiritually alive and therefore transformational book.” Discuss why you decided to read this book and seek spiritual awakening. What led you to want it? Do you think you were already on the path when you began reading A New Earth? How did the book help you with your enlightenment?

  2. Discuss the following passage: “If the structures of the human mind remain unchanged, we will always end up re-creating fundamentally the same world, the same evils, the same dysfunction” (p. 22). Do you agree with this statement? What changes does Tolle argue for? What can humans do as a people to make change happen? What can you do as an individual?
     
  3. Why does Tolle tell the story of “The Lost Ring” in Chapter Two? Have you ever felt as the woman in the story feels? Why does Tolle teach the importance of disassociating ourselves with our physical possessions? Why do you think people are so quick to identify so closely with their possessions? How can we stop? Why should we stop?

  4. On page 52, Tolle discusses the importance of feeling the inner body. He says we should “Make a habit of feeling the inner body as often as you can.” Why is this so important to do? How is your inner body different than your outer body? What can we learn from our inner bodies?
     
  5. In Chapter Three, Tolle delves into “Reactivity and Grievances.” Discuss a grievance you’ve had with someone. Have you let go of it? How or why not? Why is it so important to let go of grievances? How does holding on to grievances damage your ego?

  6. In what outward behaviors does your ego manifest itself? Pride? Superiority? Criticism? Examine the outward face of your ego. How can you conquer these issues and let go of them? Now consider the internal manifestations of your ego. What are you holding on to? How can you try to let go? Discuss.

  7. “In Zen they say: ‘Don’t seek the truth. Just cease to cherish opinions'”(p. 121). What does this statement mean to you? How can you practice this in your own life? What other sayings or thoughts help you to see beyond your own mind to get beyond your ego?

  8. What unconscious assumptions (ie. “Nobody respects me” or “I don’t deserve love”) have you had to fight against? Have you been able to conquer these assumptions? How? Are there any you are still trying to conquer? Why are some harder than others? Why is it so important to get unconscious assumptions out of our minds?

  9. Discuss the parable of “Carrying the Past” on page 139. What does the story mean? How does it relate to the larger themes in this book? Are you carrying baggage from your past? How can you unload it? If you have unloaded past baggage, explain to the group how you managed it.

  10. What is Tolle saying when he writes about the pain-body? How does the pain-body manifest itself in you? How can you break free from it? How is the pain-body stilting to spiritual growth and awakening?
     
  11. How have the lessons in this book helped you to identify who you truly are? How can you expunge negativity and unhappiness to find your true self? What techniques have you tried? What has worked and what hasn’t? Discuss with the group.

  12. How is your true identity different than your inner purpose? How can you find your inner purpose? What in this book has helped you to uncover it? Do you feel that you have reached an awakening? What more do you have to work on? Discuss ways to help one another to reach the awakening you seek.
     
  13. How can you help other towards enlightenment? Do you think “The New Earth” that Tolle writes about is possible to achieve? How can the human race a whole be helped by his teachings?
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