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entirely we to AccordingTolle, spend to timelistening theincestoomuch Here two are of santchatter the mind. of histipson howto turnthatchatter or off-fora minute two,at least o Feelyourself breathing in Feel air moving andoutof your the (really). its body. Note temperature "but "lt won'tlastlongj'saysTolle, it's you?e thinkingl' not when a space r look at trees,flowersandthe sky always them Try perceive without to or theirnames withhaving repeat t0 natthem.'Anything outcategorizing take more easily you ural much can outof thinking man-made than thingsi'he says.






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That's a bit ironic, given that Tolle's teachings,which have brought comfort and calm to millions. are about how to more fully be in this world. The way he seesit, much of the fear, anxiety and guilt that all humans can extrlerience be traced to our inability to live in the present. Instead, he says,we spend our days dwelling on past mistakes-why did I have to eat that double cheeseburger?-or fretting about the future-the high school reunion is coming up, and I just ate Lost in all that double cheeseburger. thatworrying, he says,is the present, the only period we can actually experience and enjoy at any given moment. "The now is the onlything there ever is, you can't get awayfrom it," says Tolle. "But the voice in our head keepsus either in the past or in the future, treating the present moment as if it were the enemy." Tolle, whose strongest indulgences are the occasional glassofwine and a PEoPLE 116 warcn 21,2005

a deep depression that dogged him foryears. After dropping out ofschool at 14, he moved to Spain to join his father, Leonard, a struggling writer. Tolle managed to get his academic career back on track and was working on a doctorate in literature at Cambridge University when he experinight of watching Seinfeldreruns,has enceda profound transformation. In the middle of a summer's night in afix for all of this: Live your life right 1977,he awoke in such despair that here, right now. "Instead of making the present moment into an enemy, he considered taking his life. But by turn it into a friend," he suggests(see morning, he says,he was filled with inexplicable bliss-and he spent the box for tips on putting the words into action). As simple and gentle asTolle's next decade asking spiritual teachprinciples may sound, they've struck ers to explain the cause."It was a deep a deep chord in his followers. "He's peace that was with me wherever I brilliantly expressed awareness of went, even in the middle of London, the present moment as a window to the middle of traffic," he says.Eventhe spirit," saysNewAge guru Deep- tually, Tolle identified the principles ak Chopra. Adds Mitchell Cantor, 69, thathe would laterwrite about inhis a Zen teacher from Boca Raton, Fla., book. So what's it like being a guru? "I'm who has playedtapes of Tolle's teachings duringvisits to maximum secu- not," insists Tolle, who travels the rity prisons: "I've seen guys in soli- world to give lectures but drives an tary confinement truly softened by SlfV and lives in an apartment decorated mostlywith books, not far from his words." Growing up, Tolle's life was any- his girlfriend and businessassociate thing but soft. Born in Liinen, Ger- KimEng 44. "I always saythe truthis not to be found within anvbodvelse. many, he was 1l when his parents' unhappy marriage ended in divorce, It's in you." a source of shame and embarrassDoddinVancouver ByJohnny ment to the young Tolle. He sank into