This is a really wonderful audiobook. If you have a few other of his lectures you will likely find parts of it are family since Eckhart does say similar and familiar things. An interesting element of this recording is that there is one person who laughs throughout the lecture at the most random things. It grated on my nerves at first until I realized that this was an opportunity to accept what is rather than let the ego keep grabbing hold of it and being annoyed or wondering if this person was on drugs, which I did for the first few hours. Eventually, this person's laughter was just a sound I chose to not let distract me from being present while listening to Eckhart. Amusingly enough, there are moments when Eckhart begins laughing at things he's saying which I suspect was triggered by the seemingly randomness of this audience member's laughter. All in all, the lecture in itself is good, while that one person's laughter perhaps made it more than a lecture and into a putting the teachings into practice type of experience. As I continued listening I found I could gauge my presence by whether the laughter triggered judgment and/or annoyance or not.
There was so much packed into this retreat's recordings. I listened over the course of a few days and have listened to it a few times. What I found most interesting is that during the course of this I could easily recognize when I was intensely present, somewhat present, and totally distracted. Just listening to this retreat gives you the tools to help you recognize when ego has taken over. For me, the only way I can be fully present is to sit in quiet and listen to the recording. I then find that I've gone into a meditative state. If you find yourself distracted by tape quality or his voice or breathing then it's actually a clue that you are in ego. When you are fully present none of these things distract in the least and when you are fully present while listening, the times where there is silence are like little gifts to treasure.
He covers many topics during the retreat. For those who like to have chapters with labels this may not be one you'd appreciate. Otherwise, it's excellent.
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