Grace Gawler reflects on Eckhart Tolle and Oprah

Eckhart Tolle discussions on Oprah’s new webinar – this is my experience of living with presence

Last night I watched the latest of Oprah Winfrey’s presentations “A New Earth Web Event”; a forum that demonstrates the awesome use of technology and how consciousness-changing information can be instantaneously broadcast around the globe.

Oprah interviewed Eckhart Tolle; the discussion focussed around issues of presence and embodiment. I was delighted to see these two important qualities of human existence recognised as fundamental to our experience of life. They are imperative if not essential qualities for total health, healing and recovery from all ailments of the human condition from depression to cancer.
Like Tolle, I have also sat with, listened to, learned from and read the texts of many of the world’s great spiritual masters including J. Krishnasmurti, Fr Bede Griffiths, Sathya Sai Baba, Sogyal Rimpoche, to name a few. I mention these names not as a who’s who of spiritual hierachy, but to illustrate a point that it is not only the teachings given by great masters that lead to embodiment, presence and empowerment; but how we as individuals understand and apply those principals.
The teachings are the journey – your life experience is the destination. The teachings of the masters gave me the spiritual tools; I practised meditation, read philosphy, theosophy, anthroposophy. I understood the teachings intellectually, but it was not until my own crises and traumas descended that I really understood what embodiment was all about, what it felt like. I had to experience gross dis-embodiment in order to recognise embodiment. I needed to be aware when I “spaced out” in order to know how to “space in” – I had to learn how to surrender and how ”invite myself home“; then I knew I had embodied the teachings. When at home in my body, I was conscious of my inner and outer world, conscious of my boundaries and I was conscious of being.

Those qualities then generated presence. Before this time words such as still the mind, let go of all thoughts, turn your mind inwards, be mindful, be present to your thoughts….. were all just words with mind interpretations. In reality – what do words mean if you have never experienced these states before?
Great healers, are catalysts, secret agents for change. It seems that most humans need a wake up call to jump out of the mouse wheel and redesign their life. We don’t need a huge trauma – in fact any trauma will do. Trauma, illness, accidents can be reframed as opportunities; opportunities to discover a soul life – the life of a human being, rather than a human doing! As a fellow seeker I can also empathise with the personal journey of despair that brought Tolle to his own personal awakening. For seekers who want some direct and inspiring viewing and learning check the series out at
For those of you interested in practises of embodiment – please see articles about my GEM approach on the home page of this website. I hold regular MASTERCLASS trainings for practitioners who want to learn how to teach practises of embodiment for their clients as well as for their own self care.
Olivia Newton-John says: “I learned a technique from Grace Gawler which helps me to take little moments in the day for myself. Even if it’s just sitting in your car before you turn on the engine, take 10 seconds, take a breath and centre yourself. It’s like filling up a bank of energy and it works.” Australian Women’s Weekly November 2007