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Oprah's 'A New Earth' Live Web Cast
with Eckhart Tolle "Breaking New Ground"
Friday, March 7, 2008
by Michaeleen O'Sullivan (and TC), UPfirst feature writers
Photos by Michaeleen and Todd Carter, UPfirst photographers

WWW, Marquette, MI-- O, what an amazing free Oprah 'A New Earth' live web cast week it is!  More than 500,000 students took their seats Monday by 9pm ET for the first live web event of Oprah Winfrey's revolutionary interactive 10-week 'A New Earth' free worldwide web course with Eckhart Tolle.

We received our "special link" student invitation email Sunday night requesting we enter at 8:35pm ET Monday night.

In Oprah's live webcast greeting, she said: "We're breaking new ground.  Nothing like this has ever been attempted before."

Oprah's free 10-week course--engaging students worldwide in contemplation, discussion, and growth about awareness and spirituality--explores Eckhart Tolle's 309 page book, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose, one chapter per week.

Simple Pleasures are the Best!
Black-Capped Chickadee, for free,
in Marquette Thursday afternoon

We experienced some pausing and jumping, receiving at 151 kbps from high-speed wireless access point in a remote area of the Upper Peninsula. The web cast (lightly edited) became available for uninterrupted viewing Tuesday at OPRAH.com.

Two deer in Upper Peninsula remote area Tuesday morning

It will be very interesting to see how the live web casts go over the next 9 weeks.  We're on a 10-week spiritual and technological journey Oprah is offering to the world for free...unbelievable!!!

As we participate in Oprah's course, we are reading Eckhart's A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose, a little at a time.  The course experience includes filling in a chapter-by-chapter "Your Workbook" online.

The "Your Workbook" activities include answering questions and relating your life experiences.  "Your Workbook" also contains spaces for collecting favorite quotes in the "Your Flower" sections, and for experiencing and sharing your "Awakening Exercises."

The "Awakening Exercises" were developed by Eckhart with Elizabeth Lesser, "the co-founder and senior adviser of Omega Institute, the United States' largest adult education center focusing on health, wellness, spirituality and creativity," according to Oprah.com.

Oprah.com Message Boards provide a community platform to give and to receive ideas and prayers, and to prepare for the class.

Then it's time for the big event:  The 'A New Earth' Monday night live web cast with Oprah and Eckhart and the interactive audiences from around the world.

The main messages I glean so far from participating in Oprah's course and reading "Chapter One, The Flowering of Human Consciousness," (pages 1-23) are these:

Be here now...be present in the light of I am Spirit..."Jesus was a revolutionary who got misinterpreted a lot" (Oprah)...gaze at a flower without naming it and connect with universal essence...awareness is within you and within all universal nature...be still...be thankful...be joyful...simple pleasures are the best!

Oprah said she looks at flowers differently after reading A New Earth quote: "So when you are alert and contemplate a flower, crystal, or bird without naming it mentally, it becomes a window for you into the formless" (page 5).

The "Awakening Exercise" for Lesson 1 asks students to "spend some time in the presence of something you consider beautiful--a flower, a gem, a piece of artwork....try to see it without naming it mentally."

Oprah described her experience of gazing without naming within her garden of oak trees and flowers in California, and said she felt "everything is vibrating," and "everything becomes exciting." 

She felt "a magical presence and sense of majesty and power and strength and connection."

"a window for you into the formless" (page 5)
Stillness in Snowy White Pines

The messages so far (we're only on page 23) are not really 'new' messages, as Eckhart points out in A New Earth.  "Jesus tells us to contemplate the flowers and learn from them how to live," writes Eckhart on page 2.  The Buddha "silent sermon" of gazing at a flower is also retold on page 2.  On Monday night's web cast, Eckhart enjoined the audience with, "Jesus said to look at the lilies of the field."

What is really new is Oprah's revolutionary live worldwide web classroom for discussion about spirituality, awareness, and life purpose within such a massive interactive audience of students--and all home green for free!  Truly amazing!

Alarming to some students was Eckhart's warning: "We are at a crisis point...humanity is now faced with a stark choice:  Evolve or die" (page 21).  One "Skyper" (video-in) held her hand over her heart and asked Eckhart if he meant this "literally" or "metaphorically."  Eckhart's explanation included: "Consciousness is continuous metamorphosis, but ultimately, nothing dies."

On the Oprah.com Message Board, discussions and comments-- flying in constantly from all around the world--are an added option within the course format.  During Monday night's web cast, Oprah said: "I go on the message boards, everybody.  I love you all on the message boards."

A few words of caution:  Don't let the message boards overwhelm you.  And, remember, your posts go out to the entire world.  Read the Oprah Message Board House Rules and FAQs.

Peeking in now and then is fun, and "listening," and "hearing," and occasionally "sharing" may enhance the enjoyment of this worldwide course.  But ultimately we awaken in stillness, and too much time in the blogborg realm might make you feel strained or sick or work counter to the good process.  If you do feel like participating in the messages, be sure to also make time for your outdoor play and your rest.

We're on to "Chapter Two, Ego: The Current State of Humanity."

Oprah said during class, "This is the most exciting thing I've ever done."  Oprah viewers have heard her say about this web cast many times now, "I was born to do this."  Thank goodness for Oprah!


Do you want to join the exploration?

To Join Oprah's 'A New Earth' Course, Visit OPRAH.com

Another favorite quote with Oprah and audience from Chapter 1:
"You do not become good by trying to be good, but by finding the goodness that is already within you, and allowing that goodness to emerge" (page 13).

Deer Kiss, for free!

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