The Epiphany of Eckhart’s Teachings: Karen’s Story

Karen Mayo is an artist from Melbourne, Australia, who has completed a Master’s degree in Art in Public Space, and who is currently studying to be a secondary school arts teacher at the University of Melbourne. This is the story behind the picture she took for our photography contest, and how she has been inspired by Eckhart’s work.

Eckhart Tolle’s teaching came into my life at the beginning of 2006, when I began my Visual Arts Degree. I found his philosophy and teaching inspirational both on a personal level, and then later, as I took on his teaching into my day-to-day life, his work began to inform my arts practice. I eventually went on to create a whole body of artwork centred on his notion of the present moment, and this then became the core focus of my Master of Arts degree.

I began to explore how the notion of presence, or the lack of it, was expressed in our day to day life. In the years that followed, I came to understand Eckhart’s teachings as something we all know but rarely identify with. It is part of our human experience and something we are innately drawn to, but only know as fleeting. In many instances, we are barely aware of when and how we experience it as we shift seamlessly between moments of presence and our seemingly unconscious and uncontrollable thoughts.

In my work, I began to explore how, if at all, we come to experience presence in public space. This resulted in the series of images you now know and included other works where I photographed intense exhilarating situations that jolt us in to the Now. For example, extreme sports, roller coaster rides and fun parks all create an experience of presence that we all know, but rarely identify with as being close to a spiritual experience. Most people in the modern day world are drawn to these experiences naturally, they seek them out and are drawn to experience intense moments that take them out of themselves and into the Now. They do this without ever really making the connection that they seek out these feeling of presence  and that this is akin to a heightened spiritual awareness.

The young man in this image was photographed in a public park called WaterWorld, which is a fun park for families and children with hundreds of people running around him. The noise was blinding and chaotic and, yet, he was so immersed in the moment that the chaos appeared to simple fall away and nothing else existed. As it appeared, it was the epiphany of Eckhart’s teachings.

The beauty of photography is its ability to preserve a moment, and if fortunate, you are there to take the photo.


26 responses to “The Epiphany of Eckhart’s Teachings: Karen’s Story

  1. This is soooo beautiful, thank you Karen for capturing/creating it! It certainly takes me straight into Presence, viscerally. What a lovely project and and what a gift to us all. Thank you.

  2. Beautiful post Karen, thank you for sharing. Eckhart Tolle has inspired so many through his teachings about being present.

  3. Thank you for this beautiful picture and for the story accompanying it.
    It truly portrays the presence in the middle of chaos and excitement, and when I look at the picture it also takes me into the present moment.
    I love the picture.

  4. I love this ‘present moment reminder’ of Karen’s story: As a representational artist, I would like to take out the ‘re-presenting'(copying) and replace it with just ‘presentational’ art– art that goes deeper into spiritual feeling and expression of NOW, not just a pretty category of details. The feeling of NOW is love. I want to go for the love. Thank you, Karen, for busting through to a new level and inspiring others, like myself.

  5. what a “powerful sign post” pointing to “what is” a moment of pure consciousness, a depth of stillness with alert presence to the isness
    of now. Karen Mayo catches the moment in true beauty showing the way
    peacefully, the depth of “I” before form illuminates out through this image
    Thank you so much Karen for sharing this and allowing it into my now.

    May the cosmos continue to inspire you and work through you creating stillness and peace to live in your heart.

  6. I am amazed by the photograph and grateful for your insight into the exhilarating public experiences people explore when seeking the Now.

  7. I wanted to personally thank you for all your heartfelt comments and thoughts about this image and I am both moved and inspired by your words and how you have connected with the work. I like to think of the image as a sign post, a point to leap off from and for the viewer to draw from the work what ever they are ready to see.

    Thank you everyone all OM SHANTI

    Karen Mayo

    1. As all who experience “presence” get, there is only one Now which we flow into and out of depending on our relationship with our identity. The one Now in which life happens, where we are all connected and all belong. I love how this is reflected in your photograph.

  8. Indeed, when I remember presence, New Earth and all I read in that book.I can develop awareness so when I have my moments of lack of stillness, my focus remains.

  9. This is tremendouslly moving…Empowering, Freeing…and Yes even HEALING….!!! INCOURAGING us to work on being
    Awear of our constantl, moment to moment THOUGHTS…. !!! This Story very Beautifull…God Bless all who are moved
    by “THE POWER of NOW”,….With such simple Awearness are catapolted into the Field of Incredible Possibilitiess…!!! The
    Brillience, the JOY of it are beyond my limited attempt to express….Thank YOU for the Beautiful Inspiring Story….!!! Much
    Love and GRATITUDE carmen

  10. Awesome picture. Somehow brings the now into focus even as I enjoy the experience around past moments such as this boy is having.

  11. My first experience with living in the present, was 2007. I was having and still do have nightmares from Vietnam. My Therapist diagnosed me with with PTSD from war trauma I experienced in 1970. I don’t want to get into that but just touch on how she brought to my attention living in the present moment, or “mindfulness”. I was intrigued with this and started reading books on mindfulness. Pema Chodren, Dali Lama are two authors I liked and the teaching of mindfulness changed my life. Being aware of the very present moment that you are in insurance awesome when you think of it.. You become very conscious of the very moment that your in, it’s really helped me. Try it!

  12. Absolutely stunning Karen … I TOO love Eckhart’s work and practise the moment … it is it’s own reward xx Thank you 🙂

  13. I c pure spirit in the image, like when I saw ChristLight for the first time. It is what ecstacy is. Imagine if we could always b in the Now, we would always only c Spirit.

  14. Hello all,
    The response to the image has been wonderful and I have had allot of requests to see if the image is for sale? Initially I thought to only sell the image as a top end photographic print, and this is still available for those interested, however I would like to make the image more accessible to people. As a result I would like to offer copies of the image to everyone that is interested in the form of a poster. This will be;

    $70.00 for the poster including postage, handling and tax.
    $599.00 High quality Flex print (high gloss photographic print) 36 inches including postage, handling and tax

    Purchases will be via Paypal. Simply email me your postal address and name and I will send you an invoice on receipt of payment. Please indicate if you require a poster or a high quality print in your email.

    Thank you again for all of your inspiring replies and feedback.
    Karen Mayo

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