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by Constance Kellough
The birth of Namaste Publishing is an example of how, if we are open to it, Life will invite us to be of service to humanity in the most useful way we can be at a particular time.
It was early in 1996 that I began to experience a yearning to engage in spiritual practice with a group—or what in the East they call a Sangha. It’s a Sanskrit word. This desire was such a surprise to me, since my spiritual practice had for many years been quite private, that I didn’t act on it immediately. I simply noted the presence of this yearning, allowing that it was perhaps a passing whim.
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When the yearning didn’t fade, following a meeting in our management consultant boardroom, I mentioned it to one of my colleagues. “That’s interesting,” he said, “because I just met a fellow who arrived from England a few weeks ago and is said to be a spiritual teacher.”
Surprised and delighted, I responded, “I would like to meet this person.”
“I’ll ask if he would be open to leading sessions in our office,” my colleague said.
A week later, at the end of the workday our office door opened and in walked a gentle, unassuming man who was introduced to me as Eckhart Tolle. From then on, once a week he came to our office, where a small group gathered.
As the months went by, Eckhart led us deeper and deeper into a state of stillness, in which we became increasingly attuned to the Presence within us and at the heart of everything.
Eckhart not only exuded the energy of Presence, but he was also able to express perennial spiritual truths in an idiom suited to our times. His clear, contemporary language conveyed deep insights that enabled me to recognize him for the profound and timely teacher he is, especially for the West.
As time passed, I learned that Eckhart was writing a book. Though I thought this was a wonderful idea, it came as a total surprise when, after a semi-private session of spiritual practice during the summer, he asked, “Constance, would you consider being my publisher?”
At the time, I was happily ensconced in my career as a management consultant and knew nothing about publishing. But as I drove home that evening, it occurred to me that perhaps it wasn’t just a coincidence that for ten years I had been in the college system as both an instructor and Department Chair of English Literature.
As I thought about the yearning that had arisen in me to engage in a group form of spiritual practice, coinciding as it did with Eckhart’s arrival in Vancouver, I began to see that behind the chronological storylines of Eckhart’s life and my own ran a thread of spiritual intent that was the work of an invisible weaver.
Heading home, while Crossing the Lions Gate Bridge from West Vancouver, I symbolically crossed an inner bridge. Yes, I would be Eckhart’s publisher. Thus the mustard seed was dropped in the soil.
Of course, I went through the predictable egoic vacillations. I had never published a book. What if I let Eckhart down? And how was I going to find the time and resources to do this?
Eckhart and I sat together once a week for approximately 6 months while he wrote and we went over his evolving manuscript together. We were in complete oneness in feeling compelled to put his teaching out to the world, not knowing or even caring whether it would be read by a handful, several hundred, or many thousands—let alone millions.
The Power of Now was birthed into the world in 1997, though many tests of our commitment still lay ahead. As a first-time author with no existing platform to speak of and a first-time publisher with neither connections in nor knowing what the publishing industry was like, Eckhart and I defied many publishing industry norms and practices. With no marketing budget to speak of, we often walked the books into Vancouver bookstores ourselves. Sometimes we met with no interest, while other times a store would order a few copies at a time.
Then, simply by word-of-mouth, The Power of Now quickly became known in Vancouver and Calgary, as well as to individuals in the United States and other countries.
After two failed attempts to convince a Canadian national book distributor to carry the book, Eckhart suggested that perhaps we just leave it at that. But I wasn’t ready to give up yet. Our third attempt met with success, partly because the distributor’s customers were asking for her to carry it. The rest is publishing history. To date The Power of Now has sold over eight million copies and is available in 45 languages.
Would Eckhart write another book? At all times Namaste Publishing’s decisions were led by Life itself, which is where the invisible weaver’s influence is always experienced.
The answer came as Eckhart’s teaching evolved. The Power of Now was followed by Stillness Speaks, then A New Earth. It was only after The Power of Now proved so successful that others publishers in the industry were eager to carry it and his other two books forward in a way a small niche Canadian publishing house couldn’t – at least at that time. Now Namaste Publishing has excellent world-wide distribution.
Life has provided both Eckhart and myself with an incredible joy ride, the joy of knowing the extensive impact Eckhart’s books and teachings have had on our world. It is with profound gratitude that we have been the vehicles through which higher consciousness can be expressed more fully in our world.
About the author:
Constance Kellough has had an extensive work career – from teacher at Vancouver Community College, to founder of Kellough & Company, a Management Consulting firm, to publishing in the areas of Body/Mind/Spirit for the last 20 years. While continuing to oversee Namaste Publishing, Constance also teaches Innerbody Meditation www.innerbodymeditation.com. Eckhart Tolle was her root teacher for this profound form of meditation, which quickly raises the consciousness of the practitioners. She also is a supporter and client of Meditate Vancouver whose vision is to make Vancouver a model for igniting Meditation throughout North America – and beyond.