'The Power Of Now' By Eckhart Tolle

'The power of now' is a very interesting book that explains what it means to live in the present moment through the normal issues of our daily lives.

This book offers many important lessons and practical advice. It is structured in the form of questions from different people with the answers that Tolle gives.

This book is followed by 'Practicing the power of now'.

One of the main points of this book is that the transformation of our consciousness is available now, as we abandon thought to become present: "So the single most vital step on your journey toward enlightenment is this: learn to disidentify from your mind."

The delusion of time

Tolle explains that time is an illusion - the past and the future don't really exist. As he puts it:

"Let me say it again: the present moment is all you ever have. There is never a time when your life is not 'this moment'. Is this not a fact?"

The reason why we fight with the now is because we're identified with the mind, and we live exclusively "through memory and anticipation" - this is, we live in thought.

Here is a useful way that Tolle gives to find out whether or not we are living in the now:

"Ask yourself: is there joy, ease, and lightness in what I am doing? If there isn't then time is covering up the present moment, and life is perceived as a burden or a struggle."

Tools to live in the now

'The power of now' offers a number of tools to come back to the present moment, pointing at the fact that we can really use anything to return to the present:

  • Through our bodies: "Direct your attention into the body. Is there any tension? Once you detect that there is a low level of unease, the background static, see in what way you are avoiding, resisting, or denying life - by denying the Now."

  • Through silence: we become present when we listen to the silence. Tolle says, "Even if there is noise, there is always some silence underneath and in between the sounds. Listening to the silence immediately creates stillness inside you".

  • Through space: "By becoming aware of the empty space around you, you simultaneously become aware of the space of no-mind, of pure consciousness: the Unmanifested."

Moreover, this book gives you practical tools to use negativity to become present: "Whenever you notice that some form of negativity has arisen within you, look on it not as a failure, but as a helpful signal that is telling you: 'Wake up. Get out of your mind. Be present'."

But how about if our present really is unbearable? Tolle says this: "If you find your here and now intolerable and it makes you unhappy, you have three options: remove yourself from the situation, change it, or accept it totally. If you want to take responsibility for your life, you must choose one of those three options, and you must choose now."

On relationships and more

'The power of now' also contains interesting insights about relationships; it adds a new perspective and practical advice to start having better relationships today:

"The greatest catalyst for change in a relationship is complete acceptance of your partner as he or she is, without needing to judge or change them in any way. That immediately takes you beyond ego."

'The power of now' also touches on other topics:

  • Fear: "It comes in many forms: unease, worry, anxiety, nervousness, tension, dread, phobia, and so on. This kind of psychological fear is always of something that might happen, not of something that is happening now."

  • Stress: "Stress is caused by being 'here' but wanting to be 'there', or being in the present and wanting to be in the future."

  • Conflict: "Conflict [...] ceases when there is no longer any clash between the demands and expectations of your mind and what is."

The key

As Tolle states, all of the conflicts, negativity and unease that we experience is a result of resisting what is.

He asks: "Are you resisting your here and now? Some people would always rather be somewhere else. Their 'here' is never good enough."

The key to change the resistance that creates negative states is to surrender to the present moment: "To offer no resistance to life is to be in a state of grace, ease, and lightness. This state is then no longer dependent upon things being in a certain way, good or bad."

'The power of now' is a must-read: it truly awakens you to the present moment, and it opens a spacious dimension of self-awareness.

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"Accept - then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it. Make it your friend and ally, not your enemy. This will miraculously transform your whole life."

Eckhart Tolle

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