“Power of Now” is my second book of the year. My goal is 10 books which, for me, is unheard of! My first was “Wisdom of Insecurity” by Alan Watts.
Eckhart Tolle either came from the same school as Alan Watts or was influenced by him in some way. While there could be pros and cons to reading either book first, I’m glad I read them in the order I did. Where Alan Watts gave me a great overview of the philosophy behind being present, Tolle put it in layman’s terms and showed me how to apply these concepts to every day life.
The book starts with Tolle telling his story about how he was considered a failure. He was well-educated but seemingly going nowhere in life. He was extremely depressed that he hadn’t lived up to his or anyone’s expectations. Then, one night, he had a moment where he became intensely aware of his self. He spent the next few years in a state of bliss and studied why this had happened to him.
He then starts showing us how to acquire this type of inner peace for ourselves. He explains what consciousness is and how the lack of it causes pain in life. Being present is not an easy thing. Our mind wants to think about our problems, future and past, and has little need for the present moment. Tolle stresses that there is no reason to stress about the future because all we will ever have is the now. Applying this idea in our lives will not be easy because of resistance from the mind but it’ll bring a deep sense of calm to our lives.
In Chapter 2 he talks more about the concept of being conscious. How living in the now will help you find the true self. I’ve been applying these concepts for a few weeks now and I feel much more at ease. My anxiety has subsided and when it does flare up I’m able to catch it and stop myself a lot quicker.
Eckhart Tolle builds on these concepts and shows you how to apply them in nearly every imaginable life situation. He does so in a question and answer format based on his experience teaching others. He goes in to a deep explanation about bringing out the positive and love and stopping negativity from our lives. Tolle clearly has had a lot of experience teaching people because if you do bring your awareness to the present, it clears your head so you can focus your attention on positive things.
Honestly, Tolle could have listed a long list of questions and then pointed to one single answer – “No, be RIGHT NOW!”, but he doesn’t. Why? Because there is much more to say about what your mind is trying to do vs what your “self” is trying to do when you become present.
I would, and have, highly recommend this book to anyone. Since reading it, I’ve noticed how much these principles are needed in our society. My friends are constantly complaining and worrying about things that have already happened or haven’t happened yet. It is hard to find anyone who is focused on what is happening right now.
Toward the end of “Power of Now”, Tolle teaches us how to block out negativity from others and how to stay present. He even offers suggestions for helping others realize the need for consciousness.
Eckhart Tolle has a follow-up called “A New Earth” which I plan on reading at some time this year. I look forward to reading it but I feel like I’m already seeing a new earth of my own.
If you’ve never read it, please, do yourself a favor and pick up a copy. Read it with an open mind. If you are religious like me, don’t feel as if anything he says is a threat to your beliefs, but rather a deeper understanding of those beliefs.
Be well, be positive.