Book Review: The Power of Now by Eckhart Tollesam
It’s so common for many of us to get caught up in the “daily grind” of life that we forget to live in the moment. I have a taxing job with a family that always keeps me on the move, and it’s incredibly easy to get lost in worrying about the future and regretting the past. It is certainly a rare phenomenon to live and thrive in the present, but with Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now, I feel as if I’ve been able to achieve that goal. Tolle’s precepts and advice are not revolutionary, but they are delivered in a clear, understandable way that even meditation novices will comprehend. Since reading this book, I’ve been able to uncover another, higher level of spiritual enlightenment. This enlightenment has helped me feel calmer, happier, and generally more fulfilled in my life.
Ekhart Tolle’s message is simple: living in the now is the truest path to happiness and enlightenment. And while this message may not seem stunningly original or fresh, Tolle’s clear writing, supportive voice, and enthusiasm make this an excellent manual for anyone who’s ever wondered what exactly “living in the now” means. Foremost, Tolle is a world-class teacher, able to explain complicated concepts in concrete language. More importantly, within a chapter of reading this book, readers are already holding the world in a different container–more conscious of how thoughts and emotions get in the way of their ability to live in genuine peace and happiness.
Don’t read this book in order to feed your mind, stroke your ego or validate your beliefs. Read it in order to learn to free yourself from pain and delusion. It is obvious when reading certain reviews that some people are looking to add mind stuff to their inventory and then to demonstrate what a fine mind they have with an erudite and academic rebuff. They will have to remain content with a mind dominated life, always looking for something outside themselves to give validation and meaning. At some point, however, if they are lucky they may tire of that and take the opportunity to practice living in the now. It takes courage to jump into the unknown and discover the freedom and joy in living life moment to moment.
The wonderful thing about this book (and other books dealing with consciousness) is that its teachings can be verified through self-observation. Once this happens, the material is truly understood – not because it has been read, but because it has been lived. We are all addicted to our thoughts. We like playing the same fantasies over and over in our heads, wasting our mental resources. This truly is unfortunate, as it prevents us from experiencing the world around us. Practicing the techniques in this book will give you a solid anchor in the real world. Paradoxically, some of the information in this book may seem a little “out there” if it’s not fully understood/experienced. I assure you, though, that there is very little in his book that can’t be proven through self-observation. Anyone claiming that these teachings are BS simply hasn’t observed themselves, or refuses to out of mind/ego attachment.
This book teaches you how to become conscious. This is a surprisingly simple concept that the average intelligent person will be able to fully grasp within the first fifty pages. Once your consciousness is in control, you will have tremendous mental focus and clarity. Remember, you are not learning how to enter some abstract/mystical state of consciousness; you are learning how to pay attention to yourself and the world around you. Of course, this is quite mystical compared to what we think we know as “paying attention”, which is really just pathetically blinking in and out of consciousness for a few seconds before retreating back to the worries, fantasies, and false comforts of the self-condemned ego-mind.