Seize the only moment in your life

The Power of Now: A Guide To Spiritual Enlightenment
Written by: Eckhart Tolle
Published by: New World Library

Widely recognized as one of the most influential spiritual books in the contemporary world, Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now has been translated into over 30 languages. Compiled in a question and answer format, Tolle guides readers in experiencing a transformation of human consciousness.

Beginning with the first question—what is enlightenment? —he says real enlightenment is a natural status, when one reaches oneness with Being, or what the Buddha defines as ‘the end of suffering’.

And where does human suffering come from? Tolle points out that it is rooted in the unceasing flow of thoughts poured out from our minds, whether relevant or irrelevant to the current situation. This is so common that most of time we don’t even notice it.

The renowned philosopher Descartes summed up his beliefs as “I think, therefore I am.” Tolle argues that this saying is an absolute mistake that equates thinking with being and equates self with thinking.

According to Tolle, this mistaken identification with the mind gives birth to ego, the falsely created self. It is a mental image of who you are, based on personal and cultural background.

The ego is trapped in the illusion of time and regards both the past and the future as very important, but not the present. The gap between now and other moments generates uneasiness, anger, sadness, regret or pressure, panic and anxiety.

To end such pain, all you have to do is to concentrate on the present moment. The stronger your presence is, the greater the peace you’ll find in yourself.

“You abide in Being-unchanging, timeless, deathless—and you are no longer dependent for fulfillment or happiness on the outer world,” Tolle concludes.

Another important teaching in this book is surrender. When certain circumstances occur, the mind generates resistance as one of the ego’s defense mechanisms. And the pain-body, the creature of emotional pain accumulated from previous hurt, is again triggered.
Tolle goes on to explain that this doesn’t mean you should react happily when distress occurs. But you can still learn to accept them as they are, then you can come up with effective solutions.

He offers several approaches that will be helpful in awakening your conciseness: watching the thinker, watching the pain-body, awareness of nature, breathing and acceptance and surrender.

All of these can be generalized in his major idea: focus on the Now. By practicing the methods Tolle provides, you may be able to rediscover the joy of Being and inner peace that has always existed in you.

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