Book: The Power Of Now

Where is it?
I bought and read the book years ago. Coming back from Central America I had an urge to read it again. As with more things I was seeing the world differently now and wanted to refresh his teachings. On a visit I quickly looked in the boxes with books that I keep in storage at a friends place. No luck.

Sign of the universe?
Visiting my brother for his birthday the Dutch version was lying on his table. It was one of his presents. I borrowed it. That evening I was going to baby sit a friend of a friend’s house in Amsterdam. There it was again. The only book lying around in the house, on the side table of the freshly made bed. The universe could not make it easier or clearer this was the time to read it again.

Powerful
The book was as clear and powerful as the first time. Although Eckhart is giving you the opportunity to read it bit by bit I breezed through this time. I particular like the way he succeeds in getting you to understand very complex concepts. He carefully builds a framework that gives you the opportunity to understand the complete principle and he mixes this with practical examples and exercises. Well done.

Reaching beyond the mind
In the old days all the (spiritual) teachings were done oral. In present day the Masters in India, the Pastor, the Imam, a lot of spiritual books they still use the oral tradition. They talk and use words but try to connect on a deeper level with their audience then the logical brain by using among other things a different style. A question asked, an answer given, preferable two directional, sharing and understanding. Eckhart, in this book, is also using the question & answer style and rightly so I think. Trying to share my lessons with others I also quickly discovered that the q&a style is virtually the only road to understanding and true sharing.
You can give a perfect rational dialog were one logical argument is support by the next one and so one. All this will in the end do nothing for the deeper understanding of the listener. All the things you tell maybe true but if somebody is not accepting the lessons on a deeper level they will never accept the outcome. Let alone start working with it. You only get a nice philosophical discussion that is pleasing to the mind. (And probably only for the mind of the speaker ;-))

Many concepts
For me rereading was a joy of recognizing many of the concepts I had learned in dept during the last 2 years. Sometimes Eckhart only hints on it, the next time he is using more in all cases weaving them in a sound framework.Power of Now The exercise’s he is describing are almost one on one the Vipassana exercises, dressed down and shortened but still. In the end of the book he is mentioning A Course In Miracles a couple of times. (I will write more on ACIM later.) In between you will find many teachings and concepts more often in disguise and partly then named but all fully supporting the goal of a higher understanding.

I learned …
…this round a lot from the distinction he is making between your life and your life-situation. His description is clear and practical. Using his framework and definitions makes it for me a lot easier to share a lot of lessons I have learned.

  • Life: I have experienced in dept what is the you behind your thoughts, the peace and beauty that is there, the stillness, the power in everything. Eckhart is describing this state in the introduction of his book. Eckhart refers to this as life. An ongoing quiet happiness that is the you behind your mind and pain-body.
  • Life-Situation: Leading a life like everybody I also witness a lot of life-situation according to Eckhart’s definition. The need to feed my body, seeing my train leaving before my nose, slow internet connections, lack of sleep, relationships, feeling lonely and insecure just the complete gamma like all of us. My mind and its concepts, my pain-body, my physical body, my Ego. They are all part of this state of being….the ongoing drama between birht and death.

Eckhart nicely explains how you can be unhappy in your life situation and still very happy in life. (Eckhart uses different words to make a distinction between the two status of being and how you feel in them. I agree with his explanation but it is dangerous close to a rational mind game. And as I expressed before that has nothing to do with real understanding).

The Power and you?
If you made it to here reading I strongly suggest to read Eckharts book. I wonder how you relate to his description of these concepts…leave a comment and share it with us. I trust that you will enjoy this book and find your own lessons clearly back in it.

If you cannot wait….at the bottom of the article I added the extract of the book written by Eckhart Tolle himself copied from his website.

Walter

Book details
The Power Of Now
Also sold trough the website of Eckhart.

ISBN etc.
English version:
POWER OF NOW: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment
ISBN: 1-57731-480-8
Pages: 256

Dutch version:
DE KRACHT VAN HET NU
ISBN: 978-90-202-8230-6
Pages: 191
Author: Eckhart Tolle

Eckhart Tolle: also the author of:

  • A New Earth
  • Stillness Speaks

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Wiki on Tolle
with a short intro to his teachings

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All the text below is a direct copy from Eckhart Tolle’s website. I putted the text here as a service to you. All copyrights are as stated by Eckhart Tolle on his own website.


Description

To make the journey into the Now we will need to leave our analytical mind and its false created self, the ego, behind. From the very first page of this extraordinary book, we move rapidly into a significantly higher altitude where we breathe a lighter air. We become connected to the indestructible essence of our Being, “The eternal, ever present One Life beyond the myriad forms of life that are subject to birth and death.” Although the journey is challenging, Eckhart Tolle uses simple language and an easy question and answer format to guide us.

A word of mouth phenomenon since its first publication, The Power of Now is one of those rare books with the power to create an experience in readers, one that can radically change their lives for the better.

An Extract from The Power of Now

By Eckhart Tolle

I have little use for the past and rarely think about it; however, I would briefly like to tell you how I came to be a spiritual teacher and how ‘The Power of Now’ came into existence.

Until my thirtieth year, I lived in a state of almost continuous anxiety interspersed with periods of suicidal depression. It feels now as if I am talking about some past lifetime or somebody else’s life.

Awakening
One night not long after my twenty-ninth birthday, I woke up in the early hours with a feeling of absolute dread. I had woken up with such a feeling many times before, but this time it was more intense than it had ever been. The silence of the night, the vague outlines of the furniture in the dark room, the distant noise of a passing train – everything felt so alien, so hostile, and so utterly meaningless that it created in me a deep loathing of the world. The most loathsome thing of all, however, was my own existence. What was the point in continuing to live with this burden of misery? Why carry on with this continuous struggle? I could feel that a deep longing for annihilation, for nonexistence, was now becoming much stronger than the instinctive desire to continue to live.

‘I cannot live with myself any longer.’ This was the thought that kept repeating itself in my mind. Then suddenly I became aware of what a peculiar thought it was. ‘Am I one or two? If I cannot live with myself, there must be two of me: the ‘I’ and the ‘self’ that ‘I’ cannot live with.’ ‘Maybe,’ I thought, ‘only one of them is real.’

I was so stunned by this strange realization that my mind stopped. I was fully conscious, but there were no more thoughts. Then I felt drawn into what seemed like a vortex of energy. It was a slow movement at first and then accelerated. I was gripped by an intense fear, and my body started to shake. I heard the words ‘resist nothing,’ as if spoken inside my chest. I could feel myself being sucked into a void. It felt as if the void was inside myself rather than outside. Suddenly, there was no more fear, and I let myself fall into that void. I have no recollection of what happened after that.

I was awakened by the chirping of a bird outside the window. I had never heard such a sound before. My eyes were still closed, and I saw the image of a precious diamond. Yes, if a diamond could make a sound, this is what it would be like. I opened my eyes. The first light of dawn was filtering through the curtains. Without any thought, I felt, I knew, that there is infinitely more to light than we realize. That soft luminosity filtering through the curtains was love itself. Tears came into my eyes. I got up and walked around the room. I recognized the room, and yet I knew that I had never truly seen it before. Everything was fresh and pristine, as if it had just come into existence. I picked up things, a pencil, an empty bottle, marvelling at the beauty and aliveness of it all. That day I walked around the city in utter amazement at the miracle of life on earth, as if I had just been born into this world.

Bliss
For the next five months, I lived in a state of uninterrupted deep peace and bliss. After that, it diminished somewhat in intensity, or perhaps it just seemed to because it became my natural state. I could still function in the world, although I realized that nothing I ever did could possibly add anything to what I already had.

Understanding
I knew, of course, that something profoundly significant had happened to me, but I didn’t understand it at all. It wasn’t until several years later, after I had read spiritual texts and spent time with spiritual teachers, that I realized that what everybody was looking for had already happened to me. I understood that the intense pressure of suffering that night must have forced my consciousness to withdraw from its identification with the unhappy and deeply fearful self, which is ultimately a fiction of the mind. This withdrawal must have been so complete that this false, suffering self immediately collapsed, just as if a plug had been pulled out of an inflatable toy. What was left then was my true nature as the ever-present I am: consciousness in its pure state prior to identification with form. Later I also learned to go into that inner timeless and deathless realm that I had originally perceived as a void and remain fully conscious. I dwelt in states of such indescribable bliss and sacredness that even the original experience I just described pales in comparison. A time came when, for a while, I was left with nothing on the physical plane. I had no relationships, no job, no home, no socially defined identity. I spent almost two years sitting on park benches in a state of the most intense joy.

But even the most beautiful experiences come and go. More fundamental, perhaps, than any experience is the undercurrent of peace that has never left me since then. Sometimes it is very strong, almost palpable, and others can feel it too. At other times, it is somewhere in the background, like a distant melody.

Sharing
Later, people would occasionally come up to me and say: ‘I want what you have. Can you give it to me, or show me how to get it?’ And I would say: ‘You have it already. You just can’t feel it because your mind is making too much noise.’ That answer later grew into my book, ‘The Power of Now’.

From The Power of Now, copyright 1999 by Eckhart Tolle.