22 highlights from The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle: “Most people are in love with their particular
The Power of Now was for me a slow book. I limited myself to reading just a few pages, say 5 or 10, each time I picked it up, even though the writing has an easy flow and Eckhart’s signature clear voice.
So it took many months to finish, but I’m glad I did. Its messages are timeless and deep yet practical, as I hope the snippets below will show. I felt like the book should be approached more like my personal bible, or like any healhty daily habit – something you do a little of each day because it’s good for you, but not something you want to do too much of for exactly the same reason. Like exercise. And prayer.
Other books that have had this kind of impact on my life include The Power of Habit. So Good They Can’t Ignore You, and The War of Art
I look forward to reading more of his work; The New Earth is already loaded on my iPad app.
Everyone can learn something from Eckhart, despite the easy criticism that is often leveled at messengers like him. I would put Alain de Botton and David Brooks into the same broad category.
His blend of modern faith, selected wisdom from mainstream traditions like Christianity and Buddhism, simple writing style, calm demeanor, and deep advice make him a potent messenger, and I am a fan.
If you read just one quote from below and try to remember it fully, simply this:
Give your fullest attention to whatever the moment presents. This implies that you also completely accept what is, because you cannot give your full attention to something and at the same time resist it.
Highlights from The Power of Now Give your fullest attention to whatever the moment presents. This implies that you also completely accept what is, because you cannot give your full attention to something and at the same time resist it.
Thought alone, when it is no longer connected with the much vaster realm of consciousness, quickly becomes barren, insane, destructive.
Emotion arises at the place where mind and body meet. It is the body’s reaction to your mind or you might say, a reflection of your mind in the body.
…the past gives you an identity and the future holds the promise of salvation, of fulfillment in whatever form. Both are illusions.
Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry all forms of fear are caused by too much future, and not enough presence. Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness, and all forms of non forgiveness are caused by too much past, and not enough presence.
Stress is caused by being “here” but wanting to be “there,” or being in the present but wanting to be in the future.
Your outer journey may contain a million steps; your inner journey only has one: the step you are taking right now. As you become more deeply aware of this one step, you realize that it already contains within itself all the other steps as well as the destination.
Already for most humans, the only respite they find from their own minds is to occasionally revert to a level of consciousness below thought. Everyone does that every night during sleep. But this also happens to some extent through sex, alcohol, and other drugs that suppress excessive mind activity. If it weren’t for alcohol, tranquilizers, antidepressants, as well as the illegal drugs, which are all consumed in vast quantities, the insanity of the human mind would become even more glaringly obvious than it is already.
Silence is an even more potent carrier of presence, so when you read this or listen to me speak, be aware of the silence between and underneath the words. Be aware of the gaps.
All spiritual teachings originate from the same Source. In that sense, there is and always has been only one master, who manifests in many different forms.
You see time as the means to salvation, whereas in truth it is the greatest obstacle to salvation.
The root of this physical urge is a spiritual one: the longing for an end to duality, a return to the state of wholeness. Sexual union is the closest you can get to this state on the physical level. This is why it is the most deeply satisfying experience the physical realm can offer.
You cannot love your partner one moment and attack him or her the next. True love has no opposite. If your “love” has an opposite, then it is not love but a strong ego-need for a more complete and deeper sense of self, a need that the other person temporarily meets.
First you stop judging yourself; then you stop judging your partner. 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.
As a general rule, the major obstacle for men tends to be the thinking mind, and the major obstacle for women the pain-body
“Accept whatever comes to you woven in the pattern of your destiny, for what could more aptly fit your needs?” This was written 2,000 years ago by Marcus Aurelius, one of those exceedingly rare humans who possessed worldly power as well as wisdom.
Most people are in love with their particular life drama. Their story is their identity. The ego runs their life. They have their whole sense of self invested in it. Even their usually unsuccessful search for an answer, a solution, or for healing becomes part of it.
The down cycle is absolutely essential for spiritual realization. You must have failed deeply on some level or experienced some deep loss or pain to be drawn to the spiritual dimension. Or perhaps your very success became empty and meaningless and so turned out to be failure. Failure lies concealed in every success, and success in every failure.
Many people never realize that there can be no “salvation” in anything they do, possess, or attain.
Taoism, there is a term called wu wei, which is usually translated as “actionless activity” or “sitting quietly doing nothing.” In ancient China, this was regarded as one of the highest achievements or virtues.
God is Being itself, not a being.
The mind always adheres to the known. The unknown is dangerous because it has no control over it. Thats why the mind dislikes and ignores the present moment.