To awaken where you are, right now, today one must seize the present moment. Eckhart Tolle encourages his readers to realize they only have this very moment to enjoy and teaches them how to think and feel in a way that allows them to live each day to its fullest. The clear, uplifting prose makes the book a great introduction to intentional living and spirituality, for those new to mindfulness.
My key Takeaways from “The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle
Takeaway #1 Live In The Now
We tend to live in the past or the present, daydreaming or worrying about what our future will look like and dwelling or reminiscing on past events rather than focusing on what's happening right now in the present moment. Nothing ever happens in the past or the future, it happens now. Big problems are problems of the future that we have lumped together, small problems are problems of the present moment – Stay present and tackle each small problem as it arises. By staying in the present moment we can find inner peace and improve our lives.
Takeaway #2 You Create Pain
Pain of the heart and mind is usually a self-created inner resistance to what is happening around you that you cannot change. You feel pain when you are unhappy with how things are in life yet you don't feel strong enough to change them for the better. A part of your self needs pain in order to survive, it can thrive on feelings of misery. Let this need for pain go on for too long and you can become dependant on it, you identify with the feeling of pain and have a need for it in your life. Saying that, we cannot avoid pain altogether such as when someone close to us dies. By remaining present you'll have the strength to accept this pain for what it is and move on from it when the time comes.
Takeaway #3 The Ego Stops You From Being Happy
People don't want to be miserable but so many are. Where does this self sabotaging behaviour come from? The ego is to blame. It's destructive and controls your thoughts and your behaviour often without you even noticing. It zaps your happiness because without misery it cannot survive. The ego is responsible for all the drama, all the times you've overreacted, and all the times you've picked a fight over something trivial. To leave your ego behind and become a happier person you must separate yourself from your mind, leaving the judgement behind and instead pay close attention to your body.
Takeaway #4 Stay Alert
If you're alert you're living in the present moment. Being alert is like being in a state where you're actively waiting. You're not off daydreaming or planning the future, and you're not reflecting on the past, you're just waiting for the here and now, ready for whatever comes up. You must listen to your body when you're actively waiting because it must be ready for anything – When you're ready for anything you're alert waiting and watching for that thing to happen so that you don't miss it.
The Power of Now Chapters
Chapter One - You are not Your Mind
Chapter Two - Consciousness: The Way Out of Pain
Chapter Three - Moving Deeply into the Now
Chapter Four - Mind Strategies for Avoiding the Now
Chapter Five - The State of Presence
Chapter Six - The Inner Body
Chapter Seven - Portals into the Unmanifested
Chapter Eight - Enlightened Relationships
Chapter Nine - Beyond Happiness and Unhappiness There Is Peace
Chapter Ten - The Meaning of Surrender
Best Quotes from The Power of Now
“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.”
“Time isn’t precious at all, because it is an illusion. What you perceive as precious is not time but the one point that is out of time: the Now. That is precious indeed. The more you are focused on time—past and future—the more you miss the Now, the most precious thing there is.”
“I have lived with several Zen masters -- all of them cats.”
“Love is not selective, just as the light of the sun is not selective. It does not make one person special. It is not exclusive. Exclusivity is not the love of God but the "love" of ego. However, the intensity with which true love is felt can vary. There may be one person who reflects your love back to you more clearly and more intensely than others, and if that person feels the same toward you, it can be said that you are in a love relationship with him or her. The bond that connects you with that person is the same bond that connects you with the person sitting next to you on a bus, or with a bird, a tree, a flower. Only the degree of intensity with which it is felt differs.”
“Any action is often better than no action, especially if you have been stuck in an unhappy situation for a long time. If it is a mistake, at least you learn something, in which case it's no longer a mistake. If you remain stuck, you learn nothing.”
“All negativity is caused by an accumulation of psychological time and denial of the present. Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry - all forms of fear - are caused by too much future, and of non-forgiveness are caused by too much past, and not enough presence.”
“It is not uncommon for people to spend their whole life waiting to start living.”
“If you get the inside right, the outside will fall into place. Primary reality is within; secondary reality without.”
“...the past gives you an identity and the future holds the promise of salvation, of fulfillment in whatever form. Both are illusions.”
“See if you can catch yourself complaining, in either speech or thought, about a situation you find yourself in, what other people do or say, your surroundings, your life situation, even the weather. To complain is always nonacceptance of what is. It invariably carries an unconscious negative charge. When you complain, you make yourself into a victim. When you speak out, you are in your power. So change the situation by taking action or by speaking out if necessary or possible; leave the situation or accept it. All else is madness.”
“As soon as you honor the present moment, all unhappiness and struggle dissolve, and life begins to flow with joy and ease. When you act out the present-moment awareness, whatever you do becomes imbued with a sense of quality, care, and love - even the most simple action.”
“If your mind carries a heavy burden of the past, you will experience more of the same. The past perpetuates itself through a lack of presence. The quality of your consciousness at this moment is what shapes the future.”
― Eckhart Tolle - The Power of Now
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Editor and Founder
Tal Gur is a location independent entrepreneur, author, and impact investor. After trading his daily grind for a life of his own daring design, he spent a decade pursuing 100 major life goals around the globe. His most recent book and bestseller, The Art of Fully Living - 1 Man, 10 Years, 100 Life Goals Around the World, has set the stage for his new mission: elevating the next generation of leaders to their true potential.