The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenmentby Eckhart Tolle
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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 Eckhart Tolle's 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.
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The Power of Now
A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment
By Eckhart Tolle
Namaste Publishing and New World LibraryCopyright © 1999 Eckhart Tolle
All rights reserved.
YOU ARE NOT YOUR MIND
THE GREATEST OBSTACLE TO ENLIGHTENMENT
Enlightenment — what is that?
A beggar had been sitting by the side of a road for over thirty years. One day a stranger walked by. "Spare some change?" mumbled the beggar, mechanically holding out his old baseball cap. "I have nothing to give you," said the stranger. Then he asked: "What's that you are sitting on?" "Nothing," replied the beggar. "Just an old box. I have been sitting on it for as long as I can remember." "Ever looked inside?" asked the stranger. "No," said the beggar. "What's the point? There's nothing in there." "Have a look inside," insisted the stranger. The beggar managed to pry open the lid. With astonishment, disbelief, and elation, he saw that the box was filled with gold.
I am that stranger who has nothing to give you and who is telling you to look inside. Not inside any box, as in the parable, but somewhere even closer: inside yourself.
"But I am not a beggar," I can hear you say.
Those who have not found their true wealth, which is the radiant joy of Being and the deep, unshakable peace that comes with it, are beggars, even if they have great material wealth. They are looking outside for scraps of pleasure or fulfillment, for validation, security, or love, while they have a treasure within that not only includes all those things but is infinitely greater than anything the world can offer.
The word enlightenment conjures up the idea of some superhuman accomplishment, and the ego likes to keep it that way, but it is simply your natural state of felt oneness with Being. It is a state of connectedness with something immeasurable and indestructible, something that, almost paradoxically, is essentially you and yet is much greater than you. It is finding your true nature beyond name and form. The inability to feel this connectedness gives rise to the illusion of separation, from yourself and from the world around you. You then perceive yourself, consciously or unconsciously, as an isolated fragment. Fear arises, and conflict within and without becomes the norm.
I love the Buddha's simple definition of enlightenment as "the end of suffering." There is nothing superhuman in that, is there? Of course, as a definition, it is incomplete. It only tells you what enlightenment is not: no suffering. But what's left when there is no more suffering? The Buddha is silent on that, and his silence implies that you'll have to find out for yourself. He uses a negative definition so that the mind cannot make it into something to believe in or into a superhuman accomplishment, a goal that is impossible for you to attain. Despite this precaution, the majority of Buddhists still believe that enlightenment is for the Buddha, not for them, at least not in this lifetime.
You used the word Being. Can you explain what you mean by that?
Being is the eternal, ever-present One Life beyond the myriad forms of life that are subject to birth and death. However, Being is not only beyond but also deep within every form as its innermost invisible and indestructible essence. This means that it is accessible to you now as your own deepest self, your true nature. But don't seek to grasp it with your mind. Don't try to understand it. You can know it only when the mind is still. When you are present, when your attention is fully and intensely in the Now, Being can be felt, but it can never be understood mentally. To regain awareness of Being and to abide in that state of "feeling-realization" is enlightenment.
* * *
When you say Being, are you talking about God? If you are, then why don't you say it?
The word God has become empty of meaning through thousands of years of misuse. I use it sometimes, but I do so sparingly. By misuse, I mean that people who have never even glimpsed the realm of the sacred, the infinite vastness behind that word, use it with great conviction, as if they knew what they are talking about. Or they argue against it, as if they knew what it is that they are denying. This misuse gives rise to absurd beliefs, assertions, and egoic delusions, such as "My or our God is the only true God, and your God is false," or Nietzsche's famous statement "God is dead."
The word God has become a closed concept. The moment the word is uttered, a mental image is created, no longer, perhaps, of an old man with a white beard, but still a mental representation of someone or something outside you, and, yes, almost inevitably a male someone or something.
Neither God nor Being nor any other word can define or explain the ineffable reality behind the word, so the only important question is whether the word is a help or a hindrance in enabling you to experience That toward which it points. Does it point beyond itself to that transcendental reality, or does it lend itself too easily to becoming no more than an idea in your head that you believe in, a mental idol?
The word Being explains nothing, but nor does God. Being, however, has the advantage that it is an open concept. It does not reduce the infinite invisible to a finite entity. It is impossible to form a mental image of it. Nobody can claim exclusive possession of Being. It is your very essence, and it is immediately accessible to you as the feeling of your own presence, the realization I am that is prior to I am this or I am that. So it is only a small step from the word Being to the experience of Being.
* * *
What is the greatest obstacle to experiencing this reality?
Identification with your mind, which causes thought to become compulsive. Not to be able to stop thinking is a dreadful affliction, but we don't realize this because almost everybody is suffering from it, so it is considered normal.
This incessant mental noise prevents you from finding that realm of inner stillness that is inseparable from Being. It also creates a false mind-made self that casts a shadow of fear and suffering. We will look at all that in more detail later.
The philosopher Descartes believed that he had found the most fundamental truth when he made his famous statement: "I think, therefore I am." He had, in fact, given expression to the most basic error: to equate thinking with Being and identity with thinking. The compulsive thinker, which means almost everyone, lives in a state of apparent separateness, in an insanely complex world of continuous problems and conflict, a world that reflects the ever-increasing fragmentation of the mind. Enlightenment is a state of wholeness, of being "at one" and therefore at peace. At one with life in its manifested aspect, the world, as well as with your deepest self and life unmanifested — at one with Being. Enlightenment is not only the end of suffering and of continuous conflict within and without, but also the end of the dreadful enslavement to incessant thinking. What an incredible liberation this is!
Identification with your mind creates an opaque screen of concepts, labels, images, words, judgments, and definitions that blocks all true relationship. It comes between you and yourself, between you and your fellow man and woman, between you and nature, between you and God. It is this screen of thought that creates the illusion of separateness, the illusion that there is you and a totally separate "other." You then forget the essential fact that, underneath the level of physical appearances and separate forms, you are one with all that is. By "forget," I mean that you can no longer feel this oneness as self-evident reality. You may believe it to be true, but you no longer know it to be true. A belief may be comforting. Only through your own experience, however, does it become liberating.
Thinking has become a disease. Disease happens when things get out of balance. For example, there is nothing wrong with cells dividing and multiplying in the body, but when this process continues in disregard of the total organism, cells proliferate and we have disease.
The mind is a superb instrument if used rightly. Used wrongly, however, it becomes very destructive. To put it more accurately, it is not so much that you use your mind wrongly — you usually don't use it at all. It uses you. This is the disease. You believe that you are your mind. This is the delusion. The instrument has taken you over.
I don't quite agree. It is true that I do a lot of aimless thinking, like most people, but I can still choose to use my mind to get and accomplish things, and I do that all the time.
Just because you can solve a crossword puzzle or build an atom bomb doesn't mean that you use your mind. Just as dogs love to chew bones, the mind loves to get its teeth into problems. That's why it does crossword puzzles and builds atom bombs. You have no interest in either. Let me ask you this: can you be free of your mind whenever you want to? Have you found the "off" button?
You mean stop thinking altogether? No, I can't, except maybe for a moment or two.
Then the mind is using you. You are unconsciously identified with it, so you don't even know that you are its slave. It's almost as if you were possessed without knowing it, and so you take the possessing entity to be yourself. The beginning of freedom is the realization that you are not the possessing entity — the thinker. Knowing this enables you to observe the entity. The moment you start watching the thinker, a higher level of consciousness becomes activated. You then begin to realize that there is a vast realm of intelligence beyond thought, that thought is only a tiny aspect of that intelligence. You also realize that all the things that truly matter — beauty, love, creativity, joy, inner peace — arise from beyond the mind. You begin to awaken.
* * *
FREEING YOURSELF FROM YOUR MIND
What exactly do you mean by "watching the thinker"?
When someone goes to the doctor and says, "I hear a voice in my head," he or she will most likely be sent to a psychiatrist. The fact is that, in a very similar way, virtually everyone hears a voice, or several voices, in their head all the time: the involuntary thought processes that you don't realize you have the power to stop. Continuous monologues or dialogues.
You have probably come across "mad" people in the street incessantly talking or muttering to themselves. Well, that's not much different from what you and all other "normal" people do, except that you don't do it out loud. The voice comments, speculates, judges, compares, complains, likes, dislikes, and so on. The voice isn't necessarily relevant to the situation you find yourself in at the time; it may be reviving the recent or distant past or rehearsing or imagining possible future situations. Here it often imagines things going wrong and negative outcomes; this is called worry. Sometimes this soundtrack is accompanied by visual images or "mental movies." Even if the voice is relevant to the situation at hand, it will interpret it in terms of the past. This is because the voice belongs to your conditioned mind, which is the result of all your past history as well as of the collective cultural mind-set you inherited. So you see and judge the present through the eyes of the past and get a totally distorted view of it. It is not uncommon for the voice to be a person's own worst enemy. Many people live with a tormentor in their head that continuously attacks and punishes them and drains them of vital energy. It is the cause of untold misery and unhappiness, as well as of disease.
The good news is that you can free yourself from your mind. This is the only true liberation. You can take the first step right now. Start listening to the voice in your head as often as you can. Pay particular attention to any repetitive thought patterns, those old gramophone records that have been playing in your head perhaps for many years. This is what I mean by "watching the thinker," which is another way of saying: listen to the voice in your head, be there as the witnessing presence.
When you listen to that voice, listen to it impartially. That is to say, do not judge. Do not judge or condemn what you hear, for doing so would mean that the same voice has come in again through the back door. You'll soon realize: there is the voice, and here I am listening to it, watching it. This I am realization, this sense of your own presence, is not a thought. It arises from beyond the mind.
* * *
So when you listen to a thought, you are aware not only of the thought but also of yourself as the witness of the thought. A new dimension of consciousness has come in. As you listen to the thought, you feel a conscious presence — your deeper self — behind or underneath the thought, as it were. The thought then loses its power over you and quickly subsides, because you are no longer energizing the mind through identification with it. This is the beginning of the end of involuntary and compulsive thinking.
When a thought subsides, you experience a discontinuity in the mental stream — a gap of "no-mind." At first, the gaps will be short, a few seconds perhaps, but gradually they will become longer. When these gaps occur, you feel a certain stillness and peace inside you. This is the beginning of your natural state of felt oneness with Being, which is usually obscured by the mind. With practice, the sense of stillness and peace will deepen. In fact, there is no end to its depth. You will also feel a subtle emanation of joy arising from deep within: the joy of Being.
It is not a trancelike state. Not at all. There is no loss of consciousness here. The opposite is the case. If the price of peace were a lowering of your consciousness, and the price of stillness a lack of vitality and alertness, then they would not be worth having. In this state of inner connectedness, you are much more alert, more awake than in the mind-identified state. You are fully present. It also raises the vibrational frequency of the energy field that gives life to the physical body.
As you go more deeply into this realm of no-mind, as it is sometimes called in the East, you realize the state of pure consciousness. In that state, you feel your own presence with such intensity and such joy that all thinking, all emotions, your physical body, as well as the whole external world become relatively insignificant in comparison to it. And yet this is not a selfish but a selfless state. It takes you beyond what you previously thought of as "your self." That presence is essentially you and at the same time inconceivably greater than you. What I am trying to convey here may sound paradoxical or even contradictory, but there is no other way that I can express it.
* * *
Instead of "watching the thinker," you can also create a gap in the mind stream simply by directing the focus of your attention into the Now. Just become intensely conscious of the present moment. This is a deeply satisfying thing to do. In this way, you draw consciousness away from mind activity and create a gap of no-mind in which you are highly alert and aware but not thinking. This is the essence of meditation.
In your everyday life, you can practice this by taking any routine activity that normally is only a means to an end and giving it your fullest attention, so that it becomes an end in itself. For example, every time you walk up and down the stairs in your house or place of work, pay close attention to every step, every movement, even your breathing. Be totally present. Or when you wash your hands, pay attention to all the sense perceptions associated with the activity: the sound and feel of the water, the movement of your hands, the scent of the soap, and so on. Or when you get into your car, after you close the door, pause for a few seconds and observe the flow of your breath. Become aware of a silent but powerful sense of presence. There is one certain criterion by which you can measure your success in this practice: the degree of peace that you feel within.
* * *
So the single most vital step on your journey toward enlightenment is this: learn to disidentify from your mind. Every time you create a gap in the stream of mind, the light of your consciousness grows stronger.
One day you may catch yourself smiling at the voice in your head, as you would smile at the antics of a child. This means that you no longer take the content of your mind all that seriously, as your sense of self does not depend on it.
ENLIGHTENMENT: RISING ABOVE THOUGHT
Isn't thinking essential in order to survive in this world?
Your mind is an instrument, a tool. It is there to be used for a specific task, and when the task is completed, you lay it down. As it is, I would say about 80 to 90 percent of most people's thinking is not only repetitive and useless, but because of its dysfunctional and often negative nature, much of it is also harmful. Observe your mind and you will find this to be true. It causes a serious leakage of vital energy.
Excerpted from The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. Copyright © 1999 Eckhart Tolle. Excerpted by permission of Namaste Publishing and New World Library.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Meet the Author
Spiritual teacher and author Eckhart Tolle was born in Germany and educated at the Universities of London and Cambridge. At the age of twenty-nine a profound inner transformation radically changed the course of his life. The next few years were devoted to understanding, integrating, and deepening that transformation, which marked the beginning of an intense inward journey. Later, he began to work in London with individuals and small groups as a counselor and spiritual teacher. Since 1995 he has lived in Vancouver, Canada. Eckhart Tolle is the author of the New York Times bestsellers The Power of Now (translated into 33 languages) and A New Earth, which are widely regarded as two of the most influential spiritual books of our time. In 2008, A New Earth became the first spiritual book to be selected for Oprah's Book Club as well as the subject of a ten-week online workshop co-taught by Eckhart and Oprah.
- Vancouver, BC, Canada
- Date of Birth:
- February 16, 1948
- Place of Birth:
- Lünen, Germany
- University of London; Cambridge University
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After reading happiness books like "Finding Happiness in a Frustrating World", I felt like I had a good handle on what science had uncovered about how to live a happy life and have to say that I am MUCH happier for having read them. But, while the field of positive psychology has made some great contributions to my happiness levels, it's books like "The Power of Now" that come along and let you know there's STILL more you can learn.
A key concept of the book (if I'm explaining it right) is that you will start to experience a certain kind of enlightenment when you learn to leave your analytical mind behind. In other words, instead of "thinking" try just "observing your thinking." And when you do this, you also need to realize that all this "thinking noise" that goes on in your head all day long is not really who you are- an enlightening concept indeed!
To that end, the book is set up in a question and answer format to help you get to understand these kinds of concepts. While it might seem ridiculous to some, it really isn't. Case in point, we all talk to ourselves or have witnessed others talking to themselves at times (maybe during a sporting event perhaps). If you ask someone who they are talking to, they will usually say "I'm talking to myself." And this, by definition, means that there have to be two "selves", an "I" talking to "myself"- and so justifies the idea of two selves (a "you" and a "thinking you" in the book).
Well, if these seem to be the kind of concepts you're ready to explore, this is your book. It raises some good questions and certainly brings up one that you can't argue with: all we have is the here and now. As the book so astutely points out, "Nothing ever happened in the past; it happened in the Now. Nothing ever happened in the future, it will happen in the Now." And learning to live in the now IS the point of the whole book.
I wrote "Love From Both Sides," and I thank Tolle and his "The Power of Now" in it because he helped me through an extremely challenging time. My husband died, leaving me $180,000 in debt, no insurance, no retirement, no savings. Nothing. I didn't have a job, and I was 55. But because I read Tolle's book, and kept asking myself the kind of questions he suggests, I made it through a dark time and lived to write a book about it. I'm now a working hypnotherapist, and to help my clients stay centered and calm, I use Tolle's suggestions and always recommend his books. Whatever you can read to calm yourself down these days, and create happiness in your heart not only helps you, but all whom you love. That's what the new scientific research proves.
This book is amazing.It is truly moving and thought-provoking.What is absolutely fabulous about it though, is that it talks about every religion and their beliefs and values. So for those skeptics out there,or bashers of Christianity,calm down! It's not all about that.This book just seeks to help relieve stress, find what is truly important,silence the voice in your head that is constantly nagging you and just help you live a better life.It has certainly helped me be able to get over disappointments and stress much faster and easier.Now every little thing in life is truly amazing for what it is.It helped me let go of the ego and just be.'Ego' is also Latin for 'I,' funnily enough.But it is a false I,and we must not concern ourselves with this imposter.My life has vastly improved and there is much need for that,especially in the times during which we are living. The world is in bad need of a reality check.I highly recommend this book, but when reading it please keep an open mind and let Tolle take you on an amazing journey,and really do the meditations, just sit, think,calm down and let revelation wash over you.It is a truly amazing feeling, this liberation.
When we read religious or spritual books they are generally loaded with jargon of difficult to understand words that only an advanced student of the subject can follow. What does an ordinary beginner understand by the words or phrases like say 'consciousness', ' I am that' etc. She/He finds that such reading material is a good sleeping pill. In "The Power of Now" Echhart Tolle has simplified all this jargon. He speaks in a modern and simple language that can be understood by all. One can easily practise what he has lucidly explained in the book. While all ancient scriptures are, indeed, the source of all the spirituality, to make it understandable is a momentous task which Echhart Tolle has very effectively done. The book is in Question & Answer form. This will help a beginner to take maximum benifit from the book. I salute Echhart Tolle for giving such a classic book.
I became aquainted with Eckhart Tolle when I participated in Oprah's series on A New Earth. I purchased the paperback book and studied it along with 100,000 others around the world. A year later I borrowed the audiobook - A New Earth- from the public library and devoured the content again. I was impressed with Tolle's humility and he seemed to have the peace that I was seeking. I remember Oprah saying that she chose to read A New Earth because she had spend hours reading and re-reading The Power of Now - Tolle's earlier book. I have now borrowed The Power of Now - audiobook version-read by the author - so many times from the public library and renewed it each time - that I thought it was time to purchase my own copy. This book opens the NOW to me every time I listen and makes me feel that I have stepped into a peaceful ashram with Eckhart Tolle as the presiding spiritual leasder. The question and answer format is very helpful even with repeated listening. The questions are exactly those I would pose. And the no-nonsense answers quiet my ambitious mind which is constantly trying to "figure it all out". Then I am able to slip into "the now" whenever I choose. I can see that making "the NOW" my home base is essential and Eckhart Tolle effectively teaches us how and why to "hang out" in the present.
My therapist recommended the audio version of this book. I listened to the CDs and found the first three to be inspiring and helpful. Most certainly, dwelling in the moment is to appreciate and live life. Wasting time in anger, pain, a drug haze, or fantasy is destructive and only compounds the pain. This is one of the fundamental teachings of Zen and is very well expounded by Thich Nhat Hanh in "The Miracle of Mindfulness", and by Dennis Genpo Merzel in his writings and talks. My therapist put it something like this: Most of the time, our thoughts and constant ruminations are junk. Our mind is occupied with reliving painful events, fantasizing about how we should have reacted, fantasizing about how we are going to handle some anticipated event, even being angry about things that haven't happened yet. If we can learn to let go of all that, dwell in the moment, and focus our mind on what we are doing now we are much more productive, happier, and we can appreciate our lives. By reinforcing this, the CD set was helpful. However, I found Mr. Tolle's diversion into completely unproven theory and psychology to be distracting and sometimes laughable. As a person making who makes his living with technology, I found his explanations of human behavior and instinct as the result of interaction between positive and negative energy fields absurd. He offers no evidence for such tripe. Indeed, when a questioner asked whether he had any scientific evidence for the statement that one's molecular density decreases when practicing mindfulness, his reply was "Try it and you will become the evidence." This answer indicates that there is no evidence and caused me to doubt that Mr. Tolle even knows what scientific evidence is. I also found his re-interpretations of cherry-picked phrases from various religious texts to reinforce his points tiresome. I doubt that many Islamic or Biblical scholars would agree with his interpretations, and he again gives no other evidence for his view. He pontificates without giving logical justification for his statements. A colleague suggested that these "energy fields" and "pain bodies" might serve as intellectual aids to the audience. I have to dismiss this idea. People are smart enough to grasp the ideas in the book without such absurd inventions. What the CD set did for me was give me motivation to begin practicing meditation again. I thank Mr. Tolle for that.
It's the simplest thing in the world, and that's why it seems so difficult. How ironic! Eckhart Tolle's The Power of NOW is the best book I've ever read. It's the only book that made a positive difference in my"self" and my life situation. After so many years of suffering, I found peace and joy. My pain-body is practically gone - in fact, all pain is practically gone from my body and my life. The chapter on surrender contains the most powerful words I've ever read. Thank goodness I practiced Tolle's advice when I was on the edge of disaster. The positive result felt like a true miracle. This book is miraculous - a life changing, even life saving, book!
This book is phenominal for those looking for true change and personal liberty. Using non-biased, non-denominatinal footings for the foundation of this book, Tolle clarifies what we already know deep within. This book is enlightening and liberatng. I myself struggle with pain of the past and anxieties of future unknowns. "The Power of Now" has shown me how to heal from the past, embrace the future while enjoying and loving every moment that I experience right now. Tolle has taught me the true powers of resistance and acceptance. Life is what it is and I must decide what I will make of my life.
This is a great book for quieting the mind of unnecessary past or future thoughts. Some points are extreme and outrageous but for the most part it is a great book. Can be used to get rid of anxiety, worry, paranoia, depression, anger, and more.
As someone who has read many self-help books and taken a very long journey down the road of self-discovery / inner peace....I have to say that this book resonated immensely with me. I had so many moments of complete understanding and realization. It just spoke to everything I have experienced and struggled to understand about myself, my background, my behavior, reactions etc. I was blown away.....there was a powerful perspective I had never been able to fully grasp before. Those moments of clarity in my life that I rarely had? Those moments of peace were a higher consciousness breaking through....an awareness connected but separate from the idea of self (the mind) Perhaps this book will not resonated with everyone. As someone who has struggled and fallen victim to his own negative thoughts and suffered immensely as a result....it brought it all together for me. Made sense out of the madness. How the mind can feed on itself and create misery and suffering. For people like me this understanding of self as NOT SELF....as OTHER.....is life changing. Western approaches of Therapy such as Congnitive Therapy are life changing and can be VERY effective at getting one to question one's mind....one's thoughts....to reason through them. Which in essence is like becoming the watcher. But they do not question the overall concept of identity....of self. The ego. The mind as separate from self. Then reasons don't matter....it is the same solution to all thoughts, all phobias etc. The mind is the disease...not any specific thought. So the solution is always the same.....stay present. Stay NOW. I am so grateful the Mr. Tolle had the calling to write and publish this book.
I don't care who you are or who you think you are . . . you need to read this book! Everyone I know who has read this book is now BEAMING with energy for life as well as myself. It is infectious and you start to realize that negativity in every aspect of your life and those around you simply fades away. Incredibly powerful, life changing book. There are way too freeking many 5 star ratings on this page to sit on what you've just read! -Andrew
This book is life changing. I literally stopped reading every few pages and found myself saying aloud, "WOW!"
Although this was a very hard read for me I intend to read it several more times hopefully grasping concepts I missed the first time through. I've had one epiphany after another reading this book. This is not a book you can read at one sitting. I found I had to put it down often because my brain was sore, but always picked it up when I wanted to feel peaceful. I recommend this book to anyone willing to put in the time and effort required.
I already knew everything in this book, but because of that it is an awesome reminder. As a practitioner of Zen I have read many Zen books, and I can say that this book is closer to Zen than any Zen book I have yet read. Tolle provides information in which I had to discover on my own such as the energy body felt through the physical body -which is not mysticism BTW. On top of that there are so much more he gives mention to that I stumble upon on my own - facts I failed to find anywhere else.
This book is an eye opener into yourself. Mainly your enter self. My eyes are open to why I may behave a certain in any given situation, and that's a wonderful feeling. It's a feeling of being alive, knowing why you do what you do. I own the 3DVD set and I listen to it just about everyday at work. I feel more and more alive everyday.
I am a counselor for people suffering chronic pain. I was hoping this would be a book I could recommend for them to read but I was sadly disappointed. The amount of pressure put on the person to think their way out of difficulties is extreme and unbalanced. The author takes a lot of already documented ideas mixed with a claimed 'spiritual experience' and portrays himself as a guru type guide. What struck me the most was the blame the victim mentality. Also, I was annoyed with the author's twisting the reader into thinking that if they don't agree with him and see problems with his thinking it is the readers 'lack' of correct understanding causing the problem-not that the author's thinking that is a problem. I wish someone would have warned me of the waste of time this book is. Don't torture yourself with the type of mind play and unrealistic problem solving this book promotes.
I do believe in the need to be focused on the present. However this book is preachy and concocted. The author introduction as an anxious (unless suicidally depressed) person consumer by a "vortex" and coming out forever changed reads like a bad novel. Even if it was true, how many people do you know that encounter vortexes? I don;t know of any. Also the question and answer approach results in non-effective responses. The author does not answer the question posed. I do think people do spend more time locked in past experiences or planning the future than healthy - and not living today - but this book is not the answer. I've read a number of the 5 star reviews and left with the conclusion these people must have read another book.
Wow this and Marty Jenkins go side by side 5 stars!
Was told to read this book, but it is very difficult to follow. There is tons of circular reasoning.
Awesome book! I cant tell you how many times I have heard "dont sweat the small stuff", I never heard HOW to not sweat the small stuff. This book tells you that and so much more, relationships included. Written in an easy to understand manner.
Bless his heart but Mr. Toile has never been in a hectic household with a spouse, kids, stepkids, animals, STRESSFUL JOB etc. His books are great if you live on a mountain top or you're by yourself. There needs to be a book called THE POWER OF NOW FOR REAL LIFE.
The concept of living in the here and now is not a new idea at all. The author was redundant and disorganized in his presentation of "recycled" ideas. It is not a wise investment of time to read this book. I would recommend that instead of reading this book, to read material about Buddhism and Mindfulness. I found books by Pema Chodron more insightful and inspirational.
I received this as a gift and learned much from reading it. It is thought provoking as all we really do have is NOW! Great lessons for us all.