Monday, May 12, 2008

A Spiritual Guide to the Present

I decided to read the "The Power Of Now" by Eckhart Tolle because it has been acclaimed to be a rare book from a rare author. Eckhart Tolle tells us in his introduction that he has “little use for the past and rarely thinks about it” but he had a strange realization one night as he struggled with thoughts of suicide. He had a strange and stunning realization that there was a difference between the “I” and the “self”. He had a moment of intense fear and then he found himself in a state of bliss and peace that has never left him.

He became a teacher and the book itself originated from his work with seminars, meditation classes and counseling sessions. The format of the book is questions formulated from the questions of his many students and the answers he has written. The language is clear, straightforward, and easy to read. The ideas, however, are challenging. Eckhart Tolle continually refers to a “timeless state of intense conscious presence in the NOW” which will eventually lead the reader to the beginnings of enlightenment. But, in order to be in the NOW one must forget the past and ignore the future. He also writes about our attachment to the pain in our past and ways to find a pain-free identity by living in the present.

Throughout the book the author quotes the teachings of Advaita, Buddhism, Zen and Jesus to show the reader that there is only one spiritual teaching, however it comes in many forms. He emphasizes that in order to make the journey into the power of NOW we have to leave our analytical mind and our ego behind. It is definitely a new way of thinking. Tolle presents a different and challenging path that may lead to a peaceful existence. Another interesting question that has arisen through this process is, “Can this greater consciousness actually lead to a significant slowing down of the aging of the physical body?”

This book presents many questions and many thought provoking answers. I found it a book that must be reread more than once to fully process and understand the concepts. Hearing Mr. Tolle speak or taking a seminar from him would be a wonderful experience and a way to better understand the teachings of this “unusual modern mystic”.

1 comment:

  1. I am so greatful to Eckhart Tolle and Oprah for turning me onto Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor and her beautiful book ""My Stroke of Insight"". Her story is amazing and her gift to all of us is a book purchase away I'm happy to say.

    Dr Taylor was a Harvard brain scientist when she had a stroke at age 37. What was amazing was that her left brain was shut down by the stroke - where language and thinking occur - but her right brain was fully functioning. She experienced bliss and nirvana and the way she writes about it (or talks about it in her now famous TED talk) is incredible.

    What I took away from Dr. Taylor's book above all, and why I recommend it so highly, is that you don't have to have a stroke or take drugs to find the deep inner peace that she talks about. Her book explains how. ""I want what she's having"", and thanks to this wonderful book, I can! Thank you Dr. Taylor, and thank you Eckhart and Oprah.