the power of now summary

Summary of ‘The Power of Now’

The power of Now is penned down by Eckhart Tolle. This book was originally published in 1997. Although it did not gain much popularity in the beginning, but it reached the spot of New York Times #1 best-seller after Oprah Winfrey recommended it. This book is a brief guide to tension less life. It is based on ‘now’.

Eckhart Tolle talks about consciousness. He says that not being able to stop thinking is a dreadful affliction, but we don’t realize it because almost everybody is suffering from it, so is considered normal. It is not that you use your mind wrongly but it uses you. You don’t use it at all. The mind always seeks to deny the Now and escape from it. The more you are able to honor and accept the Now, the more you are free of pain, of suffering – and free of the egoistic mind. So the single most vital step on your journey toward enlightenment is this: learn to misidentify from your mind. 

Meaning of Emotions

Emotion literally means ‘disturbance’. The word comes from the Latin ’emovere’, meaning ‘to disturb’. You ought to have a good control on your emotions.  Love, joy and peace cannot flourish until you have freed yourself from mind dominance. You cannot have good without bad. The very thing that gives you pleasure today will give you pain tomorrow, or it will leave you so its absence will give you pain. Resentment, hatred, self-pity, guilt, anger, depression, jealousy, and so on, even the slightest irritation, are all forms of pain. The Buddha says that pain or suffering arises through desire or craving and that to be free of pain we need to cut the bonds of desire.

Some spiritual teachings state that all pain is ultimately the illusion, and this is true.

Time Is Just An Illusion

If you remove time from the mind and it stops, unless you choose to use it. Time isn’t precious at all, because it is an illusion. What you perceive as precious is not the time but the one point that is out of time: the Now. The more you are focused on time, the more you miss the now – the most precious thing. Nothing happened in the past; it happened in the now. Nothing will ever happen in the future; it will happen in the Now.

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As Moulana Rumi says,

“Past and future veil God from our sight; burn up both of them with fire.”

The Anxiety Of Future

What is needed and what we are concerned with is a permanent shift in our consciousness. You do not need to be concerned with the fruit of your action, just give attention to the action itself. The fruit will come of its own accord.  Buddha taught that the root of suffering is to be found in our constant wanting more and craving. Shift your mind to Now by recognizing that you don’t want to suffer the pain or carry the burden anymore.

Do not fight against the body, for in doing so you are fighting against your own reality, you are your body. If you want to take responsibility of your life, raise your voice and do rather than complaining or felling a victim. Your outer journey may contain thousands of steps; your inner journey only has one: the step you are taking right now.

The power of now can be achieved by focusing on Now and letting off the past and future. The power of now is when you act in Now. You can neither touch your past nor your future. However, if you want to change(create) your future, you can only do it now. Because it is like tomorrow that never comes.  When you enjoy the presence of your consciousness, you will enjoy every small thing in your life, including the traffic jam on a hot sunny day.

Forgiveness Is The Answer

For many people, their past worries are a problem. Those past experiences are hunting them regularly and it is hard for them to focus on the present moment. Remember that the moment you truly forgive, you have reclaimed your power from the mind. Non forgiveness is the very nature of the mind, just as the mind-made false self, the ego, cannot survive without strife and conflict. The mind can not forgive, only you can. You become present, you enter your body, you feel the vibrant peace and stillness that emanate from being.

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There is no need to resist, but to accept the reality. When you resist the reality, you do nothing except sprinkling salt on your wounds – and you suffer. When you surrender to the reality, you will not suffer and you will be able to dominate the negativity that triggers your mind.

Surrender is a purely inner phenomenon. It does not mean that on the outer level you can not take  the action and change the situation. In fact, it is not the overall situation that you need to accept, but just the tiny segment called the Now. No truly positive action can arise out of an unsurrendered state of consciousness. So whenever there any kind of disaster strikes you – like illness, disability, loss of someone, loss of love, or any other matter, remember that there is any other side to it, the positive one. You just need to surrender and let that disaster pass.

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