Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle

"Your thinking is like a camel driver and you are the camel: it drives you in every direction under its bitter control." - Rumi
I have often experienced this, that when I'm working on some thing or doing some activity, my mind gets distracted with fluttering thoughts. Thoughts that either take me back in time or probably, I start imagining hypothetical situations which mostly, make me happy, since I'm a die hard optimist and sometimes sad. I tend to loose focus on what I'm doing at present and then start experiencing anxiety and excitement and then start wishing that time should just fly away and the situation that I'm thinking about takes place immediately and this feeling leaves me disturbed and restless.
Or you must have experienced this, at least I have, that when you get something what you wanted, you suddenly feel that you like that thing just for a moment or a very short time and your joy of having it fades away and then you start aspiring for something else instead of enjoying what you have got. Rumi, the great Sufi poet, has something to say for such a situation "Man craves winter in summer, and when winter comes, he likes it not, For he is never content with any state [of things], neither with poverty not with a life of plenty. May man be killed! How ungrateful he is! Whenever he obtains guidance, he spurns it.
Well, when I read this book called "The Power of Now", I understood the reasons behind this thought process, which I guess, most of us experience.
The Power of Now, written by Eckhart Tolle, a contemporary spiritual teacher, is written in a question and answer format and believe me you will find an answer to every doubt you have in your mind related to this concept.
Are you a hostage to your past? or Are you obsessed with your future?
Does the past take up a great deal of your attention? Do you frequently talk and think about it, either positively or negatively? Are your thought processes creating guilt, pride, resentment, anger, regret, or self-pity?
"One day I'll make it." Is your goal taking up so much of your attention that you reduce the present moment to a means to an end? Is it taking the joy out of your doing? Are you waiting to start living?
According to Tolle, we either live in our past or are mind is obsessed with the future as an escape from the unsatisfactory present. We don't live in our Now which is the root of most of our problems.
What is the Power of Now? & Why is Now the most precious thing?
The Power of Now is none other than the power of your presence, your consciousness liberated from thought forms.
Now is the most precious thing because, firstly, it is the only thing. It's all there is. The eternal present is the space within which your whole life unfolds, the one factor that remains constant. Life is now. Secondly, the Now is the only point that can take you beyond the limited confines of the mind. It is your only point of access into the timeless and formless realm of being.
Past & future have no reality of their own. Just as the moon has no light of its own, but can only reflect the light of the sun, so are past & future only pale reflections of the light, power & reality of the eternal present. Their reality is borrowed from the Now. In the Now, in the absence of time, all your problems dissolve. Suffering needs time, it cannot survive in the Now.
To wrap it up, in the words of Rumi, "Be careful not to regret the past. Be a Sufi, don't talk of the past. You are the son of the moment, you are young, you have vanquished time. This short present moment must not be wasted."
It's a life changing book and I'm sure after reading this book, you will literally start 'living' your life every moment.
If you want to know more about the author and other books written by him, you can visit his website

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