Lessons Learned From The Power of Now
As we come to the end of this month, we can only hope that you’ve enjoyed the book as much as we have. The Power Of Now is a challenging read in that it really makes you question your way of knowing. All in all, we hope that the book has in some way helped make the quality of your life a bit richer.
In closing, Tolle explains, “Silence is an important part of presence. Be aware of the silence between and underneath the words. Be aware of the gaps. To listen to the silence, wherever you are, is an easy and direct way of becoming present. Even if there is noise, there is always some silence underneath and in between the sounds. Listening to the silence immediately creates stillness inside you.” This is to say that, as you take in the beauty of the noise inside, your mind quiets down as well and in that moment everything is peaceful and still. Try to create moments like this in everyday life. Focus on you, and don’t let the noise around you overpower the stillness inside of you.
1. The Present Moment Is The Most Precious Thing There Is.
Tolle’s consistent use of the word ‘present’ throughout the book makes you pause and wonder, ‘just what does that word truly mean’? Why is it so hard to understand this concept? Tolle says:
- “People don’t realize that now is all there ever is; there is no past or future except as memory or anticipation in your mind.”
- “…the past gives you an identity and the future holds the promise of salvation, of fulfillment in whatever form. Both are illusions.”
- “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.”
- “Don’t let a mad world tell you that success is anything other than a successful present moment.”
“Most humans are never fully present in the now, because unconsciously they believe that the next moment must be more important than this one. But then you miss your whole life, which is never not now.”
- “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.”
2. Wherever You Are, Be There Totally.
- “Wherever you are, be there totally. If you find your here and now intolerable and it makes you unhappy, you have three options: remove yourself from the situation, change it, or accept it totally. If you want to take responsibility for your life, you must choose one of those three options, and you must choose now. Then accept the consequences.”
3. Always Say “Yes” To The Present Moment.
- “Acceptance looks like a passive state, but in reality it brings something entirely new into this world. That peace, a subtle energy vibration, is consciousness.”
- “Accept – then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.”
- “Always say “yes” to the present moment. What could be more futile, more insane, than to create inner resistance to what already is? what could be more insane than to oppose life itself, which is now and always now? Surrender to what is. Say “yes” to life — and see how life suddenly starts working for you rather than against you.”
4. Life Will Give You Whatever Experience Is Most Helpful For The Evolution Of Your Consciousness.
- “Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at the moment.”
5. When You Complain, You Turn Yourself Into A Victim.
- “To complain is always non-acceptance 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.”
6. There Is A Fine Balance Between Honoring The Past And Losing Yourself In It.
- “There is a fine balance between honoring the past and losing yourself in it. For example, you can acknowledge and learn from mistakes you made, and then move on and refocus on the now. It is called forgiving yourself.”
7. You are a Human Being not a human doing.
- “In today’s rush we all think too much, seek too much, want too much and forget about the joy of just Being.”
8. Give up defining yourself and others.
- “Defining yourself through thought is limiting yourself.”
- “Give up defining yourself – to yourself or to others. You won’t die. You will come to life. And don’t be concerned with how others define you. When they define you, they are limiting themselves, so it’s their problem. Whenever you interact with people, don’t be there primarily as a function or a role, but as the field of conscious Presence. You can only lose something that you have, but you cannot lose something that you are.”
9. You Are More Than Your Mind.
- “On a deeper level you are already complete. When you realize that, there is a joyous energy behind what you do.”
- “To be identified with your mind is to be trapped in time: the compulsion to live almost exclusively through memory and anticipation.”
- “To know yourself as the Being underneath the thinker, the stillness underneath the mental noise, the love and joy underneath the pain, is freedom, salvation, enlightenment.”
- “Boredom, anger, sadness, or fear are not ‘yours,’ not personal. They are conditions of the human mind. They come and go. Nothing that comes and goes is you.”
- “The beginning of freedom is the realization that you are not “the thinker.” 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.”
10. Where There Is True Love, There Is No Ego.
- “A genuine relationship is one that is not dominated by the ego with its image-making and self-seeking. In a genuine relationship, there is an outward flow of open, alert attention toward the other person in which there is no wanting whatsoever.”
11. Whatever You Fight, You Strengthen, And What You Resist, Persists.
- “To offer no resistance to life is to be in a state of grace, ease, and lightness. This state is then no longer dependent upon things being in a certain way, good or bad. It seems almost paradoxical, yet when your inner dependency on form is gone, the general conditions of your life, the outer forms, tend to improve greatly. Things, people, or conditions that you thought you needed for your happiness now come to you with no struggle or effort on your part, and you are free to enjoy and appreciate them – while they last. All those things, of course, will still pass away, cycles will come and go, but with dependency gone there is no fear of loss anymore. Life flows with ease.”
12. Power Over Others Is Weakness Disguised As Strength.
- “Power over others is weakness disguised as strength.True power if within, and it is available to you now.”
13. Every Addiction Starts With Pain And Ends With Pain.
- “Every addiction arises from an unconscious refusal to face and move through your own pain. Every addiction starts with pain and ends with pain. Whatever the substance you are addicted to – alcohol, Food, Legal Or Illegal Drugs, Or A Person – You Are Using Something Or Somebody To Cover Up Your Pain.”
14. Exclusivity Is Not The Love Of God But The “Love” Of Ego.
- “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.”
15. Seek To Live Authentically.
- “Authentic human interactions become impossible when you lose yourself in a role.”
- “Living up to an image that you have of yourself or that other people have of you is inauthentic living.
20. We don’t “see” God as He is, we see God as we are.
- “Man made God in his own image…”
21. Seeking Is The converse Of Happiness.
- “Don’t Seek Happiness. If you seek it, you won’t find it, because seeking is the antithesis of happiness.”
- “Is there a difference between happiness and inner peace? Yes. Happiness depends on conditions being perceived as positive; inner peace does not.”
22. Any Action Is Often Better Than No Action.
- “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.”
What is your favorite quote from Eckhart Tolle? What is the one lesson you have learned from this book?