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The Power of Now

The Power of NowThe Power of Now

A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

By Eckhart Tolle, 1999.

I first became interesting in Eckhart Tolle when I saw some of his quotes and found that they really resonated with the way I was thinking. I started watching some of his interviews and video discussions on eckharttolletv.com and really enjoyed the way he described Nature, our lives and our purpose. However, it took me quite a while before I read one of his books. This one, The Power of Now, is the first of his books that I’ve read and I found it easy to read and highly impactful.

For anyone ready to explore their spiritual side and consider how to interact with life, this is a great book and I highly recommend it.

The best way to get a flavour of what this book is about is to read through the following selection of my favourite quotes, or checking out the table of contents below that.

Favourite Quotes – The Power of Now

  • “That soft luminosity filtering through the curtains was love itself.”
  • “…must have forced my consciousness to withdraw from its identification with the unhappy and deeply fearful self, which is ultimately a fiction of the mind.”
  • “I cannot tell you any spiritual truth that deep within you don’t know already.”
  • “The moment you start watching the thinker, a higher level of consciousness becomes activated. You then begin to realise that there is a vast realm of intelligence beyond thought, that thought is only a tiny aspect of that intelligence. You also realise that all the things that truly matter – beauty, love, creativity, joy, inner peace – arise from beyond the mind. You begin to awaken.”
  • “All true artists, whether they know it or not, create from a place of no-mind, from inner stillness.”
  • “So I would say that the simple reason why the majority of scientists are not creative is not because they don’t know how to think but because they don’t know how to stop thinking!”
  • “A strong unconscious emotional pattern may even manifest as an external event that appears to just happen to you.”
  • “So don’t seek to become free of desire or ‘achieve’ enlightenment. Become present.”
  • “Instead of quoting the Buddha, be the Buddha, be ‘the awakened one’.”
  • “Always say ‘yes‘ to the present moment. What could be more futile, more insane, than to create inner resistance to something that 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.”
  • “Accept – then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it. Make it you friend and ally, not your enemy. This will miraculously transform your whole life.”
  • “You can always cope with the present moment, but you cannot cope with something that is only a mind projection – you cannot cope with the future.”
  • “Power over others is weakness disguised as strength. True power is within, and it is available to you now.”
  • “Here is the key. End the delusion of time. Time and mind are inseparable. Remove time from the mind and it stops – unless you choose to use it.” [this is why creativity and pastimes can be so good – they can stop time and allow us to be]
  • “What, at this moment, is lacking?”
  • “If it is the quality of your consciousness at this moment that determines the future, then what is it that determines the quality of you consciousness? Your degree of presence. So the only place where true change can occur and where the past can be dissolved is the Now.”
  • “Is there joy, ease, and lightness in what I am doing? If there isn’t, then time is covering up the present moment, and life is perceived as a burden or a struggle.”
  • “As soon as you honour the present moment, all unhappiness and struggle dissolve, and life begins to flow with joy and ease. When you act out of present moment awareness, whatever you do becomes imbued with a sense of quality, care and love – even the most simple action”
  • “Loss of Now is loss of Being”
  • “Unhappiness spreads more easily than a physical disease”
  • “Wherever you are, be totally there”
  • “Or is there something you ‘should’ be doing but are not doing it? Get up and do it now. Alternatively, completely accept your inactivity, laziness, or passivity at this moment, if that is your choice. Go into it fully. Enjoy it. Be as lazy of inactive as you can. If you go into it fully and consciously, you will soon come out of it. Or maybe you won’t. Either way, there is no inner conflict, no resistance, no negativity.”
  • “You are identified with your mind, which is projecting itself into an imaginary future situation and creating fear”
  • “All that you ever have to deal with, cope with, in real life – as opposed to imaginary mind projections – is this moment.”
  • “There is nothing wrong with setting goals and striving to achieve things. The mistake lies in using it as a substitute for the feeling of life, for Being.”
  • “The only thing that is ultimately real about your journey is the step that you are taking at this moment. That’s all there ever is.”
  • “To become conscious of Being, you need to reclaim consciousness from the mind. This is one of the most essential tasks on your spiritual journey.”
  • “Do not turn your attention elsewhere in your search for the Truth, for it is nowhere else to be found but within your body.”
  • “Just as the sun is infinitely brighter than a candle flame, there is infinitely more intelligence in Being than in your mind.”
  • “Of course, you cannot feel someone else’s Being except through you own. This is the beginning of the realisation of oneness, which is love. At the deepest level of Being, you are one with all that is.”
  • “The essence of all things is emptiness.”
  • “You see time as the means to salvation, whereas in truth it is the greatest obstacle to salvation.”
  • “There is nothing you can ever do or attain that will get you closer to salvation than it is at this moment.”
  • “You cannot do this in the future. You can do it now or not at all.”
  • “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.”
  • “In the stillness of your presence, you can feel your own formless and timeless reality as the unmanifested life that animates your physical form. You can then feel the same life deep within every other human and every other creature. You look beyond the veil of form and separation. This the realisation of oneness. This is love.”
  • “But if you accept that the relationship is here to make you conscious instead of happy, then the relationship will offer you salvation, and you will be aligning yourself with the higher consciousness that wants to be born into this world.”
  • “Sanity – consciousness – can only come into this world through you.”
  • “Your form may continue to have certain needs, but Being has none. It is already complete and whole.”
  • “…but nothing can grow forever. If growth, of whatever kind, were to go on and on, it would eventually become monstrous and destructive. Dissolution is needed for new growth to happen. One cannot exist without the other.”
  • “Thus, the intelligence of the organism may take over as a self-protective measure and create an illness in order to force you to stop, so that the necessary regeneration can take place.”
  • “Nothing can give you joy. Joy is uncaused and arises from within as the joy of Being.” – “It is your natural state, not something that you need to work hard for or struggle to obtain.”
  • “Watch any plant or animal and let it teach you acceptance of what is, surrender to the Now. Let it teach you Being. Let it teach you integrity – which means to be one, to be yourself, to be real. Let it teach you how to live and how to die, and how not to make living and dying into a problem.”
  • “When you accept what is, every piece of meat – every moment – is the best. That is enlightenment.”
  • “Compassion is the awareness of a deep bond between yourself and all creatures.”
  • “Remember that your perception of the world is a reflection of you state of consciousness.” – “Every moment, your consciousness creates the world that you inhabit.”
  • “Every being is a focal point of consciousness, and every such focal point creates its own world, although all these worlds are interconnected.”
  • “Only those who have transcended the world can bring about a better world.”
  • “You teach through being, through demonstrating the peace of God. You become the ‘light of the world’, an emanation of pure consciousness, and so you eliminate suffering on the level of cause. You eliminate unconsciousness from the world”.
  • “It is the quality of your consciousness at this moment that is the main determinant of what kind of future you will experience, so to surrender is the most important thing you can do to bring about positive change.”
  • “You cannot be conscious and unhappy, conscious and in negativity. Negativity, unhappiness, or suffering in whatever form means that there is resistance, and resistance is always unconscious.”
  • “What the ego doesn’t know, of course, is that only through the letting go of resistance, through becoming ‘vulnerable’, can you discover your true and essential invulnerability.”
  • “You attract and manifest whatever corresponds to your inner state.”
  • “Don’t let the mind use the pain to create a victim identity for yourself out of it. Feeling sorry for yourself and telling others your story will keep you stuck in suffering.”
  • “All judgement and all negativity dissolve. The realm of Being, which had been obscured by the mind, then opens up. Suddenly, a great stillness arises within you, an unfathomable sense of peace. And within that peace, there is great joy. And within that joy, there is love. And at the innermost core, there is the sacred, the immeasurable, That which cannot be named.”
  • “God is Being itself, not a being.”
  • “Present-moment awareness creates a gap not only in the stream of mind but also in the past-future continuum. Nothing truly new and creative can come into this world except through that gap, that clear space of infinite possibility.”
  • “Almost everyone is suffering from this illness in varying degrees. The moment you realise this, there can be no more resentment. How can you resent someone’s illness? The only appropriate response is compassion.”

Table of Contents – The Power of Now

  • Introduction
  • Chapter One: You Are Not Your Mind
  • Chapter Two: Consciousness: The Way Out of Pain
  • Chapter Three: Moving Deeply into the Now
  • Chapter Four: Mind Strategies for Avoiding the Now
  • Chapter Five: The State of Presence
  • Chapter Six: The Inner Body
  • Chapter Seven: Portals into the Unmanifested
  • Chapter Eight: Enlightened Relationships
  • Chapter Nine: Beyond Happiness and Unhappiness There Is Peace
  • Chapter Ten: The Meaning of Surrender

 

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