The Power of Now – by Eckhart Tolle
Date read: 05/2022
My rating: 10/10 – one of the best books I’ve read
We are not our mind
Our being and our mind are two different things. Begin constantly identified and controlled by our mind prevents us to fully enjoy and live the moment.
Mind is a great tool to solve problems, but it’s bad to be constantly thinking about things. Many people fall into this trap.
To break the flow of thoughts we can try to focus on the present moment (mindfulness/zen meditation).
Living in a present moment brings us joy. Some people experience living in a present moment involuntarily – for example by doing adrenaline sports, when one has to live in the present moment and ignore thoughts as that’s what is important to survive.
What is Enlightenment
Buddhist definition: “End of suffering”
It can be defined as “being unified with our being”
Emotions are physical reaction of the body to the thoughts. When we feel emotions we shouldn’t ignore them, but watch them instead in the same way we watch thoughts.
Most of the pain we feel is created by ourselves by denial of reality. Intensity of this pain is related to the intensity of the denial and that is related to the intensity of being identified with our thoughts.
The present moment is as it is. Accept the present moment as it is, that will change our lives.
The past is non existent. It’s just a memories of what happened sometime in a history. The only thing that exists is the present moment. If we’re identified with our thoughts, we will focus on the past, for example by feeling regret or badly about something that happened. That doesn’t mean we should forget the past or not think about it. We should learn from it, but never suffer about what happened, because it does not exist anymore.
The fear happens when we let ourselves to be controlled by our mind. Our mind is afraid of something that could happen in the future.
The illusion of time
Time and mind are inseparable. Separate mind from time and the mind will stop – until we need it. The more we focus on past and future, the more we separate ourselves from the present moment – which is the most valuable thing that is. Nothing exists out of present moment.
Nothing happened in the past – everything happened in the present moment.
Nothing will happen in the future – everything will happen in the present moment.
When we are fully present, there are no problems. In the present moment, when time absents, suffering will disperse, because suffering requires time, which cannot survive in the present moment.
Negativity is caused by accumulation of psychological time and the denial of present moment. Dissatisfaction, anxiety, stress – are all caused by focusing on future.
Don’t focus on the results of our activities, focus on the activity itself. Results will come by themselves.
When we complain about something (weather, life situation, politics), that means we’re not accepting what is. Complaining brings negativity. When we complain, we make ourselves a victim. If we don’t like the situation, we should change it by action or by word. Otherwise let it go and accept the situation. Similar concept has been described in many other books I’ve read.
The inner goal
We should not focus on external goals, but instead we should focus on our internal goals.
When going into tennis tournament, our goals should not be to win that tournament (external goal), but to play as best as we can (internal goal). With internal goals our external goals will be just part of the joy. It is absolutely possible to fail with external goal and to succeed with internal goal (not winning running competition but running as best as I could).
If we live in the present moment, we won’t wait anymore. Waiting is just letting our mind having control and wandering to the future.
10-15 minutes. Find a quiet place. Be relaxed. Breathe deeply. Feel the body. Let thoughts go. Similar as mindfulness meditation.
Happiness depends on external circumstances, inner peace not. By living in the present moment we can find inner peace (enlightenment?). Every negativity is some sort of inner resistance. Accept what is and negativity will vanish.
During reading of this book I’ve found that it explains similar concepts as Zen / Mindfulness meditations.
We’re subjects observing thoughts (objects). During meditation we try to live in the present moment, identify incoming thoughts and let them go.
- try to live in the present moment
- don’t suffer by your past
- when emotions happen, identify them, feel them, know they’re just body reaction to thoughts
- the past is non existent
- the future is non existent
- time is just an illusion, the only thing that is real is present moment
- negativity is caused by denial
- don’t complain, ever
- focus on inner goals – we have full control on them
- inner peace comes with being fully present