The Power of Now
This is the title of a book written by Eckhart Tolle who is touted by many as a sort of modern-day spiritual guru. It was referenced by Oprah in 2000 and became the number one book two years later on the New York Times Bestseller list for hardcover advice. So, all in all, it’s a pretty popular book.
Popularity, however, does not necessarily mean quality. I wanted to see for myself whether this book was worth all the hype so, I read it.
I am not exaggerating when I say, this book has altered my life. Many of the sentiments and ideas expressed in the book resonated with me. Tolle discusses the concept of self, our constant fixation on past and future events, and the anxiety and unease that stems from this focus. He discusses a concept called the “pain body” which sounds strange, but really hit home with me.
There are of course limitations to the book. The reader can sometimes get bogged down in his language, certain ideas, and references to religious teachings. At first, I found this distracting, however, these references were relevant to the lesson or idea he was trying to convey. I have to admit, I did skip over some of the sections that I found overly religious or preachy, but those sections were few and far between.
Overall, this book is worth the read. Tolle focuses on the concept of Now – being present in the moment and dis-identifying from the self. I know, dis-identifying from the self sounds weird. If you choose to read this book, you’ll understand.
It is important to note that this concept is not new, the Buddhists have been practicing this form of meditation if you will, for centuries. Tolle is merely modernizing and adding some of his own insights to this practice. So if you don’t want to read his book there are a number (I mean thousands) of different books you can choose from that delve into Buddhist teachings and practices.