The Power of Now Book Cover

The Power of Now

A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment
Book by: Eckhart Tolle
Publishing Year: 2004
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What’s inside

In this highly influential book, Eckhart Tolle discusses the importance of living in the “now”, and detaching yourself from the past or future. Tolle’s philosophy borrows from various spiritual traditions like Christianity, Buddhism and Zen. The book also shows how thinking and non-acceptance cause a lot of pain, and how one can live a life with minimal suffering.

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Lesson 1. Focus on the “now”.

Dwelling in the past and worrying about the future, are two primary reasons why we are unhappy. We are either regretting a past action, or worrying about what might happen in the future. However, we completely ignore the most important moment – the present. The reason why the present matters the most, is because everything happens in the present. Nothing ever occurs in the past or the future. 

If you think about it, time is a continuous flow of present moments. The past is nothing but a collection of moments which were once-present. The future on the other hand comprises present moments which are yet to occur. So, we should stop dwelling in any moment other than the present. 

There are many benefits to living in the present moment, or “the now” as Tolle calls it. Let’s say, you have a research paper to submit, and the deadline is fast approaching. You immediately begin to regret having procrastinated. Also, you get worried about how you’re going to complete the work in a time crunch. However, neither of these two responses will get your work done on time. 

Instead, focus on the present moment. Try to solve one problem at a time. Gather your information, do your research, then start writing. By committing yourself to one task at a time, you’ll be able to accomplish the job with ease.  

Lesson 2. Pain is self-created.

How do you deal with pain? Tolle argues that pain is nothing but your response to your inability to change things. Simply put, you experience pain when you are unable to change things despite being dissatisfied with them. This feeling of powerlessness manifests itself in the form of a negative emotion – pain. 

You constantly think about your past mistakes. They make you unhappy, yet you can do nothing to change them. This makes you develop an inner resistance to how things currently are. This is what you experience as pain.

According to Tolle, a part of ourselves needs pain to survive. This is the “pain-body”, which consists of our painful experiences. It grows and thrives the more we experience pain. This cycle will continue until pain becomes an integral part of your self. At that point, you’ll be unable to let go of it even if you want to. This is because you can’t reject it without risking your very identity. 

For instance, when you are angry, the anger clouds your rational faculty. You think less, which leads to more pain, thus worsening your situation. 

The noteworthy point Tolle makes

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About the author

Eckhart Tolle was born in Germany. When he was 29, a profound spiritual transformation virtually dissolved his old identity and radically changed the course of his life. He is now a counselor and spiritual teacher and the author of The Power of Now, Practis...

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Chapter List
  • Lesson 1. Focus on the “now”.
  • Lesson 2. Pain is self-created.
  • Lesson 3. Your ego is a hindrance to your happiness.  
  • Lesson 4. Choose your body over your mind.
  • Lesson 5. Constantly observe your mind to detach yourself from it.
  • Lesson 6. Stay in a state of perpetual awareness.
  • Lesson 7. Dealing with relationships.
  • Lesson 8. You can’t do away with all pain.
  • Lesson 9. Living in the “now” doesn’t mean living passively.
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FAQs

In the summary of The Power of Now book, there are 9 key lessons. These lessons include:

  1. Lesson 1. Focus on the “now”.
  2. Lesson 2. Pain is self-created.
  3. Lesson 3. Your ego is a hindrance to your happiness.  
  4. Lesson 4. Choose your body over your mind.
  5. Lesson 5. Constantly observe your mind to detach yourself from it.
  6. Lesson 6. Stay in a state of perpetual awareness.
  7. Lesson 7. Dealing with relationships.
  8. Lesson 8. You can’t do away with all pain.
  9. Lesson 9. Living in the “now” doesn’t mean living passively.

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle was published in 2004.

Once you've completed The Power of Now book, We suggest reading out Maybe You Should Talk to Someone as a great follow-up read.

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