Initially, I wasn’t going to publish a review of this book. I finished it weeks ago but since then it has continued to resonate with me. Today I want to share with you why I feel that it is important for you to add this book to your reading list.
I listened to this book as a seven CD set audiobook that I found in the library. Inside the sleeve of the CD are eight tiny quotes that emphasise Tolle’s teachings. I will use them here to put a shape on my review. Here goes…
To offer no resistance to life is to be in a state of grace, ease, and lightness.
Tolle begins by describing his own previous struggles with mental health and the general state of mental health in the busy world around us today. His reference here to our ‘resistance to life’ points to our constant thoughtful response to every event in our past, present and future. I previously heard Dr. Wayne Dyer refer to this pattern of thinking. He used the nursery rhyme ‘row, row, row your boat’ to describe how we can escape this ‘resistance to life.’
Presence removes time. Without time, no suffering, no negativity, can survive.
And in this simple sentence you have grasped the simple message of this book. There is so much power in the present moment and Tolle talks at length about how we can cultivate and use this power. He even goes as far to say that ‘time is an illusion.’
The moment that judgement stops through acceptance of what is, you are free of the mind.
Ryan Holiday and his study of Stoicism constantly examines how our thoughts cloud our perceptions. In this way, we lose our bearing of what truly is and we create obstacles that get in our own way. When we clear this fog of thoughts, we can see what really needs to be done. Often the answer is nothing at all except acceptance.
The good news is that you can free yourself from the mind. This is the only true liberation. You can take the first step right now. Start listening to the voice in your head as often as you can.
We all have this tiny little voice that can potentially be our best friend or worst enemy. Tolle talks about the need to step back and become aware of this voice as separate entity. Tolle calls this ‘watching the thinker’ and I have written more about this concept here.
Listen to the voice in your head; be there as the witnessing presence.
As ever, there is a huge difference between hearing this voice and listening to it. When we listen we focus on the message and decide upon an appropriate response.
When you listen to a thought, you are aware not only of the thought but also of yourself as the witness of the thought. A new dimension of consciousness has come in.
And this is why I have come to love this book. It really does empower the reader to rise above his or her basic thought patterns. We are so much more than our habits but we sometimes slip deep inside ourselves. Tolle’s book The Power Of Now encourages the reader to take steps towards a spiritual reawakening.
Feeling will get you closer to the truth of who you are than thinking.
Malcolm Gladwell wrote about this in his excellent book Blink. How many moments do we waste overthinking solutions and choices when our ‘gut instinct’ screams at us?
To conclude, I had not planned on reading this book. This was one of those instances where the book found me and I am glad it did. I will leave you with the final quote written withing the CD sleeve. As you read it listen to what your gut tells you!
Pause for a few seconds to observe the flow of your breath. Become aware of a silent but powerful sense of presence.