Eckhart Tolle had severe anxiety and depression in his 20s. When he was 29, he had a personal epiphany, which was the power of now that would change his life and countless others.
In the Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle explains that now is all that we ever have. The Present moment is all there is.
Life is always now, but most of us live our lives like the future is more important than the present.
Our mind always has these rambling series of thoughts trying to escape the present. We are either burdened by the past or worried about the future. Let’s understand the power of now.
The Power of Now
A lot of the thinking that we do is useless or destructive. We are regretful and resentful of the past and anxious and worried about the future. We forget to live in the present.
This compulsive thinking is harmful and has many negative effects. When you’re always thinking it’s hard to be present.
We’d rather be somewhere or someplace else and not here, which is all we have. This is the major cause of unhappiness. There’s always something missing in the present moment.
We are always focused on becoming, achieving, and obtaining we forget living in the present moment. An end that never really arrives and even if it does, what’s next? The cycle continues.
It is not uncommon for people to spend their whole life waiting to start living. Waiting is a state of mind. Basically, it means you want the future and not the present.
Don’t let your future goals reduce the present as a means to get there. Be fully aware and come into the present. Be truly present in the now.
Everything that you want is inside you
Eckhart Tolle in the power of now gives an example where a beggar was sitting on a box on the side of a road for over 30 years. He mumbles for change, holding his cap outwards.
A Stranger passes by and asks him what are you sitting on. The beggar replies it’s just an old box.
Ever looked inside asked the stranger and to his astonishment, the beggar found gold inside the box.
This leads to the big question: why are we here?
We are constantly seeking outside validation and material things and when we get them how long does the happiness last? After it’s gone, we feel unhappy again.
True happiness can only come from inside. This transformation is through the body and not away from it.
You are not your mind
We tend to overuse our minds and identify ourselves with it. The key here is to use the mind as a tool and switch it off when not in need.
Dis-identify yourself from the mind. The moment you are not your thoughts, you are not your mind. This is spiritual awakening, as Eckhart Tolle puts it.
You are now able to identify with the voice in your head. You are now aware of your thinking and you don’t create any unnecessary suffering.
Enlightenment is the end to suffering and incessant thinking, and freeing yourself from the mind is total freedom.
The next time you overthink a situation, try to take a step outside and observe what’s happening. Take note of what your mind is doing and observe your thoughts. Your mind is just a tool use it, but don’t let the mind use you.