Spiritual teacher and author Eckhart Tolle, a German-born resident of Canada, wrote an inspiring book, The Power of Now. The book’s intent is to be a guide to spiritual enlightenment by way of recognizing what is false within ourselves (the ego as he calls it) that creates our emotional problems. This understanding can then help transform our thinking and free ourselves to experience a more meaningful and joyful life.
He starts the book with a story about how he had almost constant anxiety and, at times, suicidal depression during his life. When he was 29, he experienced a “radical inner transformation” that led him to wander around, for five months, in a complete state of “deep peace and bliss”. He knew that something “profoundly significant” had happened to him. So, after spending time with spiritual teachers and reading spiritual texts, he realized what it was and eventually wrote the book, which was published in 1997. The international bestseller is now considered a modern classic in the field of spirituality and personal growth.
The essence of Eckhart Tolle’s book is this: By learning to live more in the present moment, we can experience “a way out of suffering and into peace”.
Below are 14 quotes on the power of the present to help shift our thoughts from past and future to fully embrace the moment.
1. “The past has no power over the present moment.”
2. “Always say ‘yes’ to the present moment… Surrender to what is. Say ‘yes’ to life – and see how life starts suddenly to start working for you rather than against you.”
3. “All negativity is caused by an accumulation of psychological time and denial of the present. Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry – all forms of fear – are caused by too much future, and not enough presence. Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness, and all forms of nonforgiveness are caused by too much past, and not enough presence.”
4. “Accept – then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.”
5. “Wherever you are, be there totally. If you find your here and now intolerable and it makes you unhappy, you have three options: remove yourself from the situation, change it, or accept it totally. If you want to take responsibility for your life, you must choose one of those three options, and you must choose now. Then accept the consequences.”
6. “Don’t wait to be successful at some future point. Have a successful relationship with the present moment and be fully present in whatever you are doing. That is success.”
7. “Your entire life only happens in this moment. The present moment is life itself. Yet, people live as if the opposite were true and treat the present moment as a stepping stone to the next moment – a means to an end. The beginning of freedom is the realization that you are not ‘the thinker’.”
8. “The moment you start watching the thinker, a higher level of consciousness becomes activated. You then begin to realize that there is a vast realm of intelligence beyond thought, that thought is only a tiny aspect of that intelligence. You also realize that all the things that truly matter – beauty, love, creativity, joy, inner peace – arise from beyond the mind. You begin to awaken.”
9. “The power for creating a better future is contained in the present moment: You create a good future by creating a good present.”
10. “As soon as you honor the present moment, all unhappiness and struggle dissolve, and life begins to flow with joy and ease. When you act out the present-moment awareness, whatever you do becomes imbued with a sense of quality, care, and love – even the most simple action.”
11. “Die to the past every moment. You don’t need it. Only refer to it when it is absolutely relevant to the present. Feel the power of this moment and the fullness of Being. Feel your presence.”
12. “The greater part of human pain is unnecessary. It is self-created as long as the unobserved mind runs your life.”
13. “It is when we are trapped in incessant streams of compulsive thinking that the universe really disintegrates for us, and we lose the ability to sense the interconnectedness of all that exists.”
14. “Realize deeply that the present moment is all you will ever have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.”
Source for quotes: goodreads.com