Book cover of 'The Power of Now'

The Power of Now

#books / non-fiction · 3/5

A Buddhist monk once told me: “All I have learned in the twenty years that I have been a monk I can sum up in one sentence: All that arises passes away.”

By Eckhart Tolle


The single most vital step on your journey toward enlightenment is learning to disidentify from your mind.

If you really want to know your mind, the body will always give you a truthful reflection, so look at the emotion or rather feel it in your body. If there is an apparent conflict between them, the thought will be the lie, the emotion will be the truth.

In relationships, you’ll oscillate between “love” and “hate”, but real love doesn’t make you suffer.

The greater part of human pain is unnecessary. It is self-created as long as the unobserved mind runs your life.

Accept, then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it. Make it your friend and ally, not your enemy.

You can always cope with the present moment, but you cannot cope with something that is only a mind projection. You cannot cope with the future.

As long as the egoic mind is running your life, you cannot truly be at ease; you cannot be at peace. Things like possessions, the work you do, social status and recognition, knowledge and education, physical appearance, relationships, personal and family history, and other identifications—none of these is you. You will learn to know this at the latest when you feel death approaching, as death strips away all that is not you. The secret of life is to “die before you die”, and find that there is no death.

The stronger the ego, the more distant you are from your true nature.

Some people love to engage in dangerous activities because it forces them into the Now; the intensely alive state that is free of time, free of problems, free of thinking, free of the burden of the personality.

The beautiful flowers are not anxious about tomorrow.

If you’re always chasing for something in the future, your life’s journey is no longer an adventure, just an obsessive need to arrive, to attain, to “make it”. You no longer see or smell the flowers by the wayside.

The present moment is all you ever have. There is never a time when your life is not “this moment”.

Are you always trying to get somewhere other than where you are?

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 non-forgiveness are caused by too much past, and not enough presence.

Dwelling on a situation mentally without there being a true intention or possibility of taking action now, you make it part of your sense of self. Your mind creates a problem, it creates pain.

When you are free of “becoming” as a psychological need, neither your happiness nor your sense of self depends on the outcome, and so there is freedom from fear.

To be free of time is to be free of psychological need of past for your identity and future for your fulfillment.

The Buddha taught that the root of suffering is to be found in our constant wanting and craving.

Either stop doing what you are doing, speak to the person concerned and express fully what you feel, or drop the negativity that your mind has created around the situation.

To complain is always nonacceptance of what is. You make yourself into a victim. Leave the situation or accept it.

If you take any action, drop the negativity first. Action arising out of insight into what is required is more effective than action arising out of negativity.

Any action is often better than no action, especially if you have been stuck in an unhappy situation for a long time. If it is a mistake, at least you learn something, in which case it’s no longer a mistake. If you remain stuck, you learn nothing.

Are you stressed? Are you so busy getting to the future that the present is reduced to a means of getting there? Stress is caused by being “here” but wanting to be “there”.

Are you waiting to start living?

Don’t seek to understand the past. You cannot find yourself by going to the past. You find yourself by coming into the present.

Many people are so imprisoned in their minds that the beauty of nature does not really exist for them.

To listen to the silence, wherever you are, is an easy and direct way of becoming present.

Forgiveness is to offer no resistance to life; to allow life to live through you.

Feeling will get you closer to the truth of who you are than thinking.

Nothing that is real is ever lost.

“When I obtain this or am free of that—then I will be okay.” This is the unconscious mindset that creates the illusion of salvation in the future.

True love has no opposite because it arises from beyond the mind.

If your “love” has an opposite, then it is not love but a strong ego-need for a more complete and deeper sense of self.

Can love change into its opposite in an instant? Was it love in the first place, or just an addictive grasping and clinging?

The greatest catalyst for change in a relationship is complete acceptance of your partner as he or she is, without needing to judge or change them in any way.

Every crisis represents not only danger but also opportunity. But as long as you deny them, as long as you try to escape from them or wish that things were different, the window of opportunity does not open up.

As far as inner transformation is concerned, there is nothing you can do about it. You cannot transform yourself, and you certainly cannot transform your partner or anybody else. All you can do is create a space for transformation to happen, for grace and love to enter.

Instead of mirroring to each other your pain and your unconsciousness, instead of satisfying your mutual addictive ego needs, you will reflect back to each other the love that you feel deep within, the love that comes with the realization of your oneness with all that is. This is the love that has no opposite.

If they are ready, they will walk through the door that you opened for them and join you in that state, If they are not, you will separate like oil and water. The light is too painful for someone who wants to remain in darkness.

As long as they are their mind, what they fear and resist most is their own awakening.

A Buddhist monk once told me: “All I have learned in the twenty years that I have been a monk I can sum up in one sentence: All that arises passes away.” (Alex: No feeling is final.)

The mind always adheres to the known. The unknown is dangerous because it has no control over it.

How much more pain do you need before you can make the choice?

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