In the book The Power of Now, I began to get skeptical through the Introduction as the author mentions “enlightenment” almost to the point to annoy me. Perhaps enlightenment has gotten a bad reputation, and most folks in the western world picture a dude floating atop a mountain amongst the clouds. I kept reading and I got excited to find out that I would find practical tasks t o separate myself from my mind. On page 19, a thought and the witness of a thought. He goes on to say that “this is the beginning of the end of involuntary and compulsive thinking.” This speaks volumes for me as I have struggled with unhelpful thought patterns in the past. In recent years, I learned to recognize a thought, and even watch it go by (a visual technique I learned in CBT).
I was able to really grasp the sense of presence that the author wants me to understand in the chapter on “Moving deeply into the Now.” I really liked the plan wording of “Life is now” on page 49. It really reframes how what I experience is not in the past or in the future. I need to focus on what is going on in the present moment. Plus, I am a fan of certain words and language. The words space and stillness jump out at me. My partner in my tribe even messaged and said that they are the same thing. I didn’t want to argue, but I would emphasize that one can sit in space and not be still. However, I have been able to have better self-awareness when I am conscious of my space in the present moment; especially when I am conscious while in stillness. In later chapters, the reading talks about silence as well. I feel that one has to be still in order to be silent.
For me, I am able to better understand and experience something if there is an analogy or visual reference to latch onto. In my favorite part of the book is on page 96 when Tolle explains presence and natural beauty. “Have you ever gazed up into the infinity of space on a clear night, awestruck by the absolute stilnest and inconceivable then vastness of it? Have you listened, truly listened, to the sound of a mountain stream in the forest?” Wow! Here is where I can experience what he means to set our thoughts and problems aside and to be present “in the Now.” I hope to practice, and have this kind of presence with future clients.
Finally, I really appreciated the last chapter on surrendering and the space Tolle took to really explain what that means. I learned that I need to stay in the present moment by not mentally labeling and no judgment of the Now (pg 206). I think this would really take the pressure off, for me at least. Another important part is learning how to focus and not having the running list of things to do. This is important to free the mind from expectations, and to have a more productive and enlightened life. It is imperative to surrender to the reality of the moment. According to Tolle, there is no more struggle or resistance or unhappiness. I hope this is the case and that I can live “in the Now” with a sense of light and peace.
Here are my notes from the book –
Part III – Chapters 8-10