Eckhart Tolle: “The Power of Now”

Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Eckhart Tolle

The research behind Marianne Power‘s new book Help Me! One Woman’s Quest to Find Out if Self-Help Really Can Change Your Life involved applying 12 different self-help books to her own life over the course of a year. Reportedly, her favorite of the bunch was The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle.

From Power’s NPR interview:

…Tolle says that when we see people walking down the street talking to themselves, we think they’re a bit mad, but actually we’re all doing that to ourselves all the time, we all have this voice in our head that’s narrating what’s happening, and it’s quite often very critical, it’s beating yourself up for something you’ve done in the past, or it’s worrying about what’s going to happen in the future, and as a result, you miss the only thing that is ever real, according to Eckhart Tolle, and that’s now. Right now, this second. And in the book, he asks, in any given moment, to ask yourself, ‘do I have a problem, right now, right here?’ And the answer is almost always no. So I found that book very helpful.

The following are other quotables I’ve selected from The Power of Now:

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.

What a caterpillar calls the end of the world we call a butterfly.

Once you have identified with some form of negativity, you do not want to let it go, and on a deeply unconscious level, you do not want positive change. It would threaten your identity as a depressed, angry or hard-done by person. You will then ignore, deny or sabotage the positive in your life. This is a common phenomenon. 
It is also insane.

The light is too painful for someone who wants to remain in darkness.

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.

I have lived with several Zen masters — all of them cats.

To complain is always nonacceptance of what is. It invariably carries an unconscious negative charge. When you complain, you make yourself into a victim. When you speak out, you are in your power. So change the situation by taking action or by speaking out if necessary or possible; leave the situation or accept it. All else is madness.

Where there is anger there is always pain underneath.

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. This will miraculously transform your whole life.

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