Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle - Katie Davis Blog

The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle
Book Review by Katie Davis, Author, Awake Joy: The Essence of Enlightenment

Powerful Clarity and Pragmatic Wisdom

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle is a spiritual classic, bestseller and translated into over 30 languages. It was awarded a member of Oprah's Book Club. Eckhart's newer book, A New Earth, is presently the newest addition to the Oprah Book Club. Oprah and Eckhart are currently offering a ten week online class that is accessible for free registration at Oprah's website. The first class was enjoyed by 700,000 people worldwide, from 139 countries and represented by all fifty states in the U.S.

Eckhart Tolle was born in Germany and graduated from the University of London. He became a research scholar and supervisor at Cambridge University. At 29 years old, he experienced a profound spiritual transformation that dissolved his identity as he had previously known it. This began an intense inward journey that radically changed the course of his life. He now teaches worldwide and lives in Vancouver, BC. He is not aligned with any particular religion and yet his message does not exclude any doctrine or dogma. He is communicating that there is a simple and pragmatic way out of suffering into enduring peace.

Power of Now is a guide to breaking free of the ego, the mind-made self, with all of its problems and conflicts. Eckhart Tolle finely dissects the ego's characteristics so that we become more conscious of how it operates. Who we are is beyond thought, emotion and form. Yet our body is the portal through which we enter a new reality to realize harmony, peace and joy. He encourages us to become more aware of the silence and space all around us and then points to inner space and stillness. Through becoming more conscious, we find that we can be free of psychological pain and open to our authentic power.

Power of Now is divided into 10 chapters with 191 pages. The Preface is written by Marc Allen, New World Library and the Foreword is by Russell Dicarlo, author of Towards a New World View. In the Introduction, Eckhart shares the origin of the book and that the truth of who we really are lies within us.

Chapter One is a study of the mind; the greatest obstacle to enlightenment. Through still attention, we can discover that we are not what we are thinking. He defines enlightenment as rising above thought and that emotion is the body's reaction to our thinking.

Chapter Two begins leading us out of psychological pain by pointing to consciousness. He offers keys to unlock accumulated pain of the past and introduces us to the collective pain body that is suffering and constantly trying to feed on more pain. Since the mind-made self believes that its identity lies within its individuality, it is on constant search to complete itself through people, things and circumstances. He shares that ego's entire search for happiness is really a search for wholeness.

In Chapter Three, we move deeply into the Now, the dimension that is free of time and demonstrates that nothing truly exists outside this present moment. He offers the key to the spiritual dimension and how to access the Power of Now. All suffering has its root in psychological time. Eckhart Tolle masterfully guides us in a clear and pragmatic manner into the joy of being.

Chapter Four offers the mind strategies for avoiding the now and that it is delusion to think that we can ever be apart from it. He discusses the manner in which we dissolve unhappiness and ordinary unconsciousness to discover the inner purpose of our life's journey.

In Chapter Five, Eckhart Tolle leads us to the state of presence and to realize pure consciousness; our divine Reality. Chapter Six is a journey into the inner body, where we find an invisible and indestructible reality that is beyond our thinking. He shares how we can also physiological benefit by being present; such as slowing the aging process and strenthening the immume system.

In Chapter Seven, Eckhart Tolle offers portals through which we may discover the inner unmanifest that is deep within our bodies such as dreamless sleep, silence, and space. Eckhart shifts to Enlightened Relationships in Chapter Eight and we begin to rise above relationships that cycle between relative love and hate. Our relationships and indeed our intimate partners are excellent teachers and a perfect spiritual practice to learn how to live in a deeper state of presence. He encourages you to give up the relationship with yourself, the false sense of self that is the ego.

In Chapter Nine, we discover that beyond the duality and cycling between happiness and unhappiness, there is peace. We notice the impermanence of the cycling, end the emotional drama, discover true compassion and move toward a new order of Reality. The final Chapter Ten presents the meaning of surrender so that we are able to live in acceptance of this moment just as it is. We shift from mind energy to spiritual energy, while we transform suffering into peace.

Katie Davis, Author, Awake Joy: The Essence of Enlightenment

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