In Eckhart Tolle’s seminal book, The Power of Now, he identifies the greatest obstacle to experiencing enlightenment as being that of “identification with your mind, which causes thought to become compulsive” – this compulsive thinking is what creates the barriers to experiencing our natural state of inner peace and connection with God as well as creating a false egoic sense of self that seems to live in a state of fear and suffering. The solution he offers to free ourselves from the compulsive thoughts of mind is, of course, practicing the power of now.
But what exactly is the power of now? According to A Course in Miracles “Fear is not of the present, but only of the past and future, which do not exist…. And the present extends forever. It is so beautiful and so clean and free of guilt that nothing but happiness is there. No darkness is remembered, and immortality and joy are NOW.” (Emphasis is mine.) So, this power of the present instant, now, is the release from fear which allows us to access our own conscious, higher presence. It is the release from identification with our mind; our past conditioning and self-concepts, beliefs, limitations, judgements and guilt – our sense of self as being small, separate and vulnerable. It’s freedom from the delusional belief that you are your mind. And freedom from creating the future in the mold of the past.
Mr. Tolle states that learning to dis-identify from mind as the single most vital step in the journey toward enlightenment. It is the process of changing our perception about ourselves, our relations to others, to God and to life itself; it is liberating ourselves from the tyranny of addictive, destructive thinking and all of the ensuing effects and emotional turmoil that leave us in a state of perpetual conflict and personal grief.
Practicing the power of now is the systematic removal of self-imposed blocks to knowing and experiencing our deeper truth that we are spiritual beings on a physical plane and, as such, is a powerful tool for consistently living a life of joy, significance and fulfillment. The practices offered in his book are drawn from a variety of spiritual teachings giving us a buffet of strategies that can be suitably tailored to meet individual needs, and all are flexible enough to be adapted to serve the demands of a busy lifestyle.
Following are five simple strategies to maximize your efforts when applying the processes outlined in the Power of Now:
– when “watching the thinker” it is crucial to remain detached from the thoughts that you’re watching. Becoming engaged in judging your thoughts, analyzing them, labeling them or trying to change them while observing is simply another antic of the ego mind to move you out of the present moment. Being there as the observer is enough to loosen the mental grip of identifying with the thinker and will begin to create space for Presence.
– many find practicing “present moment awareness” difficult in the beginning; if you find agitation…