A few years ago I read a book and it got my mind spinning. My mind wanted to grasp this concept, but it couldn’t.
I picked the same book a few weeks ago. Lo and behold, this time it landed on a much deeper level.
What was happening? Was it the same book? Was I the same?
I will warn you what I’ll be sharing today, will also get your mind spinning. It will look for an explanation but it won’t find it. Yet, you will get it on a much deeper level. On a level of Being.
The book I’m talking about is the Power of Now – A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by the spiritual teacher Eckhard Tolle.
Tolle’s short history
Tolle was a promising academic scholar suffering from deep depression. In one of these depressive episodes, something happened in his psyche and he disconnected from the identification with the mind.
After a few days’ long sleep, he woke up enlightened. Everything looked much more vivid, much more alive, he could just sit and be in perfect fulfillment. Imagine Buddha sitting for 49 days under the fig tree.
So that is what Eckhart Tolle did. He slept on benches in parks, he was homeless for a couple of years until this enlightenment settled down and became the new normal. Then he decided to share his teachings with the world. That’s how he became a spiritual teacher and an author.
His book, the Power of Now is more than 8 hours of audio content. The follow-up book New Earth is another 8 hours. What I’ll be doing is not even scratching the surface, I’ll be caressing the surface of this profound topic with a gentle feather.
Now that I have warned you, here is the concept:
All we have is NOW
Let that sink in.
The most precious possession that we have is the current moment. The past is an illusion and the future is even a bigger illusion. They’re just imaginary constructs that our mind builds.
Our mind is a genius, sharp tool. It has one little caveat though: it likes to take over control over our lives. Every time you feel that you’re in regret or guilt, nostalgia, the mind has thrown you in the past.
Every time you feel anxious, frustrated, or impatient, the mind has thrown you in the future. The mind is against the NOW.
But the only place we can do anything is NOW. The only place we can have all the treasures of human experience: fulfillment, love, flow, deep work, inspiration, enthusiasm is NOW.
This was profound to me.
Let me do a little experiment for you
Do you have a problem right now?
Like now in this very second, right now?
Not something from the past, and not something that’s awaiting you in the future. Right now.
You might feel tired or hungry, you might feel some pain in the body, but most of you don’t have a problem right now, do you?
But do you see how your mind throws you into the future or the past to find the problems? And in this very moment, here and now, do you have a problem? No, you don’t.
There are other ways to recognize the mind taking over: frustration, anxiety, impatience. This is a sign that the mind is denying the current moment, and then it looks for some imaginary future for fulfillment.
Another example: why do you think people do extreme sports?
Take bungee jumping for example. Does it make any sense? You stay there on the edge of the bridge, looking at the chasm in front of you. There’s no past, there’s no regret. Maybe the only regret is:
Why did I sign up for this craziness?
And regarding the future – you are not even certain you will have a future if you jump.
This intense, intense, urgent NOWness is what gets us hooked. This is the moment of NOW.
So imagine if you could have this moment every now, all the time.
The question here is how
The first answer is through awareness.
Do you get frustrated that things are not happening quickly enough? Do you get anxious, overwhelmed, do you often go into a complaint?
This is not you. This is your mind. Just take a deep breath and observe it lovingly.
Your body is the portal to the NOW
Can the body exist in the past? Can it exist in the future? No, the only place the body can exist is NOW.
It’s through the breath and the sensations in the body that we return to here and now.
Make it a daily practice, to take a deep breath, to feel into the sensations of your body. You’ll see how this will bring you back to the NOW. It will save you tons of energy.
Why I am telling this to you?
On one side, I can not keep this to myself. The power of now and the leap in consciousness I have done in the past couple of years are too powerful not to share.
On the other side, I feel this is the next step in our evolution as human beings. The solution to all problems lies in the NOW.
This is my mission – to support this awakening into the now.
To build a New Earth.