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The Power of Now - Eckhart Tolle, best seller spiritual book

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The Power of Now - Eckhart Tolle, best seller spiritual book

Postby Winston » Sun Oct 14, 2007 10:00 am

One of my favorite spiritual gurus is Eckhart Tolle, author of the best selling book "The Power of Now" which you can now find in any local bookstore. I consider it to be the best guide to enlightenment ever written. It's so simple, profound and articulate, yet totally truthful without any opinions or religions.

In the introduction of "The Power of Now" he describes that after an excruciating spiritual transformation, he decided to let go of his egoic self as he realized it was an illusion. The next morning, he woke up in a state of complete inner joy, bliss and peace. Nothing he could do or get could add to it. He sat on the park bench for two years with no job, no money, no relationships, and no socially defined identity, yet he was in a state of pure joy and ecstasy.

Soon he attracted people around him who were wondering what he had, and they knew he had something. They helped him by feeding him, clothing him, housing him, and giving him what he needed, in exchange for his spiritual teachings. The universe was helping him out, as he was following his destiny and calling.

After a few years, his students suggested that he put together a book of his teachings, and that's how the book "The Power of Now" came to be. His book has sold millions of copies all around the world.

I have seen his teachings on video, and he talks in a very selfless and egoless tone, much like Kwai Chang Kane did in the "Kung Fu" TV series with David Carradine.

Here it is in his own words from the introduction of his book. I copied and pasted it below from a PDF version of his book.

The Power of Now

INTRODUCTION

The Origin Of This Book

I have little use for the past and rarely think about it; however, I would briefly like to
tell you how I came to be a spiritual teacher and how this book came into existence.
Until my thirtieth year, I lived in a state of almost continuous anxiety interspersed
with periods of suicidal depression. It feels now as if I am talking about some past
lifetime or somebody else's life.
One night not long after my twenty-ninth birthday, I woke up in the early hours with
a feeling of absolute dread. I had woken up with such a feeling many times before,
but this time it was more intense than it had ever been. The silence of the night, the
vague outlines of the furniture in the dark room, the distant noise of a passing train -
everything felt so alien, so hostile, and so utterly meaningless that it created in me a
deep loathing of the world. The most loathsome thing of all, however, was my own
existence. What was the point in continuing to live with this burden of misery? Why
carry on with this continuous struggle? I could feel that a deep longing for
annihilation, for nonexistence, was now becoming much stronger than the instinctive
desire to continue to live.
"I cannot live with myself any longer." This was the thought that kept repeating itself
in my mind. Then suddenly I became aware of what a peculiar thought it was. `Am I
one or two? If I cannot live with myself, there must be two of me: the `I' and the `self'
that `I' cannot live with." "Maybe," I thought, "only one of them is real."
I was so stunned by this strange realization that my mind stopped. I was fully
conscious, but there were no more thoughts. Then I felt drawn into what seemed like
a vortex of energy. It was a slow movement at first and then accelerated. I was
gripped by an intense fear, and my body started to shake. I heard the words "resist
nothing," as if spoken inside my chest. I could feel myself being sucked into a void. It
felt as if the void was inside myself rather than outside. Suddenly, there was no more
fear, and I let myself fall into that void. I have no recollection of what happened after
that.
I was awakened by the chirping of a bird outside the window. I had never heard such
a sound before. My eyes were still closed, and I saw the image of a precious
diamond. Yes, if a diamond could make a sound, this is what it would be like. I
8
opened my eyes. The first light of dawn was filtering through the curtains. Without
any thought, I felt, I knew, that there is infinitely more to light than we realize. That
soft luminosity filtering through the curtains was love itself. Tears came into my
eyes. I got up and walked around the room. I recognized the room, and yet I knew
that I had never truly seen it before. Everything was fresh and pristine, as if it had just
come into existence. I picked up things, a pencil, an empty bottle, marveling at the
beauty and aliveness of it all.
That day I walked around the city in utter amazement at the miracle of life on earth,
as if I had just been born into this world.
For the next five months, I lived in a state of uninterrupted deep peace and bliss.
After that, it diminished somewhat in intensity, or perhaps it just seemed to because it
became my natural state. I could still function in the world, although I realized that
nothing I ever did could possibly add anything to what I already had.
I knew, of course, that something profoundly significant had happened to me, but I
didn't understand it at all. It wasn't until several years later, after I had read spiritual
texts and spent time with spiritual teachers, that I realized that what everybody was
looking for had already happened to me. I understood that the intense pressure of
suffering that night must have forced my consciousness to withdraw from its
identification with the unhappy and deeply fearful self, which is ultimately a fiction
of the mind. This withdrawal must have been so complete that this false, suffering
self immediately collapsed, just as if a plug had been pulled out of an inflatable toy.
What was left then was my true nature as the ever-present I am: consciousness in its
pure state prior to identification with form. Later I also learned to go into that inner
timeless and deathless realm that I had originally perceived as a void and remain fully
conscious. I dwelt in states of such indescribable bliss and sacredness that even the
original experience I just described pales in comparison. A time came when, for a
while, I was left with nothing on the physical plane. I had no relationships, no job, no
home, no socially defined identity. I spent almost two years sitting on park benches in
a state of the most intense joy.
But even the most beautiful experiences come and go. More fundamental, perhaps,
than any experience is the undercurrent of peace that has never left me since then.
Sometimes it is very strong, almost palpable, and others can feel it too. At other
times, it is somewhere in the background, like a distant melody.
Later, people would occasionally come up to me and say: "I want what you have. Can
you give it to me, or show me how to get it?" And I would say: "You have it already.
You just can't feel it because your mind is malting too much noise." That answer later
grew into the book that you are holding in your hands.
9
Before I knew it, I had an external identity again. I had become a spiritual teacher.
Last edited by Winston on Tue Jul 08, 2014 6:01 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby Jackal » Sat Mar 15, 2008 7:25 am

Hmmm. That passage by Tolle actually sounds pretty authentic. I'm surprised. The title, "The Power of Now", sounds like such a cliched self-help book title, but as they say you can't judge a book by its cover. Maybe I'll read it sometime.

I know what it feels like when you think that you found a book that contains the very essence of real spirituality. I feel that way about "The Three Pillars of Zen"--it seems to clearly explain the very essence of Zen and its translations of are impeccable--so much so, in fact, that I often get annoyed with other Zen books that I feel have not hit so close to the bull's eye.

I also really like the translation of the "Tao Te Ching" by Red Pine.

However, my perspective has broadened since I began reading about Tibetan Buddhism. I feel that the Tibetans have a subtler understanding of the many aspects of mind and the energies in the body. Dzogchen seems to be the summit of their teachings, but most dzogchen texts are extremely difficult to decifer.
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Postby MrPeabody » Mon Aug 11, 2008 6:44 pm

I first attended a lecture of Tolle in the late 90s before he was well known. I took the following notes and still carry them around:

1. Withdraw attention (and hence energy) from the past and future.

2. Do not resist the events which happen, just say: "Is that so?"

3. Don't make another self: An "unhappy me" or a self out of the past.

4. Don't take your thoughts so seriously. Most of it is fantasy. Don't IDENTIFY with your thinking.
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Postby BeneGesseritBrother » Sun Jan 18, 2009 1:18 am

Tolle is an incredibly important voice and I rejoice that he is getting so much attention.
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Postby Winston » Fri May 02, 2014 3:07 am

Here is a great 90 minute video interview with Eckhart Tolle where he tells a young amateur filmmaker how to be in the Now. The first part in the park is funny. It has a lot of good advice and spiritual wisdom.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CxVht5kELno[/youtube]

More videos by Eckhart Tolle:

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=eckhart+tolle
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Postby Winston » Tue Jul 08, 2014 5:56 pm

Image

Image
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Postby HouseMD » Tue Jul 08, 2014 8:32 pm

As much as I hate New Age hippy BS, The Power of Now is a pretty solid book that helped me through the most difficult time of my life. It is a philosophy that works, and you can always call on it in your most troubling times.
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Re: The Power of Now: Eckhart Tolle and Spiritual Awakening

Postby Jester » Thu Jul 10, 2014 12:40 am

Winston wrote:
He sat on the park bench for two years with no job, no money, no relationships, and no socially defined identity, yet he was in a state of pure joy and ecstasy.



What a useless "grass-eater"!

Sometimes I like to listen to a human voice or music while working. So I had listened to his calming voice on a YouTube once.

Never again.
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Re: The Power of Now: Eckhart Tolle and Spiritual Awakening

Postby C.J. » Fri Aug 08, 2014 5:51 pm

Being spiritually advanced myself, I can tell you this...

That book "The Power of Now", is New Age garbage;I read it some 9 years ago. One only has to ask, how DID he accomplish this "excruciating spiritual transformation?" How is it that all of sudden, he "decided to let go of his egoic self as he realized it was an illusion?"

Great shit like that just doesn't happen on a whim. Why? Because if it was THAT easy, everybody would be doing it! What he teaches is BULLSHIT. And he got rich for it. If he was in such ecstasy being poor, why didn't he STAY poor then? If he was really in such ecstasy, he wouldn't have a need for food and clothes etc.

He layed on a bench for 2 years with nothing, then all of a sudden people gave him shit in exchange for BS? I've been through a lot of crazy stuff and seen things no one would dare believe. But that book is a bunch of bold-faced, dirty-ass LIES.

In order to know this though, you must first understand the New Age. The New Age in a nutshell: humans helping other humans be psychic bums, effectively being useless to themselves and others. In this way, they're very useful to the elite, as they don't oppose them. Meaning the elite's plans go on unopposed. So these people are being damned in a way.

Lemme give you guys a clue - your ego is supposed to be there! It will be there for your entire life. It's a part of you that simple 'letting go" cannot stop. You're not advanced enough to "shut it off", nor should you try;it's a waste of your valuable time. :D

Trust me, your ego is the last thing you wanna worry about.
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Postby MrPeabody » Fri Aug 08, 2014 6:11 pm

I am actually rereading the "Power of Now". I don't know about his sincerity, but he wrote a damn good book. I have read a lot of Eastern Philosophy including Buddhism and he puts the basic principles in about as simple and direct language as you can get it. As for his transformation, there are plenty of stories of spontaneous awakenings without anyone previously using a technique. So it is possible. I also am not impressed by the New Age movement, but don't know if he labels himself as such.
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Re: The Power of Now: Eckhart Tolle best selling spiritual b

Postby Winston » Fri May 27, 2016 2:54 pm

CJ,
Tolle's story is not BS. I had a similar awakening experience as he did, in my teenage years. So I can attest that what he described is possible. I've experienced total bliss for a few days too, as if I found enlightenment. I thought it was a Christian experience at the time though, since that was the only religion I knew about at the time.

Mr Peabody, well New Age is a broad umbrella term. It contains good teachings as well as BS stuff. It's up to you to pick the wheat from the chaff. No "umbrella field" is all good or all bad, or all true or all false. Religion and New Age are both a mix of truth and lies, good teachings and bad teachings. 100 percent truth doesn't sell because it's too gloomy. 100 percent lies doesn't sell either, because it's too fake and bogus to be believed. To sell something well, you gotta mix truth and lies.

This book "The Power of Now" does have a lot of wisdom and good spiritual advice in it, even if it doesn't contain the solution to every problem or even if it's sometimes naive and unrealistic.

Btw, the great pessimistic German philosopher, Arthur Schopenhauer, also wrote about how most people never enjoy the present moment, or "the now" as Eckhart Tolle popularized in "The Power of Now". So this isn't a new concept. Eastern religions teach it as well. Schopenhauer wrote:

"We look upon the present as something to be put up with while it lasts, and serving only as the way towards our goal. Hence most people, if they glance back when they come to the end of life, will find that all along they have been living ad interim: they will be surprised to find that the very thing they disregarded and let slip by unenjoyed, was just the life in the expectation of which they passed all their time."
- Arthur Schopenhauer, "The Wisdom of Life"
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Re: The Power of Now - Eckhart Tolle, best seller spiritual

Postby Winston » Tue Jul 12, 2016 12:03 pm

A new documentary about Eckhart Tolle called "Enjoying Every Moment". Is that possible, to enjoy every moment of life?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0KNefVPDbsQ[/youtube]
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Re: The Power of Now - Eckhart Tolle, best seller spiritual

Postby books » Wed Jul 13, 2016 12:56 pm

Eckhart Tolle is well known for being a bullshit guru.

He uses beautiful artistic buzzwords chosen to sound very nice, but he is empty of actionable content.

He's just poetry that sounds good bullshit
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Re: The Power of Now - Eckhart Tolle, best seller spiritual

Postby Winston » Wed Jul 13, 2016 7:19 pm

books wrote:Eckhart Tolle is well known for being a bullshit guru.

He uses beautiful artistic buzzwords chosen to sound very nice, but he is empty of actionable content.

He's just poetry that sounds good bullshit


But he practices what he preaches. If you listen to his lectures you can tell he is very calm and detached and has a zen like state of mind. You may not be able to achieve it, but it doesnt mean he is dishonest or a fake. His books have helped a lot of people and do contain great spiritual truths and insights. It contains good advice and is a bestseller a reason. But its not gonna solve all your problems of course. Like buddhism, it is good for coping with stress and pain. But not for finding meaning or getting what you want and need.

You gotta admire and respect tolle though. Not many people can sit on a bench with no money or goals and just be content in a state of pure absolute bliss that cannot be added to or subtracted from. Now that is truly divine.

Have you read "The Power of Now" from beginning to end? If not, youre not qualified to judge. I wouldnt recommend the book in this thread if it didnt have some value and benefit.
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Re: The Power of Now - Eckhart Tolle, best seller spiritual

Postby Adama » Wed Jul 13, 2016 9:51 pm

Winston wrote:One of my favorite spiritual gurus is Eckhart Tolle, author of the best selling book "The Power of Now" which you can now find in any local bookstore. I consider it to be the best guide to enlightenment ever written. It's so simple, profound and articulate, yet totally truthful without any opinions or religions.

In the introduction of "The Power of Now" he describes that after an excruciating spiritual transformation, he decided to let go of his egoic self as he realized it was an illusion. The next morning, he woke up in a state of complete inner joy, bliss and peace. Nothing he could do or get could add to it. He sat on the park bench for two years with no job, no money, no relationships, and no socially defined identity, yet he was in a state of pure joy and ecstasy.

Soon he attracted people around him who were wondering what he had, and they knew he had something. They helped him by feeding him, clothing him, housing him, and giving him what he needed, in exchange for his spiritual teachings. The universe was helping him out, as he was following his destiny and calling.

After a few years, his students suggested that he put together a book of his teachings, and that's how the book "The Power of Now" came to be. His book has sold millions of copies all around the world.

I have seen his teachings on video, and he talks in a very selfless and egoless tone, much like Kwai Chang Kane did in the "Kung Fu" TV series with David Carradine.

Here it is in his own words from the introduction of his book. I copied and pasted it below from a PDF version of his book.

The Power of Now


That's a cute little story. In reality he's probably deceived and demon possessed, just like most every other cult leader. That's where he got his doctrine from.
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