Staying Present in Mind and Body
A book review of Ekhart Tolle’s – ‘The Power of Now’
What did we think of the book that essentially claims you needn’t worry about anything and you don’t have any real problems? Pretty bold statement to make in fact, and not one I can see many people relating to. However, having been recommended this book we decided to see what all the fuss was about anyway.
Ekhart is a German spiritual teacher, recognized for his well-known books and philosophical life quotes. He touches significantly on the idea of the ‘you’ and the ‘self’ expressing his interest at the separate identities we give ourselves, our friends, family, peers and pets etc and encouraging the reader to go within and speak with the true self. The book is hard to understand at first glance but as you go through the seemingly nonsensical sentences start to have meaning, and in fact you actually don’t and shouldn’t read too much into these theories at all, since it turns out they’re probably much simpler than you originally thought. It’s one of those books that could be seen as talking in riddles and genuinely (as Ekhart says) will only make its way to you and be understood when you are truly ready. Sometimes we have this concept that ground-breaking stuff needs be earth-shatteringly complex and profound, when sometimes all we need to do is look at things much, much more simply in fact.
Ekhart speaks a lot about the ego in ways that most people haven’t been exposed to before and his thought-provoking theories definitely have some weight to them. You could be forgiven for reading it with doubt yet expected to read it with questions for this book sparks many questions as you read it and if not all, almost all the answers are provided as you read on.
One of the more poignant parts of the book is where he encourages you to look at your personal pain body, which in simpler terms is how your past experiences shape your emotions and in turn can be assigned to your character and how you present yourself to the world. It’s surprising how we all hang onto some degree of pain and it’s almost to be expected through family dynamic, societal pressures and circumstance, however in this book you’re encouraged to out a different spin on making that pain body your story. With the main theme of the book about remaining conscience, living in the moment is easier said than done but Ekhart describes beautifully why it’s important as opposed to those somewhat throwaway mantras’ like ‘live in the moment’ which we understand but don’t necessarily think about in any relative detail. “Wherever you are, be there totally. If you find your here and now intolerable and it makes you unhappy, you have three options: remove yourself from the situation, change it, or accept it totally.” There is a lot of grace and liberation in acceptance which again, sounds an incredibly easy theory to grasp, because it is. Yet put into practise is a whole other ball game.
We would encourage everyone to give this book a try and see if you gain anything from the teachings within. Even if it’s not new information to you it’s always good to reinforce positive beliefs as they can slip and alter which is totally normal. It’s also a great investment because it’s one of those books which you can revisit, to read again or just to delve into at random when you feel in need of a bit of guidance or reassurance.
The book was originally published in 1997 in Vancouver and has been listed on the New York Times bestseller list for years selling millions of copies. Many stars have openly expressed their love for this book, we hope you enjoy it too.
Photo by Sincerely Media