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4.4 out of 5 stars
The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on July 13, 2004
The review titled "Be wary of the Master..." reveals more about its writer than about Tolle. It is ultimately unimportant to me what kind of person Eckhart Tolle is. His work speaks for itself.
"The Power of Now" is the most brilliant explanation of consciousness and existence I have read to date. It is stated so simply and eloquently, and effectively, that, if you settle down in a quiet space before you open the book, resist the temptation to use your intellect (to rationalize, compare and contrast), and just take in what is underlying his words, you may partake of the richest experience and deepest insightful 'aha's' you've ever gotten from a piece of writing.
And do get the book: put off getting the CD or tape until you've experienced the entire book in a quiet space. You shouldn't be multi-tasking when you read or hear his words, otherwise you will shortchange your experience. Lastly, do observe his pauses. They're placed where they are for good reason. This is the moment where you let the sense of what you've read sink in more deeply.
Then you may finally 'get' how to be present, to experience the vast and powerful "being" that underlies all our busy thoughts, awaiting our conscious awareness. And then, just maybe, we can heal this world.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 11, 2012
Simply a masterpiece. If you are lucky enough to be fully opened while reading these words, glimpses of the truth the words carry are often experienced. Basically tells you the importance of living in the present moment, and why it is so hard to be present in every moment. A true gift.
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55 of 65 people found the following review helpful
on July 15, 2004
Tolle's book is an important one... a much needed reminder that is too easy to forget. All too often people can pass entire lifetimes 'missing the moment.' One can, like the worst type of junkie, become so comfortable with-and so used to-anxiety, worry, and procrastination that to simply experience tranquility in the present becomes an impossibility. For such people, the simple and inspirational teachings that The Power of Now details can incite a revolution in one's experience of being alive. That being said, though, this book possesses flaws and confusions that must be sifted through using a keen sense of criticism (yes, this too, is an important faculty of the healthy human being).
First of all, becoming present is a practice-not a realization. I'm not sure Tolle makes this clear. Like any 'new thing' the appreciation of the present moment can seem novel and exciting but if one doesn't make it a practice and use discipline to habitualize the practice, then one will have merely another gimmick, a spiritual toy to play with for a while and then put aside. The reason why all the schools of enlightenment require masters and students and instills its practitioners with discipline and a set of methods is because nothing in life comes all at once but must be cultivated with care over a period of time. Because of this truth, I genuinely doubt Tolle's claim that after his midnight awakening he was-all-at-once-transformed, never to require further training or practice. The experience he describes at the beginning of the book might just as well be labeled a psychotic break as a religious experience. Either way, the genuine appreciation of the moment can neither be totally 'on' nor totally 'off.' It is a variable experience that can be developed but will always remain part of the organic experience of being alive. Be wary of those who seem to show no anger, no sadness, no flaw... such people are usually very good actors and nothing more. Spend time with such people, in different types of contexts, to reveal the true human being. No unidimensional personality can exist in reality. We are always part of our context and environment and no matter our training or character can be expected to occasionally fall short of others' expectations.
A guide to enlightenment, then, should teach us that enlightenment is neither a great distance away nor too near. It is thoughtful experience revealed through action and word. I have seen car mechanics who are enlightened beings when they work on cars but atrocious when with their families. I have met novelists who convey all the wisdom in the world through a pen but seem haughty and fractured in normal human conversation. And I have met spiritual 'masters' who secretly creep away to have sex for the sixth time in a day or to check their stocks on the internet. Enlightenment is a myth, and some people treat it like a commodity to purchase or sell. To live well requires the experience of the present-often-but not all the time and in all situations.
Joseph Campbell once expressed the opinion that the type of enlightenment we have become familiar with is unique to a conception of self that was once fairly common in Asia. The type of self most moderns live by, especially we very 'special' Westerners with our love for 'Individuality' and 'Self-Expression,' excludes the possibility of such an experience. Perhaps it is time, then, we drop this idea and redefine what enlightenment should mean now-and to people like us.
Use this book as a pointer and compass, not as a map. The Buddha said it best, Be Lamps Unto Yourselves. I would add-and don't hide from the dark when it comes.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 19, 2011
This is seriously one of the most profound and life-changing books I have ever read. I have recently been studying Buddhism, Zen to be more specific. There is much in common between the concepts in this book, and Buddhism... especially Zen. What this book does though, is take concepts from Zen, from phycology, from Taoism, from Catholicism, along with many new ideas and concepts, and re-presents it to us in a masively profound and powerful package, one that is easier to understand than the traditional sources I mentioned. This book is greater than the sum of it's parts in that regard... in the sense that it has been interpreted and presented in such a comprehensive way. Eckhart does away with fuzzy magic-speak, and new-age BS, and uses language that is easy to understand. You can tell that he knows what he's talking about, because it really comes across that he didn't write it, that is to say his EGO didn't write it. Some authors want to show off, make a name for themselves, impress people, make money, etc. -- but it seemed to me that Eckhart genuinely just wanted to share his insight with us, and that's it. He really reminds me of a modern Alan Watts. In any event, I highly recommend to all!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 7, 2003
I read a review that said a lot of readers hate this book. Hate seems a little strong. Who hates it? Minds hate the idea of being called a tool. If you read Power of Now with your mind, you probably won't finish it. If you do as Eckert says and not get hung up on the words, they will pass right through your mind and kindle your spirit.
The downside of the book is that it removes all excuses - now that we know, we must act. I believe that this book may usher in the "New Age" - it could be the catalyst that gives humanity the strength to raise it's consciousness. Groups may form, energy will concentrate, others will be attracted. Many spiritual teachers speak of a planetary transformation during the generation beginning in the eighties. It would indeed be a transformation if we all lived in the Now. No more madness.
This is the 261st review. I seriously doubt that many people read all the reviews. But if you get this far and still haven't decided, put another vote on the "read it" side. Savor it. Languish over it. Let it wash over you like a warm bath. Now that I think of it, get the tapes and listen to his voice. The sounds make the words vibrate, and are more likely to pass through your brain. I was going to say "read it, you won't be disappointed", but I can't since apparently many have been. It's one of those "love" "hate" things - not much neutral.
Give it a shot - what have you got to lose. Just some of your mind, that's all.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 5, 2002
Eckhart Tolle's book is an insightful resource for living in the moment. I especially found the chapter "You are not your mind,"
inspiring. Just by reading the possibility that I am separate from the constant positive or negative thoughts I have about myself, others or situations, I felt a sense of freedom. I am able to distingish myself from my thoughts and live my life in a sincere and authentic way. Not as a result of my mind's concept but as a direct expression of whom I am. The idea that Tolle presents of how living in the present moment I am able to discover that I am complete and perfect is also truly remarkable.
Another inspiring book about living a meaningful life is called "Working on Yourself Doesn't Work," written by Ariel & Shya Kane. Enlightenment is no longer an elusive state for a chosen few, but has become a realty for many people through insightful and practical guide books such as "The Power of Now" and "Working on Yourself Doesn't Work." I highly recommend both of these books.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 29, 2002
I have listened to each of the five cassettes atleast 40 times. This is timeless and to say that I highly recommend this teaching to the entire human race is an understatement. I listen to the tapes while doing yard work -I've got a lot done and enjoyed every bit of it. The world will simply be a better place if human beings stopped trying to "make a better future by creating a present hell." As Eckhardt puts it: "Have you ever done anything outside of the now? Do you think you ever will?" He also states the "you are not your mind." How much of your day do you spend dwelling on the past and anticipating the future and totally neglect the here and now? This is a wake up call for the human race. He sites many of the greatest spiritual teachings to make his point, The Bible, The Bhagivad Ghita, The Koran, Hinduism, Karma Yoga and more. This stuff is not new and all the spiritual texts cited point to the same spiritual teaching, the one that underlies all religions, the one that we are all a part of.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 13, 2012
I have read many books on spirituality, Buddhism and meditation. The Power of Now has given me the most in the least amount of words. Eckart Tolle cuts through the fluff and gives you the barebone practical way of living your life awakened. He has, in a very short amount of time, stricken out years of anxiety, self-doubt and stress from my life.

A must buy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 18, 2008
After reading this book, only one clean idea emerges: The idea of the power of now is great. Living in the now and not worrying so much about the past and future is very uplifting and has helped me. When you live in the now, your life is more joyful.

However, I frequently found that Tolle talks over my head, using language such as "pain body" He does explain these words, but the explanations can be hard to follow at times.

Furthermore, the question and answer format Tolle uses is distracting. Sometimes the questions he poses are good and follow what he has been saying, but others the questions seem to come from inside his head and the answers make even less sense then the questions.

I would recommend borrowing this book from the library before you decide to purchase it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 18, 2008
I read this book a few years ago and it helped me discover joy in even the smallest nuances of life. In simple enough language, Tolle takes the reader on a journey of introspection and forces the reader to become aware of the reader's own displeasure and distaste with whatever ails them. This self-awareness is the first step of self-improvement and sets the stage for real improvement by changing our core thinking about the relatively negative situations and emotions in our lives. Tolle talks about realizing the duality of good and bad before talking about the need to move away from thinking of things under that duality umbrella in order to accept things as they are - a powerful technique for dealing with unfamiliar or unpleasant circumstances.
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