- Paperback: 224 pages
- Publisher: New World Library; Reprint edition (Aug. 29 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1577314808
- ISBN-13: 978-1577314806
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.3 x 21.6 cm
- Shipping Weight: 340 g
- Average Customer Review: 647 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #153 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment Paperback – Aug 29 2004
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"The Power of Now is one of the best books to come along in years. Every sentence rings with truth and power."
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Eckhart seems like such a kind and genuine human being, and it was he that introduced my friends and I to presence and the joy of simply being.
One of my friends was pretty much obsessed with him for a while, and learned so much and passed a lot of it on to me. Eckhart Tolle changed my life for the better, no doubt about it.
If you like the teachings of Eckhart Tolle, another relatively modern spiritual teacher with a very similar message would be Ramana Maharshi. Check him out too.
The book, and I assume, Eckhart Tolle's teachings in general, are carefully presented to appeal to the widest possible audience, and that is a good thing. It is one of the very best books available on the subject of spiritual evolution.
Although extremely helpful, I do believe the author fails to mention some important thoughts which should be seriously considered by anyone seriously seeking God. I present these thoughts from the biased perspective as a disciple of Paramahansa Yogananda, founder of Self-Realization Fellowship and author of Autobiography of a Yogi. You can accept them or reject them--I have no intention to offend anyone--I can't prove that they are true, even though I may seem to present some of them as facts--they are merely my point of view, for consideration only, as a disciple of Yogananda. The thoughts are as follows:
1. A self-realized Guru is usually necessary for salvation. A spiritual teacher, such as Eckhart Tolle, is helpful in the beginning of one's spritual search, but in order to find God, one needs a Guru. The path to God is too difficult without one. A Guru guides a disciple and takes most of her/his karma. I do not believe Eckhart Tolle qualifies as a Guru, nor do I believe that he is fully self-realized, although he is getting close. Imagine taking on the karma of and guiding simultaneously millions of disciples: that is what Yogananda and other self-realized Gurus do.
2. Daily meditation is usually necessary for Self-Realization. It is true that one can attain full realization by following the wisdom path (using discrimination), which is the essence of what Eckhart Tolle teaches. Ramana Maharshi is probably the best-known example of this, who became fully realized through self-inquiry. However, most persons are incapable of this due to their karma; guru-guided daily meditation is the best method of self-realization for most people. Even Ramana Maharshi recommended meditation: when he was asked, "Can this path of inquiry be followed by all aspirants?" his answer was, "This is suitable only for the ripe souls. The rest should follow different methods according to the state of their minds." All of the practices Ramana Maharshi recommends are followed only with the object of concentrating the mind, and meditation is the easiest of these for most people.
3. Ego is "defined" by Eckhart Tolle as identification with the mind. Ego is also a product of identification with the body, especially the senses. When we are identified with the body and mind, we think we are the body and mind, hence atheism. The purpose of meditation is to still the mind AND the body, and to withdraw the life force from the senses into the spine and brain where God is experienced.
In spite of these omissions, The Power of Now serves as an excellent guide to overcoming ego consciousness and fully deserves its praises. It is one of my favorite spiritual books, along with Autobiography of a Yogi, You Can Heal Your Life, and the Conversations with God series. The Power of Now provides some very powerful insights which complement and clarify my Guru's teachings. It is easy on my path to get too focused on meditation as the only hope for salvation, even though Yogananda stresses the need for surrender, mentions the need to keep the mind quiet throughout the day by holding onto the peace following meditation, and mentions the importance of living in the Now. The Power of Now, by focusing on this last aspect, is an extremely valuable part of my spiritual library, but is not a comprehensive teaching and I would not want to depend upon its methods as my only means of salvation.
Yogananda teaches Raja Yoga, the royal yoga, which is a blend of all of the important spiritual disciplines, of which Kriya Yoga is the primary method of salvation. Kriya Yoga is an extremly powerful meditation technique for interiorizing the mind and uplifting the consciousness. Kriya Yoga + devotion = God Realization. Try it: it works! Practice the power of Now at the same time, and you'll be Home faster than you thought possible. Yogananda said that it is possible to realize God in one life: there is no doubt in my mind that he spoke the truth when he said that. God bless!
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