Book Review: The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Echkart Tolle

Book Review: The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Echkart Tolle
March 15, 2012 Leslie Juvin-Acker

During the last eight years of dedicating my life to spiritual studies and personal development, I have read a lot of material by a variety of teachers, philosophers, monks, and inspirational individuals on a variety of theories, philosophies, religions, and ideologies. One of my most important realizations on my journey was the power of living in the present moment. It was so important and meaningful to me that I had “Here Now” in Sanskrit tattooed on my neck in 2007.

In all these years, I have never read anything by the best selling author and famous spiritual teacher Echkart Tolle, so when I got a copy of The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment, I decided to see what Tolle had to say when it comes the the Now.

The goal of The Power of Now is to help individuals who have gotten caught up in their own life’s dramas, stories, and identities and those living in the past and stressing about the future to come back to the present moment, where, according to Tolle, lies the opportunity of enlightenment. Enlightenment, Tolle says, is a term loosely used to mean an inner transformation and a new perspective of the world, ourselves, and our relationship with others as we create our present realities.

The Power of Now is set up in a question and answer format, based upon the typical questions Tolle has encountered during his work as a spiritual teacher and counselor.

The Power of Now goes over basic concepts in order to understand the true nature of reality and how we experience life.

1. We must understand our ‘ego self’ and make the differentiation between our true selves as the observer and witness and the mind which creates and manifests.

2. Humanity is not just a collection of individuals, but rather an interconnected network of beings who originate from a Great Unity, or Ultimate Source, which some would identify as God. This is key to understanding the illusion of our separateness and the aloneness we experience. By breaking down this illusion, Tolle says, we may become enlightened.

3. Time is a great illusion. The concepts of past and future fool us into believing that we are our stories and our history. Tolle gets us to understand that we are forever in the present moment, a place of infinite grace and opportunity to recreate ourselves anew.

4. Seeking fulfillment from external and material pleasures is fruitless and leads to suffering. Tolle gets readers to see that real fulfillment and enlightenment comes from an inner state of being and the present moment is the best place to begin the transformation.

From these main principles, Echkart Tolle gets readers to break free from their old paradigms with advice and techniques for systematically transforming our present ways of thinking, being, and perceptions. Tolle draws his knowledge and insight from traditional spiritual teachings, primarily from the tenets of Buddhism and the teachings of Jesus Christ.

For those who are not habituated by abstract spiritual concepts, this book challenges the imagination. For those who are well-versed in spiritual teachings and philosophies, The Power of Now makes a wonderful summary and collection of the overarching tenets of many spiritual teachings. It felt like a spiritual refresher and lead me into some clearer realizations of my own. For those who are not religious or spiritual, the basic concepts of stress and anxiety reduction and psychological health are beneficial when put into practice.

The Power of Now seeks to help readers make a lasting spiritual transformation in two complementary ways: 1) By knowledge 2) By practice. Tolle presents wisdom and insight and challenges readers to put them into practice in their own lives. When applied, readers can observe significant changes in their ways of being as promised by spiritual leaders of generations past.

No matter where a reader can be found on their spiritual journey, The Power of Now makes for a nice pitstop to recalibrate our inner alignments, clear the cobwebs and residue blocking our present view of reality, and give us the fuel we need to enjoy the ride that we call life.

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Hardcover: 208 pages
Publisher: New World Library; 1 edition (September 27, 1999)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1577311523
ISBN-13: 978-1577311522

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’][/author_image] [author_info]L.J. Acker is an American life and career coach based in Annecy, France. She offers free consultations and affordable international coaching by phone and Skype.  [/author_info] [/author]