Favourite quotations from The Power of Now

Here are some of my favourite quotes from The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle.

  • The beginning of freedom is the realization that you are not the possessing entity – the thinker. Knowing this enables you to observe the thinker/entity. The moment you start watching the thinker, a higher level of consciousness is activated.  You then begin to realise that there is a vast realm of intelligence beyond thought, that thought is only a tiny aspect of that intelligence. You also realise that all the things that truly matter >> beauty, love, creativity, joy, inner peace > arise from beyond the mind. You begin to awaken.
  • The voice belongs to your conditioned mind, which is the result of all your past history as well as of the collective cultural mindset you inherited. So you see and judge the present through the eyes of the past and get a totally distorted view of it.
  • Start listening to the voice in your head as often as you can >> pay particular attention to any repetitive thought patterns. You’ll soon realise: “there is the voice and here I AM listening, watching it”. This I AM realisation, this sense of your own presence, is not just a thought; it arises from beyond the mind. So when you listen to a thought, you are aware, not only of the thought but also of yourself as the witness to the thought. A new dimension of consciousness has come in – as you listen to the thought, you feel a conscious presence – your deeper self – behind or underneath the thought.
  • The thought then loses its power over you and quickly subsides, because you are no longer energizing the mind through identification with it. This is the beginning of the end of involuntary and compulsive thinking.
  • When a thought subsides, you experience a discontinuity in the mental stream – a gap of “no mind”. At first, the gaps will be short but gradually they become longer. When these gaps occur, you feel a certain stillness and peace inside you.
  • This is the beginning of your natural state of felt oneness with Being, which is usually obscured by the mind. With practise, the sense of stillness and peace will deepen, you will also feel a subtle emanation of joy arising from deep within, the joy of Being.
  • Instead of watching the thinker, you can also create a gap in the mind stream simply by directing the focus of your attention into the NOW. Just become intensely conscious of the present moment. In this way, you draw consciousness away from mind activity and create a gap of no mind in which you are highly alert and aware, but not thinking.
  • In your everyday life you can practise this by taking any routine activity that normally is only a means to an end and giving it your fullest attention. so that it becomes an end in itself. Be totally present and pay attention to all the sense perceptions associated with the activity.
  • You can allow an emotion to be there without being controlled by it – you are no longer the emotion – you are the watcher, the observing presence.
  • Don’t analyse, just watch. Focus your attention within. Feel the energy of the emotion or your inner energy field.
  • The pain that you create is always some form of non-acceptance, some form of unconscious resistance to what IS. On the level of thought, the resistance is some form of judgement. On the emotional level, it is some form of negativity. The intensity of the pain depends on the degree of resistance to the present moment, and this depends on how strongly you are identified with your mind.
  • The more you are able to honour and accept the NOW, the more you are free from pain. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life. Always say YES to the present moment.
  • Watch out for any signs of unhappiness in yourself, in whatever form – irritation, impatience, anger, rage, depression – catch it the moment it awakens. The pain body will feed on any experience that resonates with its own kind of energy, anything that creates further pain. If you don’t bring the light of your consciousness into the pain, you will be forced to relive it. The moment you observe the pain body – feel its energy field within you and take your attention to it – the identification is broken. You are now the watcher, you have found your own innermost strength. You have accessed the power of NOW.
  • Focus attention on the feeling inside you, know that it is the pain body. Accept that it is there. Don’t THINK about it. Don’t judge or analyse. Stay present and continue to be the observer of what is happening inside you. Become aware not only of the emotional pain but also of “the one who observes”.
  • Observe the resistance within yourself, observe the attachment to your pain. Be very alert. Observe the peculiar pleasure you derive from being unhappy. Observe the compulsion to talk or think about it. The resistance will cease if you make it conscious.
  • Psychological fear is always something that MIGHT happen, not of something that is happening NOW.
  • YOU are in the here & now while your mind is in the future >> this creates an anxiety gap.
  • The most common ego identifications have to do with possessions, the work you do, social status and recognition, knowledge and education, physical appearance, special abilities, relationships, personal and family history & belief systems. None of this is you.
  • To be identified with your mind is to be trapped in time; the compulsion to live almost exclusively through memory and anticipation.
  • It is the quality of your consciousness at this moment that determines your future. Your degree of presence determines the quality of your unconsciousness.  The only place where true change can occur and where the past can be dissolved is the NOW.
  • Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry – all forms of fear – are caused by too much future, and not enough presence.
  • Guilt, regret, resentment, sadness, bitterness are caused by too much past and not enough presence.
  • Ultimately this is not about solving your problems. Its about realising that there are no problems. Only situations >> to be dealt with now, or to be left alone and accepted as part of the is-ness of the present moment until they change or can be dealt with.
  • Focus your attention in the NOW and tell me what problem you have at this moment. A situation that needs to be either dealt with or accepted – YES. Why make it into a problem? Why make anything a problem?
  • Is there joy, ease and lightness in what I am doing? If there is no joy, ease or lightness in what you are doing, it does not necessarily mean that you need to change WHAT you’re doing. “HOW” is always more important than “WHAT”
  • Identification with your mind creates an opaque screen of concepts, labels, judgements, images, words and definitions that block true relationships.
  • Do not be concerned with the fruit of your action, just give attention to the action itself.
  • Become aware of your breathing. All that you ever have to deal with, cope with, in real life – as opposed to imaginary mind projections – is this moment.
  • Give attention to the present, give attention to your behaviour your reactions, moods, thoughts, emotions, fears & desires as they occur in the present. If you can be present enough to watch all those things, not critically or analytically but non-judgementally, then you are dealing with the past and dissolving it through the power of your presence. You cannot find yourself by going into the past, you find yourself by coming into the present.
  • Direct your attention into the body. Feel it from within. Is it alive? Is there life in your hands, arms, legs & feet – in your abdomen, your chest? Can you feel the subtle energy field that pervades the entire body & gives vibrant life to every organ and cell. Can you feel it simultaneously in all parts of your body as a single energy field? Keep focusing on your inner body. Feel it.
  • As you go about your life – don’t give 100% attention to the outside world, keep some within. Feel the inner body.