The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
Those who have not found their true wealth, which is the radiant joy of being and the deep, unshakable peace that comes with it, are beggars, even if they have great material wealth. They are looking outside for scraps of pleasure or fulfillment, for validation, security, or love, while they have a treasure within that not only includes all those things but is infinitely greater than anything the world can offer
The problem of humanity is deeply rooted in the mind itself. The mind is an incredibly useful tool, but we have become identified with it. The tool has taken over the master. We believe that the mind and it’s constant stream of thoughts is who we are, but we are much more than that. Through this book, Eckhart teaches us that enlightenment is attainable in the present moment. You can free yourself from the enslavement of your mind and live free of suffering, anxiety, and neurosis. This can be done by dis-identifying from your mind, living in the here and now, and accepting what is. This may all sound a little out there, but bear with me. First, we will talk about the mind and how to dis-identify from it and then we will get into the various ways to deepen your ability to be in the now.
*Note: before getting too wrapped up with the word enlightenment, Eckhart tells us not to think of enlightenment as some superhuman accomplishment that only the Buddha or Jesus can attain, but to think of it as your natural state – a feeling of oneness with being. Everyone is capable of attaining this state, not just the rare few.
The Power of Now Summary – You are not your mind
Have you ever noticed that your mind is constantly chatting away? That voice in our head speculates, complains, judges, compares, etc. We habitually think and worry about the future, and if we are not doing that, we are replaying past events in our minds. Our thoughts and our mental dialogues/monologues are compulsive – they have taken most of us over. And the insane thing is that we don’t even realize it – we are on autopilot! Most of us just go through life chatting to ourselves incessantly and letting our conditioned mind run our lives. So, the question is:
Can you be free of your mind when ever you want to? Have you found the off button?
Can you stop the stream of thoughts and just Be? If the answer is no, then you are unconsciously identified with the mind – it is using you and you probably don’t even realize it. There is much more to you than just that stream of thoughts. Start listening to the voice in your head as often as you can. Do you notice any repetitive thought patterns? Be there as the witnessing presence of your thoughts, and do so without judgement. Listen impartially.
Once you understand that you are not the thinker, you are able to watch the thinker more objectively. When you observe your thoughts, you will see that there is a higher level of consciousness at play here. Now, think about this: If you are observing your thoughts, can you be your thoughts? The answer is no… you’re actually beyond thought. This is the beginning of awakening.
When observing your thoughts, you will feel a deeper presence behind the thought. When that happens, the thought loses it’s power over you because you have dis-identified from the thought stream (the mind). Eventually, you will experience a gap between thoughts, known as “no-mind”. The gaps will be short at first, but they will get longer. It’s almost like the fog of the mind (constant stream of thoughts) has lifted for a moment and you get a real glimpse of the now, of being.
With practice, the sense of stillness and peace will deepen. In fact, there is no end to its depth. You will also feel a subtle emanation of joy arising from deep within: the joy of being.
Don’t be confused though, the “no-mind” gap is not some trance like state. It’s quite the opposite; you are more awake, more alert, and fully present during this state. Another way to get into the state of no-mind is to focus your attention in the now. Become intensely conscious of the moment you’re in. This draws your attention away from the mind and into the now – you are alert and aware, but you’re not thinking. It’s quite an interesting feeling. Try it now.
You can do this at anytime throughout the day. If you’re waiting in line or at a stop light, become intensely aware of the moment you’re in. Let go of thought and see things without the filter of your mind. Look at things without labeling or judging. You will eventually get a glimpse of “no-mind”.
The wider the time gap between perception and thought, the more depth there is to you as a human being, which is to say the more conscious you are.
Looking, in a state of intense alertness, at a flower, so that there is no mental commentary running at the same time.
So the single most vital step on your journey toward enlightenment is this: learn to dis-identify from your mind. Every time you create a gap in the stream of the mind, the light of your consciousness grows stronger.
One day you may catch yourself smiling at the voice in your head as you would smile at the antics of a child. This means that you no longer take the content of your mind all that seriously, as your sense of self does not depend on it.
The moment your attention turns to the now, you feel a presence, a stillness, a peace. You no longer depend on the future for fulfillment and satisfaction – you don’t look to it for salvation.
Yes, thinking and planning are often necessary in today’s world, but the fact is that 90% of our thinking is repetitive and useless. It’s often negative. Don’t take my word for it, listen to your mind and you will see the truth. The mind has become out of balance; our compulsive thinking an addiction. The only way out is to realize the truth – you are not your mind, you are not your thoughts. The mind is simply a tool to be used when necessary. You can still pursue goals, but you will realize that there is nothing in the future that will save you or make you happy.
What about my life’s purpose you might ask? Don’t we need to plan and focus on that? Tolle tells us that the only thing that is ultimately real about your journey is the step you are taking at this moment. You may have an outer purpose or outer goals, but they should not take up so much of your attention that they become more important than the step you are taking now. Your inner journey, the step you are taking right now, is what’s important.
A word on the ego
Since we have become so identified with our mind, we derive our sense of self from it.
As you grow up, you form a mental image of who you are, based on your personal and cultural conditioning. We may call this phantom self the ego. It consists of mind activity and can only be kept going through constant thinking.
The ego is only concerned about the past and future. It wants to keep the past alive because without the past, who are you? It tells the story of you and projects that past self onto the present moment. It looks to the past and projects itself into the future. It is not concerned with the present moment – it looks at the present moment as a means to an end. It says things like, “one day when I get this or I get that, I will be happy”. This is a fallacy. The ego tries to keep itself alive and always seeks fulfillment in the future.
The present moment holds the key to liberation. But you cannot find the present moment as long as you ARE your mind.
Ego identification comes from our possessions, social status, our work, physical appearance, knowledge, education, relationships, history, beliefs, and other things. None of these is you. Does that scare you? I personally find it to be a relief. All of these things will disappear sooner or later, so you have to be ready to let them go at anytime.
Ego is the unobserved mind that runs your life when you are not present as the witnessing consciousness, the watcher. The ego perceives itself as a separate fragment in a hostile universe, with no real inner connection to any other being, surrounded by other egos which it either sees as a potential threat or which it will attempt to use for its own ends. The basic ego patterns are designed to combat its own deep seated fear and sense of lack. They are resistance, control, power, greed, defense, attack.. Some of the ego’s strategies are extremely clever, yet they never truly solve any of its problems, simply because the ego itself is the problem.
Emotion – the body’s reaction to your mind
Emotion arises at the place where mind and body meet.
Emotions are a reflection of your mind in the body. The more identified you are with your thinking, the stronger your emotional energy charge will be. On the other hand, if you are cut off from your emotions they will eventually surface as a physical symptom. If you are simply unconscious of built up emotional patterns (like anger or resentment) it may express itself in some external event. So, it’s important that we are in touch with our emotions. If you have trouble in this area, focus your attention on the inner energy field within your body.
Just as you watch thoughts, you can watch emotions too. This can be challenging because it is very easy to get caught up in our emotions in the heat of the moment. Try and take a step back and watch your thoughts and emotions unfold. To get started, ask yourself, what’s going on inside me at this moment? Focus your attention within. By doing this, you’re bringing the light of consciousness into your body – you are breaking the cycle of unconscious reaction.
An emotion usually represents an amplified and energized thought pattern, and because of its often overpowering energetic charge, it is not easy initially to stay present enough to watch it. It wants to take you over, and it usually succeeds – unless there is enough presence in you. If you are pulled into unconscious identification with the emotion through lack of presence, which is normal, the emotion temporarily becomes you.
A note on positive emotions such as love and joy. Unlike emotions which have opposites, true love, joy, and peace lie beyond emotions on a much deeper level. They are deep states of being – they arise from beyond the mind. Don’t confuse pleasure, which is derived from something outside of you, with joy which arises from within you. As long as you are your mind, you are attached to desires, cravings, needs, and wants.
So, how do we move past this conundrum? Become present and fully accept what is. Accept the moment as it is. When you resist what is, you create pain for yourself. Between what is and what your expectation is, there is a gap, and that’s where resistance lies… On the flip side, the mind worries about what may happen in the future and this creates a gap as well – an anxiety gap. Remember, the mind is always trying to escape the now since it has no power here. It wants to live in the past and create a story for itself (ego) or it wants to look to the future toward some kind of fulfillment. As Tolle says, time and mind are inseparable. If you take away time, by focusing on the now, the mind falls to the background.
Observe how your mind labels, judges, and creates resistance to what is. Over time this will get easier to do and you will become somewhat objective to the mind’s thoughts and they won’t have such a firm grip over you. You can then allow the present moment to be – work with it and not against it. Accept it as it is and then act. No one is saying you have to accept a crappy situation and do nothing about it. Accept the moment as if you had chosen it and then do something about it if needed.
Let me summarize the process. 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 let the feeling turn into thinking. Don’t judge or analyze. Don’t make an identity for yourself out of it. 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 on who observes, the silent watcher. This is the power of the Now, the power of your own conscious presence. Then see what happens.
Additional tip: soften the ego – give up the need to be right in an argument. When you have dis-identified from your mind, being right or wrong won’t matter to your sense of self. You can still state how you feel, but you will do so in a non aggressive way.
The Power of Now Summary – We are all one
At the deepest level of being, you are one with all that is.
We feel a sense of fear and incompleteness because we have forgotten that we are a part of the whole. Your mind tries to cover it up in various ways, but the mind can never become the solution because it is part of the problem. You will never be free until you stop deriving your sense of self from your mind/ego. You and “other” is a complete illusion. The screen of thought labels, judges, defines, conceptualizes, and creates a state of apparent separateness.
True salvation is to know yourself as an inseparable part of the timeless and formless One Life from which all that exists derives being.
Underneath the level of physical appearances and separate forms, you are one with all that is
Even if you believe this statement to be true, you need to go beyond that and actually feel it to be true as well… that’s what this book masterfully guides us into doing.
The meaning of Being
What does Eckhart mean by “Being”?
Being is the eternal, ever-present One Life beyond the myriad forms of life that are subject to birth and death. However, Being is not only beyond but also deep within every form as its innermost invisible and indestructible essence. This means that it is accessible to you now as your own deepest self, your true nature. But don’t try to grasp it with your mind. Don’t try to understand it. You can know it only when the mind is still. When you are present, when your attention is fully and intensely in the Now, Being can be felt, but it can never be understood mentally. To regain awareness of Being and to abide in that state of “feeling-realization” is enlightenment.
Now is all there is
End the delusion of time – the mind needs the past and the future (memory and anticipation) to exist. It hides from the present. Observe how your mind habitually escapes to the past and the future. The moment you realize you’re not present, you become present. When you observe it, you’re not trapped in it anymore. Watch your reactions as well – Be the silent watcher.
Use clock time when necessary for practical matters, but only when necessary. Learn from your past mistakes, but don’t get wrapped up in the past. Basically, don’t dwell on the past.
The more you are focused on time – past and future – the more you miss the Now.
You can always handle the present moment. You can cope with the now. Problems arise when you start getting wrapped up in the “what ifs” and “I should have’s”. Ask yourself, what is missing in this moment? Nothing. Free yourself from the past and the future. You cannot cope with the future because it is a mind projection, it’s not real!
The present moment is all we ever really have. Think about that for a moment. Is there ever any other time except the moment you’re in? No. Even when you think of the past and the future, you’re doing it in the now. If the present moment is all we ever have, shouldn’t we be fully present in the moment we are in? We should make that the focus of our daily lives. You can go back to the past or plan for the future when you need to, but your primary focus should be on the now. Ask yourself, if not now, when?
Have you ever experienced, done, thought, or felt anything outside of the now? Do you think you ever will? Is it possible for anything to happen or be outside the Now? The answer is obvious, is it not?
Nothing ever happened in the past and nothing will ever happen in the future – it happens in the Now. A memory is just a trace from a former now that you are recalling in the now. Do you have any problems in the present moment? Not tomorrow or in 30 minutes, but right now.
Use your senses fully. Be where you are. Look around. Just look, don’t interpret. See the light, shapes, colors, textures. Be aware of the silent presence of each thing. Be aware of the space that allows everything to be.
If you set yourself a goal and work toward it, you are using clock time. You are aware of where you want to go, but you honor and give your fullest attention to the step that you are taking at this moment.
Usually the future is a replica of the past. Superficial changes are possible, but real transformation is rare and depends upon whether you can become present enough to dissolve the past by accessing the power of now. What you perceive as future is an intrinsic part of your state of consciousness now. If your mind carries a heavy burden of past, you will experience more of the same. The past perpetuates itself through lack of presence. The quality of your consciousness at this moment is what shapes the future – which, of course, can only be experienced in the now.
How does your mind operate? Are you always trying to get somewhere other than where you are? Are your actions a means to an end?
Is fulfillment always just around the corner or confined to short lived pleasures, such as sex, food, drink, drugs, or thrills and excitement? Are you always focused on becoming, achieving, and attaining?… Do you believe that if you acquire more things you will become more fulfilled, good enough, or psychologically complete?
Only the present can free you from the past.
All problems are illusions of the mind
There are no problems. Only situations – to be dealt with now, or to be left alone and accepted as part of the isness of the present moment until they change or can be dealt with.
As soon as you honor the present moment, all unhappiness and struggle dissolve, and life begins to flow with joy and ease.
Ask yourself if you’re at ease in this moment. Observe your state through self-observation. Ask yourself what’s going on inside me at this moment? Direct your attention inward. What kind of thoughts is your mind producing? What do you feel? If you feel any resistance, ask yourself how you’re denying the now. Are you carrying any resentment toward anyone? When you resent someone, you’re creating that negative energy and contaminating yourself and those around you. Let it go. Even if your thoughts and emotions are justified, it makes no difference. You are resisting what is.
So, how do you move past it? Either stop, speak to the person and express how you feel, or just let it go – drop the negativity your mind has created around the situation. It serves no purpose except to strengthen the ego. Acceptance of the emotion combined with your presence is the key.
You do have a choice, would you choose suffering or joy, ease or unease, peace or conflict?
When you accept your resentment, moodiness, anger, and so on, you are no longer forced to act them out blindly, and you are less likely to project them onto others.
If you get the inside right, the outside will fall into place. Primary reality is within, secondary reality without.
See if you can catch yourself complaining (speech or thought). When you are complaining, you are not accepting what is. You make yourself into a victim. You have to make a choice – either remove yourself from the situation, change it, or accept it completely. No excuses and no negativity. If action is required, drop the negativity and take action.
Is fear preventing you from taking action? Acknowledge the fear, watch it, take your attention into it, be fully present with it. Doing so cuts the link between the fear and your thinking. Don’t let the fear rise up into your mind. Use the power of the Now. Fear cannot prevail against it.
If there is truly nothing you can do to change your here and now, and you can’t remove yourself from the situation, then accept your here and now totally by dropping all inner resistance. The false, unhappy self that loves feeling miserable, resentful, or sorry for itself can no longer survive. This is called surrender. Surrender is not weakness.
Are you stressed? Are you so busy getting to the future that the present is reduced to a means of getting there? Stress is caused by being here but wanting to be there, or being in the present but wanting to be in the future.
The inner body
Underneath your outer form, you are connected with something so vast, so immeasurable and sacred, that it cannot be conceived or spoken of.
Our bodies wither and fade away. This ephemeral form is not “you”. Your body is more like an outer shell, or as Tolle says, it’s a distorted perception of a deeper reality. But, your body can be used as a point of access into the realm of being. Feel your invisible inner body – feel the body from within. Take the focus of your attention away from thinking and direct it into the body. Does it feel alive? Can you feel that subtle energy from within? Explore that. Feel it deeply. Do not think about it, feel it. Pay attention to whatever you can feel. Transformation is through the body, not away from it.
The inner body is timeless, the physical body withers and dies. You will feel the same energy within whether you are 20 or 80 years old. Try and feel your inner body at all times – focus on the inner energy field of your body. Keep the connection open during your daily activities. When you keep your attention in your body, you will be anchored in the now.
Feel your whole body from within, as a single field of energy. It is almost as if you were listening or reading with your whole body. Let this be your practice in the days and weeks to come.
It is easy to stay present as the observer of your mind when you are deeply rooted within your body. No matter what happens on the outside, nothing can shake you anymore.
When challenges come… focus as much as you can on the inner energy field of your body… you need to do it the moment that the challenge presents itself. Any delay will allow a conditioned mental-emotional reaction to arise and take you over. When you focus within and feel the inner body, you immediately become still and present as you are withdrawing from the mind. If a response is required in that situation, it will come up from this deeper level… there is infinitely more intelligence in Being than in your mind.
Before you enter the body, forgive. Check to see if you’re holding on to any blame, self pity, or resentment.
Forgiveness is to offer no resistance to life – to allow life to live through you. The alternatives are pain and suffering, a greatly restricted flow of life energy, and in many cases physical disease.
Don’t think about your emotions. Observe the emotion, feel it fully, acknowledge and accept it as it is. The emotion, whatever it is, should be felt and then you move past it. You don’t need to dwell on it. Emotions are like momentary ripples on the ocean. Your Being is the ocean.
You are that ocean and, of course, you are also that ripple, but a ripple that has realized its true identity as the ocean, and compared to that vastness and depth, the world of waves and ripples is not all that important.
Change your state from being out of the body and trapped in the mind to being in the body and present in the now. Try this exercise: flood your body with consciousness – focus your attention on different parts of your body. Feel the energy in your feet, legs, abdomen, chest, arms, etc. as intensely as you can. Do each part for several seconds and then move to another area. Once you’ve done all parts, try and feel the whole inner body as one energy field. Focus on the feeling and become one with it. Feel the stillness deep inside.
As you go about your life, don’t give 100% of your attention to the external world and to your mind. Keep some within.
Silence is an even more potent carrier of presence… Listening to silence immediately creates stillness inside of you.
Pay more attention to the silence than the sounds. Paying attention to outer silence creates inner silence: the mind becomes still. A portal is opening up.
Every sound is born out of silence, dies back into silence, and during its life span is surrounded by silence. Silence enables the sound to be.
The same is true of space. Empty space enables everything else to be. Even deeper, the solidity of matter is an illusion. Even the body, which seems solid, is nearly 100% empty space. Become aware of all the space that is around you.
What is left is more like vibrational frequency than particles of solid matter.
Everyone pays attention to the things in space, but who pays attention to the space itself?
Nothing – space – is the appearance of the unmanifested as an externalized phenomenon in a sense perceived world.
By becoming aware of the empty space around you, you simultaneously become aware of the space of no-mind, of pure consciousness: the unmanifested.
If you remain in conscious connection with the unmanifested, you value, love, and deeply respect the manifested and every life form in it as an expression of the One Life beyond form. You also know that every form is destined to dissolve again and that ultimately nothing out here matters all that much. You have overcome the world, in the words of Jesus, or, as the Buddha put it, you have crossed over to the other shore.
The moment that judgment stops through acceptance of what is, you are free of the mind. You have made room for love, for joy, for peace.
First, stop judging yourself, and second, stop judging your partner. Completely accept your partner as he or she is.
What is God? The eternal One Life underneath all the forms of life. What is love? To feel the presence of that One Life deep within yourself and within all creatures. To be it. Therefore, all love is the love of God.
Every time there is a crisis (the relationship is not working), use it as an opportunity. Accept it, acknowledge it, and don’t try to escape it. If you’re angry, know that there is anger. When you create this knowing, you’re bringing your unconscious behavior into the light. It cannot last long in the light.
If you observe unconscious behavior in your partner, hold it in the loving embrace of your knowing so that you won’t react.
If you react at all to your partner’s unconsciousness, you become unconscious yourself. But if you then remember to know your reaction, nothing is lost.
Never mind if your partner will not cooperate. Consciousness can only come into this world through you.
When your partner behaves unconsciously, relinquish all judgment.
Be the knowing rather than being the reaction and the judge. This allows for a clear space for the other person to be as they are. You cannot transform someone else – all you can do is create a space for that transformation to happen. Listen to your partner in an open and non-defensive way. Be present and give them space to express themselves.
When you give space for the emotions to be, when you offer non judgment and no resistance, you’re allowing the pain and transmuting it at the same time. The knowing creates this. Don’t fight your emotions, just become aware of them, let them be, don’t judge them.. and through that you create a space of knowing. Instead of letting the emotions become you, you become the watcher and the knower.
Any emotion that you take your presence into will quickly subside and become transmuted.
Let go of the past, let go of the pain body (the pain that has become “you”). It is the living past inside of you and if you identify with it, you identify with the past.
A victim identity is the belief that the past is more powerful than the present, which is the opposite of truth. It is the belief that other people and what they did to you are responsible for who you are now, for your emotional pain or your instability to be your true self. The truth is that the only power there is, is contained within this moment: It is the power of your presence. Once you know that, you also realize that you are responsible for your inner space now – nobody else is – and that the past cannot prevail against the power of Now.
All you really need to do is accept this moment fully. You are then at ease in the here and now and at ease with yourself.
Beyond happiness and unhappiness there is peace
Happiness depends on conditions being perceived as positive; inner peace does not.
Our perceptions of what is positive and what is negative are just that, perceptions. Many times what we view as a negative event turn out to be our greatest lessons in life.
Seen from a higher perspective, conditions are always positive. To be more precise: they are neither positive nor negative.
If someone you know gets sick and dies, there will be sadness and tears, but there can also be peace. Allow the moment to be as it is – forgiveness of the present. Forgiveness is recognizing the unsubstantiality of the past and allowing the present moment to be as it is. If you have to get out of a situation, then do so, but in the meantime, accept what is.
Most people are in love with their particular life drama. Their story is their identity. The ego runs their life.
When you live in complete acceptance of what is, that is the end of all drama in your life. Nobody can even have an argument with you , no matter how hard he or she tries… an argument implies identification with your mind and a mental position, as well as resistance and reaction to the other person’s position.
You can still make your point clearly and firmly, but there will be no reactive force behind it, no defense or attack. So it won’t turn into drama.
You won’t view things as bad anymore – it just is. You allow the isness of all things. From a higher perspective, there is an unchanging deep stillness – a joy beyond good and bad. Reflect on the impermanence of all things – all conditions are highly unstable. Still try and enjoy the pleasant and beautiful things in life, just don’t try to make an identity out of them.
As long as a condition is judged as good by your mind, whether it be a relationship, a possession, a social role, a place, or your physical body, the mind attaches itself to it and identifies with it. It makes you happy, makes you feel good about yourself, and it may become part of who you are or think you are. But nothing lasts in this dimension where moth and rust consume. Either it ends or it changes, or it may undergo a polarity shift: the same condition that was good yesterday or last year has suddenly or gradually turned into bad.
Instead of identifying with your external self, connect with the inner body, the timeless and formless life within.
Your happiness and unhappiness are in fact one. Only the illusion of time separates them.
The more you seek happiness through things, the harder it is to become happy. Nothing out there will ever satisfy you beyond a superficial and temporary level. You can still get pleasure from things, but not true joy. When you are no longer dependent on things being a certain way, good or bad, your inner dependency on form is gone. Your life, outer form, will improve. Things, conditions, and people come into your life with ease. When you are no longer dependent on these things, there is no fear of loss.
Anytime you feel irritated or any negativity arising within you, use it as an opportunity to remind yourself to be here and now. You can drop the negativity completely, or accept that it is there and take your attention into the feeling, or you can imagine yourself being transparent to the external event. Let’s say a car alarm is going off and it’s irritating you. Does the irritation serve a purpose? No, the mind created it because it thinks that the resistance will dissolve the undesirable condition. The irritation that the mind creates is far more damaging than the original event.
Allow the noise, or whatever causes a negative reaction to pass right through you.
Instead of having a wall of resistance inside you that gets constantly and painfully hit by things that should not be happening, let everything pass through you.
When someone is trying to be rude to you, do the same thing, let it pass through you. They have no power of you anymore when you do this. You become invulnerable. You can still tell that person that their behavior is unacceptable, but you do so without it being an emotionally charged reaction. Even if you’re not at peace, accept that as your current state of being. Once you accept your non-peace, it will be transmuted into peace.
Your perception of the world is a reflection of your state of consciousness. You are not separate from it, and there is no objective world out there… your consciousness interprets and interacts with the molecular energy dance of the universe.
If you believe in separation and struggle, that is what you will see in your daily life. Every point of consciousness creates its own reality, it’s own world – and yet we are all interconnected somehow.
True change happens within, not without.
The Power of Now Summary – Surrender
Surrender is the letting go of mental-emotional resistance to what is.
Surrender… is yielding to rather than opposing the flow of life. The only place where you can experience the flow of life is the Now, so to surrender is to accept the present moment unconditionally and without reservation.
It is not the overall situation that you need to accept when you surrender, but just the tiny segment called now.
Inner resistance cuts you off from other people, from yourself, from the world around you. It strengthens the feeling of separateness on which the ego depends on for its survival.
Surrender will move you closer to people. Through surrender, you will accept what is and that means accepting people as they are. You won’t judge, criticize, reject, label, or attempt to change people.
True surrender… does not mean to passively put up with whatever situation you find yourself in and to do nothing about it. Nor does it mean to cease making plans or initiating positive action.
Through non resistance, the quality of your consciousness and, therefore, the quality of whatever you are doing or creating is enhanced immeasurably. The results then look after themselves and reflect that quality.
It is the quality of your consciousness at this moment that is the main determinant of what kind of future you will experience, so to surrender is the most important thing you can do to bring about positive change. Any action you take is secondary. No truly positive action can arise out of an unsurrendered state of consciousness.
In the state of surrender, you see very clearly what needs to be done, and you take action, doing one thing at a time and focusing on one thing at a time.
When you enter this timeless dimension of the present, change often comes about in strange ways without the need for a great deal of doing on your part. Life becomes helpful and cooperative.
Again, practice observing your mind and notice when resistance comes in. Acknowledge that there is resistance. See how your mind creates it and labels the situation. This is making resistance conscious. You are no longer coming from reaction and resistance. Ask if there is anything you can do to change, improve, or remove yourself from the situation. Take action on the one thing you can do in the now, not the other 100 things you may or may not do in the future.
You don’t need to accept a crappy life situation. Remember, it is still ok to say no to people or to walk away from a situation. Let it be a non reactive no, not from reaction, but from insight. It’s a win-win to surrender.
The external conditions that were being resisted also tend to shift or dissolve quickly through surrender. It is a powerful transformer of situations and people. If conditions do not shift immediately, your acceptance of the Now enables you to rise above them. Either way, you are free.
If you cannot surrender, take action immediately: speak up or do something to bring about a change in the situation – or remove yourself from it. Take responsibility for your life.
If you get into an argument, observe how you become defensive as your own position is attacked. See how you cling to your viewpoints and your opinions. Do this enough and eventually you will realize that you have a choice – you can choose to drop your own reaction. You can let go of that whole mental-emotional drama that fights for power. When you can detach identification from the mind, true communication can occur.
Resistance is weakness and fear masquerading as strength.
Surrender does not transform what is, at least not directly. Surrender transforms you. When you are transformed, your whole world is transformed., because the world is only a reflection.
Life is like a mirror. If you saw something in the mirror you didn’t like, would you attack it? Of course not because you would be attacking yourself. Become friendly with it and it becomes friendly towards you.
A word on illness. Do not attach time to it. In the Now, there is no illness. At the most, you may have to deal with physical pain, weakness, discomfort, or disability. You surrender to what is, you do not surrender to the idea of illness. When you associate time with it, you make it stronger – you identify with it – this keeps the condition alive.
You may think the situation creates the suffering, but that’s not so – your resistance is.
Some final Power of Now quotes:
Do not resist pain. Allow it to be there. Surrender to the grief, despair, fear, loneliness, or whatever form the suffering takes. Witness it without labeling it mentally. Embrace it.
When you deny emotional pain, everything you do or think as well as your relationships become contaminated with it… so don’t turn away from the pain. Face it. Feel it fully. Feel it – don’t think about it! Express it if necessary, but don’t create a script in your mind around it. Give all your attention to the feeling, not the person, event, or situation.
You attract and manifest whatever corresponds to your inner state.
Die to the past every moment, and let the light of your presence shine away the heavy, time-bound self you thought of as you.
Surrender is the end of mind as your master, the impostor pretending to be you, the false god. All judgment and all negativity dissolve.
Surrender to what is. Say yes to life – and see how life suddenly starts working for you rather than against you.