Eckhart Tolle. Image: Kyle Hoobin
As an active man in recovery you want to harvest the knowledge and wisdom deeply embedded in the world’s religious traditions, yet evenings of study that grow deep into the night can often lead you to miss the one, key ingredient that unifies all major teachings and transmutes pain, depression, anxiety and trauma into presence, power and strong, noble peace.
That ingredient is what Eckhart Tolle articulated to the world in the book the made his name: The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment
The Now is the channel through which man can lose his chains and become deeply conscious and alive, without fear, in contact with his most profound inner nature.
By blending the teachings of the world’s major religions and spiritual masters, Tolle unites strands in Christianity, Buddhism and Sufism to highlight the collective emphasis on the present moment. The moment that transcends the realm of time; the epicentre of human distress.
“You are here to let the divine purpose of the universe unfold – that is how important you are,” Eckhart Tolle
For Tolle, the first and most important way in which any man seeking enlightenment can gain insight is via the acceptance that you are not your mind.
Our collective identification with the mind is that which produces craving within us – however, the mind can never be satisfied as it seeks to define its requirements on the external plain (sex, drugs, alcohol, etcetera).
This is why Tolle looks to the example of the Buddha.
“Enlightenment is the end of suffering,” The Buddha
Tolle uses the above quotation from the Buddha in order to show how he is careful not to attempt to explain what enlightenment is, as “…to not create a false mind definition the ego will use and cling onto,” which goes as far as one can explain in identifying what enlightenment is.
Put simply, the place beyond time and mind is pure consciousness, and we cannot even try to picture it or think our way to it, for that leads us to lose its inexplicable essence.
However that essence that we seek resides in the lived present moment free from the impulses, stormy emotions and cravings of the mind.
The ramifications of such a claim are huge, and Tolle knows this.
Pointing to Descartes’ famous “I think therefore I am”, Tolle expresses how the epicentre of late Western philosophy has confused being with a mind-identified state.
Such confusion is the basis on which humanity loses touch with our deeper consciousness, by relinquishing our power to the mind and its whims and wants.
After all, as Tolle points out, all the things that truly matter; joy, beauty, love and so forth come from beyond the mind – they are not rational.
Two practical solutions Tolle highlights harnessing your inner power beyond the mind are ‘watching the thinker’ and ‘focusing on the now’.
Tolle offers sage guidance for both.
Watching the Thinker:
- Be impartial
- Do not judge the internal voice
- Watch the internal voice
- Be aware of yourself as witness to the thoughts
Focus on the Now:
- Draw consciousness away from thinking by focusing on immediate moment – go with it
- Wash hands and feel the water, explain the water without words, but in feeling
- Feel your body as you breathe
- Understand that this is the essence of meditation in which you are partaking
- Watch emotions just as you would thoughts, do not judge them
Apply these principals over the next couple of days and experience the inner results.
Once you have completed this, you are ready to move on to 5 Life-Changing Questions from the Power of Now
You can purchase The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by following the link