Introduction to the Power of Now
One of the best books I’ve read that doesn’t focus on religion or philosophy, is the Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle.
Written beautifully in words that echo stillness, it teaches the simplicity of being aware in/and of the present moment. This book changed my life, and it continues to change many others (especially travellers).
How Do We Live in the Present?
Simple, become aware of being conscious. Draw your awareness from the gross outside world, to the subtle inside world. You can do this by focusing on the breath if moving directly into a state of conscious awareness is difficult (which for most people in modern society it will be).
Slowness is a divine thing. We have lost the habit of it. With slow, regular, harmonious movement, the consciousness immediately finds its place. The body begins to enjoy the smallest thing. Attention is heightened. We take in the world’s full freshness. We communicate. We open our senses to the plenitude. It’s essential to feel the reality of the world in its entirety. Without that, any spiritual quest is illusory. To be entirely present to each thing that crosses our consciousness, even our most banal and repetitive experiences, is the door to awakening.
Do Future Goals Have Any Value?
It is not bad to have a goal and accomplish it. But to be content and fulfilled at every step, not living for the future, is true freedom. Being completely present in this moment is the secret. To bring your full beingness and energy to every moment, not in a state of enthusiasm or passion, but as radiant awareness. When you are near someone who is living in the present, you can feel it. Every action becomes a kind of play. Nothing matters too much in itself. Just to be simply here—a stillness amidst the whirlpool of activity (see Nataraja). That is the state of an enlightened being.
I personally don’t set future goals anymore. Instead, I let the creative Shakti work through me, and guide me towards immediate fulfilment on all levels, which is only found by being aware of the God consciousness within.
Too many people I see either:
- become depressed because their goals often get derailed by the wonder of spontaneous and random life events;
- or, they don’t enjoy the journey (present moment) because they are constantly thinking about the future results.
Focus on the Moment
Everyone is trying to accomplish something big, not realizing that life is made up of little things.
– Frank A. Clark
Count how many times throughout the day you are doing something, and soon realise that you are somewhat distracted and not 100% focused on what you are actually doing.
Do you listen to music while trying to relax outside? Do you eat while also reading the newspaper? Why are you not focusing on what you are doing? Sounds counter-intuitive right? But the truth is, the majority of people are guilty of this.
Live in the moment. Sometimes more than 90% of our lives are missed because we are not focusing on the present moment. What does focusing on the moment that mean? It means savouring the little things in life.
When you are eating – only focus on eating. Feel the sensations of tastes, smells, and textures as you chew and swallow. Enjoy each bite. Food is wonderful. Eating is a gift.
When you are showering – only focus on showering. Feel the change in temperature of your body as the water gently comes into contact with different areas. Enjoy each shower. It is a time for relaxing.
Become more aware of the present, instead of always thinking about the past and the future. Stop and do it once in awhile, at different times of the day, and just notice the little things.
When you really experience these things, they can be incredible.
Tip: The practice of meditation helps us train the mind to focus on one thing only.