The book was first published in 1997 with only 3,000 of the first edition being published. Then Tolle had his big break when Oprah Winfrey recommended the book; and by August 2000 it had become a New York Times Best Seller. In 2008, after the release of his third book A New Earth, Tolle and Winfrey held a series of live webinars that attracted the attention of 35 million people worldwide! It is safe to say that the teachings of Eckhart Tolle have reached the minds of an awful lot of people – then why wasn’t I one of them?
The Power of Now can transform your thinking. The Result? More joy, right now – Oprah Winfrey
I received a book called The Success Principles by Jack Canfield, from a very good friend one Christmas in the not too distant past. After a few chapters I pushed it underneath my bed to be used as a home for the dust mites and decided to read something else instead. A few years later, after I had given up drinking alcohol, I decided to give the book another shot, and this time we gelled, and it became the cornerstone of many of my most positive changes. So why did I put it down the first time and then could NOT put it down the second time? I have given this a lot of thought and simply believe that my mind was not ready to understand the teachings that Jack Canfield was delivering. I don’t believe this is a case of growing maturity or intelligence – I just think my mind was closed before it was open.
What’s going on inside me in this moment? – Eckhart Tolle
I was really excited when my copy of The Power of Now arrived and could not wait to delve into the mind of such an influential man. I read the first few chapters in a whirlwind of excitement. I read the sentence, not able to stop thinking is a dreadful affliction, and it struck a chord with me. This was exactly why I wanted this book. I couldn’t stop thinking, had no control over my thoughts and could not find the way to a peaceful standstill. Then Tolle wrote, thinking is a disease, and I started to get confused. My thoughts turned to my own personal descriptions of a Sleepwalker and a Daydreamer. I was lauding praise on Daydreamers for starting to think, criticising Sleepwalkers for not thinking and here was Tolle telling me thinking was harmful.
Thinking is a disease! – Eckhart Tolle
As I climbed further into his mind I realised that he was telling me that the mind was a wonderful thing if used correctly, but people don’t. Instead their minds controlled them, and this was something that I could relate to. But the more I searched for answers, the more confused I became. I had started out sat in a lecture hall waiting to receive the most wondrous and enlightening speech, and now here I was seated at the Mad Hatters Tea Party. By the time I had turned the final page I was well and truly lost.
Pleasure is always derived from something outside you, whereas joy rises from within – Eckhart Tolle
I am not saying you should not buy this book. What I am saying is you need to be ready for it. It is deeper than the Mariana Trench and you really need a certain type of open mind. I think I will return to it when the time is right, just like I did with The Success Principles. In the meantime there is a nice clean square underneath my bed where it can fit just perfectly.
Why did I pick up this book?
I have been interested in spirituality ever since I read Elements of Poker by Tommy Angelo. I wanted to meditate but didn’t understand how to do it. Even to this day I close my eyes and meditate for 20-minutes and still feel like a fraud. For a long time, I have not felt in control of my thoughts. I find it difficult to concentrate on one thing and sleeping is very difficult. I thought that learning to control my thoughts would help me have greater clarity and wonderful rest. I had started to really enjoy the peacefulness of meditation and decided to learn more about it. I typed the words Mindful Meditation into Amazon and my search brought up this book by Eckhart Tolle. My girlfriend told me that she had read the book some years ago but had never finished it, and after reading it I can see why. I also ordered some other similar type of books and maybe they will provide me with the inspiration I was hoping to find in Tolle but as of yet eludes me.