For those of you who are interested in obtaining an unprecedented level of internal peace, which would thereby create an environment of peace around you and ripple outward, I find the words of Eckhart Tolle quite simple and to the point. I’m finding myself fully in the present more and more often these days, but still being sucked into the old patterns of habitual reactions. Practice makes perfect as they say.
Tolle’s website has numerous interviews that I am still reading through, but I have found his words to be quite powerful (especially when listened to on audio). To paraphrase what is quoted from an interview below, if you just accept everything that happens to you without judgment, you no longer get upset when things don’t go your way. When you just do your best and release your attachment to the outcome, it brings about an inner peace that dissolves all of your worries and anxieties about what the future may bring.
So next time you find yourself being cut off in traffic, spoken harshly to by someone, or in some other way hampered by events or other people, remember that everything happens of its own accord and that the majority of people are just going through life with blinders on, cruising on an autopilot programmed by their past experiences. They are not fully aware of the effect they have on the rest of the world as of yet and can not help doing what they do. It’s not your job to fix them when it happens, just to accept them for who they are and not take it personally. You will begin to feel more at peace and an increased level of happiness if you begin to practice what is suggested below. I know I have.
In the meantime, feel free to share this message with anyone you think might like the message it conveys, and/or email me with your feedback. I hope you have a great week and enjoy life and all it has to offer all of the time.
The Power of Now and the End of Suffering
Sounds True (ST): Being "in the present" sounds so obvious, and yet is quite hard to sustain. Do you have any practical tips for people for maintaining awareness of the present moment?
Eckhart Tolle (ET): Although the old consciousness or rather unconsciousness still has considerable momentum and to a large extent still runs this world, the new awakened consciousness – presence – has already began to emerge in many human beings. In my book The Power of Now, I mention ways in which you can maintain present moment awareness, but the main thing is to allow this new state of consciousness to emerge rather then believe that you have to try hard to make it happen. How do you allow it to emerge? Simply by allowing this moment to be as it is. This means to relinquish inner resistance to what is – the suchness of now. This allows life to unfold beautifully. There is no greater spiritual practice than this.
ST: How much time and effort is required to realize "the power of now?" Can this really occur in an instant or is this the work of a lifetime?
ET: The power of now can only be realized now. It requires no time and effort. Effort means you’re trying hard to get somewhere, and so you are not present, welcoming this moment as it is.
Whereas it requires no time to awaken – you can only awaken now – it does take time before you can stay awake in all situations. Often you may find yourself being pulled back into old conditioned reactive patterns, particularly when faced with the challenges of daily living and of relationships. You lose the witnessing presence and become identified again with the "voice in the head," the continuous stream of thoughts, with its labels, judgments and opinions. You no longer know that they are only labels, judgments, and mental positions (opinions) – but completely believe in them. And so you create conflict. And then you suffer. And that suffering wakes you up again. Until presence becomes your predominant state, you may find yourself moving back and forth for a while between the old consciousness and the new, between mind identification and presence. "How long is it going to take?" is not a good question to ask. It makes you lose the now.