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”The more you are able to honor and accept the Now, the more you are free of pain, of suffering – and free of the egoic mind.” —Eckhart Tolle (from The Power of Now)
It is important to focus on making the Now the main priority in your life. Even if the present moment is uncomfortable or difficult, accepting rather than trying to fight it or go against it will bring great rewards.
When we do not access the power of the Now, every painful emotion we have leaves its mark on us and lives on, combining with other pain we’ve experienced throughout our lives. This pain becomes powerful negative energy that affects the body and mind - Tolle calls this a "pain body."
When pain bodies become too strong, they can take over.
When you're experiencing pain, there is a way to achieve consciousness and defeat it. First, recognize the pain; accept the fact that it exists without identifying with it or judging it. Become an observer of what's happening inside you and it will lose its power over you.
Fear occurs when we are in the present, but our minds are in the future thinking about what could happen. It is impossible to deal with something that has not happened yet, so anxiety often occurs. People who only identify with their minds and thoughts rather than their true deeper self will live with fear forever.
The ego also creates a pain within us that stems from feeling like we're not whole...
Some feel this consciously, while others feel it unconsciously. Many spend their whole lives trying to fill the void with material things. Once they gain the things they thought would make them happy, they crave more or different things because they are being controlled by their egos.
The ego needs to be constantly fed by our accomplishments, attainment of possessions or status, and relationships with others, but these don't make up who we really are.
“The mind in itself is not dysfunctional. It is a wonderful tool. Dysfunction sets in when you seek for yourself in it and mistake it for who you are.“ —Eckhart Tolle (from The Power of Now)
Your ego has the ability to suck the life and energy out of you. It loves complex issues, because it can falsely attach your identity to those problems. Then it goes into defense mode because it does not want you to look for solutions to the problems. It believes that would mean a loss of identity. You are much more than your mind; it is only a tool available for you to use wisely.
Your mind is also time-bound. Time is an illusion, and your mind traps you in that illusion. This causes you to want to focus primarily on the past through your memories of it, and the future because of your goals for it. This is exactly how most people lose their sense of the present.
The Now is the most important aspect of your life.
In this Big Idea, Tolle refers to something he calls "the Unmanifested," which he defines as: “the invisible Source of all things, the Being within all beings. It is a realm of deep stillness and peace, but also of joy and of intense aliveness.”
The Unmanifested is where you were at birth, and the place where you will be when you die. It is a realm where you have complete consciousness and no form to serve as a barrier. If you can achieve this state, Tolle tells us, you will experience true peace and realize your connection to the light and all other beings.
To access the Unmanifested, meditate for approximately fifteen minutes (or more) daily. Here’s how:
Keep in mind: Although it's not practical to spend the majority of your time in the "Unmanifested", try to pay close attention to the energy of the inner body as you go about your daily activities. This will help you live in the present more easily and often.
PS: Wanna take a deeper dive into the Big Ideas from The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle? Subscribe to FlashBooks to get the full book summary for only $1.