This week, Life Training Online is reviewing The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment, by Eckhart Tolle, the tenth of fifty-two books in the 52 Personal Development Books in 52 Weeks series.

“As you go about your life, don’t give 100 percent of your attention to the external world and to your mind. Keep some within. Feel the inner body even when engaged in everyday activities, especially when you are relating with nature. Feel the stillness deep inside it. Keep the portal open.”

Portals Into the Unmanifested

Tolle refers to the Unmanifested as the life within all things, the inner essence of all that exists. When we learn to come into the Now we merge with the Unmanifest — drawing on its vital energy. Besides the Now being one of the gateways, Tolle describes other “portals” or gateways that one can use to enter into the Unmanifest. Here are some of them:

  • The cessation of thinking: The involuntary continuous dialogue that makes up most of our thinking is the main hindrance to our experiencing the beauty of the Now. There are many ways of creating a gap in your thoughts. Meditation is probably one of the most well known.
  • Surrender: This is the letting go of mental or emotional resistance to what is.
  • Silence: By paying attention to the silence that is in-between sound, you’re mind will still. It’s through focusing on outer silence that your own inner silence will develop.

Enlightened Relationships

“Unless and until you access the consciousness frequency of presence, all relationships, and particularly intimate relationships, are deeply flawed and ultimately dysfunctional.”

At the root of most of our intimate relationships, we want it all. We expect others will give us ultimate happiness, but this is not possible. Pleasure may come from things external, but true joy must come from within. And only realizing our own connection with the Unmanifest (by being in the present), can we directly find that level of fulfillment in a relationship that we are looking for. Because of that, relationships need to be worked on from the standpoint of the present, not through projecting others with impossible demands.

The Meaning of Surrender

When most of us think of surrender, words such as “giving up”, “defeat”, or “failure” may come to mind. Tolle, in his explanation of surrender, is referring to the simple wisdom of yielding to and not opposing the flow of life. And we experience this flow of life in the Now.

When we surrender, we accept the present moment unconditionally and without reservation. It’s important to realize that surrendering is not resignation. If you’re in a bad place in life, don’t feel you need to resign yourself to accepting that as your lot. By accepting or surrendering to what is you thereby ensure that there’s no energy-draining judgment, which frees that energy for constructively getting yourself out of that place in life.

The Power of Now is the tenth of fifty-two books in Life Training – Online’s series 52 Personal Development Books in 52 Weeks.

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