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.

So what did I think of The Power of Now? For the most part, I enjoyed reading the book — I tend to be someone who gets caught up in his thoughts and this book has been a real help in reconfirming the importance of paying attention to the present moment.

Although Tolle wrote this book as a guide to spiritual enlightenment, it does have a lot of practical applications. Through living in the Now we can have better relationships, decrease our stress, learn faster and easier, and overall, live a happier life.

The only criticism I do have is Tolle’s claim of authority on what the “enlightened ones” of ages past really meant in their teachings. For example, quite often throughout the book, he states that Buddha really meant this, or “the real meaning of [Jesus's Parable] was” that, or “even the men who wrote the Gospels did not understand the meaning of these parables”. How does he know?

There’s nothing wrong with having your own opinion, but just because you’ve had an “awakening experience”, it doesn’t qualify you as an authority to interpret spiritual subjects for all others. I personally feel that understanding and interpreting the scriptures and wisdom literature of ages past is a very personal journey.

Getting over that though, all in all the book is great. If you can’t quite swallow all the “enlightenment” talk, I highly recommend at least reading the first four chapters.

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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