Now – Chapter 6

This is my interpretation of the book The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle.

Chapter 6

You’re under the delusion that you’re an isolated body within a physical world. This delusion leads to anxiousness and suffering. You would know your true self if it wasn’t for the mind constantly distracting you. So constant are its mental musings, that you identify yourself as the thoughts emanating from your mind.

Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to establish consciousness as your primary mode of being (thus diminishing the thinking-mechanism of the mind). Consciousness, instead of rumination, should become your default. One method for making this change, is by transfering focus away from the mind and into the body.

Here’s some practice: Focus on your fingers and notice the sensation, a slight pressure or tingling or just the feeling that they’re there. Then move up the arms and into the chest and head and around the body all the way down to your feet. Feel the sensation individually and then as a whole, pervading the entire body — focus on this sensation.

Although you aren’t a solitary creature crawling around a giant rock in constant struggle for survival, you aren’t beyond the body either. You have a body after-all, so you can work with it rather than fight it. And by maintaining attention within the body, you’ll have a reference point keeping you from getting lost in thought or life.

For the time being, while going about your normal activities, maintain some awareness of the energy/aliveness-feeling pervading the entire body. Focus on the task at hand but widen your scope to include the sensation within the body as well. And when not doing anything in particular, instead of getting lost in thought, focus on that energy/aliveness-feeling within.

And whenever you start losing yourself to an alleged problem, go into the body. By focusing on an inner sensation, your focus leaves the thinking-mechanism of the mind. From that steadier base, your reaction will be more grounded. If strong emotion overwhelms your ability to focus, simply observe the emotion without judgement and accept its presence.

Typically, emotions should quickly come and go. If they linger, you’re likely lacking forgiveness. Instead of grasping tightly to a hot ember, release it. Forgive people, yourself, and even life. Trust in life and stop fighting against it. Let go and let your narrative continue on a steady course.

Essentially, you are consciousness, the experiencer of existence. Yet typically, you spend much of your time unconscious, lost in a dream. But you want to become present and aware within the dream. The dream won’t end, you’ll simply become lucid. You want to switch this from a turbulent nightmare to a delightful fantasyland. And this process requires you to realize that the foundation of your dream-self as well as everything else, is a dreamer — the source of all consciousness.

And when you move focus into the body and become aware of the inner sensation, it can serve as a reminder for all this — a way to maintain a deeper state. From this depth, the external gets easier. The body feels better, lighter, no longer like a poorly aging contraption rife with decay and subject to the ills of others.

Some more practice: Focusing on a single part of the body, feel it, notice the sensation, it’s there and you’re aware of it. Do this for every part of your body. Once you’ve gone through them one by one, start at the bottom and move up the body like a scanner, from toes to head and back down again. Then, concentrate on the sensation of the entire inner body at once — focus and feel it.

If focusing within the body is tough, start with breathing. Observe the breath: in… out… in… out… follow and feel the breath. Also, whenever creativity is required, presence is the best way to encourage it. And of course when listening to others, presence makes that process a whole lot easier. And a method for becoming present, is focusing on the sensation of the inner body.