Book Review: The Power of Now by Eckart Tolle

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The Power of Now is a book that teaches you how to find inner peace and stop suffering by living in the present moment and separating your mind from your body. However, our positive emotions about ourselves and our lives can sometimes prevent us from fully experiencing and embracing our authentic selves. This can cause two problems.

Firstly, we often spend too much time thinking about the past or the future, which means we miss out on enjoying the present moment. Secondly, our thoughts can be negative, leading to feelings of regret about the past or worry about the future.

In this review, you’ll get an overview of what you can learn from The Power of Now. So, let’s get started!

Key Insights

Lesson 1: The truth is a hidden treasure that lies within each of us.

Enlightenment is not reserved for a chosen few who possess some mystical power or ability. It is a state of being that is accessible to everyone. However, it can be elusive and hard to find, especially if we look for it in external sources. We need to understand that true and lasting peace can only come from within ourselves.

To illustrate this point, let me tell you a story that I heard about enlightenment: “The Path to Enlightenment.” Once upon a time, there was a beggar who spent his entire life sitting by the side of the road, hoping for some spare change from passersby. One day, a stranger walked past him and asked if he had any change to spare. The beggar replied that he had none, but the stranger was intrigued by the box he was sitting on and asked him what it was. The beggar told him it was just an old box and that he had been sitting on it for as long as he could remember. The stranger then asked him if he had ever looked inside the box, to which the beggar replied, “What’s the point? There’s nothing inside.” The stranger insisted that the beggar open the box and look inside. The beggar was confused, but eventually opened the box and was amazed to find it filled with a large amount of gold.

The moral of the story is that we all have a treasure within us that is more valuable than anything the world can offer. This treasure is our true self, our inner being. It is a sense of peace and well-being that we can tap into at any time, but we often forget about it or don’t know how to access it. We get caught up in the external world, chasing after achievements, possessions, and experiences, thinking they will bring us happiness. But true happiness and fulfillment come from within.

To access this inner treasure, we need to quiet our minds and be fully present in the moment. We need to tune in to our intuition, which is based on our life experiences and our true selves. When we live in the present moment, we can tap into our enlightened selves and experience the joy of life. It’s not about achieving some state of perfection or becoming someone else. It’s about realizing who we truly are and being comfortable in our own skin.

Lesson 2: Our own thoughts often present the biggest barrier to living in the present moment.

Do you ever feel like you’re trapped in a labyrinth of your own thoughts, unable to find your way out? You’re not alone. In today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy to get lost in the tangled web of our own minds. But there’s a way out. A way to break free from the prison of our own thoughts and live in the present moment. It’s called the power of now, and it’s something we all possess.

One of the biggest obstacles to living in the now is our own thoughts. We’re constantly bombarded with thoughts about the past and the future. Thoughts about what we should have done differently, or what we need to do next. These thoughts can be overwhelming and can cause anxiety, stress, and even depression.

The key to overcoming this obstacle is to become aware of our thoughts. Instead of getting lost in our own minds, we need to observe our thoughts from a distance. We need to become the watcher of our thoughts. This allows us to see our thoughts for what they are, without getting caught up in them.

Another obstacle to living in the now is our attachment to time. We’re always focused on the clock, trying to fit as much into our day as possible. But this focus on clock time can prevent us from experiencing the richness of the present moment.

To overcome this obstacle, we need to shift our focus to psychological time. Psychological time is the time we experience in our minds. It’s the time we spend lost in our thoughts about the past and the future. When we shift our focus to psychological time, we can begin to appreciate the present moment for what it is.

It’s important to remember that the past and the future only exist in our minds. The only moment that truly exists is the present moment. When we’re fully present in the moment, we’re able to experience the unity of all that we are and have been.

Of course, it’s easier said than done. Breaking free from the prison of our own thoughts takes practice. But the rewards are immeasurable. When we’re able to live in the now, we’re able to experience true joy, peace, and happiness.

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Lesson 3: Let go of your ego, live in the moment, and watch as life’s joys unfold before you.

Are you aware of how easy it is to lose yourself in the labyrinth of your ego? When you become too attached to your thoughts, your ego inflates, and it becomes harder to be present. It’s like a shadow that follows you, clouding your mind and taking you further away from your true self.

Our ego, or false self, is fueled by the stories we tell ourselves about who we are. We think that our thoughts define our identity, as Descartes said, “I think, therefore I am.” But here’s the truth: we are not our thoughts. If we attach ourselves too much to our thoughts, we start believing that they are real, and that’s where things start to get murky.

Our ego loves to attach itself to markers of identity like social status, material possessions, our job, the praise of others, and religious beliefs, among others. The problem is that these things are constantly changing, and they don’t reflect our true selves or our ability to be present in the moment.

Living in the present is crucial because that’s where happiness resides. The ego wants us to focus on the past or the future, never allowing us to fully embrace the present. But we must learn to let go of our ego and its false ideas.

The ego is also the source of much of our suffering. It makes us believe that we’re not good enough and that we need certain things to be happy. It’s always defensive and can make us feel threatened when our beliefs are challenged. But it’s essential to recognize that we are not our ego.

Lesson 4: Cope with negative emotions to avoid pain, live in the present, and embrace challenges for growth.

The ego is a tricky thing, not only does it affect our thoughts, but it also has a profound impact on our emotional and physical well-being. The pain-body, a reservoir of accumulated suffering, is like a dormant energy field within us that can be triggered by external sources of pain. When it’s activated, we feel overwhelmed by negative emotions and physical discomfort.

To live a healthy and fulfilling life, we need to confront and cope with our negative emotions. Otherwise, they’ll linger and weigh us down with the burden of suffering. Moreover, when we’re consumed by negative emotions, we lose touch with our true selves and the present moment.

Don’t let your ego get in the way of growth and self-discovery. Challenging experiences are an opportunity to learn and grow. When we face difficulties with courage and a present-moment awareness, we cultivate resilience and inner strength.

Embrace the power of now, and live a life of purpose and fulfillment, free from the weight of the past and the worries of the future.

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Lesson 5: Obstacles can provide opportunities for growth.

Imagine a calm lake surrounded by towering mountains. The water is still, and the only movement comes from a gentle breeze blowing across the surface. This serene scene represents what it means to be present in the moment. When we are fully present, our minds are like that calm lake, free from turbulence and distractions.

However, as we go through life, we encounter obstacles that prevent us from being fully present. Disorientation in our thoughts, over-identification with the ego, and clinging to past traumas and disappointments are just a few examples. These barriers create a turbulent storm within us, preventing us from reconnecting with our true selves.

To overcome these obstacles, we must learn to observe our thoughts and emotions without becoming attached to them. This means becoming a passive observer of our own thinking streams. When we learn to observe our thoughts without becoming identified with them, we can begin to experience true freedom.

One way to develop the ability to be a witness to our experience is to practice mindfulness. Close your eyes and take a moment to think about what you will say to yourself next. By practicing this technique, you may find that you are better able to live in the present moment, which can be especially helpful when you are caught up in thoughts about the past or future.

As we become more mindful and detached from our thoughts, we can regain control of our cognitive processes. We can learn to pause and wait for the next thought to come, rather than letting our thoughts control us. This allows us to be more present in the moment and to take control of our lives.

Remember that thinking is just a small part of the overall experience of consciousness. There is a vast universe of knowledge beyond thought, and thinking is just a small part of this intelligence. By understanding this, we can start to awaken to a greater understanding of the world around us.

Lesson 6: Keep your feet firmly planted in the present.

Many people struggle with staying present, but it’s an essential skill to cultivate for living a more fulfilling life.

One way to stay present is by focusing on your body. Your body can give you important clues about your emotions and thoughts. For example, pay attention to your breathing patterns. Just observe your breath without trying to force it into any particular rhythm. This exercise may bring up painful memories, but the goal is to simply pay attention to your body without judging it.

If you notice tension in your body, such as a clenched jaw or tight shoulders, take a moment to observe it. You might realize that this tension is caused by anxiety or anger. Instead of getting overwhelmed by these emotions, observe them without judgment. By doing so, you’ll learn to distance yourself from them and move on.

It’s important to let go of negative emotions when dealing with unpleasant situations. But if this is not possible, try to see it as a separate mental and emotional process. By doing so, you’ll develop an attitude of acceptance, forgiveness, and surrender.

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Lesson 7: Cultivate a profound awareness of one’s reality.

Have you ever found yourself trapped in a situation that you don’t like? Perhaps you’re feeling frustrated with your current circumstances and wish things could be different. If so, then it’s important to understand the power of being present and accepting reality as it is.

To truly experience life, we need to see through our faulty reasoning and false beliefs to discover the truth. This means being fully awake and proactive, rather than reacting blindly to the world around us. By doing so, we can prioritize what’s truly important and act in accordance with our authentic selves.

However, accepting the present doesn’t mean giving up on our responsibilities. Instead, it requires a willingness to honestly confront the challenges we face. When we find ourselves in a difficult situation, we have three options.

First, we can try to escape the situation as quickly as possible. Second, we can see if there are any changes we can make to improve the situation. And finally, we can accept the circumstances as they are, even if it’s painful to do so. It’s important to understand that acceptance doesn’t mean giving up on change – it simply means acknowledging what is and choosing to respond thoughtfully.

For example, when coping with the loss of a loved one, accepting death as an inevitable part of life can be incredibly challenging. However, by learning to be an alchemist and transforming stress and pain into something positive, we can find meaning in even the most difficult experiences. This means taking responsibility for our emotions and choosing to focus on the present moment, rather than dwelling on the past or worrying about the future.


1. A Timeless Foundation for Spiritual Growth

The Power of Now, despite being an older work, still stands strong as a solid foundation for Tolle’s teachings. It presents ideas that are equally relevant today as they were when first published.

As the precursor to “A New Earth,” it provides a basis for understanding Tolle’s more recent work, making both books complementary to each other. The fact that the original work remains valid speaks volumes about the strength and timelessness of Tolle’s ideas.

2. The Key to Unlocking Your Inner Self

Eckhart Tolle’s guidance in recognizing our true selves is undeniably valuable. By teaching us about our two spiritual bodies – the conscious mind and the inner body – he helps us differentiate between our thoughts and our true being.

The Power of Now provides practical methods to connect with our inner selves, such as meditation and creating a gap of no-mind. Through these techniques, we learn to live in the present moment and experience a heightened awareness and connection with our inner being.

3. The Pathway to Freedom and Presence

The Power of Now transcends traditional religious boundaries, drawing from various spiritual teachings, including those of Christ, Zen, Hinduism, Gnostic writings, Buddhism, and Taoism.

Regardless of one’s background, the book offers valuable psychological insights into breaking free from our thought habits and living fully in the present moment. By learning to detach from our minds and become observers of our own thought processes, we can experience freedom and emotional independence from our circumstances.

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1. Derivative and Unoriginal Content

While Tolle claims to have synthesized teachings from various spiritual and philosophical sources, it often feels like he’s merely repackaging existing ideas. With heavy reliance on works like A Course in Miracles, Krishnamurti’s teachings, and Buddhist principles, one can’t help but wonder if Tolle is merely acting as an intermediary.

These ideas, while powerful in their own right, lose some of their potency when filtered through Tolle’s lens, especially when they’re peppered with new-age jargon like “opposite energy polarity” and “blockages of energy in the body.”

2. Shaky Foundations and Questionable Judgment

Tolle’s work is heavily influenced by A Course in Miracles, a text I personally view as a mixture of imposture and delusion. By building his life philosophy on such a shaky foundation, Tolle’s judgment comes into question. Moreover, his newfound wealth and celebrity status, propelled by endorsements from figures like Oprah, raises concerns about his intentions and the authenticity of his teachings.

3. The Illusion of Enlightenment

Tolle’s book promises the reader a path to enlightenment, but this idea is problematic in and of itself. Enlightenment is often presented as a final destination, when in reality, it is an ongoing process. Human beings are complex and ever-evolving, and to suggest that one can reach a state of eternal bliss and understanding is misleading.

Furthermore, the book’s apocalyptic tone and insistence on a singular path to salvation are reminiscent of fear-based religious dogma, rather than an empowering guide to self-discovery.


“The Power of Now” is a down-to-earth guide to finding inner peace and well-being by living in the present moment. While it might have some unconventional language and ideas, its core message of becoming more self-aware, managing our thoughts, and embracing the present is undeniably valuable.

This book has been a real game-changer for me. Not only did it help me cope with anxiety and neurosis during my teen years, but it also introduced me to practical exercises and mindfulness techniques that have made a lasting impact on my life.

So, if you’re looking for a book that goes beyond abstract philosophy and offers actionable steps towards a more fulfilling and present-focused life, “The Power of Now” is definitely worth a read. Sure, there might be some parts that make you raise an eyebrow, but the overall message and tools provided by Tolle can genuinely transform your perspective and relationship with the world around you.

About The Author

Eckart Tolle is a popular spiritual teacher and writer who encourages people to focus on the present moment. He believes that this helps individuals to avoid getting bogged down by excessive thinking and distractions, and instead live a more fulfilling life.

Buy The Book: The Power of Now

If you want to buy the book The Power of Now, you can get it from the following links:

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