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The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, Review by the Divorced Breadwinner Mom

Title: The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

Author: Eckhart Tolle

Synopsis: This book, called by some one of the most important spiritual texts of modern times, has been around for almost 15 years now. After a profound spiritual experience, author Eckhart Tolle spent years studying and learning about what had happened to him. He began to teach when others asked if he could help them find what he had. As he says in the introduction to the book, it “…represents the essence of my work, as far as it can be conveyed in words…”

The book is written in simple language, and with a very simple tenet at its core—be present to the presence in the present moment. It is structured in a question and answer format with topics and questions typical of those found in Mr. Tolle’s teachings with individuals and small groups. He explains more about the structure of the book in the introduction.

Chapters include:

  1. You Are Not Your Mind
  2. Consciousness: The Way Out of Pain
  3. Moving Deeply Into the Now
  4. Mind Strategies for Avoiding the Now
  5. The State of Presence
  6. The Inner Body
  7. Portals into the Unmanifested
  8. Enlightened Relationships
  9. Beyond Happiness and Unhappiness There Is Peace
  10. The Meaning of Surrender

Who Would Benefit? Divorced moms looking to grow spiritually or to gain a new perspective on their previous marriages and the nature of those relationships might find this book helpful. It’s the kind of book that you need to be ready for; otherwise it might be boring, hard to read, or just not make sense. You can find a lot of free information on Eckhart Tolle’s website, which might help you decide if you want to explore his teachings farther. The dedication at the front of the book says something about his philosophy and our role in it: “You are here to enable the divine purpose of the universe to unfold. That is how important you are!” So if you’re ready to learn more about your part in divine purpose, this book might be for you.

Why I Picked it Up: Shortly after my divorce a friend told me about this book. He said the first 50 pages were particularly insightful. So I got a copy on my Kindle and began reading. It was slow going, and the book didn’t resonate. I was bored and didn’t find the information to be anything new. However, about a month ago I had run out of things to read when I was on the elliptical at the gym. I found The Power of Now on my Kindle app and decided to give it another try. This time I had a whole different experience. The material really resonated, and so I was able to read all the way through to the end.

What I Liked: When I read the second time, I experienced a sense of peace. I “got” what he was saying at a level that was different from my usual intellectual understanding. Interestingly enough, it was the first 50 pages that I got the most from. It was the chapters addressing specific topics. Of particular relevance for divorced moms, there is a whole chapter on relationships. The description of how our egos are attracted to “love” and what happens once our partner disappoints, as well as the discussion of moving from addictive to enlightened relationships, is particularly insightful.

What I Didn’t Like: While I understand that the only way to find true peace is to be present in the now, it’s a hard concept to teach. So it can be frustrating to read and feel like you’re not getting it or not able to put the concepts into practice. The book encourages us to keep at it and appreciate the moments we have, which helps. But if you’re not ready for it, don’t force it. The time may not be right…yet.

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Sally November 6, 2017, 11:06 pm

    Hi there . I am just in final stages of divorce after 32,year marriage and also reading,Tolle ,but my book is,Practicing the power of now ‘….clearly written later. In processing the pain of my husband’s betrayal of me I have found this to be really helpful ….it gets me out of the awful baggage we carry around in our thoughts…self loathing ,anger ,shame ,hopes dashed….essentially all we have is now so why not just do either something reasonable or kind ,or nothing,at all ,possibly ? To see that life doesn’t need fixing is a burden we can drop …

    • I’m glad you have found some help in Tolle’s work. It’s a tough time going through divorce after so many years of marriage, and I wish you freedom and happiness on the other side!

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