The Power Of Now

The primary theme of Eckhart Tolle’s book, “The Power of Now”, is that only the present moment is real and meaningful and everything else but the present is a distraction and an illusion. 

Does this sound familiar?  

Tolle was influenced by the Stoics, specifically Epictetus, and incorporated many aspects of the Stoic philosophy and frameworks into his best-selling book. And in many ways, Tolle played a significant role in popularizing Stoic concepts. 

For one primary reason, the power of the present moment remains a popular theme of many great works of philosophy, cultures, and traditions. When you’re focusing on the present moment, you are experiencing life exactly as it is, not what you remember it was or imagine it might be. Detachment from reality – i.e. living in ideas of the past and the future – is the primary cause of suffering as individuals.  

It might sound repetitive, but the next time you find yourself stressed, agitated, fearful, nervous, anxious or resentful, take a slow and honest look at what is causing these emotions. You will find every single time that your thoughts about the past and the future are causing you all of the problems, not the things themselves. 

“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.” 

Marcus Aurelius had similar thoughts on the importance of the present moment. He writes, “Don’t let your reflection on the whole sweep of life crush you,” he said. “Don’t fill your mind with all the bad things that might still happen. Stay focused on the present situation.” 

Paying attention to the present moment means turning inward to our senses and appreciating the experience of life in all its many ways. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, stressed, or anxious; turn your mind to the sensory details of experience. What does it feel like to touch your fingers on the keyboard? What are you smelling, seeing, or hearing? 

Try starting right now. Connect the mind and the body to wherever you may be in this very moment and when you turn back to your phone or computer, keep in mind this quote from Tolle: