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The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  247,684 ratings  ·  11,128 reviews
Eckhart Tolle's message is simple: living in the now is the truest path to happiness and enlightenment. And while this message may not seem stunningly original or fresh, Tolle's clear writing, supportive voice and enthusiasm make this an excellent manual for anyone who's ever wondered what exactly "living in the now" means. Foremost, Tolle is a world-class teacher, able to ...more
Paperback, 229 pages
Published August 19th 2004 by New World Library (first published 1997)
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Donna I have health problems also. I have fibromyalgia and possibly early rheumatoid arthritis.... so a lot of chronic pain. I decided to read this book aft…moreI have health problems also. I have fibromyalgia and possibly early rheumatoid arthritis.... so a lot of chronic pain. I decided to read this book after hearing a quote by Tolle on a TV show. I don't know if it is in this book or not though. "Where this is anger, there is always pain underneath." That quote really hit home with me because I have a lot of childhood issues and I've been trying to forgive but something always reminds me and brings back all the bad memories and feelings. I think this is something this book can help me with but I must say, I'm not even half way and reading this is slow. I'm currently on page 66 of the kindle ebook and I have highlighted several passages. A lot of it seems redundant but I think it is meant to be that way to help everyone in their different situations. I did find it useful that I was read this book while on a trip recently. I don't fly well and tend to flip out during take off's, landings and any turbulence. On the return flight I really focused on what I was hearing and smelling etc (just like they said in the book) and it did help me to calm down. I also noticed I do dwell a lot on past events and rehash them in my mind. Learning to stop that and keep my focus in the present has helped me to feel less negative and angry about those things. Maybe I can get to the point where I can forgive now. I hope you can get through the book and that it helps you. (less)
s.m. k. What Tolle is talking about are the practices of mindfulness and disidentifying with your thoughts (both of which are now being massively taken up in …moreWhat Tolle is talking about are the practices of mindfulness and disidentifying with your thoughts (both of which are now being massively taken up in one form or another in Western cognitive-behavioral therapy). The book is another way of talking about what Buddhists and yogis have been saying for a very long time. As these are basic Buddhist and Yogic principles/practices, you could do a search on any of these terms (mindfulness may be the best term to use) for possible alternatives. It is difficult to make a specific recommendation because, as Dean has suggested, it depends on your own preferences/interests and background in Eastern psychology/philosophy.

One alternative book that is very narrative and combines yogic ideas with personal stories is The Wisdom of Yoga by Stephen Cope. It is written for Westerners and is not 'heavy' reading, which may be good or bad depending on your preference. But there are many books out there addressing these topics. I do think Tolle has done a good job of explaining these ideas/practices in a way that is accessible to many--and that is a good thing. Good luck on your search!(less)

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Jul 24, 2008 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: No One
There is no nice way to say this. I hated this book with a fiery passion. It did not make me feel at peace. Rather, it made me want to chew off my arm. I bet if we asked Eckhart Tolle why I felt that way, he'd say that I wasn't really listening to his message.

My problems with the book were as follows. First off, the tone of the book was extremely condescending. Written in a question/answer format, many of the answers started out with "You're not really listening" or "You don't understand what I'
Jul 16, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone interested in evolving spiritually
Mr. Tolle spent two years sitting on park benches and simply "living in the moment" prior to writing this book. I doubt whether I will ever take the time in my life to do such a thing, however the suggestion he offers that we all spend a ridiculous amount of time either worrying about the future, or dwelling on the past has impacted me in a huge way. Until I read this book, I never noticed how in sane my mind can make me if I choose to let it. Tolle implores the reader to take the reigns of his ...more
howl of minerva
It would be easy to dismiss this book as a fruit-salad of New Age and pseudo-buddhist clichés, mashed to a fine purée of nonsense and sold as a cure for what ails you in our age of secular alienation. In fact, that is what it is and that is what I'll do.

The book opens with what readers of religious texts, the erowid archives and Huxley's The Doors of Perception will recognise as a classic mystical experience, epiphany or trip:

"One night not long after my twenty-ninth birthday, I woke up in the
Jun 11, 2012 rated it did not like it
First of all, I must say I'm very much into all kinds of self-help books as well as new age stuff. I'm a believer! I read avidly all about OBE, reincarnations, karma, mindfulness, meditation practices and I try to make use of what I read in my everyday life. So, of course, I was looking forward to this book, especially as it was recommended to me by people whose opinion I value.

And my oh my, wasn't it total deception. I made it until about half of the book when I realized I really could take no
Jul 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
There is a point in our lives when we say enough is enough. This is what this book is about. In one of his greatest works Eckhart Tolle teaches us the real meaning of spirituality. He teaches us the importance of the present moment. Through the recognition of the ego he makes us aware of how it destroys our lives. I would recommend this to anyone who is looking for the real meaning of their lives and to anyone who is sick and tired of the usual thing.

The first time I encountered this book was w
Oct 23, 2011 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one
Also on my bookshelf is a review of Tolle's THE NEW EARTH. I read it because of the recommendation from Oprah. In that review I said he used 300 pages to say what he could have said in a 10 page essay. I read this book because someone I know said it was great. I think it's just another bunch of psycho-babble bullshit this rich con-man threw together. Really people....if you have issues, go get help without throwing your money away on this kind of crap. No, I did not buy it....the book is a loane ...more
Joel Rochester
It's the way this book made me feel like I was in a University lecture ...more
Edwin B
Sep 23, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone!
Upon 2nd reading of this book, I realized that any form of negativity I may have in the moment actually reflects a resistance to the present moment - a refusal to accept the here and now (which is the only reality).

Previous to this, I had thought that negativity simply is - and therefore should simply be noticed and accepted as part of the current reality, and not struggled against.

True, negativity shouldn't be railed at nor struggled against - but should instead be simply noticed. And noticing
Marcus Knight
Sep 08, 2010 rated it did not like it
This is an awful, awful book. Sorry, there's no other way of putting it. And I can hear people saying already "but it makes me feel better".
Whatever makes you feel in control, I guess. But sometimes things which make us feel better aren’t necessarily true or even good for us. Tolle and others like him are squarely in the camp of woo (as the great Randi would say!). They promote a watered down and ultimately meaningless new-age theology. (And of course Oprah loves him.) I expected more, but he si
Tharindu Dissanayake
This is an amazing book. Try not making any of your religious beliefs the reason for not reading this book. Being a Buddhist myself, I can see how Buddhists might not give this book any chance due to the word 'Enlightenment' in its title. Give this book a try and it'll sure to be at least an eye-opener for you in ways one cannot imagine.

Though irrelevant for someone who has read the book already, others may be surprised to find how logically the author has presented these teachings while using m
Clumsy Storyteller
Jan 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
i loved this book so much i'll probably read it again, I agree with the author on so many things .... like the fact that the word “God” is misused and By misuse, I mean that people who have never even glimpsed the realm of the sacred, the infinite vastness behind that word, use it with great conviction, as if they knew what they are talking about. Or they argue against it, as if they knew what it is that they are denying. This misuse gives rise to absurd beliefs, assertions, and egoic delusions, ...more
Dec 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I passed this book dozens of times in my yoga studio back in 2003. It was so popular and its praises so well sung by my yoga teacher, Steve Ross, that I thought it must be a bunch of new age mumbo jumbo. I didn't want to read it because I thought that it would entail jumping on some Los Angeles hippy bandwagon.

I opened myself up to Eckhart Tolle after watching him on Oprah's Spirit Channel and I'm so glad that I did. This book is really great. It contains such simple philosophy that is so hard
Jan 31, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Tracy Baptista
Recommended to J by: Oprah
I've read a few books with similar messages about living in the present, being mindful, and grateful--it's a very zen-like message--but this book was different. Tolle explains that we are not our thoughts.

"The very fact that we can objectively observe our thinking, he reasoned, suggests that the constant and often negative dialogue in our heads is separate from who we are."

That's a quote I took from the interview between Tolle and Oprah from the May article in O magazine since I think it sums u
May 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
I like Echkart Tolle. I recommend this book if you are into new age spirituality or not. Even if you aren't into spirituality at all, check it out. I mean, jeez, spiritual enlightenment for less than $20, how could you go wrong?

I sometimes struggle with doubts about him, but I do this with all spiritual teachers. Another reviewer described him as a "pompous fraud" who "steals the classic works of Eastern cultures and repackages them in a poorly-written and impossibly stupid manner." My conscious
Loy Machedo
Jun 18, 2012 rated it did not like it
Loy Machedo’s Book Review – The Power of Now by Echkart Tolle.

Before I start thrashing the book, let me give you a few interesting facts.
• The book was published in the late 1990.
• Initially around 3000 copies were printed.
• Oprah Winfrey the great influencer recommended this book in her magazine (did she even understand the book?)
• After this debacle, the sales shot up to 3 Million Copies translated into 33 languages. (Its no surprise why every author wants Oprah to recommend their book).

So let
Stephanie MacDonald
Feb 01, 2011 rated it it was ok
I was excited to read this book. I am drawn to the power of thought, the law of attraction mixed with letting go of the past and living in the moment. I thought this book would further teach about how living in the now is so important, as present moment really is all we have. However the way this book was constructed was poor. The Q & A weren't very helpful as the questions posted weren't even any questions I would have asked and oftentimes his answers were rude... say things like "you don't und ...more
Stephanie *Eff your feelings*
I am up at stupid o'clock because my redneck neighbors upstairs are fighting once again. I'm sure whatever it is about, it has nothing to do with "Now". It's got to be about something such as, who took who's cigarettes, beer, and baby mama yesterday and what they plan to do to each other tomorrow in revenge. But what they are really doing is ruining my "now" flippin' ASSHATS! *shakes her fist at the ceiling fan*

Anyway......I digress.

Eckhart Tolle had an epiphany, or, a complete mental b
Dr. Appu Sasidharan
Nov 24, 2019 rated it really liked it

(Throwback Review) Elkhart Tolle is a German-born spiritual teacher and author. In this book, he tells us about enlightenment by spiritual awakening. He tells us the importance of focusing on the current moment without overthinking about the past and the future.
“Time isn’t precious at all, because it is an illusion. What you perceive as precious is not time but the one point that is out of time: the Now. That is precious indeed. The more you are focused on time—past and future—the more you
May 01, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: People with busy minds that need to slow down
This book is an excellent guide to shutting of your brain noise. We let our brains run us mad most of the time, and never really stop to enjoy the space we are in. Always dwelling over the past, or fretting about the future. This book points out that the future is 100% unpredictable (so stop making up stories about what is going to happen when you have absolutely NO IDEA) and to stop worrying about the past because no amount of energy devoted to the past will change it. Instead, be in the now; b ...more
Jul 11, 2011 rated it it was ok
The Power of Now is an appealingly written mix of powerful spiritual truths, meaningless babble, and falsehoods. Tolle has taken some good wisdom from the world's religions, dressed it in New Age language, personalized it with his own less impressive wisdom, and then used a powerful personal story* to sell the book.

I gave it the second star because it really does emphasize some good aspects of spirituality (especially the freedom of living in the moment). If you already have a good grounding in
Jun 30, 2008 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Someone at the bottom of the hole with no way out
Shelves: not-worth-it
If you are looking for a self-help book, then go a head and read this one - it may actually help you. Otherwise, don't give it to someone else unless they are already actively seeking self-help/enlightenment advice.
Honestly, I couldn't get past the first chapter of this book. An acquaintance gave it to me; apparently he was worried that I wasn't a happy camper. It's closer to the truth to say that he has a bad tendency to try to change people when they don't fit he pre-determined picture of how
Sep 23, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: witchynonfiction
Another one of those awesome, life-changing books!
Mar 27, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiftyfiftyme
This book came highly recommended on a blog I read, and it was recommended alongside another book in the same vein that I read and loved - so I thought, "Why not?"

And here's why not:

Although the book has a handful of insights and important concepts overall (which you could probably pick up from ANY book about meditation - you know, things about going through life consciously rather than unconsciously, aware of emotions and separate from judgement, accepting of the present rather than dwelling
Steven Walle
Jun 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Eckhart Tolle is an excellent teacher. He teaches us a simple concept of living in the now and what happiness and blessings can be gleened from this practice.
It is a very strait forward teaching but with Tolle's dynamic writing style he brings each page to life for the reader.
I recommend this book to all.
Yesterday is history;
Tomorrow is a mystry;
Today is a gift from God.
That's why we call it the present.
Enjoy and Be Blessed.
Renee Amberg
Sep 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
Ughh this is such a disappointment for me. But hear me out, 1. This book was written in 1997. 2. It was his first book. and 3. It's outdated, in terms of content and his wisdom.
I felt like (obviously) he has grown into a more spiritually depth person since writing this book, which is quite clear in his other books, A New Earth & Stillness Speaks (a few of my favorite books, literally ever).
I felt like he was just starting his path to enlightenment when he wrote this book. It was a bit repetiti
Amany  A A
Jan 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
How Many time during the day have you caught you're self lost ?

Lost in thoughts , memories or mental dialogues ?
What should've happened ? What will happen ?
Why didn't I say this ? Or Do that ?
how many times have U caught yourself 20 minutes later completely indulged in thoughts and carried away with emotions about things that exist ONLY in your head ? Things that never happened , or happened a very long time ago ?

In my case , many many many times !

This book will help you to look up , look
Mar 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book has the potential to replace any religious book!

Being is eternal, ever present one life beyond the myriad forms of life that are subject to birth and death. Identification with the mind is the root cause of all suffering. 90% people have yet to find the "off" button of their mind.

This book helps us unfold the present moment and to break the addiction to compulsive thinking.

Weight of information in this book is spectacular with each and every paragraph having an impact

"The Power of Now
Dec 31, 2015 rated it did not like it
If I could give this book less than one star, I would. In fact, I'm not sure I've ever disliked a book as much as I did this one. There were some good points made. They could have all been contained in about four paragraphs. As written, the book was repetitive, boring, and repeatedly insulting to the reader.

First of all, I'm wary of anyone who declares him or herself to be "enlightened". The author's early description of finding enlightenment sounds far more like mental illness. Second, he has
Sara Alaee
Aug 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
All I can say is that this is a life-changing book! Truly awesome!

Highly recommended to those who would like to improve the quality of their lives by realizing their “Being” through dwelling in “Now”. The past is past and the future is not here, and may not ever come.
Ahmad Abugosh
Jul 26, 2015 rated it did not like it
The Power of Now is a book by Eckhart Tolle, that sells itself as the road to happiness (sorry he's against using the word happiness, I mean fulfillment).

What I liked:

I liked how he encouraged you to live in the "Now" and to remove yourself from your inner mind and act as an observer. I liked it when it was over.

What I didn't like:

I didn't like the style of him answering questions that people pose to him. Just because you answer a question, it doesn't mean the answer makes any sense!

I hate hi
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Eckhart Tolle is a teacher, author, and entrepreneur. He is a German-born resident of Canada best known as the author of The Power of Now and A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose. Tolle does not identify with any specific religion, but he has been influenced by multiple spiritual works. ...more

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“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.” 1061 likes
“Time isn’t precious at all, because it is an illusion. What you perceive as precious is not time but the one point that is out of time: the Now. That is precious indeed. The more you are focused on time—past and future—the more you miss the Now, the most precious thing there is.” 824 likes
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