How is everyone doing with The Power Of Now? It’s a challenging read in that it really makes you think, and it’s helping me a lot to write about it here and read your comments and thoughts – I hope it’s helping you guys too. At this point you may be frustrated…I know I was at first. All this talk about being present, but what is it? Why is it so hard to wrap your head around this concept? Because, as Tolle says, “you can’t think about presence, and the mind can’t understand it. Understanding presence is being present.” As an experiment he suggests that you close your eyes and say to yourself “I wonder what my next thought is going to be.” Then become very alert and wait for the next thought. Try it right now.
When I did this at first, I had a really hard time with it because I was at work and I could hear voices and people around me. I recommend trying it when you’re in a quiet place, by yourself. According to Tolle, when you are in a state of presence, and therefore free of thought, it will take a while for a thought to come to you. But if thoughts come rushing into your head (like they did for me), it’s because your conscious attention is lowered and your head is being filled with mental noise. Tolle states that at all moments, you should always have at least a small portion of your attention focused on the inner energy field of your body. Be deeply rooted in yourself, know yourself and be observant of your thoughts, feelings and emotions. Yoga goes hand in hand with this – it’s all about finding that stillness, and focusing your attention on your body, your breath, and your energy.
To truly experience those magical, beautiful moments in life, you must be present. Surely you can think of a moment when you have felt it – a moment of staring out into the ocean, listening to the waves crash on the shore, or lying in a field of grass listening to the wind rustle the leaves on a nearby tree. To experience these moments you must be able to stop the incessant noise, rendering the mind completely and utterly still. Otherwise, “you will see but not see, hear but not hear.” Those words struck a chord in me. Think about the number of times in a day that you see something without really seeing it. Or someone says something to you and you hear it on the surface, but do you really hear it, deep down? Usually, no.
“Silence is an important part of presence. Be aware of the silence between and underneath the words. Be aware of the gaps. To listen to the silence, wherever you are, is an easy and direct way of becoming present. Even if there is noise, there is always some silence underneath and in between the sounds. Listening to the silence immediately creates stillness inside you.”
This passage reminded me of stepping outside early in the morning after a fresh snowfall. Imagine it…the world is hidden under a thick white blanket and the sounds you normally hear are muffled to the point of silence. As you take in the beauty the noise inside, your mind quiets down as well and in that moment everything is peaceful and still. Try to create moments like this in everyday life. Focus on you, and don’t let the noise around you overpower the stillness inside of you.
More book club posts!