The Power of Now By Eckhart Tolle (Study Notes)

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The book draws from a variety of “spiritual traditions”,[5] and has been described by one reviewer as “Buddhism mixed with mysticism and a few references to Jesus Christ, a sort of New Age re-working of Zen.”[6] It uses these traditions to describe a “belief system based on living in the present moment”.[7] Its core message is that people’s emotional problems are rooted in their identification with their minds.[8] The author writes that an individual should be aware of their “present moment” instead of losing themselves in worry and anxiety about the past or future.[2]
According to the book, only the present moment is important,[5] and both an individual’s past and future is created by their thoughts.[6] The author maintains that people’s insistence that they have control of their life is an illusion “that only brings pain”.[5] The book also describes methods of relaxation and meditation to aid readers in anchoring themselves in the present.[5] These suggestions include slowing down life by avoiding multi-tasking, spending time in nature, and letting go of worries about the future.[9] Some of the concepts contained in The Power of Now, such as the human ego and its negative effects on happiness, are further elaborated in the author’s later books, in particular A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose (2005).[