I rate Eckhart Tolle’s ‘Power of Now’ as one of the books thought that opened my mind up to viewing life differently. That book have had profound impact on keeping me grounded in the present. I read ‘Stillness Speaks’ after that and have been reading it on and off. The last vacation in Pune gave me an opportunity to read it again and mull on some of the thoughts it presents.
Those thoughts that made me think again, I noted down. The book has ten chapters.
1. Silence and Stillness
"Stillness is our essential nature. When you lose touch with inner stillness, you lose touch with yourself."
"The equivalent of external noise is the inner noise of thinking."
"Only through stillness can you be aware of silence. When you become aware of silence, you are present."
"Whenever you accept the moment as it is, you are still. Pay attention to the gaps."
"Stillness is where creativity and solutions to problems are found. Wisdom comes with the ability to be still."
The Now is where we are present, where there is no pain. To be in the Now we must be still. To be still, accept the moment as it is. To know that we are still, we must be aware of silence. Then we can access creativity, solutions and wisdom.
2. Beyond the thinking Mind
"Don’t take your thoughts too seriously."
"Wisdom arises through the act of giving your full attention. Attention is primordial intelligence, consciousness."
"The realm of consciousness is much vaster than thought can grasp."
"The next step in human evolution is to transcend thought (not to be completely identified with thought, possessed by thought)."
"Feel the energy in your body in every cell. Your body becomes the doorway to a deeper sense of aliveness."
"Become at ease with the state of ‘not knowing’. Go beyond the mind."
"Mastery in every field implies that the thinking mind is not involved or is taking second place. There is no decision making process anymore. Spontaneous right action happens."
"Danger can give you a taste of the present."
Go beyond thought and into awareness. Feel the energy in every cell of your body. Give in to spontaneous action. Be present fully.
3. The Egoic Self
"When you give more attention to the 'doing' than the 'future result', you could break the egoic conditioning. Every ego contains an element of ‘victim identity’ (resentment and grievance form an essential part of their sense of self)."
"Become aware of your compulsion to think and talk about your victim story. When you live through the ego you reduce the present moment as a means to the end."
"Complaining and reactivity are favourite mind patterns. Egos identity depends on comparison. Egoic sense of self needs conflict – its sense of separation gets strengthened."
"Your unhappiness arises not from the circumstances of your life but from the conditioning of your mind."
"You say you want happiness but are addicted to your unhappiness."
"Set goals but know that arriving is not all that important."
The mind draws you away from the present moment. To break its cycle, give attention to the doing and not the future result. Do not be identified with your victim story. Do not complain and react.
4. The Now
"Life is only one moment – Now. There is no escape from Now – so welcome it. When you make friends with the present moment you feel at home wherever you are."
"The only reality is Now. You are not taking responsibility for life until you take responsibility for the Now."
"When you say Yes to what is, you become aligned with the power and intelligence of life itself. Only then can you become an agent for positive change in the world."
"I am not the content of my life. I am life."
You are only responsible for one moment – Now. By saying Yes to the present moment you are aligned with life. To live is to say Yes and be present to the Now.
5. Who you truly are
"You are the awareness in which phenomenal existence happens."
"Joy is vibrantly alive peace."
"Most lives are run by desire and fear."
You are awareness.
6. Acceptance and surrender
"Be. Do not label."
"NO strengthens the ego. YES weakens it."
"How total are you in what you are doing? This is what determines your success in life, not how much effort you make."
"If you detect ‘not wanting’ to doing something, drop it and be total in what you do."
"Do one thing at a time – its the essence of Zen."
"By letting go of inner resistance, you often find circumstances change for the better."
"Acceptance of the unacceptable is the greatest source of grace in this world."
"Surrender is giving up trying to understand, comfortable with not knowing."
Your complete attention to what you are doing takes you into the present. It gives you success. It is also about letting go of inner resistance.
"Nature shows us the way home."
"When humans become still they go beyond thought."
"Don’t label. Don’t judge."
"Meet people with full attention."
Let things be. There is no right or wrong.
9. Death of the external
"Opposite of death is birth. Life is eternal."
"Learn to accept and welcome endings in your life. By learning to die a little, you open yourself to life."
When we accept death we live.
10. Suffering and end of suffering
"True freedom is living in such a way as if you had completely whatever you feel or experience this moment."
"Suffering is necessary until you realise it is unnecessary."
"Remove time from unhappiness."
"Just allow a feeling to be."
"When suffering, unhappy, stay in the now."
"Don’t name things. Let be. Completely accept the now."
"Resist not evil is one of the highest truths of humanity."
"When you suffer consciously, physical pain can quickly burn up the ego in you, since ego consists largely of resistance."
Let things be as they are. Accept the now.