The world is filled with people who are plagued by unhappiness and suffering. This has always been true and yet can be easily overcome. Author Eckhart Tolle believes that we are a people too defined by what our minds project and seek peace and fulfillment from the outside world when it holds no true meaning.
To obtain enlightenment, all you need to do is embrace the Power of Now. It is already here, and it is all that is available to you. The past and the future are nothing but illusions of time. The Now is all that we have and embracing it, surrendering to it, will set you free.
The mind has its own voice, this is the internal voice you hear every day. These involuntary thought processes are seen as normal, if only because these conversations you have with yourself are not conducted out loud. If they were, people would think you were mad.
While these thoughts help us to analyze the world around us, they aren’t always relevant to the situation in which you find yourself at the moment. This voice makes comments, speculates, judges, compares, complains, likes, dislikes, and so on, but may not do so at the right times to be helpful. You can learn to stop this flow of thought, preventing it from pulling in negativity and worry. Because the mind draws from your past and the culture you are brought up in, you only get a distorted view of what you see. It is based in judgment, brought forth from the past.
You can free yourself from the mind, from this voice, by “watching the thinker.” Pay attention and observe the voice, what it plays in your head. Do so impartially and without judgment. Once you do this, you can feel your presence rising from beyond the mind. Remember: A mind is a tool that shouldn’t be allowed to take over you.
Emotion arises at the place where mind and body meet. Your body reacts to your mind to create emotions within you. However, it is still possible for your thoughts to be in conflict with your emotions. When this happens, the thought is the lie, while the emotion is the truth. Emotions are meant to be temporary. If you hold on to them for too long, you will only be creating more pain for yourself.
An emotion usually represents an amplified and energized thought pattern. Therefore, it is harder to watch and observe than your thoughts. Still, it is something that you must endeavor to achieve in order to attain enlightenment. Thoughts and emotions feed each other, and both can bring about conflict within you.
Even positive emotions such as happiness are temporary because they come from the outside. True love, peace, and joy come from the spaces between thoughts when you have inner stillness. These pure feelings come from within you and are different from typical emotions. Only when you are freed from the mind can you experience lasting joy. Otherwise, that which gives you pleasure today will give you pain tomorrow.
We are too often caught up by the past or by the future. The mind forces us to relive the past even when we are in the present, the Now. Otherwise, it makes us worry about the future, which will never come to us. Time is an illusion created by the mind to remain relevant. But the truth is that we will only ever have the Now.
This is a truth that must be accepted to achieve enlightenment. By ceasing to create time or the illusion of time, you will be able to stop creating pain for yourself and others. The present moment is all you ever have; make it the focus of your life.
Create a home in the Now, only paying brief visits to the past and future when needed to deal with the circumstances of your life situation. But never forget that all you have is what you have Now.
Going through life, it is necessary to pay attention to what goes on around you. However, it is similar if not more important to also focus on what is going on inside of you.
The mind is a necessary tool to survive in life, analyzing the world and helping to solve problems. However, you must also accept that whatever problems you have do not exist in the Now. This is why it is crucial that you are able to focus attention within yourself. After all, it is within yourself, within the Now, that you are truly present and truly happy.
Being yourself allows you to be at home, but making visits to the external world, where time rules and the problems come with it, is also necessary to keep your body going. However, remember that the mind is not you, and you are not defined by your external life situation.
One of the reasons to stop identifying with your mind is to free yourself from unhappiness. The mind, with its judgments and comments, prevents you from accepting and surrendering to the present moment. It elicits an emotional response from you, making your reaction to the circumstance you are in even stronger.
Using the Power of Now, by Being, you can escape from this vicious cycle. Regardless of what your situation right now is, regardless of the justifications conjured by the mind, it makes no difference to the situation itself.
The mind prompts you to resist what is. And this will only bring more pain and suffering into your life. When you can accept the present moment for what it is, you can do what you need to in order to improve your circumstances. This does not mean that your life situation needs to change before you can be happy. Rather, you can already be happy once you embrace the Now. Nevertheless, improving your life situation can help you to be more present in the Now. Be grateful for the Now and you will be truly happy.