on April 14, 2004
Since the content of Tolle's books has been covered well elsewhere, I'd like to address the person new to Tolle and wondering where to begin.
In my personal experience, if I could only afford to purchase one book, I'd start with PRACTICING THE POWER OF NOW. I feel that it essentially restates the material found in the original POWER OF NOW but in a format I found easier to digest. I don't see much point in owning both books (which I currently do.)
If you connect with PRACTICING and want more, then I'd recommend the audio book/retreat Realizing the Power of Now: An In-Depth Retreat With Eckhart Tolle. (It's less than $10 if you purchase the audio file from Audible.) I'm only half way through listening yet I constantly find myself thinking "Ah...now I understand what he meant." It truly is an excellent supplement.
There is one more Tolle book here, STILLNESS SPEAKS. I borrowed this from the library. It's basically just out-takes from the other books, sort of a quotable quotes book that restates things in a nutshell. It would make a nice gift to a Tolle fan, but again, doesn't offer anything more than the other books. I suppose my message is: everything you need to know is in the original POWER OF NOW, stated perhaps more clearly in PRACTICING and excerpted in STILLNESS but supported well in audio format by the retreat CD.
I find Tolle's basic message very powerful, enlightening and simple. As he himself constantly repeats, he's not saying anything new...be here now. But he explains it in a way which finally connects the dots for me. Unfortunately, this simple message seems to be getting constantly repackaged and I hope it doesn't turn into a "Chicken Soup for the Enlightened Soul" series. (I should probably go make sure that's not the title of an actual book! <g>)
Curator, AfroAmericanHeritage dot com
Please read the title of this book before buying this book. The title is, "Practicing the Power of Now: Essential Teachings, Meditations, and Exercises from The Power of Now"
What you should take away from this title, and what the detractors missed, is those last five words, "from The Power of Now".
What this means is, this book is a condensed extract from the original masterwork. It's also quite well done. There are some original exercises, which cut straight to the key point, which is how to achieve "presence."
Although I own the original masterwork, I refer to this book more often. It's a great workbook, lunch reader, and meditation guide.
Go ahead, read part of the book to see it's power for yourself. Search for the word "myriad", which appears on the first page of the first chapter, and read a few pages. If you like what you read, make your own decision.
P.S. Another way to appreciate the Power of Now is to listen to the audio CD or the download version from Audible.com. Well worth every penny. And don't worry-you are not about to be sucked into an expensive series of seminars or anything else-Ekhart Tolle's only products are a few books. I recommend you listen to the audio version, because as others have said, there's a very spiritual aspect to Eckhart's voice, but all you really need is the original "The Power of Now" or this book, "Practicing the Power of Now."
on October 5, 2001
This book makes an excellent companion to "The Power of Now." The exercises found among these pages causes one to do some deep soul searching to determine what is important in life and what is truly insignificant. Even if you have not read Eckhart Tolle's "The Power of Now", which I strongly recommend readers do, this thought-provoking workbook can be used as a stand-alone book.
Tolle has a way of giving meaning to life by using exercises, meditations and essential teachings (many based on Buddhist philosophies) to bring peace, balance and harmony into our lives. The goal is to be able to bring about and sustain an enlightened state of consciousness in our daily lives. Tolle has a way of making the reader do some deep soul searching and reveal many truths about themselves that they might not otherwise do. In essence, the book causes one to "lighten the load" and follow a path of peace and harmony. This is truly a spiritual journey to a more enriched and meaningful life. The book is highly recommended and highly deserving of a five-star plus rating.
This is basically part three of Tolle's first book, The Power of Now. It is an easy reference to the basic "how to" stuff we need every day. It is small, easy to carry around in a purse or backpack, tuck into a desk drawer etc. I would recommend you first read The Power of Now and then go to this book. Others have gone straight to Practicing without the first book, and I think they are missing something in the overall philosophy.
Overall, and excellent resource and well worth buying when you want to get right to the heart of his philosophy.
on October 14, 2001
Let me start off by saying that the original Power of Now is the most important spiritual book I have read, (and I have read quite a few)... I am now reading it for the fifth time, annotating and underlining passages in pencil. I also often listen to the audio version of the book, which, being read by Eckhart, contains the Presence he speaks so eloquently of.
As for this book, I find it to be an overly edited, choppy version of the Power of Now, with little or no new material. Despite trying very hard to get into it, it just does not flow for me. All the power of the original book seems lost, and I find it very hard to read. Too many powerful ideas and words all crowded together, with none of the easy flow of the original. Eckhart, writing in the introduction, suggests that this book may be easier for some new readers to follow, but I disagree. The book starts abruptly, seemingly in the middle of a discussion on Being, and it is very hard to follow after that. Each chapter seems to start in the middle of an idea. When I pick up the original it is a pleasure to read almost anywhere, when I pick up this book, I feel a tension in myself as read it. I feel it's almost a disservice to the teachings of Eckhart Tolle. Someone unfamiliar with Eckharts teaching I think would not get it. This book fails in its attempt to present Eckhart's ideas in a more usable format.
That being said, it's possible that some people might like it, if they are just looking for an outline form of the material, (without eckhart's flow, clarity, warmth and humor). As for me, I'm going to stick with re-reading and annotating the original, which seems to bring even more energy into my copy of that incredible book.
There is so much breathtaking wisdom in this book. I wanted to give you a sample of Eckhart Tolle's profound guidance concerning relationships, as this area continues to plague men and women.
" Never before have relationships been as problematic and conflict ridden as they are now. As you may have noticed, they are not here to make you happy or fulfilled. If you continue to pursue the goal of salvation through a relationship, you will be disillusioned again and again. But if you accept that the relationship is here to make you conscious instead of happy, then the relationship will offer you salvation, and you will be aligning yourself with the higher consciousness that wants to be born into this world."
"Do not accuse each other of being unconscious. The moment you start to argue, you have identified with a mental position & are now defending not only that position but also your sense of self. The ego is in charge. You have become unconscious. At times, it may be appropriate to point out certain aspects of your partner's behavior. If you are very alert, very present, you can do so without ego involvement - without blaming, accusing, or making the other wrong."
"LEARN TO GIVE EXPRESSION to what you feel without blaming. Learn to listen to your partner in an open, nondefensive way.
Give your partner space for expressing himself or herself. Be present. Accusing, defending, attacking - all those patterns that are designed to strengthen or protect the ego or to get its needs met will then become redundant. Giving space to others - and to yourself - is vital.
Love cannot flourish without it."
This book brings you profound wisdom to free you from pain in all areas of your life, and bring you fully into the present to illuminate your true self. It is one to re-read many times, as well as to share with others.
Barbara Rose, author of Stop Being the String Along: A Relationship Guide to Being THE ONE Know Yourself: A Woman's Guide to Wholeness, Radiance & Supreme Confidence
on June 27, 2002
I have read countless books that cover the same ideas as this one, but for some reason this book had the greatest impact on me-and at a point when I thought reading books like this could never have such an impact on me anymore. Not only are his ideas explained clearly and simply, but he does not make you feel like you have to do certain mediations or exercises to experience what he is talking about, as so many of these other books (probably unintentionally) do. Also, I love that he addresses the word God and all that it can mean, and urges you to not be turned off by the mention of it and why. He also never attaches himself to any religion, which really hits home with me. In fact, I don't think he even uses the word "spirituality." He just explains things in a way that opens your perception of the way you view the world, and most importantly, he provides you with a variety of concrete tools to use in each moment--any time, anywhere, not just on your meditation stool--to help you experience what he is explaining. Many of these other books explain, but tell you that you have to meditiate to "get it," which always made me feel like meditation was something I had to "do" or "attain," which, of course, is beside the point. Rather in this book he points out that it is all a matter of focus and what you chose to focus on, in every minute, and that every minute is only ever now, no matter what you are doing. Perhaps it is just the timing of my reading this book that created such an impact on me, but I truly think it is largely because of the simplistic, clear way he writes about these "foreign" subjects that makes it so accessible and powerful. He also has wonderful analogies that at times make all the difference.
on October 22, 2001
This book is about packaging a poorly abridged version of a truly great spiritual guide. I am not a reader of "spiritual" guides but found the original "Power of Now" to be a deep, rich, and incredibly clear book of a Truth about life that nothing in me can refute. It has become a truly important experience for me - life changing. I have purchased many copies for friends and they in turn have done the same.
This book "Practicing the Power of Now" is a watered down version of the original and in my reading of it, much less powerful. I have read the original twice and it remains strong for me, but this book is very, very abridged, strangely formatted, and does not feel to contain the essence of the original. The words that are in it are EXACTLY the same as those in the original and although I am sure there are exceptions, I confirmed this by choosing four pages at random and then found the text in the original. Much is left out and the formatting is distracting.
Tolle and the publishers can be very, very proud of the original, but frankly, they should be deeply ashamed of this book. Although there is a need for a book that is to be used as a tool for practice by readers of the first, this book is most certainly not it.
I will be seeking a refund and I hope that others do as well.
on July 4, 2004
I have studied many spiritual paths for over 30 years, and the wisdom Eckhart Tolle provides in Practicing the Power of Now is truly enlightening. I learned much from this book, and it is one of the few that I highly recommend. I learned much from the wisdom provided, and once applied, I felt a genuine release of the negativity that I used to feel. This is another rare contribution that I HIGHLY recommend, which is why I give it the five stars it deserves.
on May 13, 2002
What a pleasure to read a book that encourages me to just continue being me, with one key suggestion: that I observe myself without judgment. Tolle presents this book as a simplified and condensed version of THE POWER OF NOW, his original bestseller. The tone is simple, gentle, and powerful. It's all about getting into the moment, where the magic and joy of life reside. I was very intrigued by Tolle's description of time as something that only exists in the mind, in the past or future. There is no time in the present, he points out, and by leaving the moment, we create more psychological time. I had never looked at this way. I also liked his emphasis on reconnecting with oneself by observing the sensations in one's body - this struck a chord with me. In a world awash with tips on how to get better, it's an immense relief to read something that opens your eyes to how perfect you already are. I strongly suggest complementing this book with WORKING ON YOURSELF DOESN'T WORK by Ariel and Shya Kane, another excellent publication that actually facilitates you in the day-to-day practice of living in the moment, where passion, satisfaction, and love are unlimited.