Written by Cameron Harman
The Power of Now is a wonderfully written book about navigating your spiritual journey. It acts as a guide for those who want a deeper understanding of the mind and its role in our daily lives. Eckhart starts by sharing his early life and how he became a spiritual teacher. Through trauma and hardship, he found enlightenment.
Within the first few pages, the reader is given a perspective-shifting explanation of what it means to observe the mind. By watching our thoughts, we can identify our negative patterns, and when we recognize this negativity, we can change our thoughts or at least reinforce the negative with positivity. But more importantly, we can learn how to become neutral and not judge our thoughts at all. Through this observation, we become aware that we are labeling our thoughts as negative or positive. Becoming self-aware of this judgment allows us to realize where our mind is operating. When we shift into a place of neutrality, there is no longer a need to judge our thoughts; we simply see them for what they are, just thoughts. This is one of the most life-changing shifts we can make because it clears up the back and forth battle that is always raging in our minds.
Possibly one of the most lovely writings I have ever read, this monk sums up life in this short, beautiful little book. Life can be filled with suffering and frustration, but how we view the difficult times in our lives determines the outcome. By changing our perception of certain events, we can see the true beauty in all things. The book offers the perspective that "things are happening for me, and not against me." All things are lessons we can learn from when we choose to accept the perception that struggle is valuable. Each moment is gold because suffering becomes learning, transforming us into students of the Universe. Accepting that all things are within the flow of the Universe, the only suffering that genuinely exists is when we refuse or reject that all things are for us. An example the book gives is by painting a picture of going on a walk. When simply walking, our minds are focused on the future or the past. Maybe you are thinking about what you will have for dinner or a painful event in your past. Thich Nhat Hanh invites you to be present in the moment while walking. With walking meditation, you are in the moment. He says to imagine that your feet are kissing the Earth with each step, look at your surroundings, and become grateful for all that exists. Each page is a golden nugget for peaceful living. The ultimate takeaway from this book is a blueprint for a peaceful life.
This book is a timeless reminder of how we can overcome anything in our life. Ram Dass was, in my opinion, one of the greatest spiritual teachers of all time. He was a psychology professor at Harvard University turned spiritual guru after his experiences with psychedelics. In his book, he talks about his experiences in India with his guru Maharaj-ji, a man Ram Dass said knew things that were impossible to know about his personal life. This man would mystifyingly tell Ram Dass of even his thoughts at times. These mind-blowing experiences led Ram Dass to become his devotee. From the teachings of Maharaj-ji, Ram Dass learned how to meditate and how to love others unconditionally through forgiveness. After his time in India, Ram Dass came back to America to teach what he learned about the Universe and human beings' nature. A wave of young westerners came to learn from the mystical Ram Dass. Even to this day, the teachings of Ram Dass can be found in his books and a film called, Becoming Nobody. The title, Grist for the Mill, speaks to how we can transcend painful events in our lives into something more. By using the method of letting go and forgiveness, we can make these painful events reminders of how far we have come.
About the author: My name is Cameron Harman. I served in the US Army for eight years. From 2011 to 2012, I went to Afghanistan. After my service, I had PTSD and suffered from it for many years. When my time in the military was done, I started meditating and learning about spirituality. My life changed, and the pain began to fade. I started a podcast called Hermit_Radio to share what I had learned about healing the mind and living from the heart.
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