This book is both a best seller and considered a classic particularly amongst those interested in spirituality. As a starting point I have to say that as an introduction, that along with the descriptions you might read on Amazon etc. could possibly put me off this book, but bear with me.
Whilst I do like to try to understand myself and others better, particularly so I can modify my behaviour to make my life and that of those around me better, I don’t really consider myself as spiritual or seeking “enlightenment”. Consequently when I hear spiritual and enlightenment I can imagine dark incense filled rooms and lots of om-ing. Hey that my prejudice – I know about it and am working on it. So back to the book.
As the title suggests it is focused on dealing with and putting your energy towards the present – now. I have long held onto the phrase “don’t look back – you aren’t going that way” and lots of people get caught up in reminiscing or regretting the past. Equally many people waste much energy on planning and worrying about the future without enough focus on the present.
In this book you will learn that the present is the only place you can take any action. The past is gone and you can’t change it. The future is not here yet and you planning, worrying or even dreaming wont make or change it. It is only your action NOW that influences the future. This concept ties in so well with the principles we hold at Strive. You are where you are, accept it, decide what you want to change and act now. It’s great to have dreams and ideas for your future but they will come to nothing if you don’t act now. If you have a concern about something in the future don’t dwell on “worrying about the future” act now.
Of course if it was that easy we’d all be doing it. The book goes on to cover being present in the Present; the difficulties we face and role ego takes in obstructing our progress.
The more challenging part for me was the concept of separating the mind from the body and focusing on listening to the body. For me stepping away from the mind i.e. thoughts really resonated. Certainly it tied in very much with what I understood from Richard Carlson’s You Can Be Happy No Matter What. That is rather than be a prisoner or slave to your thoughts observe them, see them for what they are – just thoughts, and don’t let them control you.
Being present in the moment leads to greater awareness and I believe contentment; it’s not about being passive or ignoring feelings. But accepting that things are the way they are now, now is the only reality, now is the only time you an act you save so much energy and suffering. You are able to make a better life, and incidentally future, by giving all of your energy to where you are and what you are doing now.
I may not swallow everything in this book hook, line and sinker but undoubtedly the concept is sound, the explanations make sense and the practical tips are useful. No wonder it’s a best seller.