Since we are born we are programmed to think, work and be productive all the time. We have been made to believe that we must constantly think and plan for the future.
To always think ahead and never take any time to experience the joys of who and where we are now. It wasn’t until studies and provoking thinkers started talking about the positive effects of being in the present moment, that we reconsidered our way of life.
I have been on a mission to embrace a slow living lifestyle and reading books really helped me understand this concept better. I want to share the two books that inspired me most and helped me move toward a different path.
The Power of Now
You’ve probably heard of the legendary Eckhart Tolle and his books, which have had a big impact on a lot of people and changed the perception of how we see our lives. I have only recently started reading his teachings and they really resonate with me.
It’s hard to explain what feelings arose when I read this book, The Power of Now. But if I could choose one feeling, then I would say that it made me feel relieved. A certain weight fell off my shoulders and after a long time, I could breathe easier.
Below is the quote of one of its powerful paragraphs:
End the delusion of time. Time and mind are inseparable. Remove time from the mind and it stops – unless you choose to use it. To be identified with your mind is to be trapped in time: the compulsion to live almost exclusively through memory and anticipation. This creates an endless preoccupation with past and future and an unwillingness to honor and acknowledge the present moment and allow it to be. The compulsion arises because the past gives you an identity and the future holds the promise of salvation, of fulfillment in whatever form. Both are illusions.
Living in the Present Moment
Throughout the book, he provides powerful and refreshing views on our perceptions of time: past, present, and future.
He explains how our minds are programmed to constantly rummage through unnecessary clutter, we are made to believe that we exist only if we think. However, it is this constant thinking that makes us miserable. It is as we are always stuck in either the past or the future.
Eckhart’s thoughts are powerful and refreshing. You can read his books over and over again and each time find a new revelation.
I feel grateful for this new knowledge. 🙂
The Art of Happiness
Dalai Lama and his philosophy have always inspired me greatly. I love how generously he shares his wisdom and teaches others. He is a true warrior of today and what he is doing for humanity will always remain with us.
It strikes me again and again how great minds always have to live in exile, prison, or somewhat chased by authorities. The system is obviously trying to punish great thinkers, revolutionary ideas, fighters for equality, peace, and justice. Since always.
In this book, The Art of Happiness, Dalai Lama shows us how to work through anxiety, anger, and insecurity. He explores, with other experts, how relationships, loss, and the pursuit of wealth impact our lives. The book is easy to read because it’s written in the form of conversations and stories through which he guides the reader to find inner peace.
He also emphasizes that we need to live more in the present. To live fully and embrace love. To learn to cultivate joy and have as much fun as you can.
One of his most heartbreaking truths resonates with all of us and is captured in this simple answer. The Dalai Lama, when asked what surprised him most about humanity, answered:
“Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”
A Poem from the Book Tao Te Ching
When people see some things as good,
other things become bad.
The Master sees things as they are,
without trying to control them.
She lets them go their own way,
When there is no desire,
all things are at peace.
[The master] has no will of his own.
He dwells in reality,
and lets all illusions go.
Be content with what you have;
rejoice in the way things are.
When you realize there is nothing lacking,
the whole world belongs to you.
from the book Tao Te Ching, by Lao Tzu
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