The Power of Now

Late last year, I wrote a post titled Future becomes Past without being Present.

Well, I am currently reading Eckhart Tolle’s book The Power of Now. I had already read his more advanced work A New Earth , and I’m finding that The Power of Now is a wonderful prequel to better understand the foundation of Tolle’s message in an accessible way. Reading it is functioning as a great reminder of the concepts I am living, experiencing, and seeking to write about … it is a continuous practice! My posts In pursuit of being something and Cruising on the road of life demonstrate the power of now in practice.
I share here, an excerpt from the section I read last night:
“Have you ever experienced, done, thought, or felt anything outside the Now? Do you think you ever will? Is it possible for anything to happen or be outside the Now? The answer is obvious, is it not?
Nothing ever happened in the past; it happened in the Now.
Nothing will ever happen in the future; it will happen in the Now.
What you think of as the past is a memory trace, stored in the mind, of a former Now. When you remember the past, you reactivate a memory trace – and you do so Now. The future is an imagined Now, a projection of the mind. When the future comes, it comes as the Now. When you think about the future, you do so Now. Past and Future obviously have no reality of their own. Just as the moon has no light of its own, but can only reflect the light of the sun, so are past and future only pale reflections of the light, power, and reality of the eternal present. Their reality is “borrowed” from the Now.
The essence of what I am saying here cannot be understood by the mind. The moment you grasp it, there is a shift in consciousness from mind to Being, from time to presence. Suddenly, everything feels alive, radiates energy, emanates Being.”
The Power of Now, pages 41-42.
So, for every time we think we’re going to do something or be some way tomorrow, or next week, or next month, or next year … let us remember that there is only one moment: NOW. While Tolle’s message has a spiritual essence, a Phd in psychology recently said something to me that added a scientific dimension:  apparently whenever we say repeatedly we’re going to do something “someday” it represents a neurosis in ourselves worth examining. We are denying or postponing opportunities or desires that have come up for us, due to fear of facing an underlying neurosis that is related to this opportunity or desire. Tolle’s work does an excellent job of explaining psychological fear and our mental attachment to the concept of linear time.

Try explaining to your young child, or my furry feline friend, the concept of yesterday or tomorrow! Lailah reminds me daily of the power of Now! The present is indeed … our gift, and really, all there is.

Last 5 posts by Shahana Dattagupta


  1. Khushi

    Great to hear from you. I also think its a matter of prioritization when you say ‘I will do this someday’ and not neccessarily a neurosis. For example, I always thought I would grow my hair long to see how I looked that way – and I did, once I was pregnant, and too tired to go for a haircut. And it was great. I loved my long hair. It did make me somehow even more confident. But was it a neurosis? Or maybe he is talking about more serious matters of the heart. Hmm..I need to think this one through. Thanks for posting the idea.

  2. Tana

    Hi Khushi,
    Thanks for raising the question. Yes, this person, who is a practicing therapist, was referring to deeper matters of the spirit. As far as prioritization, my sense is that it is a valid and necessary organizational / practical tool for goal-level or task-level things … If, however, something is important to our spirit, healing, growth etc (even it is only growing hair!) and if we are truly connected to this, then it is always naturally high priority … unless a neurosis kicks in. I should add that indeed, acceptance of what is NOT to be now is also practicing the Power of Now.

    A quick note about neuroses – although the term “neurotic” is used negatively in common language, neuroses are psychological afflictions of ALL “normal” people – it is just a question of which ones one is sporting at any givent time!:-)It is simply the state of being human – unless one is fully enlightened.

  3. Anonymous

    Hi. I have been missing your posts as I have been on a long vacation. Good one, this one. You know as a non mom you said something right about kids! babies are always in the present and they are superyogis as a result.

  4. Tana

    Dear Anonymous,
    Thank you! You know, I have a theory that we are born with everything we need spiritually, and then begin to forget because we begin to acquire knowledge. It is then that our MIND takes over from being a practical tool to a driving force, so we forget (and eventually lose) our SPIRIT’s guidance. So often, we have to be re-born (usually a huge calamity or near-death experience) to become in-tune with our spirits again.(I have a specific story related to this – will make a post!) Thank you again!

  5. Anonymous

    My mantra during this recession and uncertain times has been yesterday is gone, tomorrow is yet to come. All I have is today and I have to make the most out of it. Is that the same as ‘Power of Now?

  6. Tana

    Someone wrote in response to this post but for some reason it doesn’t show up here:
    “My mantra during this recession and uncertain times has been yesterday is gone, tomorrow is yet to come. All I have is today and I have to make the most out of it. Is that the same as ‘Power of Now?”

    My answer is YES! BRAVO!

  7. indrani

    Hi Tana
    I had written the above comment. For some very strange reason, my name did not show. Thanks.

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