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The Power of Now
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RaBo
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 Posted: Fri Mar 23rd, 2007 03:50 pm
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Last month I read Eckhart Tolles "The Power of Now". I'm so glad Dr.Deb suggested it & the timing was perfect, although I think anytime anyone picks it up to read, it will be the perfect time! To my surprise, some friends were reading it at the same time in their book club. Has anyone else read it recently or interested in sharing/discussing points from the book?

Pauline Moore
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 Posted: Sat Mar 24th, 2007 01:55 am
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Glad that someone brought up this subject as this is a book I've really struggled to get into.  Several of my friends think it is wonderful and have read it more than once but I haven't been able to get past the first few chapters - keep wishing he'd stop rambling and get to the point, which undoubtedly means I've completely missed the point!  Would be interested in anyone's thoughts on what makes it so good.

Best wishes to all - Pauline

Dr. Deb
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 Posted: Sat Mar 24th, 2007 04:04 am
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Pauline -- I have highly recommended this book, mainly for the reason that one of the greatest problems that some riders have who come into this school of thought or approach to riding, is that they don't feel that they have, or have been told that they lack, this mysterious quality of 'feel'. Feel, timing, balance, and straightness are the four pillars of horsemanship and it is very true that feel is the greatest of these four, just as our teacher taught.

Tolle's own purpose in writing "The Power of Now" is higher than my purpose in recommending the book. His purpose is nothing less than provoking the reader to enlightenment or even complete enlightenment. In his approach to this he offends me not at all, neither do I think he is making it up, dishonest, or greedy -- this is something I do suspect of very many "New Age" authors.

Tolle comes at the question of enlightenment from several angles in his books, and one of these angles is through or by means of the physical body, in other words, that enlightenment can be achieved through paying attention to one's physical body; in his terms, to become fully aware of one's own body is an aspect or sign that you are able to be present in the "now". This is the 'power' of now.

As it turns out, this is exactly what I have said, in another way, in the Birdie Book: it is what I called "the lesser path" in the BB: you do certain things with the physical body, and the doing of these things provokes changes or improvements in the non-physical part of oneself. This is what happens when you practice Yoga with a non-athletic, non-competitive purpose and attitude. It's also what happens to the horse when the handler asks him to step under the body-shadow with the inside hind leg; he does it physically, but emotionally this moves him to greater submissiveness and mellowness; a physical change has provoked an emotional and spiritual change.

The reason I recommend Tolle's books, then, is that in those books, better than anywhere else I have ever seen it -- even in books on Aikido, T'ai Chi, Mastery, and Zen -- some of those books I have also recommended -- Tolle gives practical, simple exercises that awaken a person's "feel". This is very difficult and very sophisticated, but Tolle can teach you what "feel" is in its essence, he will teach you THAT you have it, WHERE you have it, and how to increase it so that you are not only aware of it, but can begin moving it around within and even projecting it outside of your body. You have heard me speak of this many times in class as the true way to "aid" a horse so I know that you know what I am talking about here.

Now, it is not required that anyone like the same books I like, and it isn't always true that what has been most helpful to me will be most helpful or even of any assistance to anyone else. I can only give it my best shot, there. But since you asked for help understanding what was so good about this book, well, here's the answer as to why I have recommended it. Realize that he's only telling you his little autobiography at the beginning so that you will realize that he's been more messed up earlier in his life than you have probably ever been.

Cheers and best wishes -- Dr. Deb

RaBo
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 Posted: Sat Mar 24th, 2007 03:29 pm
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Pauline, did you know that there is another book called "Practicing the Power of Now"? I read it after reading "The Power of Now" because I thought it was a 'suppliment' or 'workbook'. Come to find out, it is not only a 'suppliment' but a 'preview' for those who may have a hard time getting through, or even started in "The Power of Now". I strongly recommend it & think you will find it easier to get into.

 My friends who were reading "The Power of Now" in the book club had mixed feelings about "The Power of Now" too, they all love the concept but some had a hard time getting past all the rambling or just couldn't wrap their minds around some of the simple ideas-they decided they were trying to make more of it than there really is & felt they were just missing out or didn't get it. Sometimes it's the simple things we overlook or we assume there must be more to it (what ever 'it' may be).

I have to admit, I was hoping for some deep new enlightenment after reading the book, but there was none, just affirmation. Sometimes that's the last thing we're looking for, but often the first thing we find & if we're lucky, we finally get back around to it. 'It' being affirmation or knowledge within ourselves, 'feeling' or knowing the right thing within ourselves by being Present-connected to the thread. I think we strectch/stress our own thread/knowledge/Source with self doubt & by trying to look for a quick, easy, or more intelligent way do 'get things done' when or goal is not to 'git-r-done' but it's the path, the Presence, affirmation, the 'join-up', it all keeps you going if your Birdie is out in front of you...

I don't mean to mix all the ideas & theories, but every time I think of them or get the opportunity to talk with someone about them, they all fit together so incredibly well. Just like the forums, we can't have them all seperate because the ideas, concepts, the heart of the matter is that whether it's riding, spiritualism, learning, interaction, relationships, training, etc.- it's all the same thing- our approach, or pursuit of enlightenment (in any area/aspect of life, physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual) is our desire/goal and if we do that altruistically then we can 'light our own path' or keep our Birdie out in front of us & that energy will draw others (as illustrated when St.Nicolaus was lounging Silky with Bonnie).  It's all about being Present & available.

I think I still seek affirmation in others, but I don't think that's entirely bad... I need others to bounce things off of. People are mirrors of ourselves & we learn some deep hard lessons by looking in the mirror. I have so much to learn and "it takes a village to raise a child" I need the knowledge & experiences of others to help me, as long as I stay receptive. Thankfully many of the ESI staff & members have their Birdies out in front of them & I'm 'hooking on', just like St.Nicolaus did!

Jacquie
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 Posted: Sat Mar 24th, 2007 10:04 pm
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I was recomended by my ex brother in law, (who is an american guy) to read a book called 'excuse me your life is waiting' by Lynn Grabhorn.

Does anyone know this book ?- I found it OK to read and quite interesting and I liked the positive approach it encouraged.

I think I should read the power of now - or try to - it sounds as if it is not to all tastes perhaps

 

Jacquie!

Pauline Moore
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 Posted: Sun Mar 25th, 2007 12:58 pm
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Many thanks Dr Deb and RaBo for your replies - think I'll have to start again, and I'll keep your comments in mind.  I'll look out for the Practicing the PofN book, maybe that will be a better place to start, but it will have to wait until I've finished Michael Gershon's Second Brain book - still only half way through, although I think I've just found the link I've been looking for.

Best wishes - Pauline

miriam
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 Posted: Sun Mar 25th, 2007 10:07 pm
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I loved the book, but the parts I skimmed were the latter chapters when he was applying this stuff to human relationships.  You know, I was only looking for application of it to my horses.  I kept going back to those chapters where he helped us with the actual exercises like the breathing and recognition of, and heightened awareness of things/sounds we tend to treat like 'white noise'.

After the very informative and marvelous discussion about the pony who bucked, and how we should listen and watch for their breathing, you can see the application of the exercises in the book to our horsemanship.  My horses were somewhat surprised (all ears) when I just concentrated on their breathing, and tried to put my own with theirs.  Doing that really brings you right into the very moment to moment lives of the horses - and to their inner body as it inhales, exhales.  It's relaxing but you are vigilant.  And along the way I guess, it gets applied to human relationships b/c you've found that same stillness and listening/sensing that helps with a more rational perception of events/people.

I should've bought the book.  I ended up paying a library fine b/c I kept it too long anyway!

Nice new forum ESI.

RaBo
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 Posted: Sun Mar 25th, 2007 10:51 pm
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I did the same thing with the overdue book fee on "The Power of Now"! I'm going to buy "Practicing the Power of Now".

I'm interested in the Second Brain book Pauline mentioned, but that's after I read "A World Waiting to be Born"... so many books & information. Has anyone read "A World Waiting to be Born"? I'm looking for a good follow-up on "The Power of Now" and keep thinking that's my next book...I read Joan Didion's book "The Year of Magical Thinking" in December- it was the polar opposite of " The Power of Now" but fit well. It was reviewd on 'Sunday Morning' today and opens as a one woman Broadway show in New York this week. Okay, that is totally un-equine related.

Anymore input on the Second Brain book or "A World Waiting to be Born" would be great!

miriam
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 Posted: Mon Mar 26th, 2007 02:42 am
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Is "Practicing the Power of Now" by Tolle too?

Dr. Deb
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 Posted: Mon Mar 26th, 2007 05:35 am
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Folks -- "A World Waiting to be Born" (Scott Peck) is recommended and discussed in the January 2007 newsletter. So you're right up on it. Gershon's "Second Brain" is a beautiful review for anyone interested in either the nervous system, anatomy and function, or the same things for the digestive system. It's primarily focused on human bodies but much usefully applies to the horse, also.

As to Tolle: I have just discovered a new one -- in addition to the three he had written previously, which are, in order: "The Power of Now", "Practicing the Power of Now", and "Stillness Speaks". Of the first three, he tells you straight out, and it is true, that "Practicing the Power of Now" and "Stillness Speaks" are 80% straight recap of what it says in "The Power of Now". I believe that he did not really want to write new books at that time -- that he had already really said all he had to say in "The Power of Now." But, being an accommodating person, he allowed these other two books because people asked him for them. This is the same thing that used to happen with our teacher. The students who were kind of used to his way of putting things, or maybe who were more ready in some way for what he had to say, needed no second repetitions; but most other people did.

Now however a number of years have passed since "The Power of Now" was written, and I believe that Tolle has now got something else to say. This is embodied in the latest book, titled "A New Earth". I am currently reading it and already know that I'll have to buy a second copy, because the first copy is getting so covered with my own marginal notes. I also own two copies of "The Lord of the Rings", most of C.S. Lewis' opus, Dorothy Sayers' "Letters to a Diminished Church" and many of Oliver Sacks' books, and "The Power of Now" for the same reason. Lewis once said that he never felt that he had really "read" a book until he had read it many times, and the better he liked the book, the more readings it seemed to demand of him. I seem to be the same way. But don't you-all go a-writing in library books!

Best wishes, and happy reading -- Dr. Deb  PS -- I am EVER so pleased with the new Forum software and happy that our "regulars" seem to be liking it too.

Bonnie
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 Posted: Thu Apr 5th, 2007 11:53 pm
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Has anyone had any experience with Eckhart Tolle's audio CDs or DVDs?  I would like to get one or two, but am not sure which ones would be the best to start with.  I just started reading The Power of Now (from the library), but I spend an hour or more per day in the car, so I would like to have some CDs to listen to.

Pam
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 Posted: Fri Apr 6th, 2007 12:13 am
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Bonnie,

I have "The Power of Now" and "A New Earth" on cd and can tell you they are well worth purchasing if you drive many hours everyday.  It's like having a really nice and intelligent person in your carpool ride.  Anyway, I listen to mine everyday, and never tire of listening and learning.

I especially like listening to the cd's on the way to the barn at night after work.  I find it gets me in the right frame of mind for transitioning from work to pleasure (my horse).

Enjoy


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