the good book(s)

We’ve all read books that have had an impact on us.  Up until last month, there have been three books that have served me well over the years, all related to physical fitness.  Fit For Life, Younger Next Year, and Weight Training for Cyclists, all had (have) what I considered positive and practical lifestyle aspects for just about anyone (yes non-cyclists too).

Then recently, I revisited a book I had read about 10 years ago and listened to another by the same author.  They about knocked me off my feet.  I’m still floored by the concept.   They are also fitness and lifestyle related, except they focus on mental, emotional, and dare I say, spiritual health.  So simple is the single thread that runs throughout both books, yet deeply profound.  I listened to both as audiobooks, a total of about 17 hours, and each one had me captivated, almost spellbound, every moment I had the headphones on.

I’d been trying to convince myself, especially since DOD passed away, that life is not out in front, somewhere beyond, but right here, right now.  The obstacle has been the overworked and ever so inefficient voice in the head.  The books had me captivated by the powerful and logical idea of thought management.  Or rather, the idea of no thought.

The author is Eckart Tolle and the books are The Power of Now (just under eight hours) and A New Earth (9 hrs 15 mins).  I caught myself reacting with “WHOA” out loud at several points while listening to the last two chapters of A New Earth, the message resonated so deeply.  Never before have I connected with a concept, which, really, boils down to the only thing important in life.  Now.  As Tolle explains so logically, presence, or now, is the only thing that is.  There is nothing else.  He spells out beautifully that the lack of  presence, or a state of now, is why we get angry, upset, anxious, fearful, irritated, frustrated, jealous, have negative thoughts and arguments, and why we react (to our ego mind).  It’s a simple concept, yet deep beyond words.  It’s a matter of awakening, and staying awake (the challenging part).

The books are extremely enlightening.  And yes, pave the way to enlightenment in uncomplicated language.  The easy part is knowing the path is there.  The hard part will be the constant jousting with the voice — allowing it (voice in the head) to take more breaks, to be still more often.

If enough people read or listened to these books and absorbed a portion of the essence, the world would be a much different place.  The message, listened to with receptiveness, is life changing.  And without sounding too dramatic, could be earth changing.

Anyone reading this blog post who has not recently read these books (audio versions of the author are more impactful and actually a treat), and you’ve thought about that voice in your head, or even if you haven’t, listening to these two Tolle books will be a gift you’ll be so glad you gave yourself.