The Power of Now

by Eckhart Tolle

Troy Shu
Troy Shu
Updated at: April 08, 2024
The Power of Now
The Power of Now

Discover the power of present moment awareness with our "Power of Now" book summary. Gain actionable insights to transcend suffering, transform relationships, and find inner peace. Click to access key learnings and thought-provoking questions.

What are the big ideas?

Embrace Present Moment Awareness

Achieving inner peace and transformation hinges on embracing the present moment fully, resisting the temptation to dwell on past or future. This concept emphasizes the unique power of 'Now' as the gateway to transcending mind-based limitations and accessing a state of pure consciousness.

Transcendence Through Surrender

Surrendering to the current condition as it is, rather than resisting or denying it, is portrayed as a powerful practice for overcoming ego-based suffering and accessing deeper spiritual dimensions.

Recognizing Pain as an Illusion

The book articulates a perspective where physical and emotional pains are seen as illusions, stemming from identification with form. By disidentifying with these forms, one can uncover the true, painless essence of being.

Relationships as Spiritual Practice

Interpersonal relationships, especially those fraught with conflict, are proposed as opportunities for spiritual growth, urging individuals to practice presence and acceptance as means to transform and deepen connections.

The Practice of Conscious Breathing

The technique of focusing on one's breath is advocated not just as a meditation tool, but as a practical method to bridge the gap between the conscious mind and the deeper states of consciousness, reinforcing the practice of present moment awareness.

Unconsciousness as the Root of Suffering

The book delves into the idea that much of human suffering and addiction patterns arise from an unconscious refusal to face inner pain. It presents the process of making unconscious patterns conscious as integral to dissolving these patterns and achieving enlightenment.

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Embrace Present Moment Awareness

Embrace the Present Moment. This is the key to inner peace and transformation. The past and future are mere illusions - all that truly exists is the Now. When you fully inhabit the present moment, you transcend the limitations of the mind and access a profound state of pure consciousness.

Dwelling on the past or worrying about the future only breeds suffering. Instead, learn to use time pragmatically for practical matters, but then quickly return your attention to the Now. This prevents the buildup of "psychological time" - the endless cycle of identifying with memories and projecting into an imagined future.

In the Now, all your problems dissolve. Suffering cannot survive in the timeless, spacious awareness of the present. By withdrawing your attention from past and future, the energy of consciousness becomes presence - a stillness, peace, and aliveness that permeates your entire being. This is the doorway to your true nature, beyond the confines of the thinking mind.

Here are examples from the context that support the key insight of embracing present moment awareness:

  • Inhabiting the body: "It is easy to stay present as the observer of your mind when you are deeply rooted within your body. No matter what happens on the outside, nothing can shake you anymore." This emphasizes how being fully present in the body anchors one in the Now.

  • Withdrawing from the mind: "The energy that is withdrawn from the mind turns into presence. Once you can feel what it means to be present, it becomes much easier to simply choose to step out of the time dimension whenever time is not needed for practical purposes and move more deeply into the Now."

  • Letting go of psychological time: "Learn to use time in the practical aspects of your life...but immediately return to present-moment awareness when those practical matters have been dealt with. In this way, there will be no build-up of 'psychological time,' which is identification with the past and continuous compulsive projection into the future."

  • Observing the mind: "Be present as the watcher of your mind of your thoughts and emotions as well as your reactions in various situations. Be at least as interested in your reactions as in the situation or person that causes you to react." This emphasizes how observing the mind withdraws energy from it and cultivates presence.

  • Dissolving the past through presence: "Give attention to the present; give attention to your behavior, to your reactions, moods, thoughts, emotions, fears, and desires as they occur in the present. There's the past in you. If you can be present enough to watch all those things, not critically or analytically but nonjudgmentally, then you are dealing with the past and dissolving it through the power of your presence."

Transcendence Through Surrender

Transcendence Through Surrender

Accepting the present moment as it is, without resistance or judgment, is a transformative practice. Surrender allows you to move beyond the confines of the ego and connect with your deeper spiritual essence.

When you surrender, you stop struggling against life's circumstances. Instead of getting caught up in mental labeling and emotional negativity, you simply acknowledge "what is" with an open and receptive presence. This dissolves inner resistance and frees you from suffering.

Surrender does not mean passively giving up or failing to take action. Rather, it enables you to respond to situations with clarity and effectiveness, infused with the energy of your spiritual Being. Surrendered action arises from presence, not from the conditioned patterns of the mind.

By surrendering to the Now, you access a profound dimension of consciousness that transcends the ego's limited perspective. This transforms not only your inner experience, but also the outer conditions of your life, as you align with the flow of life itself.

The key is to practice surrender in the face of any challenge or difficulty, using it as a portal to enlightenment. By fully accepting "what is," you open yourself to the miraculous unfolding of life, unburdened by the weight of resistance.

Here are some key examples from the context that support the insight that transcendence comes through surrender:

  • The context states that "Surrender is the simple but profound wisdom of yielding to rather than opposing the flow of life. The only place where you can experience the flow of life is the Now, so to surrender is to accept the present moment unconditionally and without reservation."

  • It provides the example of being stuck in the mud - the context explains that true surrender is not resignation, but recognizing the desire to get out of the unpleasant situation, while narrowing your attention to the present moment without judgment. This allows you to take positive action without resistance.

  • The context contrasts "surrendered action" infused with spiritual energy, versus "work as we have known it for thousands of years" driven by the mind's resistance and negativity. Surrendered action "becomes a joyful celebration of life energy that takes you more deeply into the Now."

  • It states that "If your overall situation is unsatisfactory or unpleasant, separate out this instant and surrender to what is. That's the flashlight cutting through the fog. Your state of consciousness then ceases to be controlled by external conditions."

  • The passage emphasizes that "Until you practice surrender, the spiritual dimension is something you read about, talk about...but it makes no difference. Not until you surrender does it become a living reality in your life."

Key terms:

  • Surrender - Accepting the present moment unconditionally, without judgment or resistance.
  • Surrendered action - Action infused with spiritual energy and a joyful celebration of life, rather than driven by the mind's resistance.
  • Spiritual energy - A higher vibrational frequency of energy that creates no suffering, unlike the mind energy that perpetuates the existing dysfunctional structures of civilization.

Recognizing Pain as an Illusion

Recognize that physical and emotional pains are illusions. These pains arise from your identification with your physical form and mind. By disidentifying from these temporary, changing forms, you can uncover your true, painless essence of being.

The root of all pain is the ego's false belief that it is a separate self, distinct from the whole. This leads to a constant state of fear, anxiety, and resistance to the present moment. But you are not your ego or your thoughts and emotions. You are the silent witness, the awareness behind it all.

When you let go of identifying with the pain-body - the accumulated emotional pain from the past - you free yourself from its grip. You no longer derive your sense of self from this unhappy fiction. Instead, you access the joy, love, and peace that are your natural state of being. This is the power of presence - abiding as the observer of your experience, rather than being consumed by it.

Here are the key examples from the context that support the insight that recognizing pain as an illusion can lead to uncovering one's true, painless essence:

  • The parable of the beggar sitting on a box filled with gold, which the stranger encourages him to open and look inside. This represents how we all have an "invisible and indestructible reality" within us, which we fail to recognize.

  • The explanation that as long as one is identified with the mind, they are subject to "cravings" and "needs" that create suffering. But by becoming present as the "observer of the mind" rather than being identified with it, one can transcend this suffering.

  • The description of how "pain is inevitable as long as you are identified with your mind" and how "the greater part of human pain is unnecessary" - it is "self-created as long as the unobserved mind runs your life."

  • The explanation that "the more you are identified with your mind, the more you suffer" but "the more you are able to honor and accept the Now, the more you are free of pain, of suffering and free of the egoic mind."

  • The insight that the mind "cannot function and remain in control without time" and thus "perceives the timeless Now as threatening." By transcending identification with the mind, one can access the "timeless Now" which is free from pain.

Relationships as Spiritual Practice

Relationships are powerful vehicles for spiritual growth and transformation. When faced with conflict or dysfunction in a relationship, see it as an opportunity, not a problem. Rather than trying to escape or change your partner, accept the situation as it is. This allows you to cultivate presence and awareness.

Instead of reacting with judgment, blame, or defensiveness, observe your own thoughts and emotions with compassion. Recognize that your partner's unconscious behaviors are not who they truly are. Hold the knowing of the present moment, without getting caught up in the drama. This loving presence can have a profound effect, as unconsciousness cannot coexist with awareness.

Approach your relationship as a spiritual practice. Express your feelings openly, but without attacking. Listen to your partner with an open, non-defensive mind. Give each other space to be. As you let go of ego-driven needs and patterns, your connection can blossom into a reflection of the love and oneness at the core of your being. This is the true purpose of relationship - to awaken consciousness, not just provide happiness.

Here are examples from the context that support the key insight of relationships as spiritual practice:

  • The context states that "if relationships energize and magnify egoic mind patterns and activate the pain-body, as they do at this time, why not accept this fact rather than try to escape from it? Why not cooperate with it instead of avoiding relationships or continuing to pursue the phantom of an ideal partner as an answer to your problems or a means of felling fulfilled?"

  • It suggests that "the relationship then becomes your sadhana, your spiritual practice. If you observe unconscious behavior in your partner, hold it in the loving embrace of your knowing so that you won't react."

  • The passage explains that "Unconsciousness and knowing cannot coexist for long even if the knowing is only in the other person and not in the one who is acting out the unconsciousness. The energy form that lies behind hostility and attack finds the presence of love absolutely intolerable."

  • It states that "If you both agree that the relationship will be your spiritual practice, so much the better. You can then express your thoughts and feelings to each other as soon as they occur, or as soon as a reaction comes up, so that you do not create a time gap in which an unexpressed or unacknowledged emotion or grievance can fester and grow."

  • The context emphasizes that "When you have removed the two factors that are destructive of relationships: When the pain-body has been transmuted and you are no longer identified with mind and mental positions, and if your partner has done the same, you will experience the bliss of the flowering of relationship."

Key terms and concepts:

  • Sadhana: A spiritual practice or discipline
  • Pain-body: An accumulation of painful life experience that has not been fully faced and accepted in the moment
  • Presence: Being fully in the current moment, without mental identification
  • Acceptance: Acknowledging and allowing the present moment as it is, without resistance

The Practice of Conscious Breathing

The practice of conscious breathing is a powerful technique to cultivate present moment awareness. By focusing your attention on the flow of your breath, you can create a gap in the stream of your mind's incessant chatter. This pause allows you to disidentify from the constant mental activity and connect with a deeper sense of presence within.

When you become aware of your breath, especially in moments of transition like getting into your car, you tap into a silent but powerful sense of being. This practice helps you move beyond the superficial level of your thoughts and emotions, and access the profound peace and clarity that lies at the core of your true nature. The degree to which you feel this inner tranquility is a reliable measure of your progress on the spiritual journey.

The ability to step back from your mind's compulsive thinking is the single most vital step toward enlightenment. Each time you create this gap, you strengthen your capacity to be the observer of your mind, rather than being lost in its content. Over time, you may even find yourself smiling at the mind's antics, no longer taking its thoughts and stories so seriously.

Here are the key examples from the context that support the practice of conscious breathing as a way to bridge the gap between the conscious mind and deeper states of consciousness:

  • The context suggests pausing and observing the flow of your breath after getting into your car, as a way to become aware of a "silent but powerful sense of presence." This demonstrates how conscious breathing can help access a deeper state of awareness.

  • It states that "the degree of peace that you feel within" is the "certain criterion by which you can measure your success" in the practice of conscious breathing. This indicates that the practice helps cultivate a sense of inner peace and presence.

  • The text emphasizes that "to be firmly established in the state of presence" and become "fully conscious," one must shift back and forth between consciousness and unconsciousness, repeatedly losing and regaining the "Now" through practices like conscious breathing. This shows how the practice helps develop present moment awareness over time.

  • It explains that "to be free of time is to be free of the psychological need of past for your identity and future for your fulfillment," which represents a "profound transformation of consciousness." Conscious breathing is presented as a way to access this timeless state of presence.

So in summary, the context highlights conscious breathing as a practical technique to bridge the gap between the surface level of the mind and deeper states of consciousness characterized by peace, presence, and freedom from psychological time. The practice is shown to be a key step in the journey towards greater awareness and enlightenment.

Unconsciousness as the Root of Suffering

The root of human suffering lies in unconsciousness. When we are unconscious, we resist and deny the present moment, getting caught up in the mind's endless cycle of past and future. This unconscious resistance creates intense negativity and pain, such as anger, fear, depression, and aggression.

The path to freedom is to bring more consciousness into our lives, even in ordinary situations. By learning to be the witness of our thoughts and emotions, we can disidentify from the mind's patterns and access the power of the present moment. This dissolves the ego's grip and the underlying pain-body that fuels our suffering.

The greatest obstacle to this transformation is the ego's fear of losing its familiar, albeit unhappy, sense of self. But by making this resistance conscious, we can take the leap into the unknown and discover our true nature beyond the mind. This is the essence of enlightenment - to be the awakened presence that we already are, beneath the layers of unconsciousness.

Here are some key examples from the context that support the insight that unconsciousness is the root of suffering:

  • The text describes "deep unconsciousness" as an "intensified version of ordinary unconsciousness" where there is "intense negativity such as anger, acute fear, aggression, depression" when the ego is threatened or there is a major challenge or loss. This shows how unconsciousness leads to intense suffering.

  • It states that "if you cannot be present even in normal circumstances...then you certainly won't be able to stay conscious when something 'goes wrong' or you are faced with difficult people or situations" and will be "pulled into deep unconsciousness." This demonstrates how lack of presence in everyday life makes one more prone to unconsciousness and suffering when challenges arise.

  • The text explains how the "background 'static' of ordinary unconsciousness" manifests as "a great deal of resistance in the form of judgment, discontent, and mental projection away from the Now" as well as "an undercurrent of unease, tension, boredom, or nervousness" - showing how unconsciousness creates a constant low-level suffering.

  • It describes how the "ego runs your life" when you are "identified with your mind" and the ego is "very vulnerable and insecure, and it sees itself as constantly under threat" - illustrating how unconscious identification with the ego is a root cause of fear and anxiety.

  • The text states that "as long as you are identified with your mind, the ego runs your life" and that "the present moment holds the key to liberation" - emphasizing that freeing oneself from unconscious identification with the mind is essential for ending suffering.


Let's take a look at some key quotes from "The Power of Now" that resonated with readers.

Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.

The present moment is the only reality that truly exists, as the past is merely memories and the future is just imagination. By focusing your attention on the now, you can experience inner peace, transcend the limitations of the mind, and access a profound state of pure consciousness. Embracing the present moment allows you to dissolve problems and suffering, which cannot survive in the timeless, spacious awareness of the present.

Time isn’t precious at all, because it is an illusion. What you perceive as precious is not time but the one point that is out of time: the Now. That is precious indeed. The more you are focused on time—past and future—the more you miss the Now, the most precious thing there is.

The quote suggests that time is an illusion and holds no true value. What truly matters is the present moment, or "the Now." By focusing too much on the past or future, one may miss out on the significance of the present moment, which is the only time that holds any real worth.

I have lived with several Zen masters -- all of them cats.

The quote suggests that the speaker has learned profound wisdom from observing cats, implying that they possess a certain peacefulness and mindfulness that can serve as a model for human behavior. By living with these "Zen masters" or wise teachers in the form of cats, the speaker has gained insight into the importance of living fully in the present moment.

Comprehension Questions

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How well do you understand the key insights in "The Power of Now"? Find out by answering the questions below. Try to answer the question yourself before revealing the answer! Mark the questions as done once you've answered them.

1. How does dwelling on the past or worrying about the future affect one's mental state?
2. How does observing the mind contribute to being present?
3. What does surrender entail in the context of personal growth and spirituality?
4. How does surrendering distinguish itself from passively giving up in challenging situations?
5. What transformation occurs when one practices surrender in response to life's challenges?
6. How does surrendered action differ from action driven by the mind's resistance?
7. What is the significance of practicing surrender specifically in the present moment?
8. What forms must one disidentify from to uncover their true essence of being?
9. What is the root of all pain according to this concept?
10. How can one free themselves from the grip of the pain-body?
11. What is the parable of the beggar sitting on a box with gold intended to illustrate?
12. Why is the greater part of human pain described as unnecessary?
13. What role does accepting conflict and dysfunction in a relationship serve in terms of spiritual growth?
14. How should one approach observing their own reactions in the context of a relationship?
15. Why is it beneficial to approach a relationship as a spiritual practice?
16. What does holding the knowing of the present moment entail in the context of a partner's unconscious behavior?
17. What are the effects of transforming the pain-body and no longer identifying with mind and mental positions on a relationship?
18. What is the primary benefit of focusing on your breath?
19. How does conscious breathing affect your relationship with your thoughts and emotions?
20. What is indicated by a feeling of inner tranquility in the practice of conscious breathing?
21. How does creating gaps in mental activity through conscious breathing benefit your spiritual development?
22. What is considered the root cause of suffering according to the text?
23. How does unconsciousness manifest in one's life?
24. What is the path to freedom from this root cause of suffering?
25. What is considered the greatest obstacle to becoming more conscious?
26. How is the concept of enlightenment described in the text?

Action Questions

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"Knowledge without application is useless," Bruce Lee said. Answer the questions below to practice applying the key insights from "The Power of Now". Mark the questions as done once you've answered them.

1. How can you integrate present moment awareness into your daily routine to decrease stress and improve focus?
2. What practices can you adopt to regularly observe your thoughts and emotions without judgment, fostering a deep sense of presence?
3. In what ways can you integrate surrendered action into your daily routine to experience joy and reduce resistance?
4. What steps can you take to cultivate a stronger sense of presence in your everyday life, minimizing the grip of the ego and its associated pains?
5. How can you practice observing your thoughts and emotions with compassion during a conflict in a relationship, instead of reacting with judgment or defensiveness?
6. How can integrating conscious breathing into your daily transitions create moments of present moment awareness and peace?
7. How can you bring more consciousness into your everyday interactions to reduce suffering?

Chapter Notes


  • The Author's Transformation: The author describes his journey from a state of "almost continuous anxiety interspersed with periods of suicidal depression" to a profound spiritual awakening that occurred one night when he was 29 years old. This experience led to a profound shift in his consciousness, where he realized the illusory nature of his "self" and experienced a deep sense of peace, bliss, and connection with the present moment.

  • The Realization of "I" and "Self": During his moment of crisis, the author had a realization that there were two aspects of himself - the "I" and the "self" that he could not live with. This led him to question the nature of his own existence and the reality of his inner experience.

  • The Collapse of the Ego: The author describes how the intense pressure of his suffering caused his consciousness to withdraw from its identification with the "unhappy and deeply fearful self," which he realized was ultimately a fiction of the mind. This withdrawal led to the collapse of this false, suffering self, revealing his true nature as pure consciousness.

  • Subsequent Spiritual Experiences: After his initial awakening, the author describes experiencing even more profound states of bliss, sacredness, and inner peace, which he was able to access and remain in for extended periods of time. He also describes a period where he had no external identity, relationships, or possessions, and spent time in a state of intense joy.

  • Becoming a Spiritual Teacher: The author's profound experiences led others to seek him out, asking him to share what he had discovered. This eventually led him to become a spiritual teacher, with the book you are holding being a manifestation of that process.

  • The Underlying Peace: The author notes that even after his initial awakening, an undercurrent of peace has remained with him, sometimes more palpable than others, but always present as a "distant melody" in the background of his experience.


  • The book represents the essence of the author's work with spiritual seekers over the past 10 years. The author is grateful to these individuals for their courage, willingness to embrace inner change, and challenging questions, without whom this book would not have come into existence.

  • The book aims to act as a catalyst for radical inner transformation. It is intended for those who are ready for such transformation, as well as others who may find its content worthy of consideration, even if they are not yet ready to fully live or practice it.

  • The book alternates between two levels. On one level, it draws attention to what is false in the reader, discussing the nature of human unconsciousness and dysfunction, as well as its behavioral manifestations. On another level, it speaks of a profound transformation of human consciousness, available in the present moment, and how to free oneself from the enslavement of the mind.

  • The book is designed to draw the reader into a state of enlightened consciousness. Certain passages are intended to take the reader into a timeless state of intense conscious presence in the Now, to give them a taste of enlightenment.

  • The book addresses the "knower" within the reader. It speaks to the deeper self that immediately recognizes spiritual truth, resonates with it, and gains strength from it.

  • The book uses neutral terminology to reach a wide range of people. It is a restatement of the one timeless spiritual teaching, the essence of all religions, derived from the one true Source within, rather than from external sources.

  • The book is not meant to be read with the mind alone. The reader is encouraged to watch for any "feeling-response" and a sense of recognition from deep within, as the author cannot tell the reader any spiritual truth that they do not already know deep within.


  • Enlightenment is the natural state of felt oneness with Being: Enlightenment is not a superhuman accomplishment, but rather the realization of one's true nature beyond name and form. It is a state of connectedness with something immeasurable and indestructible, which is essentially you and yet much greater than you.

  • Suffering arises from the illusion of separation: The inability to feel the connectedness with Being gives rise to the illusion of separation from yourself and the world around you, leading to fear, conflict, and suffering.

  • Being is the eternal, ever-present One Life: Being is the innermost essence of all life, both beyond and deep within every form. It is accessible to you as your own deepest self, your true nature, but cannot be grasped or understood mentally.

  • The greatest obstacle to enlightenment is identification with the mind: The compulsive thinking and the mind-made self create an opaque screen of concepts, labels, and definitions that block true relationship and the experience of oneness with Being.

  • The mind is a superb instrument when used rightly: The mind is a powerful tool, but when used wrongly, it becomes destructive. The delusion of identifying with the mind leads to the belief that you are your mind, and the mind then uses you instead of you using it.

  • Freeing yourself from the mind's control is the beginning of enlightenment: The realization that you are not the thinker, but the observer of the thinker, activates a higher level of consciousness and enables you to access the vast realm of intelligence beyond thought, where true beauty, love, and inner peace reside.


  • Watching the Thinker: The ability to observe the voice in your head, the continuous stream of involuntary thoughts, judgments, and commentary, without identifying with it. This involves listening to the voice impartially, without judging or condemning it.

  • The "I Am" Realization: When you listen to the voice in your head, you become aware of yourself as the witness of the thought, a conscious presence behind or underneath the thought. This "I am" realization arises from beyond the mind.

  • Gaps in the Mental Stream: As you practice watching the thinker, you experience gaps or discontinuities in the mental stream, where there is a sense of stillness, peace, and joy of being. These gaps become longer with practice.

  • State of Pure Consciousness: By going deeper into the realm of "no-mind," you can reach a state of pure consciousness, where your own presence is felt with such intensity and joy that the physical body, emotions, and the external world become relatively insignificant.

  • Directing Attention to the Present Moment: Instead of watching the thinker, you can also create a gap in the mind stream by directing your attention fully into the present moment, becoming intensely conscious of the current activity or sensation.

  • Everyday Mindfulness Practices: You can practice being present in your everyday life by giving your full attention to routine activities, such as walking, washing your hands, or getting into your car, and becoming aware of the sensations and the sense of presence.

  • Disidentification from the Mind: The single most vital step on the journey to enlightenment is learning to disidentify from your mind, to not take the content of your mind too seriously, as your sense of self does not depend on it.


  • Thinking is a Tool, Not an Addiction: The mind is an instrument to be used for specific tasks, but compulsive, repetitive, and negative thinking is an addiction that drains vital energy. The ego identifies with the mind's activity, leading to a false sense of self.

  • The Present Moment is the Key to Liberation: The ego is focused on the past and future, unable to fully experience the present moment. Enlightenment involves rising above thought and accessing the present moment, which is the key to liberation.

  • Consciousness and Thinking are Not Synonymous: Thinking is a small aspect of consciousness, and consciousness can exist without thought. Enlightenment is not a return to a level below thought, but a rise above it, where thought is used in a more focused and effective way.

  • The Mind is a Survival Machine, Not a Creative Force: The mind is good at tasks like information gathering, analysis, and defense, but it is not inherently creative. True creativity and breakthroughs come from a state of "no-mind," where the mind is connected to the vast realm of consciousness.

  • The Intelligence of Life Transcends the Mind: The incredible complexity and intelligence behind the creation and sustenance of life on Earth, including the human body, is far greater than the mind can comprehend. When the mind reconnects with this greater intelligence, it becomes a powerful tool in service of something greater than itself.


  • Emotion is the body's reaction to the mind: Emotion arises at the intersection of the mind and body, reflecting the thoughts and unconscious mental-emotional patterns in the physical body. Strong emotions can even cause changes in the body's biochemistry.

  • Identifying with thoughts and judgments amplifies emotions: The more one is identified with their thinking, likes/dislikes, and interpretations, the stronger the emotional charge will be, whether one is aware of it or not. Suppressed emotions can manifest as physical problems or symptoms.

  • Observing emotions is as important as observing thoughts: Observing one's emotions, feeling the energy of the emotion in the body, can reveal unconscious mental processes and bring them into awareness, similar to observing thoughts.

  • Emotions are modifications of a primordial "pain": Essentially, all emotions stem from a deep sense of loss of awareness of one's true nature beyond name and form, a primordial "pain" that the mind constantly tries to fight or remove, often unsuccessfully.

  • Positive emotions like love and joy are aspects of Being: Love, joy, and peace are not emotions, but rather deep states of Being that lie beyond the realm of emotions, which are subject to the law of opposites (e.g., pleasure and pain).

  • Freeing oneself from mind-identification is key: To experience the true, uncorrupted joy, love, and peace of one's Being, one must free themselves from identification with the mind and the constant stream of thoughts, desires, and cravings.

  • Pain is inevitable with mind-identification: As long as one perceives themselves as a separate, meaningless fragment in an alien universe, disconnected from the Source, they will experience various forms of emotional pain, which can also manifest physically.

  • Dissolving past pain and ceasing to create present pain is the goal: The two levels of pain to address are the pain created in the present moment and the pain from the past that still lingers in the mind and body. Transcending this pain is the key to experiencing one's true nature.


  • The Mind's Resistance to the Present Moment: The mind habitually denies or resists the present moment because it cannot function and remain in control without time (past and future). The mind perceives the timeless Now as threatening, as it cannot exist without time.

  • Unnecessary Human Pain: The greater part of human pain is self-created and unnecessary, as long as the unobserved mind runs one's life. This pain arises from nonacceptance or unconscious resistance to the present moment, which manifests as judgment (on the level of thought) or negativity (on the emotional level).

  • Identification with the Mind and Suffering: The more one is identified with the mind, the more one suffers. Conversely, the more one is able to honor and accept the present moment (the Now), the more one is free of pain, suffering, and the egoic mind.

  • The Accumulation of Time in the Human Mind: The human mind has been accumulating an increasingly heavy burden of time, covering up the present moment with the past and future. This holds a vast amount of residual pain from the past, which individuals continue to add to by ignoring or denying the present moment.

  • Dwelling in the Present Moment: To stop creating more pain, one should make the present moment the primary focus of their life. Instead of dwelling in time and paying brief visits to the Now, one should have their dwelling place in the Now and only visit the past and future when necessary for practical purposes.

  • Accepting the Present Moment: The present moment is sometimes unacceptable, unpleasant, or awful, but it is as it is. By observing the mind's labeling and judgment of the present moment, one can step out of the resistance patterns and allow the present moment to be, which can lead to a state of inner freedom and peace.

  • Transforming One's Life: Accepting the present moment as if one had chosen it, and working with it rather than against it, can miraculously transform one's whole life, making the present moment a friend and ally rather than an enemy.


  • The Pain-Body: The pain-body is a negative energy field that occupies the body and mind, consisting of accumulated emotional pain from the past. It has two modes: dormant and active.

  • Identifying the Pain-Body: The pain-body can be identified by any sign of unhappiness, such as irritation, impatience, a somber mood, a desire to hurt, anger, rage, depression, or a need for drama in relationships.

  • The Pain-Body's Survival: The pain-body wants to survive and can only do so by getting the person to unconsciously identify with it. It then takes over and creates situations that reflect its own energy frequency, feeding on pain.

  • Observing the Pain-Body: The key to breaking the identification with the pain-body is to observe it directly, feel its energy field, and take attention into it. This brings in a higher dimension of consciousness, the "watcher" or "witness."

  • Transmuting the Pain-Body: Unconsciousness creates the pain-body, while consciousness transmutes it. Watching the pain-body, without fighting it or identifying with it, allows it to dissolve and the split within to be healed.

  • The Power of Now: The power of the present moment, or the "power of Now," is the key to observing and transmuting the pain-body. Staying present and conscious severs the link between the pain-body and one's thought processes.

  • Menstrual Cycles: For many women, the pain-body tends to awaken more strongly during the time preceding the menstrual flow, providing a powerful opportunity for spiritual practice and the rapid transmutation of past pain.


  • The Power of Being Present: The chapter emphasizes the profound power of being present as the "watcher" of one's internal experiences, particularly one's emotional pain-body. This practice of disidentification from one's pain can be a transformative tool that can be taught even to children.

  • Resistance to Disidentification: The chapter acknowledges that individuals who have strongly identified with their emotional pain-body for most of their lives may encounter intense inner resistance to disidentifying from it. This resistance stems from the fear of losing one's familiar, albeit unhappy, sense of self.

  • Observing the Attachment to Pain: To overcome this resistance, the chapter suggests observing the attachment to one's pain, the peculiar pleasure derived from being unhappy, and the compulsion to talk or think about it. Making this resistance conscious can help initiate the transmutation of the pain-body.

  • The Role of Conscious Presence: The chapter suggests that being in the presence of someone who is intensely conscious can be helpful in accelerating the process of disidentification and the growth of one's own inner light. Spiritual teachers and some therapists who have transcended the level of mind can create and sustain a state of conscious presence that can assist in this transformation.

  • The Transmutation of the Pain-body: The chapter emphasizes that the transmutation of the pain-body is a process that only the individual can undertake. No one else can do it for them. However, the presence of a conscious individual can serve as a catalyst, much like a burning log placed next to a newly ignited one, causing the latter to burn with greater intensity.


  • The Origin of Fear: Fear arises from the ego's fear of death and annihilation. The ego, being a false, mind-made self, is inherently insecure and sees itself as constantly under threat, even if it appears outwardly confident.

  • Psychological Fear vs. Practical Fear: Psychological fear is divorced from any concrete and immediate danger. It is a fear of something that might happen in the future, not of something that is happening in the present moment. This creates an "anxiety gap" for those identified with their minds and disconnected from the power of the present.

  • Fear and the Ego: As long as one is identified with the mind and the ego, fear becomes a constant companion. The ego's need to be right and defend its mental positions is a form of violence driven by the fear of death or being wrong.

  • Disidentification from the Mind: When one disidentifies from the mind and the ego, the compulsive need to be right and the associated defensiveness dissolve. One's sense of self is then derived from a deeper, truer place within, not from the mind.

  • The Prevalence of Fear: Due to the small number of people who have gone beyond the mind, it can be assumed that virtually everyone lives in a state of fear, with the intensity varying from acute forms like anxiety and dread to a vague unease and distant sense of threat.


  • The Ego's Sense of Lack or Incompleteness: The egoic mind is characterized by a deep-seated sense of lack or incompleteness, which can manifest either consciously as a feeling of not being worthy or good enough, or unconsciously as an intense craving, wanting, and needing. This sense of lack drives people to pursue ego-gratification through possessions, money, success, power, recognition, or a special relationship, in an attempt to feel more complete.

  • The Futility of Ego-Gratification: Even when people attain the things they desire, they find that the sense of lack or incompleteness remains, as the ego's need for identification and validation is never truly satisfied. This leads to a cycle of constant striving and disappointment, as the ego's needs are inherently insatiable.

  • Ego Identifications: The ego identifies with various external things, such as possessions, work, social status, knowledge, physical appearance, relationships, and belief systems. However, none of these things are the true self, and all of them will eventually have to be relinquished.

  • The Illusion of the Ego: The ego is a derived sense of self, not the true self. Recognizing this can be both frightening and a relief, as it means that the identity we have constructed is not who we truly are. This understanding is crucial for finding peace and fulfillment.

  • Dying Before You Die: The secret to life is to "die before you die," which means letting go of the ego and the attachments it has formed. This allows one to find that there is no death, as the true self is eternal and beyond the limitations of the ego.


  • Studying the mind alone is not enough for spiritual enlightenment: The problems of the mind cannot be solved on the level of the mind. Studying the complexities of the mind may make you a good psychologist, but it won't take you beyond the mind.

  • Understanding the basic dysfunction of the mind: The basic dysfunction is the identification with the mind, which creates a false self, the ego, as a substitute for your true self rooted in Being. This is the root of unconsciousness.

  • Endless needs and fear of the ego: The ego's needs are endless, and it feels vulnerable and threatened, living in a state of fear and want. The ego loves to attach itself to problems to uphold and strengthen its illusory sense of self.

  • Unconscious ego investment in pain and suffering: There can be a great deal of unconscious ego investment in pain and suffering, as it becomes part of one's sense of self. The last thing the ego wants is to become free of these problems.

  • Stepping out of unconsciousness by being present: Once you recognize the root of unconsciousness as identification with the mind, you can step out of it by becoming present. When you are present, you can allow the mind to be as it is without getting entangled in it.

  • The mind as a tool, not the self: The mind in itself is not dysfunctional. It is a wonderful tool. Dysfunction sets in when you seek your self in it and mistake it for who you are, turning it into the egoic mind that takes over your whole life.


  • Ending the Delusion of Time: The mind is inextricably linked to the concept of time, which creates an endless preoccupation with the past and future, and an unwillingness to acknowledge the present moment. Disidentifying from the mind is crucial to breaking free from this delusion.

  • The Illusion of Identity and Salvation: The past provides a sense of identity, and the future holds the promise of fulfillment, but both are illusions. The self and its perceived needs are products of the mind's attachment to time.

  • The Importance of the Present Moment: The present moment, or the "Now," is the only reality that exists. It is the constant, eternal factor in our lives, and the only point of access to the timeless and formless realm of Being.

  • Transcending the Limitations of the Mind: The present moment is the key to going beyond the confines of the mind, which is inherently bound to the concepts of time and the ego. By focusing on the Now, one can access a deeper, more authentic experience of existence.

  • Redefining the Value of Time: Time is not inherently precious; it is the present moment, the Now, that is truly valuable. The more one is focused on the past and future, the more one misses the opportunity to fully engage with the present.

  • Functional Use of Time: While time is an illusion, it is still necessary for practical, day-to-day functioning. The key is to use time wisely, without becoming trapped in the mind's obsession with it.


  • The Present Moment is the Only Reality: The chapter emphasizes that the present moment, or the "Now", is the only true reality. The past and future are merely mental constructs and reflections of the present, without any independent existence.

  • The Illusion of Past and Future: The chapter explains that the past is a memory trace stored in the mind, and the future is an imagined projection of the mind. Both the past and future have no inherent reality and only exist in the present moment.

  • The Limitations of the Mind: The chapter suggests that the essence of the present moment cannot be fully grasped by the mind, as it is a shift in consciousness from the mind to "Being" or presence. This shift allows one to experience the aliveness and energy of the present moment.

  • The Borrowed Reality of Past and Future: The chapter likens the reality of the past and future to the moon's light, which is borrowed from the sun (the present moment). The past and future have no independent reality and can only reflect the light, power, and reality of the eternal present.

  • The Importance of Presence: The chapter emphasizes the importance of being fully present in the moment, rather than being caught up in the illusions of the past and future. This presence allows one to experience the true nature of reality and the aliveness of the present moment.


  • The Power of the Present Moment: In life-threatening situations, people can experience a shift in consciousness from time to a state of intense, alert presence, free from the burden of the past and future. This state is characterized by a lack of thinking, problems, or the sense of a separate self or personality.

  • Spiritual Teachings on the Now: Spiritual masters across traditions have long emphasized the importance of the present moment, or the "Now," as the key to the spiritual dimension. However, these profound teachings are often not recognized or lived out in practice.

  • Zen and the Razor's Edge of Now: The essence of Zen is to be so completely present in the Now that no problem or suffering can survive. The Zen master's question "What, at this moment, is lacking?" is designed to draw the student's attention deeply into the present.

  • Sufism and the Son of Time Present: Sufism, the mystical branch of Islam, also emphasizes the importance of being in the present moment, with the saying "The Sufi is the son of time present."

  • Meister Eckhart on Time as an Obstacle to God: The 13th-century spiritual teacher Meister Eckhart stated that "Time is what keeps the light from reaching us. There is no greater obstacle to God than time."


  • Accessing the Power of the Now: The chapter describes an experience where the narrator was able to perceive a tree with a deeper awareness, beyond just the surface-level perception. This experience allowed the narrator to feel a connection with the "essence" or "inner spirit" of the tree, rather than just seeing a "flat and dead image" of it.

  • Timeless Dimension and Knowing: This deeper awareness of the tree was accompanied by a sense of being "free of time" and accessing a "timeless dimension" of perception. This type of knowing is described as different from the mind's knowledge, which is limited to facts, information, and judgments. The timeless dimension of knowing contains a "deep love and reverence for all that is" and a recognition of the "sacredness and mystery of life."

  • Limitations of the Mind: The mind can only know facts and information about an object or person, but it cannot truly know the essence or being of that thing. The mind can become a "monstrous parasite" if it takes over all aspects of life, including relationships and connection with nature.

  • Practicing Presence: To access the power of the Now, the chapter suggests practicing presence by withdrawing attention from the past and future whenever they are not needed for practical purposes. This involves observing the mind's tendency to escape the present moment, either through anticipation of a better future or anxiety about a worse one.

  • Observing the Mind: The practice of presence also involves observing one's own mind, thoughts, emotions, and reactions, without judgment or analysis. This allows the individual to become aware of the "still, observing presence" behind the content of the mind, the "silent watcher."

  • Presence in Emotional Reactions: Intense presence is particularly important when certain situations trigger strong emotional reactions, as this is when the tendency is to become "unconscious" and act out the reactive pattern of the mind. Observing the reaction, rather than identifying with it, withdraws energy from the mind and enhances one's ability to use it in a focused and practical way.

  • Enhancing Practical Use of the Mind: Cultivating presence and the ability to step out of the time dimension does not impair one's ability to use the mind for practical purposes. In fact, it enhances the mind's sharpness and focus when it is used.


  • Distinguishing Clock Time and Psychological Time: Clock time refers to the practical use of time, such as making appointments, planning trips, and learning from the past. Psychological time, on the other hand, is the identification with the past and continuous projection into the future, which can lead to a build-up of unnecessary mental burden.

  • Importance of the Present Moment: The enlightened person's main focus of attention is always the present moment, even when using clock time. The present moment is the essential factor, as any lesson from the past or planning for the future is applied in the now.

  • Avoiding the Transformation of Clock Time into Psychological Time: It is important to be alert when using clock time to ensure that it does not turn into psychological time. For example, dwelling on past mistakes or becoming excessively focused on future goals can transform clock time into psychological time.

  • Honoring the Present Moment: When using clock time, it is important to honor and give full attention to the present moment, rather than treating it as a mere stepping stone to the future. This allows one to appreciate the beauty and miracle of life unfolding in the now, rather than being consumed by an obsessive need to arrive at a future goal.

  • The Illusion of Time: The author suggests that the present moment is all one ever has, and that the idea of time as an illusion can help cut through the mind-created layers of complexity and "problems." This is not meant as a philosophical statement, but rather a reminder of a simple fact that can be transformative when fully realized.


  • Psychological Time as a Mental Illness: The chapter argues that psychological time, manifested in ideologies like communism, national socialism, and rigid religious beliefs, is a serious and dangerous mental illness. These belief systems operate under the assumption that the highest good lies in the future, justifying the enslavement, torture, and murder of people in the present to achieve a "better world" in the future.

  • The Dangers of Pursuing the Future: The chapter suggests that the obsession with the future as an escape from the unsatisfactory present can lead to a distortion or cover-up of the reality of the present moment. This can result in a loss of vibrancy, freshness, and a sense of wonder in one's life.

  • The Illusion of Fulfillment: The chapter questions whether fulfillment is always just around the corner or confined to short-lived pleasures, such as sex, food, drink, drugs, or thrills and excitement. It also challenges the belief that acquiring more things will lead to greater fulfillment, goodness, or psychological completeness.

  • The Power and Potential of the Present Moment: The chapter suggests that the power and infinite creative potential that lie concealed in the present moment are obscured by psychological time. When one is identified with the mind and caught up in the endless repeat performances of old patterns of thought, emotion, behavior, reaction, and desire, the reality of the Now is distorted.

  • Escaping the Tyranny of the Mind: The chapter implies that the mind's obsession with the future as an escape from the unsatisfactory present is a form of mental illness. It suggests that breaking free from this pattern and fully embracing the present moment can lead to a more vibrant, fresh, and wonder-filled life.


  • Negativity and Suffering are Rooted in Psychological Time: The chapter explains that negativity and suffering are caused by an excessive focus on the past or future, rather than being present in the current moment. Unease, anxiety, guilt, regret, and other negative emotions are a result of being trapped in psychological time, rather than being fully present.

  • True Change Requires Presence in the Now: The chapter states that real transformation and change can only occur in the present moment, by dissolving the past through accessing the power of the Now. Superficial changes are possible, but true, lasting change depends on being present and conscious in the current moment.

  • The Quality of Consciousness in the Present Moment Shapes the Future: The chapter explains that the future is not separate from the present, but is an intrinsic part of one's current state of consciousness. The quality of consciousness in the Now determines the future, which can only be experienced in the present.

  • Presence is the Key to Freedom: The chapter emphasizes that there is no salvation or freedom in the future, as time is the cause of suffering. True freedom can only be found in the present moment, through presence and consciousness. The liberated state of being free from all negativity is possible, but it requires letting go of the time-bound mind.

  • Problems are Interchangeable without Presence: The chapter suggests that even if one's external problems were removed, without becoming more present and conscious, similar problems would soon arise. The fundamental issue is the time-bound mind itself, not the specific situations or problems one faces.


  • Distinguishing between "life situation" and "life": The author emphasizes the difference between one's "life situation" (the psychological time of past and future) and one's actual "life" (the present moment). The life situation is a mental construct, while life is the real, immediate experience.

  • Overcoming unhappiness by being present: The author suggests that one cannot be both unhappy and fully present in the Now. Unhappiness is rooted in the mind's focus on the past and future, rather than the present moment.

  • Letting go of the life situation: The author advises the reader to "forget about your life situation for a while and pay attention to your life." This means shifting one's attention from the mental constructs of the past and future to the direct experience of the present.

  • Finding the "narrow gate" of the Now: The author describes the present moment as the "narrow gate that leads to life," encouraging the reader to "narrow your life down to this moment" and find out if they have any problem in the present, rather than in the future or the past.

  • Using the senses to be present: The author suggests using the senses to fully engage with the present moment, such as looking around without interpretation, listening to sounds without judgment, and being aware of the physical sensations of the body.

  • Allowing the "isness" of all things: The author encourages the reader to "allow the 'isness' of all things," which means accepting the present moment and all that it contains without resistance or judgment.

  • Awakening from the "dream of time": By shifting one's attention to the present moment, the author suggests that the reader can "awaken out of the dream of time" and escape the "insane mind that is draining you of life energy."


  • Problems are Illusions of the Mind: The chapter argues that problems are not real, but rather mental constructs created by the mind. They are not actual situations that need to be solved, but rather imaginary burdens that the mind imposes on the present moment.

  • Focus on the Present Moment: The chapter emphasizes the importance of being fully present in the "Now" or the current moment, rather than dwelling on problems or worrying about the future. When one's attention is fully in the present, it becomes impossible to have any problems.

  • Problems Arise from the Mind's Tendency to Create Identity: The chapter suggests that the mind unconsciously loves problems because they give it a sense of identity and purpose. By defining oneself in terms of problems or suffering, the mind creates a false sense of self.

  • Problems Cause Unnecessary Pain: The chapter states that by creating problems, one also creates pain for oneself and others. It suggests that the simple choice to create no more problems can be a radical and powerful decision.

  • In Emergencies, the Mind Stops and Something More Powerful Takes Over: The chapter notes that in true life-or-death emergencies, the mind does not have time to create problems. Instead, the person becomes fully present in the moment, and something more powerful and intuitive takes over, allowing them to act with incredible courage and effectiveness.

  • Fear is Linked to the Future, Not the Present: The chapter argues that much of what people say, think, or do is motivated by fear, which is always linked to the future and being out of touch with the present moment. Since there are no problems in the present, there is also no fear.

  • Action in the Present Moment is More Effective: The chapter suggests that when one is fully present in the moment, any necessary action will be clear, incisive, and more likely to be effective, as it will be an intuitive response to the situation rather than a reaction based on past conditioning.


  • The Time-Bound Mode of Consciousness: The human psyche is deeply embedded in a time-bound mode of consciousness, where the past and future overwhelmingly dominate our experience. This mode of consciousness has created "unimaginable suffering on a vast scale" and can be described as "unconsciousness or insanity."

  • The Awakening of Consciousness: The chapter describes a "profound transformation" taking place in the collective consciousness of the planet, where consciousness is awakening from the "dream of matter, form, and separation." This process is referred to as the "ending of time" and a "breaking up of the old mode of consciousness."

  • The Quantum Leap in the Evolution of Consciousness: The transformation described in the chapter represents a "quantum leap in the evolution of consciousness" and is our "only chance of survival as a race." This change is not inevitable or automatic, and the reader's "cooperation is an essential part of it."

  • The Inseparability of Doing and Happening: The chapter suggests that the "doing and the happening is in fact a single process" because the reader is "one with the totality of consciousness" and cannot separate the two. This points to the interconnectedness of individual and collective transformation.

  • The Lack of Absolute Guarantee: While the transformation is described as essential for human survival, the chapter acknowledges that there is "no absolute guarantee that humans will make it." This highlights the uncertainty and the need for active engagement in the process.


  • The Joy of Being: The chapter emphasizes the importance of being present and finding joy, ease, and lightness in the moment, rather than being consumed by psychological time and the pursuit of external goals.

  • Attention and Acceptance: The chapter suggests that the "how" is more important than the "what" - by giving full attention to the present moment and completely accepting what is, any unhappiness or struggle can dissolve, and life can flow with joy and ease.

  • Non-attachment to Outcomes: The chapter introduces the concept of "Karma Yoga" from the Bhagavad Gita, which emphasizes non-attachment to the fruits of one's actions. This allows for a sense of quality, care, and love in even the most simple actions.

  • Presence and Wholeness: When one is present and free from psychological time, a sense of presence, stillness, and peace emerges. One's sense of self is derived from Being, rather than the personal past, and one feels complete and whole in the present moment.

  • Freedom from Fear and Expectations: Being free from psychological time and the need for "becoming" means that one's happiness and sense of self no longer depend on the outcome of situations or the fulfillment of external goals. This brings freedom from fear, anger, and the suffering caused by unmet expectations.

  • Honoring the Eternal: The chapter suggests that when one is established in the state of Being, one can honor the forms and phenomena of the world, while recognizing the eternal, unchanging essence that underlies them. This allows for a playful, joyous energy in one's actions, without being attached to their outcomes.


  • Intellectual Agreement vs. Lived Experience: Intellectual agreement with the idea that time is an illusion is just another belief and won't make a significant difference in one's life. To truly realize this truth, one needs to live it and experience it viscerally, with every cell of the body feeling vibrant with the joy of Being.

  • The Core Delusion: Loss of Now: The core delusion is not the need to pay bills or the inevitability of aging and death, but the "loss of Now" - the inability to be fully present in the moment. This loss of presence is the root of personal problems and suffering.

  • Freedom from Time: To be free of time is to be free from the psychological need for the past to define one's identity and the future to provide fulfillment. This represents a profound transformation of consciousness, which can happen dramatically or gradually through practice.

  • The Shift in Consciousness: Initially, one becomes aware of how rarely one's attention is truly in the Now. This awareness itself is a form of presence, even if it only lasts for a few seconds. With practice, one is able to choose to focus one's consciousness in the present moment more frequently, and stay in it for longer periods.

  • Presence as the Predominant State: Eventually, presence becomes the predominant state, replacing the alternation between different levels of unconsciousness that characterizes most people's experience.

  • Rare Occurrences of Presence: For most people, presence is experienced either never at all or only accidentally and briefly on rare occasions, without being recognized for what it is.


  • Ordinary Unconsciousness: This refers to the state of being identified with one's thought processes, emotions, reactions, desires, and aversions. It is the normal state for most people, where they are unaware of their true Being and are run by the egoic mind.

  • Background Static of Ordinary Unconsciousness: This is the almost continuous low level of unease, discontent, boredom, or nervousness that is a part of "normal" living, but often goes unnoticed, similar to the hum of an air conditioner.

  • Anesthetics for Ordinary Unconsciousness: Many people use activities like alcohol, drugs, sex, food, work, television, or shopping as a way to temporarily relieve the basic unease of ordinary unconsciousness, but this only provides short-lived symptom relief.

  • Deep Unconsciousness: This is a more acute and obvious state of suffering or unhappiness that arises when the ego is threatened or there is a major challenge, threat, or loss in one's life or relationships. It is an intensified version of ordinary unconsciousness.

  • Challenges as Tests of Consciousness: How one deals with life's challenges is the best indicator of one's level of consciousness. Challenges can either lead to a person becoming more deeply unconscious or more intensely conscious.

  • Importance of Presence in Ordinary Situations: It is essential to bring more consciousness into one's life in ordinary situations when everything is going relatively smoothly, as this helps to grow one's "presence power" and create an energy field that is resistant to unconsciousness, negativity, and discord.

  • Witnessing Thoughts and Emotions: Becoming the witness of one's thoughts and emotions is an essential part of being present, and can help one become aware of the background "static" of ordinary unconsciousness, such as resistance, judgment, discontent, and unease.


  • The Pervasive Unease in Western Civilization: The chapter highlights the observation made by a Native American chief that most white people have a "tense faces, staring eyes, and a cruel demeanor" and are "always seeking something" and are "always uneasy and restless." This pervasive unease and constant seeking is not unique to Western civilization but has been present throughout history, as evidenced by the teachings of Jesus and Buddha.

  • Resistance to the Present Moment: The chapter suggests that this collective dysfunction of constant unease and resistance to the present moment, or "the Now," is intrinsically connected to a loss of awareness of Being. This resistance to the present moment forms the basis of our "dehumanized industrial civilization."

  • Freud's Failure to Recognize the Root Cause: The chapter mentions that Freud recognized the existence of this undercurrent of unease in his work "Civilization and Its Discontents," but he "did not recognize the true root of the unease and failed to realize that freedom from it is possible."

  • The Threat to Humanity and the Planet: The chapter concludes that this collective dysfunction has created a "very unhappy and extraordinarily violent civilization that has become a threat not only to itself but also to all life on the planet."

  • The Teachings of Jesus and Buddha: The chapter references the teachings of Jesus and Buddha, who both addressed the issue of anxiety and constant wanting. Jesus asked his disciples, "Can anxious thought add a single day to your life?" and the Buddha taught that the root of suffering is to be found in our constant wanting and craving.


  • Dissolving Ordinary Unconsciousness: The chapter discusses how to free oneself from the affliction of unease, discontent, and tension that arises from unnecessary judgment, resistance to what is, and denial of the present moment (the Now). The key is to make this unconscious state conscious by observing it.

  • Self-Observation: The chapter recommends making it a habit to monitor one's mental-emotional state through self-observation. This involves asking questions like "Am I at ease at this moment?" or "What's going on inside me at this moment?" and then directing one's attention inward to observe the thoughts, feelings, and any tension in the body.

  • Identifying Unconscious Resistance: Once you detect a low level of unease or "background static," you can then see in what way you are unconsciously resisting the present moment. The chapter provides examples of how people unconsciously resist the present moment, and states that with practice, your power of self-observation will become sharpened.

  • Primary and Secondary Reality: The chapter states that "Primary reality is within, secondary reality without." This means that the inner, subjective experience is the primary reality, and the outer, objective world is the secondary reality. By getting the inner experience right, the outer world will fall into place.

  • Dissolving Unconsciousness: The chapter states that anything unconscious dissolves when you shine the light of consciousness on it. Once you learn how to dissolve ordinary unconsciousness, it will be much easier to deal with deeper levels of unconsciousness when you feel its "gravitational pull."


Here are the key takeaways from the chapter:

  • Resentment and Negativity are Harmful: Carrying resentment or negativity towards a situation or person is extremely harmful, as it contaminates both yourself and those around you. This negativity is a form of inner pollution that can spread to others.

  • Resistance to the Present Moment: When you resist or resent what is happening in the present moment, you are creating unnecessary conflict and unhappiness within yourself. This prevents real change from occurring.

  • Taking Responsibility for Your Inner Space: You are responsible for your own inner state and emotions, just as you are responsible for the state of the planet. Clearing inner pollution is the key to preventing outer pollution.

  • Dropping Negativity: Negativity can be "dropped" by recognizing that you don't want to suffer the pain or burden of it anymore, and then consciously letting it go. This requires accessing the power of the present moment.

  • Acceptance vs. Indulgence: While it's important to accept your emotions without judgment, true acceptance would transmute negative emotions, rather than allowing you to indulge in them. Indulging in negativity can strengthen the ego's sense of separation.

  • Unconsciousness and Suffering: The immense violence and cruelty inflicted by humans on each other and the planet is a reflection of a deeply unconscious and negative inner state. Healing and redemption are possible by reconnecting with our natural state of well-being and joy.


  • Ordinary Unconsciousness: This refers to the habitual patterns of the mind that keep us trapped in the past or future, rather than being fully present in the here and now. Examples include:

    • Complaining about situations, people, or one's life circumstances
    • Constantly wishing to be somewhere else or have a different situation
    • Worrying about the future and having many "what-if" thoughts
    • Dwelling excessively on the past, either positively or negatively
    • Waiting for the future to arrive instead of living in the present
  • The Power of the Present Moment: The author emphasizes the importance of being fully present and accepting the current moment, rather than resisting or denying it. This involves:

    • Recognizing when you are caught up in past or future thinking and consciously bringing your attention back to the present
    • Accepting your current situation, whether it is pleasant or unpleasant, and choosing to either change it, leave it, or fully surrender to it
    • Engaging in activities with full presence and enjoyment, rather than seeing them as a means to an end
  • Overcoming Resistance to the Present: The author suggests several strategies for overcoming the mind's resistance to being in the present moment:

    • Observing your thoughts and emotions, particularly any negativity or resistance, without judgment
    • Acknowledging and accepting any fear or anxiety that arises, rather than letting it control your actions
    • Choosing to take action or make a change, but doing so from a place of presence and acceptance, rather than from a state of negativity
    • Fully surrendering to and accepting your current situation, if there is nothing you can do to change it
  • The Importance of Gratitude: The author emphasizes the role of gratitude in cultivating a sense of fulfillment and prosperity in the present moment. By being grateful for what you have, rather than constantly striving for more in the future, you can experience a deeper sense of inner abundance and well-being.

  • Transcending the Ego's Attachment to Time: The author suggests that the false, unhappy self, or ego, is deeply attached to the concept of time and the idea of a better future. This attachment can lead to a constant state of dissatisfaction and the inability to fully embrace the present moment. By recognizing and transcending this attachment, you can free yourself from the ego's grip and experience a deeper sense of inner peace and fulfillment.


  • The Distinction Between Outer and Inner Purpose: The chapter distinguishes between the outer purpose of your life's journey, which is about accomplishing goals and achieving outcomes, and the inner purpose, which is about the quality of your consciousness and your state of Being in the present moment.

  • The Primacy of the Present Moment: The chapter emphasizes that the only thing that is ultimately real about your journey is the step you are taking in the present moment. The future and your destination should not take up more attention than the quality of your consciousness right now.

  • The Transformation of the Present Moment: As you become more aware of the present moment, the step you are taking can become transformed into an expression of perfection, an act of great beauty and quality, which is the purpose and fulfillment of your inner journey.

  • The Relationship Between Outer and Inner Purpose: Outer purpose is subject to the law of impermanence and cannot provide lasting fulfillment. Once you realize the limitations of your outer purpose, you can make it subservient to your inner purpose, which is about the deepening of your Being in the timeless Now.

  • Succeeding in the Inner Journey vs. Outer Journey: It is possible to fail completely in your outer purpose and still succeed in your inner purpose, or vice versa. Ultimately, the inner journey is more important than the outer journey, as it is the journey into yourself.


  • The Past Cannot Survive in Your Presence: The past, whether it's the remembered past, the unconscious past, or cultural conditioning, cannot survive in your present moment of conscious awareness. The more you focus on the past, the more you energize it and make it a part of your identity.

  • The Power of Now: The power of the present moment, or the "power of Now," is the power of your own presence, your consciousness liberated from thought forms. This is the key to freeing yourself from the past.

  • Dealing with the Past in the Present: Instead of trying to understand the past, focus your attention on the present moment - your behavior, reactions, moods, thoughts, emotions, fears, and desires as they occur. This conscious presence is what dissolves the past, not trying to analyze it.

  • Insights from the Present: As you become more conscious of the present, you may gain insights into why your conditioning functions in certain ways or remember things from the past more clearly. However, these insights are not essential; what is essential is your conscious presence in the moment.

  • The Past Cannot Survive in Your Absence: The past can only survive in your absence, in your lack of conscious presence. When you are fully present, the past has no power over you.


  • Presence is not a mental concept: Presence cannot be understood intellectually or through thinking. It is an experiential state of being, not something that can be grasped by the mind.

  • The "thought experiment": The author suggests an experiment where you try to anticipate your next thought. This demonstrates that when you are in a state of intense presence, you are free from thought, and the mental noise only returns when your conscious attention drops.

  • Presence and alertness: Being fully present and alert is like a Zen student who is able to notice the teacher approaching from behind. If the student is hit, it means they were lost in thought and not present.

  • Rooting yourself in the body: To maintain presence in everyday life, it is important to be "rooted within yourself," which means fully inhabiting your body and feeling the inner energy field of the body. This body awareness anchors you in the present moment.

  • The mind's momentum: The mind has a strong momentum that can easily pull you away from the present moment. Being rooted in the body helps you stay present, otherwise the mind will "drag you along like a wild river."


  • The Esoteric Meaning of "Waiting": The chapter contrasts two types of waiting - the usual bored or restless kind that denies the present, and a qualitatively different kind of waiting that requires total alertness and presence in the Now. This latter type of waiting is the kind Jesus refers to in his parables, where one must be fully attentive and awake, without any attention left for daydreaming, thinking, or anticipating the future.

  • Presence and the Transcendence of the Egoic Mind: In this state of alert presence, the "you" that has a past and a future, the personality, is hardly there anymore. Yet, one is more fully oneself than ever before, as the egoic mind is transcended. This points to the possibility of living in an entirely new state of consciousness.

  • Parables about the End of Psychological Time: The parables Jesus used, such as the parable of the five wise and five careless women, are not about the end of the world, but about the end of psychological time - the transcendence of the egoic mind and the attainment of enlightenment in the present moment.

  • Misinterpretation and Loss of Meaning: The author suggests that even the men who wrote the Gospels did not fully understand the meaning of these parables, and that subsequent erroneous interpretations have led to the real meaning being completely lost over time.


  • Satori: A flash of insight, a moment of no-mind and total presence. Although not a lasting transformation, it gives a taste of enlightenment.

  • Presence: Required to become aware of the beauty, majesty, and sacredness of nature. When the mind is still and personal baggage is put down, one can truly see, hear, and experience the world.

  • Beauty and the Ineffable Essence: Beyond the external forms, there is an ineffable, inner, holy essence that reveals itself only when one is present. This essence and one's presence may be one and the same.

  • Mind and Beauty: The mind cannot recognize or create beauty. Only in the state of no-mind, when one is completely present, can the true beauty or sacredness be experienced.

  • Thought and Perception: The wider the gap between perception and thought, the more conscious one is. When thought comes in, all that remains is a memory of the experience.

  • Modern Art and Culture: Due to the mind-dominated nature of modern culture, most art, architecture, music, and literature are devoid of true beauty and inner essence, with few exceptions.


  • Being, Consciousness, and Life are Synonymous: The chapter explains that Being, Consciousness, and Life are all synonymous terms that refer to the ultimate transcendental reality or God. This reality is complete and perfect, existing in a timeless realm beyond human comprehension.

  • Consciousness Manifests as Form: The chapter states that consciousness takes on various forms and shapes, from the simplest life forms to the most complex human beings. This process of consciousness manifesting as form is described as a "divine game" or "lila" that God is playing.

  • Ego and Identification with Form: The chapter explains that in present-day humans, consciousness has become completely identified with its physical and psychological forms, leading to the egoic mind that lives in fear of the annihilation of these forms. This identification with form is seen as a dysfunction in the evolution of consciousness.

  • Becoming Present as the Watcher: The chapter emphasizes the importance of becoming present as the watcher or witness of the mind, which allows consciousness to withdraw from its identification with mental forms and regain self-consciousness or enlightened consciousness.

  • The End of the World and the Emergence of Higher Consciousness: The chapter suggests that the process of consciousness freeing itself from identification with form is a cosmic event that foreshadows the "end of the world" as we know it, and the emergence of a higher, more enlightened form of consciousness on a larger scale.

  • The Danger of the Egoic Mind: The chapter warns that if human consciousness remains unchanged and trapped in the egoic mode, it will lead to increasing confusion, conflict, violence, illness, despair, and madness, making the egoic mind the most dangerous and destructive entity on the planet.

  • Silence and Presence: The chapter emphasizes the importance of silence and presence, stating that listening to the silence between and underneath the words can immediately create stillness and presence within the reader or listener.


  • Christ/Presence: Christ refers to one's divine essence or true nature, regardless of whether one is conscious of it or not. Presence refers to one's awakened divinity or God-essence. Both terms point to the same underlying reality.

  • Timelessness of Christ: Christ is not bound by time, as evidenced by Jesus' statement "Before Abraham was, I am." This indicates a shift from the consciousness governed by time to the realm of the timeless or eternal.

  • Second Coming of Christ: The "second coming" of Christ refers to a transformation of human consciousness, a shift from time to presence, from thinking to pure consciousness, rather than the arrival of a specific individual.

  • Avoiding Personalization of Christ: One should not personalize or make Christ into a form identity. Enlightened beings are not special as persons, but rather more simple and ordinary than the average person.

  • Recognizing Presence in Others: If one is drawn to an enlightened teacher, it is because there is already enough presence within oneself to recognize presence in another. Darkness cannot recognize light, only light can recognize light.

  • Using the Master's Presence: The presence of a master can be used to reflect one's own identity beyond name and form, and to become more intensely present oneself. There is no "mine" or "yours" in presence, as presence is one.

  • Group Work: Group work can be helpful in intensifying the light of one's presence and freeing the collective human consciousness from mind dominance. However, it is not enough on its own, and one must not become dependent on it or on a teacher/master, except during the transitional period.


  • The Body as a Portal to Being: The body can serve as a point of access to the realm of Being, which is one's deepest self. Being is not something that can be fully understood by the mind, as it transcends the subject-object duality.

  • The Nature of Being: Being can be felt as the ever-present "I am" that is beyond name and form. It is the truth that Jesus spoke of, which can make one free.

  • Enlightenment and the Illusion of the Self: To feel and know that one is, and to abide in that deeply rooted state of Being, is enlightenment. This is the truth that can free one from the illusion of the self, which is the core error.

  • Freedom from Fear and Suffering: Being free from the illusion of the self also means being free from the fear that is a constant tormentor, as well as the suffering that one unconsciously inflicts on oneself and others as long as this illusory sense of self governs one's thoughts, words, and actions.

  • The Limitations of the Mind: The mind will always try to understand and label Being, but this is not possible. Being cannot be made an object of knowledge, as subject and object merge into one in the realm of Being.


  • Words are not the reality they represent: The author emphasizes that words are merely abstractions and signposts that point to a deeper reality. Just as the word "honey" is not the actual honey, the word "God" is not the same as the reality it represents. One must look beyond the words to experience the true essence.

  • Attachment to words can prevent understanding: The author suggests that an aversion or strong attachment to certain words, like "sin" or "God," can prevent one from experiencing the reality behind them. This is connected to being identified with the mind and its conceptual thinking.

  • Replace problematic words with more accurate ones: If a word does not resonate or work for an individual, the author recommends replacing it with a different term that may better capture the underlying truth, such as "unconsciousness" or "insanity" instead of "sin."

  • Observing the human condition: The author challenges the reader to open their eyes and observe the widespread fear, despair, greed, and violence that characterize the human condition under the dominance of the egoic mind. This is what the author refers to as "sin," "insanity," and "unconsciousness."

  • Importance of self-observation: In addition to observing the human condition, the author emphasizes the need to observe one's own mind and seek out the root of the insanity within it. This self-observation is crucial for understanding and transcending the collective unconsciousness.


  • Identification with the physical form is an illusion: The visible and tangible body is only an outer shell, a limited and distorted perception of a deeper reality. The true self is the "invisible inner body" or the "animating presence" within.

  • Inhabiting the body: To "inhabit the body" is to feel the body from within, to feel the life inside the body and thereby come to know that you are beyond the outer form. This is the beginning of an inward journey that leads to a realm of great stillness, peace, power, and vibrant life.

  • Disconnection from Being: When the mind takes up all your attention, you are cut off from Being. Compulsive thinking transforms your consciousness into "mind stuff," and your identity becomes a vulnerable and ever-needing mental construct, creating fear as the predominant underlying emotion.

  • Reclaiming consciousness from the mind: To become conscious of Being, you need to reclaim consciousness from the mind. This can be done by taking the focus of your attention away from thinking and directing it into the body, where Being can be felt as the "invisible energy field that gives life to the physical body."

  • Awareness of the deeper self: Becoming aware of your "invisible and indestructible reality," your deeper self, is the one thing that truly matters. This awareness frees vast amounts of consciousness that were previously trapped in useless and compulsive thinking.


  • Connecting with the Inner Body: The chapter encourages the reader to direct their attention inward and feel the subtle energy field that pervades the entire body, giving vibrant life to every organ and cell. This practice of "being in the body" can help the reader connect with their inner essence.

  • Feeling the Inner Body: The chapter suggests closing one's eyes and focusing on the feeling of the inner body, rather than trying to visualize it. The more attention one gives to this feeling, the clearer and stronger it becomes, and the body may even appear luminous.

  • Formless and Limitless Nature of the Inner Body: The feeling of the inner body is described as formless, limitless, and unfathomable, with the potential to be explored more deeply. Even a slight tingling in the hands or feet can be a starting point for this practice.

  • Maintaining Awareness of the Inner Body: The chapter advises the reader to keep some attention in the inner energy field of the body even as they look around the room, as the inner body lies at the threshold between one's form identity and their true, essential nature.

  • Essence Identity and True Nature: The inner body practice is presented as a way to connect with one's essence identity or true nature, which is distinct from one's form identity or external persona.


  • Denial of the Body: Most religions have condemned or denied the body, viewing it as a hindrance or even sinful. This has led to a disassociation from the body, where people see themselves as having a body rather than just being it.

  • Attempts to Escape the Body: Spiritual seekers have tried to find enlightenment or salvation through denial of the senses, fasting, ascetic practices, and even inflicting pain on the body. Some have also sought out-of-the-body experiences in an attempt to escape the body.

  • Futility of Body Denial: The author states that no one has ever become enlightened through denying or fighting the body or through out-of-the-body experiences. Transformation happens through the body, not away from it.

  • Lost Teachings on the Body: The author suggests that ancient teachings on the significance of the body have been lost, with only fragments surviving, such as Jesus's statement about the body being filled with light. These teachings have been misunderstood, leading to the prevailing belief that "you are not your body."

  • The Source and the Inner Body: The author claims that all spiritual teachings originate from the same Source, and that the way to access this Source is through the inner body. The author presents this as a "lost teaching of the masters" that has been overlooked.

  • The Author as the Master: The author declares that they are the master, and that the reader is also the master once they can access the Source within. This suggests a non-dual perspective where the reader and the author are one.


  • The Body is Not the True Self: The physical body is not the true essence of who we are. It is a misperception created by the limited mind, which has lost touch with our deeper spiritual reality.

  • The Body Conceals the Splendor of the True Self: Within the body, which appears to be impermanent, limited, and subject to death, lies the splendor of our essential and immortal reality.

  • The Inner Body is the Doorway to Being: The inner body, which is invisible, is the doorway to the unmanifested, eternal, and divine essence of our being. It is the connection to the One Life that is birthless, deathless, and ever-present.

  • Do Not Fight Against the Body: Trying to fight against the body is futile, as it is a part of our own reality. The body is not separate from our true self, but rather a veil that conceals it.

  • The Body is the Means to Realize the Truth: The search for the Truth should not be directed elsewhere, as it can only be found within the body. The body is the means through which we can access and realize our essential, immortal reality.


  • Permanent Connectedness with the Inner Body: The key is to be in a constant state of awareness and connection with your inner body. This heightens your vibrational frequency and helps you stay anchored in the present moment, preventing you from getting lost in your mind or the external world.

  • Directing Attention Inward: Instead of letting your attention flow outward towards the mind and external world, make a conscious effort to keep some of your attention directed inward, towards the inner body. This can be practiced during any activity or even while waiting in line.

  • Rooting Yourself in the Now: By staying connected to your inner body, you become rooted in the present moment, the "Now." This helps you avoid getting caught up in the conditioned mental scripts and automatic reactions that arise from the mind-identified state of consciousness.

  • Accessing Higher Intelligence: When faced with challenges or difficult situations, immediately shift your attention inward and connect with the inner body. This allows you to access a higher level of intelligence and wisdom that comes from Being, rather than relying solely on the limited intelligence of the mind.

  • Building a Solid Foundation: Connecting with the inner body is like building a deep, solid foundation for your "house" (your life and consciousness). This ensures that you are not swept away by the storms and floods of life, unlike someone who builds their "house" on the unstable foundation of the mind.

  • Transforming Your Life: Developing the art of inner-body awareness and maintaining a state of permanent connectedness with Being will transform your life, adding a depth and quality that you have never experienced before.


  • Attention is the key to transformation: Attention means observing and fully feeling an emotion, rather than just thinking about it. This allows the emotion to be acknowledged and accepted, which is the first step towards transforming it.

  • Emotions have a short lifespan in a fully functional organism: In a healthy state, emotions are like momentary ripples on the surface of one's being. However, when one is not present in the body, emotions can linger for days, weeks, or even years, forming a "pain-body" that feeds on one's energy.

  • Nonforgiveness is a grievance pattern that sustains emotions: Nonforgiveness can be towards another person, oneself, or a situation, and it prevents the mind from letting go of the emotion. Forgiveness is the act of relinquishing this grievance, which allows life to flow through you freely.

  • The mind cannot forgive, only you can: Forgiveness is a personal act that reclaims your power from the mind. It allows you to become present, enter your body, and experience the vibrant peace and stillness of being.

  • Forgiveness is necessary before entering the "temple": The author references Jesus' teaching that one should forgive before entering the temple, which symbolizes the importance of forgiveness as a prerequisite for accessing the deeper spiritual realms within oneself.

  • Presence is pure consciousness: Presence is consciousness that has been reclaimed from the mind and the world of form.

  • The inner body is the link to the Unmanifested: The inner body is the link to the Unmanifested, which is the Source from which consciousness emanates, similar to how light emanates from the sun. Awareness of the inner body is consciousness remembering its origin and returning to the Source.

  • The Unmanifested and Being are the same: The Unmanifested and Being are the same, referring to that which cannot be spoken, thought, or imagined. The Unmanifested is a term that points to what it is by saying what it is not, while Being is a positive term.

  • Consciousness reclaims itself from the mind: The reclaiming of presence from the mind is an awakening of consciousness from the dream of form. This does not mean that your physical form will instantly vanish, but rather that you can continue in your present form while being aware of the formless and deathless deep within you.

  • Feeling is closer to the truth than thinking: Feeling will get you closer to the truth of who you are than thinking. If you have reached a certain stage of inner connectedness, you will recognize the truth when you hear it. If you haven't reached that stage yet, the practice of body awareness will bring about the deepening that is necessary.


  • Awareness of the Inner Body Slows Aging: The chapter suggests that being aware of and present in the inner body, rather than being trapped in the mind and identified with the outer body, can significantly slow down the aging process of the physical body.

  • The Inner Body Remains Timeless: The energy field and vitality of the inner body does not change with time. Even as the outer body appears to grow old and wither, the inner body remains just as vibrantly alive, regardless of one's age.

  • Increased Consciousness Reduces Density: As there is more consciousness in the body, its molecular structure becomes less dense. This is because increased consciousness leads to a lessening of the illusion of materiality.

  • Inhabiting the Inner Body Slows Outer Body Aging: When one becomes more identified with the timeless inner body rather than the outer body, and presence becomes the normal mode of consciousness, the accumulation of time as the psychological burden of past and future is reduced. This greatly improves the cells' capacity for self-renewal, causing the outer body to age at a much slower rate.

  • Timeless Essence Shines Through: Even when the outer body does eventually grow old, the timeless essence of the individual will shine through the outer form, preventing the appearance of an old person.

  • Personal Experimentation as Evidence: The chapter suggests that the reader should try out the practice of being aware of the inner body and present in the Now, as this will be the evidence of the benefits described, rather than relying solely on scientific evidence.


  • Inhabiting the Body Strengthens the Immune System: When you bring more consciousness and attention to your body, it strengthens your physical immune system. This is because every cell in the body "awakens and rejoices" when you are present within it.

  • Inhabiting the Body Strengthens the Psychic Immune System: Inhabiting the body also strengthens your "psychic immune system," which protects you from the negative mental-emotional energy fields of others. This works by raising the frequency vibration of your energy field, so that lower-frequency emotions like fear, anger, and depression cannot enter your field of consciousness.

  • Self-Healing Meditation: The author provides a simple but powerful self-healing meditation that can be used to boost the immune system, especially when feeling the first symptoms of illness or to counteract any disruption of your energy field by negativity. The key steps are:

    • Focus your attention on different parts of the body for 15 seconds each, feeling the life energy within.
    • Then let your attention run through the body like a wave, from feet to head and back.
    • Finally, feel the inner body as a single field of energy and be intensely present in every cell.
  • Consistency is Key: The author notes that this self-healing meditation is not a substitute for the moment-to-moment practice of being present in the body. Its effects will only be temporary unless it is combined with the ongoing practice of inhabiting the body.


  • Conscious Breathing: When the mind is very active and it's difficult to focus on the inner body, the author suggests starting with conscious breathing as a powerful meditation technique. This involves following the breath as it moves in and out of the body, feeling the abdomen expand and contract with each inhalation and exhalation.

  • Visualization: If it's easy to visualize, the author suggests closing your eyes and seeing yourself surrounded by or immersed in a luminous substance, like a "sea of consciousness." Then, breathe in that light, feeling it fill up and make your body luminous as well.

  • Shifting Focus: The key is to gradually shift your focus from the visual image to the felt sense of the body, as you become more in touch with the inner body through the conscious breathing. The author cautions against getting attached to any visual image.

  • Overcoming Worry and Anxiety: The author notes that the mind can sometimes acquire so much momentum, particularly in worry or anxiety patterns, that it becomes difficult to shift attention away from it and feel the inner body. Conscious breathing and visualization can help overcome this challenge.

  • Being Present in the Body: The ultimate goal is to become present in your body, to feel that you are "in your body." This helps you access the power of the present moment and the inner stillness that lies beneath the mental activity.


  • Listening with the whole body: When listening to someone, don't just use your mind, but feel the energy field of your inner body. This takes attention away from thinking and creates a still space that enables you to truly listen without the mind interfering.

  • Giving the gift of space: By listening with your whole being, you are giving the other person the precious gift of space to be. Most people don't know how to listen because their attention is consumed by their own thoughts.

  • Connecting at the level of Being: When you listen with your whole being, you can connect with the other person's Being, which is the deepest level of their existence. This is the beginning of the realization of oneness, which is love.

  • Relationships based on minds, not Beings: Most human relationships consist mainly of minds interacting with each other, not of human beings communicating and being in communion. This is why there is so much conflict in relationships.

  • Being in touch with the inner body: When you are in touch with your inner body, it creates a clear space of no-mind within which the relationship can flourish. This helps to overcome the inevitable conflict, strife, and problems that arise when the mind is running your life.


  • Meditation on the Inner Body: The chapter suggests a meditation practice to go deeply into the inner energy field of the body. This involves:

    • Sitting upright, relaxing the body, and taking a few deep breaths.
    • Becoming aware of the entire inner energy field of the body, not just thinking about it but feeling it.
    • Letting go of any visual images and focusing exclusively on the felt sense of the inner body.
    • Merging with the energy field, transcending the distinction between the observer and the observed, and the inner and outer.
  • Transcending Identification with Form: By going deeply into the body, one can transcend identification with the physical form and access a realm of "pure Being" or the "Unmanifested" - the formless, invisible source of all things. This is described as a state of deep stillness, peace, joy, and intense aliveness.

  • Realization of the Self as Pure Consciousness: In this state of pure Being, one realizes that the "light" or pure consciousness that emanates from the Unmanifested is not separate from one's own essence. The self is seen as transparent to this underlying source of all existence.

  • Liberating Effect: Having access to the formless realm of pure Being is described as "truly liberating" as it frees one from bondage to and identification with form. It allows one to transcend the fragmentation of life into multiplicity and connect with the undifferentiated state of existence.


  • The Unmanifested is the source of chi: Chi is the inner energy or life force of the body, and it serves as a bridge between the outer, manifested world and the Unmanifested, which is the source of chi.

  • Chi is the link between the Unmanifested and the physical universe: Chi is the movement or energy stream that connects the stillness of the Unmanifested to the physical, manifested world.

  • Directing consciousness inward can lead to the Source: By focusing attention deeply into the inner body, one can trace the "river" of chi back to its Source, the Unmanifested, which is a state of absolute stillness yet vibrant with life.

  • Enlightenment is the state of connectedness with the Source: When one's consciousness is able to remain connected to the Unmanifested even while engaged in the manifested world, this is the state of enlightenment, where one becomes a "bridge between the Unmanifested and the manifested."

  • The Unmanifested is not separate from the manifested: The Unmanifested pervades the manifested world, as it is the "life within every form" and the "inner essence of all that exists." The two are not separate, but rather deeply interconnected.

  • Spiritual practice involves maintaining awareness of the Unmanifested: By keeping some attention directed inward, even while engaged in the external world and one's mind, one can maintain a sense of the underlying stillness and peace of the Unmanifested throughout daily life.


  • Dreamless Sleep and the Unmanifested: During dreamless sleep, you merge with the Unmanifested, the Source of vital energy that sustains you. In this state, "you" no longer exist, and it is impossible to imagine being conscious in this state.

  • Conscious Entry into the Unmanifested: The Unmanifested does not liberate you until you enter it consciously. This is not a conceptual truth, but the truth of eternal life beyond form, which must be known directly.

  • Lucid Dreaming vs. Conscious Dreamless Sleep: Attempting to stay conscious during dreamless sleep is highly unlikely to succeed. At most, you may remain conscious during the dream phase, which is called lucid dreaming, but this is not liberating.

  • The Inner Body as a Portal: Use your inner body as a portal through which you enter the Unmanifested, and keep that portal open to stay connected with the Source at all times. The inner body is timeless, and it makes no difference whether your outer physical body is old or young, frail or strong.

  • Other Portals to the Unmanifested: If you are not yet able to feel the inner body, you can use other portals to the Unmanifested, although ultimately, they are all one.


  • The Now as the Main Portal: The Now is the essential aspect of every other portal, including the inner body. Being present in the Now is necessary to be in your body.

  • Relationship between Time, Manifested, Unmanifested, and Presence: Time and the manifested are linked, just as the timeless Now and the Unmanifested are. Dissolving psychological time through present-moment awareness allows one to become conscious of the Unmanifested, both directly (as the radiance and power of conscious presence) and indirectly (feeling the "God-essence" in all things).

  • Cessation of Thinking as a Portal: Stopping the incessant stream of thought, through practices like conscious breathing or intense observation of a flower, creates a gap that allows access to the Unmanifested. Thought is part of the manifested realm and can act as an "opaque screen" preventing consciousness of the Unmanifested.

  • Surrender and Letting Go as a Portal: Surrendering or letting go of mental-emotional resistance to what is, also becomes a portal to the Unmanifested. Inner resistance strengthens the feeling of separateness, which binds one to the manifested world of forms. In the state of surrender, the form identity softens, allowing the Unmanifested to shine through.

  • Love as a Result, Not a Portal: Love is not a portal itself, but rather the "feeling-realization of oneness" that comes through the open portals. As long as one is trapped in their form identity, there can be no love. The task is to find a portal through which love can enter, not to search for love directly.


  • The Unmanifested pervades the world, but is often overlooked: The Unmanifested, or the underlying silence and stillness, is present everywhere, but it is so well disguised that most people miss it. It is not separate from the manifested world, but is an intrinsic part of it.

  • Paying attention to silence can open a portal to the Unmanifested: By focusing on the silence that surrounds and underlies every sound, you can become more aware of the Unmanifested. This silence is a portal to the deeper, unmanifested dimension of reality.

  • Silence enables sound to be: Silence is an intrinsic but unmanifested part of every sound, musical note, and word. It is the space that allows these things to exist and be perceived.

  • Silence is akin to the divine: It has been said that nothing in this world is so like God as silence. By paying attention to silence, you can connect with the deeper, more divine aspects of reality.

  • Focusing on silence creates inner stillness: As you pay attention to the silence around you, it also creates a sense of inner stillness and calm within your own mind. This inner stillness is a key aspect of accessing the Unmanifested.

  • Silence and stillness are interconnected: Silence without leads to stillness within, and vice versa. By cultivating awareness of the silence around you, you can simultaneously become more still and present within yourself.


  • The Essence of Space and Silence: Space and silence are not just "nothing" - they are externalized manifestations of the Unmanifested, the infinite creative womb of all existence. Space and silence are two aspects of the same underlying reality.

  • The Illusion of Solidity: Physicists have shown that the apparent solidity of matter is an illusion - even seemingly solid objects are mostly empty space. The essence of all things is emptiness or "form is emptiness, emptiness is form" as stated in the Buddhist Heart Sutra.

  • Awareness of Space and Silence: By withdrawing attention from objects in space and becoming aware of the space itself, one can access the inner space of pure consciousness or the Unmanifested. This shift in awareness is a portal to the dimension of the Unmanifested.

  • The Unmanifested and the Manifested: The Unmanifested is unaffected by the rise and fall of forms in the manifested world. Remaining in conscious connection with the Unmanifested allows one to deeply respect and value the manifested world, while also recognizing its impermanence.

  • Overcoming the World: Those who remain connected to the Unmanifested have "overcome the world" in the words of Jesus, or "crossed over to the other shore" as the Buddha put it. They live without fear and with a balanced perspective, not identified exclusively with their physical or psychological form.


  • Space and Silence: Space and silence only come into being when there are objects or sounds to contrast them. Without any objects or sounds, space and silence would not exist.

  • The Origin of Space: Space did not exist before the universe came into being. It arose simultaneously with the manifested world, and is not a pre-existing entity that was created to accommodate the universe.

  • The Nature of Space: Space is not a tangible thing, but rather the Unmanifested or the "body of God" - the infinite, vast, and still emptiness that enables the universe to exist.

  • Space and Time: According to Einstein, space and time are not separate, but rather part of a "space-time continuum". Externally, they are perceived as separate entities, but internally, they have equivalents in the form of "no-mind" (space) and "presence" (time).

  • The Importance of the World: The world is necessary for the Unmanifested to be realized. Just as objects are needed for space to be perceived, the world is needed for enlightenment and the divine purpose of the universe to unfold.

  • The Significance of the Individual: Each individual is important in enabling the divine purpose of the universe to unfold, as it is through the individual that the Unmanifested knows itself.


  • Conscious Death: At the time of physical death, a portal of radiant light opens up briefly, offering a chance for spiritual realization. This is known as a near-death experience, where people report a sense of blissful serenity and deep peace.

  • Missed Opportunities: Most people miss this final portal due to residual resistance, fear, attachment to sensory experience, and identification with the manifested world. They turn away from the portal in fear and lose consciousness, leading to another round of birth and death.

  • Preservation of True Nature: Even if the personality is dissolved, the radiant true nature of the individual remains. Nothing of true value or reality is ever lost, as the true self is the underlying essence that shines through the personality.

  • Death as an Opportunity: Approaching and experiencing death is a great opportunity for spiritual realization, as it represents the dissolution of the false, mind-made self. This opportunity is often tragically missed due to a culture that is ignorant of death and the deeper aspects of existence.

  • Illusion of Death: Death is not an absolute end, but rather the end of an illusion. The pain and fear associated with death are only present as long as one clings to the illusion of the false self and the manifested world. Realizing the true nature of the self and the illusory nature of death can lead to a state of conscious immortality.


  • Salvation is not found in the future or in external events, but in the present moment. The chapter emphasizes that true fulfillment, peace, and freedom from suffering are not attained through pursuing physical pleasures or psychological gratification, which are temporary and lead to a perpetual search for something outside the present. Instead, salvation is found in the realization that you are already complete and whole in the here and now.

  • Salvation is not a state to be achieved, but a state of being to be recognized. The chapter explains that salvation is not something you need to find, sort out, do, achieve, acquire, become, or understand. Rather, it is a state of freedom from fear, suffering, and a perceived lack of fulfillment that you already possess, but have not yet recognized.

  • Time is the greatest obstacle to salvation, not the means to it. The chapter argues that the mind's tendency to project salvation into the future, whether through future events, achievements, or personal transformations, is the core error that prevents one from experiencing true fulfillment in the present moment.

  • Salvation can be accessed through the present moment, regardless of one's current circumstances. The chapter emphasizes that the only point of access to salvation is the Now, and that any condition or situation can be used as a gateway to this realization, as long as one's attention is fully present and engaged in the current moment.

  • Salvation is not a state that can be attained through effort or action, but through a shift in perspective. The chapter suggests that salvation is not something that can be achieved through doing or becoming, but rather through a recognition that you are already complete and whole, and that this realization is available to you in the present moment, regardless of your past or future.


  • Relationships without Presence: Unless one accesses the "consciousness frequency of presence", all relationships, especially intimate ones, are deeply flawed and ultimately dysfunctional. "Presence" refers to a state of being fully in the present moment, without the interference of the mind.

  • Love/Hate Relationships: Relationships often oscillate between the polarities of "love" and "hate", with periods of intense love followed by periods of hostility, withdrawal, or violence. This cycle of love and hate can become addictive, as the drama makes the individuals feel alive.

  • Interdependence of Polarities: The positive and negative polarities in a relationship are mutually interdependent. You cannot have one without the other, as the positive already contains the unmanifested negative within it. This is a fundamental dysfunction in most relationships.

  • True Love vs. Romantic Love: True love, which arises from beyond the mind, is rare, as it has no opposite. The "love" experienced in most romantic relationships is not true love, but rather an intense, addictive state that can quickly turn into its opposite.

  • Recognizing Negativity: The negative aspects of a relationship, such as possessiveness, jealousy, control, and emotional manipulation, are more easily recognizable as dysfunctional than the positive aspects, which can also contain the seeds of dysfunction.

  • Addiction to the Other: When you are "in love", you can become addicted to the other person, feeling whole only when you are together. This can lead to fear of loss, jealousy, and attempts at manipulation when the other person is not available.


  • The Longing for Wholeness: Humans have a deep-seated longing for wholeness and an end to duality, which manifests as the male-female attraction and the desire for union with the opposite energy polarity. This longing is a spiritual one, and sexual union is the closest one can get to this state on the physical level, but it is only a fleeting glimpse of wholeness.

  • The Ego and the Externally Derived Sense of Self: As long as one is identified with the mind, one has an externally derived sense of self, which is the false, mind-made self or the ego. The ego feels vulnerable, insecure, and is always seeking new things to identify with to give it a feeling of existence, but nothing is ever enough to give it lasting fulfillment.

  • Romantic Love and the Illusion of Salvation: The romantic love relationship seems to offer liberation from the deep-seated state of fear, need, lack, and incompleteness that is part of the human condition. The loved one becomes the center of one's world and the source of one's identity, creating an illusion of salvation.

  • Confusing Ego Attachment with Love: True love has no opposite, but if one experiences both "love" and the opposite of love (such as attack, emotional violence, etc.) in a relationship, it is likely that one is confusing ego attachment and addictive clinging with love.

  • The Cycle of Addiction: Every addiction, including addiction to a person, arises from an unconscious refusal to face and move through one's own pain. The initial euphoria of the addiction is followed by unhappiness and pain, as the addiction no longer works to cover up the underlying pain.

  • The Power of Presence: Avoidance of relationships or isolation is not the answer, as the pain is there anyway. However, if one could bring intense presence into one's aloneness, that would work as well, as the power of presence can dissolve the past and its pain, and reveal one's own reality and closeness to the divine.


  • Disidentifying from the Thinker and Pain-Body: To cultivate a true, enlightened relationship, one must disidentify from the "thinker" (the compulsive, judgemental mind) and the "pain-body" (the accumulated emotional pain and negativity). This allows one to be present as the silent watcher of one's thoughts and emotions, rather than being consumed by them.

  • Acceptance and Letting Go of Judgment: Completely accepting one's partner as they are, without the need to judge or change them, is the greatest catalyst for positive change in a relationship. This transcends the ego and ends all "mind games" and "addictive clinging".

  • Love as a State of Being: Love is not something external or dependent on another person. It is a state of being that is deeply rooted within oneself, as the "unmanifested life" that animates one's physical form. This realization of oneness is the true nature of love.

  • Love is Not Selective: True love, like the light of the sun, is not selective or exclusive. It is the "love of God" that connects one to all of life, not just a single person. The intensity with which this love is felt may vary, but the underlying bond is the same.

  • Moments of Communion: Even in an otherwise addictive relationship, there may be moments when the mind and pain-body temporarily subside, allowing for true communion and the realization of oneness. However, these moments are fleeting unless one can maintain a strong presence to keep the mind and its patterns at bay.

  • Presence as the Key: Ultimately, the key to transforming an addictive relationship into a true, enlightened one is to deepen one's presence and intensity of being in the Now. This allows one to transcend the mind's identification and the pain-body's influence, making way for love, joy, and peace to flourish.


  • Relationships as Spiritual Practice: The chapter suggests that as humanity becomes increasingly identified with the mind, relationships have become a source of pain and conflict. However, these relationships can be seen as a spiritual practice, an opportunity for transformation and growth.

  • Acknowledging and Accepting the Facts: The chapter emphasizes the importance of acknowledging and fully accepting the facts of a given situation, rather than trying to escape or deny them. This allows for the window of opportunity to open up and for transformation to occur.

  • Holding the Knowing: When a relationship is not working, the chapter suggests "holding the knowing" of the present moment, particularly of one's inner state. This creates a still space that can transmute the non-peace into peace.

  • Relationships as a Catalyst for Transformation: The chapter states that relationships are not meant to make one happy or fulfilled, but to make one conscious. Embracing the relationship as a spiritual practice can lead to personal transformation and the birth of a higher consciousness.

  • Relinquishing Judgment: The chapter emphasizes the importance of relinquishing judgment when one's partner behaves unconsciously. Instead of reacting, one should "be the knowing" and create a clear space of loving presence that allows all people to be as they are.

  • Expressing Thoughts and Feelings: If both partners agree to make the relationship a spiritual practice, the chapter suggests expressing thoughts and feelings as soon as they occur, without blaming or defending, and learning to listen to each other in an open, non-defensive way.

  • Challenges for the Enlightened Partner: The chapter acknowledges that it is not easy for an unenlightened partner to live with an enlightened person, as the ego needs problems, conflict, and "enemies" to strengthen its sense of separateness. The enlightened partner must be patient and create a space for transformation.

  • Opportunities in Challenges: The chapter states that every challenge in a relationship is a disguised opportunity for salvation. By being present and conscious, one can transform the unconscious patterns and bring about personal and relational growth.


  • Women are Naturally Closer to Enlightenment: Women are generally closer to the formless and transcendental reality of Being, as they are more in touch with their bodies and the feminine principle. This is why ancient cultures often represented the divine using female figures and analogies.

  • The Feminine Principle and Enlightenment: Qualities like surrender, non-judgment, and openness to life are more closely related to the feminine principle, which are essential for going beyond the mind and reconnecting with the deeper reality of Being. The mind's energy is described as "hard and rigid," while Being-energy is "soft and yielding, and yet infinitely more powerful."

  • The Mind's Dominance and Gender Differences: When the mind took over and humans lost touch with their divine essence, the divine was represented as a male figure, leading to a male-dominated society where the female was made subordinate. This has created different obstacles to enlightenment for men and women.

  • Obstacles to Enlightenment for Men and Women: The major obstacle for men tends to be the thinking mind, while the major obstacle for women is the pain-body. However, in some individual cases, the opposite may be true, or the two factors may be equal.

  • Transcending Concepts and Images: The author suggests that the use of female representations of the divine, such as the Goddess, is a temporary and useful way to restore the balance between male and female. However, these are still concepts and images, and the ultimate goal is to realize the reality beyond all concepts and images.


  • The Collective Female Pain-Body: Women have a collective pain-body that consists of the accumulated emotional and physical pain suffered by women over thousands of years through male subjugation, slavery, exploitation, rape, childbirth, and child loss. This collective pain-body is often triggered during menstruation.

  • Transmuting the Pain-Body: Women can transmute the collective female pain-body by becoming fully present and conscious during menstruation. This involves catching the first signs of the pain-body's awakening, such as irritation or anger, and then directing full attention and acceptance towards it. This allows the pain-body to be transformed into radiant consciousness.

  • The Role of Conscious Relationships: A conscious male partner can help a woman transmute her pain-body by holding the frequency of intense presence and not reacting to her when the pain-body temporarily takes over. This creates a high-frequency energy field between the partners that can draw in and transform others.

  • Enlightenment and Relationships: Even for an enlightened person, the pull towards the opposite gender polarity still exists on the level of form identity. However, in the state of enlightenment, this pull is felt on the surface or periphery, while the inner state remains complete and whole, regardless of whether the need for the male or female polarity is met.

  • Transcending the Relationship with Oneself: In the state of enlightenment, the duality of "I" and "myself" is healed, and there is no longer a need for a relationship with oneself. This allows all other relationships to become relationships of love, without the complications and conflicts caused by self-reflective consciousness.


  • Happiness vs. Inner Peace: Happiness depends on positive conditions, while inner peace does not. Inner peace is a deeper state of being that transcends the positive-negative polarity of the mind.

  • Positive and Negative Conditions: We may not have the complete picture to judge what is truly positive or negative. Seemingly negative events can sometimes be our greatest teachers, leading to growth, humility, and compassion.

  • Acceptance and Forgiveness: Accepting the present moment as it is, without resistance or judgment, is the key to inner peace. Forgiveness of the present moment is even more important than forgiveness of the past, as it prevents the accumulation of resentment.

  • Doing and Being: When we accept the present moment, the usual ego-driven motivations for action (fear, greed, control) cease to operate. An intelligence greater than the mind takes over, and our actions flow from a different quality of consciousness.

  • Transmutation of Suffering: Suffering and perceived "evil" can ultimately serve a higher good, as they force us to realize our true nature beyond name and form. However, this only becomes true through the process of forgiveness and acceptance.

  • The Power of Presence: Through forgiveness and acceptance, a field of intense presence is created both within and around the individual. This presence can have a transformative effect on others, dissolving discord, healing pain, and dispelling unconsciousness without any active effort.


  • The End of Drama: When you are fully conscious and present in the moment, you cease to create or participate in drama. Drama is a product of the ego, which perceives itself as a separate entity in a hostile universe, and engages in patterns of resistance, control, power, greed, defense, and attack.

  • Ego-Created Problems: Most of the "bad" things that happen in people's lives are self-created or ego-created, due to unconsciousness. When egos come together, whether in personal relationships or in organizations, conflict, problems, power struggles, and violence often ensue.

  • Illness and the Ego: Many types of illness are caused by the ego's continuous resistance, which creates restrictions and blockages in the flow of energy through the body. When you reconnect with Being and are no longer run by your mind, you cease to create these physical manifestations of drama.

  • Acceptance and the End of Conflict: When you live in complete acceptance of what is, that is the end of all drama in your life. You cannot have an argument with a fully conscious person, as there is no reactive force behind your words, no defense or attack. Conflict within you also ceases when there is no longer any clash between the demands and expectations of your mind and what is.

  • Identity and the Search for Answers: Most people are in love with their particular life drama, as their story is their identity. The ego runs their life, and even their usually unsuccessful search for an answer, a solution, or for healing becomes part of their drama. What they fear and resist most is the end of their drama, as long as they are identified with their mind.


  • Impermanence and Cyclical Nature of Life: The physical dimension and the collective human psyche are subject to cycles of birth, growth, decline, and death. This cyclical nature applies to physical forms, social structures, and individual life experiences. Impermanence is a fundamental characteristic of all conditions and situations.

  • Resistance to Change and Suffering: Suffering arises from the ego's resistance to the natural cycles of life. When a condition or situation that the mind has attached to and identified with changes or disappears, the mind clings to it and resists the change, leading to suffering.

  • Transcending Identification with Form: By recognizing the impermanent nature of all forms and conditions, one can avoid identifying one's sense of self with external factors. This allows for a deeper connection with the formless, timeless essence of Being, which is the source of inner peace and joy.

  • Acceptance and Non-Resistance: Offering no resistance to life's cycles and allowing the present moment to be is a state of grace, ease, and lightness. This state of non-resistance is not dependent on external conditions being a certain way, and it leads to an improvement in one's life circumstances.

  • Joy of Being vs. Happiness from External Sources: The joy of Being, which is the vibrant peace found within, is distinct from the happiness derived from external sources. Happiness from external sources is temporary and superficial, while the joy of Being is uncaused and permanent.

  • Enlightenment and the Realization of Impermanence: The realization that nothing can provide true fulfillment or "salvation" is a crucial step towards enlightenment. This realization can initially lead to world-weariness and despair, but it is also one step away from the peace and acceptance that comes with the understanding of impermanence.


  • Negativity is Resistance: Negativity, in the form of irritation, anger, depression, or despair, is a manifestation of inner resistance. The ego believes that negativity can manipulate reality and get what it wants, but this is a delusion.

  • Negativity is Unnatural: Negativity is a uniquely human phenomenon, as no other life form on the planet experiences it. It is a "psychic pollutant" that is linked to the destruction of the natural world.

  • Accepting the Present Moment: Observing nature, such as plants, animals, and even ducks, can teach us the importance of accepting the present moment and being fully present, without the burden of negativity.

  • Negativity as a Signal: Recurring negative emotions can sometimes contain an important message, signaling that there is something in our life that needs to be addressed. However, any changes must arise from a deeper shift in consciousness, which means becoming more present.

  • Dropping Negativity: When you notice negativity arising, use it as a "wake-up call" to become more present. You can either drop the negativity completely or make it disappear by imagining yourself becoming transparent to the external cause of the reaction.

  • Nonresistance and Forgiveness: By offering no resistance to external events or the actions of others, you can become "invulnerable" and experience true forgiveness. This is not about condoning unacceptable behavior, but about not allowing it to control your inner state.

  • Surrender and Acceptance: The path to inner peace is not found through seeking, but through surrender and acceptance of the present moment, even if it includes a lack of peace. Accepting your "non-peace" is the key to transmuting it into peace.


  • The Nature of Compassion: Compassion arises from the awareness of a deep bond between oneself and all other creatures. It has two aspects:

    • Sharing the vulnerability and mortality of the physical form with all other living beings.
    • Recognizing the deathless, eternal, and radiant nature of one's true Being, which is shared by all.
  • Detachment and Relationship: Becoming detached from the constantly fluctuating forms of the outer world does not mean becoming remote from other human beings. True relationship becomes possible when there is an awareness of Being, where one can perceive the other person's true reality beyond their body and mind.

  • Suffering and Illusion: Suffering is due to identification with form. When one is in touch with Being, one can look beyond the form and recognize the other person's radiant and pure Being, realizing that all suffering is an illusion.

  • Meditation on Mortality: One of the most powerful spiritual practices is to deeply meditate on the mortality of physical forms, including one's own. This leads to the realization of one's true, deathless nature, which is the other side of compassion.

  • Compassion and Inner Peace: True compassion, where the seemingly opposite feelings of sadness and joy merge into one, leads to a deep inner peace, which is the peace of God. This compassion has great healing and transformative power, but it is still a rare occurrence.


  • Belief in Death Creates the Body: The body and death are part of the same illusion created by the egoic mode of consciousness, which sees itself as separate and under threat. Believing in death leads to the perception of the body as a vulnerable, physical vehicle that is born and dies.

  • Perception Reflects Consciousness: Your perception of the world is a reflection of your state of consciousness. If you believe in separation and the struggle for survival, you will see a world of death, bodies fighting, and fear. Your consciousness creates the world you inhabit.

  • Interconnected Worlds: There are countless beings with different consciousness frequencies, each creating their own world. These worlds are interconnected, and a transformation in collective human consciousness will affect all of creation.

  • Awakening from Identification with Form: Your primary task is to awaken from identification with form, not to seek salvation through creating a better world. This allows you to feel your roots in the Unmanifested and be free of attachment to the manifested world.

  • Contribution to a Better World: It is only after transcending the world that you can truly contribute to creating a better world and a different order of reality. Your presence and peace can have a healing influence on the world.

  • Addressing Unconsciousness, not Evils: Evils are the effect of unconsciousness, not the cause. Tackling unconsciousness directly, rather than fighting the evils, is the way to create true change. Trying to fight unconsciousness directly will only strengthen the polarities.

  • Balancing Compassion: Compassion should be balanced with the realization of the eternal nature of all life and the ultimate illusion of all pain. This allows you to work on the levels of both effect and cause simultaneously.


  • Surrender is not Resignation: Surrender is not about passively accepting an undesirable situation or giving up. It is about accepting the present moment unconditionally, without mental judgment or emotional negativity.

  • Surrender and Action: Surrender is compatible with taking action and initiating positive change. In the surrendered state, your actions are infused with a different quality and energy, becoming a "surrendered action" that is more effective and joyful.

  • Resistance and the Ego: Non-surrender hardens the ego's psychological form, creating a sense of separateness and leading to negative emotions like fear, judgment, and the need to compete. This resistance also manifests physically in the body as tension and restricted energy flow.

  • The Power of the Present Moment: By surrendering to the present moment, you access an inner dimension of your being that is unaffected by the transient circumstances of your life. This connection to the timeless realm of the present is the "one thing that is needed" to bring about positive change.

  • Dissatisfaction and Motivation: Surrender does not mean a lack of dissatisfaction or motivation for change. In the surrendered state, you see clearly what needs to be done and take appropriate action, focusing on one thing at a time without getting caught up in future projections.

  • Surrender and Resistance: Surrender is not the same as an attitude of apathy or not caring. It involves vigilantly checking for any remaining pockets of resistance within, as even subtle forms of resistance can undermine the power of surrender.


  • Resistance and Unconsciousness: Resistance arises from the unconscious mind, and it serves no purpose. By being present and observing the resistance, you can become conscious of it, which leads to its dissolution.

  • Negativity and Unhappiness: Negativity and unhappiness are always accompanied by unconscious resistance. If you are truly present and conscious, you cannot be in a state of negativity or unhappiness.

  • Surrender and Spiritual Energy: Surrendering is the key to accessing the spiritual dimension and the higher vibrational energy that it brings. This energy is fundamentally different from the mind energy that drives the current social, political, and economic structures.

  • Transformation through Surrender: When you surrender and access spiritual energy, it has the power to transform both internal and external conditions. It dissolves unconscious patterns of the mind and can shift or dissolve external circumstances.

  • The Gentle and the Earth: Jesus' prophecy about the gentle inheriting the Earth refers to those who have accessed the spiritual energy through surrender. This energy creates no suffering and is the key to the Earth's survival.


  • Surrender in Relationships: Surrendering in relationships does not mean allowing yourself to be used or manipulated by others. It means being able to say "no" firmly and clearly, without negativity or resistance. This creates a "high-quality no" that is free of suffering.

  • Taking Action: If you cannot surrender to a situation, you should take immediate action to change the situation or remove yourself from it. Taking responsibility for your life and not allowing negativity to dwell within you is important.

  • Nonresistance in the Face of Violence: Nonresistance does not necessarily mean doing nothing. It means that any "doing" becomes nonreactive. The practice of "actionless activity" or "sitting quietly doing nothing" (wu wei) in a state of intense presence can be a powerful transformer and healer of situations and people.

  • Ego and Resistance: The ego believes that resistance is strength, but in reality, resistance cuts you off from your true power, which lies in your Being. Surrender allows you to let go of ego defenses and false masks, becoming simple and real, which the ego perceives as dangerous vulnerability, but is actually your essential invulnerability.

  • Relationships and the Present Moment: If you cannot accept what is in the present moment, you will not be able to accept others as they are. You will judge, criticize, and attempt to change people. When you make the present moment a means to an end, you also make every person you encounter a means to an end, rather than valuing the relationship itself.

  • True Communication: When you surrender and let go of your identification with mental positions and the need to be right, true communication can begin. This allows you to respond to situations out of your conscious presence, rather than reacting from your conditioned mind.


  • Surrender to Illness: Surrendering to illness means accepting the present moment and the physical conditions without any reservations or resistance. It is not about giving up the will to get back to health, but rather about being fully present with the current experience.

  • Illness as Part of Life Situation: Illness is a temporary imbalance or condition that is part of one's life situation, which exists in the past and future. By focusing on the present moment and refraining from labeling the condition, the illness is reduced to its physical components, such as pain, weakness, or discomfort.

  • Illness and the Ego: The ego and the egoic mind are the real problems, not the illness itself. When the ego is in control, it leads to resistance, blame, and a sense of failure, which only perpetuates the suffering.

  • Using Illness for Enlightenment: Instead of resisting or fighting the illness, one can use it as an opportunity for enlightenment. By withdrawing time from the illness and becoming fully present, the illness can force one into a state of intense awareness and consciousness, leading to a transformation of the self.

  • Illness and Identity: When the illness becomes part of one's sense of self and identity, it becomes even more difficult to surrender to it. The condition has nothing to do with one's true essence or being, and protecting the illness is a way of protecting the ego.

  • Changing the World through Acceptance: The world is a reflection of one's inner state. By accepting the image in the mirror, no matter what it is, one can transform the world around them. Attacking the image, which is a reflection of the self, only leads to further conflict and resistance.


  • Limit-Situations: Limit-situations are critical moments of crisis, disaster, or deep suffering that have the potential to "crack the hard shell of the ego" and force a person into a state of surrender, allowing for a profound spiritual awakening.

  • Surrender: Surrender is the key to transforming a limit-situation from a descent into hell to a miraculous opportunity for redemption and the realization of one's true, egoless nature. It involves the complete acceptance of the unacceptable.

  • Transmutation of Suffering: When a person surrenders in a limit-situation, the "base metal of pain and suffering" can be transmuted into an "inner peace and serenity" that comes from the Unmanifested, the deepest level of Being. This realization is not a belief but an absolute certainty.

  • Immortality and Indestructibility: Through the profound peace and serenity that arises from surrender, the person realizes that they are "indestructible, immortal" – not on the level of the mind, but within the depth of their Being.

  • Happiness vs. Inner Peace: The inner peace and serenity that come from surrender are described as a "peace of God, which passes all understanding," which is deeper and more profound than mere happiness, a "quite shallow thing" in comparison.

  • Potential for Miracles: Limit-situations have the potential to produce "miracles," such as murderers on death row experiencing the egoless state and the deep joy and peace that come with it in their final moments.


  • Surrender vs. Resistance: Surrender is not about being cut off from your feelings or accepting situations that seem unnatural and inhuman. It is about accepting the present moment as it is, without resistance or negativity.

  • Two Chances at Surrender: The first chance is to surrender to the reality of each moment, accepting what is and doing what needs to be done. The second chance is to accept the internal condition, such as grief or fear, when you cannot accept the external situation.

  • Facing Suffering: When you are in deep pain, the urge is to escape it, but there is no true escape. The only way through is to fully feel the pain, without labeling it or creating a victim identity around it.

  • Presence and Attention: By giving your full attention and presence to the pain, without resistance, you are practicing surrender. This presence removes the sense of time and allows the pain to transmute into peace.

  • Death and Rebirth: Facing and accepting deep suffering is a journey into the "death" of the ego. This death is incredibly liberating, as it allows you to let go of the heavy, time-bound self and shine with the light of your true presence.


  • Suffering can lead to finding God through surrender and acceptance: Some people have found God through their deep suffering, not by resisting it, but by surrendering to it and accepting it completely. This surrender leads to the end of the mind's control and the opening up of the realm of Being.

  • God is not an entity, but Being itself: The word "God" is limiting because it implies an entity separate from the self. God is not a being, but Being itself, and there is no subject-object relationship or duality between the self and God.

  • The way of the cross is the old path to enlightenment: The way of the cross, which involves suffering and surrender, is the traditional path to enlightenment. It is a complete reversal, where the worst thing in one's life becomes the best thing by forcing surrender and the realization of one's true nature as God.

  • Suffering is necessary for the unconscious majority: For the majority of humans who are still unconscious, suffering is the only way to awaken and achieve enlightenment. This process is described in the Book of Revelation and is a result of certain universal laws governing the growth of consciousness.

  • Conscious choice for enlightenment: There is a growing number of people whose consciousness has evolved to the point where they can choose enlightenment consciously, without the need for further suffering. This involves relinquishing attachment to the past and future and making the present moment the main focus of one's life.

  • Time and pain are inseparable: If one believes that more time is needed before one can choose to create no more pain or suffering, then more time and more pain will be experienced. The choice to end suffering is the key to enlightenment.


  • Choice and Consciousness: The ability to choose is directly linked to one's level of consciousness. Without consciousness, one is merely compelled to think, feel, and act according to the conditioning of the mind, rather than making a true choice.

  • Unconscious Patterns and Relationships: People often find themselves in dysfunctional or abusive relationships because they are unconsciously re-creating patterns from the past, which the mind is familiar with, even if it is painful. This is not a conscious choice, but rather a result of being identified with the mind and its conditioned patterns.

  • The Power of the Present Moment: The present moment is the key to breaking free from unconscious patterns and gaining the ability to choose. Present-moment awareness creates a gap in the stream of the mind, allowing for the possibility of something new and creative to emerge.

  • Forgiveness and the Egoic Self: True forgiveness is only possible when one transcends the egoic self, which is derived from the past. When one is fully present and surrenders to the Now, the past ceases to have power, and the need for forgiveness becomes unnecessary.

  • Responsibility and Consequences: Even when one is identified with the mind and has no true choice, one will still bear the consequences of one's unconsciousness, which will eventually force one to awaken and become more conscious.

  • Compassion for the Unconscious: When one recognizes that the mind-identified state is a form of illness or insanity, the appropriate response is not resentment, but rather compassion for those who are trapped in this condition.

  • Surrender and the End of Questioning: The ultimate sign of surrender and presence is the cessation of the need to ask questions about one's own state of being. When one no longer needs to ask, one has arrived at the realization of the Now.


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