Book Review: Eckhart Tolle: A New Earth

January was a month for reading – 18 books!! Toward the end of the month I got a hankering (do people even say that anymore?) for reading that was more spiritual in nature. I’d had a lot of thrillers/suspense, fantasy, chick lit and needed to delve into something a little deeper.

I have no idea how I ended up back at Eckhart Tolle. I’ve considered reading some of his stuff before, but something always put me off. Not sure if it was the Oprah book endorsement or the description of the book. I found the audiobook available for free and decided to give it a shot.

Tolle narrates the book and his speech is a little dry and his accent is a little hard to get used to. But his calm tone make the book easy to understand. His concepts aren’t necessarily difficult, but sometimes they take a bit to sink in.

The book is AMAZING. I think there are a lot of us feeling exactly what he details, but not having words to capture our sentiments. We’re tired of the struggle against bullshit and dealing with things that just don’t make any sense to us. We want to live whole lives of meaning, but trying to put that into action while people around us don’t get it is challenging. We feel pushed to respond because of the ego dominance around us. We lose sight of the fact that we can be happier, less stressed out, and peaceful if we just step back and let our minds still.

The book also addresses people who are trying to find their purpose in life. His belief is that the primary purpose in life is to attain stillness – get to a state of BEING – and not let thinking run rampant over our lives. This is what he calls the Inner Purpose. The Outer Purpose is the DOING of our lives.

He gave me new ways to reflect on my life and to find ways to stop reacting to so may situations. Focusing on my breathing, listening for when my ego jumps into a conversation. I’d been working on it before the book, but now I am more aware of what I’m doing. Dropping back and not letting any drive toward feeling superior or like I need to try to defend my ego have made for calmer times.

I’ve already encouraged a few people to read this one. If you’ve read it, what did you think? Did the book change the way you look at your life?