Have you read this yet? Why not?
If you’re looking for a new spiritually-focused, self-help type book, try Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth–it’s seriously the most helpful book I think I’ve ever read. Even though I don’t usually like using this term, I feel like it’s my new ‘Bible’–there are so many useful applications to daily life and how to make it better.
The author‘s basic premise is that the reason people feel unhappy in life is because they are trapped in a cycle of repetitive thought and emotion, and, therefore, aren’t really experiencing life, as in your creative life-force. You are not your thoughts, emotions, sensory perceptions, or even your life experiences. You are the awareness behind all of this, the space in which all of this occurs. Your true essence is consciousness–awareness–Presence. If one awakens to this and is able to recognize themselves as awareness, everything which ‘happens’ becomes much more easy to deal with.
This may sound a little conceptual or not practical at all, but believe me, read the book until at least the end of chapter 2. It really does become applicable and practical in one’s life. To me, it feels almost like a form of meditation which has instant effects on your ability to remain calm in tense or annoying situations. It also, almost more importantly, helps people deal with their own suffering, a lot of which is self-imposed by repetitive negative thoughts and emotions.
He uses quite a few quotes or examples from both Buddhist and Christian sources; to me, it feels more in alignment with certain Buddhist concepts. In any case, it’s not a religious book–it’s a spiritual one, and I don’t think anyone, except maybe the most fundamentalist of people, wouldn’t be able to use it to improve their lives and themselves.
I’ve really been transformed by this book and hope you give it a chance, too. If you’re curious but uncertain, there are free webcast discussions about each chapter between Oprah and the author, Eckhart Tolle (with people calling or skyping in with questions) here:
Download Discussions as Video, Audio, or Transcripts
These will give you a good feel for if it’s something you actually want to read.