Last Updated on December 20, 2022
Eckhart Tolle, born Ulrich Leonard Tölle, is a famous German-born spiritual leader and self-help writer currently based in Canada.
Tolle is best known for authoring The New York Times Best Seller, ‘The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment.’ The book was published in 1997. His other popular work is ‘A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose,’ which he published in 2005.
Tolle is also credited for writing several other books besides ‘The Power of Now’ and ‘A New Earth.’ They include ‘Practicing the Power of Now: Essential Teachings, Meditations, and Exercises from The Power of Now’ (2001), ‘Stillness Speaks: Whispers of Now (2003), and ‘Oneness With All Life: Inspirational Selections from A New Earth’ (2008). The award-winning author also has a graphic novel and children’s book to his name. They include ‘Guardians of Being’ and ‘Milton’s Secret: An Adventure of Discovery through Then, When, and The Power of Now’, respectively.
Eckhart Tolle’s self-help publications are mainly inspired by his personal experiences. Tolle was born on February 16, 1948, in Lünen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. His childhood could be termed as less than ideal. He suffered fear and anxiety, much of which resulted from the fact that he grew up in post-war Germany.
When he was 13, Eckhart Tolle moved to Spain to live with his father. As his father did not insist that he attends high school, Tolle opted to study literature, languages, and astronomy at home.
Tolle reportedly had his first moment of spiritual awakening at the age of 15. He claims to have been influenced by a gift of the five spiritual books authored by renowned German mystic Joseph Anton Schneiderfranken. But as it would later turn out, this was only the first in his long list of spiritual transformations.
Tolle’s second spiritual enlightenment happened at the age of 29. This came in the wake of his struggle with depression. It’s at this moment that Tolle discovered his inner self. He spent more time either self-meditating or hanging out with friends in a Buddhist monastery.
He also quit studying for his doctorate, opting to focus on becoming a counselor and self-help author. Since then, Eckhart Tolle has treated the world to hundreds of profound quotes.
Most of Tolle’s quotes are found in his numerous self-help books and publications. Others can be picked up from his many interviews and speaking engagements.
Eckhart Tolle’s quotes cut across the full spectrum. Tolle’s works mainly include quotes about attaining a higher level of spiritual awakening, where he focuses on pursuing inner peace. The award-winning author attempts to challenge his readers to shun materialistic ambitions in favor of pursuing spiritual goals.
Tolle also addresses the themes of sadness and happiness in many of his quotes. This is another area where he draws directly from his troubled childhood and early adulthood. Love, life, ego, and the importance of dwelling in the present moment are other notable topics Tolle’s quotes tackle.
Eckhart Tolle Quotes
Listed below are 100+ most profound quotes by one of the world’s best spiritual leaders.
- “Acceptance looks like a passive state, but in reality it brings something entirely new into this world. That peace, a subtle energy vibration, is consciousness.”
- “You find peace not by rearranging the circumstances of your life, but by realizing who you are at the deepest level.”
- “Prejudice of any kind implies that you are identified with the thinking mind. It means you don’t see the other human being anymore, but only your own concept of that human being. To reduce the aliveness of another human being to a concept is already a form of violence.”
- “I have lived with several Zen masters — all of them cats.”
- “Whatever you fight, you strengthen, and what you resist, persists.”
- “For many people who are so lost in their minds, so much involved in their thought processes, the only moments they have when they are not trapped in that is when they are relating to their animal, their pet.”
- “When people get taken over by the ego to such an extent, there is nothing else in their mind except the ego. They can no longer feel or sense their humanity – what they share with other human beings, or even with other life forms on the planet. They are so identified with concepts in their minds that other human beings become concepts as well.”
- “Death is a stripping away of all that is not you. The secret of life is to ‘die before you die’ — and find that there is no death.”
- “A genuine relationship is one that is not dominated by the ego with its image-making and self-seeking. In a genuine relationship, there is an outward flow of open, alert attention toward the other person in which there is no wanting whatsoever.”
- “The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but thought about it. Be aware of the thoughts you are thinking. Separate them from the situation, which is always neutral. It is as it is.”
- “The answer is, who you are cannot be defined through thinking or mental labels or definitions, because it’s beyond that. It is the very sense of being, or presence, that is there when you become conscious of the present moment. In essence, you and what we call the present moment are, at the deepest level, one.”
- “That is the real spiritual awakening, when something emerges from within you that is deeper than who you thought you were. So, the person is still there, but one could almost say that something more powerful shines through the person.”
- “All negativity is caused by an accumulation of psychological time and denial of the present. Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry – all forms of fear – are caused by too much future, and
not enough presence. Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness, and all forms of non-forgiveness are caused by too much past, and not enough presence.”
- “Worry pretends to be necessary but serves no useful purpose.”
- “Dogmas are collective conceptual prisons. And the strange thing is that people love their prison cells because they give them a sense of security and a false sense of ‘I know.’ Nothing has inflicted more suffering on humanity than its dogmas.”
- “Thoughts are fine when you don’t confuse them with who you are, and then thoughts are not a problem. Thinking is a wonderful tool to create things in this world. It only becomes problematic and a source of suffering when you confuse thinking with who you are.”
- “When you wash your hands, when you make a cup of coffee, when you’re waiting for the elevator – instead of indulging in thinking, these are all opportunities for being there as a still, alert presence.”
- “Is there a difference between happiness and inner peace? Yes. Happiness depends on conditions being perceived as positive; inner peace does not.”
- “Pleasure is always derived from something outside you, whereas joy arises from within.”
- “To realize that you are not your thoughts is when you begin to awaken spiritually.”
- “Your entire life only happens in this moment. The present moment is life itself. Yet, people live as if the opposite were true and treat the present moment as a stepping stone to the next moment – a means to an end.”
- “Even the most seemingly unpleasant situations – if you become aligned with it, something good will emerge from that.”
- “If you get the inside right, the outside will fall into place. Primary reality is within; secondary reality without.”
- “Love is a state of Being. Your love is not outside; it is deep within you. You can never lose it, and it cannot leave you. It is not dependent on some other body, some external form.”
- “It is not uncommon for people to spend their whole life waiting to start living.”
- “All true artists, whether they know it or not, create from a place of no-mind, from inner stillness.”
- “You do not become good by trying to be good, but by finding the goodness that is already within you, and allowing that goodness to emerge. But it can only emerge if something fundamental changes in your state of consciousness.”
- “Fear seems to have many causes. Fear of loss, fear of failure, fear of being hurt, and so on, but ultimately all fear is the ego’s fear of death, of annihilation. To the ego, death is always just around the corner. In this mind-identified state, fear of death affects every aspect of your life.”
- “You are not a problem that needs solving.”
- “To me the ego is the habitual and compulsive thought processes that go through everybody’s mind continuously. External things like possessions or memories or failures or successes or achievements. Your personal history.”
- “This, too, will pass.”
- “…the past gives you an identity and the future holds the promise of salvation, of fulfillment in whatever form. Both are illusions.”
- “Living up to an image that you have of yourself or that other people have of you is inauthentic living.”
- “Realize deeply that the present moment is all you will ever have.”
- “Was Jesus the son of God? Yes. But so are you. You just haven’t realized it yet.”
- “Thinking is a wonderful tool if it’s applied. Thinking, however, can not become the master. Thinking is a very bad master. If you’re dominated by thinking then your life becomes very restricted.”
- “You can always cope with the present moment, but you cannot cope with something that is only a mind projection – you cannot cope with the future.”
- “Don’t let a mad world tell you that success is anything other than a successful present moment.”
- “Don’t Seek Happiness. If you seek it, you won’t find it, because seeking is the antithesis of happiness”
- “Awareness is the greatest agent for change.”
- “Power over others is weakness disguised as strength.”
- “Narrow your life down to this moment. Your life situation may be full of problems – most life situations are – but find out if you have a problem at this moment. Do you have a problem now?”
- “Is fear preventing you from taking action? Acknowledge the fear, watch it, take your attention into it, be fully present with it. Doing so cuts the link between the fear and your thinking. Don’t let the fear rise up into your mind. Use the power of the Now. Fear cannot prevail against it.”
- “Can you look without the voice in your head commenting, drawing conclusions, comparing, or trying to figure something out?”
- “As soon as you honor the present moment, all unhappiness and struggle dissolve, and life begins to flow with joy and ease. When you act out the present-moment awareness, whatever you do becomes imbued with a sense of quality, care, and love – even the most simple action.”
- “All the things that truly matter, beauty, love, creativity, joy and inner peace arise from beyond the mind.”
- “When you don’t cover up the world with words and labels, a sense of the miraculous returns to your life that was lost a long time ago when humanity, instead of using thought, became possessed by thought.”
- “You can have religion with spirituality. You can also have religion without spirituality.”
- “Many people identify their sense of self with the problems they have, or think they have.”
- “Many people in this world are still so identified with every thought that arises in their head. There is not the slightest space of awareness there.”
- “If you live only in one culture for the first 20 years of your life, you become conditioned without knowing it.”
- “Being must be felt. It can’t be thought.”
- “If not now, when?”
- “Only the truth of who you are, if realized, will set you free.”
- “To recognize one’s own insanity is, of course, the arising of sanity, the beginning of healing and transcendence.”
- “The most common ego identifications have to do with possessions, the work you do, social status and recognition, knowledge and education, physical appearance, special abilities, relationships, person and family history, belief systems, and often nationalistic, racial, religious, and other collective identifications. None of these is you.”
- “When you take your attention into the present moment, a certain alertness arises. You become more conscious of what’s around you, but also, strangely, a sense of presence that is both within and without.”
- “Often, little situations trigger enormous reactions. Be there, present for it. Your partner will find it easier to see it in you, and you will find it easier to see it in them.”
- “The moment you become aware of the ego in you, it is strictly speaking no longer the ego, but just an old, conditioned mind-pattern. Ego implies unawareness. Awareness and ego cannot coexist.”
- “Whenever you become anxious or stressed, outer purpose has taken over, and you lost sight of your inner purpose. You have forgotten that your state of consciousness is
primary, all else secondary.”
- “Because of its phantom nature, and despite elaborate defense mechanisms, the ego is very vulnerable and insecure, and it sees itself as constantly under threat. This, by the way, is the case even if the ego is outwardly very confident.”
- “Memories are thoughts that arise. They’re not realities. Only when you believe that they are real, then they have the power over you. But when you realize it’s just another thought arising about the past, then you can have a spacious relationship with that thought. The thought no longer has you in its grip.”
- “If danger arises in the present moment, there may be an emotion. There may even be pain. But that’s a challenge, not a problem. For a problem to exist, you need time and repetitive mind activity.”
- “If the structures of the human mind remain unchanged, we will always end up re-creating the same world, the same evils, the same dysfunction.”
- “In today’s rush we all think too much, seek too much, want too much and forget about the joy of just Being.”
- “What a caterpillar calls the end of the world we call a butterfly.”
- “What you react to in others, you strengthen in yourself.”
- “You are not IN the universe, you ARE the universe, an intrinsic part of it. Ultimately you are not a person, but a focal point where the universe is becoming conscious of itself. What an amazing miracle.”
- “Words reduce reality to something the human mind can grasp, which isn’t very much.”
- “We should purify our innate well of contentment – what a wonderful expression – and then external things will be in harmony with us.”
- “Love is a state of being. Your love is not outside; it is deep within you. You can never lose it, and it cannot leave you.”
- “Watch any plant or animal and let it teach you acceptance of what is, surrender to the Now.
Let it teach you Being.
Let it teach you integrity — which means to be one, to be yourself, to be real.
Let it teach you how to live and how to die, and how not to make living and dying into a problem.”
- “Your outer journey may contain a million steps; your inner journey only has one: the step you are taking right now.”
- “It is when we are trapped in incessant streams of compulsive thinking that the universe really disintegrates for us, and we lose the ability to sense the interconnectedness of all that exists.”
- “Authentic human interactions become impossible when you lose yourself in a role.”
- “You become most powerful in whatever you do if the action is performed for its own sake rather than as a means to protect, enhance, or conform to your role identity.”
- “Give up defining yourself – to yourself or to others. You won’t die. You will come to life. And don’t be concerned with how others define you. When they define you, they are limiting themselves, so it’s their problem. Whenever you interact with people, don’t be there primarily as a function or a role, but as the field of conscious Presence. You can only lose something that you have, but you cannot lose something that you are.”
- “The past has no power over the present moment.”
- “Some changes look negative on the surface but you will soon realize that space is being created in your life for something new to emerge.”
- “Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have. Make the Now the primary focus of your life.”
- “People look to time in expectation that it will eventually make them happy, but you cannot find true happiness by looking toward the future.”
- “It is through gratitude for the present moment that the spiritual dimension of life opens up.”
- “The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it.”
- “Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.”
- “Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at the moment.”
- “The power for creating a better future is contained in the present moment: You create a good future by creating a good present.”
- “Don’t wait to be successful at some future point. Have a successful relationship with the present moment and be fully present in whatever you are doing. That is success.”
- “Sometimes letting things go is an act of far greater power than defending or hanging on.”
- “To love is to recognize yourself in another.”
- “Any action is often better than no action, especially if you have been stuck in an unhappy situation for a long time. If it is a mistake, at least you learn something, in which case it’s no longer a mistake. If you remain stuck, you learn nothing.”
- “What a liberation to realize that the ‘voice in my head’ is not who I am. ‘Who am I, then?’ The one who sees that.”
- “Discontent, blaming, complaining, self-pity cannot serve as a foundation for a good future, no matter how much effort you make.”
- “Life isn’t as serious as the mind makes it out to be.”
- “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.”
- “Life is the dancer and you are the dance.”
- “People don’t realize that now is all there ever is; there is no past or future except as memory or anticipation in your mind.”
- “Anything that you resent and strongly react to in another is also in you.”
- “If small things have the power to disturb you, then who you think you are is exactly that: small.”
- “Always say ‘yes’ to the present moment… Surrender to what is. Say ‘yes’ to life – and see how life starts suddenly to start working for you rather than against you.”
- “To complain is always nonacceptance of what is. It invariably carries an unconscious negative charge. When you complain, you make yourself into a victim. When you speak out, you are in your power. So change the situation by taking action or by speaking out if necessary or possible; leave the situation or accept it. All else is madness.”
- “Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it.”
- “You can only lose something that you have, but you cannot lose something that you are.”
- “I’m grateful for always this moment, the now, no matter what form it takes.”
- “Some people awaken spiritually without ever coming into contact with any meditation technique or any spiritual teaching. They may awaken simply because they can’t stand the suffering anymore.”