These inspirational Eckhart Tolle quotes come from some of his most popular books like The Power of Now and A New Earth.
Just who is Eckhart Tolle, though?
Well, he is a German-born philosopher, speaker, spiritual teacher, and best-selling author.
He now lives in Canada, but before that he lived in Germany and England.
He taught German and Spanish and was working toward a doctorate.
However, one day, after struggling with depression he had what he called an “inner transformation.”
His inner turmoil over trying to figure out “what is the self” led to him waking up the next morning in peace “because there was no self.”
Tolle spent some time with his Buddhist friends and stopped working on his degree.
His family thought he was being irresponsible.
However, he started down his journey to spiritual discovery anyway, and it led to Oprah recommending his book!
Read through these Eckhart Tolle quotes if you feel like you need a little spiritual inspiration today!
Eckhart Tolle Quotes on Life and Love
1. “The secret of life is to “die before you die” — and find that there is no death.” – Eckhart Tolle
2. “Being must be felt. It can’t be thought.” – Eckhart Tolle
3. “The past has no power over the present moment.” – Eckhart Tolle
4. “For what you do to others, you do to yourself.” – Eckhart Tolle
Everyday Application: This is like a spin on the Golden Rule. When we love others we feel loved. When we give others kindness, we are kinder to ourselves. If we neglect others, then we are also neglecting ourselves and our need for connection. So, do unto others as you would have done unto you, because it brings about a series of benefits in your life.
5. “Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it.” – Eckhart Tolle
Everyday Application: Being able to accept what is in life can help you make peace with things and move on. Let’s say you just received a rejection on something you had been working on. This could make you feel like a failure and doubt your dreams. However, if you accepted that rejection as if you had chosen it, then you are better able to think about why it could be a good thing. Maybe the people you were pitching your idea to are not big enough to get the recognition you want. Maybe you weren’t really sure if it would have been a good fit personally.
7. “What a caterpillar calls the end of the world we call a butterfly.”― Eckhart Tolle
Everyday Application: Life is all about perception. That poor caterpillar goes through hell, and I am sure it does feel like the end of the world. However, at the end of that intense journey the caterpillar turns into something beautiful. The end result does not negate the caterpillar’s struggle, and the rest of the world will never know exactly how the caterpillar feels. Caterpillars may not be able to change their perspectives about their struggle, but human beings can choose how they think about things.
8. “You cannot be both unhappy and fully present in the Now.” – Eckhart Tolle
Everyday Application: Our unhappiness stems from unmet expectations. One way to mitigate the unhappiness from those expectations is to live in the moment. Be grateful for what you have right now. Learn that failure does not determine your worth, it is merely an opportunity to learn something in the present. Check out this article for more about how expectations kill happiness.
9. “Become conscious of being conscious.”― Eckhart Tolle
10. “Doing is never enough if you neglect Being.”― Eckhart Tolle
Eckhart Tolle Quotes on Living in The Present Moment
11. “If I cannot live with myself, there must be two of me.” – Eckhart Tolle
Everyday Application: The “two of me” that Tolle calls into question are “I” and “self.” He says that the “I” can not live with the “self.” He questioned whether only one of them real. The “I” is the part of you that has been conditioned by the world and your experiences. The “self” is you inner spirit and all the things that make you a unique being. It can be easy to see how these two entities could clash at times!
12. “Thinking and consciousness are not synonymous. Thinking is only a small aspect of consciousness. Thought cannot exist without consciousness, but consciousness does not need thought.” – Eckhart Tolle
13. “Forget about your life situation and pay attention to your life. Your life situation exists in time. Your life is now. Your life situation is mind-stuff. Your life is real.” – Eckhart Tolle
14. “Not all thinking and all emotion are of the ego. They turn into ego only when you identify with them and they take you over completely, that is to say, when they become “I.” – Eckhart Tolle
15. “Space has no “existence.” “To exist” literally means “to stand out.” You cannot understand space because it doesn’t stand out. Although in itself it has no existence, it enables everything else to exist. Silence has no existence either, nor does the Unmanifested.” – Eckhart Tolle
If you’re enjoying this article, you’ll also love our collection of Maya Angelou quotes that will warm your heart.
Eckhart Tolle Quotes About The Power of Now
16. “Always say “yes” to the present moment. What could be more futile, more insane, than to create inner resistance to what already is? What could be more insane than to oppose life itself, which is now and always now? Surrender to what is. Say “yes” to life — and see how life suddenly starts working for you rather than against you.” – Eckhart Tolle
17. “Why does the mind habitually deny or resist the Now? Because it cannot function and remain in control without time, which is past and future, so it perceives the timeless Now as threatening. Time and mind are in fact inseparable.” – Eckhart Tolle
18. “The mind is a superb instrument if used rightly. Used wrongly, however, it becomes very destructive. To put it more accurately, it is not so much that you use your mind wrongly — you usually don’t use it at all. It uses you. This is the disease. You believe that you are your mind. This is the delusion. The instrument has taken you over.” – Eckhart Tolle
Everyday Application: Think of the human brain as a computer. It is a blank screen and then you come along and type commands into the computer. The computer will then execute what you told it to. What would happen if the computer ran amuck and just started typing commands into itself based on things you had asked it to do in the past? Your brain uses ‘old commands and data’ to decide what it should do next, unless you stay present and focused in the now.
19. “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.” – Eckhart Tolle
20. “How” is always more important than “what.” See if you can give much more attention to the doing than to the result that you want to achieve through it.” – Eckhart Tolle
Everyday Application: Most of us have little problem identifying the things we want. It is in the ‘how’ part that we get tripped up. The ‘how’ requires a plan and actionable steps. It requires work and sacrifice. If you want to achieve your ‘what,’ then you have to invest some time in figuring out the ‘how.’
21. To end the misery that has afflicted the human condition for thousands of years, you have to start with yourself and take responsibility for your inner state at any given moment. That means now. – Eckhart Tolle
Everyday Application: What is going on internally right now in your life? Are you stressing about something? Can you do anything about it? What are you feeling? Are you giving power to thoughts and situations that you know are draining you? Let it go, and take responsibility for your role in your own inner state.
22. “Instead of asking “what do I want from life? ” A more powerful question is, “what does life want from me?” – Eckhart Tolle
Everyday Application: What a profound way of thinking about this! What does life want from you? In order to begin to understand that, you have to be aware of what is happening in your life at this moment. What are you being called to learn, do, or develop further? Are you consciously living or merely existing?
23. “If there were nothing but thought in you, you wouldn’t even know you are thinking. You would be like a dreamer who doesn’t know he is dreaming. When you know you are dreaming, you are awake within the dream.” – Eckhart Tolle
Everyday Application: What is thinking? Tolle explains that our thoughts are addictive because we identify with them. Our sense of self comes from the content of our minds. He even says that believe we would cease to exist if we stopped thinking. Take a step past your thoughts. There is more to you than your thoughts. There are the actions you are currently taking at this moment. What do those look like?
24. “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.” – Eckhart Tolle
25. “Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.” – Eckhart Tolle
Everyday Application: The past is gone. You can not go back and physically relive the best moments of your past. Nor should you continue to carry around the most painful moments as if they are happening now. The future is not promised to any of us. Now could very well be your last moments. This present moment is what you have to work with.
If you’re enjoying this article, you might also like our collection of famous poems to inspire you when you feel like giving up.
Eckhart Tolle quotes that will change the way you think
26. “In today’s rush we all think too much, seek too much, want too much and forget about the joy of just Being.”― Eckhart Tolle
27. “Nothing ever happened in the past that can prevent you from being present now; and if the past cannot prevent you from being present now, what power does it have?” – Eckhart Tolle
Everyday Application: You are here right now. Regardless of how unfair, horrible, or challenging your past might have been. You are here, at this moment, in this place. Your past might have shaped who you are and how you think, but it did not prevent you from being present now. Therefore, recognize that is only has the power you choose to give it. Make peace with your past (therapy is a helpful tool), and learn how to live the best life you can right now.
28. “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 this moment.” – Eckhart Tolle
Everyday Application: Think of each experience as a lesson. Whatever is going on in your life is trying to teach you something. These lessons can be painful and difficult, but with the right mindset you can use them as an opportunity to be your best self.
29. “Life isn’t as serious as my mind makes it out to be.”― Eckhart Tolle
30. “Words reduce reality to something the human mind can grasp, which isn’t very much.”― Eckhart Tolle
31. “Rather than being your thoughts and emotions, be the awareness behind them.”― Eckhart Tolle
Everyday Applications: Your thoughts and emotions are often based on fears and insecurities, not reality. When you can recognize where a negative thought is coming from (self-awareness), then you take the appropriate action. It might be saying some positive and kind words to yourself. That action could also mean simply acknowledging why you feel a certain way and then taking the risk anyway. Why you think the way you do matters.
32. “Whenever an answer, a solution, or a creative idea is needed, stop thinking for a moment by focusing attention on your inner energy field. … When you resume thinking, it will be fresh and creative.” – Eckhart Tolle
Everyday Application: Your inner energy field is essentially the life force that flows through you. It is unique to you. Meditation and self-awareness will help you identify what is going on with yourself. Centering yourself before thinking of a solution is a great way to improve your decision making process.
33. “All the things that truly matter — beauty, love, creativity, joy, inner peace — arise from beyond the mind.” – Eckhart Tolle
Everyday Application: The human mind is powerful. However, the world that exists around us is also impressive. There is the beauty of nature, that has nothing to do with what we are thinking. It just is. We can also fine joy and inner peace by being thankful for the things that have nothing to do with our mind.
34. “Authentic human interactions become impossible when you lose yourself in a role.”― Eckhart Tolle
35. “The greatest achievement of humanity is not its works of art, science, or technology, but the recognition of its own dysfunction.”― Eckhart Tolle
Eckhart Tolle Quotes and Sayings
36. “The more shared past there is in a relationship, the more present you need to be…”― Eckhart Tolle
37. “When you want to arrive at your goal more than you want to be doing what you are doing, you become stressed.”― Eckhart Tolle
38. “The mind unconsciously loves problems because they give you an identity of sorts.”― Eckhart Tolle
39. “When you realize it’s not personal, there is no longer a compulsion to react as if it were.”― Eckhart Tolle
Everyday Application: Don Miguel Ruiz reminds us to not take anything personally in his book The Four Agreements. It is a great piece of advice! How other people react and respond is based on their own set of thoughts, fears, and opinions. It is not about you. What you do is about you. What someone else does is about them. It is not always easy to remember this piece of wisdom, but it can be life changing!
40. “Surrender comes when you no longer ask, “Why is this happening to me?”― Eckhart Tolle
41. “Whenever you are immersed in compulsive thinking, you are avoiding what is. You don’t want to be where you are. Here, Now.”― Eckhart Tolle
42. “When you no longer perceive the world as hostile, there is no more fear, and when there is no more fear, you think, speak and act differently.”― Eckhart Tolle
43. “You are never fully here because you are always busy trying to get elsewhere.”― Eckhart Tolle
44. “When you become comfortable with uncertainty, infinite possibilities open up in your life.”― Eckhart Tolle
Everyday Application: Uncertainty is a part of life. In fact, there is very little in life you can be certain about! Yet, we try so hard to create a sense of certainty around our lives and comfort zones. The truth is that when you realize how little control you have on outside factors and just take action and do your best, the world opens up so much more.
45. “The present moment is all you will ever have.”― Eckhart Tolle
More Eckhart Tolle Quotes
46. “The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it.” – Eckhart Tolle
47. “Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.” – Eckhart Tolle
Everyday Application: Gratitude for everything you have will help you live in the moment and cultivate happiness. Focusing on the positive helps rewire the brain (which is predisposed to focus on the negative). When you can acknowledge and be grateful for the good things there is a shift that happens. You deliberately seek out the good (abundant) things in your world. Like many things in life… “Seek and you shall find.”
48. “Sometimes letting things go is an act of far greater power than defending or hanging on.” – Eckhart Tolle
49. “Whatever you fight, you strengthen, and what you resist, persists.” – Eckhart Tolle
50. “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.” – Eckhart Tolle
Everyday Application: What is, simply is. The situation, or the universe itself, is not out to get you. There are just things that happen in life. It is the thoughts and feelings we attach to the situation that make them “good” or “bad.” Now, just because a situation itself is neutral, does not mean you won’t have feelings about it. However, if you can manage your thoughts, you can approach the situation in a much healthier way.
51. “If you get the inside right, the outside will fall into place. Primary reality is within; secondary reality without.” – Eckhart Tolle
52. “To realize that you are not your thoughts is when you begin to awaken spiritually.” – Eckhart Tolle
53. “Living up to an image that you have of yourself or that other people have of you is inauthentic living.” – Eckhart Tolle
54. “Awareness is the greatest agent for change.” – Eckhart Tolle
55. “The significance is hiding in the insignificant. Appreciate everything.” – Eckhart Tolle
What is Eckhart Tolle’s main philosophy?
The main idea central to Tolle’s philosophy is that “our true selves are the formless Consciousness, which is Being, which is God.
We are all One, and we are all God.”
What does this mean?
He says that “through the present moment we have access to the power of all life itself.”
He reminds us that taking our attention to the present moment brings us awareness, which is different than thinking.
Essentially, “God” is all life itself, and we can tap into our own life and the life around us by being more aware.
What was your favorite Eckhart Tolle quote?
Do you have more to add about his overall philosophy?
Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.
September 28, 2022 5:00 AM EST