Renowned spiritual teacher and bestselling author, Eckhart Tolle has inspired millions around the world with his succinct and candid teachings on mindfulness, presence, and the nature of the human ego.
Having written several bestselling books on spirituality, including “The Power of Now“, “A New Earth“, “Stillness Speaks“, and “Guardians of Being“, Tolle’s teachings are a consistent testament to the profound transformative potential that is latent in all of us, accessible through the cultivation of genuine love, acceptance, and egolessness in our lives.
Whether you’re seeking guidance to help you live a more spiritually fulfilling life or simply seeking your daily dose of mindful inspiration, Tolle’s words will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression.
So, in this article, we’ll explore and explain some of Eckhart Tolle’s most insightful quotes on love, letting go, the present moment, consciousness, and more.
We’ll be looking at:
- Eckhart Tolle Quotes on Love and Gratitude
- Eckhart Tolle Quotes on Change and Letting Go
- Eckhart Tolle Quotes on the Present Moment
- Eckhart Tolle Quotes on the Self and Consciousness
Eckhart Tolle on Love and Gratitude
In the following quotes, Tolle urges us to view love and gratitude not merely as fleeting emotions or products of our thoughts, but rather as ways of being – innate and egoless qualities that can only manifest when we are fully present in each moment.
The Spotlight Quote:
“If her past were your past, her pain your pain, her level of consciousness your level of consciousness, you would think and act exactly as she does. With this realization comes forgiveness, compassion and peace.”– Stillness Speaks (2010)
We love this quote by Tolle, as his simple prose poignantly reminds us that each individual is a complex amalgamation of their past experiences and mental conditioning.
Through this, he encourages us to realize that the ability to control our thoughts and actions isn’t always easy, instead determined by the intricate interplay of our unique histories, circumstances, and states of consciousness at any given moment.
By truly understanding this, compassion, love, and empathy naturally replace any feelings of anger or frustration towards others, as we recognize that behaviors and attitudes are not fully the result of conscious choices or mal-intent, but rather a consequence of mental patterns accumulated over a complex life journey.
More Eckhart Tolle Quotes on Love and Gratitude:
“It is through gratitude for the present moment that the spiritual dimension of life opens up.”
“When you go deeply into the present, gratitude arises spontaneously, even if it’s just gratitude for breathing, gratitude for the aliveness that you feel in your body. Gratitude is there when you acknowledge the aliveness of the present moment.”“I’m grateful for always this moment, the now, no matter what form it takes.”
“Without recognition of the formless within yourself, there can be no true transcendental love. If you cannot recognize the formless in yourself, you cannot recognize yourself in the other. The recognition of the other as yourself in essence – not the form – is true love.”
“To love is to recognize yourself in another.”
“Love is not selective, just as the light of the sun is not selective. It does not make one person special. It is not exclusive. Exclusivity is not the love of God but the “love” of
Eckhart Tolle on Change & Letting Go
The following quotes by Tolle act as beautiful bite-sized reminders that change is an inevitable part of life, and that our suffering often comes from resisting, rather than accepting, this change.
For Tolle, letting go of our attachment to things or outcomes doesn’t mean indifference or lack of care about things, but rather not clinging to them or defining our identity through them. This, according to Tolle, is the path to real peace and freedom.
The Spotlight Quote:
“What you resist persists. And I’m sure many of you have already found that out in your life. And then suddenly when you let go of resistance you let go of an attachment to something: I need this to happen in order to be happy; I don’t want what is, I want something else. To be okay with what is, which is the simplicity of this moment, is the beginning of true change.”– Living the Liberated Life and Dealing with the Pain-Body (Talk, 2001)
Tolle’s emphasis on non-resistance has received a mixed reception, with some arguing that it easily slips into a form of apathy or disengagement; a passive acceptance of the status quo, that fails to address injustices, systemic issues or work towards social change.
Tolle has addressed these claims by reminding us that non-resistance does not have to mean inaction.
Rather it is a state of inner stillness and peace that enhances our ability to respond to external circumstances with more clarity and effectiveness – helping us to identify when there is action in inaction and inaction in action.
More Eckhart Tolle Quotes on Change:
“The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it.”
“Once you have identified with some form of negativity, you do not want to let it go, and on a deeply unconscious level, you do not want positive change. It would threaten your identity as a depressed, angry or hard-done by person. You will then ignore, deny or sabotage the positive in your life. This is a common phenomenon. It is also insane.”
“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.”
“When you let go of the belief that you should or need to know who you are, what happens to confusion? Suddenly it is gone. When you fully accept that you don’t know, you actually enter a state of peace and clarity that is closer to who you truly are than thought could ever be.”
“Sometimes letting things go is an act of far greater power than defending or hanging on.”
“Worry pretends to be necessary but serves no useful purpose.”
“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.”
“Life isn’t as serious as the mind makes it out to be.”
Eckhart Tolle on The Present Moment
Living fast-paced lives with our all-too-human minds, which tend to wander and get caught up in desires, regrets, or worries, staying in the present moment can be a challenge, even for the most dedicated yogis.
The following quotes by Eckhart Tolle can serve as perfect motivation to stay committed to the present moment. Tolle asserts that the present moment is the only true reality where we can find authentic and genuine inner peace, joy, and fulfillment.
The Spotlight Quote:
“This is my secret,” he said. “I don’t mind what happens.”– A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose (2005)
In the above, Tolle is quoting J. Krishnamurti – a revered Indian philosopher who deeply shaped Tolle’s spiritual path and teachings. Taken from a talk delivered towards the end of Krishnamurti’s life, here he distills his teachings into one simple and accessible message: not minding what happens.
A simple statement, its adoption has profound implications on our lives. The quote captures how so much of our discontent comes from the false belief that contentment is dependent on external conditions, which only leads us down a rabbit hole of material desires and sensory pleasures.
Instead, Krishnamurti’s words remind us that genuine, sustained happiness is about how we are able to accept whatever life throws at us. Embracing this moment with a sense of curiosity and acceptance, rather than getting weighed down in our thoughts and emotions.
More Eckhart Tolle Quotes on the Present Moment:
“The past has no power over the present moment.”
“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.”
“Most humans are never fully present in the now, because unconsciously they believe that the next moment must be more important than this one. But then you miss your whole life, which is never not now.”
“Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it.”
“Can you look without the voice in your head commenting, drawing conclusions, comparing, or trying to figure something out?”
“If your mind carries a heavy burden of past, you will experience more of the same. The past perpetuates itself through lack of presence. The quality of your consciousness at this moment is what shapes the future.”
Eckhart Tolle on The Self and Consciousness
The following wise words offer a necessary reminder that identifying with external circumstances, thoughts, and emotions is an all-too-familiar snare that entangles us in ego, desires, and dissatisfaction.
These quotes invite us to connect with the true aspects of our being, the deep consciousness that lies beneath our thoughts, in order to experience a calm contentment beyond the transient and ever-changing nature of the ego.
The Spotlight Quote:
“Power over others is weakness disguised as strength.”The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment (1997)
In a world where power is chased as if it is synonymous with self-worth or value, Tolle’s words above strike a powerful chord, exposing the root of so much suffering and misguided action in our world.
And what is the weakness that Tolle is referring to?
At the core, it’s the identification with an individual self and a subsequent attachment to ego, that falsely confirms the illusion that we are distinct and independent from the rest of the world; a weakness that misleads and limits us from accessing universal truth and peace.
This, in turn, drives futile and lifelong efforts to chase and preserve a stable identity or “self” that we believe we can be proud of; to be recognized and treated in a manner and consistency that confirms and appeases our self-image.
Seeking or exerting power over others is just another method that our human egos use to confirm or cement some aspect of identity – a universal pursuit thwarted by the law of impermanence. The quest for power over others only holds value as long as we are blindfolded by the illusion of the self.
More Eckhart Tolle Quotes on the Self:
“To recognize one’s own insanity is, of course, the arising of sanity, the beginning of healing and transcendence.”
“Being must be felt. It can’t be thought.”
“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.”
“If you get the inside right, the outside will fall into place. Primary reality is within; secondary reality without.”
“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.”
“In the eyes of the ego, self-esteem and humility are contradictory. In truth, they are one and the same.”
“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.”
“Don’t let a mad world tell you that success is anything other than a successful present moment.”
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