Quotations by Eckhart Tolle



Listed in 2011 by the Watkins Review as “The most spiritually influential person in the world”, Eckhart Tolle has a powerful reputation.

Known for his rousing motivational speeches, as well as his writing, Eckhart Tolle quotes are considered as unconventional, as they are moving and uplifting.

“Stillness is the only thing in this world that has no form. But then, it is not really a thing and it is not of this world”

~ Eckhart Tolle ~

                  Eckhart Tolle Quote

“Don't look for peace.
Don't look for any other state than the one you are in now; otherwise, you will set up inner conflict and unconscious resistance."
~ Eckhart Tolle ~

“Where there is anger, there is always pain underneath.”

~ Eckhart Tolle ~

“Carl Jung tells in one of his books of a conversation he had with a Native American chief who pointed out to him that in his perception most white people have tense faces, staring eyes, and a cruel demeanor. He said: “They are always seeking something. What are they seeking? The whites always want something. They are always uneasy and restless. We don’t know what they want. We think they are mad.”

~ Eckhart Tolle ~

The Beginning...


Eckhart Tolle was born in 1948, in Lunen, Germany.


Unfortunately, Tolle's parents were not happily married and Eckhart Tolle quotes his childhood as being “a period of permanent sadness”.
Frequent arguments and fights between his parents meant Tolle was unhappy at home, and unfortunately he couldn't even escape this sadness in school. Eckhart Tolle says going to school was a “hostile experience” where he had little in the way of friends or indeed anyone who paid more than a passing interest.

When Tolle was 13, his continually-warring parents decided to divorce and Tolle, who decided to stay with his Father, was promptly moved to Spain. For reasons unknown, Tolle's father did not force the issue of education and Eckhart Tolle finds this a godsend to him, as he chose to stay at home and study astronomy, language and literature.

Eckhart Tolle quotes German mystic Joseph Anton Schneiderfranken as having a profound effect on his life after reading several of his books.

Tolle moved to England when he was 19, where he was to teach language, Spanish and German, in a number of London schools.

Although anxiety and depression blighted Tolle's life, he believes it was also the reason he decided to go back into education at the age of 23, studying psychology, philosophy and literature at the University of London. Upon graduating, Tolle was offered a research scholarship at Cambridge, which he said he gladly accepted.

It was in 1977, Eckhart Tolle had a life-changing epiphany after suffering crippling depression and bouts of suicidal thoughts. He describes his experience as being “deeply profound”, as he had woken with a start on a cold night in 1977, questioning whether he really wanted to carry on living.

He continues by saying that his “inner-self” asked him questions, such as “What is the self?”, “Was it mind-made or a manifestation of events that had happened through his life”. Tolle said he then felt extreme feelings of peace, which continued into the next day. Eckhart Tolle quotations at the time said “ it was like a miracle, everything was incredibly peaceful. Even the usual noisy London traffic”.

Eckhart Tolle's epiphany had a tremendous effect on his life, as he quickly dropped out of his University scholarship in favor of sitting in public areas “people watching” and “ generally watching the world go by”.
Over the next two years he had a number of experiences, including spending several nights sleeping rough on Hampstead Heath and staying in a Buddhist Monastery.

Eckhart Tolle quotes this period of his life as being “intensely blissful” and he was constantly inspired by the simple things in life. While Tolle's friends and family were convinced he had gone insane, Tolle insists he went through a transformation that evening – that not only saved his life, but made him what he is today.

“Why is old considered useless? Because in old age, the emphasis shifts from doing to Being, and our civilization, which is lost in doing, knows nothing of Being. It asks: Being? What do you do with it?”

~ Eckhart Tolle ~


“For what you do to others, you do to yourself”

~ Eckhart Tolle ~

"Forgive yourself for not being peace.
The moment you completely accept your non-peace, your non-peace becomes transmuted into peace.
Anything you accept fully will get you there, will take you into peace.
This is the miracle of surrender.”
~ Eckhart Tolle ~

“Just as without silence there could be no sound, you would not exist without the vital formless dimension that is the essence of who you are.”

~ Eckhart Tolle ~

“The other more serious reason for the illusion of separateness is compulsive thinking. 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.”

~ Eckhart Tolle ~

“Look closely and you will find that your thinking and behavior are designed to keep the pain going, for yourself and others. If you were truly conscious of it, the pattern would dissolve, for to want more pain is insanity, and nobody is consciously insane.”

~ Eckhart Tolle ~

“If you get the inside right, the outside will fall into place.”

~ Eckhart Tolle ~

Eckhart Tolle's Work


Eckhart Tolle's epiphany and subsequent behavior led him to become a spiritual teacher, relocating to the flagship of alternative living – Glastonbury.

He spent five hugely successful years there, teaching a variety of students and generally enjoying the life he had once seen no point in.

He eventually emigrated to Vancouver, British Columbia where he met, as Eckhart Tolle quotes, “another great influence on his life” his wife – Kim Eng.

Tolle's first book was published in 1997 and Eckhart Tolle quotes in a newspaper article that “I would hand-deliver my books to stores around Vancouver and friends would request copies of the book in different stores across the world”.

Three years later and the book's success was minimal however, a mention from Oprah Winfery in her magazine “O” saw Tolle's book rocket up to the number one spot on the New York's Best seller List in just 8-months. To date, the book has sold an estimated six million copies and it has been translated into 33 different languages.

Tolle's second book, “Stillness Speaks” was published in 2003 and his third, “A New Earth” in 2005. The latter made the number one spot on the New York's Best-seller List several times in 2008 and still remains one of Tolle's most popular publications.

Eckhart Tolle quotes Oprah Winfery as having been a big influence on his writing career, after she mentioned his book “A New Earth” on a Book Club segment of her show, it sold a record 3.5 million copies in just under a month.

Tolle and Oprah went on to work together, on a selection of webinars that encouraged people to contact the pair with their thoughts on Tolle's book, as well as any other questions they may have. One webinar, the third in the series, Eckhart Tolle names as being the most popular – with a staggering 11 million viewers.

Eckhart Tolle went on to create his own company, to sell his own products and copies of his teachings, called Eckhart Teachings. He spends much of his time now traveling around the world, giving speeches at various engagements and leading workshops.
In an interview with the Telegraph, Eckhart Tolle quotes his distaste at “creating a commercial structure”. He wants the message behind his company to remain the same, rather than it become self-serving.

Read more about Eckhart Tolle and his books here.

“Anything that you resent and strongly react to in another is also in you.”

~ Eckhart Tolle ~

“If I cannot live with myself, there must be two of me”

~ Eckhart Tolle ~

“You don’t have to wait for something “meaningful” to come into your life so that you can finally enjoy what you do. There is more meaning in joy than you will ever need. The “waiting to start living” syndrome is one of the most common delusions of the unconscious state.”

~ Eckhart Tolle ~


“So give up waiting as a state of mind. When you catch yourself slipping into waiting . . . snap out of it. Come into the present moment. Just be, and enjoy being. If you are present, there is never any need for you to wait for anything. So next time somebody says, “Sorry to have kept you waiting,” you can reply, “That’s all right, I wasn’t waiting. I was just standing”

~ Eckhart Tolle ~

“When you want to arrive at your goal more than you want to be doing what you are doing, you become stressed.”

~ Eckhart Tolle ~

"Not what you do, but how you do what you do determines whether you are fulfilling your destiny. And how you do what you do is determined by your state of consciousness.”

~ Eckhart Tolle ~

You will enjoy any activity in which you are fully present...”
~ Eckhart Tolle ~

Fans and Critics


Eckhart Tolle's books have won him plenty of enthusiastic praise but they have also received their fair share of criticism too. Eckhart Tolle quotes one review of his book “A New Earth” that claimed it to be “awash with spiritual mumbo-jumbo” as being particularly harsh.

He has also received intense criticism from the New York Times, who described his books as being “unimaginative and unoriginal”. The editor of Publisher's Weekly even went as far as saying that Tolle's success was pure chance and that he had tapped into the average American's need to be happier and more successful at just the right time.

Fortunately, the praise Tolle has received has far outweighed any criticism and quotes by Eckhart Tolle confirm it is these that he focuses on. Tolle even has fans in the Christian Theologian circle, an area where people have always been sceptical about Tolle's teachings. He has even received words of encouragement from Thomas Keating, a Catholic monk and an Anglican Bishop.

“The secret of life is to “die-before-you-die” - and find that there is no death”
~ Eckhart Tolle ~

“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 ~

“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.”

~ Eckhart Tolle ~

“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.”

~ Eckhart Tolle ~

And So....


Thanks to modern technology, Eckhart Tolle is as popular today as he ever was.

First, by sharing chosen teachings via his own dedicated YouTube channel, three years ago he created his own video website, the aptly named “Eckhart Tolle TV”.




When asked about his most memorable moments, Eckhart Tolle quotes his attendance at the first ever conference of the Global Alliance for Transformational Entertainment – which he was lucky enough to headline with popular comedian, Jim Carrey.

However, Tolle admits nothing can eclipse the Vancouver Peace Summit, where he, among other speakers, appeared with the Dalai Lama himself.

Funnily enough, despite Eckhart Tolle's self help books and motivational books topping favorite charts for years, Eckhart Tolle quotes his recent book “Guardians of Being”. Not, he says, because it a picture book but because he was fortunate enough to have the creator of his favorite childhood comic strip illustrate it for him.

“Whatever you fight, you strengthen, and what you resist, persists.”

~ Eckhart Tolle ~

“Worry pretends to be necessary but serves no useful purpose”

~ Eckhart Tolle ~

“Accept - then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.”

~ Eckhart Tolle ~

“You find peace not by rearranging the circumstances of your life, but by realizing who you are at the deepest level.”

~ Eckhart Tolle ~



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