Eckhart Tolle

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

What you react to in others, you strengthen in yourself.
– Eckhart Tolle

Not to be able to stop thinking is a dreadful affliction, but we don’t realize this because
almost everybody is suffering from it, so it is considered normal.
– Eckhart Tolle

See if you can catch yourself complaining in either speech or thought, about a situation you
find yourself in, what other people do or say, your surroundings, your life situation, even the
weather. To complain is always nonacceptance of what is. It invariably carries an
unconscious negative charge. When you complain, you make yourself a victim. Leave the
situation or accept it. All else is madness.
– Eckhart Tolle

Whenever you notice that some form of negativity has arisen within you, look on it not as
failure, but as a helpful signal that is telling you: “Wake up. Get out of your mind. Be
– Eckhart Tolle

People would occasionally come up to me and say: “I want what you have. Can you give it to
me, or show me how to get it?” And I would say: “You have it already. You just can’t feel it
because your mind is making too much noise.”
– Eckhart Tolle

Pleasure is always derived from something outside you, whereas joy arises from within.
– 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

A great deal of what people say, think, or do is actually motivated by fear, which of course is
always linked with having your focus on the future and being out of touch with the Now. As
there are no problems in the Now, there is no fear either.
– Eckhart Tolle

You are here to enable the divine purpose of the universe tounfold. That is how important
you are!
– Eckhart Tolle

A belief may be comforting. Only through your own experience, however, does it become
– Eckhart Tolle

Your mind is an instrument, a tool. It is there to be used for a specific task, and when the
task is completed, you lay it down. As it is, I would say about 80 to 90 percent of most
people’s thinking is not only repetitive and useless, but because of its dysfunctional and often
negative nature, much of it is also harmful. Observe your mind and you will find this to be true.
It causes a serious leakage of vital energy. This kind of compulsive thinking is actually an
addiction. What characterizes an addiction? Quite simply this: you no longer feel that you
have the choice to stop. It seems stronger than you. It also gives you a false sense of
pleasure, pleasure that invariably turns into pain.
– Eckhart Tolle

Life isn’t as serious as the mind makes it out to be.
– Eckhart Tolle

Enlightenment is not only the end of suffering and of continous conflict within and without,
but also the end of the dreadful enslavement to incessant thinking. What an incredible
liberation this is!
– Eckhart Tolle

Humans have been in the grip of pain for eons, ever since they fell from the state of grace,
entered the realm of time and mind, and lost awareness of Being. At that point, they started
to perceive themselves as meaningless fragments in an alien universe, unconnected to the
Source and to each other.
– Eckhart Tolle

Become conscious of being conscious.
– Eckhart Tolle

The whole essence of Zen consists in walking along the razor’s edge of Now – to be so
utterly, so completely present that no problem, no suffering, nothing that is not who you are
in your essence, can survive in you. In the Now, in the absence of time, all your problems
dissolve. Suffering needs time; it cannot survive in the Now.
– Eckhart Tolle

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

Is there a difference between happiness and inner peace? Yes. Happiness depends on
conditions being perceived as positive; inner peace does not.
– 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

Accept – then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it.
Always work with it, not against it. Make it your friend and ally, not your enemy. This will
miraculously transform your whole life.
– Eckhart Tolle

Are you polluting the world or cleaning up the mess? You are responsible for your inner space;
nobody else is, just as you are responsible for the planet. As within, so without: If humans
clear inner pollution, then they will also cease to create outer pollution.
– Eckhart Tolle

The greater part of human pain is unnecessary. It is self-created as long as the unobserved
mind runs your life.
– Eckhart Tolle

Anything that you resent and strongly react to in another is also in you.
– Eckhart Tolle

In the eyes of the ego, self-esteem and humility are contradictory. In truth, they are one
and the same.
– Eckhart Tolle

The reason why some people love to engage in dangerous activities, such as mountain
climbing, car racing, and so on, although they may not be aware of it, is that it forces them
into the Now – that intensely alive state that is free of time, free of problems, free of
thinking, free of the burden of the personality.
– Eckhart Tolle

Awareness is the greatest agent for change.
– Eckhart Tolle

You have probably come across “mad” people in the street incessantly talking or muttering to
themselves. Well, that’s not much different from what you and all other “normal” people do,
except that you don’t do it out loud.
– Eckhart Tolle

The realm of consciousness is much vaster than thought can grasp. When you no longer
believe everything you think, you step out of thought and see clearly that the thinker is not
who you are.
– Eckhart Tolle

The world can only change from within.
– Eckhart Tolle

Consciousness – the way out of pain.
– Eckhart Tolle

The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it.
– Eckhart Tolle

Use your senses fully. Be where you are. Look around. Just look, don’t interpret. See the
light, shapes, colors, textures. Be aware of the silent presence of each thing. Be aware of
the space that allows everything to be. Listen to the sounds; don’t judge them. Listen to the
silence underneath the sounds. Touch something – anything – and feel and acknowledge its
Being. Observe the rhythm of your breathing; feel the air flowing in and out, feel the life
energy inside your body. Allow everything to be, within and without. Allow the “isness” of all
things. Move deeply in the Now.
– Eckhart Tolle

The Buddha taught that the root of suffering is to be found in our constant wanting and
– Eckhart Tolle

Are you worried? Do you have too many “what if” thoughts? You are identified with your mind,
which is projecting itself into an imaginary future situation and creating fear. There is no way
that you can cope with such a situation, because it doesn’t exist. It’s a mental phantom. You
can stop this health-and life-corroding insanity simply by acknowledging the present moment.
– Eckhart Tolle

The peace that comes with surrendered action turns to a sense of aliveness when you
actually enjoy what you are doing.
– Eckhart Tolle

Life is the dancer and you are the dance.
– Eckhart Tolle

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

Thinking and consciousness are not synonymous.
– Eckhart Tolle

“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

The more the dysfunction of the human mind plays itself out on the world stage, clearly
visible to everyone in the daily television news reports, the greater the number of people who
realize the urgent need for a radical change in human consciousness if humanity is not to
destroy both itself and the planet.
– Eckhart Tolle

Whatever you fight, you strengthen, and what you resist, persists.
– Eckhart Tolle

To stay present in everyday life, it helps to be deeply rooted within yourself; otherwise, the
mind, which has incredible momentum, will drag you along like a wild river.
– Eckhart Tolle

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.
– Eckhart Tolle

Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.
– Eckhart Tolle

Those who have not found their true wealth, which is the radiant joy of Being and the deep,
unshakable peace that comes with it, are beggars, even if they have great material wealth.
– Eckhart Tolle

The key is to be in a state of permanent connectedness with your inner body – to feel it all
times. This will rapidly deepen and transform your life. The more consciousness you direct into
the inner body, the higher its vibrational frequency becomes, much like a light that grows
brighter as you turn up the dimmer switch and so increase the flow of electricity. At this
higher energy level, negativity cannot affect you anymore, and you tend to attract new
circumstances that reflect this higher frequency.
– Eckhart Tolle

And then there is the universal role of adult. When you play that role, you take yourself and
life very seriously. Spontaneity, lightheartedness, and joy are not part of that role.
– Eckhart Tolle

If the thought of lack – whether it be money, recognition, or love – has become part of who
you think you are, you will always experience lack. Rather than acknowledge the good that is
already in your life, all you see is lack.
– Eckhart Tolle

Waiting is a state of mind. Basically, it means that you want the future; you don’t want the
present. You don’t want what you’ve got, and you want what you haven’t got. With every
kind of waiting, you unconsciously create inner conflict between your here and now, where
you don’t want to be, and the projected future, where you want to be. This greatly reduces
the quality of your life by making you lose the present.
– Eckhart Tolle

Defining yourself through thought is limiting yourself.
– Eckhart Tolle

Most people’s lives are run by desire and fear. Desire is the need to add something to yourself
in order to be yourself more fully. All fear is the fear of losing something and thereby
becoming diminished and being less. These two movements obscure the fact that Being
cannot be given or taken away. Being in its fullness is already within you, Now.
– Eckhart Tolle

Living up to an image that you have of yourself or that other people have of you is
inauthentic living.
– Eckhart Tolle

Don’t let a mad world tell you that success is anything other than a successful present
– Eckhart Tolle

All true artists, whether they know it or not, create from a place of no-mind, from inner
– 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

It is not uncommon for people to spend their whole life waiting to start living.
– Eckhart Tolle

If you keep your attention in the body as much as possible, you will be anchored in the Now.
You won’t lose yourself in the external world, and you won’t lose yourself in your mind.
Thoughts and emotions, fears and desires may still be there to some extent, but they won’t
take you over.
– Eckhart Tolle

What is God? The eternal One Life underneath all the forms of life. What is love? To feel the

presence of that One Life deep within yourself and within all creatures. To be it. Therefore,
all love is the love of God.
– Eckhart Tolle

Let me say it again: the present moment is all you ever have. There is never a time when
your life is not “this moment.” Is this not a fact?
– Eckhart Tolle

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 ego.
However, the intensity with which true love is felt can vary. There may be one person who
reflects your love back to you more clearly and more intensely than others, and if that person
feels the same toward you, it can be said that you are in a love relationship with him or her.
The bond that connects you with that person is the same bond that connects you with the
person sitting next to you on a bus, or with a bird, a tree, a flower. Only the degree of
intensity with which it is felt differs.
– Eckhart Tolle

What you react to in others, you strengthen in yourself.
– Eckhart Tolle

The mind, to ensure that it remains in control, seeks continuously to cover up the present
moment with past and future, and so, as the vitality and infinite creative potential of Being,
which is inseparable from the Now, becomes covered up by time, your true nature becomes
obscured by the mind.
– Eckhart Tolle

You are not your mind.
– Eckhart Tolle

Pain is inevitable as long as you are identified with your mind, which is to say as long as you
are unconscious, spiritually speaking. I am talking here primarily of emotional pain, which is
also the main cause of physical pain and physical disease. Resentment, hatred, self-pity,
guilt, anger, depression, jealousy, and so on, even the slightest irritation, are all forms of
– Eckhart Tolle

Sometimes letting things go is an act of far greater power than defending or hanging on.
– Eckhart Tolle

Most people treat the present moment as if it were an obstacle that they need to overcome.
Since the present moment is Life itself, it is an insane way to live.
– Eckhart Tolle

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.
– Eckhart Tolle

A significant portion of the earth’s population will soon recognize, if they haven’t already done
so, that humanity is now faced with a stark choice: Evolve or die.
– Eckhart Tolle

The predominance of mind is no more than a stage in the evolution of consciousness. We need
to go on to the next stage now as a matter of urgency; otherwise, we will be destroyed by
the mind, which has grown into a monster.
– Eckhart Tolle

The greatest achievement of humanity is not its works of art, science, or technology, but the
recognition of its own dysfunction.
– Eckhart Tolle

Don’t seek your self in the mind.
– Eckhart Tolle

If you no longer want to create pain for yourself and others, if you no longer want to add to
the residue of past pain that still lives on in you, then don’t create any more time, or at least
no more than is necessary to deal with the practical aspects of your life. How to stop creating
time? Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have. Make the Now the primary
focus of your life. Whereas before you dwelt in time and paid brief visits to the Now, have your
dwelling place in the Now and pay brief visits to past and future when required to deal with the
practical aspects of your life situation.
– Eckhart Tolle

Always say “yes” to the present moment.
– Eckhart Tolle

The unchecked striving for more, for endless growth, is a dysfunction and a disease. It is the
same dysfunction the cancerous cell manifests, whose only goal is to multiply itself, unaware
that it is bringing about its own destruction by destroying the organism of which it is a part.
– Eckhart Tolle

Trying to become a good or better human being sounds like a commendable and high-minded
thing to do, yet it is an endeavor you cannot ultimately succeed in unless there is a shift in
– Eckhart Tolle

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.
– Eckhart Tolle

Being must be felt. It can’t be thought.
– Eckhart Tolle

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.
– Eckhart Tolle

On a deeper level you are already complete. When you realize that, there is a joyous energy
behind what you do.
– Eckhart Tolle

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.
– Eckhart Tolle

Don’t take the ego too seriously.
– 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

The pain that you create now is always some form of nonacceptance, some form of
unconscious resistance to what is. The intensity of the pain depends on the degree of
resistance to the present moment, and this in turn depends on how strongly you are identified
with your mind. The mind always seeks to deny the Now and to escape from it. In other
words, the more you are identified with your mind, the more you suffer. Or you may put it like
this: the more you are able to honor and accept the Now, the more you are free of pain, of
suffering – and free of the egoic mind.
– Eckhart Tolle

If you get the inside right, the outside will fall into place. Primary reality is within; secondary
reality without.
– Eckhart Tolle

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

How do you let go of attachment to things? Don’t even try. It’s impossible. Attachment to
things drops away by itself when you no longer seek to find yourself in them.
– Eckhart Tolle

Anything that you resent and strongly react to in another is also in you.
– Eckhart Tolle

Can you look without the voice in your head commenting, drawing conclusions, comparing, or
trying to figure something out?
– Eckhart Tolle

If peace is really what you want, then you will choose peace. If peace mattered to you more
than anything else and if you truly knew yourself to be spirit rather than a little me, you
would remain nonreactive and absolutely alert when confronted with challenging people or
situations. You would immediately accept the situation and thus become one with it rather
than separate yourself from it.
– Eckhart Tolle

That in you which recognizes madness as madness – even if it is your own – is sanity, is the
arising awareness, is the end of insanity.
– Eckhart Tolle

Even a stone, and more easily a flower or a bird, could show you the way back to God, to the
Source, to yourself. When you look at it or hold it and let it be without imposing a word of
mental label on it, a sense of awe, of wonder, arises within you. Its essence silently
communicates itself to you and reflects your own essence back to you.
– Eckhart Tolle

To be conscious of Being, you need to reclaim consciousness from the mind. This is one of
the most essential tasks on your spiritual journey.
– Eckhart Tolle

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.
– Eckhart Tolle

So the single most vital step on your journey toward enlightenment is this: learn to disidentify
from your mind. Every time you create a gap in the stream of mind, the light of your
consciousness grows stronger. One day you may catch yourself smiling at the voice in your
head, as you would smile at the antics of a child. This means that you no longer take the
content of your mind all that seriously, as your sense of self does not depend on it.
– Eckhart Tolle

To love is to recognize yourself in another.
– Eckhart Tolle

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.
– Eckhart Tolle

When I ocassionally quote the words of Jesus or the Buddha, from A Course in Miracles or from
other teachings, I do so not in order to compare, but to draw your attention to the fact that
in essence there is and always has been only one spiritual teaching, although it comes in many
– Eckhart Tolle

Worry pretends to be necessary but serves no useful purpose.
– Eckhart Tolle

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

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.
– Eckhart Tolle

Nothing ever happened in the past that can prevent you from being present now, and if the
past can’t prevent you from being present now, what power does it have?
– Eckhart Tolle

What about positive emotions such as love and joy?
They are inseparable from your natural state of inner connectedness with Being. Glimpses of
love and joy or brief moments of deep peace are possible whenever a gap occurs in the
stream of thought. For most people, such gaps happen rarely and only accidentally, in
moments when the mind is rendered “speechless,” sometimes triggered by great beauty,
extreme physical exertion, or even great danger. Suddenly, there is inner stillness. And within
that stillness there is a subtle but intense joy, there is love, there is peace.
– Eckhart Tolle

Nonresistance is the key to the greatest power in the universe.
– Eckhart Tolle

As a spiritual practice, I suggest that you investigate your relationship with the world of
things through self-observation.
– Eckhart Tolle

Direct your attention inward. Have a look inside yourself. What kind of thoughts is your mind
producing? What do you feel? Direct your attention into the body. Is there any tension? Once
you detect that there is a low level of unease, the background static, see in what way you
are avoiding, resisting, or denying life – by denying the Now.
– Eckhart Tolle

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.
– Eckhart Tolle

To offer no resistance to life is to be in a state of grace, ease, and lightness. This state is
then no longer dependent upon things being in a certain way, good or bad. It seems almost
paradoxical, yet when your inner dependency on form is gone, the general conditions of your
life, the outer forms, tend to improve greatly. Things, people, or conditions that you thought
you needed for your happiness now come to you with no struggle or effort on your part, and
you are free to enjoy and appreciate them – while they last. All those things, of course, will
still pass away, cycles will come and go, but with dependency gone there is no fear of loss
anymore. Life flows with ease.
– Eckhart Tolle

Your life situation exists in time.
You life is now.
Your life situation is mind-stuff.
Your life is real.
Find the “narrow gate that leads to life.” It is called the Now. 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 any problem at this moment. Not tomorrow or in ten minutes, but now. Do you have
a problem now?
– Eckhart Tolle

Meet everyone and everything through stillness rather than mental noise.
– Eckhart Tolle

All cravings are the mind seeking salvation or fulfillment in external things and in the future as
a substitute for the joy of Being. As long as I am my mind, I am those cravings, those needs,
wants, attachments, and aversions, and apart from them there is no “I” except as a mere
possibility, an unfulfilled potential, a seed that has not yet sprouted.
– Eckhart Tolle

As you grow up, you form a mental image of who you are, based on your personal and
cultural conditioning. We may call this phantom self the ego. It consists of mind activity and
can only be kept going through constant thinking. The term ego means different things to
different people. but when I use it here it means a false self, created by unconscious
identification with the mind.
– Eckhart Tolle

Thinking, or more precisely identification with thinking, gives rise to and maintains the ego,
which, in our Western society in particular, is out of control. It believes it is real and tries
hard to maintain its supremacy. Negative states of mind, such as anger, resentment, fear,
envy, and jealousy, are products of the ego.
– Eckhart Tolle

All the things that truly matter, beauty, love, creativity, joy and inner peace arise from
beyond the mind.
– Eckhart Tolle

In the elightened state, you still use your thinking mind when needed, but in a much more
focused and effective way than before. You use it mostly for practical purposes, but you are
free of the involuntary internal dialogue, and there is inner stillness.
– Eckhart Tolle

A victim identity is the belief that the past is more powerful than the present, which is the
opposite of the truth. It is the belief that other people and what they did to you are
responsible for who you are now, for your emotional pain or your inability to be your true self.
The truth is that the only power there is, is contained within this moment. Once you know
that… you realize that you are responsible for your inner space now – nobody else is – and
that the past cannot prevail against the power of Now.
– Eckhart Tolle