I love Eckhart Tolle. I remember reading his book, The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment in 2010 and from that moment on, whenever I feel that my mind is drifting, making too much noise and keeping me from being fully present and engaged in the NOW, I immediately go back to reading his book. I have learned so many wonderful lessons from reading his inspiring books, watching his lectures, and today I would like to share 27 of these life changing lessons with you.
1. The present moment is the most precious thing there is.
“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.”
“…the past gives you an identity and the future holds the promise of salvation, of fulfillment in whatever form. Both are illusions.”
“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.”
“Don’t let a mad world tell you that success is anything other than a successful present moment.”
“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.”
“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.”
2. Wherever you are, be there totally.
“Wherever you are, be there totally. If you find your here and now intolerable and it makes you unhappy, you have three options: remove yourself from the situation, change it, or accept it totally. If you want to take responsibility for your life, you must choose one of those three options, and you must choose now. Then accept the consequences.”
3. Always say “yes” to the present moment.
“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.”
“Accept – then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.”
“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.”
4. Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness.
“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.”
5. Don’t take life so seriously.
“Life isn’t as serious as the mind makes it out to be.”
6. Love is not to be found outside of you.
“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.”
7. The more you dwell on the negative, the more obsessed with negative things your mind becomes.
“People tend to dwell more on negative things than on good things. So the mind then becomes obsessed with negative things, with judgments, guilt and anxiety produced by thoughts about the future and so on.”
8. When you complain, you make yourself into a victim.
“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.”
9. There is a fine balance between honoring the past and losing yourself in it.
“There is a fine balance between honoring the past and losing yourself in it. For example, you can acknowledge and learn from mistakes you made, and then move on and refocus on the now. It is called forgiving yourself.”
10. Letting go requires strength and a lot of courage.
“Sometimes letting things go is an act of far greater power than defending or hanging on.”
“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
11. You are a Human Being not a human doing.
“In today’s rush we all think too much, seek too much, want too much and forget about the joy of just Being.”
12. Give up defining yourself and others.
“Defining yourself through thought is limiting yourself.”
“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.”
“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.”
13. You are more than your mind.
“On a deeper level you are already complete. When you realize that, there is a joyous energy behind what you do.”
“To be identified with your mind is to be trapped in time: the compulsion to live almost exclusively through memory and anticipation.”
“To know yourself as the Being underneath the thinker, the stillness underneath the mental noise, the love and joy underneath the pain, is freedom, salvation, enlightenment.”
“Boredom, anger, sadness, or fear are not ‘yours,’ not personal. They are conditions of the human mind. They come and go. Nothing that comes and goes is you.”
“The beginning of freedom is the realization that you are not “the thinker.” The moment you start watching the thinker, a higher level of consciousness becomes activated. You then begin to realize that there is a vast realm of intelligence beyond thought, that thought is only a tiny aspect of that intelligence. You also realize that all the things that truly matter – beauty, love, creativity, joy, inner peace – arise from beyond the mind. You begin to awaken.”
14. Where there is true love, there is no ego.
“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.”
15. Whatever you fight, you strengthen, and what you resist, persists.
“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.”
“What you react to in others, you strengthen in yourself.”
“Anything that you resent and strongly react to in another is also in you.”
“Whatever you fight, you strengthen, and what you resist, persists.”
16. Power over others is weakness disguised as strength.
“Power over others is weakness disguised as strength.True power if within, and it is available to you now.”
17. Every addiction starts with pain and ends with pain.
“Every addiction arises from an unconscious refusal to face and move through your own pain. Every addiction starts with pain and ends with pain. Whatever the substance you are addicted to – alcohol, food, legal or illegal drugs, or a person – you are using something or somebody to cover up your pain.”
18. Exclusivity is not the love of God but the “love” of ego.
“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.”
19. Seek to live authentically.
“Authentic human interactions become impossible when you lose yourself in a role.”
“Living up to an image that you have of yourself or that other people have of you is inauthentic living.”
20. We don’t “see” God as He is, we see God as we are.
“Man made God in his own image…”
21. Seeking is the antithesis of happiness.
“Don’t Seek Happiness. If you seek it, you won’t find it, because seeking is the antithesis of happiness.”
“Is there a difference between happiness and inner peace? Yes. Happiness depends on conditions being perceived as positive; inner peace does not.”
22. What you give is what you get.
“For what you do to others, you do to yourself.”
23. Any action is often better than no action.
“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.”
24. If you make the fountain pure, all will be pure.
“If you get the inside right, the outside will fall into place. Primary reality is within; secondary reality without.”
25. The mind is a superb instrument if used rightly.
“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.”
26. Worry is a waste of time.
“Worry pretends to be necessary but serves no useful purpose.”
27. If the structures of the human mind remain unchanged, we will always end up re-creating the same world.
“Humanity is now faced with a stark choice: Evolve or die. … 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.”
What is your favorite quote from Eckhart Tolle? What is the one lesson you have learned from this beautiful and incredible Soul? You can share your insights by joining the conversation in the comment section below.