25 Quotes by Eckhart Tolle on Life, Happiness, and Suffering

Life tests each one of us. So it is essential to have a positive mindset to get through the ebbs and flows of life.

Eckhart Tolle has gone through the deepest hole of darkness himself. At age 29, he tried to kill himself because of the never-ending anxiety and suicidal thoughts. But as time passed, he embarked on an amazing journey and became one of the most gifted spiritual teachers in the world.

Here are some Quotes by Eckhart Tolle to enlighten and empower you on your journey in life.

1. Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have.

The mind is a tricky player. It can make us afraid of the future or regretful of the past. But power lies in the present moment. We need to live for the present by doing the things that give us joy in the here and the now instead of doing things as an insurance for the future.

For example, some people work 24×7 and spend little time with family because they want to create a huge business in ten years. As you can see, their mind is fixed in the future and they need to learn the importance of balance in life.

2. Life is the dancer and you are the dance.

Don’t overthink things. Don’t be afraid of being afraid. Trust that everything will fall into place according to a higher plan. Enjoy life like a dance, living from your heart and taking the reins away from your mind and into your own hands.

3. Where there is anger, there is always pain underneath.

People, specially men, confuse aggression and anger with “manliness” and dominance. But the truth is that anger is a sign of weakness. It says that you were hurt in the past and you are carrying it into the present. This is one of the most enlightening Eckhart Tolle quotes ever.

4. 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. 

Don’t worry about what people think of you or how they label you. Live your own life, discover your own hopes, wishes, talents, desires, and dreams. Fall in love with who you are without having the need to define yourself in a single sentence or paragraph. The human spirit is too intense to be captured in a couple sentences.

5. Being spiritual has nothing to do with what you believe and everything to do with your state of consciousness.

Being spiritual doesn’t mean you have to worship a Godly figure every day. Nor does it mean you have to talk spiritual things all the time. It’s all about achieving a higher state of consciousness where you intuitively know the deeper meaning in ordinary things and can read between the lines.

6. Whatever you think the world is withholding from you, you are withholding from the world.

We often blame the external world for our dissatisfaction from life. But the truth is that we never turn the table around and see what we are withholding from the world. Every painful life experience carries a lesson and induces suffering until that lesson is learned and integrated into your being.

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

The faults we find in others are actually the parts of us we cannot come to terms with. We need to be more accepting of others to better accept ourselves.

quotes by eckhart tolle

8. Being must be felt. It can’t be thought.

We need to turn off our minds more and turn on our hearts. Ask yourself, “How did I feel all day today?” Honor your feelings and understand your heart’s longings. Among all Eckhart Tolle quotes, this one really stands out.

9. To love is to recognize yourself in another.

We are all one, swimming in the same ocean of existence, experiencing life from different shores. When you cross paths with someone, take the time to know them on a deeper level because you met them for a reason.

10. The past has no power over the present moment.

If there are certain things you regret about the past, know that it can have power over you only if you let it. You are not what happened to you, you are the witness that experienced it all. Therefore, it’s in your power to change your focus and witness a better reality for yourself. This is one of the most empowering quotes by Eckhart Tolle.

11. Life isn’t as serious as the mind makes it out to be.

Some people are too serious. They make long lists of what to do, how to live and overthink things all the time. Don’t be too serious about things. No matter how deep in the gutter you are, find humor in the little things. Know that you’re not alone and if you have even a single person who cares for you, you are one of the luckiest people in the world. Is this one of the best quotes Eckhart Tolle ever?

12. 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.

You are not what your mind says you are. The thoughts that run through your head are the temporary reflections of your mind. Don’t identify with them. But then who are you? You are the witness that hears the thoughts, the inner dialogue all day.

13. You can only lose something that you have, but you cannot lose something that you are.

People are so afraid of losing things and losing people. But the agent of creation lies within you and works inside you. No matter what you lose, you won’t lose your creativity which can create all the things you want all over again. You won’t lose your ability to enjoy the human experience.

14. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it.

Don’t hate your life. If you hate anything in life, just be present and observe the experience as the witness. As you do that, your vibration will rise as you are no longer the hater but the observer that sees you’re hating. You’ve become more aware. And with this awareness, life will change for the better.

quotes by eckhart tolle

15. 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.

If you have been keen to change something in your life for a long time, understand the hidden lesson behind it. What’s life asking you to do? If you are tired of being stressed all the time, life is asking you to be easy on yourself. And if you haven’t found love and intimacy yet, life wants you to love yourself first.

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

The things we cannot stand in others are the things we cannot accept in ourselves. For example, if you always nag your friend for being too disorganized, perhaps you are uncomfortable with your own clumsiness in life. This is one of the greatest quotes by Eckhart Tolle because it teaches us to see ourselves in others.

17. 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.

Beautiful creation often starts with dark destruction. When you feel you are buried in a hole, you are actually planted for a magnificent future. Darkness defines the light. Without suffering, we won’t appreciate the good in life.

18. The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it.

No matter what you have been through, a situation is defined by the meaning you give to it. Some people can survive death and heartbreak without much hassle and others get frustrated at simple things. It’s all about perspective and your thoughts about a situation.

quotes by eckhart tolle

19. 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.

Time is a man-made concept. There is no time, there is a long, eternal “now” that we live all our life. You can only influence the present moment, so reclaim this power and live in the present. This is one of the most enlightening Eckhart Tolle quotes ever.

20. 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.

It’s better to move forward in a random direction than to stare at your problems and suffer from anxiety and fear. Einstein said that you have to keep moving in life to maintain your balance.

21. All negativity is caused by an accumulation of psychological time and denial of the present. Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry – all forms of fear – are caused by too much future, and not enough presence. Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness, and all forms of non-forgiveness are caused by too much past, and not enough presence.

This is one of the greatest Eckhart Tolle quotes as it explains all suffering with a simple concept. When our mind is fixed in the future, we suffer from fear, anxiety, and worry. When it is fixed in the past, we suffer from regret, sadness, hatred, and depression. We need to live in the here and the now and say “yes” to what the present moment has to offer.

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

There is nothing out there taking the joy out of your life. Everything is inside you. It is your thoughts, beliefs, actions, and the use or misuse of your own imagination that is creating your life. If you want to change it, change your mindset first.

23. It is not uncommon for people to spend their whole life waiting to start living.

Some of us live our lives in quiet desperation, hoping for a better tomorrow never realizing that true power lies in the now. We are the creators of our own lives and whatever we want, we can chase today, in the present moment, and it will bring the happiness we’re looking for. This is one of the best Eckhart Tolle quotes ever.

24. The past gives you an identity and the future holds the promise of salvation, of fulfillment in whatever form. Both are illusions.

We define ourselves by what we have done in the past not realizing that we are limiting ourselves by doing so. Realize that something completely new can happen for you and change that definition. Moreover, we should stop seeking happiness in the future. It’s not something that will come by tomorrow. Happiness is a by-product of how you act in the present. It is not the end goal.

25. Instead of asking “what do I want from life?,” a more powerful question is, “what does life want from me?”

Sometimes our truth is right in front of us but we fail to see it. Think for a moment. Talk to the part of you that feels dissatisfied from life. What does it want from life? What are its complaints? Now change your perspective for a moment and turn the tables.

Ask yourself, “What does life want from me? What is the obvious lesson here?” Chances are you need to overcome a limiting belief and learn a certain skill to get to the place you want to be. Whatever it is, learn the lesson and move on.

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