Eckhart Tolle is a famous spiritual teacher promoting mindfulness and living in the now. His teachings often contradict what we are taught in the west. So many of us believe that we must work towards a future goal and happiness will only come if we reach it. But Eckhart Tolle says that the present moment is the only thing that exists. It is when we bask in the glory of the journey that we become enlightened.
Here are some of his best quotes on happiness, life and mindfulness. Enjoy!
On The Present Moment
“The past has no power over the present moment.”
“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.”
“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it.”
On Who You Are
“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.”
“To love is to recognize yourself in another.”
“Anything that you resent and strongly react to in another is also in you.”
“You can only lose something that you have, but you cannot lose something that you are.”
“You find peace not by rearranging the circumstances of your life, but by realizing who you are at the deepest level.”
“Living up to an image that you have of yourself or that other people have of you is inauthentic living.”
“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.”
On Letting Go
“Sometimes letting things go is an act of far greater power than defending or hanging on.”
“Whatever you fight, you strengthen, and what you resist, persists.”
“Life isn’t as serious as the mind makes it out to be.”
“Life is the dancer and you are the dance.”
“It is not uncommon for people to spend their whole life waiting to start living.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“Worry pretends to be necessary but serves no useful purpose”
On Being Spiritual
“Being spiritual has nothing to do with what you believe and everything to do with your state of consciousness.”
“Is there a difference between happiness and inner peace? Yes. Happiness depends on conditions being perceived as positive; inner peace does not.”
“Pleasure is always derived from something outside you, whereas joy arises from within.”
“If you get the inside right, the outside will fall into place. Primary reality is within; secondary reality without.”
“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 nonforgiveness are caused by too much past, and not enough presence.”
“Don’t Seek Happiness. If you seek it, you won’t find it, because seeking is the antithesis of happiness”
“All true artists, whether they know it or not, create from a place of no-mind, from inner stillness.”
Course: How to Find Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle
If you enjoyed these quotes, we highly recommend checking out Eckhart Tolle’s Udemy course on how to free yourself from the trap of compulsive thinking and awaken to the beauty of simply being.
Not only does he discuss mindfulness practices to achieve this, but he also helps you better understand the concept of time, consciousness, stillness, being and connection.
Check out the course here.
This article was originally published on The Power of Ideas.