Humans have evolved through several thousand years. Initially there was the absolute connection with the source of life but this connection was unconscious. As the mind evolved humans became more and more entwined in thoughts and became disconnected from their inner source, from the flow of life, and they started living in resistance. The dysfunction of a mind identified human condition is evident in the suffering we inflict on ourselves, other humans and the nature around us. But the good news is that we have reached a point where “awakening” is becoming more and more possible and evident. We live in an age of awakening, and Eckhart Tolle is one of the pioneer teachers of enlightenment based on simple teachings which are “common” people friendly instead of being esoteric and confusing.
Eckhart Tolle’s Childhood
Tolle was born in a small town in Germany in 1948. Brought up in a dysfunctional household, where his parents were constantly in friction, he had a troublesome childhood fraught with anxiety and fear. He did not like going to school because of the hostility perpetrated by the teachers and other students. There were times when he would simply take his bicycle to the woods and sit amidst nature instead of going to school.
After his parents separated, he moved in with his father who was based in Spain. His father was an “open” thinker and he allowed 13 year old Tolle to stay at home, instead of going to a school. At home, Eckhart started pursuing his interests by reading several books on literature and astronomy. At the age of 19 he moved to England and earned a living by teaching German and Spanish at London School of Language studies. He went to college for his graduation, at the age of 22, in the field of philosophy, literature and psychology.
Eckhart Tolle’s Awakening Experience
Around the age of 29, Eckhart found himself to be acutely depressed and stressed. He did not have a direction to his life and he was constantly afraid, and insecure, about his future and his purposeless existence. Eckhart Tolle has confessed that he felt suicidal because of the intense anxiety that he felt.
One night Eckhart awoke in a tremendous state of anxiety, he felt acutely depressed and his mind was reeling fearful thoughts about life. In this state of suffering he sensed thoughts moving through him saying “This is enough, I cannot stand this anymore, I cannot live like this, I cannot live with myself”. At that moment there was an inner voice that asked “If there is an ‘I’ and there is a ‘myself’, then there are two entities and only one of them can be true”. At this thought his mind stopped suddenly, and he felt himself being dragged into an inner void and he fell unconscious. The next morning he woke up in a state of complete peace and stillness. He found that everything felt likeable and joyful to his senses, and he felt an absolute bliss within him. He did not understand why he felt so peaceful and it was only later, after a few years of being in monasteries and with other spiritual teachers, that he intellectually understood that he had experienced “freedom” from mind. He understood that he was experiencing the same state that Buddha experienced.
In the years to follow, Eckhart moved on to become a spiritual teacher and the author of books like “The Power of Now” and “The New Earth”, both of which were best sellers and sold millions of copies each. These books are highly transformative and have the power to instigate awakening in anyone who truly understands its essence. Eckhart mentions that these books arose from “stillness” and not from the conditioned mind.
Eckhart Tolle’s Personal Life
Eckhart is a very humble, and a self confessed “reserved”, person, who loves being in solitude. He loves nature and is known to recommend nature as the greatest spiritual teacher. There are many people who wonder if Eckhart Tolle is married – He is. He actually married a woman called Kim Eng, who he met back in 1995 when he was working as a spiritual teacher and authoring his book. Does Eckhart Tolle have children? No, he is not known to have any children. If you are asking why doesn’t Eckhart Tolle have children, I guess it’s mostly out of his own personal preference for solitude and space. People usually don’t ask him personal questions.
He recently has associated with a web-based teaching portal called “Eckhart Tolle Tv”. There are people who have asked why is Eckhart Tolle charging for his spiritual talks, and for these web based videos, when he professes to be free of attachment to money. The truth is that people misunderstand his teachings, he does not teach denial but to live life in a state connectedness with source. The well-being that he is surrounded with is just the evidence of how good life can be for someone who lives in a state of “oneness” with the now.
What Type of Meditation Does Eckhart Tolle Recommend?
Tolle is not known to promote any form of meditation. He believes that the most essential part of understanding his message is to simply stay “present” or in his own words “Stay in the now”. Instead of following practices or techniques, which are “mind” based, he suggests that we stay in place of relaxed allowing, where the “now” is allowed to be instead of fighting against it to reach a better state.
Eckhart Tolle Quotes
Some very popular quotes by Eckhart Tolle from Power of Now and other books are as below:
“Every thought pretends that it matters so much, it wants to draw your attention completely. Don’t take your thoughts too seriously”
“You are pure awareness disguised as a person”
“The mind exists in a state of “not enough” and so is always greedy for more. When you are identified with the mind you get bored and restless very easily”
“Life is happening on its own. Can you let it be?”
The essence of Eckhart Tolle’s teaching is to let life be, to simply let things happen around you instead of trying to manipulate and control life. As it happens, life is full of goodness and well-being, and you get to experience it’s joy when you let go of the resistance created by holding onto thoughts.