Interesting Facts About Eckhart Tolle

Written by: Tim Bura

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 trans formative 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.

Image credit: Surian Soosay


I went through an extremely unhealthy period in my life after which I decided to change my lifestyle completely. And I am glad I did. I believe in natural living and positive thinking through inner awareness. 1.) Eat traditional natural foods. 2.) Avoid processed foods. (Once in a while is okay). 3.) Walk everyday. 4.) Eat lots of fruits and drink lots of water. 5.) Snack healthy - Raw veggies, nuts etc. 6.) Be in nature and get lots of sunlight. 7.) Meditate daily for 20 minutes. 8.) Practice relaxation.

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  • Pearl

    The article is well written. I trust Eckhart’s teachings and consider him to be the most helpful spiritual teacher of our time. Although, Ajahn Brahm and Buddhist teachings also help me. I don’t, however, understand why Eckhart charges so much for his talks. I can understand that he charges, but not hundreds of dollars. It is too much. I don’t understand why he does this.

  • Austin

    E. Tolle has no children and apparently leads a life separate from that of most of us. I find this not helpful. How can he speak to the everyday concerns we have? By contrast, Anam Thubten, a Tibetan teacher, is married to a California woman &
    has two daughters ( one is a teenager). Lama Tharchin was also a father
    (and, as normal teens/young adults sometimes do, they brought challenges
    to their father which ultimately also enriched his teachings). Another
    lama, I know, is the father of 4 children, one of them profoundly
    retarded. Pema Chodron–the famous American Buddhist nun/author– is a
    divorced grandmother and she knows about embracing everyday thorns rather than going off into her private quarters. Her earthiness is what
    makes her books so helpful. For me an authentic teacher has experienced grief, joy, everyday challenges (and tragedy too). It’s easier to appear ‘enlightened’, to even believe
    you are, if you’re not changing dirty diapers, having a teenager scream
    at you, cleaning out a smelly frig, having a pissed-off spouse.
    But then, for me, enlightenment isn’t a state you arrive in and there
    you stay– no matter what your life situation may be. Rather,
    ‘enlightenment” (whatever that is) is nurtured by being present, again
    and again, without a bunch of words, to whatever unfolds before you. Meaning no offense to anyone who is
    an ET follower, but Mr. Tolle’s life style, even the sound of his voice, simply don’t work for me. However, if you find solace, insight, etc in his books, live teachings—- wonderful. And ultimately that’s all that matters.

    • Yahya Guzman

      the message doesnt need to have a past/story to be helpful.
      I can tell you “you have mote in your left eye” and you dont need to know my conditions, you just go to the mirror and check it yourself and the message was helpful to you.

      now, this is going to be my assumption: eckhart doesnt have a kid because there are already too many people here on earth.
      why do i think that? because i have heard that from people that are very close to enlightenment and because is very reasonable. we are too many

  • walter

    If he attained enlightenment in 1979, what did he do for the next 20 years until he published a book and got discovered by Oprah?

    • MidgardMortal

      He was living in the Now?

    • Yahya Guzman

      lol so true. he was simply not telling people he was enlightened and was living the moment

  • Jorge

    They don’t need to have kids to be happy. That’s the reason why they don’t have. They feel happy just with everyday life.

  • M

    This is only my personal opinion, could be wrong but I believe that these “gurus” as you call them, probably don’t want children because they know that the child will have to suffer in this earthly life. That is my reason for not bringing in any child into this world. Why bring in a child when you know he or she will suffer? Also children also bring on another lifetime round of thought forms that you have to deal with! Its almost like having a child could distract you for another life-time before you can reach enlightenment/higher state of consciousness! I suspect that they do not talk about it in this way to others as they do not want to offend. Maybe I will ask Ekhart Tolle if he could speak up about this and give his honest opinion.

    • roseann

      Spiritualy enlightened beings tend to have spiritual children like their diciples unless they had children before the experience.

  • David

    What I find interesting about all these modern gurus today like Tolle, the lama et al is that none of them have children. why is this? Does it interfere with the journey of inner peace? It seems very peculiar. What if everyone took this approach? Furthermore it’s astonishing they have guru status when their lives are so removed from people who have children to raise. I guess it’s all about marketing. Perhaps people with kids don’t have the time to jet around the world and talk about personal growth world peace.

    • Pete

      That’s an interesting thought David. But I think they don’t have children because they do not feel the need or urge to have children. Everyone of us has that freedom, yet we go ahead and give birth to children probably just to follow others. We need to stop following others and do what we think is best for us. But having said that, I do agree that gurus will have a difficult time understanding the issues that the common man faces cause they generally stay unmarried and without children.

    • sheila

      I don’t think having children or not having children has anything to do with inner peace. Inner peace is about focusing on the here and now, irrespective of the outside. It is about being presence.

      The only thing that rings true in what you say is about time. I think people with kids may not have the time to think, contemplate and explore who they really are.

      Also by nature those who are interested in contemplation, and self discovery may not feel the need to procreate to feel complete.

    • Mukesh

      Sheila, that’s a good point. Once you become whole in yourself, you may not find the need to have a partner or a child to complete you.

    • Hilda

      so what if everyone did take this approach of not taking kids?

  • Rasheed

    This Eckhart Tolle guy is a phenomenon! He might not know it, but I pray he does, he has just started a revelation that will spill over seas and bring paradise down to the heart of men as it was supposed to be. I know because I am talking from personal experience. -Rasheed Ewodage(Dante Gigante)