12 Profound Quotes from Eckhart Tolle to Help Awaken Your True Self

By Barbara @ Follow Your Own Rhythm

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If you’re not familiar with Eckhart Tolle, he is a spiritual teacher and author of the book "The Power of Now."  Eckhart teaches about our spiritual nature, living in the present moment, our egoic self, and offers a way out of pain and suffering.

If you ARE familiar with Eckhart, then you know just how much value there is in his teachings. 

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With that said, if you would like to take your personal growth and spiritual journey to the next level, I HIGHLY recommend reading his books "The Power of Now," "A New Earth," and "Stillness Speaks."

Eckhart Tolle’s teachings are profound and life changing.  I studied his work extensively for two years.  I read his books, one after another, sort of at a slow and steady pace so that I can really take it in, learn from it, and apply it to my own life, and I binge listened to his talks to get a greater understanding of our true nature. 

Needless to say, he influenced my life in unimaginable ways.

His teachings also helped me with accepting and living in the present moment, as well as with understanding our ego or our false self better. 

Our ego is basically the root of all that is wrong with the world.  It is the root of our suffering, our unhappiness, our greed, our feelings of separation, our loneliness, our stress, our worries, and our everyday problems. 

Understanding the ego, identifying it within yourself, and detaching your sense of identity from it is an essential part of personal and spiritual growth. 

So today, I’d like to share some of my favorite quotes from Eckhart Tolle; ones that stuck with me while I was reading his books, ones I marked with hearts and stars, and ones I copied into my notebook for serious further studying. :)


Let these quotes, that will now live on my website instead of just in my colorful notebook, help you learn about your true nature, and inspire you to study his work further so that you can awaken your true self. 

It is divided into 9 categories with a total of 12 quotes/excerpts that I believe to be extremely powerful and profound.  I'd recommend reading over these quotes several times to truly feel their essence.

12 Profound Quotes from Eckhart Tolle to Help Awaken Your True Self

Spirituality and Our True Nature

1. “What is arising now is not a new belief system, a new religion, spiritual ideology, or mythology.  At the heart of the new consciousness lies the transcendence of thought, the newfound ability of rising above thought, of realizing a dimension within yourself that is infinitely more vast than thought.  You then no longer derive your identity, your sense of who you are, from the incessant stream of thinking that in the old consciousness you take to be yourself.  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.  The awareness that is prior to thought, the space in which the thought - or the emotion - or the sense perception - happens.”

-from "A New Earth"

Truth vs. Illusion

2. “There is only one absolute truth, and all other truths emanate from it.  When you find that Truth, your actions will be in alignment with it.  Human action can reflect truth, or it can reflect illusion.  Can the Truth be put into words? Yes, but the words are, of course, not it.  They only point to it.”

-from "A New Earth"

The Ego

3. “All the misery on the planet arises due to a personalized sense of “me” or “us.”  That covers up the essence of who you are.  When you are unaware of that inner essence, in the end you always create misery. It’s as simple as that.  When you don’t know who you are, you create a mind-made self (the ego) as a substitute for your beautiful divine being and cling to that fearful and needy self. Protecting and enhancing that false self (the ego) then becomes your primary motivating force.” 

-from "Stillness Speaks"

4. “Complaining and reactivity are favorite mind patterns through which the ego strengthens itself.  For many people, a large part of their mental-emotional activity, consists of complaining and reacting against this or that.  By doing this, you make others or a situation “wrong” and yourself “right.” Through being “right,” you feel superior, and through feeling superior, you strengthen the illusion of ego. Can you observe those patterns within yourself and recognize the complaining voice in your head for what it is?”

-from "Stillness Speaks"

5. “Since the ego is a derived sense of self, it needs to identify with external things.  It needs to be both defended and fed constantly.  The most common ego identifications have to do with possessions, the work you do, social status and recognition, knowledge and education, physical appearance, special abilities, relationships, personal and family history, belief systems, and often also political, nationalistic, racial, religious, and other collective identifications.  NONE OF THESE IS YOU.”  

-from "The Power of Now"

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Unconscious Drive Behind the Ego:

6.  -"The need to stand out, be special, be in control; the need for power, for attention, for more.

-Need to feel a sense of separation; need for opposition, enemies.

-Always a hidden agenda, always a sense of ‘not enough yet,’ of insufficiency and lack that needs to be filled.

-The underlying emotion that governs all the activity of the ego is fear. The fear of being nobody, the fear of nonexistence, the fear of death.

-All of its activities are ultimately made to eliminate this fear, but the most the ego can ever do is to cover it up temporarily with an intimate relationship, a new possession, or winning at this or that.  Illusion will never satisfy you. ONLY THE TRUTH OF WHO YOU ARE, IF REALIZED, WILL SET YOU FREE.” 

-from "A New Earth"


7. “The quicker you are in attaching verbal or mental labels to things, people, or situations, the more shallow and lifeless your reality becomes, and the more deadened you become to reality, the miracle of life that continuously unfolds within and around you.  In this way, cleverness may be gained, but wisdom is lost, and so are joy, love, creativity, and aliveness.”

-from "A New Earth"

8. “Words reduce reality to something the human mind can grasp, which isn’t very much.”

-from "A New Earth"

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Recognizing Your Egoic Patterns in Others

9. “The particular egoic patterns that you react to most strongly in others and misperceive as their identity tend to be the same patterns that are also in you but that you are unable or unwilling to detect within yourself.  In that sense, you have much to learn from your enemies. What is it in them that you find most upsetting and most disturbing? Anything that you resent and strongly react to in another is also in you.  But it is no more than a form of ego and as such, it is completely impersonal.”

-from "A New Earth"

The Mind

10. “Once you recognize the root of unconsciousness as identification with the mind, you step out of it.  You become PRESENT.  The mind in itself is NOT dysfunctional.  It is a wonderful tool.  Dysfunction sets in when you seek yourself in it and mistake it for who you are.  It then becomes the EGOIC mind and takes over your whole life.”

-from "The Power of Now"

Pain and Sorrow

11. “The greater part of human pain is unnecessary.  It is self-created as long as the unobserved mind runs your life.  The pain that you create now is always some form of nonacceptance, some form of unconscious resistance to what is.  On the level of thought, the resistance is some form of judgment. On the emotional level, it is some form of negativity. The intensity of the pain depends on the degree of resistance to the present moment, and this in turn depends on how strongly you are identified with your mind. The mind always seeks to deny the Now and to escape from it. In other words, the more you are identified with your mind, the more you suffer. Or you may put it like this: the more you are able to honor and accept the Now, the more you are free of pain, of suffering – and free of the egoic mind.”

-from "The Power of Now"

Want to become more aware of yourself?

Download the free worksheet "30 Thought-Provoking Questions to Help You Become More Self-Aware"

What is Spiritual Realization?

12. “It is to see clearly that what I perceive, experience, think, or feel is ultimately not who I am, that I cannot find myself in all of those things that continuously pass away.  What remains is the light of consciousness in which perceptions, experiences, thoughts, and feelings come and go. That is Being, that is the deeper, true I.  When I know myself as that, whatever happens in my life is no longer of absolute but only of relative importance. I honor it, but it looses it’s absolute seriousness, it’s heaviness.  The only thing that ultimately matters is this:

-Can I sense my essential Beingness, the I AM, in the background of my life at all times?

-Can I sense the I AM that I am at this moment?

-Can I sense my essential identity as consciousness itself?

-Or am I loosing myself in what happens, loosing myself in the mind, in the world?”

-from "A New Earth" (one of my all time favorite quotes***)

Mind blowing huh? If these quotes resonated with you, if they opened your mind in any way, if they sparked an inner knowing or truth, or if the opposite happened and you felt some resistance while reading it, then I would HIGHLY recommend diving deeper into Eckhart’s teachings because it will transform your life. 

You should also reread these quotes several times because there is so much wisdom that simply can't be absorbed just from a quick read. 

I highly recommend his books:

A guide to living in the moment. A classic.

A guide to finding your life purpose. My personal favorite

Short excerpts to connect you to your true self. My bible.

He also has many talks that are available for free on YouTube, and his book "A New Earth" was also chosen by Oprah for her Book Club, where they dissect and dive deeper into each chapter - available to watch for free on Youtube.  You can start with the first chapter here. 

All in all, I just want to share Eckhart's work with you because he has helped me greatly on my own spiritual journey, and I know he can help you awaken to your true self too.  I mean isn't that what we all want? To be free, to be ourselves, and to live in peace and happiness?  I believe that Eckhart's books and talks are an excellent resource for making transformational shifts in your life.  

If you would like more Eckhart Tolle resources or recommendations, feel free to reach out! 

Which one was your favorite or most eye-opening quote from the list? Do you have any other favorites from Eckhart Tolle that you'd like to share? Let us know in the comments below!

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