Ulrich Leonard Tolle was born on February 16, 1948, in Lunen, a small village in Germany. Being born in post-war Germany, he had described living in an atmosphere of sadness as that was the prevalent emotion among the people. His parents were separated during his childhood and he felt like an outsider among his friends which led to years of depression. Here are some of the best Eckart Tolle books.
At the age of 29, after going through the peak of his depression, he felt he achieved a state of an inner transformation, enlightenment. After this event, he spent most of his time meditating and changed his name from Ulrich to Eckart after having a dream where he saw himself as the author of a book. Consequently, he started working as a counselor and spiritual teacher for many students. He identifies himself as a spiritual teacher who is not part of any religious doctrines rather brings together the common knowledge which is available in spiritual texts such as Bhagavat Gita, Bible, Tao Te Ching.
He has an official website eckharttolle.com, where he posts meditational videos, podcasts, and more details about his books. He travels very frequently for retreats and spiritual workshops and believes that any person could develop spiritually and can attain self -actualization organically, without being part of a religion or ashram, or doctrine.
Best Works of Eckart Tolle
Power of Now
The Power of Now was first published in 1997. He sold about 3000 copies of the first edition; then large-scale copies of the book were republished in the year 1999 by New World Library. The book was The New York bestseller and was translated to 33 languages and remained a top seller for years.
Eckhart, when he achieved the state of consciousness, described the experience as feeling the world in a different sense, he felt every object, he saw and felt deeply. He felt this sense of bliss for months and used to meditate on park benches. His family and colleagues called him crazy, insane. He describes this state of blissfulness as being in the now. To be aware of now. A state of consciousness where we are just being, at the moment, taking whatever comes in and letting it flow through our being. Space where you are not thinking about anything. Eckhart considers thinking a disease.
One would wonder how you do not think anything when our whole world was created because we thought and built it. In the book, he explains that everything we analyze, calculate is through thoughts, but to be creative is to be devoid of them. Anything created didn’t come from a place of obsessive thinking. It came from a space of consciousness. Great scientists, thinkers, great artists create their work from a space of nothingness.
The greatest ideas and things were created from the state of consciousness. For a brief moment in all our lives, we do experience this feeling; we are immersed in our actions or in what we do so much that we experience this state of immersion. Eckhart explains that this state of flow is achieved through learning to be in space with no thoughts. Most of us go through life perceiving ourselves, giving ourselves an identity based on our past actions, memories, and thoughts.
We think we want to achieve or reach somewhere in the future or achieve a goal in the future. So being in this continuous state of mental being where we oscillate between the past and future. We sway past the precious present, where through the failure of perceiving this present moment, we essentially fail to immerse ourselves at the moment where everything originates.
The author reminds us that whatever story, the memory we have preserved and recall every day, how we act, and the story we tell ourselves constantly needs to be forgotten altogether. We need to recall that it’s a memory, an extended thought which essentially does nothing but prevents us from acting at the moment. When you accept the moment, you essentially change the frequency, and by accepting the space, you can change or elevate that energy or space.
A New Earth
New earth was published in the year 2005. It was featured in Oprah Winfrey’s book club which further helped soar the sales to 3.5 million copies. He used to conduct weekly webinar sessions with Oprah based on each chapter of the book.
In his third-bestselling book, ‘A New Earth, he expands on the idea of the self. The title of the book the new earth came from the bible; In the old and New Testaments, it speaks of a new heaven, a new kingdom. This new haven is the outer manifestation of the inner transformed consciousness. He elaborates further about judgment and ego and spirit. He details in this book the difference between ego and the consciousness which is inside you and how to identify between those two.
There is a reason why creativity fosters being in the present, to connect with consciousness. It requires the ultimate presence of mind. Whatever you do, do it intricately, do it in the best of ways. It requires that presence of mind. In fact, when you hold that thread of being conscious devoid of time, it leads to the flow. He explains in detail about consciousness, in various scenarios, and with questions that could arise in pursuit of it.
The most poignant part of the book however is the advice that has been advised by many philosophers; Be comfortable with being uncertain. Welcoming uncertainty welcomes infinite possibilities. Being unafraid of the uncertainty with no fear, enables you to be alert, creative, and alive. When you are fully aware of what exists, your deeper consciousness speaks within you, you quiet your mind enough to hear the silent whisper of the consciousness. Thinking should be only one element of the infinite consciousness within you and compulsive thinking separates you from that connection to higher intelligence or consciousness.
He reminds us that the ultimate realization in life is that the entire journey of our life starts with what we do at this present moment and the next step of human evolution is achieving consciousness.
The book was his second work and was published in 2003. Stillness speaks compared to other books and is relatively concise. The final idea of achieving bliss is understanding the stillness. What is stillness? As he explains it, stillness is the state of perception before any information becomes thoughts. We live in a time where information is readily available on anything and everything, so the question he asks us readers is whether what we really need is more information or wisdom. He says that we achieve wisdom from the information through stillness.
Wisdom comes from attention, giving someone your attention. The problem when it comes to living around this bulk of the information is that we get trapped in erroneous beliefs. This sense of belief could give rise to judgment and traps us back into the infinite loop of thinking or compulsive thinking. To get out of this loop of excessive thinking, you have to surrender to the moment you are in. The book cements this idea with further concepts and examples.
Milton’s Secret: An Adventure of Discovery through Then, When and the Power of Now
This is a children’s book by Eckhart Tolle, where he collaborated with Robert Friedman and Frank Riccio as the illustrator. The story is about Milton, an eight-year-old boy who is bullied in school and facing various financial difficulties. He, later on, learns through his grandfather how to tackle life’s problems and the importance of being in the present moment. Through beautiful illustrations and a simple storyline, he engages the readers, both parents, and children, and teaches the values through the conversations between the grandfather and Milton.
Guardians of Being
Guardians of being is a picture book by Eckhart Tolle and illustrated by Patrick McDonnell who created the acclaimed comic strip MUTTS. Eckhart’s love for nature, animals, and birds is explored in this book through beautiful illustrations and words. He asks the readers to learn about the art of stillness from trees and the joy of being in the now through dogs. Dogs are inherently happy beings. They never care or worry incessantly about the future or overthink the past. When they are with you, they are just happy to see you and you feel joyous.
Every animal lover can guarantee that their pets keep them sane. That may be one of the reasons why a dog is a man’s best friend, even though we are worrying beings when we are with them, we feel the joy just as what they feel for us. There are a lot of things we could learn from our pets.; Eckhart calls cats Zen masters, they sit in the warmth of the sun for hours sleeping, sometimes it makes you wish you could be like them in life. For a small moment, you do feel that peace they feel.
Sometimes to unwind we do go for a long walk in the woods or trees. Everyone at least once must have sensed a sense of peace during those times. This has proven to provide a certain amount of calmness in our minds. It is not coincidental; it just proves that we belong in nature and we sometimes do connect with that intelligence all around us and all sorts of compulsive thinking which leads to mental distress happens when we disconnect from nature. The author reminds us of something which we already know and he urges the reader to realize the oneness in our being with nature and animals. We are not separate from the sun, moon, or air. We are one.
Practicing the Power of Now: Essential Teachings, Meditations, and Exercises from the Power of Now
A sequel to his famous book, The Power of Now, presents concepts already conveyed in the book with exercises and practices for daily implantation.
The book is divided into three parts. People are breaking out of the collective-subconscious, undesirable patterns which keep them in a vicious cycle of the misery of past events and unfortunate circumstances. Through several practices, which he elaborates in this book, he specifies practices and solutions on how to implement the art of being in the present. One of the best examples he provides is that of walking the stairs in his house. He explains that when executing such a simple act. You can execute being mindful by paying attention to every step you take and observe the breathing pattern. Separate yourself from the mind where there is a continuous stream of thoughts by creating a gap.
He further elaborates on how to use your senses properly, by examining the rhythm of the breathing. When executing any action, the entire will and mental energy should be spent in executing the task and the result will come on its own accord. When our mind is in a habitual resistance mode, it might trigger a stream of negative emotions which might cloud us and affect the situation. It is impossible to articulate the feeling in that state. He advises us to monitor such states and question ourselves, our thoughts through writing. The most important thing as Eckhart elaborates is to acknowledge the present moment that we are in, and just being grateful for just being.
These books are published with Eckhart Tolle editions, which were launched in the year 2015. These selected works handpicked by Eckhart Tolle convey the same ideas presented by him. All the below works, help the readers understand their personal journey to higher consciousness and better lives.
The Calm Center: Reflections and Meditations for Spiritual Awakening
The book authored by Steve Taylor, selected and introduced by Eckhart Tolle is a collection of poetic discourses with spiritual reflections which each reader can relate to their own experiences. Each poem in this book is very simple and profound and it helps the reader achieve a certain inner peace, calmness. As Eckhart suggests, it works like a prayer book, with each read it awakens your consciousness. An essential read that the reader can share with their family, friends, and book clubs.
Parenting with Presence: Practices for Raising Conscious, Confident, Caring Kids
This book was authored by Susan Stifelman. In the foreword by Eckhart Tolle, he explains how conscious parenting helps transform it into a spiritual process. Though parenting has established rules and codes of conduct which are rigid and has been passed down from ancestors, he reminds us that through conscious parenting, some aspects of parenthood that no longer adheres to the present times and if continued can, later on, accumulate in weakening the relationship between a child and parent can be recognized.
This leads the individual to connect deeper with what their child goes through at any age. The process of bringing up a child can go both ways. It could be a learning process and could act as a lens to their own soul as parents. They have to recognize and should have the capacity to let go of the ego and correct themselves when mistakes are made, even as an adult and not let the ego get the better of them. The parents have to recognize their subconscious bad habits which are undesirable and consciously better themselves through the child and be a proper adult for the child. There are eleven chapters presented on how to develop empathy, happiness, healthy communication, self-love, and managing stress for both parents and kids.
These chapters provide mind-opening ideas on how to approach parenting mindfully and spiritually enhance the learning experience of being a parent and through the process help the child achieve their potential and develop a deeper relationship with their parents. As they themselves grow up to be an adult and parents themselves, they also have the openness and patience and the awakened mind which can help develop their kids. As the process continued collectively as a chain reaction, it could lead to a future where this could lead to a better and peaceful future.
The Leap: The Psychology of Spiritual Awakening
An insightful book by Stephen Taylor, and introduced by Eckhart Tolle. The book provides a history and details the process of achieving consciousness and the after-effects of the process. As a psychologist himself, the author explains that studying the achievement of consciousness as just activation of a certain part of the brain is similar to studying the map of a place without visiting the place. He explores throughout history, the evolution of consciousness and explores the study of texts of ancient times such as Bhagavad Gita, Ramayana, and other eastern philosophical Chinese texts.
He has explained in detail the process of awakening throughout the years of human existence, how the awakening of the individual has paved the way for technological advancements, and the negative part of it as the oppression of women and war. The state of consciousness or awakening is sometimes achieved through birth. Some individuals are born with it. Some achieve it through intense psychological turmoil in longer periods of time, the greatest example of this would be Eckhart himself. Some also achieve it through intense practices such as yoga.
The difficulties an individual has to endure after the psychological awakening can be sometimes constructive or misleading. It could easily be mistaken as psychosis or schizophrenia. These individuals achieve a high functioning state that makes their life more fulfilling and could lead to drastic positive changes in their lives and a sense of purpose to give more meaning to their lives and their loved ones.
The final section of the book gives insights into the collective consciousness and the awakening. The ‘Leap’ as he mentioned in the title is the evolutionary leap, the human minds go through and explore the process that could lead to it. As the world goes through such a devastating and tragic period, what we can look forward to is such an awakening of the collective unconscious and the individual enlightenment which leads to it.
In the digital age that we live in, the common idea or concept everyone lives by is that of a purpose. Find your life purpose, hustle, and achieve it. There is nothing wrong with achieving what you want, your purpose, your destiny, whatever that gets you up in the morning. In the pursuit of it, however, our generation truly forgets that the present moment is all that they have. A very good example of this realization is the experiences of people who in contrast find their journey more fruitful and worth remembering than, the feeling that they had when they ultimately achieved their ‘purpose’.
Another great example of this is in the Pixar movie ‘Soul’ when the protagonist dies just after achieving his lifelong dream of playing jazz. He has an epiphany towards the climax of the movie, wherein a scene he replaces the music sheet, he played with the trinkets that 22 found in realizing that it was not his grander purpose that mattered but those small moments in life with his family, friends, when he was alone and some very small and insignificant moments which he felt at the time just everyday living. In the end, he promises himself that he will live fully every day.
Life is made up of small beautiful moments and that the spark of life is to truly be in the present and live fully; How do you fully be in the present? These books may help you in the process of achieving it. It is very hard to do with all the information overload happening around us. That makes his teachings all the more important. When you read his books, you realize the simplest yet profound idea that whatever we have is now, this moment, and be present at the moment through this achieve a state of inner peace.