For a number of years I have been familiar with Eckhart Tolle, listening online to his presentations and reading his book The Power of Now. Tolle is a German-born resident and described his childhood as unhappy—his parents fought and eventually separated. In addition he felt alienated from a hostile school environment. When he was thirteen he moved to Spain and lived with his father, who did not insist he attend high school. Instead, Tolle studied literature, astronomy, and various languages at home. When he was fifteen he read several books by Joseph Anton Schneiderranken—a German mystic—and responded very deeply to those books. Tolle was depressed for much of his life, until he was twenty-nine and experienced an “inner transformation”; for several years he wandered in a state of deep bliss.
He has earned frequent recognition:
Regarding his teachings, Tolle emphasizes how a teacher’s role is to help a person remove that which separates the individual from the truth. For example, he says that the primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but rather the thoughts that the individual has about it. According to his official website, “At the core of Tolle’s teachings lies the transformation of consciousness, a spiritual awakening that he sees as the next step in human evolution.”
There are countless numbers of YouTube videos in which Tolle presents his teachings, which are influenced by a combination of wisdom selected from Zen Buddhism, Sufism, Hinduism, and the Bible. He has said, “I feel actually that the work I do is a coming together of the teaching stream.” These videos are well worth watching—something I do on a regular basis. As I reflect on the information, my understanding of spiritual transformation deepens. I suggest you visit Tolle’s website. Of note is that he has a delightful sense of humor, which contributes to his charisma.
Have you experienced an awakening of consciousness in your life? Please share your comments about Tolle or other spiritual leaders in your life.