Eckhart Tolle Biography & Facts
Eckhart Tolle ( EK-art TOL-ə; German: [ˈɛkhaʁt ˈtɔlə]; born Ulrich Leonard Tölle, February 16, 1948) is a German-born spiritual teacher and self-help author who resides in Canada. He is best known as the author of The Power of Now and A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose.
After being recommended by Oprah Winfrey, his first book, The Power of Now, reached The New York Times Best Seller list in 2000. The same happened to his 2005 book A New Earth.
Ulrich Leonard Tölle was born in Lünen, a small town north of Dortmund in the Ruhr region of Germany in 1948. He felt afraid and anxious growing up in post-war Germany, where he played in bombed-out buildings. He later stated that pain "was in the energy field of the country."At the age of 13, he moved to Spain to live with his father, who did not insist that he attend high school, so Tolle elected to study literature, astronomy, and languages at home. At 15, he was "heavily influenced" by a gift of the five spiritual books by the German mystic Joseph Anton Schneiderfranken.
When he was 19, Tolle moved to England and taught German and Spanish for three years at a London language school.
One night in 1977, at the age of 29, after long periods of depression, Tolle says he experienced an "inner transformation".
I couldn't live with myself any longer. And in this a question arose without an answer: who is the ‘I' that cannot live with the self? What is the self? I felt drawn into a void! I didn't know at the time that what really happened was the mind-made self, with its heaviness, its problems, that lives between the unsatisfying past and the fearful future, collapsed. It dissolved. The next morning I woke up and everything was so peaceful. The peace was there because there was no self. Just a sense of presence or "beingness," just observing and watching.
He began to feel an underlying sense of peace in any situation. He stopped studying for his doctorate, and for a period of about two years, he spent much of his time sitting, "in a state of deep bliss," on park benches in Russell Square, Central London, "watching the world go by". He stayed with friends, in a Buddhist monastery, or slept rough on Hampstead Heath. His family thought him "irresponsible, even insane". He changed his first name from Ulrich to Eckhart; by some reports this was in homage to the German philosopher and mystic Meister Eckhart.
Career as spiritual teacher
Former Cambridge students and acquaintances began to ask Tolle about his beliefs. He started working as a counselor and spiritual teacher. Students continued to come to him over the next five years. He moved to Glastonbury, a center of alternative living. In 1995 he moved to Vancouver.The Power of Now, Tolle's first book, was published in 1997 by Namaste Publishing. The book was republished on a large scale by New World Library in 1999. In 2000, Oprah Winfrey recommended it in her magazine O. In August 2000, it reached The New York Times Best Seller list for Hardcover Advice. After two more years, it was number one on that list. By 2008, the book had been translated from English into 33 languages. In July 2011, it appeared on the list for the 10 best selling Paperback Advice books for the 102nd time.His second book, Stillness Speaks, appeared in 2003. That year, he stated that he had no intention of creating "a heavy commercial structure", nor of setting up an ashram or centre. He believed one "could develop organically" and said "one needs to be careful that the organization doesn't become self-serving". Nevertheless, his website sells his books and "a dizzying range" of materials offering spiritual guidance, and a separate website streams video of monthly group meditations.In 2005, Tolle published A New Earth; it was ranked number one on The New York Times Best Seller list 46 times by the end of 2008. Its high sales followed its selection by Winfrey for her book club in January. In the four weeks following the announcement, 3.5 million copies were shipped.In 2008, Tolle partnered with Winfrey to produce a series of webinars, each one focusing on a chapter from his books, with discussions, silent meditations, and questions from viewers via Skype. The third webinar attracted more than 11 million viewers. By October 2009, the webinars had been accessed 35 million times. In 2016, Tolle was named in Winfrey's SuperSoul 100 list of visionaries and influential leaders.In September 2009, he appeared with the Dalai Lama at the Vancouver Peace Summit. The same year, he published Guardians of Being, a picture book illustrated by Patrick McDonnell, the creator of the comic strip Mutts.In 2018, Watkins Mind Body Spirit published some of Tolle's nature photography. Tolle commented that "both art and nature can serve as portals into the transcendent dimension, your essence-identity."
By 2009, total sales of The Power of Now and A New Earth in North America were estimated at 3 million and 5 million copies respectively, and The New York Times stated that Tolle was "the most popular spiritual author" in the United States. In 2011, the Watkins Review put him at number 1 in a list of "The 100 Most Spiritually Influential Living People".
By the press and others
The books have received a wide range of praise and criticism from reviewers. In 2000, Carter Phipps wrote that "Tolle's clear writing and the obvious depth of his experience and insight set it apart". In 2003, Andrea Sachs characterized The Power of Now as "awash in spiritual mumbo-jumbo", while in 2008, an article in The New York Times stated that Tolle is "not identified with any religion, but uses teachings from Zen Buddhism, Sufism, Hinduism and the Bible".Some critics have characterized his books as unoriginal or derivative. James Robinson in The Observer in 2008 called his writings "a mix of pseudo-science, New Age philosophy, and teaching borrowed from established religions". A 2009 article in The New York Times stated that he is "hardly the first writer to tap into the American longing for meaning and success". Sara Nelson, the editor-in-chief of Publishers Weekly, said Tolle's writings had been successful due to surging public interest in self-help books.Others have praised his re-working and synthesis of traditions. New Age writer William Bloom wrote that "Tolle is offering a very contemporary synthesis of Eastern spiritual teaching, which is normally so clothed in arcane language that it is incomprehensible", thereby providing "a valuable perspective on Western culture". Publisher Judith Kendra says, "The ideas [that Tolle is] talking about have been in existence for thousands of years in both Eastern texts and with the great Western mystics, but he's able to make them understandable".
By Christian theologians
In 2008, The Independent noted that "Tolle's theories are certainly seen by many as profoundly non-Christian, even though Tolle often quotes from the Bible," but tha.... Discover the Eckhart Tolle popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Eckhart Tolle books.