Eckhart Tolle is on the Rich Man’s List. Is this the price of enlightenment?

In August 2000, a meditator at the Spirit Rock Meditation Centre, Marin, California, kindly gave me a copy of The Power of Now (price $21.95) by Eckhart Tolle that had been published the year before. She told me she had bought a dozen copies to give to her friends. She wrote on the inside cover:

“Thank you, Christopher. I am grateful for your guidance and your support in my awakening.  May this book be a blessing to you.  It is changing my life.”

Many people worldwide express immense appreciation for the spiritual teachings of Eckhart Tolle. His teachings have made a difference to people’s lives. He has the capacity to communicate his spiritual/psychological insights in ways that make much sense to those who follow his approach.

Within a few years of writing his first book, Eckhart Tolle, a spiritual teacher brought up in Germany, formerly worked in Britain and currently living in Canada, has become one of the best known spiritual teachers in the Western world offering retreats, public talks as well as appearing on various television programmes.  Millions have read one or more of his four books:


Published in 35 languages, these four books have gone onto sell some 12 million copies or more between them.  The cover of my 2009 copy of A NEW EARTH states “The 6 million-copy worldwide best seller.”

Mind the Gap

Is there a growing gap between the teachings of Eckhart Tolle and his immense wealth? Is this the price of enlightenment? Eckhart speaks regularly of the illusions people live in. But is he aware of the disillusionment that people feel when spiritual teachers become incredibly wealthy?

In October 2013, Eckhart and Kim Eng gave a five day retreat in Italy. His website said the retreat cost $995.00. I took a second breath when I saw the price for the retreat. And that was before I noticed the dreaded asterisk. On the asterisk below, it read:

*Tuition price only. Accommodations and meals package is additional.

Eckhart and Kim Eng charged $995.00 (£600, €725) for their tuition of participants for their five day retreat, plus sales of books, DVDs, calendars and so on. You do not have to be a rocket scientist to work out how much money they receive when a reported 500 attended. They could have made for themselves about half a million dollars in five days.

Participants booked through Eckhart Teachings to pay to stay in nearby hotels, ranging from $500 to $1000 for the five nights – a walking distance to the huge conference hall to listen to Eckhart. If participants make their own housing arrangements, then they pay Eckhart Teachings, a “commuter fee of $295 including meals and yoga mat.”

Eckhart gave a two day retreat in Australia in 2011 to hundreds of people. Eckhart charged $695.00 for two days of intuition. It’s seems to be a money spinning guide to enlightenment.

Eckhart charges individuals between the cheapest seats at £50 to £75 for the “platinum seats” to listen to him give a two talk with questions and answers. In an evening programme in a theatre in the East End of London in October 2013, more than 2500 people attended.   It meant that the commercial arm of Eckhart Teachings probably received around £150,000 gross from tickets sales, plus sales of his books, his DVDs, his calendars, cards etc. Costs include rent of the theatre for the evening etc.

Eckhart gives talks addressing the suffering of clinging to ownership. Yet, it is stated on his website: “Absolutely no recording devices of any kind are allowed at the retreat.” Eckhart Teachings keep a tight control over recorded access to his words.

The cover of The Power of Now tells readers that the book is a guide to spiritual enlightenment. For whom is this spiritual enlightenment? It would seem this enlightenment is for those with disposable income, mostly middle class people in their 50’s and older.

Exclusion of those with a low income

The door charges and retreat charges effectively exclude many teenagers, single mothers, the poor, the unemployed, the low income, backpackers, people in debt, people struggling to pay bills for sickness and the elderly living on a state pension. The cover of A New Earth tells us his book is to “create a better life.” For whom?

Around 13 million people or 20% of the population in Britain live below the poverty line. Far too many families have to choose between food and heat. Figures are probably similar in other Western countries.  The poor can’t afford to buy a CD or go to an Eckhart Tolle talk, let alone a retreat

Yes, his teachings are freely available on YouTube, as his followers regularly point out. This is welcome. Many benefit from watching his teachings on Youtube. There is a real difference between Youtube teachings and sitting in the same hall with a much-loved teacher. A wealthy man can offer the teachings from time to time for those in the low-income category. There is no substitute for being in the presence of a teacher. Direct oral teachings resonate deeply.

Why can’t wealthy spiritual teachers enable the poor to attend their live programmes? Are they obedient to the will of those who run their foundations and business enterprises?

The Business Company

Eckhart Tolle has established a huge worldwide commercial enterprise through his business company, Eckhart Teachings. Last month, Watkins Bookshop in London named Eckhart as the world’s second most influential spiritual teacher after the Dalai Lame and immediately ahead of Pope Francis.

Tolle’s highly successful commercial activities have put him firmly on the world’s RICH MAN’S LIST in the space of 15 years.

It is surely appropriate to question whether his growing personal wealth, and his desire for more, is compatible with his spiritual teachings.

If one of his books sells for roughly around $10.00, then then total  income from his books alone amounts to $120,000,000. Eckhart would receive a percentage (probably around 7.5% – 10%) of this from royalties.

His commercial activities in the UK alone include Eckhart Tolle TV Live Stream for six months. $99.65, New Earth Card Deck for £19.00, New Earth Calendar for £11.00, Inspirational Selections from A New Earth £18.00, Eckhart Tolle’s Findhorn Retreat (2 DVDs and a book). £27.00, Eckhart Tolle’s Music to Quiet the Mind £13.00, In the Presence of Mystery (Audio) £22.50 and much, much more. Bulk production of a DVD with box, label and inserted jacket costs less than a $ per item.

Some Eckhart Tolle fans will defend these substantial charges. Concerts and sports events cost much the same amount of money for the same amount of time so why should not a spiritual superstar charge top prices for admission? There is a difference. And it is a big difference. Entertainers and sports stars do not offer spiritual teachings on letting go, dropping desire, living without attachment, trusting in the now and enlightenment.

Data on Eckhart Tolle Foundation, classified as a religious organisations, provided by the IRS (Inland Revenue Service – US tax department)

Wealth and Spirituality

When asked about wealth and spirituality, Eckhart replied on YouTube:

“Many in traditional religions have renounced material things did not realise that they have not renounced desire in their mind. So they tried to suppress desire by having no possessions. The true renunciation is about attachment to which operates on an inner level.  It is the inner that matters.”

Mr Tolle lacks the experience and understanding of men and women living a life of intentional renunciation or a complete lack of interest in materialism. Monks, nuns, sadhus, swamis, spiritual communities, spiritual seekers, meditators and more explore a different way of life. His claim that those who live such a way of life are ‘trying to suppress their desire by having no possessions” tells us about a judgemental mind.

As a former Buddhist monk in the East, I would suggest Mr. Tolle spends some time in a monastery  to experience such a way of life. In my experience as a monk, there are very few ordained who suppress desires. The vast majority can’t see the point in a materialistic way of life and accumulation of wealth with death never far away.

Is Eckhart Tolle honestly trying to claim that he has renounced desire while desiring to charge exorbitant tuition fees to listen to him? Some of those renunciates in religious traditions, who have little or no possessions, include such Buddhist monks as the Dalai Lama and Venerable Thich Nhat Hahn, the fourth most popular spiritual teacher in the Watkins Bookshop list. Another renunciate from the Christian tradition, Pope Francis chooses to live in simple rooms in the Vatican.

In A New Earth (page 46), Eckhart writes about the problem of the ego. “I don’t have enough yet” by which the ego really means “I am not enough yet.”

“Having  – the concept of ownership – is a fiction created by the ego… Wanting keeps the ego alive much more than having. It is an addictive need….

“The thought forms of me and mine…I want, I need ….pertain not to content but to the structure of the ego.”

Fine words, Mr. Tolle. You have made $millions in the last 15 years. Do you really need to own so much money? Why do you still want to make even more money?

May I humbly suggest that you reflect on your insightful words for your readers on page 99: “My God. Is this what I have been doing? Once you see what you have been doing or are doing, you also see its futility and the unconscious pattern, then comes to an end by itself. Awareness is the greatest agent for change.”

  • Please explain to your many followers how your desires and needs to make so much money from your talks, retreats and commercial sales contribute to a new Earth.
  • Please let your followers know what you do with your immense wealth?
  • Do you use your money to create a better life for people?
  • If so, what organisations, trusts, charities do you give to?
  • Do you invest you invest your money in the financial markets? If so, which?
  • Do you leave your money in your bank? If so, why?

If the thought of such transparency is too difficult for you to handle, then I have a small suggestion.

The Power of Donation

Mr. Tolle, You are on the world’s Rich Man List. You are very wealthy. From now on, please offer all  or many of your public talks and retreats on the basis of dana  (a Pali word meaning the act of giving, the offering of a donation) and minimise the price of your books, cards, calendars etc. Your wealthy devotees will still give you a generous reward for your fine teachings.

The Buddha spoke frequently of the power of dana. Dana covers many aspects of the inner life:

  • An important aspect of spiritual enlightenment 
  • The power to let go 
  • The practise of generosity 
  • To abide in trust 
  • To be free from greed 
  • To end measuring of one’s worth through fixing a charge 
  • To live without desire for financial security in the future 
  • To see through egoic needs and identification with wealth 
  • To show compassion to many people with financial hardship 
  • To treat teachings as truly priceless 
  • To support creating a better life for everybody.

Your teachings have given much support to the spiritual journey of your followers. You deservedly receive a lot of goodwill from people. You can make a contribution towards developing trust in spiritual teachers and their teachings. Your practise of dana would dispel the growing widespread disillusionment with spiritual teachers who accumulate vast sums of money. This is not a hair-shirt philosophy but an act of kindness and support for all regardless of their financial status.

If you developed trust in dana, you would show to yourself and your followers the power of now to let go of old desires. I am sure you would agree.

Note to Readers.  This is a critique of the fusion of spirituality with accumulation of immense wealth. There is no intention to deter readers from listening to Eckhart Tolle on YouTube or reading his books.

May all beings understand the Timeless –

unbound to the past,

unbound to the now

and unbound to the future.

PS.  I wrote the blog in 2014. At that time, his wealth was estimated at $15,000,000.  In 2021, the net worth of Eckhart Tolle is currently $80,000,000 according to the website.

The global pandemic has currently blocked the opportunity for all, regardless of income, to attend public events of spiritual teachers, and others. The wealthy and the poor unite on YouTube.

381 thoughts on “Eckhart Tolle is on the Rich Man’s List. Is this the price of enlightenment?”

  1. Tolle’s motives are revealed in the assumed metaphorical story at the beginning of TPON concerning a beggar and a box of gold. It’s not a metaphor, it really IS all about the money.

  2. Pierre Kaufmann

    The commodification of truth is always problematic in that it creates a distortion. This is like an entity similar to the Pain Body, that propels the host to accumulate , justify and hoard, there is never enough for this compulsion. It is well known to engulf may who have seen enlightenment, just view all the scandals with new age teachers , money, sex and drugs. It is possible to have glimpsed enlightenment and be socially and emotionally imature and undeveloped .
    It easy for a millionaire to tell people it doesn’t matter if they are poor or homeless. Or that that you are not your body, when they are wel manicured and have face lifts etc. It’s important to understand that many are celebrities that are virtually enlightened through social media etc.
    What is missing in the debate about huge wealth is that we are on a finite planet with limited resources.
    There is not enough on this planet for all of us to live like Mr. Tolle.
    We live in an abundunt universe of Limitless Love and Truth.
    But this planet has finite resources and some of those who are awakened understand the need to share and uplift humanity.
    This includes includes all states , physical, spiritual emotional and material.
    In many parts of the world there are no devices or Internet availble.
    Being committed to the awakening of All Beings includes uplifting humanity from poverty, oppression and injustice. Gandhi was a god example of this.
    Take simple rock climber Greg Honold, he has made a god wages soloing rock faces.
    He choces to live simply, formed a foundation and donates a generous percentage of his income to brining solar power to remote villages in Africa having tangible effects on many.
    Eckhart would have more credibility if he could demonstrate compassion rather than talking about it.

  3. I have noticed all fake & fraudulant gurus, have an evil Eastern Wife, behind them, corrupting the mind of husband that you are great & best & deserve to be wealthy. A hellish Almond-eye Witch is supporting all these Fake Gurus!!!!! Condemn them all

  4. I really think you should have better things to think about and to write about than the wealth of Eckhart Tolle.
    There is a wrong idea still these days that associates spirituality with starvation. HH Dalai Lama does not need any money because it is donated to him and everything is taken care for him, for instance. And he is a monk. That is his choice.
    As it is people’s choice where they spend their money, on expensive gadgets or attending Tolle’s retreats.
    In any event, using a blog to critize others is not only a complete waste of time, but does not help anyone being judgemental of others. Maybe you should ask yourself if jealousy is taking hold of you…

    1. I believe.. The teachings in his books ,are contradictive. It seems to me he has stolen many amazing interpretations of spiritual concepts fro
      others who are truly humble raisers of conscious awareness.
      I also think the books are laden with quotes that he has taken out of context to specifically market his book. He cleverly covers himself from any who would really question the core of his real beliefs.
      How ever . In my opinion only really honest beings ..may get my opinion.

      1. It seems like all the selfish people have replied “what is wrong with being spiritual and wealthy” ? 😀
        What is wrong is that there is nothing spiritual in not taking care of his human brothers and sisters and the rest of the world when you can. Which means that you are heartless.
        What is wrong also is that what he calls “ego” is not the real ego. It’s just the psychological one.

    2. Stephane Hurth

      Lol. You are among the people who still think that extreme wealth does not injure the poors ? I can’t believe that in this century there are still people so blind. Go in bad areas, discuss with people and you will see what is real.

  5. Chris,

    Eckhart’s teachings are very hopeful, this cannot be forgotten – you don’t appear to have forgotten this.

    An important blog to publish how much money Eckhart makes. One’s relationship with money is a personal thing, but it is fair to ask the question. Personally I think it is a question to expect an answer to but of course that is up to Eckhart.

    Money represents wealth and resources in this world, it has a responsibility to it. Leaving it in a financial institution to make profits for that institution has responsibility attached to it as well. In this world it is the wealthy 1% with their power and influence who create much suffering. Chris is suggesting that Eckhart has sufficient to help alleviate some of that suffering financially, he is already alleviating it with his teachings.

    The lack of a clear answer is worrying, as is said above it does cast some doubt.

    However the value of teaching is in the learning, not in the teacher.

  6. Earning this kind of money and teaching people to free them from their ego is contradicting. I can/will put some doubt in some people if he really teach the truth or an illusion to make money. At least he should be aware of that. We don´t know if he is aware of it and is his conclusion was not to come with any reasoning behind this. On the other hand if he is fully present his ego wouldn´t have thoughts about this contradiction. Or if thoughts are picked up by the mind from the surroundings he (or his advisers and friends/family) just havn´t been at the right place yet. He could also have dicided that keeping him self free of hig ego while the ego have as much as possible to attach it self to is the ultimate way the free your self from it. But guess he could also decide that letting go of earning the money in they first place would be the ultimate challenge. The speculations about this could keep going on. The mind can always argue for and against.
    Sry about my bad english

  7. It seems obvious to me that Eckhart Tolle is an awakened human being and his teachings have been of great benefit in my life.

    As mentioned in another comment, proceeds earned are funneled into the ET Foundation, “created to bring Eckhart’s life-changing teachings to underserved communities around the world. The Eckhart Tolle Foundation exists to inspire spiritual awakening and to support people in living in Presence and acting compassionately in the world…”

    Who can have a problem with that?

    1. Eckhart’s “extreme wealth” (not even close to extreme, check our President’s bank account) is earned from books and personal appearances. Why begrudge him his income from these things ? No one had to buy his books or attend his retreats. As others have mentioned, he spends most of the money to get his “message” out to those who otherwise would not benefit from what he has to say. He does not have a traveling show like the Christian evangelists do. He charges what he does for his retreats because he needs to rent halls or vacation places to do what he does. Those places don’t come cheap ! I could go on, but hopefully you get the idea.

      1. Bull! You came in this world free. Yes you can make money for living but you don’t need millions & your teachings are only for the rich? Wake up fool!!! Most people are lost & just need any fool to follow so they don’t remain lost. Stop following others and listen to the message the true Master lives within you so stop following these Businessmen. Jesus is running a free class next week in the local Mosque & all are welcome even Trump??

        1. Tes and Brian, there is validity to both of your points of view. Perhaps we can be less harsh with our word choices. We must seek to understand before being understood.

    2. Yeah but how much ? All multinationals have some kind of charitable foundation but it’s usually superficial .

  8. When John Lennon died, soon after his hit ‘Imagine’ with Yoko Ono, I heard he had a huge number of millions in his bank account. As a fourteen year old, I found myself angry that he was singing so heartfully for peace, yet accumulating rather than distributing his wealth.
    Now I can observe my judgement and see it as my false self creating further pain in the world. The reason it’s my ‘false self’ is because my strong emotions at the time made an identity out of my opinion and I felt righteous. The real me, if I could have accessed it beyond my judgement, would ask: I wonder why he was accumulating? I wonder if he was waiting to see where the maximum leverage could be gained in service with this money? If it was, what a great idea to keep accumulating and keep searching for that opportunity. I would be able to observe, ask the question and surrender any judgement in the absence of perfect knowledge.

  9. Gimme a break. I’m so tired of people saying that spiritual teachers have to be broke or middle-class to be trusted. Don’t worry about his money, there’s money everywhere and lack of money everywhere. BTW I received his teachings FOR FREE for 20 years, you’re just jealous and/or judgmental.

  10. I am watching eckhart on youtube for a lot of years and didn’t pay a panny so wtf please, if you want a retreat and personal attention, you pay, if not, you have thousand videos online. He talks basically the same in videos 10 years old, somits really just if you want to pay you pay, teaching is free of charge.

  11. My Brother has gone to see him all around the world. Retreats, one night talks, etc. I cannot help but be worried about him. I went to see Ekhardt Tollé one night myself, after losing a bet. I found him to be very personable, and amusing. As far as his “messages,” to me, they are mere common sense. I constantly ask my brother why he needs someone to tell him how to be…can’t he just be?!?!?! Ekhart is now a rich man. My brother has spent a fortune to follow him. Just doesn’t seem right…

  12. Victoria Fritz

    Eckhart Tolle’s teachings literally saved my life. And I’ve paid at most $20, for audio and video downloads from his website. I was getting everything free on youtube etc. that I got guilty and felt I should pay some amount, since it was TRULY life saving. And I can’t emphasize the word “truly” enough.

    It is free, if you want it for free.

  13. I am on the Eckhart Teachings email list, and I love his work. I received an email this morning about a 4 day retreat for $500. In the footer of the email:

    “All proceeds will benefit the Eckhart Tolle Foundation, created to bring Eckhart’s life-changing teachings to underserved communities around the world. The Eckhart Tolle Foundation exists to inspire spiritual awakening and to support people in living in Presence and acting compassionately in the world. The foundation focuses on bringing Eckhart Tolle’s teachings to underserved communities including prisons, colleges, senior citizen homes, and hospice organizations. In order to support the practice of Presence within these communities, the foundation donates resources including Eckhart Tolle’s books, teaching materials, courses, and scholarships to special events with Eckhart Tolle.”

    1. Am I being too critical, or is the fact that it’s named “The Eckhart Tolle Foundation” problematic in itself? Makes me think of JP Morgan and the like.

  14. Eckhart Tolle isn’t vegan. That’s all you need to know about this man’s ‘compassion’. Have any of you ever seen him holding a cat in his arms, showing him love and affection? Have you seen ANY love or affection from this man? Even ‘Supreme Master’ Suma Ching Hai expresses love openly to animals, so you can at least see that she cares about innocent creatures, and she tells all her followers to go vegan. What good does ET do in the world? Nothing at all.

    1. I’m on the fence regarding Eckhart but there are pictures of him holding animals – he is an avowed lover of animals and nature – and he co-wrote a rather delightful little picture book called “Guardians of Being” which is all about the animals in our lives and their importance to our “being”. As to veganism, yes, it is a conundrum for those who question how one can be lover of animals, and yet willingly choose to have them killed for supper.

    2. I have seen photos of Eckhart with his much loved dog. He spoke about her often in his talks. When she died he spoke of his grief at her loss.

      1. Bill the monk

        A lot of judgmental people out there…we monks have much to do to help raise global consciousness…let’s do it 🙂

  15. All these comments saying it doesn’t matter if Eckhart Tolle is super wealthy. What a joke! He said he suffered because of ego and attachment to things etc and now he has LOTS OF THINGS AND MAYBE EVEN A BIG EGO. It makes you wonder if negating your ego and blocking out thoughts is a way of connecting to the so-called UNIVERSAL ENERGY OF ONENESS. Or is it a great way to make money and build up a weak ego. I like his writings but Pope Francis is a more credible guru

  16. “I and mine are two. If there is no presumption of a self, there will be no possessiveness.” Vimilikirti sutra no Do

  17. I know Tolle personally and have so for about 25 years. I knew him well before his fame, and he was lovely at that time. But I have to tell you, he shockingly became a greedy monster (strong words, but it is the honest to God’s truth) with his ongoing fame…got greedier and greedier about it while knocking down anyone who got in his way. Friends like me were thrown way to the sidelines; if you had a manuscript or book of your own and it was good, he would bury it. I have had first-hand experience that would shock the “bejesus” out of these gullible fans of his.

    What is the difference between individuals like the Dalai Lama and The Pope? Huge. Tolle is just some guy (interestingly very unaffiliated with a religion, and secular–which to me–is a wee bit dangerous) who got extremely lucky with a book that really isn’t all that remarkable–it is an o.k. read, but the attention of moguls like Oprah, etc. brought him into the big tent–and people need to remember this. If that had not happened, he would have been like a Ken Wilbur or Robert Thurman (actually, these authors are better!). It’s all the attention from big celebrities who gave him extraordinary favor which he thirsted mightily for.

    I realize you don’t have to believe me, but I was a direct witness to this. Believe me, he wanted big-time fame badly–like an addict craves his fix. I am not kidding you. You must look at a person’s actions and where he lives inside–the outer persona is, indeed, just that. A role; a persona. And most people will never see the real person he is.

    Beware of this man–yes, he is extremely smart and slick and very good at what he does–but there is an odd disconnect in much of what he says, if you really pay attention–he’s dangerous and I can only suggest the many other authors out there who say similar things, but always add the importance of doing right and being compassionate. You will never hear Tolle talk of such things as being: kind, good, noble, giving, reverential to the Divine, helping others. Never. So please pay attention, he is dangerously smooth. He is full of seductive half-truths and he states them beautifully. But inside, he is a very self-serving man who is all about empowering his position. He ditched his friends (me, included) and remains hostile to anyone who poses a “threat” to his lofty position–but again, only about a half of a percent will ever see this side of him.

    1. There was a documentary about him some years ago in the UK. A publisher said of him that when it comes to book sales, he doesn’t count the number of books sold whereas someone such as Deepak Chopra is meticulous about money and he is worth a lot more than our friend here. You can look at Tolle and see he’s not into clothes, I would be surprised if he drove flashy cars and has multiple homes. Is it so wrong to have money? To a make a living out of spirituality?

      1. He does talk openly about his light blue Jaguar and he’s mentioned having a home on the water with Kim and also an apartment in Vancouver where he lives alone, I believe. So these are direct statements from Tolle about his wealth. On the other hand, he says that while he loves his light blue Jag, he loves it no more than he used to love his bike that he rode all over wherever he lived in England, and that this reflects his love of the miracle/wonder of things — the thingness of this pen, this table. His presence, way of speaking/interacting/writing, does seem to me to be qualitatively different than that of most people’s. And I find the power of now, still, to be an incredible book, inspiring and potentially lifechanging. I don’t think all spiritual teachers have to take vows of poverty to prove their authenticity. Perhaps this notion is wrapped up with moralistic ideas we have about money. On the other hand, another direct statement from Tolle about a bad review he got in a magazine, I don’t know if it was _Time_ or something else, attests to a pretty ambitious ego: he said something to the effect that he vowed never to read that magazine again. He said a few more things about it that showed his anger/resentment/desire to seek revenge against reviewer.–can’t remember the specifics. It was the one comment from him I’ve ever heard that made me think he does, in fact, have an ego. He himself says if his ego has come back, he won’t know it. Someone will have to tell him. 🙂

    2. This is so wrong, you sound very bitter, I have been watching Eckhart on u tube for months now for free and his deep rooted message is love and compassion. Maybe one day when you grow a little spiritually you will understand until then if you can’t say anything g good about him or anyone else for that matter, please Don’t say anything.

      1. Carry on following these fools and you will Never find yourself. Have you listen to a word the man says whilst you still act like a fool! What your looking for is inside of you!!! What don’t you understand?? Why is everyone paying this man for what?

  18. Good points, we’ll said Christopher. It seems most people don’t understand. It’s a pity, Dana is such a great quality, with amazing ramifications…

    1. Good points, well said Christopher. It seems most people don’t understand. It is a pity, Dana is such a great quality, with amazing ramifications…

  19. What a cheap shot at one of the most genuine, humble, honest true spiritual teachers! How about the Buddha accepting land and money to build a monastery? Are you not going to watch any Hollywood movies anymore, because A list actors make millions with every movie? And I guess you despise sports, because top athletes rake in the millions – for just throwing a ball???
    How about looking at his teachings? Should you understand them, you would realize that Eckhart’s teachings are a bargain. $250 a day for a workshop? Have you been in the real world lately and compared prices? Medical conferences are 300 and up a day to start with…
    Get a life!

    1. Malcolm cragg

      Why make a problem out of money.Why not just see the beautiful truth of his teachings,which are free on YouTube.Osho had 19 Rolls Royce’s,he was still a unique teacher.?

      1. Yes, Osho was a narcissist too. He actually had 90+ Rolls-Royce. 90+. He was from India. How much good he could have done even from the price of one of his Rolls-Royces. What a compassion. What kind of oneness is that?

      2. Osho was convicted of poisoning his neighbors, wasn’t he? He was deported. Likening Tolle to Osho is not helping Tolle’s case.

    2. Hmmm. You may be an MD given your reference to Medical conferences. I am a huge fan of Tolle and value his teachings highly. This gentleman has a point in his blog. It does matter that there is a discrepancy between the teachings and an accumulation this vast. He could donate a percentage or something. It also matters cas it does leave many people out. I declined his TV offering because I couldn’t afford it and I am solidly middle class.

  20. Pauline I to have a sister called that it is very true what you say I was born into a family of 14 7 boys and 7 girls I was the last to be born boy my mother gave her first child to her sister who couldn’t have children she was going to do the same with the second to her other sister but my father said no she was very kind I to like start went through the abiss but my experiences were different did different it came twice to me first in 1981. Then1983 the second time it came was truly astounding it is truly amazing what takes over and the truth is you can’t lie about it because there are things you wouldnte no unless it happens it is all there and we do all poses it when you liscen to egart and sadhguru and osho you istently no there telling truth it all happens to me when the face changes it is truly all on board everything b

    1. No, not hidden bites of Buddhism, but ‘A Course in Miracles’.
      And not hidden. Anyone can experience, share and use these ACIM insights – as they want, but we can never make illusions a reality – in reality. And that’s our true freedom. That is the teaching, power and enlightenment, Echkart is a true teacher in.

  21. ET speaks such wisdom, but is a mere flawed human like everyone else. We justify everything, and think we are in control. But we are not. The complete commercialisation of ET tv, ET tshirts etc. is a bit bizarre, but it is the world we live in. But the fact he has ‘followers’ is just indicative of the naive human characteristic.

    Take the message, not the messenger!

  22. this is Hilarious, seriously..

    eckhart has a right to be wealthy, and to do with he money he sees fit.. if you have a problem with this… it’s you who has the problem..he doesn’t need to feed starving kids.. if you think he should, then… WHY DON’T YOU

    eckhart shares what people want to hear, and he gets paid accordingly. If you can’t afford some live show, then buy the audio tapes, can’t afford that go to a second hand store and buy a used book, can’t afford that then go to the FREE library or go to you tube. want something even better go online and download them for free. there I just gave you whiners 5 different options. And if you don’t like this, don’t support them and then he won’t get more money

    Eckhart owes you nothing.

    I love this quote by Wayne Dyer, ” complaining is a refuge for those with no self reliance”… ……. ……………

    1. Hmm.. I have many issues with this guys blog post.. but your arguments are ludicrous..

      “he doesn’t need to feed starving kids” is a really weak point.. and actually proves to make Chris’ point that much more salient… I wouldn’t go with that..

      “Eckhart owes you nothing” actually… eckhart is a spiritual teacher.. he has thus embarked upon a certain path and there are of course things expected of someone on such a path.. he isn’t just a rock star or a comedian (although even rock stars and comedians must deliver on expectations).

      Eckhart is a spiritual teacher. which means that people have to trust him. money is a complicated thing.. it is much more complicated than just “he can do whatever he wants”.. it isn’t that simple with ANYONE in ANY walk of life.. let alone a spiritual teacher.

  23. I have been pondering this for sometime and agree with Christopher.
    I think that his choosing to drive a big Jaguar is indicative of his true mindset. There are plenty of reliable non-statement cars out there, as well as three year old Datsuns. For me? It is all I need to know.

    1. this is so funny, I can’t stop laughing.

      a car has to do with anything?? hahaha. give the man a break, he can drive what ever the hell he pleases.. if it doesn’t please you, you have the problem. I’m sure he feels very good driving his jag

      well he doesn’t drive a Bentley or a Rolls Royce so a Jag seems very understated to me..

      second you are assuming. Jags don’t cost a lot of money, you just think they do, Jags don’t really have that much room either..

      third you don’t even know if he bought it used, got if from someone he knew at a discount.. maybe the dealership gave him a good deal because they liked him..

      so you know what Eckhart needs to drive do you? a 3 year old Datsun to be “spiritual”.. hahahahaha.. you’ve missed the entire point of spirituality then

      1. To laughingatyou, do you consider yourself a spiritual person? Just noticing that you seem quite attached to your own opinion. Derision and condescension don’t usually characterize spiritual people.

  24. Eckhart Tolle is a Spiritual Teacher, he doesn’t have to give money, his work is to helps people to find their own self, the Life in them, the God in them. The money he makes has absolutely nothing to do with it.
    In French. we have a saying:” all work deserves a salary.” In my humble opinion, he does the best work so, he deserves the best salary.
    He gives his teaching for free on you tube and it is accessible to everybody. If some rich people want to go to his seminars and pay a fortune, it’s their business. If their ego wants to appear with Eckhart, so be it.
    I know that I am a student of Eckhart’s teaching and all I have is you tube, some of his books and tapes and He helps me live a happy, fulfilled life. I can say He helped me find LIFE. His books are worth way more than the money I paid for them.
    Eckhart Tolle is a great man of all times and I don’t think the people who are judging him or his money are affecting him.

  25. Really? Sure you can go to fancy retreats, but I listen to him for free on Youtube. I love it and often have my own free retreat right in the car on my way to work. It isn’t like his teachings aren’t available for free if you want them. Some people have money and enjoy retreats. There is nothing wrong with that, any more than charging for your time to teach people about spiritual truth. We all gotta eat. And there is a spiritual teaching that if you follow the truth, all your needs will be taken care of. I think this man deserves to live in comfort. He lived in poverty as well. Success isn’t something to be sorry for.

  26. Truth is truth wherever you find it. I’m not rich but I spent £3.50 on the power of Now and it is benefitting me. Its true that when I paid to see the Dalai Lama it only cost me £40 for a 2 day event but Eckhart Tolle is not the head of a religion or a prophet. What he says rings true regardless of his personal circumstances.

  27. I lived in the same house as Eckhart Tolle, when he was formulating his idea. He was a nice guy.

    Well done ET: ‘There’s a sucker born every minute.’ (P.T.Barnum).

  28. I disagree. Nobody, not you, not me, not the ant, can live anywhere but the “present”. It’s not something to be “understood”. Even reflecting on the past or musing on the future happens in the present. The so-called “power of now” can be replaced with the reality of “always”, and nobody will become “enlightened” by it either. “Enlightenment” is a sales pitch, a concept, an industry.

  29. I have learned and continue to learn a lot from him without spending a penny. Many of his teachings are free on line via YouTube. If people want to pay big bucks for his seminars is their choice. Giving up his wealth won’t take care of human suffering and he knows it.

    1. Gia is right. Besides, why does Christopher Titmuss have a blog? Is HE collecting money? Is HE trying to get famous and have influence and be seen as the all knowing important one and grow his ego? Who cares? I don’t!

  30. No-one actually knows what he’s planning to do with all his money – he doesn’t even know. He’s reported as saying that he’ll use it when or if a use for it comes to him. Maybe he’ll build a meditation island or something. If you view this negatively that’s your problem.

  31. Actually it’s not him. He doesn’t really care about the money; it’s the people who have taken over the ‘Tolle Administration’. He is an industry now. I actually had a lengthy conversation with one of his ‘team’ about the very topic discussed here and that person told me they need to charge these prices because they have ‘costs’ to cover which includes their own generous wages and expenses. So please do not blame Eckhart Tolle for all of this. He is actually a simple man who spreads a true message. The trouble is – he never expected to get so big…who can handle all that – then of course you need a ‘team’ to ‘look after’ you.

  32. Ariel Fedrigotti

    I don’t know how to feel about this. I know it’s my ego, but I’m heart broken right now. Realising the monetary benefit behind the teaching. I don’t know how to feel about it. Jesus and Buddha gave everything up.

  33. Dimitri Ledkovsky

    Tolle turned me off right out of the gate. The idiotically transparent fraud of his “enlightenment” sitting on a park bench should have made anybody with reflective capacity shut and shelve his original best seller. But, I guess, like many I continued reading ever hoping that it contained something of value that was “missing” with other “teachers”. I was wrong. You are your own best teacher and the money grubber in Tolle was pretty obvious from the outset. Thanks for this confirming article.

  34. Tolle could learn a lesson from the punkrock band the Clash. When the band came to NYC in the early 80s, they rode the subway from the airport and eschewed the limo to keep costs down so that fans only needed to pay $10 to hear them, while other bullshit bands were charging $75. So how realistic is it to expect a paradigm shift in the universe if the top spiritual leader is preaching to the 1% and raking in the cash and the pople experiencing the most stress can’t even pay their rent? Another new age hypocrite like Jerry Rubin who preached do as I say, not as I do.

    1. Some people pay of their free will, some people watch for free on YouTube. Everything is free will.
      Perhaps look into YOUR relationship to money? It’s a funny thing when people feel they own a teacher’s life.

      Alternatively, get yourself a job ?

  35. Yes, it does seem strange why he charges people such exorbitant prices for a simple retreat or to watch him speak. He has effectively screened out all those who can’t afford the hefty price tag. This does not seem right. Spirituality should be acessable to everyone, not just a few. It should not be denied to anyone especially not because of their financial situation. This is how it is practiced in the East. I have often wondered what Eckhart does with all the money he makes.

  36. Eckhart Tolle is a human being like everyone else. He might be trying to cash in on his investement, but we don’t know if he is attached to money. We should only focus on the principles he is teaching and not the retreats and expensive stuff. Once you got the idea you don’t need him to spoon feed you, he himself is figuring things out as it comes to him. Some times he even says some stupid shit. But I believe his core principles are very useful and by applying those to our daily life I think will be beneficial to all.

    1. He is human and principles he is teaching?

      Uh, in my mind, that would be materialism and self-advancement. These are NOT spiritual values. Core principles? Accumulating massive wealth? How does that separate him from Google/Apple/Amazon “owners” in their quest for power through wealth? It doesn’t. Just selling re-hashed stuff to make money.

      I came across his “stuff” years ago and dismissed him immediately. He had, in my mind, tacked together a whole lot of disparate, new age ideas to market himself and his “program for life.” Seems he’s into it for his own program for a better life for himself at the expense of others’ cash and “faith.”

      Really easy to see, once one is aware, of how these people “bait” the faith of truly lost seekers and then “switch” to lots of cash for themselves, preying off the “trust” of innocents. I despise this man and every one like him . . . males and females alike.

      Sorry, he was a total “wrong number” from the get go for me.

      1. There is no such thing as spiritual values. Materialism describes Ines attitude towards material wealth, not how much of it you may or may not possess.

  37. After all is said and done, are we not all only human? Will we care or even feel when we are gone? Now that is a question never answered. Why waste time reflecting on others as life drains away?

  38. Creating Curiosity

    I was going to leave a comment, but then realized I would just be adding mind thought ego stuff to….. mind though ego stuff.

    Better to just ‘feel’ with all-that-is…. aaaah, I feel et’s wealth and it is my wealth too.


  39. I feel that for those who cannot see the illusion of money, eckart is a voice that may penetrate for you. If you accept things easier because you contribute printed paper for it, then great!

    thankfully there are people who have passed on this message in non monetary ways.

    lets just all try to understand the level we are on, water does not spontaneously boil, slowly all molecules eventually evaporate.

  40. Eckhard Tolle’s teachings AND MY PRACTICING THEM HAD saved my Life!!! I have read a couple books, seen some videos but then I put them away and tend to the business that is myself. Even he says that what he teaches are just meant to be signposts, a finger pointing the way. That is all. But what I don’t like is that silly Kim Eng. This is where he loses me. But I take the good and leave the rest…

  41. For those who are defending Mr. Tolle:
    In fact there is nothing wrong about being wealth. However, have you realized that his teachings can be accessed by a tiny fraction of the world population?
    The “power of now” is for anyone who can afford those expensive seats or even the books (believe there’s a bunch of people that can’t afford a book or never had the chance to learn how to read).
    Final question: have you ever seen this man teaching poor people? Have you ever seen them in poor places where the suffering is way out of white people problems? I wonder why is that. I was truly disapointed when I realized that. Tolle came to my country and gave a paid speech for a very small audience who could buy the tickets. I’ve seen other spiritual leaders who came here and give public speechs and guided meditation for free. This is the true awakening.

    1. Sorry but, A tiny fraction of the world population? I can access it for free right now, you can too. Just search his name on You Tube and boom! You don’t need to spend large amounts of money. Everyone see what they want to see, nothing more nothing less…

    2. ummm homeless have cell phones now.

      and as others have stated, go to you tube if your such a penny pincher. and he’s preaching to the messed up white folk, DUH.

      I’ve been to other countries.. they usually aren’t as F’d up as us. so it only makes sense to preach to the ones who need the most help

      your viewpoint is very limited, teacher says…. HAHAHAHAHAHHAHA

  42. Do you really think that making money makes you less enlightened?? Does he appear to be attached to the money? What makes it “wrong?” ?

  43. Who knows? Tolle, as enlightened as he might be, is only human, maybe wealth is something karmic he has chosen to experience. I think it would be quite a challenge for any of us, to have such public exposure, embodying wisdom and dealing with a growing wealth.
    A problem many of us have, is that we see money, and thus the accumulation of it, as bad. Money is just energy, flowing or not.
    As far as I’m concerned, I couldn’t care less about Tolle ‘s bank accounts. Why he collects so much money and what he does of it (not much by his sayings), would be more interesting, and even then, not so much the end result, which could be interpreted in so many ways, but the energy (vibration) he puts into it. Something no one can know, unless living with him.
    About Eckhart’s teaching and these questionable highly priced retreats, courses and so on, maybe we have to separate the man from the business. Maybe Tolle doesn’t control all of it, and maybe some people along the way are making money out of his teachings on his behalf. If I remember Osho ashram, there was a lot of dysfunctional ego based behaviours within it.

  44. You are extremely bitter. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being spiritual and making a good living. This is not biblical times for crying out loud. You act as if being spiritual means you have to be poor. Why is it wrong to be wealthy? Is it wrong to be a politician and wealthy? What about a celebrity or athlete? If you are worried hes a charletan, then dont listen, move on. The fact you went the distance of writing this article just says you, yourself are pretty insecure. Are you struggling financially and thats why you worry about this so much? Get over yourself. your just mad because hes a spirtual teacher and making money? He doesnt have a cult for crying out loud. He wrote books about his experience and thoughts. How is that different from other authors? Fate made him a teacher because peoole appreciated what he had to say. You need to meditate and focus on not attaching to your own insecurities. Boo to you, sadsack!!

    1. All methods lead to the same way? That’s a fool opinion. There are so many wrong ways on the world, where u can easily see what motivates people to preach, teach and writes books. At the first glance u will find always similarities. When u study Buddhism or Hindu philosophy eg u will notice many similarities between that big traditions, but u will notice too big differences.
      In Buddhism the only central point is the end of suffering. In many other traditions the end is described in other terms, the return to god, to become unify with Brahman…
      There is nothing wrong on different ways, but when authors use causeless plain unifications to satisfy the mind of people who are looking for someone who brings everything under one hut, u have to ask yourself about the competence about that teacher.
      There are teacher who’s philosophical background is absolute amazing and there are teacher who’s language is extremly plain but at once very deep.
      It is important to become clear about the authenticity of an teacher and his qualifying to teach people.

    2. > You act as if being spiritual means you have to be poor. Why is it wrong to be wealthy?

      So those are the only two possibilities – poor or wealthy? That’s a vast portion of humanity you’ve failed to spot.

      > Why is it wrong to be wealthy?

      So many reasons. Here are two:
      1. It is impossible to get, or if you come by it accidentally, keep, wealth without being greedy. All ethical and religious systems have understood greed to be a critically dangerous character flaw.
      2. “Wealth” is just a word for consumption rights over our world’s resources. Megaconsumers are destroying this world.

      > Is it wrong to be a politician and wealthy? What about a celebrity or athlete?

      Absolutely, in both cases.

      > Are you struggling financially and thats why you worry about this so much?

      I can’t speak for Christopher, but pointing something out by typing a few words is hardly an indicator of excessive worrying. As for worrying – the astonishing rise in material greed is one of the greatest crises we have ever faced. $piritpreneurs like Tolle are as much part of the forces amassed to attack our communal world as are your beloved wealthy politicans and players of sports.

      > your just mad because hes a spirtual teacher and making money?

      Again, can’t speak for the OP, but the notion that everyone is as greedy is Tolle just shows a lack of experience of life. Get out of the $piritpreneur bookshop/website and look at what’s happening out there. Non-greedy people working for the benefit of their communities abound.

  45. In one of et talks he even warns about being addicted to ur spiritual guru..i am from india and have seen many spiritual gurus,most of them claiming that their method to enlightment is the best. They all give their talk in such a way that we would want to buy their products or attend their yoga classes. But eckart tolle tells us all methods lead to the same place and the method does not matter..He tells us not to be addicted to any method or spiritual guru. In his talks he tells that watever he says are just pointers and we must not be attatched to them.. I think he is the only genuine spiritual guru..

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