In 2014, I wrote a blog. “Eckhart Tolle is on the rich man’s list. Is this the price of enlightenment?” I have added a further comment.

In 2014, I wrote a critique on the wealth of Eckhart Tolle, the well-known spiritual teacher and author of THE POWER OF NOW, one of the mostly widely read spiritual books in the last two decades.

The critique encouraged a recommendation to Mr Tolle to offer all or some of his teachings on dana (donation) for the single parent, student, low income, unemployed and elderly to have the opportunity to attend his retreats. People in the low-income category can only use Youtube for his teachings, which have been important for many people. He only offers residential teachings for the wealthy and online teachings for those with significant disposable income.

The blog received a wide range of comments from strong appreciations to fierce criticisms. I believe this blog may have had more responses than any other of my blogs.  Readers comments are at the foot of the 2014 blog. Some have strong views and emotions around money issues. This is the link to the blog followed below is my response in the Comments section.

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

For the first time, I added today 02 May 2021, a short response.

Thank you for all your comments over seven years of my 2014 blog on the wealth of Eckhart Tolle. I have received a full range of appreciations and criticisms of my concerns about spirituality and accumulation of immense wealth. Thank you for taking the time to write.

Jesus said: “Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” (Matthew 19.23). I still agree with Jesus, who stated this on more than one occasion.

Eckhart’s wealth at that time was estimated at $15,000,000. Today, the net worth of Eckhart Tolle is around $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 can unite on YouTube to listen to his teachings.

It might be that Eckhart finds himself in the unenviable position of being a marketable product. Eckhart comes across as a kindly man. He may lack the power and authority to insist the Eckhart Tolle Foundation offers regular affordable residential/Zoom teachings for those who wish to see him in person or ask direct questions, via Zoom.

My concern has not changed. What is the problem of offering residential/Zoom teachings to those struggling to make ends meet?

Does Mr. Tolle and his Foundation think people, who attend on a donation basis or pay a minimal charge, do not have the same level of commitment as those with significant disposable income? Are low-income people left to view Youtube talks?

I googled Eckhart Tolle and money. There are plenty of critical responses to his expensive courses ranging from several hundred dollars to thousands of dollars. Expensive courses tend to reinforce a common view that spiritual teachers are in it for the money. Eckhart is a prominent name in spirituality. His teachings attract people to spiritual practices. but his accumulation of immense wealth also puts people off spirituality.

What Eckhart said about money

In an interview in 2010, Eckhart said: “An enlightened person or business is not concerned primarily with making money, because when you are concerned with making money you want the future more than the present.”

A spiritual person does not have to be lost in futuristic thinking around money to get on the Rich Man’s List.  He or she simply shows little awareness of accumulating staggering wealth through their spiritual business.  This may show a lack of empathy for those with modest or little income who would benefit from his guidance.

Is it appropriate to use money as the criterion for access to a spiritual teacher in the real world or in a Zoom session?

There is more to life than just living in the Now.

May all spiritual teachings in the physical world be available to all regardless of income

May all being understand the co-dependency of past, present and future

May all beings understand the timeless – unbound to the now

7 thoughts on “In 2014, I wrote a blog. “Eckhart Tolle is on the rich man’s list. Is this the price of enlightenment?” I have added a further comment.”

  1. What cracks me up is that you all assume he’s just hoarding all these millions to himself, when it’s on record that he anonymously donates large sums of money to charities.

    He has hundreds of hours of free, long form content online. More than enough for anyone actually doing the practice to reap the full benefits. If someone’s in a position to pay for more expensive retreats, good. That money will go to his foundation.

    This whole article could be summed up as “I have no idea what he does with his money”


    Has love and compassion perfected his life and actions? Is he a manifestation of love when he’s profited out of his desperate followers to the une of $80 million in a world where 9-30 million people die each year owing to malnutrition or starvation, most of them children? Does he ever really talk about the immense suffering in the world and the appallingly tragic condition of the Earth and the whole of humanity? I don’t mean passing references here. Do you actually see him conveying love and compassion at all, and would love and compassion be dependent on money or sex? Please answer me this, because my criticism of his teaching is even more severe. Does he teach you to actually be a light to yourself, to actually understand yourself so that you don’t need to rely on another? He doesn’t AT ALL. He fills your heads with his insights, which become your mere ideas, conclusions, not based on perception but on what he says. But knowledge is not the fact; knowledge is mere representation of the actual: therefore no knowledge is certain. Only the actual perception of what is gives true insight into what is, but if you take Tolle’s word for it you will never even think to enquire. You’ll think you already know and accumulate ‘knowledge’. But understanding what is is not an accumulative process at all. You shed rather then accumulate. You gain clarity rather than clutter. But you don’t need anyone to perceive and understand what is, as it is. He’s stolen perception from you and sold it back to you as meditation. That is not enlightenment: that is deception, exploitation, and enormous violence because it gives people the illusion of progress when in fact there is just the old accumulation of words from people who say they know. If you sift his techintg for substance then tell me what, precisely, is his ground breaking insight. Please people, just use your reason and your eyes. Look how incredibly gullible we are. We have to become a light unto ourselves otherwise life is in vain.

  3. I can only hope what is to follow is from my higher self and not my ego….although most likely it may be a combination of both. In fact I question whether I am inspired to write this comes from H.S. or my ego.

    “When we do not accept what is we suffer”. “Thou shall love thy neighbor as thyself”. What if everyone on this planet were awakened enough to do just that, but alas we are far far from that. So, it would seem our get out of jail free card would be “Forgive them Father for they know not what they do”. But that isn’t even entirely true.

    I am a new student of A Course in Miracles. To say that I am confused and questioning is an understatement. I came by Christopher’s blog because I have read Eckhart’s books, saw him on Oprah and listen to him on Youtube. So I get Eckhart’s emails and I was a bit turned off by the many pricey retreats offered so in my googling that subject matter I came across this blog. I read the first blog on this subject as well. I agree that Eckhart has become an industry and in any industry there are many employees that need to be paid for their work and many other expenses involved with events, books etc. on such a grand scale. That is just the way of this world. However, I do understand that there are many people who do not have the means to attend these events. I don’t know what Eckhart’s foundation actually does so I can’t speak about it. I do know there is another quote that speaks to giving for the sake of giving and not for the ego’s love of accolades. “Do not let your right hand know what your left hand is doing”. So for all we know there is a lot of giving that we are not aware of.

    However much money Eckhart’s teachings and speaking engagements generates for himself, his staff and any other benefactors, he is still on this planet to do what he was called to do just as any other teacher in history and in our time was and is called to do. My ego wants to question and judge but my journey is to choose to listen with my higher self so as to not miss the messages and teachings no matter how flawed the teacher may appear.

  4. Steve Williamson

    I have a number of Tolle’s books and often listen to his talks on YouTube. Whilst I find his words insightful and inspirational I can’t see anything wrong in asking how the fortune that he acquires sits with his spiritual teaching. I can see something wrong in assuming that someone who asks that question is jealous.

  5. Diamond D get a life . Every comment you made about Titmuss is , back at ya , full of sourness and jealousy. I’ve known him him for years and this guy walks his talk. Get a grip on your anger


    The articles from Titmuss indicate quite transparently his issues and problems and hot buttons and his own attachment to money, which he glaringly has not worked through and needs to, because until he does his opinion pieces will continue to be in the same vein (rut) of simple jealousy and sour grapes. I can’t find in them any indication of spiritual advancement, spiritual teachings, or spiritual anything. Just unhappiness with the success and AUTHENTICITY of another teacher’s work, in this case Eckhart Tolle.

    Tolle’s work is excellent. And it is accessible to everyone, whether they listen to the free books and talks online or choose to pay for the classes and trainings and in person lectures. Just today i listened to one of his talks online and he spoke at length on the charitable foundation he has established to donate his wealth and continue the donations after he passes. And yes his donations are anonymous. The highest form of charity is anonymous. Where the giver is not wallowing in ego expecting adulation and praise for their generosity, or using it as publicity for their business. And where the recipient does not know the source of the money. That is what giving looks like, it is not visible, it is not fodder for your gossip and jealousy.

    Focus on doing the work. Eckhart Tolle walks the talk. I can’t say the same for Mr. Titmuss’ articles.

  7. I’m not a Christian but I agree with Jesus also.

    I’m not sure why it’s so universally accepted that consumer capitalism is the only way of living as a human being? Or even the *preferred* way…

    Why base your society on one of the worst aspects of the human psyche instead of the nicer traits?

    There have been many examples of better organisation in the past but they all seem to have got stomped on .

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