Let’s get right to it. Here’s how I use Eckhart Tolle in my daily life. And again, as the title states, it’s a tad hokey. But I don’t care. It’s effective for me.

What I do is, whenever I find myself in a challenging, upsetting or uncomfortable situation, I ask myself:

“What would Eckhart do?”

So, there you have it. First, some background.

My path is about mindful living

I’ve done a ton of reading, studying and meditating over a wide gamut of spiritual traditions and concepts over this past decade. What it has all added up to is this: Being present, mindful and conscious is how I want to be. That is my life’s work now.

In all that studying, watching and reading, I’ve found nobody who embodies conscious presence more than Eckhart. That’s the reason I’ve spent countless hours watching his talks over the years.

It’s about Eckhart’s presence

The content of what he says rarely diverts from a few key concepts. But simply being in his presence, through watching him speak, speaks to the presence in me.

So when I get into those stressful situations what I’m really asking is,

“What’s the mindful, conscious way of responding to this?”

What types of situations am I referring to? Mostly ones which have stirred our egos.

A clear example would be the billing dispute I got in with my accountant the past few weeks (which was the topic of my last article — link here). My insides got all riled up over something that was completely ego-related.

“This guy is ripping me off! No way I’m paying that!”

You want to know what had a practical, helpful effect on this? Asking myself what Eckhart would do.

Did that clear up and dissolve all the crazy thoughts and feelings that were coursing through my mind and body for several days? No. Check my previous article for how I handled that.

It helped with my actual responses

But where it did help was in the actual responding I did on the matter. How?

For example, I’d get an email from the accountant with hard-ass, uncompromising language which would, of course, get my bile stirred up. That is when it was helpful to ask what Eckhart would do.

Would he react by dashing off a nasty retort? No.

Relax into presence BEFORE responding

He would relax, be conscious of his breath and muster a state of presence. Only after doing that would he respond.

Which is what I did. I never told this guy to go ‘F’ himself or anything close to it. My responses were firm, but devoid of unconscious, egoic language.

Thanks to Eckhart.

I hope you’ll consider using this in your own life. Evoke Eckhart’s presence the next time you feel like you’re about to blow your stack and do something you’ll regret. Like what?


– One of the moms at your kid’s school acts inexplicably cold toward you and every fiber of your egoic being wants to tell her off.

– Your flight gets cancelled and the agent can’t find another flight until the next day.

– Your husband complains about having to travel to see your family for the holidays even though you only go there once a year.

I find that evoking Eckhart’s image has the effect of immediately halting a reactionary, unconscious response. It calms me at the point I most need to remain calm.

It doesn’t have to be Eckhart

If you’re not familiar with Eckhart or if he doesn’t float your spiritual boat, think of someone who does. If you’re a devout Christian, it doesn’t get any better than asking “What Would Jesus Do?”

Or maybe your favorite spiritual guide is Yogananda. Or Ram Dass. Or Moses. Or even Oprah Winfrey.

It doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that this guide teaches something resembling calm, compassionate, mindful behavior, which just about all of them do.

The mindful response is always best

Because here’s the thing. The mindful, present response is ALWAYS the best response. Always.

Even if you’re at a liquor store and somebody wearing a ski mask barges in, sticks a sawed-off shotgun in your face and demands your money, being as present as possible is your best course of action. Ditto for every other situation.

The bottom line is that reacting from a state of egoic fury, impatience, jealousy, fear or otherwise, is never a good idea. It’s normal. And it makes sense given our humanness. But it doesn’t serve our interests.

That’s why it’s so important to devote ourselves to the work of letting go of that ego that lies at the root of our unconscious behavior.

Figure out what works for you

But there is no one technique, practice or spiritual formula that works for everybody. We all need to figure out the spiritual stew that works for us.

Which is why I try to come up with these wacky ideas/short cuts to help nudge us along the path. This “What Would Eckhart/Jesus/Gandhi/MLK/Ram Dass Do?” is one of those devices that really works. At least it does for me.

The calming image of Eckhart

It gives me an instant image to conjure in my mind when I feel my lower self donning its war armor and preparing for battle. That calm, conscious image of Eckhart leads me to drop my sword and shield and gather my present wits about me.

Whether you’re dealing with your mother-in-law, boss or American Airlines gate agent, asking yourself what your favorite spiritual guide would do in that situation is all upside.