Eckhart Tolle: How to Develop Consciousness

by ronpass

Eckhart Tolle suggests genuine joy, creativity and happiness derive from consciousness. This article offers you ways to develop your consciousness to create a better life.

In a previous Wizzley article, Why Develop Consciousness?, I discussed how consciousness can free you from the imprisonment of your thoughts and emotions. In the current article, I explain ways that you can develop your consciousness to improve your quality of life. Each of these methods take only a moment but practice builds awareness and consciousness and leads inevitably to an improved quality of life - the reason why Eckhart Tolle's writings appeal to so many millions of people.

Eckhart Tolle: Developing Consciousness

Consciousness enriches every aspect of your life

Eckhart Tolle suggests that when you develop consciousness, you will open up a new world of fulfilment, excitement and energy.  You can find that you will:

  • take the right action in situations that previously seemed too complex and confounding
  • tap into your higher purpose while pursuing basic actions in your everyday life
  • influence others for the good of the whole by your very presence
  • be at peace even in situations of uncertainty
  • open yourself to creative possibilities.

What the future holds for you depends on your state of consciousness now.

(Eckhart Tolle, The New Earth, p271)

The Awakening of Consciousness

Alignment with the present moment
Awakening of Consciousness
Awakening of Consciousness

Consciousness Practice 1 - Conscious Breathing

Being aware of your life force

One of the simplest practices to develop consciousness is to focus your awareness on your in- breath and out-breath, the expansion and contraction of your chest and abdomen.

At first, you may find this a bit disconcerting because you become aware of how thin the 'veil' is between life and death - when you stop breathing, you stop living.  Breath is your life force and yet you pay so little attention to it.

With practice, conscious breathing can become a real source of contentment and peace as you allow yourself to rest from thoughts and emotions and remain in the tranquillity of your breathing.

Eckhart Tolle comments on this breathing practice:

Being aware of your breath forces you into the present moment - the key to inner transformation.  Whenever you are conscious of the breath, you are absolutely present.  You may also notice that you cannot think and be aware of your breathing.  Conscious breathing stops your mind.

(The New Earth, p. 246)

He suggests that with practice of conscious breathing you;

  • deepen your breathing (overcoming the problem of shallow breathing)
  • become aware of the "still point at the end of the out-breath"

Consciousness Practice 2 - Inner Body Meditation

Becoming aware of your inner body

You can begin this practice with conscious breathing to clear your thoughts and emotions.


The next step is to focus on a part of your body such as your foot.  You will feel a tingling sensation or vibration in your foot after a while.  This is a signal that you are starting to become aware of your inner body and the inner energy flow. 

When you have developed this sensation of inner energy, you can concentrate on another part of your body such as you leg and feel your awareness spread to this part of your body.  You can do this progressively and your awareness of your inner body will grow.



[Photo Credit: Red Footed Booby by sly08]

Author's Note: I'm not suggesting that your foot will go red like the web feet of this stunning bird - but the image does symbolize the energy that is in your feet and your whole inner body.

Consciousness Practice 3 - Being fully present to other people

Becoming aware of the consciousness of others

When you encounter other people in everyday life, you will typically engage in what Eckhart Tolle describes as 'role-playing'.

This is when you are trying to 'be something' or some role to make yourself seem stronger or to protect yourself.  Sometimes this role can be the 'knowledgeable expert',  'the child' or 'the helper'.  Eckhart Tolle suggests that these self-defined roles limit us and our interactions with other people.

It is also important not to accept how others define you because by that very act they are limiting themselves (because they are coming from a EGO need to compare themselves to you).

He argues that people who do not try to appear more than they really are, who operate from a deep sense of Being and consciousness, are the ones who make a real difference in the world.

His suggestion is to be fully present to the other person (not masked by an invented role):

Whenever you interact with people, don't be there primarily as a function or role, but as a field of Conscious Presence.

(Eckhart Tolle, The New Earth, p. 109)

Consciousness Practice 4 - Profound Listening

Being aware of your auditory world

It is so easy to miss the many sounds that surrounds us.  We typically only listen to a small number of the sounds that reach our ears.

This particular consciousness practice requires stillness on your part - stopping the thoughts and related emotions that whirl around inside you.

When you are still, you can then focus in on the sounds that surround you.  It is important to listen without trying to interpret or name the sounds. You need to just absorb the sounds.

You will be surprised at how much you normally miss - how little you actually tune into your auditory environment.  This practice is best undertaken away from traffic noise and other grating sounds. Ideally, it is best practiced in a natural environment.

Conscious Listening

Montville Reflections

Consciousness Practice 5 - Tree Meditations

Becoming aware of the aura of trees

Trees have a life force and an energy field.  You can test this by vocal toning (e.g. singing the sound, "oom") close to a tree...and then gradually moving away while still toning the sound.  You will notice your toning sound changes as you reach the outer aura of the tree.  You can reverse this process and you will sometimes find that the sound changes in two places - an outer aura ring and an inner aura ring of the tree.

You often hear the expression "hug a tree'. It is not as silly as it first appears because trees do have energy and you can tap into their energy field.  In fact, hugging a tree was a common exercise undertaken in personal development programs in the 8o's.


You don't have to go around hugging trees to change your level of consciousness, though.  You can just be still in the presence of a tree (or any other aspect of nature) and become aware of its energy and grandeur.  It will take some practice to quiet your mind and emotions but gradually you will feel enlivened by the experience.


I have practised this on a number of occasions and each time I have created a poem to express something of the enigma represented by the tree.  Some of these poems about trees are recorded on one of my Squidoo lenses.


Heightened Consciousness - A Massage Story

Manifesting healing through conscious caring

I recently had a remedial massage with a Samoan woman who is noted for her intuitive diagnosis and healing processes. 

I was a bit bewildered at first when she went very quiet while massaging me - I am used to her talking about her healing work and what she was trying to achieve with me through her massage.



I decided to go with the flow (Samoan massage is described as a form of flow massage), and concentrate on my breathing and the sensation of her working on my chest and back (to clear a chest infection).



At the end of the massage, the Samoan woman said that she had been manifesting healing for her father in Samoa while massaging me (in Australia).  Her father is suffering from an advanced stage of cancer.  I felt extremely privileged to experience healing from someone with such heightened consciousness.

Eckhart Tolle observes:that when you are overcoming some limitation and taking life-enhancing action in any domain, a new power will flow through you:

When you are present, when your attention is fully in the Now, that Presence will flow into and transform what you do.  There will be quality and power in it.  You are present when what you are doing is not primarily a means to an end (money, prestige, winning) but fulfilling in itself, when there is joy and aliveness in what you do.

(The New Earth, pp. 210-211)

 [Photo credit: Massage by o5com]

Books by Eckhart Tolle

Updated: 04/03/2012, ronpass
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