Modern Dog Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Connie Wilson recently
sat down with Eckhart Tolle, number one New York Times bestselling
author of The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual
. Widely recognized as one of the most influential
spiritual books of our time, The Power of Now has been translated
into over 30 languages and has helped countless people
around the globe awaken to the spiritual dimension in their
lives, find inner peace, increased joy, and more harmonious

It was seven years ago that I first encountered the teachings
of Eckhart Tolle. I was at a crossroads in my life,
unemployed and searching for the next path I should take.
I decided to enroll in an entrepreneurial course and it was
there, sitting in that classroom, that I first heard a passage from
The Power of Now. I’ll never forget the words, as I knew without
a doubt that something very significant had happened to me. I
went out and bought The Power of Now, followed by several of
Tolle’s other books. I keep them close at hand and frequently
refer to them. I never put one down without having gained deeper
insight into myself, my relationships, and the world around

When I recently learned that, like me, Tolle has a dog that
figures prominently in his life, I felt compelled to contact him
to see if he would grant me an interview for Modern Dog. It’s
through this dog connection that I got the opportunity to meet this
remarkable human being and his Cavalier King Charles Spaniel,
Maya, in their peaceful home on the edge of Pacific Spirit Park in
Vancouver, British Columbia. I hope you find as much inspiration
in his thoughts and teachings as I have.

CW: Just looking at Maya right now…she’s sitting and playing
with her toy. I guess that’s a perfect example of being "in
the Now"-in the present moment. Can you give us any other
examples that are dog-related?

ET: To simply watch a dog without any kind of mental commentary,
just tune in…there’s a link. Something else that’s very
important for many people is they realize, consciously or unconsciously,
that their dog is not judging them. For some people, it’s
the only relationship that they have where there’s no fear and
where they realize they are being accepted and not judged. For
many people it’s the only relationship they have with another
being. That’s a pity, because really they should have deep relationships
with humans also, but that’s difficult because every
human being has a mind and every human being judges and so
people become afraid, they withdraw, they put up barriers.
I believe that dogs are keeping millions of people sane who
would otherwise become deeply neurotic in our alienated world.
So, the dog keeps you in touch with being-beyond mind-Being,
the innermost core.
You can look into the eyes of the dog and see that innermost
core. There are teachings that say every being is a spark of the
divine of God. You can see it sometimes more clearly [in dogs]
than in a human being because the human being has the veil of
mind, negative emotions, and ego, and plays a role.
I believe that dogs fill a vital function in the collective consciousness
of humanity. I would call them "the Guardians of
Being." They show us what we have lost and, once we realize
that, they can help us in our shift into a deeper state of consciousness.
Of course, we don’t want to be confined to only deep relationships
with dogs, but they can teach us how to relate deeply to
another being and then we can learn to relate deeply to humans
also. That has to be the next step.

CW: I think that’s very well said. In your book, you say we
operate in a "fear-based society" and I think that has a lot to do
with whether or not you want to show somebody how you honestly
feel about them-you really love them but maybe they’re not
going to give you that love back, so you’re afraid to demonstrate
love and you close yourself off.

ET: Yes, it’s wonderful to see, when I walk with Maya, people
come and immediately their hearts open…they may not even look
at me, they look at Maya; they pat her. They wouldn’t dare do
that to me though it would be quite nice. (laughs)

CW: You’ve had Maya for three years. How has she affected
your life and your teachings?

ET: Before Maya came, I didn’t go out in the forest here, which
is right next to the building. Now I go for a walk in the forest
every day, and I know it’s good for my body, it’s good for the

CW: That’s quite a gift in itself. Is Maya your first dog ever?

ET: Yes.

CW: To what do you attribute the increasing popularity of

ET: It’s the alienation of modern society and the human need to
relate deeply to another being, which they are unable to do with
humans. I hope this is changing, but in the meantime, dogs offer
the opportunity to relate to and to have an open heart towards
another being. To be able to show love to another being which
is always [reciprocated]. That’s why I think dogs have a function
that is absolutely vital, to keep humanity sane in this transitional
period between two states of consciousness.
"For some people, it’s the only
relationship where there’s no fear
and where they realize they are being
accepted and not judged." 103

CW: You could speak firsthand of the
thousands and thousands of people in
whose lives you’ve made a difference. It
must feel absolutely incredible.

ET: Yes, it’s wonderful.

CW: Did you have an idea that you
would have this opportunity to do this
and become so well recognized as a

ET: No. When I was writing The Power
of Now, I realized that [the book was]
important [but] I thought it would reach
only relatively few people. It would
transform people, but I didn’t realize that
so many people would be open to it. I
thought only people that were deeply spiritual
might recognize the truths. It helped
those people but, for many people, The
Power of Now was the first spiritual book
they had read and it was deeply meaningful
and transformed them. That was a
surprise and it surprised us how quickly it
grew because it was published on a very
small scale at first in 1998; 3,000 copies
were printed and that first year it just sold
through word of mouth. Then it grew and
grew and magazines wrote about it and
ultimately it reached Oprah.

CW: You start The Power of Now with
a caption, "You are here to enable the
divine purpose of the Universe to unfold.
That is how important you are." Do you
think that dogs are here for that purpose
as well or are they here to act as muses to
help assist us on that journey?

ET: Right now, part of the dog’s divine
purpose is to assist humans. That’s why
they have chosen to be with humans.
They have been with humans for thousands
of years and now there is a link
between dogs and humans, much closer
than it has ever been. So part of their
divine purpose is to help us. But it always
goes both ways. Because by living with
humans, dogs also grow in consciousness…
it is reciprocal. They are helping
us; we are also helping the collective,
one could say, the "dog consciousness."
The two species are part of the evolution
of consciousness itself. They are different
expressions of the evolution of consciousness,
which is the purpose of the

CW: As you’ve become more recognized
and, well, famous, there are lots of
demands on your time. Do you find it’s
hard to adhere to your principles, such as
Being in the Now?

ET: If I were not careful and alert it
would be quite easy for things to take
over my life and I would get lost in innumerable
things I have to do-respond
to people, answer thousands of emails.
But I don’t. There are many things that I
don’t do. I even have to say no to many
interview requests. Occasionally, I have
an inner voice saying "yes." When your
request came, for some reason it came
from within and I said "yes." I always
trust this inner response. I don’t have
an outer thing that says "Oh, I must
do this or I should do that." There are
many things that I simply don’t do. And
a few things, when the answer comes
from within, when the positive response
comes, then I do it.

Lessons to be Learned From Your Dog
Eckhart Tolle on Being in the Now

There are various portals that you can
use to enter the Now. One portal is to
become aware of the energy field of
your body as you sit there. To feel that
you are actually alive in your hands and
your arms and your legs, throughout
your body. There is an aliveness that
most people cannot feel because they
are only in their heads, thinking. All their
attention is absorbed by thinking and
they are not present where they are. So
you can use this portal, the aliveness
of your inner body. You can use sense
perceptions…watch nature-trees or
animals or your dog. Just be alert as you
watch a dog, playing, resting; play with
a dog…you can learn being present from
an animal. Your dog can teach you to
be present because the dog is ready to
enjoy, celebrate life any moment…the
Now. The dog is in the Now so it can
teach you or remind you. When you
become burdened with problems, look
at your dog and see how the dog is
always ready to celebrate life.

Another opening is to ask yourself
whether you are friendly with the present
moment or whether you are making
the present moment into an obstacle or
enemy. If you are against it or want to
run away from it, you create stress, you
create anxiety, you create past guilt or
resentment…all these things that people
carry around, they are in the past, and
then you have the burden of the future
which you can’t control, so to come
to the present moment is actually a
transformation of consciousness. That’s
why The Power of Now has had such an
impact because it has told people that
they didn’t realize they could be present
and they could simplify and deepen their
lives tremendously and make it more