100+ Buddhist Quotes To Inspire You And Help Your Find Your Zen

by Team Scary Mommy
Originally Published: 
buddhist quotes
prateek katyal/ Unsplash

In our always-on world of parenting, social media, and work (whether it’s paid or unpaid labor), sometimes you just need a little zen. If you’re not sure where to turn for this type of calming inspiration — and have cycled through all the advice on Dove chocolate wrappers — you may want to look to Buddhism for some insight.

After all, one of the foundations of Buddhist practice is meditation. And while the practice is about a lot more than just harnessing your Qi, embracing Buddhist principles could help you reach your own personal state of nirvana.

Sounds pretty great, right? Well, soak up some divine insight from the following inspiring quotes from the Buddhist religion.

  1. “Do not dwell in the past. Do not dream of the future. Concentrate the mind on the present moment.”
  2. “It is in the nature of things that joy arises in a person free from remorse.”
  3. “It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you — not by angels or by demons, heaven, or hell.”
  4. “Even as a solid rock is unshaken by the wind, so are the wise unshaken by praise or blame.”
  5. “People with opinions just go around bothering each other.”
  6. “If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.”
  7. “A disciplined mind brings happiness.”
  8. “Most problems, if you give them enough time and space, will eventually wear themselves out.”
  9. “An idea that is developed and put into action is more important than an idea that exists only as an idea.”
  10. “You will not be punished for your anger. You will be punished by your anger.”
  11. “It is better to travel well than to arrive.”
  12. “Whatever is not yours: let go of it. Your letting go of it will be for your long-term happiness and benefit.”
  13. “Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.”
  14. “If with a pure mind a person speaks or acts, happiness follows them like a never-departing shadow.”
  15. “Just as the great ocean has one taste — the taste of salt — so also this teaching and discipline has one taste: the taste of liberation.”
  16. “It is easy to see the faults of others, but difficult to see one’s own faults.”
  17. “The only real failure in life is not to be true to the best one knows.”
  18. “It is ridiculous to think that somebody else can make you happy or unhappy.”
  19. “The way is not in the sky. The way is in the heart.”
  20. “One who, while himself seeking happiness, oppresses with violence other beings who also desire happiness, will not attain happiness hereafter.”
  21. “There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.”
  22. “If by renouncing a lesser happiness one may realize a greater happiness, let the wise one renounce the lesser, having regard for the greater.”
  23. “Our life is shaped by our mind; we become what we think. Suffering follows an evil thought as the wheels of a cart follow the oxen that draws it.”
  24. “Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”
  25. “Let him associate with friends who are noble, energetic, and pure in life. Let him be cordial and refined in conduct. Thus, full of joy, he will make an end of suffering.”
  26. “Your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart, give yourself to it.”
  27. “We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world.”
  28. “Our theories of the eternal are as valuable as are those which a chick which has not broken its way through its shell might form of the outside world.”
  29. “Happiness will never come to those who fail to appreciate what they already have.”
  30. “What we think, we become.“
  31. “Should a person do good, let him do it again and again. Let him find pleasure therein, for blissful is the accumulation of good.”
  32. “The mind is everything. What you think you become.”
  33. “I am the miracle.”
  34. “To be idle is a short road to death and to be diligent is a way of life; foolish people are idle, wise people are diligent.”
  35. “Drop by drop is the water pot filled. Likewise, the wise man, gathering it little by little, fills himself with good.”
  36. “We will develop and cultivate the liberation of mind by loving kindness, make it our vehicle, make it our basis, stabilize it, exercise ourselves in it, and fully perfect it.”
  37. “No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.”
  38. “Hatreds never cease through hatred in this world; through love alone they cease. This is an eternal law.”
  39. “One is not called noble who harms living beings. By not harming living beings one is called noble.”
  40. “Health is the greatest gift. Contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship.”
  41. “There is no fear for one whose mind is not filled with desires.”
  42. “Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.”
  43. “True love is born from understanding.”
  44. “There is no fire like passion, there is no shark like hatred, there is no snare like folly, there is no torrent like greed.”
  45. “Chaos is inherent in all compounded things. Strive on with diligence.”
  46. “To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one’s family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one’s own mind. If a man can control his mind he can find the way to Enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him.”
  47. “You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”
  48. “We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.”
  49. “If you wish to be gentle with others, be gentle first with yourself.”
  50. “Pain is certain, suffering is optional.”
  51. “Our sorrows and wounds are healed only when we touch them with compassion.”
  52. “Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.”
  53. “You should respect each other and refrain from disputes; you should not, like water and oil, repel each other, but should, like milk and water, mingle together.”
  54. “Kindness should become the natural way of life, not the exception.”
  55. “In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.”
  56. “Every morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.”
  57. “Speak only endearing speech, speech that is welcomed. Speech, when it brings no evil to others, is a pleasant thing.”
  58. “An insincere and evil friend is more to be feared than a wild beast; a wild beast may wound your body, but an evil friend will wound your mind.”
  59. “If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.”
  60. “As rain falls equally on the just and the unjust, do not burden your heart with judgments but rain your kindness equally on all.”
  61. “Be where you are; otherwise you will miss your life.”
  62. “Radiate boundless love towards the entire world — above, below, and across — unhindered, without ill will, without enmity.”
  63. “What you are is what you have been. What you’ll be is what you do now.”
  64. “Remembering a wrong is like carrying a burden on the mind.”
  65. “Teach this triple truth to all: A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity.”
  66. “A man is not called wise because he talks and talks again; but if he is peaceful, loving, and fearless then he is in truth called wise.”
  67. “If you light a lamp for somebody, it will also brighten your path.”
  68. “Purity or impurity depends on oneself, no one can purify another.”
  69. “Just as a snake sheds its skin, we must shed our past over and over again.”
  70. “Like a fine flower, beautiful to look at but without scent, fine words are fruitless in a man who does not act in accordance with them.”
  71. “Those who are free of resentful thoughts surely find peace.”
  72. “To insist on a spiritual practice that served you in the past is to carry the raft on your back after you have crossed the river.”
  73. “If you are quiet enough, you will hear the flow of the universe. You will feel its rhythm. Go with this flow. Happiness lies ahead. Meditation is key.”
  74. “If you find no one to support you on the spiritual path, walk alone.”
  75. “Stop, stop. Do not speak. The ultimate truth is not even to think.”
  76. “Generosity brings happiness at every stage of its expression. We experience joy in forming the intention to be generous. We experience joy in the actual act of giving something. And we experience joy in remembering the fact that we have given.”
  77. “Better than a thousand hollow words is one word that brings peace.”
  78. “The one in whom no longer exist the craving and thirst that perpetuate becoming; how could you track that awakened one, trackless, and of limitless range.”
  79. “She who knows life flows, feels no wear or tear, needs no mending or repair.”
  80. “Endurance is one of the most difficult disciplines, but it is to the one who endures that the final victory comes.”
  81. “Long is the night to him who is awake; long is a mile to him who is tired; long is life to the foolish who do not know the true law.”
  82. “There is no path to happiness: happiness is the path.”
  83. “Be vigilant; guard your mind against negative thoughts.”
  84. “When you realize how perfect everything is you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky.”
  85. “Life is so very difficult. How can we be anything but kind?”
  86. “The foot feels the foot when it feels the ground.”
  87. “You only lose what you cling to.”
  88. “Your purpose in life is to find your purpose and give your whole heart and soul to it.”
  89. “Just as treasures are uncovered from the earth, so virtue appears from good deeds, and wisdom appears from a pure and peaceful mind. To walk safely through the maze of human life, one needs the light of wisdom and the guidance of virtue.”
  90. “Ambition is like love: impatient both of delays and rivals.”
  91. “Love is a gift of one’s innermost soul to another so both can be whole.”
  92. “To live a pure unselfish life, one must count nothing as one’s own in the midst of abundance.”
  93. “Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.”
  94. “Whatever a monk keeps pursuing with his thinking and pondering, that becomes the inclination of his awareness.”
  95. “There is nothing so disobedient as an undisciplined mind, and there is nothing so obedient as a disciplined mind.”
  96. “Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.”
  97. “What we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday, and our present thoughts build our life of tomorrow: Our life is the creation of our mind.”
  98. “Have compassion for all beings, rich and poor alike; each has their suffering. Some suffer too much, others too little.”
  99. “Nothing can harm you as much as your own thoughts unguarded.”
  100. “In the sky, there is no distinction of east and west; people create distinctions out of their own minds and then believe them to be true.”
  101. “Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care, for people will hear them and be influenced by them for good or ill.”

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