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Buddhist quotes


Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment - Buddha

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 - Buddha

It is better to travel well than to arrive - Buddha

We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world - Buddha

It is a man's own mind, not his enemy or foe, that lures him to evil ways - Buddha

Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care for people will hear them and be influenced by them for good or ill - Buddha

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 - Buddha

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 - Buddha

To keep the body in good health is a duty... otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear - Buddha

To live a pure unselfish life, one must count nothing as one's own in the midst of abundance - Buddha

The mind is everything. What you think you become - Buddha

Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship - Buddha

Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth

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 - Buddha

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned - Buddha

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 - Buddha

Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without - Buddha

You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection - Buddha

You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger - Buddha

Do not overrate what you have received, nor envy others. He who envies others does not obtain peace of mind - Buddha

Just as a candle cannot burn without fire, men cannot live without a spiritual life - Buddha

There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting - Buddha

We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves - Buddha

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 - Buddha

No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path - Buddha

The wise ones fashioned speech with their thought, sifting it as grain is sifted through a sieve - Buddha

When one has the feeling of dislike for evil, when one feels tranquil, one finds pleasure in listening to good teachings; when one has these feelings and appreciates them, one is free of fear - Buddha

What is the appropriate behavior for a man or a woman in the midst of this world, where each person is clinging to his piece of debris? What's the proper salutation between people as they pass each other in this flood? - Buddha

The only real failure in life is not to be true to the best one knows - Buddha

Those who are free of resentful thoughts surely find peace - Buddha

Chaos is inherent in all compounded things. Strive on with diligence - Buddha

Even death is not to be feared by one who has lived wisely - Buddha

However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them?

Better than a thousand hollow words, is one word that brings peace - Buddha

In a controversy the instant we feel anger we have already ceased striving for the truth, and have begun striving for ourselves - Buddha

He who loves 50 people has 50 woes; he who loves no one has no woes - Buddha

Hatred does not cease by hatred, but only by love; this is the eternal rule - Buddha

Unity can only be manifested by the Binary. Unity itself and the idea of Unity are already two - Buddha

The virtues, like the Muses, are always seen in groups. A good principle was never found solitary in any breast - Buddha

Virtue is persecuted more by the wicked than it is loved by the good - Buddha

All wrong-doing arises because of mind. If mind is transformed can wrong-doing remain? - Buddha

A jug fills drop by drop - Buddha

The foot feels the foot when it feels the ground - Buddha

I never see what has been done; I only see what remains to be done - Buddha

What we think, we become - Buddha

I do not believe in a fate that falls on men however they act; but I do believe in a fate that falls on them unless they act - Buddha

Work out your own salvation. Do not depend on others - Buddha

Without health life is not life; it is only a state of langour and suffering - an image of death - Buddha

You only lose what you cling to - Buddha

No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path - Buddha

Now, Kalamas, don’t go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, ‘This contemplative is our teacher.’ When you know for yourselves that, ‘These qualities are skillful; these qualities are blameless; these qualities are praised by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to welfare & to happiness’ — then you should enter & remain in them - Buddha

It is like a lighted torch whose flame can be distributed to ever so many other torches which people may bring along; and therewith they will cook food and dispel darkness, while the original torch itself remains burning ever the same. It is even so with the bliss of the Way - Buddha

Whatever a monk keeps pursuing with his thinking and pondering, that becomes the inclination of his awareness - Buddha

Greater in battle than the man who would conquer a thousand-thousand men, is he who would conquer just one — himself. Better to conquer yourself than others. When you've trained yourself, living in constant self-control, neither a deva nor gandhabba, nor a Mara banded with Brahmas, could turn that triumph back into defeat - Buddha

These... things, householder, are welcome, agreeable, pleasant, & hard to obtain in the world: Long life is welcome, agreeable, pleasant, & hard to obtain in the world. Beauty is welcome, agreeable, pleasant, & hard to obtain in the world. Happiness is welcome, agreeable, pleasant, & hard to obtain in the world. Status is welcome, agreeable, pleasant, & hard to obtain in the world. ...Now, I tell you, these... things are not to be obtained by reason of prayers or wishes. If they were to be obtained by reason of prayers or wishes, who here would lack them? It's not fitting for the disciple of the noble ones who desires long life to pray for it or to delight in doing so. Instead, the disciple of the noble ones who desires long life should follow the path of practice leading to long life. In so doing, he will attain long life... - Buddha

Purity or impurity depends on oneself, No one can purify another - Buddha

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 - Buddha

Attachment leads to suffering - Buddha

The Way is not in the sky; the Way is in the heart - Buddha

True change is within; leave the outside as it is - Dalai Lama

Compassion is not religious business, it is human business, it is not luxury, it is essential for our own peace and mental stability, it is essential for human survival - Dalai Lama

Through countless births in the cycle of existence I have run, not finding although seeking the builder of this house; and again and again I faced the suffering of new birth. Oh housebuilder! Now you are seen. You shall not build a house again for me. All your beams are broken, the ridgepole is shattered. The mind has become freed from conditioning: the end of craving has been reached - Buddha

The virtuous man delights in this world and he delights in the next - Buddha

All phenomena do not inherently exist because of being dependent-arisings. All phenomena do not inherently exist because of being dependently imputed - Buddha

Watchfulness is the path of immortality: Unwatchfulness is the path of death. Those who are watchful never die: Those who do not watch are already as dead. Those who with a clear mind have seen this truth, Those who are wise and ever watchful, They feel the joy of watchfulness, The joy of the path of the great. And those who in high thought and in deep contemplation With ever living power advance on the path, They in the end reach NIRVANA, The peace supreme and infinite joy - Buddha

Like a lamp, dispelling the darkness of ignorance - Dalai Lama

Whether our action is wholesome or unwholesome depends on whether that action or deed arises from a disciplined or undisciplined state of mind. It is felt that a disciplined mind leads to happiness and an undisciplined mind leads to suffering, and in fact it is said that bringing about discipline within one's mind is the essence of the Buddha's teaching - Dalai Lama

Yes, Kālāmas, it is proper that your have doubt, that you have perplexity, for a doubt has arisen in a matter which is doubtful. Now, look you Kālāmas, do not be led by reports, or traditions, or hearsay. Be not led by the authority of religious texts, not by the delight in speculative opinions, nor by seeming possibilities, not by the idea: 'this is our teacher'. But, O Kālāmas, when you know for yourself that certain things are unwholesome, and wrong, and bad, then give them up... And when you know for yourself that certain things are wholesome and good, then accept them and follow them - Buddha

Ultimately humanity is one, and this small planet is our only home. If we're to protect this home of ours, each of us needs to experience a vivid sense of universal altruism and compassion - Dalai Lama

Subhuti, someone might fill innumerable worlds with the seven treasures and give all away in gifts of alms, but if any good man or any good woman awakens the thought of Enlightenment and takes even only four lines from this Discourse, reciting, using, receiving, retaining and spreading them abroad and explaining them for the benefit of others, it will be far more meritorious. Now in what manner may he explain them to others? By detachment from appearances-abiding in Real Truth. -So I tell you- Thus shall you think of all this fleeting world: A star at dawn, a bubble in a stream; A flash of lightening in a summer cloud, A flickering lamp, a phantom, and a dream. When Buddha finished this Discourse the venerable Subhuti, together with the bhikshus, bhikshunis, lay-brothers and sisters, and the whole realms of Gods, Men and Titans, were filled with joy by His teaching, and, taking it sincerely to heart they went their ways - Buddha

When the Aggregates arise, decay and die, O bhikkhu, every moment you are born, decay, and die - Buddha

You are as the yellow leaf. The messengers of death are at hand. You are to travel far away. What will you take with you? You are the lamp To lighten the way. Then hurry, hurry. When your light shines Without impurity or desire You will come into the boundless country. Your life is falling away. Death is at hand. Where will you rest on the way? What have you taken with you? You are the lamp To lighten the way. Then hurry, hurry. When your light shines purely You will not be born And you will not die - Buddha

Live in joy, in love, even among those who hate. Live in joy, in health, even among the afflicted. Live in joy, in peace, even among the troubled. Look within, be still. Free from fear and attachment, know the sweet joy of the way - Buddha

Greater than all the joys Of heaven and earth, Greater still than dominion Over all the worlds, Is the joy of reaching the stream - Buddha

Like a caring mother holding and guarding the life of her only child, so with a boundless heart of lovingkindness, hold yourself and all beings as your beloved children - Buddha

Suppose a man threw into the sea a yoke with one hole in it, and the east wind carried it to the west, and the west wind carried it to the east, and the north wind carried it to the south, and the south wind carried it to the north. Suppose there were a blind turtle that came up once at the end of each century. What do you think, bhikkhus? Would that blind turtle put his neck into that yoke with one hole in it?" "He might, venerable sir, sometime or other at the end of a long period." "Bhikkhus, the blind turtle would sooner put his neck into that yoke with a single hole in it than a fool, once gone to perdition, would take to regain the human state, I say. Why is that? Because there is no practising of the Dhamma there, no practising of what is righteous, no doing of what is wholesome, no performance of merit. There mutual devouring prevails, and the slaughter of the weak - Buddha

If a person shows anger to you, and you show anger in return, the result is disaster. If you nurse hatred, you will never be happy, even in the lap of luxury. By contrast, if you control your anger and show its opposite - love, compassion, tolerance, and patience - then not only do you remain in peace, but gradually the anger of others also will diminish - Buddha

I shall live here in the rains, There in winter, Elsewhere in summer," muses the fool, Not aware of the nearness of death - Buddha

Meditate, Ānanda, do not delay, or else you will regret it later. This is our instruction to you - Buddha

How blissful it is, for one who has nothing. Attainers-of-wisdom are people with nothing. See him suffering, one who has something, a person bound in mind with people - Buddha

To practice tantra requires even greater compassion and greater intelligence than are required on the sutra path; thus, though many persons in the degenerate era are interested in tantra, tantra is not for degenerate persons. Tantra is limited to persons whose compassion is so great that they cannot bear to spend unnecessary time in attaining Buddhahood, as they want to be a supreme source of help and happiness for others quickly - Dalai Lama

So too, friend, purification of virtue is for the sake of reaching purification of mind; purification of mind is for the sake of reaching purification of view; purification of view is for the sake of reaching purification by overcoming doubt; purification by overcoming doubt is for the sake of reaching purification by knowledge and vision of what is the path and what is not the path; purification by knowledge and vision of what is the path and what is not the path is for the sake of reaching purification by knowledge and vision of the way; purification by knowledge and vision of the way is for the sake of reaching purification by knowledge and vision; purification by knowledge and vision is for the sake of reaching final Nibbāna [Nirvana] without clinging. It is for the sake of final Nibbāna without clinging that the holy life is lived under the Blessed One - Buddha

Resolutely train yourself to attain peace - Buddha

We must conduct research and then accept the results. If they don't stand up to experimentation, Buddha's own words must be rejected - Dalai Lama

The teachings of Buddha are eternal, but even then Buddha did not proclaim them to be infallible - Dalai Lama The religion of Buddha has the capacity to change according to times, a quality which no other religion can claim to have... Now what is the basis of Buddhism? - Dalai Lama If you study carefully, you will see that Buddhism is based on reason. There is an element of flexibility inherent in it, which is not found in any other religion - Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar

On the philosophical level, both Buddhism and modern science share a deep suspicion of any notion of absolutes, whether conceptualize as a transcendent being, as an eternal, unchanging principle such as soul, or as a fundamental substratum of reality. ... In the Buddhist investigation of reality, at least in principle, empirical evidence should triumph over scriptural authority, no matter how deeply venerated a scripture may be - Dalai Lama

On life's journey Faith is nourishment, Virtuous deeds are a shelter, Wisdom is the light by day and Right mindfulness is the protection by night. If a man lives a pure life nothing can destroy him; If he has conquered greed nothing can limit his freedom - Buddha

Believe nothing on the faith of traditions, even though they have been held in honor for many generations and in diverse places. Do not believe a thing because many people speak of it. Do not believe on the faith of the sages of the past. Do not believe what you yourself have imagined, persuading yourself that a God inspires you. Believe nothing on the sole authority of your masters and priests. After examination, believe what you yourself have tested and found to be reasonable, and conform your conduct thereto - Buddha

One of his students asked Buddha, "Are you the messiah?" "No", answered Buddha. "Then are you a healer?" "No", Buddha replied. "Then are you a teacher?" the student persisted. "No, I am not a teacher." "Then what are you?" asked the student, exasperated. "I am awake", Buddha replied.

Live in Joy, In love, Even among those who hate. Live in joy, In health, Even among the afflicted. Live in joy, In peace, Even among the troubled. Look within. Be still. Free from fear and attachment, Know the sweet joy of living in the way. ~ There is no fire like greed, No crime like hatred, No sorrow like separation, No sickness like hunger of heart, And no joy like the joy of freedom. Health, contentment and trust Are your greatest possessions, And freedom your greatest joy. Look within. Be still. Free from fear and attachment, Know the sweet joy of living in the way. from the Dhammapada, Words of the Buddha

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion - Dalai Lama

As the Buddha was dying, Ananda asked who would be their teacher after death. He replied to his disciple - "Be lamps unto yourselves. Be refuges unto yourselves. Take yourself no external refuge. Hold fast to the truth as a lamp. Hold fast to the truth as a refuge. Look not for a refuge in anyone besides yourselves. And those, Ananda, who either now or after I am dead, Shall be a lamp unto themselves, Shall betake themselves as no external refuge, But holding fast to the truth as their lamp, Holding fast to the truth as their refuge, Shall not look for refuge to anyone else besides themselves, It is they who shall reach to the very topmost height; But they must be anxious to learn."

As human beings we all want to be happy and free from misery. We have learned that the key to happiness is inner peace. The greatest obstacles to inner peace are disturbing emotions such as anger and attachment, fear and suspicion, while love and compassion, a sense of universal responsibility are the sources of peace and happiness. - Dalai Lama

Love yourself and be awake - today, tomorrow, always. First establish yourself in the way, then teach others, and so defeat sorrow. To straighten the crooked you must first do a harder thing - straighten yourself. You are the only master. Who else? Subdue yourself, and discover your master.

The whole purpose of religion is to facilitate love and compassion, patience, tolerance, humility, forgiveness. - Dalai Lama

We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make our world. - Buddha

First, rely on the spirit and meaning of the teachings, not on the words; Second, rely on the teachings, not on the personality of the teacher; Third, rely on real wisdom, not superficial interpretation; And fourth, rely on the essence of your pure Wisdom Mind, not on judgmental perceptions. Traditional Buddhist teaching

The disciples were absorbed in a discussion of Lao-tzu's dictum: "Those who know, do not say; Those who say, do not know." When the master entered, they asked him what the words meant. Said the master, "Which of you knows the fragrance of a rose?" All of them indicated that they knew. Then he said, "Put it into words." All of them were silent.

Pray Meditate Be aware/Stay awake Bow Practise yoga Feel Chant and sing Breathe and smile Relax/Enjoy/Laugh/Play Create/Envision Let Go/Forgive/Accept Walk/Exercise/Move Work/Serve/Contribute Listen/Learn/Enquire Consider/Reflect Cultivate oneself/Enhance competencies Cultivate contentment Cultivate flexibility Cultivate friendship and collaboration Lighten up Celebrate and appreciate Dream Give thanks Evolve Love Share/Give/Receive Walk softly/Live gently Expand/Radiate/Dissolve Simplify Surrender/Trust Be born anew

Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn't anyone who doesn't appreciate kindness and compassion. - Dalai Lama

Pay no attention to the faults of others, things done or left undone by others. Consider only what by oneself is done or left undone.

The secret of happiness lies in the mind's release from worldly ties.

Believe nothing merely because you have been told it. Do not believe what your teacher tells you merely out of respect for the teacher. But whatever, after due examination and analysis, you find to be kind, conducive to the good, the benefit, the welfare of all beings - that doctrine believe and cling to, and take it as your guide. - Buddha

1. Spend 5 minutes at the beginning of each day remembering we all want the same things (to be happy and be loved) and we are all connected to one another.
2. Spend 5 minutes breathing in, cherishing yourself; and, breathing out cherishing others. If you think about people you have difficulty cherishing, extend your cherishing to them anyway.
3. During the day extend that attitude to everyone you meet. Practice cherishing the "simplest" person (clerks, attendants, etc) or people you dislike.
4. Continue this practice no matter what happens or what anyone does to you.
These thoughts are very simple, inspiring and helpful. The practice of cherishing can be taken very deeply if done wordlessly, allowing yourself to feel the love and appreciation that already exists in your heart. - Dalai Lama