120 Powerful Buddhist Quotes That’ll Change Your Life

This post is all about 120 Powerful Buddhist Quotes That’ll Change Your Life.

Powerful Buddhist quotes that'll change your life.

My favorite blog posts that I write are the ones that have a ton of wisdom – and this is definitely one of those posts. While I wish I could take credit, these quotes are all by amazing Buddhists who had or have an incredibly wise outlook on the world.

If you’re not familiar with Buddhism, let’s dive in to see to learn more about some of the most influential Buddhist figures.

1. Gautama Buddha: Siddhartha Gautama, also known as the Buddha, is the historical founder of Buddhism. Born in the 6th century BCE, he is referred to as the one who taught the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path. Buddha’s teachings have changed the lives of many.

2. Dalai Lama: The Dalai Lama is a spiritual leader in Tibetan Buddhism. The title “Dalai Lama” is given to the spiritual leader of the Gelug school, the latest being the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso.

How often are the Dalai Lama’s replaced, you ask? Not very often! Dalai Lama leaders are said to be the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama before them. They are “found”, so to speak, by a group of Tibetan monks who conduct a search to find this person when a new Dalai Lama is to be inducted.

3. Thich Nhat Hanh: Thich Nhat Hanh is a Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk, peace activist, and prolific author. He has written many books including “No Mud, No Lotus”, “Touching Peace: Practicing the Art of Mindful Living”, and “Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life”.

Thich Nhat Hanh has been a major player in introducing mindfulness practices to the West and is known for his teachings on Buddhism that emphasize mindfulness, peace, and compassion for others.

Now, let’s find you a Buddhist quote that will change your life…

Buddhist Quotes About Change That Will Change Your Life

Here are some of the best Buddha quotes on change:

1. “Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” – Buddha

2. “Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.” – Buddha 

3. “You only lose what you cling to.” – Buddha

4. “The trouble is, you think you have time.” – Buddha

5. “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.” – Buddha

6. “Better than a thousand hollow words, is one word that brings peace.” – Buddha

7. “Nothing ever exists entirely alone; everything is in relation to everything else.” – Buddha

8. “Pain is certain, suffering is optional.” – Buddha

9. “Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship.” – Buddha

10. “The mind is everything. What you think you become.” – Buddha

11. “Let yourself be open and life will be easier. A spoon of salt in a glass of water makes the water undrinkable. A spoon of salt in a lake is almost unnoticed.” – Buddha

12. “What we think, we become.” – Buddha

13. “Hatred does not cease through hatred at any time. Hatred ceases through love. This is an unalterable law.” – Buddha

14. “To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise, we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.” – Buddha

15. “The only real failure in life is not to be true to the best one knows.” – Buddha

A Buddhist monk with prayer hands.

16. “You will not be punished for your anger; you will be punished by your anger.” – Buddha

17. “The less you respond to negative people, the more peaceful your life will become.” – Buddha

18. “The root of suffering is attachment.” – Buddha

19. “If you light a lamp for somebody, it will also brighten your path.” – Buddha

20. “The greatest prayer is patience.” – Buddha

21. “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.” – Buddha

22. “Radiate boundless love towards the entire world.” – Buddha

23. “Do not be led by others, awaken your own mind, amass your own experience, and decide for yourself your own path.” – Buddha

24. “There is no path to happiness: happiness is the path.” – Buddha

25. “No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.” – Buddha

26. “The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.” – Buddha

27. “Just as a snake sheds its skin, we must shed our past over and over again.” – Buddha

28. “To conquer oneself is a greater task than conquering others.” – Buddha

29. “In the end these things matter most: How well did you love? How fully did you live? How deeply did you let go?” – Buddha

30. “Let go of the idea that the past could have been any different. Acceptance is the key to inner peace.” – Unknown

A buddhist temple at sunset.

31. “Your mind is a garden; your thoughts are the seeds. You can grow flowers, or you can grow weeds.” – Unknown

32. “In the dance of life, the present moment is the only partner. Embrace it with mindfulness and grace.” – Unknown

33. “To understand everything is to forgive everything.” – Unknown

34. “The lotus flower blooms most beautifully from the deepest and thickest mud.” – Unknown

35. “Silence is not an absence but a presence. It is not emptiness; it is fullness.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

36. “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Take that step mindfully.”  – Unknown

37. “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” – Unknown

38. “The more you let go, the higher you rise. Detach and elevate.” – Unknown

39. “Do not be a reservoir of bitterness; be a fountain of forgiveness.” – Unknown

40. “Do not dwell in the judgments of others; find your peace in the acceptance of yourself.” – Unknown

41. “The mind is like water. When it’s turbulent, it’s difficult to see. When it’s calm, everything becomes clear.” – Unknown

42. “Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it.” – Unknown

43. “The past is already gone; the future is not yet here. There’s only one moment for you to live.” – Unknown

44. “The sun does not shine for a few trees and flowers, but for the wide world’s joy. Let your compassion embrace all living beings.” – Unknown

45. “Your task is not to seek love but to find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” – Unknown

A buddhist monk meditating.

46. “Don’t be a slave to the past; create a better future by making the most of the present.” – Unknown

47. “To find yourself, think for yourself.” – Unknown

48. “Be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.” – Unknown

49. “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” – Unknown

50. “Do not let the behavior of others destroy your inner peace.” – Unknown

51. “Breathe. It’s just a bad day, not a bad life.” – Unknown

52. “The mind is everything that happens. What you think, you become.” – Unknown

53. “Happiness is not having what you want but wanting what you have.” – Unknown

54. “Do not overrate what you have received, nor envy others. He who envies others does not obtain peace of mind.” – Unknown

55. “Every morning we are born again. What we do today matters most.” – Unknown

56. “If you want to fly, give up everything that weighs you down.” – Unknown

57. “Your work is to discover your world and then, with all your heart, give yourself to it.” – Unknown

58. “Life is a journey that must be traveled no matter how bad the roads and accommodations.” – Unknown

59. “No matter how long the rain lasts, there will be a rainbow in the end.” – Unknown

I love how hopeful Buddha’s words are. It’s so great to me that, at least in my opinion, you can be of any religion or background and still find these quotes to be helpful as you navigate your own life.

Many of these quotes are about how your own thoughts are what dictate your reality for your whole life. Your thoughts dictate your mental health. Your habits and actions also dictate your mental health. If you want true happiness, it is so important to stay present (i.e. don’t spend too much time on social media) because true happiness lies in the quality of our relationships.

More inspirational quotes by wise people of Buddhism

60. “Do not be idolatrous about or bound to any doctrine, theory, or ideology, even Buddhist ones. All systems of thought are guiding means; they are not absolute truth.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

61. “Your purpose in life is to find your purpose and give your whole heart and soul to it.” – Siddhartha Gautama

62. “If you want to fly, give up everything that weighs you down.” – Ajahn Brahm

63. “The more you know, the less you need.” – Yuttadhammo Bhikkhu

64. “The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

65. “Understanding is the heartwood of well-spoken words.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

66. “To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

67.  “Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

68. “Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

69. “Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness. If, in our heart, we still cling to anything—anger, anxiety, or possessions—we cannot be free.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

70. “Breathing in, I calm body and mind. Breathing out, I smile. Dwelling in the present moment, I know this is the only moment.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

71. “Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

72. “To be alive is a miracle. Beauty is a miracle.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

73. “Understanding is the other name of love. If you don’t understand, you can’t love.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

74. “Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

75. “The seed of suffering in you may be strong, but don’t wait until you have no more suffering before allowing yourself to be happy.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

Buddhist monks walking together.

76. “You are a miracle, and everything you do is a miracle.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

77. “The true miracle is not walking on water or walking in air, but simply walking on this earth.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

78. “To meditate means to go home to yourself. Then you know how to take care of the things that are happening inside you, and you know how to take care of the things that happen around you.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

79. “Every thought you produce, anything you say, any action you do, it bears your signature.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

80. “Fear keeps us focused on the past or worried about the future. If we can acknowledge our fear, we can realize that right now we are okay.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

81. “Our own life has to be our message.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

82. “The practice of peace and reconciliation is one of the most vital and artistic of human actions.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

83. “When you love someone, the best thing you can offer is your presence. How can you love if you are not there?” – Thich Nhat Hanh

84. “You must love in such a way that the person you love feels free.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

85. “To love without knowing how to love wounds the person we love.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

86. “Every one of us already has the seed of mindfulness. The practice is to cultivate it.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

87. “The most difficult thing is the decision to act; the rest is merely tenacity.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

88. “When we have peace, then we have a chance to save the planet.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

89. “If you look deeply into the palm of your hand, you will see your parents and all generations of your ancestors. All of them are alive in this moment. Each is present in your body. You are the continuation of each of these people.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

90. “When we walk like (we are rushing), we print anxiety and sorrow on the Earth. We have to walk in a way that we only print peace and serenity on the Earth.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

A buddhist temple at daytime.

91. “Meditation can help us embrace our worries, our fear, our anger; and that is very healing. We let our own natural capacity of healing do the work.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

92. “The most important gift we can offer others is our presence. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

93. “Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.” – 14th Dalai Lama

94. “The purpose of our lives is to be happy.” – 14th Dalai Lama

95. “My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.” – 14th Dalai Lama

96. “Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.” – 14th Dalai Lama

97. “Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.” – 14th Dalai Lama

98. “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” – 14th Dalai Lama

99. “Silence is sometimes the best answer.” – 14th Dalai Lama

100. “When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.” – 14th Dalai Lama

101. “The ultimate authority must always rest with the individual’s own reason and critical analysis.” – 14th Dalai Lama

102. “Give the ones you love wings to fly, roots to come back, and reasons to stay.” – 14th Dalai Lama

103. “Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.” – 14th Dalai Lama

104. “An open heart is an open mind.” – 14th Dalai Lama

105. “The more you are motivated by love, the more fearless and free your actions will be.” – 14th Dalai Lama

Buddhist monks praying at night with candlelight.

106. “The purpose of all the major religious traditions is not to construct big temples on the outside, but to create temples of goodness and compassion inside, in our hearts.” – 14th Dalai Lama

107. “The true hero is one who conquers his own anger and hatred.” – 14th Dalai Lama

108. “In the practice of tolerance, one’s enemy is the best teacher.” – 14th Dalai Lama

109. “Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.”- 14th Dalai Lama

110. “The roots of all goodness lie in the soil of appreciation for goodness.” – 14th Dalai Lama

111. “The more you experience a sense of helping others, the greater your own sense of well-being becomes.” – 14th Dalai Lama

112. “If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.” – 14th Dalai Lama

113. “When we meet real tragedy in life, we can react in two ways—either by losing hope and falling into self-destructive habits, or by using the challenge to find our inner strength.” – 14th Dalai Lama

114. “Compassion and tolerance are not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength.” – 14th Dalai Lama

115. “It is very important to generate a good attitude, a good heart, as much as possible. From this, happiness in both the short term and the long term for both yourself and others will come.” – 14th Dalai Lama

116. “We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.” – 14th Dalai Lama

117. “The ultimate source of happiness is not money and power, but warm-heartedness.” – 14th Dalai Lama

118. “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” – 14th Dalai Lama

119. “Sometimes one creates a dynamic impression by saying something, and sometimes one creates as significant an impression by remaining silent.” – 14th Dalai Lama

120. “Guard your mind and train your heart, for therein lies the source of all knowledge and wisdom.” – Gedun Drub, the First Dalai Lama

A buddhist trinket.

121. “Holding onto anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.” – Buddha

122. “Endurance is one of the most difficult disciplines, but it is to the one who endures that the final victory comes.” – Buddha

123. “If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly our whole life would change.” – Buddha

No matter what kind of spiritual path you are on, something can be learned from these powerful buddha quotes.  

You probably realize by now that your thoughts dictate your life. If you have positive, powerful thoughts, you will live a positive, powerful life. If your thoughts are the opposite, your life will also likely turn out to be the opposite. The entire universe will conspire for you and your dreams if you allow it. But you have to believe this and allow it!

Which of these quotes resonated with you most? The teachings of Gautama Buddha? Thich Nhat Hanh? Any of the Dalai Lamas?

This post is all about powerful buddha quotes that’ll change your life.

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