101 Motivational Buddha Quotes About Peace, Love, and Happiness

Gautama Buddha was the influential teacher, philosopher, and spiritual leader who founded Buddhism between 6th to 4th century BC (Scholars continue to debate the specific timeframes and events that occurred around Buddha’s life.) He was considered by many “the enlightened one” who, Through his meditation, he found peace and answers to many of life’s hardest questions. He’d then try to teach the clarity he had gained to others. Buddha is associated with focusing on kindness, patience, and generosity, and his words have been interpreted over the years to help those who follow the religion and even those who don’t find understanding in their lives.

In honor of his teachings, we rounded up most powerful quotes from Buddha and those inspired by his teacHings about life, love, peace, and happiness. We also encourage you to learn more about Buddha and Buddhist through The Buddhist Society.

  • “If anything is worth doing, do it with all your heart.”

  • “Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.”

  • “Work out your own salvation. Do not depend on others.”

  • “You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”

  • “People with opinions just go around bothering each other.”

  • “The root of suffering is attached.”

  • “Do not look for a sanctuary in anyone except your self.”

  • “If you knew what I know about the power of giving, you would not let a single meal pass without sharing it in some way.”

  • “Nothing can harm you as much as your own thoughts unguarded.”

  • “To live a pure unselfish life, one must count nothing as one’s own in the midst of abundance.”

  • “If you find no one to support you on the spiritual path, walk alone.”

  • “May all beings have happy minds.”

  • “All that we are is the result of what we have thought.”

  • “Ambition is like love, impatient both of delays and rivals.”

  • “Wear your ego like a loose fitting garment.”

  • “A jug fills drop by drop.”

  • “Every human being is the author of his own health or disease.”

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  • “Give, even if you only have a little.”

  • “Delight in meditation and solitude. Compose yourself, be happy. You are a seeker.”

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

  • “What you are is what you have been. What you’ll be is what you do now.”

  • “One moment can change a day, one day can change a life, and one life can change the world.”

  • “True love is born from understanding.”

  • “The greatest gift is to give people your enlightenment, to share it. It has to be the greatest.”

  • “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.”

  • “There is no fear for one whose mind is not filled with desires.”

  • “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.”

  • “Even death is not to be feared by one who has lived wisely.”

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

  • “Just as a candle cannot burn without fire, men cannot live without a spiritual life.”

  • “Those who cling to perceptions and views wander the world offending people.”

  • “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.”

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

  • “In whom there is no sympathy for living beings: know him as an outcast.”

  • “Love is a gift of one’s inner most soul to another so both can be whole.”

  • “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.”

  • “Hatred is never appeased by hatred in this world. By non-hatred alone is hatred appeased. This is a law eternal.”

  • “Let all-embracing thoughts for all beings be yours.”

    Photo credit: Woman's Day/Getty Images

    Photo credit: Woman’s Day/Getty Images

  • “We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world.”

  • “If we fail to look after others when they need help, who will look after us?”

  • “As a water bead on a lotus leaf, as water on a red lily, does not adhere, so the sage does not adhere to the seen, the heard, or the sensed.”

  • “Ardently do today what must be done. Who knows? Tomorrow, death comes.”

  • “Understanding is the heartwood of well-spoken words.”

  • “One who acts on truth is happy in this world and beyond.”

  • “Just as a solid rock is not shaken by the storm, even so the wise are not affected by praise or blame.”

  • “Our life is shaped by our mind. We become what we think. Joy follows a pure thought like a shadow that never leaves.”

  • “Chaos is inherent in all compounded things. Strive on with diligence.”

  • “Kindness should become the natural way of life, not the exception.”

  • “Not by rituals and resolutions, nor by much learning, nor by celibacy, nor even by meditation can you find the supreme, immortal joy of nirvana until you extinguish your self-will.”

  • “Irrigators channel waters; fletchers straighten arrows; carpenters bend wood; the wise master themselves.”

  • “Radiate boundless love towards the entire world.”

  • “An idea that is developed and put into action is more important than an idea that exists only as an idea.”

  • “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.”

  • “Don’t run after pleasure and neglect the practice of meditation. If you forget the goal of life and get caught in the pleasures of the world, you will come to envy those who put meditation first.”

  • “Nothing ever exists entirely alone; everything is in relation to everything else.”

  • “Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart to give yourself to it.”

  • “Should you find a wise critic to point out your faults, follow him as you would a guide to hidden treasure.”

  • “Drop by drop is the water pot filled. Likewise, the wise man, gathering it little by little, fills himself with good.”

  • “In separateness lies the world’s greatest misery; in compassion lies the world’s true strength.”

    Photo credit: Woman's Day/Getty Images

    Photo credit: Woman’s Day/Getty Images

  • “She who knows life flows, feels no wear or tear, needs no mending or repair.”

  • “Better it is to live one day seeing the rise and fall of things than to live a hundred years without ever seeing the rise and fall of things.”

  • “Just as a mother would protect her only child with her life, even so let one cultivate a boundless love towards all beings.”

  • “The way is not in the sky. The way is in the heart.”

  • “If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.”

  • “Being deeply learned and skilled, being well trained and using well-spoken words: this is good luck.”

  • “Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship.”

  • “Teach this triple truth to all: A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity.”

  • “Looking deeply at life as it is in this very moment, the meditator dwells in stability and freedom.”

  • “Those who are free of resentful thoughts will surely find peace.”

  • “Meditation brings wisdom; lack of meditation leaves ignorance. Know well what leads you forward and what hold you back, and choose the path that leads to wisdom.”

  • “He who sits alone, sleeps alone, and walks alone, who is strenuous and subdues himself alone, will find delight in the solitude of the forest.”

  • “It is better to travel well than to arrive.”

  • “I do not dispute with the world; rather it is the world that disputes with me.”

  • “Even as a solid rock is unshaken by the wind, so are the wise unshaken by praise or blame.”

  • “My doctrine is not a doctrine but just a vision. I have not given you any set rules, I have not given you a system.”

  • “It is a man’s own mind, not his enemy or foe, that lures him to evil ways.”

  • “The tongue like a sharp knife. It kills without drawing blood.”

  • “I am the miracle.”

  • “Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care for people will hear them and be influenced by them for good or ill.”

  • “Anger will never disappear so long as thoughts of resentment are cherished in the mind. Anger will disappear just as soon as thoughts of resentment are forgotten.”

  • “Do not overrate what you have received, nor envy others. He who sends others does not obtain peace of mind.”

    Photo credit: Woman's Day/Getty Images

    Photo credit: Woman’s Day/Getty Images

  • “There is no path to happiness. Happiness is the path.”

  • “Life is so very hard. How can we be anything but kind?”

  • “Live every act fully, as if it were your last.”

  • “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.”

  • “Meditate. Do not delay, lest you later regret it.”

  • “Be a lamp for yourselves. Be your own refuge. Seek for no other. All things must pass. Strive on diligently. Don’t give up.”

  • “A mind unruffled by the vagaries of fortune, from sorrow freed, from defilements cleansed, from fear liberated — this is the greatest blessing.”

  • “Everything in moderation, including moderation.”

  • “Everything is based on mind, is led by mind, is fashioned by mind. If you speak and act with a polluted mind, suffering will follow you, as the wheels of the oxcart follow the footsteps of the ox.”

  • “All tremble at violence; all fear of death. Putting oneself in the place of another, one should not kill nor cause another to kill.”

  • “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.”

  • “The instant we feel anger we have already ceased striving for the truth, and have begun striving for ourselves.”

  • “There is no fire like passion. There is no shark like hatred. There is no snare like folly. There is no torrent like greed.”

  • “It is easy to see the faults of others, but difficult to see one’s own faults. One shows the faults of others like chaff winnowed in the wind, but one conceals one’s own faults as a cunning gambler conceals his dice.”

  • “Nothing is forever except change.”

  • “Offend in neither word nor deed. Eat with moderation. Live in your heart. Seek the highest consciousness. Master yourself according to the law. This is the simple teaching of the awakened.”

  • “Know from the rivers in clefts and in crevices: those in small channels flow noisily, the great flow silent. Whatever’s not full makes noise. Whatever is full is quiet.”

  • “If with a pure mind a person speaks or acts happiness follows him like his never-departing shadow.”

  • “The one who has conquered himself is a far greater hero than he who has defeated a thousand times a thousand men.”

  • “If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change.”

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