If you want to be inspired by the best, most powerful Buddha life quotes, then you’re going to absolutely LOVE this post.
We’ve personally read through hundreds of Buddha life quotes and curated this list of the quotes we think are the most powerful and life changing.
Reading, pausing and contemplating on these Buddha quotes on love, suffering, change, anger, inner peace, meditation, happiness and more can remind you what life is truly about.
When practicing meditation, you may find these teachings helpful when your mind wanders, to help bring you back and build mindfulness.
It does not matter what your belief or faith — Buddha quotes about life touch on topics that will help you be a better person and live a better life.
You can also browse the table of contents below to find the topics that most interest you.
Table of Contents
- Who was the Buddha?
- Buddha Quotes About Life
- Buddha Quotes About Love
- Buddha Quotes for Happiness
- Buddha Quotes About Death
- Buddha Quotes on Karma
- Buddha Quotes on Change
- Buddha Quotes on Anger
- Buddha Quotes on Suffering
- Buddha Quotes on Inner Peace
- Buddha Quotes on Meditation
Who was the Buddha?
Buddha, born as Siddhartha Gautama, was a spiritual teacher and philosopher, and is considered to be the founder of modern-day Buddhism. He lived and taught near the border of what is now Nepal and India, between the 6th to 4th century B.C.
Born into a royal family, he realized that all his riches would not save him from sickness, old age and eventually death. This shook him to his core, compelling him to leave his palace, renounce his worldly life, and seek the Truth.
Under various teachers, he took up extreme ascetic practices such as prolonged fasting, based on the belief that by denying the flesh one could open the door to wisdom. But after a few years of this, the Truth still seemed further than ever.
Eventually, he realized that the path to peace and freedom was through meditation and mental discipline. He decided to trust his own intuition and sat beneath “the Bodhi tree” for 40 days, until he finally attained Nirvana or enlightenment.
From that time on, he would be identified as the “Buddha,” a Sanskrit word that means “fully awakened” or “enlightened one.”
Buddha spent the rest of his life traveling through northern India, spreading his teachings of living with compassion, being free of attachment, and focusing on the present moment — instead of teaching what to believe, he taught his disciples to realize enlightenment for themselves.
This was almost 2,500 years ago — today Buddhism has close to 470 million followers all over the world, with fast-growing influence in the West.
No matter what your belief, by reading these quotes below, you’ll find that Buddha’s philosophies go beyond religion, and overlap with other faiths, making his teachings profound insights that continue to inspire the world.
Buddha Quotes About Life
“One moment can change a day, one day can change a life, and one life can change the world.”
“What you think, you become. What you feel, you attract. What you imagine, you create.”
“Your own self is your master; who else could be? With yourself well controlled, you gain a master very hard to find.”
“Every morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.”
“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.”
“When watching after yourself, you watch after others. When watching after others, you watch after yourself.”
“If you want to fly, give up everything that weighs you down.”
“All that we are is the result of what we have thought.”
“There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting.”
“To understand everything is to forgive everything.”
“The trouble is, you think you have time.”
“Be where you are; otherwise you will miss your life.”
“Should you find a wise critic to point out your faults, follow him as you would a guide to hidden treasure.”
“When it hurts, observe. Life is trying to teach you something.”
“Don’t rush anything. When the time is right it’ll happen.”
“Give, even if you only have a little.”
“Train your eyes and ears; train your nose and tongue. The senses are good friends when they are trained. Train your body in deeds, train your tongue in words, train your mind in thoughts. This training will take you beyond sorrow.”
“To live a pure unselfish life, one must count nothing as one’s own in the midst of abundance.”
“Those who have failed to work toward the truth have missed the purpose of living.”
Buddha Quotes About Love
“If anything is worth doing, do it with all your heart.”
“Radiate boundless love towards the entire world — above, below, and across — unhindered, without ill will, without enmity.”
“If you truly loved yourself, you could never hurt another.”
“You are far from the end of your journey. The way is not in the sky. The way is in the heart. See how you love.”
“In separateness lies the world’s greatest misery; in compassion lies the world’s true strength.”
“Understanding is the heartwood of well-spoken words.”
“Just as a mother would protect her only child with her life even so let one cultivate a boundless love towards all beings.”
“Hatred does not cease by hatred, but only by love; this is the eternal rule.”
“In separateness lies the world’s greatest misery; in compassion lies the world’s true strength.”
“You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”
Buddha Quotes for Happiness
“If with a pure mind a person speaks or acts, happiness follows them like a never-departing shadow.”
“It is in the nature of things that joy arises in a person free from remorse.”
“A disciplined mind brings happiness.”
“May all beings have happy minds.”
“Set your heart on doing good. Do it over and over again, And you will be filled with joy.”
“Happiness will never come to those who fail to appreciate what they already have.”
“Happiness does not depend on what you have or who you are. It solely relies on what you think.”
“Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship.”
“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.”
“Happiness comes when your work and words are of benefit to yourself and others.”
“There is no fear for one whose mind is not filled with desires.”
“If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.”
Buddha Quotes About Death
“Some do not understand that we must die, but those who do realize this settle their quarrels.”
“The world is afflicted by death and decay. But the wise do not grieve, having realized the nature of the world.”
“It seems that although we thought ourselves permanent, we are not. Although we thought ourselves settled, we are not. Although we thought we would last forever, we will not.”
“You don’t have a Soul. You are a soul. You have a body.”
“Ardently do today what must be done. Who knows? Tomorrow, death comes.”
“Even death is not to be feared by one who has lived wisely.”
Buddha Quotes on Karma
“Neither fire, nor wind, birth, nor death, can erase our good deeds.”
“If we fail to look after others when they need help, who will look after us?”
“Remembering a wrong is like carrying a burden on the mind.”
“If you light a lamp for someone else it will also brighten your path.”
“One who acts on truth is happy in this world and beyond.”
“As rain falls equally on the just and the unjust, do not burden your heart with judgement but rain your kindness equally on all.”
Buddha Quotes on Change
“Change is never painful. Only resistance to change is painful.”
“Everything that has a beginning has an ending. Make your peace with that and all will be well.”
“If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change.”
“Just as a snake sheds its skin, we must shed our past over and over again.”
“What you are is what you have been. What you’ll be is what you do now.”
“An idea that is developed and put into action is more important than an idea that exists only as an idea.”
“Chaos is inherent in all compounded things. Strive on with diligence.”
“Whatever has the nature of arising has the nature of ceasing.”
Buddha Quotes on Anger
“Before you speak, let your words pass through three gates: Is it true? Is it necessary? Is it kind?”
“The tongue like a sharp knife kills without drawing blood.”
“Conquer anger with non-anger. Conquer badness with goodness. Conquer meanness with generosity. Conquer dishonesty with truth.”
“He who can curb his wrath as soon as it arises, as a timely antidote will check snake’s venom that so quickly spreads, — such a monk gives up the here and the beyond, just as a serpent sheds its worn-out skin.”
“Whoever doesn’t flare up at someone who’s angry wins a battle hard to win.”
“Silence the angry man with love. Silence the ill-natured man with kindness. Silence the miser with generosity. Silence the liar with truth.”
“Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”
“You will not be punished for your anger. You will be punished by your anger.”
“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.”
“Wear your ego like a loose fitting garment.”
Buddha Quotes on Suffering
“If you do what is evil, do not repeat it or take pleasure in making it a habit. An evil habit will cause nothing but suffering. If you do what is good, keep repeating it and take pleasure in making it a habit. A good habit will cause nothing but joy.”
“Both formerly and now, it is only suffering that I describe, and the cessation of suffering.”
“'All conditioned things are impermanent’ — when one sees this with wisdom, one turns away from suffering.”
“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.”
“The root of all suffering is attachment.”
“All suffering is caused by ignorance. People inflict pain on others in the selfish pursuit of their own happiness or satisfaction.”
“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.”
“Suffering is not holding you, you are holding suffering.”
Buddha Quotes on Inner Peace
“Cut down the whole forest of selfish desires, not just one tree only. Cut down the whole forest and you will be on your way to liberation.”
“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.”
“Resolutely train yourself to attain peace.”
“Those who are free of resentful thoughts surely find peace.”
“Do not overrate what you have received, nor envy others. He who envies others does not obtain peace of mind.”
“At the end of the day, I’m at peace because my intentions are good and my heart is pure.”
“Whatever is not yours: let go of it. Your letting go of it will be for your long-term happiness & benefit.”
“To support mother and father, to cherish partner and children, and to be engaged in peaceful occupation — this is the greatest blessing.”
“Nothing can harm you as much as your own thoughts unguarded.”
“If you find no one to support you on the spiritual path, walk alone.”
“No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.”
Buddha Quotes on Meditation
“All experiences are preceded by mind, having mind as their master, created by 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.”
“Quiet the mind and the soul will speak.”
“Delight in heedfulness! Guard well your thoughts!”
“Meditation brings wisdom; lack of meditation leaves ignorance.”
“Meditate… do not delay, lest you later regret it.”
“Your mind is a powerful thing. When you start to filter it with positive thoughts your life will start to change.”
“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.”
“Delight in meditation and solitude. Compose yourself, be happy. You are a seeker.”
“Meditate. Live purely. Be quiet. Do your work with mastery. Like the moon, come out from behind the clouds! Shine.”
“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.”
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We hope these Buddha life quotes offered you greater insight into being a better person, practicing love and kindness, controlling your anger, striving to attain inner peace, channeling your thoughts with meditation and more.
When you feel life is holding you back, or you’re living on autopilot and need to pause, reflect and perhaps even change course — be sure to turn to these quotes for comfort, guidance and inspiration!