Quotes and Quick Inspiration

Volume Eleven



From Tom Spencer's Soul of the Garden




This page of quotes has a special theme- it is my tribute to Buddhism and Buddhist practice. Peace, Tom




Buddhism has the characteristics of what would be expected in a cosmic religion for the future: it transcends a personal God, avoids dogmas and theology; it covers both the natural & spiritual, and it is based on a religious sense aspiring from the experience of all things, natural and spiritual, as a meaningful unity.


- Albert Einstein


Each thought, each action in the sunlight of awareness becomes sacred. In this light, no boundary exists between the sacred and the profane...

...sitting at the table with other people, we have the chance to offer an authentic smile of friendship and understanding. It is very easy, but not many people do it. To me, this is the most important practice. We look at each person and smile...


- Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace is Every Step


The true Buddha is in the home; the real Way is everyday life. A man who has sincerity, who is a peace-maker, cheerful in looks and gentle in his words, harmonious in mind and body... such a man is vastly superior to one who practices breathing control and introspection.


- from the "Saikontan" by Kojisei





All those who suffer in the world do so because of their desire for their own happiness. All those happy in the world are so because of their desire for the happiness of others.

-Bodhicaryavatara, from "365 Buddha: Daily Meditations," edited by Jeff Schmidt





Putting down all barriers, let your mind be full of love. Let it pervade all the quarters of the world so that the whole wide world, above, below, and around, is pervaded with love. Let it be sublime and beyond measure so that it abounds everywhere.

-Digha Nikaya, from "Buddha Speaks," edited by Anne Bancroft



Without love we could not survive. Human beings are social creatures, and a concern for each other is the very basis of our life together.

-His Holiness the Dalai Lama




Do not be the judge of people; do not make assumptions about others.

A person is destroyed by holding judgments about others.

- Buddha


Take heed that when effort is too strenuous it leads to strain and when too slack to laziness. So make a firm determination that you will adopt the middle way, not allowing yourself to struggle or to slacken, but recognizing that faith, energy, mindfulness, concentration, and wisdom are the fruits of a calm and equable way.


It is often though that the Buddha's doctrine teaches us that suffering will disappear if one has meditated long enough, or if one sees everything differently. It is not that at all. Suffering isn't going to go away; the one who suffers is going to go away.

-Ayya Khema, "When the Iron Eagle Flies"




How much of your life do you spend looking forward to being somewhere else?

-Matthew Flickstein, "Journey to the Center"


Another shortcoming of desire is that it leads to so much that is undesirable.

-Lama Zopa Rinpoche, "The Door to Satisfaction"


Develop the mind of equilibrium. You will always be getting praise and blame, but do not let either affect the poise of the mind: follow the calmness, the absence of pride.

-Sutta Nipata, from "365 Buddha: Daily Meditations," edited by Jeff Schmidt


As a tree with strong uninjured roots, though cut down, grows up again, so, when deep craving is not rooted out, suffering arises again and again.

-Dhammapada, from "The Pocket Buddha Reader," edited by Anne Bancroft





If you keep thinking "That man has abused me," holding it as a much-cherished grievance, your anger will never be allayed. If you can put down that fury-inducing thought, your anger will lessen. Fury will never end fury, it will just ricochet on and on. Only putting it down will end such an abysmal state.

-Sunnata Vagga, from "The Pocket Buddha Reader," edited by Anne Bancroft


An act of meditation is actually an act of faith--of faith in your spirit, in your own potential. Faith is the basis of meditation. Not of faith in something outside you--a metaphysical buddha, an unattainable ideal, or someone else's words. The faith is in yourself, in your own "buddha-nature." You too can be a buddha, an awakened being that lives and responds in a wise, creative, and compassionate way.

-Martine Batchelor, "Meditation for Life" from "Daily Wisdom: 365 Buddhist Inspirations," edited by Josh Bartok



By correcting our mistakes, we get wisdom.
By defending our faults, we betray an unsound mind.

-The Sutra of Hui Neng

Not up in the air,
nor in the middle of the sea,
nor going into a cleft in the mountains
—nowhere on earth—
is a spot to be found
where you could stay & escape
your evil deed.

-Dhammapada, 9, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu




Sitting there the venerable Ananda said to the Lord, "Half of this holy life, Lord, is good and noble friends, companionship with the good, association with the good."

"Do not say that, Ananda. Do not say that, Ananda. It is the whole of this holy life, this friendship, companionship and association with the good."

-Samyutta Nikaya, from "Teachings of the Buddha," edited by Jack Kornfield





Thus shall ye think of this fleeting world:
A star at dawn, a bubble in a stream;
A flash of lightning in a summer cloud;
A flickering lamp, a phantom, and a dream.

-Diamond Sutra, from "365 Buddha: Daily Meditations," edited by Jeff Schmidt.


Mindfulness is not just a word or a discourse by the Buddha, but a meaningful state of mind. It means we have to be here now, in this very moment, and we have to know what is happening internally and externally. It means being alert to our motives and learning to change unwholesome thoughts and emotions into wholesome ones. Mindfulness is a mental activity that in due course eliminates all suffering.

-Ayya Khema, "Be an Island"  from "Daily Wisdom: 365 Buddhist Inspirations," edited by Josh Bartok


False reasoning declares one view to be true and another view wrong. It is delight in their dearly held opinions that makes them assert that anyone who disagrees is bound to come to a bad end. But no true seeker becomes embroiled in all this. Pass by peacefully and go a stainless way, free from theories, lusts and dogmas.

-Majjhima Nikaya, from "Buddha Speaks," edited by Anne Bancroft




A person getting enlightened is like the moon reflecting in the water. The moon does not get wet, the water is not disturbed. Though it is a great expanse of light, it reflects in a little bit of water; the whole moon and the whole sky reflect even in the dew on the grass; they reflect even in a single drop of water. Enlightenment not disturbing the person is like the moon not piercing the water. A person not obstructing enlightenment is like the dewdrop not obstructing the heavens.

-Dogen, "Flowers Fall." from "365 Buddha: Daily Meditations," edited by Jeff Schmidt



Enlightenment is simply this: When I walk, I walk. When I eat, I eat. When I sleep, I sleep.


- Unknown Zen master


Praise and blame, gain and loss, pleasure and sorrow come and go like the wind. To be happy, rest like a giant tree in the midst of them all.



In the end only three things matter:
how fully you have lived, how deeply you have loved and how well you
have learned to let go…


– Buddhist saying



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