No matter how established your personal mindfulness practice is, sometimes you can use a little extra inspiration.
Luckily, when it comes to mindfulness, there is no shortage of inspirational quotes you can use to give yourself that extra bit of motivation.
Whether you are looking for recent quotes or age-old quotes from the Buddha himself, and whether you are looking for quotes about mindful eating or less-specific sayings, here are the most powerful mindfulness quotes out there, from a wide range of mindfulness leaders and practitioners.
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38 Quotes About Being Mindful
These are some of our favorite quotes about being mindful in general. A number of them come from some of our favorite mindfulness leaders because some people just have a way with words.
Jon Kabat -Zinn
Jon Kabat-Zinn is the founder of the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, where he developed the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program or MBSR.
“The little things? The little moments? They aren’t little.” – Jon Kabat-Zinn
“Wherever you go, there you are.” – Jon Kabat-Zinn
“Mindfulness is a way of befriending ourselves and our experience.” – Jon Kabat-Zinn
“The best way to capture moments is to pay attention. This is how we cultivate mindfulness.” – Jon Kabat-Zinn
“Mindfulness means being awake. It means knowing what you are doing.” – Jon Kabat-Zinn
Thích Nhất Hạnh
Thích Nhất Hạnh is a Buddhist monk, author, and mindfulness teacher (whose many students include the above-mentioned Jon Kabat-Zinn) who was also nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1967 by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“To think in terms of either pessimism or optimism oversimplifies the truth. The problem is to see reality as it is.” – Thích Nhất Hạnh
“Many people are alive but don’t touch the miracle of being alive.” – Thích Nhất Hạnh
“The present moment is the only time over which we have dominion.” – Thích Nhất Hạnh
“Live the actual moment. Only this actual moment is life.” – Thích Nhất Hạnh
“The feeling that any task is a nuisance will soon disappear if it is done in mindfulness.” – Thích Nhất Hạnh
“Meditation is not evasion; it is a serene encounter with reality.” – Thích Nhất Hạnh
Jack Kornfield is a mindfulness teacher and author who (along with Sharon Salzberg and Tara Brach) founded the Insight Meditation Society in 1975 and played a key role in bringing mindfulness and mindfulness meditation to the West.
“When we get too caught up in the busyness of the world, we lose connection with one another – and ourselves.” – Jack Kornfield
“Everything that has a beginning has an ending. Make your peace with that and all will be well.” – Jack Kornfield
“Wisdom says we are nothing. Love says we are everything. Between these two our life flows.” – Jack Kornfield
“The things that matter most in our lives are not fantastic or grand. They are moments when we touch one another.” – Jack Kornfield
“Much of spiritual life is self-acceptance, maybe all of it.” – Jack Kornfield
Pema Chödrön is a Buddhist nun and author who has written several popular books about mindfulness. She is also the director of the only Tibetan Monastery for Westerners.
“You are the sky. Everything else is just the weather.” – Pema Chödrön
“Fear is a natural reaction to moving closer to the truth.” – Pema Chödrön
“Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.” – Pema Chödrön
“The essence of bravery is being without self-deception.” – Pema Chödrön
“Meditation practice isn’t about trying to throw ourselves away and become something better. It’s about befriending who we are already.” – Pema Chödrön
“Rejoicing in ordinary things is not sentimental or trite. It actually takes guts.” – Pema Chödrön
Chögyam Trungpa was the 11th Trungpa tülku, an important figure in Tibetan Buddhism, and a major influence in introducing Tibetan Buddhism to the West by teaching students like Pema Chödrön. He was also an originator of the idea of Shambhala meditation practice.
“Altogether, the idea of meditation is not to create states of ecstasy or absorption, but to experience being.” – Chögyam Trungpa
Sharon Salzberg is a mindfulness teacher and author who (along with Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach) founded the Insight Meditation Society in 1975 and played a key role in bringing mindfulness and mindfulness meditation to the West.
“Mindfulness isn’t difficult, we just need to remember to do it.” – Sharon Salzberg
“That’s life: starting over, one breath at a time.” – Sharon Salzberg
Allan Lokos is the founder of the Community Meditation Center in New York as well as a popular mindfulness author.
“You cannot control the results, only your actions.” – Allan Lokos
“Don’t believe everything you think. Thoughts are just that – thoughts.” – Allan Lokos
“Your actions are your only true belongings.” – Allan Lokos
“The art of peaceful living comes down to living compassionately & wisely.” – Allan Lokos “We cannot force the development of mindfulness.” – Allan Lokos
“We cannot force the development of mindfulness.” – Allen Lokos
Tara Brach is a mindfulness teacher and author who (along with Jack Kornfield and Sharon Salzberg) founded the Insight Meditation Society in 1975 and played a key role in bringing mindfulness and mindfulness meditation to the West.
“What would it be like if I could accept life – accept this moment – exactly as it is?” – Tara Brach
“There is something wonderfully bold and liberating about saying yes to our entire imperfect and messy life.” – Tara Brach
Amit Ray is a mindfulness leader who has authored several popular books on mindfulness and mindfulness meditation.
“If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath.” – Amit Ray
“Looking at beauty in the world, is the first step of purifying the mind.” – Amit Ray
“Open the window of your mind. Allow the fresh air, new lights and new truths to enter.” – Amit Ray
Rasheed Ogunlaru is a motivational speaker and life/business coach who has authored several popular books on mindfulness.
“Step outside for a while – calm your mind. It is better to hug a tree than to bang your head against a wall continually.” – Rasheed Ogunlaru
“A few simple tips for life: feet on the ground, head to the skies, heart open…quiet mind.” – Rasheed Ogunlaru
“How you look at it is pretty much how you’ll see it.” – Rasheed Ogunlaru
15 Mindfulness Quotes From The Buddha
Unsurprisingly, some of the most powerful mindfulness quotes come from the Buddha. When it comes to quotes from The Buddha, though, it is important to really do your research. There are almost countless inspiring quotes floating around that are attributed to The Buddha despite there being no evidence of the Buddha having said them.
The following are some of our favorite quotes from The Buddha that we are fairly certain can actually be attributed to The Buddha, but of course, let us know if this is not the case.
“The Way is not in the sky, the Way is in the heart.” – Buddha
“You only lose what you cling to.” – Buddha
“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.” – Buddha
“Three things can not hide for long: the Moon, the Sun and the Truth.” – Buddha
“Nothing can harm you as much as your own thoughts unguarded.” – Buddha
“Attachment leads to suffering.” – Buddha
“Nothing is forever except change.” – Buddha
“Just as a snake sheds its skin, we must shed our past over and over again.” – Buddha
“Every experience, no matter how bad it seems, holds within it a blessing of some kind. The goal is to find it.” – Buddha
“Our life is shaped by our mind, for we become what we think.” – Buddha
“With our thoughts we make the world.” – Buddha
“Be where you are, otherwise you will miss your life.” – Buddha
“If the problem can be solved why worry? If the problem cannot be solved worrying will do you no good.” – Buddha
“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” – Buddha
“If you are facing in the right direction, all you need to do is keep on walking.” – Buddha
12 Mindfulness Quotes For Quotes of The Day
If you’re looking for a little extra mindfulness motivation to start off your day with, these quotes should help you out. If you want, you can even put them together in a daily calendar and use one of these quotes to guide you throughout each of your days (well, for about two weeks).
These quotes are short, but will give you a lot to think about during your day. For this section, we have only selected one quote per speaker, so that you can start each day with a different perspective.
“It is never too late to turn on the light.” – Sharon Salzberg
“You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.” – Jon Kabat-Zinn
“Every morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.” – Buddha
“Do every act of your life as though it were the very last act of your life.” – Marcus Aurelius
Marcus Aurelius was the Emperor of Ancient Rome in the second century as well as a philosopher.
“Life is a dance. Mindfulness is witnessing that dance.” – Amit Ray
“Treat everyone you meet as if they were you.” – Doug Dillon
Doug Dillon is a teacher and author who has written on a large variety of subjects, including mindfulness and history.
“A mind set in its ways is wasted.” – Eric Schmidt
Eric Schmidt is an author and business executive. He is also the former CEO of Google, where he attempted to bring mindfulness and psychology teachings into the workplace.
“The mind is just like a muscle – the more you exercise it, the stronger it gets and the more it can expand.” – Idowu Koyenikan
Idowu Koyenikan is a consultant, speaker and author who has written about mindfulness in the business world.
“The stiller you are the calmer life is.” – Rasheed Ogunlaru
“The only way to live is by accepting each minute as an unrepeatable miracle.” – Tara Brach
“One who is patient glows with an inner radiance.” – Allan Lokos
“Don’t let life harden your heart.” – Pema Chödrön
11 Quotes About Mindful Eating
Mindful eating is, as it sounds, an aspect of mindfulness practice that focuses on eating (and drinking). It is the idea that you should not rush through your meal to get it over with or to stop being hungry, but that rather you should be thoughtful about how you eat, what you eat, and how what you eat is nourishing you.
It also aims to stop the practice of mindless eating, which can either consist of rushing through your meals or eating when you do not really need or want to eat. Practicing mindful eating can be an extremely powerful part of a mindfulness practice, as everyone needs to eat throughout the day, so everyone has similar opportunities to practice mindful eating no matter what else is going on in their lives.
These are some of our favorite quotes to get you thinking about mindful eating, or to enrich your existing practice.
Jan Chozen Bays
Jan Chozen Bays is a medical doctor and Zen teacher who (along with others such as her husband) founded the Great Vow Zen Monastery in the United States. In 2009 she published Mindful Eating: A Guide to Rediscovering a Healthy and Joyful Relationship With Food.
“Mindful eating is a way to become reacquainted with the guidance of our internal nutritionist.” – Jan Chozen Bays
Thích Nhất Hạnh
Along with his Buddhist and mindfulness background mentioned above, Thích Nhất Hạnh coauthored Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life, a popular book on mindful eating.
“Mindful eating means simply eating or drinking while being aware of each bite or sip.” – Thích Nhất Hạnh
“Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves – slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future.” – Thích Nhất Hạnh
“You must be completely awake in the present to enjoy the tea.” – Thích Nhất Hạnh
“Tea is an act complete in its simplicity. When I drink tea, there is only me and the tea. The rest of the world dissolves.” – Thích Nhất Hạnh
Susan Albers is a clinical psychologist and author who is a major proponent of mindful eating.
“Mindful eating is about awareness. When you eat mindfully, you slow down, pay attention to the food you’re eating, and savor every bite.” – Susan Albers
“Instead of thinking of food as the enemy, allow yourself to enjoy the process of planning and preparing meals or going out to lunch with a friend. Stay in the present moment and understand that the purpose of food is nourishment.” – Susan Albers
“Training your mind to be in the present moment is the #1 key to making healthier choices.” – Susan Albers
Shunryu Suzuki was a Buddhist monk and author who founded the Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, the first Buddhist Monastery outside of Asia, and helped popularize mindfulness in the West as a result.
“When you bow, you should just bow; when you sit, you should just sit; when you eat, you should just eat.” – Shunryu Suzuki
Michelle May is a medical doctor, motivational speaker, and author who has written several popular books on mindful eating.
“When I’m hungry, I eat what I love. When I’m bored, I do something I love. When I’m lonely, I connect with someone I love. When I feel sad, I remember that I am loved.” – Michelle May
“Everyone loves something, even if it’s only tortillas.” – Chögyam Trungpa
Bonus Video: Thích Nhất Hạnh
As a bonus, this is an excerpt from a talk Thích Nhất Hạnh gave to Google employees which touches on aspects of mindfulness including mindful eating. In it, he offers suggestions for ways that even Google employees can incorporate mindfulness into their day-to-day lives. If you are looking for some brief (under five minutes) mindful inspiration from a mindfulness leader, give this video a watch:
A Take Home Message
We hope that at least a few of the above quotes were inspiring to you, and we especially hope that they have given you something new to consider for your mindfulness practice (or maybe one even inspired you to start a mindfulness practice).
If one of your favorite mindfulness quotes was not on this list, please go ahead and share it with us! After all, at the end of the day, a mindfulness practice is a deeply personal thing.