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September 20, 2019

50 Buddhist Slogans & short Quotes to Inspire your Life.

Fifty (mostly) Buddhist Quotes to (actually) Inspire your Life…with commentary and links.

Comment below with your favorite, life-helpful Buddhist (or other) quote!

Let it be. ~ McCartney’s mum

“Because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain.” ~ Jack Kerouac
I love this one—it’s true—but it’s also true that boring service can be noble and vital.

“Don’t be an asshole!” ~ Cody Jinks
Enough philosophy. Straight to the point.

“By letting it go it all gets done.” ~ Lao Tzu

Stop trying to force everything. Let it flow and become part of that flow. Corollary: “Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”

“The bad news is that you are falling. The good news is that there is no ground.” ~ Trungpa Rinpoche 
For many more, here.
“Although I am without confidence in the view of the one flavor of appearance and mind, I think being able to handle bad circumstances might be it. It is the flutelike utterance of whatever arises.” ~  Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
Commentary: So modest, so profound, so simple, so to the point.
“When you like a flower, you just pluck it. But when you love a flower, you water it daily.” ~ not the Buddha, but a sweet one.
Genuine love isn’t selfish.
“Fall seven times, get up eight.” ~ Japanese Zen
Exertion isn’t conditional.
“The arrival of Chaos should be
regarded as extremely good news” ~ Trungpa
One of my lifelong favorites—it flips the cocoon mind right around.
“If you lose your mind…come back!” 
Commentary: Our Shambhala Sun Camp motto—it’s the best, because it reminds us not to be too uptight—to remember we’ll never be perfect, it’s just about coming back when we lose our minds!

“To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest.” ~ Pema Chödrön
Commentary: Life is not comfortable. It’s more like surfing.

If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him.
Surprisingly, this is not about violence, or machismo…but about popping one’s external preconceptions of what’s good or holy.

Barn burnt down, now I can see the moon.
A famous haiku—it’s all about letting go, nature, seeing reality through loss.

If you hit the target, great! If you don’t hit the target…great!”
I think this is by Shibata Sensei? The idea, in kyudo, is that the mind is the target—waking up, being fully present and relaxed, and letting go of ambition.

Bill Murray, Meatballs: “It just doesn’t matter!” 
Commentary: Lighten up! Stop holding reality so tightly.
 
“When you know better you do better.” ~ Maya Angelou
Commentary: we learn, we awaken. Make sure you’re learning in the direction of your own fundamental goodness.
 
“There is no such thing as a cosmic conspiracy. The world is a rational world, a kind world.”
~Chogyam Trungpa, The Lion’s Roar
Commentary: the universe, too, is basically good. Relax into it. 
 
 
“If not here, where? If not now, when?!”
Commentary: This is it! Right now! 
 
No big deal. ~ Chogyam Trungpa
Commentary: light touch! Drama is over-rated.
 
Always maintain only a joyful mind.
Commentary: a lojong slogan.
 
“Every Movement of the mind is a teaching.”
~ from Seeking the Heart of Wisdom by Joseph Goldstein & Jack Kornfield
Commentary: all experiences are teachers. Stop looking for happiness and start looking at your own experience with curiosity.
 
“Living aligned with truth is more important than either living of dying.”
~ from Seeking the Heart of Wisdom by Joseph Goldstein & Jack Kornfield
Commentary: ethics. Do good, be good. Be kind.
 
“There is no right and no wrong. But right is right and wrong is wrong.”
~ Zen Master Seung Sahn
Commentary: it’s a koan, basically. Everything is basically good—no right, no wrong. At the same time, being ethical matters, and being unethical sucks.
 
 
Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment chop wood, carry water.
Commentary: in our confusion, everything is solid and banal. In our awakening, things are simply as they are.
 
This is it.
Commentary: this is it!
 
You can dance if you want to! You can leave your friends behind.
Commentary: yes!
 
No mud, no lotus.
Commentary: without our path, our confusion, we have nothing to wake up out of.
 
 
A ship is safest in harbor; but of course, that is not what ships are built for.
Commentary. One of my favorite quotes.
 
Life’s a bitch and then you die.
Commentary: stop looking for life to be made of whipped cream. Life is short. Carpe diem! 
 
Abandon all hope of fruition.
Commentary: let go of what you think you want.
 
Regard all dharmas as dreams.
Commentary: all things are empty of solidity.
 
Generosity is the virtue that produces peace.
Commentary: you won’t get what you want by destroying the enemy.
 
Change your attitude and relax as it is.
Commentary: wake up, chill.
 
“This supreme treasure of a human life,
So long awaited, now at last attained!
Reflecting always thus, maintain your mind
As steady as Sumeru, king of mountains.”
 
“This above all—to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.” ~ Shakespeare, Hamlet
“Wherever you go, there you are.” ~ Buckaroo Bonzai
Commentary: there’s nowhere to get. If you’re an asshole here, you’ll be an asshole there. Deal with this, now, here.
 
Love is like a fart, if you push too hard to make it happen it turns to shit.
Commentary: let go! Loosen up!
 
Happiness does not depend on what you have or who you are it solely relies on what you think.
Commentary: meditate! 
 
“If through practice of insight you develop a sense of ease, then time has no relevance.”
Commentary: relax into the now.
 
“True compassion is not hard work, it is the natural state of the human heart. Causing pain and disharmony is much harder work and requires much more planning.”
Commentary: wow. Grateful.
 
“If you cannot help them, at least do not hurt them.”
Commentary: be of benefit!
Life is Suffering. ~ Buddha
Commentary: face reality, then go from there. Don’t avoid.
All beliefs are ridiculous.
Commentary: lighten up or what you hold dearest will wreck you.
 
“You can’t attend your own funeral.” ~ VTCR
Commentary: there is no great victory of egohood to be achieved. It’s hopeless
 
“The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.”~ Socrates
Commentary: enjoy what you have, or where you are, and you will be rich. Otherwise you might be rich, and
 
“By not quite accepting, because they do not please us, things that are so, we spend our entire lives making meaningless gestures somewhere next door to reality.” ~ Nan Shin, from Diary of a Zen Nun
Commentary: enough said.

Waylon Lewis

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