A quick Google search for “quotes about mindfulness” turns up 858,000 hits in .78 seconds.
And now there are 858,001 — but this one has a twist. I wanted to create a repository of quotes about mindfulness specifically for people who struggle with mindfulness.
Because although mindfulness looks really easy — I just sit there and do nothing?? — it can actually be quite difficult when we literally sit down to do it.
So enjoy these words of wisdom, and let them inspire you as continue the rewarding yet challenging journey of mindful living.
What is Mindfulness?
“Mindfulness is the intentional process of paying attention, without judgment, to the unfolding of moment-by-moment experience.”
Why Should I Bother Practicing Mindfulness?
“Most of us spend our time seeking happiness and security without acknowledging the underlying purpose of our search. Each of us is looking for a path back to the present: We are looking for good enough reasons to be satisfied now.”
“When you go to a restaurant, you don’t eat the menu, mistaking it for the meal, nor are you nourished by listening to the waiter describe the food. You have to actually eat the food for it to nourish you. In the same way, you have to actually practice mindfulness.”
“When you open yourself to the continually changing, impermanent, dynamic nature of your own being and of reality, you increase your capacity to love and care about other people and your capacity to not be afraid.”
“How we pay attention to the present moment largely determines the character of our experience and, therefore, the quality of our lives.”
I Really Hope Mindfulness Makes Me a Better Person
“We start out with the hope that in the future we will feel better, but if we are to practice mindfulness, it will mean accepting ourselves just as we find ourselves in the present moment, giving up the whole enterprise of self-improvement.”
“A vital key to practice is to put effort into creating the right conditions for what you want to happen, and then to let go and allow things to happen (or not happen) on their own.”
“When you climb a mountain, you do it step by step; what is important is the step you are taking now.
Sayadaw U Tejaniya
I’m Pretty Sure I’m Doing It Wrong
“Start where you are. This is very important. Meditation practice is not about later, when you get it all together and you’re this person you really respect…. Just where you are–that’s the place to start.”
“Do you know that [right now] you are reading? Yes? Good! That’s awareness. How much energy did that require? Was it tiring or difficult? No? So, you can meditate.”
Sayadaw U Tejaniya
“Whatever you are doing and wherever you are, you will find steadiness, calm, and concentration if you become conscious of your breathing.”
“Looking for something special creates lots of struggle. We have to learn to let go of wanting special experiences. Everything’s easy when you learn that all the ordinary experiences in meditation are enough. Being aware and mindful in the present moment, then it is special already.”
My Mind Won’t. Stop. Thinking!
“It’s sometimes almost a startling, even horrifying, awareness that comes into being, of just how chaotic [our] minds are– how habitual and obsessive [our] thinking can be, and how difficult, how challenging, it is just to feel at ease in silence, in simplicity, in aloneness.”
“Take one, slow, deep breath. For the duration of that one breath, give your full attention to your breath in a gentle way…. [Now you’ve] just spent an entire meditation session without losing your attention!”
“One of the most freeing insights of meditation practice is realizing that the only power thoughts have is the power we give them.”
“You don’t need to force your attention; rather, see if it is possible to receive the experience and to relax with the changing expression of your chosen anchor [breath, sound, the body].”
“When you feel disturbed by the thinking mind, remind yourself that you are not practicing to prevent thinking, but rather to recognize and acknowledge thinking whenever it arises.”
Sayadaw U Tejaniya
OMG Where Are All These Emotions Coming From??
“Don’t feel guilty. We have no control over our feelings. Emotions are spontaneous things that arise.”
Archbishop Desmond Tutu
“We can’t understand the nature of reality until we let go of controlling our experience. There’s no way to see clearly what is going on if on some level we are attempting to ignore or bypass the stormy weather.”
“Everything that occurs is not only usable and workable but is actually the path itself. We can use everything that happens to us as the means for waking up.”
Seriously, I Would Have to Be The Buddha To Be Able To Do This!
In the Prajnaparamita, a student asked the Buddha, “Is this just for the wise and intelligent?”
The Buddha replied, “This is open to all, even to the dull witted and to those who can’t pay attention. The door is open to anyone who wants to tread this path– but not to the person who is lazy and indifferent.”
That’s Buddha-speak for:
“You’ve got this, dude.”
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