“Buddhism is made up of all non-Buddhist elements.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh.
Buddhism teaches different ways of realizing the ultimate truths of this life, and also sheds light on the path leading to inner peace and happiness.
Here are 7 potentially transformative pieces of wisdom from the Buddha which you can benefit from.
(There are several quotes floating around on the Internet which have been misattributed to Buddha. So we thought of compiling some of the real quotes mentioned in Buddhist texts.)
1) “The root of suffering is attachment.”
An important teaching that we all need to work on. Non-attachment doesn’t mean to disconnect from your loved ones and lead a life of a hermit, but to be able to live amidst all this and accept the impermanence of all things.
It means to go with the natural flow of life and not be attached to any of these things, that the thought of losing it makes you angry or annoyed.
Its only when you become attached, that all the problems and negative emotions arise. But when you don’t cling to things, it becomes easier to simply let go of the excess or things that don’t serve you any more.
2) “It is in the nature of things that joy arises in a person free from remorse.”
“The saddest summary of life contains three descriptions: could have, might have, and should have.” ~ Unknown
One of the worst thoughts to live with would be that of regret – be it an action you took or the way you reacted or a decision you made. Harboring feelings of remorse or regret doesn’t change anything, as it is something you did before you learned how to do things differently. If you didn’t go through those experiences, you might not have grown into the person you are today. When you live without any remorse, you will find peace within yourself.
3) “Give, even if you only have a little.”
This is also where detachment comes in – when you are not attached to your material possessions or accumulations, you feel liberated. You become more open to giving rather than collecting and collecting some more. Over the years I have seen people who might have little but they have a big hearts filled with generosity. When people have too much, greed takes over and they find it difficult to let go of their desire to accumulate.
4) “Whoever doesn’t flare up at someone who’s angry wins a battle hard to win.”
To exude an inner calm in the most trying and unpleasant environment or situation is what our spiritual journey is all about. Its easy to just lose your mind or snap at the other person when he/she is in rage, but when you are truly connected with that inner peace within you, anger becomes just another emotion to deal with. No matter how the other person reacts, you find that space of calmness in the chaos, and you will notice that more often than not, even the other person’s anger fades away.
5) “Just as a solid rock is not shaken by the storm, even so the wise are not affected by praise or blame.”
Pay attention to your mind as it’s easy to get swayed with any criticism or praise that it gets. The issue here is you’re letting your own happiness or sadness be determined by external circumstances or other people – and so your emotions and thoughts are constantly swinging here and there like a yo-yo, and you have no control over it. Do not get lost in the words of others, because deep down you know what you are.
6) “Those who cling to perceptions and views wander the world offending people.”
“If you believe in something, you are automatically precluded from believing its opposite.” ~ Terrence McKenna
When you strongly hold a view and perception it shuts you off from even considering another person’s belief. You begin to live in a comfort zone and will do anything to protect that shell. You are willing to remain comfortable and free of fear than to risk the discomfort of being wrong or facing the fear of the unknown. In the process of remaining rigid and inflexible, you cut off empathy and harbor apathy.
On the other hand, when you really question your views and beliefs, you open yourself to the possibilities present in a situation, and it liberates you from clinging on to your perceptions. A feeling of liberation will transcend the nature of our perception which allows for the complete tranquillity of unity consciousness to emerge.
7) “Drop by drop is the water pot filled. Likewise, the wise man, gathering it little by little, fills himself with good.”
You can read a thousand books but what is the point of knowledge if you don’t convert it into wisdom. Gathering a little knowledge at a time gives you the opportunity to process it. Unraveling the myriad layers of your inner self is a constant process; shedding unreal concepts, thoughts and beliefs, and becoming more conscious of our inner being.
There’s no rushing into it, but simply allow it to unfold at its own pace. It’s not about reaching a destination, but understanding that the journey is indeed the thing.