Mindfulness Quotes and Words of Wisdom

The wise words of great writers can be sources of inspiration, truth and can sometimes help us connect to a new way of seeing. Here are some of our favourite quotes on mindfulness, meditation, thinking, emotions, anxiety, stress, pain, authenticity, spiritual growth, seeking, learning and self-acceptance. We hope that they serve as inspiration for you as they have for us.
 Please add your own favourite quotes in the comments. We will keep adding to this list so feel free to visit this page as often as you like!

“Inevitably, each of us will reach the moment when the place we have felt most comfortable becomes so uncomfortable that we feel as if we are suffocating in the stale air of our own history.
Most of us will arrive at some point in our lives when the world with which we are most familiar no longer works for us.
We are meant to outgrow ourselves; indeed, we can no more avoid this development than we can stop the ageing process.
The only question is how gracefully – and healthily – we will handle the transition.”

– Caroline Myss


“To be mindful of something is to recognise that something is there in the present moment. Mindfulness is the capacity of being aware of what is going on in the present moment. “Breathing in – I know that anger has manifested in me; breathing out – I smile towards my anger.” This is not an act of suppression or of fighting. It is an act of recognising. Once we recognise our anger, we embrace it with a lot of awareness, a lot of tenderness”
– Thich Nhat Hanh


“Perhaps the most important thing we bring to another person is the silence in us, not the sort of silence that is filled with unspoken criticism or hard withdrawal. The sort of silence that is a place of refuge, of rest, of acceptance of someone as they are. We are all hungry for this other silence. It is hard to find. In it’s presence we can remember something beyond the moment, a strength on which to build a life. Silence is a place of great power & healing.”

– Rachel Naomi Remen


“When we are mindful, deeply in touch with the present moment, our understanding of what is going on deepens, and we begin to be filled with acceptance, joy, peace and love.” – Thich Nhat Hanh


“Peace makes you strong
Hate reveals your emptiness
kindness feeds your happiness
anger reveals your fear
love makes you free”

– Yung Pueblo


“Look at a tree, a flower, a plant. Let your awareness rest upon it. How still they are, how deeply rooted in Being. Allow nature to teach you stillness.”

– Eckhart Tolle


“Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It’s a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well can be be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognise our shared humanity”

– Pema Chodron


“When it is cold in your room, you turn on the heater, & the heater begins to send out waves of hot air. The cold air doesn’t have to leave the room for the room to become warm – there’s no fighting at all between them. We practice taking care of our anger in the same way. Mindfulness recognizes anger, is aware of it’s presence, accepts and allows it to be there. Mindfulness is like a big brother who does not suppress his younger brother’s suffering. He simply says, “dear brother, I’m here for you.” You take your younger brother in your arms and you comfort him. This is exactly our practice.”

– Thich Nhat Hanh


“It is not necessary to change or manipulate experience in any way in order to notice the background of simply being aware. We may be afraid, bored, agitated, depressed, in love or at peace; the experience of being aware remains the same in all cases.”
– Rupert Spira


“Forgive yourself for not being at peace. The moment you completely accept your non-peace…..it is translated into peace. Anything you accept fully will get you there, will take you into peace. This is the miracle of surrender.”

– Eckhart Tolle


“We are on a journey of becoming that which we already are. That is the impossible paradox of our lives”

– Adyashanti


“When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.”
– John Muir


“Wisdom says we are nothing. Love says we are everything. Between these two our life flows.”

– Jack Kornfield


“Life doesn’t need you to accept it. Life accepts you totally in the moment, including your present non-acceptance of life, just as the ocean accepts every wave as itself, no matter how the wave appears. Stop trying to ‘do’ acceptance, and stop rejecting non-acceptance, and sink deeply into the acceptance that is here, the unconditional acceptance that you have always been…”

– Jeff Foster


“None of our inner parts are inherently bad. All parts are trying their best to be safe and find love. We can unburden our shadow parts by embracing them with the unconditional love from Being”

– Loch Kelly


“Turn towards me”, our grief whispers. “Just for a moment. Do not be afraid. I am made of you.”

“But I don’t know how to turn”, we reply.

“Then I shall turn towards you. Do not be afraid.”

– Jeff Foster


“Mindfulness gives you time. Time gives you choices. Choices, skillfully made, lead to freedom. You don’t have to be swept away by your feeling. You can respond with wisdom and kindness rather than habit and reactivity.”

– Henepola Gunaratana


“Mindfulness meditation doesn’t change life. Life remains as fragile and unpredictable as ever. Meditation changes the heart’s capacity to accept life as it is. It teaches the heart to be more accommodating, not by beating it into submission, but by making it clear that accommodation is a gratifying choice.”

– Silvia Boorstein


“Meditation practice isn’t about trying to throw ourselves away and become something better. It’s about befriending who we are already.”

– Pema Chodron

“Fall in love with where you are. Turn towards this – a sacred moment, unrepeatable. Trust the ebb and flow of things. Say yes to uncertainty and the unresolvedness of your life. Come out of stories and second-hand dreams and remember the place where breathing happens. Here. Now.”

– Jeff Foster


“The healing is in the return, not in never having wandered to begin with.”

– Sharon Salzberg


“The goal of this work is not ‘get rid of your story’ but to have a more flexible relationship with it.”
– Matt Licata

“When you recognize and reflect on even one good thing about yourself, you are building a bridge to a place of kindness and caring.”
― Sharon Salzberg


“When a problem is disturbing you, don’t ask, “What should I do about it?” Ask, “What part of me is being disturbed by this?”
― Michael Singer


“This moment is an invitation to start again…Begin where you are.”

– Jeff Foster


“When we keep choosing between right and wrong. We spend our energy sorting life rather than living it.”
― Mark Nepo


“The flower doesn’t dream of the bee. It blossoms and the bee comes.”
― Mark Nepo


“What is meditation? Pure fascination with this moment, exactly as it is. Not adding anything. Not taking anything away. No goal. No seeking. No meditator.”

– Jeff Foster


“Whenever you step out of the noise of thinking, that is meditation, and a different state of consciousness arises.”

– Eckhart Tolle


“To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to be yourself.”

– Thich Nhat Hanh


“Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.”

― Brené Brown


“Practice radical self care, self kindness and self compassion. For it is the degree to which you are able to take responsibility for your own vulnerability and core emotional wounding that you will release your partner from this burden, which is not theirs to carry.”

– Matt Licata


“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”

― Brené Brown


“When you love yourself you are able to celebrate the inner happiness you feel WITH the outside world and not THROUGH it.”

– Gay Hendricks


“The healthiest relationships are the honest ones. And they might not look so ‘happy’ or ‘carefree’ from the outside. They might not fit the image of what a relationship ‘should’ or ‘must’ look or feel like. Here, two people tell the honest, painful truth about today, and continually let go of all their preconceived ideas about each other. The relationship is forever renewed in the furnace of authenticity. There may be ruptures, misunderstandings, even intense feelings of doubt and disconnection, but there is a mutual willingness to face this seeming mess head-on! To look – with open eyes – at the present rupture, and not turn away or cling to the past. To sit together in the midst of mutual shattered dreams and expectations, and work to find a place of reconnection, here, now, today. Here, relationship is seen as the ultimate yoga – an ongoing and ever-deepening adventure and rediscovery of each other, a constant letting-go and a constant meeting! Love is not a future destination, conclusion, point of arrival, or a convenient story to tell others. Love is alive.

As Eckhart Tolle says, relationships aren’t here to make us happy – for true happiness lies within. They’re here to make us profoundly conscious. To break us, to humble us, to make us whole again.”

– Jeff Foster


“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure that you seek.”

– Joseph Campbell


“To some people, surrender may have negative connotations, implying defeat, giving up, failing to rise to the challenges of life, becoming lethargic, and so on. True surrender, however, is something entirely different. It does not mean to passively put up with whatever situation you find yourself in and to do nothing about it. Nor does it mean to cease making plans or initiating positive action. Surrender is the simple but profound wisdom of yielding to rather than opposing the flow of life.”

– Eckhart Tolle


“Today, you can decide to walk in freedom. You can choose to walk differently. You can walk as a free person, enjoying every step.”

– Thich Nhat Hanh


“Now is the future that you promised yourself last year, last month, last week. Now is the only moment you’ll ever really have. Mindfulness is about waking up to this.”

– Mark Williams


“The emotion of fear often works overtime. Even when there is no immediate threat, our body may remain tight and on guard, our mind narrowed to focus on what might go wrong. When this happens, fear is no longer functioning to secure our survival. We are caught in the trance of fear and our moment-to-moment experience becomes bound in reactivity. We spend our time and energy defending our life rather than living it fully.”

― Tara Brach


“You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.”

– Jon Kabat-Zinn


“Use every distraction as an object of meditation and they cease to be distractions.”

– Mingyur Rinpoche


“In the end, just three things matter: How well we have lived. How well we have loved. How well we have learned to let go”

– Jack Kornfield


“Mindfulness isn’t difficult, we just need to remember to do it.”

– Sharon Salzberg


“The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers.”

– Thich Nhat Hanh


“We waste so much energy trying to cover up who we are when beneath every attitude is the want to be loved, and beneath every anger is a wound to be healed and beneath every sadness is the fear that there will not be enough time.

When we hesitate in being direct, we unknowingly slip something on, some added layer of protection that keeps us from feeling the world, and often that thin covering is the beginning of a loneliness which, if not put down, diminishes our chances of joy.

It’s like wearing gloves every time we touch something, and then, forgetting we chose to put them on, we complain that nothing feels quite real. Our challenge each day is not to get dressed to face the world but to unglove ourselves so that the doorknob feels cold and the car handle feels wet and the kiss goodbye feels like the lips of another being, soft and unrepeatable.”

― Mark Nepo


“Suffering usually relates to wanting things to be different than they are.”

– Allan Lokos


“Look at other people and ask yourself if you are really seeing them or just your thoughts about them.”

– Jon Kabat-Zinn


“The most fundamental aggression to ourselves, the most fundamental harm we can do to ourselves, is to remain ignorant by not having the courage and the respect to look at ourselves honestly and gently.”

– Pema Chodron


“We must be willing to encounter darkness and despair when they come up and face them, over and over again if need be, without running away or numbing ourselves in the thousands of ways we conjure up to avoid the unavoidable.”

– Jon Kabat-Zinn


“Expectation has brought me disappointment. Disappointment has brought me wisdom. Acceptance, gratitude and appreciation have brought me joy and fulfilment.”
― Rasheed Ogunlaru


“There is no coming to consciousness without pain. People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own Soul. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.”

― C.G. Jung


“When your inner world is on fire and you are burning for resolution, it is tempting to conclude that something has gone wrong, that you have failed, that you are flawed, and that you are unworthy of love. The questions are surging, the longing is unbearable, and you are still aching to find some relief. You are exhausted, but this is no ordinary exhaustion. It is sacred. It is the end of one world and the beginning of another. Stay close. In these moments, which may always arise in the heart of an open, sensitive human being, slow way down. Touch the earth, look up into the sky, listen to the song of the unseen. Dare to consider that things are not always as they appear. Today may not be the day for answers, but to finally let your heart break open to the vastness of the question. You are not a project to be solved and you were never unhealed. With eyes wide open, see that you could never lose the way. The unfolding of the heart is the work of a lifetime and there is no urgency on the path of love.”

― Matt Licata


“Awakening self-compassion is often the greatest challenge people face on the spiritual path.”
― Tara Brach


“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.”

– Hamlet, Shakespeare


“Being authentic is the ability to be true to oneself. Living an authentic life requires the ability to be true to our own wants, needs and desires and not live our lives by the opinion of others. Being authentic is the ability to make self-honoring choices and stand firmly in who we are in our core. Being true to ourselves gives us the insight and compassion to see others for who they are, not who we expect them to be. It frees us up from the judgment of ourselves and others and it gives others the freedom to be themselves as well.”

– Victoria J. Reynolds


“The one you are looking for is the one who is looking”

– Francis of Assisi


“We live in a house of mirrors and think we are looking out the windows.”

– Fritz Perls


“Acknowledging the pain and the suffering that take place inside you, and allowing the feelings, will take time, but this new way of handling these feelings will change the way you relate to you and to the outside world.”

– Kelly Martin


“The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it.”

― Eckhart Tolle


“ In meditation we discover our inherent restlessness. Sometimes we get up and leave. Sometimes we sit there but our bodies wiggle and squirm and our minds go far away. This can be so uncomfortable that we feel’s it’s impossible to stay. Yet this feeling can teach us not just about ourselves but what it is to be human…we really don’t want to stay with the nakedness of our present experience. It goes against the grain to stay present. These are the times when only gentleness and a sense of humor can give us the strength to settle down…so whenever we wander off, we gently encourage ourselves to “stay” and settle down. Are we experiencing restlessness? Stay! Are fear and loathing out of control? Stay! Aching knees and throbbing back? Stay! What’s for lunch? Stay! I can’t stand this another minute! Stay!””

― Pema Chödrön


“Mindfulness, also called wise attention, helps us see what we’re adding to our experiences, not only during meditation sessions but also elsewhere.”

― Sharon Salzberg


“The feeling that any task is a nuisance will soon disappear if it is done in mindfulness.”

– Thich Nhat Hanh


“Your sacred space is where you can find yourself over and over again.”

― Joseph Campbell


“The mind is like tofu. It tastes like whatever you marinate it in.”

― Sylvia Boorstein


“Much of spiritual life is self-acceptance, maybe all of it.”

– Jack Kornfield


“That’s life: starting over, one breath at a time.”

– Sharon Salzberg


“Just as a snake sheds its skin, we must shed our past over and over again.”

– Buddha


“To see a world in a grain of sand and heaven in a wild flower, Hold infinity in the palm of your hand and eternity in an hour.”

– William Blake


“Mindfulness is about being fully awake in our lives. It is about perceiving the exquisite vividness of each moment. We also gain immediate access to our own powerful inner resources for insight, transformation, and healing.”

–  Jon Kabat-Zinn


“Mindfulness is the aware, balanced acceptance of the present experience. It isn’t more complicated than that. It is opening to or receiving the present moment, pleasant or unpleasant, just as it is, without either clinging to it or rejecting it.”

– Sylvia Boorstein


“Observe the space between your thoughts, then observe the observer.”

– Hamilton Boudreaux


“As soon as we wish to be happier, we are no longer happy.”

― Walter Landor


“Restore your attention or bring it to a new level by dramatically slowing down whatever you’re doing.”

― Sharon Salzberg


“Learning to pause is the first step in the practice of Radical Acceptance. A pause is a suspension of activity, a time of temporary disengagement when we are no longer moving toward any goal. . . . The pause can occur in the midst of almost any activity and can last for an instant, for hours or for seasons of our life. . . . We may pause in the midst of meditation to let go of thoughts and reawaken our attention to the breath. We may pause by stepping out of daily life to go on a retreat or to spend time in nature or to take a sabbatical. . . . You might try it now: Stop reading and sit there, doing “no thing,” and simply notice what you are experiencing.”

― Tara Brach


“If you trade your authenticity for safety, you may experience the following: anxiety, depression, eating disorders, addiction, rage, blame, resentment, and inexplicable grief.”

– Brene Brown


“Smile, breathe, and go slowly.”

– Thich Nhat Hanh


“You don’t have to control your thoughts. You just have to stop letting them control you.”

– Dan Millman


“Anxiety is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained.”

– Arthur Somers Roche


“Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.”

– Kurt Vonnegut


“Take a walk outside – it will serve you far more than pacing around in your mind.”
― Rasheed Ogunlaru


“In mindfulness, acceptance always comes first, change comes after.”
― Shamash Alidina


“‪A wise man once said, ‘Life is like breathing. If you try to hold it, you’ll lose it. But let it come & go & you’ll always be connected to it.’‬”
― Curtis Tyrone Jones


“What we learn in meditation, we can apply to all other realms of our lives.”
― Sharon Salzberg


“You discover that a “bored person” is not who you are. Boredom is simply a conditioned energy movement within you. Neither are you an angry, sad, or fearful person. Boredom, anger, sadness, or fear are not “yours,” not personal. They are conditions of the human mind. They come and go.”
― Eckhart Tolle


“You cannot transmit wisdom and insight to another person. The Seed is already there. A good teacher touches the Seed, allowing it to Wake up, to Sprout, and to Grow.”
– Thich Nhat Hanh

“The day you decide that you are more interested in being aware of your thoughts than you are in the thoughts themselves – that is the day you will find your way out.”
– Michael Singer

 “We cannot selectively numb emotions, when we numb the painful emotions, we also numb the positive emotions.”
– Brene Brown

“Your past is just a story. And once you realize this it has no power over you.”
― Chuck Palahniuk


“True healing is not the fixing of the broken, but the rediscovery of the unbroken.”

– Jeff Foster


“We need to become the sanctuary we seek.”

– Jack Kornfield


“There are always waves on the water. Sometimes they are big, sometimes they are small, and sometimes they are almost imperceptible. The water’s waves are churned up by the winds, which come and go and vary in direction and intensity, just as do the winds of stress and change in our lives, which stir up the waves in our minds.”

― Jon Kabat-Zinn


“Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself. Do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.”

– Bruce Lee


“When anxious, uneasy and bad thoughts come, I go to the sea, and the sea drowns them out with its great wide sounds, cleanses me with its noise, and imposes a rhythm upon everything in me that is bewildered and confused.”

– Rainer Maria Rilke


“May I meet this moment fully. May I meet it as a friend.”
― Sylvia Boorstein