A collection of 63 mindfulness quotes from Ajahn Brahm’s teachings, put under three headings: Sīla (virtue), Samādhi (meditation), and Pañña (wisdom).
All You Need Is Kindfulness: A Collection of Mindfulness Quotes
by Ajahn Brahm
Sīla is the Pali term for virtue. It is the cultivation of harmlessness, kindness, generosity and care by body, speech and mind. It could also be translated as character, habit or morality. Your understanding of what is skilful and what is unskilful, and the inspiration you get from your own heart or from seeing living examples, will enable you to let go of unwholesome habits and tendencies and to develop the wholesome qualities in your mind. The practice of morality makes your heart pure, and a pure heart is a happy heart well prepared for the practice of meditation.
If you want to have a good time, be good.
Real beauty does not lie in perfection, but in embracing and accepting imperfection.
Love is the ability to embrace the imperfections of another, of ourselves and of life.
Instead of having a fault-finding mind, develop the beautiful attitude of gratitude.
Whatever you value, whatever you think is really important, that is what will develop and grow.
Water the flowers in your garden, don’t water the weeds.
What you see in others, that’s what they will show you back.
Don’t worry too much about what goes into your mouth. It’s much more important to worry about what comes out of it.
A lot of anger comes from not seeing the full picture, from not understanding the truth of the matter.
What’s more important, being right or living in harmony together?
It’s never his problem her problem or my problem, it’s always our problem. We are in this together. That’s how you solve the problem.
If there is nothing you can do, then do nothing. If there is something you can do, then give it all you’ve got.
You can’t always cure, but you can always care.
Whenever there is a tragedy, it gives us the opportunity to care, to give, to help and to serve.
Always put happiness and joy into whatever you are doing.
Little acts of kindness are huge. They make both you and others very happy. These are what we call: instant karmic rewards.
Merit is not something you store up for a future life, it’s what you put into your heart for now.
Real generosity is giving, expecting nothing back in return.
Inspiration is a beautiful source of pure energy that uplifts your heart.
A lot of the time you learn the most from osmosis, by just hanging around good people.
When you cultivate a beautiful mind throughout the day, you will have a beautiful mind in meditation.
Samādhi is the Pali term for deep meditation, or for collectedness and unification of mind. It is not achieved through force or striving, but through restraining and relinquishing unwholesome qualities and through the cultivation and development of wholesome ones. Mindfulness and kindness will allow a positive and happy mind to settle down, and to enter deeper and deeper into stillness and peace. The purification that happens through the practice of meditation will give your mind the strength and clarity required to uncover, to face and to penetrate to the truth.
Your real home is not the house you live in, but the stillness and peace in your heart.
Forget about the results. Creating the causes; that’s your work. The results will come by themselves.
The essence of meditation is your attitude.
It’s not important what you are meditating on, but how you are meditating.
Whatever you are aware of, you need that magical ingredient of kindness. When you are kind to what you are watching, it relaxes and so do you.
Put a lot of attention in the space between you and whatever you are aware of. And make sure there are wholesome qualities in that space: kindness, gentleness, peace and patience.
Can you make peace? Can you be kind? Can you be gentle? If you can, then you can meditate.
Right intention makes the present moment a pleasant moment.
Delight is the glue that makes your attention stick to the object.
Yes, being a control freak and using willpower may give you mindfulness. But it’s not the type of mindfulness that will lead to happiness, stillness or insight. Playfulness and joy, the power of wisdom, that creates great mindfulness.
The way of meditation is not force and will power, but wisdom power.
The energy of the mind can be directed in two ways: It can either go into reacting, doing, thinking, struggling and striving; or it can go into letting go, not being involved, not getting entangled, and just being aware without reacting.
The more you do, the more you strive, the more you wear your mind out.
Don’t do letting go, let go of doing.
Right effort is the effort to stop, to restrain, to let go, to give up, to renounce.
The nature of human mind is to be still. It only moves because of the winds of wanting.
Meditation is not about attaining more things, but about letting go of things and becoming more free.
When you want something more, you cannot enjoy what you already have.
It’s very hard to progress in meditation, when you have a fault-finding mind. You always see what’s wrong, you never see the beauty.
Wherever you happen to be on the path of meditation, please want to be there. If you want to be somewhere else, that’s the end of your progress.
It’s the nature of contentment to deepen—to become more brilliant, more happy, more blissful, more profound and empty—if you just stay with it long enough.
Pañña is the Pali term for wisdom or insight; seeing the world clearly without distortion. It is the deep understanding of the human condition that emerges out of the pure and peaceful mind. Pañña is always born of silence and stillness, of an open, receptive and unbiased heart. A mind full of thoughts is not ready to listen deeply enough. Insight into the nature of things, whether small or huge and life changing, always sets you free and fills your heart with unconditional love and compassion for all beings.
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Sean Fargo is the Founder of Mindfulness Exercises, a former Buddhist monk of 2 years, a trainer for the mindfulness program born at Google, an Integral Coach from New Ventures West, and an international mindfulness teacher trainer. He can be reached at [email protected]
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