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Updated on:

April 23, 2023

Words have the power to move us – and to awaken our inner wisdom. Mindfulness and meditation quotes are examples of words that can do just that. When we come across mindful quotes that resonate with us, something within whispers an emphatic, “yes!” 

Words of wisdom have been passed down through the generations. In fact, mindfulness quotes can be sourced from the days of the Buddha all the way to present-day meditation teachers. Some of the best and oldest quotes were recorded in ancient texts, allowing us to cherish their wisdom today.

Meditation quotes have numerous applications, such as helping to ease stress, cultivate peace, or navigate our day-to-day lives with greater presence.

In this article, we will explore different categories of mindfulness and meditation quotes sourced from a variety of people, past and present. Let yourself steep in the quotes that feel truest and deepest to you. Leave aside, for now, any that do not resonate.

meditation quotes, Best Mindfulness & Meditation Quotes

Meditation Quotes for Stress & Anxiety

When we are feeling stressed or anxious, the right words may just help us to soften mental tension. If you are feeling stressed before you sit down to meditate, call upon one of these quotes. Read it aloud before you begin your practice to help you settle in and breathe with greater ease.

  • “To begin to meditate is to look into our lives with interest in kindness and discover how to be wakeful and free.” Jack Kornfield
  • “When we open to the reality of what is, even if we don’t like what is, it helps almost immediately.” Kristin Neff
  • “Can we be with uncertainty without judging it to be good or bad, right or wrong, but just resting with it, seeing what we can notice?” Sean Fargo
  • “Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry — all forms of fear — are caused by too much future, and not enough presence.” Eckhart Tolle
  • “When things get tough and our bodies start to react, we need mindfulness to reset our internal north star.” George Mumford
  • “Let go of the battle. Breathe quietly and let it be. Let your body relax and your heart soften. Open to whatever you experience without fighting.” Jack Kornfield
  • “If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath.” Amit Ray
meditation quotes, Best Mindfulness & Meditation Quotes

Healing Meditation Quotes for Inner Peace

If you show up to your meditation cushion feeling relatively at ease already, there is always the possibility to deepen your sense of peace. These meditation quotes can serve as a reminder that you can sink a little bit further into the peace that resides within you. Read them at the start of your meditation practice.

  • “The soul always knows what to do to heal itself. The challenge is to silence the mind.” Caroline Myss
  • “The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.” Thich Nhat Hanh
  • “We don’t sit in meditation to become good meditators. We sit in meditation so that we’ll be more awake in our lives.” Pema Chödrön
  • "Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness. If, in our heart, we still cling to anything—anger, anxiety, or possessions—we cannot be free.” Thich Nhat Hanh
  • “Meditation is evolution’s strategy to bring out our full potential.” Tara Brach
  • “You can make any human activity into meditation simply by being completely with it and doing it just to do it.” Alan Watts
  • “Life is a mystery – mystery of beauty, bliss and divinity. Meditation is the art of unfolding that mystery.” Amit Ray
  • "Within you there is a stillness and sanctuary to which you can retreat at any time and be yourself." Hermann Hesse
meditation quotes, Best Mindfulness & Meditation Quotes

Meditation Quotes for Work

Another area of life where we can use mindfulness and meditation quotes is at work. When the day’s tasks feel like they’re getting the better of you, take pause to read some of these quotes. Let them inspire you to take a short pause for a 2- or 3-minute meditation.

  • "One conscious breath in and out is a meditation." Eckhart Tolle
  • "Meditation is bringing the mind home." Sogyal Rinpoche
  • “Meditation is the ultimate mobile device; you can use it anywhere, anytime, unobtrusively.” Sharon Salzberg
  • “Mindfulness isn't difficult, we just need to remember to do it.” Sharon Salzberg
  • “So if you ask why we meditate, I would say it’s so we can become more flexible and tolerant to the present moment.” Pema Chödrön
  • “When you do something, you should do it with your whole body and mind; you should be concentrated on what you do.” Shunryu Suzuki
  • "This is the real secret of life — to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play." Alan Watts
meditation quotes, Best Mindfulness & Meditation Quotes

Quotes From Spiritual Leaders

More great sources for quotes about meditation and mindfulness are spiritual leaders – both past and present. Many of these quotes embody a timeless wisdom, which has carried them through generations.

  • “Through meditation we can train our minds in such a way that negative qualities are abandoned and positive qualities are generated and enhanced.” The Dalai Lama
  • “In mindfulness one is not only restful and happy, but alert and awake. Meditation is not evasion; it is a serene encounter with reality.” Thich Nhat Hanh
  • “Wisdom springs from meditation; without meditation wisdom wanes.” The Buddha
  • "Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor." Thich Nhat Hanh
  • “It is important to expect nothing, to take every experience, including the negative ones, as merely steps on the path, and to proceed.” Ram Dass
  • “This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival.” Rumi
  • “One should learn to let thoughts arise and be freed to go as soon as they arise, instead of letting them invade one’s mind. In the freshness of the present moment, the past is gone, the future is not born, and if one remains in pure mindfulness and freedom, potentially disturbing thoughts arise and go without leaving a trace.” Matthieu Ricard
meditation quotes, Best Mindfulness & Meditation Quotes

Quotes From Authors And Thinkers

Writers and thinkers, both past and present, have expressed mindfulness and meditation in their own words as well. Some of these people are also meditation teachers and leaders. Read their mindful quotes to discover if any speak to that wisdom inside of you.

  • “To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.” Mary Oliver
  • “The whole world opens when we accept this moment, this very moment.” Deepak Chopra
  • “With every prayer, every thought of forgiveness, every meditation, every act of love, we plug in.” Marianne Williamson
  • “Mindfulness cultivates our ability to do things knowing that we're doing them.” Mark Williams & Danny Penman
  • “You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this, or the like of this.” Henry David Thoreau
  • “We cannot overstate our debt to the Past, but the moment has the supreme claim.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • “As I explore the wilderness of my own body, I see that I am made of blood and bones, sunlight and water, pesticide residues and redwood humus, the fears and dreams of generations of ancestors, particles of exploded stars.” Anne Cushman
meditation quotes, Best Mindfulness & Meditation Quotes

Quotes From Celebrities And Influencers

Because of their great benefits, mindfulness and meditation have made their way mainstream. Celebrities and influencers have also discovered the power of the practice – and they’re talking about it. The following quotes remind us that even those who have fame and financial success can benefit from quieting down and turning inwards.

  • “The outside world is constantly trying to convince you you're not enough. But you don't have to take the bait. Meditation helps you resist.” Oprah Winfrey
  • “I’m quite an erratic thinker, quite an adrenalized person. But after meditation, I feel this beautiful serenity and selfless connection.” Russell Brand
  • “Meditation is all about the pursuit of nothingness. It's like the ultimate rest. It's better than the best sleep you've ever had.” Hugh Jackman
  • "It's absolutely essential that we find ways to establish calm within ourselves amidst uncertainty." Halle Berry
  • “It feels good. Kind of like when you have to shut your computer down, just sometimes when it goes crazy, you just shut it down and when you turn it on, it’s okay again. That’s what meditation is to me.” Ellen Degeneres
  • “I wake up some mornings and sit and have my coffee and look out at my beautiful garden, and I go, ’Remember how good this is. Because you can lose it.” Jim Carrey
  • “The thing about meditation is: You become more and more you.” David Lynch
meditation quotes, Best Mindfulness & Meditation Quotes

Meditation Quotes From Mindfulness Teachers

And who better to source meditation quotes from than mindfulness and meditation teachers? Below are some thoughtful quotes about meditation from those that guide others through the practice. May their words inspire you.

  • “With mindfulness, it's not about getting rid of distractions or judging distractions, but it's really just about being present for whatever's here – whether we like it or not, whether we planned it or not. It's part of the moment.” Sean Fargo
  • “Letting go does not mean not caring about things. It means caring for them in a flexible and wise way. In meditation, we pay attention to our body with care and respect.” Jack Kornfield
  • “Our progress in meditation does not depend on the measure of pleasure or pain in our experience. Rather, the quality of our practice has to do with how open we are to whatever is there.” Joseph Goldstein
  • “But practice offers the possibility for a different response: it’s an opportunity to practice staying with an unpleasant experience, bringing curiosity and kindness.” Sebene Selassie
  • “What would it be like if I could accept life – accept this moment – exactly as it is?” Tara Brach
  • “How about making a personal commitment never to go to sleep without having meditated that day, even if for just one minute?” Rick Hanson
  • “The best way to capture moments is to pay attention. This is how we cultivate mindfulness. Mindfulness means being awake. It means knowing what you are doing.” Jon Kabat-Zinn
  • “The purpose of meditation is personal transformation. The you that goes in one side of the meditation experience is not the same you that comes out the other side.” Bhante Gunaratana
meditation quotes, Best Mindfulness & Meditation Quotes

How to Use Meditation Quotes

There are numerous ways to use meditation quotes in your practice, teachings, and in everyday life. Consider the following ways to incorporate these quotes into your days:

Bring them into your meditation practice

Incorporate your favorite words of wisdom into your practice by reading a quote before you begin meditating. In this way, meditation quotes can help to anchor your practice or provide inspiration to stay present. You can also use a quote for reflection after meditating, contemplating how true its message feels for you and/or how you can embody its wisdom in a deeper way.

Create a quote journal for inspiration

Another idea is to create a journal full of your favorite quotes. You can turn to this journal before each meditation practice or when you simply need a reminder of the importance of practice. You can continually add to this collection as you find more words that inspire you.

Read them throughout your day

To deepen your mindfulness in real life, read your favorite mindfulness quotes at random times in your day (i.e. when you first wake up, once you arrive at the office, on your lunch break). These quotes can help to ground you even when you don’t have time for a formal meditation practice.

If you teach mindfulness and meditation, you might use meditation quotes in these additional ways:

Begin a mindfulness presentation with your favorite quote

If you are giving a talk on mindfulness, you can begin by sharing a quote. Then, explore what this quote means and why it’s relevant to what you are sharing. For example, if you are leading a session on the power of mindful breathing, you could begin by sharing Eckhart Tolle’s quote that goes: "One conscious breath in and out is a meditation." Always make sure to give the correct attribution when quoting someone.

Incorporate a meditation quote into your guided meditations

You can also weave inspirational quotes right into your guided meditations. In doing so, you help to share the power of these words while your students are in the midst of their practice. The right words can help your students to ground and re-focus. Again, it is important to always state who your chosen quote comes from.

meditation quotes, Best Mindfulness & Meditation Quotes

Find Words of Wisdom That Speak to You

We cannot underestimate how powerful words are – for better or for worse. When we need a little support or encouragement in our practice, we can lean on our favorite quotes about meditation and mindfulness for inspiration.

Find the words that speak to you personally – the words that awaken your own inner wisdom. These meditation quotes will act as soul food, helping you to remember the power and purpose of your practice. Overtime, you might find that additional quotes start speaking to you in profound ways. Let this unfold – just like your practice does – with grace.

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About the author 

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]