Enlightenment Quotes

Most popular enlightenment quotes

You cannot enlighten the unconscious.


The way is not in the sky. The way is in the heart.
Enlightenment cannot be described, only experienced.
There are many paths to enlightenment. Be sure to take one with a heart.
The attainment of enlightenment from ego's point of view is extreme death.

buddhist ego

Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.
— Buddhist proverb

proverbs Zen sayings

Saints choose to think of everyone as their friend, so that hate does not get in their way.


It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisable to the eye.
There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting.
There is no way to happiness; happiness is the way. There is no way to enlightenment; enlightenment is the way.


To study the Buddha way is to study the self. To study the self is to forget the self. To forget the self is to be enlightened by the ten thousand things.

buddhist the self

The mushroom said to me once, 'For one human being to seek enlightenment from another is like a grain of sand on the beach seeking enlightenment from another'.
You may have expected that enlightenment would come Zap! instantaneous and permanent. This is unlikely. After the first "ah ha" experience, it can be thought of as the thinning of a layer of clouds...
So the single most vital step on your journey toward enlightenment is this: learn to disidentify from your mind. Every time you create a gap in the stream of mind, the light of your consciousness grows stronger.

consciousness identity mind

To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one's family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one's own mind. If a man can control his mind he can find the way to Enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him.

health mind parenting

Becoming a Buddha is not so difficult. A buddha is someone who is enlightened, capable of loving, and forgiving. You know that at times you're like that. So enjoy being a buddha. When you sit, allow the Buddha in you to sit. When you walk, allow the Buddha in you to walk. Enjoy your practice. If you don't become a buddha, who will.


The heart says that there is "nothing to attain." We meditate not to attain enlightenment, because enlightenment is already in us. We don't have to search anywhere. We don't need a purpose or a goal. We don't practice in order to obtain some high position. In aimlessness, we see that we do not lack anything, that we already are what we want to become, and our striving just comes to a halt. We are at peace in the present moment.

purpose of life

This is the great insight of Mahayana Buddhism: everyone can become a buddha. What Siddhartha achieved, all of us can also achieve, whether we are a man or a woman, no matter what social class or ethnic group we were born into, or whether we practice as a monastic or as a layperson. We all have the capacity to become a fully enlightened buddha. And while on the path to becoming a fully enlightened buddha, we are all bodhisattvas.


When we first learn about the teachings on awakening, we think these teachings are new to us. But we already have the seed of awakening within us. Our teacher and our friends on the path only provide the opportunity for us to touch that seed and help it grow. There are many healthy and wholesome seeds already within our consciousness. With the help of a teacher and a community of practitioners, we can come back to ourselves and touch them.


With mindful walking, our steps are no longer a means to arrive at an end. When we walk to the kitchen to serve our meal, we don't need to think, "I have to walk to the kitchen to get the food." With mindfulness, we can say, "I am enjoying walking to the kitchen," and each step is an end in itself. There is no distinction between means and ends. There is no way to happiness; happiness is the way. There is no way to enlightenment; enlightenment is the way.

buddhist happiness mindfulness