Dalai Lama (1950-Present)

“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.”

“If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.”

“Love is the absence of judgment.”

“My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.”

“Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.”

“There is a saying in Tibetan, ‘Tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength.’
No matter what sort of difficulties, how painful experience is, if we lose our hope, that’s our real disaster.”

“Silence is sometimes the best answer”

“Every day, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can.”

“Know the rules well, so you can break them effectively.”

“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.”

“Choose to be optimistic, it feels better.”

“Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.”

“If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry. If it’s not fixable, then there is no help in worrying. There is no benefit in worrying whatsoever.”

“This is my simple religion. No need for temples. No need for complicated philosophy. Your own mind, your own heart is the temple. Your philosophy is simple kindness.”

“Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.”

“When we meet real tragedy in life, we can react in two ways — either by losing hope and falling into self-destructive habits, or by using the challenge to find our inner strength.”

“The whole purpose of religion is to facilitate love and compassion, patience, tolerance, humility, and forgiveness.”

“I believe compassion to be one of the few things we can practice that will bring immediate and long-term happiness to our lives. I’m not talking about the short-term gratification of pleasures like sex, drugs or gambling (though I’m not knocking them), but something that will bring true and lasting happiness. The kind that sticks.”

“Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.”

“If you can cultivate the right attitude, your enemies are your best spiritual teachers because their presence provides you with the opportunity to enhance and develop tolerance, patience and understanding.”

“Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.”

“Only the development of compassion and understanding for others can bring us the tranquility and happiness we all seek.”

“People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they’re not on your road doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost.”

“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”

“World peace must develop from inner peace. Peace is not just mere absence of violence. Peace is, I think, the manifestation of human compassion.”

“Look at children. Of course they may quarrel, but generally speaking they do not harbor ill feelings as much or as long as adults do. Most adults have the advantage of education over children, but what is the use of an education if they show a big smile while hiding negative feelings deep inside? Children don’t usually act in such a manner. If they feel angry with someone, they express it, and then it is finished. They can still play with that person the following day.”

“A truly compassionate attitude toward others does not change even if they behave negatively or hurt you.”

“We can live without religion and meditation, but we cannot survive without human affection.”

“There is only one important point you must keep in your mind and let it be your guide. No matter what people call you, you are just who you are. Keep to this truth. You must ask yourself how is it you want to live your life. We live and we die, this is the truth that we can only face alone. No one can help us, not even the Buddha. So consider carefully, what prevents you from living the way you want to live your life?”

“The more you are motivated by Love, the more Fearless & Free your action will be.”

“All suffering is caused by ignorance. People inflict pain on others in the selfish pursuit of their own happiness or satisfaction”

“Old friends pass away, new friends appear. It is just like the days. An old day passes, a new day arrives. The important thing is to make it meaningful: a meaningful friend – or a meaningful day.”

“We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.”

“Hard times build determination and inner strength. Through them we can also come to appreciate the uselessness of anger. Instead of getting angry nurture a deep caring and respect for troublemakers because by creating such trying circumstances they provide us with invaluable opportunities to practice tolerance and patience.”

“When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.”

“Never give up
No matter what is going on
Never give up
Develop the heart
Too much energy in your country
Is spent developing the mind
Instead of the heart
Be compassionate
Not just to your friends
But to everyone
Be compassionate
Work for peace
In your heart and in the world
Work for peace
And I say again
Never give up
No matter what is going on around you
Never give up”

“The purpose of all the major religious traditions is not to construct big temples on the outside, but to create temples of goodness and compassion inside, in our hearts.”

“If you have fear of some pain or suffering, you should examine whether there is anything you can do about it. If you can, there is no need to worry about it; if you cannot do anything, then there is also no need to worry.”

“Love and compassion are the true religions to me. But to develop this, we do not need to believe in any religion.”

“A good friend who points out mistakes and imperfections and rebukes evil is to be respected as if he reveals the secret of some hidden treasure.”

“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.”

“The way to change others’ minds is with affection, and not anger.”

“Inner peace is the key: if you have inner peace, the external problems do not affect your deep sense of peace and tranquility…without this inner peace, no matter how comfortable your life is materially, you may still be worried, disturbed, or unhappy because of circumstances.”

“Irrespective of whether we are believers or agnostics, whether we believe in God or karma, moral ethics is a code which everyone is able to pursue.”

“When we are motivated by compassion and wisdom, the results of our actions benefit everyone, not just our individual selves or some immediate convenience. When we are able to recognize and forgive ignorant actions of the past, we gain strength to constructively solve the problems of the present.”

“Compassion is the radicalism of our time.”

“In the practice of tolerance, one’s enemy is the best teacher.”

“Because we all share this planet earth, we have to learn to live in harmony and peace with each other and with nature.”

“The creatures that inhabit this earth — be they human beings or animals–are here to contribute, each in its own particular way, to the beauty and prosperity of the world.”

“If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun.”

“To be kind, honest and have positive thoughts; to forgive those who harm us and treat everyone as a friend; to help those who are suffering and never to consider ourselves superior to anyone else: even if this advice seems rather simplistic, make the effort of seeing whether by following it you can find greater happiness.”

“Peace does not mean an absence of conflicts; differences will always be there. Peace means solving these differences through peaceful means; through dialogue, education, knowledge; and through humane ways.”

“Open your arms to change but don’t let go of your values.”

“We can reject everything else: religion, ideology, all received wisdom. But we cannot escape the necessity of love and compassion …. This, then, is my true religion, my simple faith. In this sense, there is no need for temple or church, for mosque or synagogue, no need for complicated philosophy, doctrine or dogma. Our own heart, our own mind, is the temple. The doctrine is compassion. Love for others and respect for their rights and dignity, no matter who or what they are: ultimately these are all we need. So long as we practice these in our daily lives, then no matter if we are learned or unlearned, whether we believe in Buddha or God, or follow some other religion or none at all, as long as we have compassion for others and conduct ourselves with restraint out of a sense of responsibility, there isno doubt we will be happy.”

“I find hope in the darkest of days, and focus in the brightest. I do not judge the universe.”

“If there is no solution to the problem then don’t waste time worrying about it. If there is a solution to the problem then don’t waste time worrying about it.”

“A genuine, affectionate smile is very important in our day-to-day lives.”

“The various features and aspects of human life, such as longevity, good health, success, happiness, and so forth, which we consider desirable, are all dependent on kindness and a good heart.”

“Sleep is the best meditation.”

“All major religious traditions carry basically the same message that is love, compassion and forgiveness the important thing is they should be part of our daily lives.”

“There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.”

“Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures.”

“Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace.”

“I don’t know whether the universe, with its countless galaxies, stars and planets, has a deeper meaning or not, but at the very least, it is clear that we humans who live on this earth face the task of making a happy life for ourselves. Therefore, it is important to discover what will bring about the greatest degree of happiness.”

“Every single being, even those who are hostile to us, is just as afraid of suffering as we are, and seeks happiness in the same way we do. Every person has the same right as we do to be happy and not to suffer. So let’s take care of others wholeheartedly, of both our friends and our enemies. This is the basis for true compassion.”

“You must not hate those who do wrong or harmful things; but with compassion, you must do what you can to stop them — for they are harming themselves, as well as those who suffer from their actions.”

“True change is within; leave the outside as it is.”

“Compassion is not religious business, it is human business, it is not luxury, it is essential for our own peace and mental stability, it is essential for human survival.”

“When we feel love and kindness toward others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but it helps us also to develop inner happiness and peace.”

“Anger or hatred is like a fisherman’s hook. It is very important for us to ensure that we are not caught by it.”

“Whether one is rich or poor, educated or illiterate, religious or nonbelieving, man or woman, black, white, or brown, we are all the same. Physically, emotionally, and mentally, we are all equal. We all share basic needs for food, shelter, safety, and love. We all aspire to happiness and we all shun suffering. Each of us has hopes, worries, fears, and dreams. Each of us wants the best for our family and loved ones. We all experience pain when we suffer loss and joy when we achieve what we seek. On this fundamental level, religion, ethnicity, culture, and language make no difference.”

“Whether our action is wholesome or unwholesome depends on whether that action or deed arises from a disciplined or undisciplined state of mind. It is felt that a disciplined mind leads to happiness and an undisciplined mind leads to suffering, and in fact it is said that bringing about discipline within one’s mind is the essence of the Buddha’s teaching.”

“Sometimes one creates a dynamic impression by saying something, and sometimes one creates as significant an impression by remaining silent.”

“It is not enough to be compassionate, we must act.”

“We need to learn how to want what we have not to have what we want in order to get steady and stable Happiness”

“One problem with our current society is that we have an attitude towards education as if it is there to simply make you more clever, make you more ingenious… Even though our society does not emphasize this, the most important use of knowledge and education is to help us understand the importance of engaging in more wholesome actions and bringing about discipline within our minds. The proper utilization of our intelligence and knowledge is to effect changes from within to develop a good heart.”

“We are but visitors on this planet. We are here for ninety or one hundred years at the very most. During that period, we must try to do something good, something useful with our lives. If you contribute to other people’s happiness, you will find the true goal, the true meaning of life.”

“If you have only education and knowledge and a lack of the other side, then you may not be a happy person, but a person of mental unrest, of frustration. Not only that, but if you combine these two, your whole life will be a constructive and happy life. And certainly you can make immense benefit for society and the betterment of humanity. That is one of my fundamental beliefs: that a good heart, a warm heart, a compassionate heart, is still teachable.”

“Whether you believe in God or not does not matter much, whether you believe in Buddha or not does not matter so much; as a Buddhist, whether you believe in reincarnation or not does not matter so much. You must lead a good life.”

“When you are discontent, you always want more, more, more. Your desire can never be satisfied. But when you practice contentment, you can say to yourself, ‘Oh yes — I already have everything that I really need.”

“I always tell my Western friends that it is best to keep your own tradition. Changing religion is not easy and sometimes causes confusion. You must value your tradition and honor your own religion.”
“Non-violence means dialogue, using our language, the human language. Dialogue means compromise; respecting each other’s rights; in the spirit of reconciliation there is a real solution to conflict and disagreement. There is no hundred percent winner, no hundred percent loser—not that way but half-and-half. That is the practical way, the only way.”

“The very purpose of our life is to seek happiness.”

“I believe all suffering is caused by ignorance. People inflict pain on others in the selfish pursuit of their happiness or satisfaction. Yet true happiness comes from a sense of inner peace and contentment, which in turn must be achieved through the cultivation of altruism, of love and compassion and elimination of ignorance, selfishness and greed.”

“Man surprised me most about humanity. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”

“If I am only happy for myself, many fewer chances for happiness. If I am happy when good things happen to other people, billions more chances to be happy!”

“We discover that all human beings are just like us, so we are able to relate to them more easily. That generates a spirit of friendship in which there is less need to hide what we feel or what we are doing.”

“If a problem can be solved it will be. If it cannot be solved there is no use worrying about it.”

“An open heart is an open mind.”

“The true hero is one who conquers his own anger and hatred.”

“With realization of one’s own potential and self-confidence in one’s ability, one can build a better world.”

“Let us try to recognize the precious nature of each day.”

“Time passes unhindered. When we make mistakes, we cannot turn the clock back and try again. All we can do is use the present well.”

“It is very rare or almost impossible that an event can be negative from all points of view.”

“Today, more than ever before, life must be characterized by a sense of universal responsibility, not only nation to nation and human to human, but also human to other forms of life.”

“I believe the very purpose of our life is to seek happiness. Whether one believes in religion or not, whether one believes in that religion or this religion, we are all seeking something better in life. So, I think, the very motion of our life is towards happiness …”

“Anger is the ultimate destroyer of your own peace of mind”

“It is our collective and individual responsibility to preserve and tend to the environment in which we all live.”

“The topic of compassion is not at all religious business; it is important to know it is human business, it is a question of human survival.”

“True spirituality is a mental attitude you can practice at any time.”

“Because we all share an identical need for love, it is possible to feel that anybody we meet, in whatever circumstances, is a brother or sister.”

“The roots of all goodness lie in the soil of appreciation for goodness”

“Happiness doesn’t always come from a pursuit. Sometimes it comes when we least expect it.”

“Blessing must arise from within your own mind. It is not something that comes from outside. When the positive qualities of your mind increase and the negativities decrease, that is what blessing means. The Tibetan word for blessing … means transforming into magnificent potential. Therefore, blessing refers to the development of virtuous qualities you did not previously have and the improvement of those good qualities you have already developed. It also means decreasing the defilements of the mind that obstruct the generation of wholesome qualities. So actual blessing is received when the minds virtuous attributes gain strength and its defective characteristics weaken or deteriorate.”

“One of the basic points is kindness. With kindness, with love and compassion, with his feeling that is the essence of brotherhood, sisterhood, one will have inner peace. This compassionate feeling is the basis of inner peace.”

“The ultimate authority must always rest with the individual’s own reason and critical analysis.”

“My religion is kindness.”

“The enemy is the necessary condition for practicing patience.”

“A good motivation is what is needed: compassion without dogmatism, without complicated philosophy; just understanding that others are human brothers and sisters and respecting their human rights and dignities. That we humans can help each other is one of our unique human capacities. ”

“Someone else’s action should not determine your response.”

“Our ancient experience confirms at every point that everything is linked together, everything is inseparable.”

“I do not judge the universe.”

“All major religious traditions carry basically the same message, that is love, compassion and forgiveness the important thing is they should be part of our daily lives.”

“Human use, population, and technology have reached that certain stage where mother Earth no longer accepts our presence with silence.”

“The motivation of all religious practice is similar: love, sincerity, honesty. The way of life of practically all religious persons is consistent. The teachings of tolerance, love, and compassion are the same.”

“Share your knowledge. It is a way to achieve immortality.”

“Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn’t anyone who doesn’t appreciate kindness and compassion.”

“When something needs to be done in the world to rectify the wrongs, if one is really concerned with benefiting others, one needs to be engaged, involved. This is action out of compassion.”

“I believe that the very purpose of life is to be happy. From the very core of our being, we desire contentment. In my own limited experience I have found that the more we care for the happiness of others, the greater is our own sense of well-being. Cultivating a close, warmhearted feeling for others automatically puts the mind at ease. It helps remove whatever fears or insecurities we may have and gives us the strength to cope with any obstacles we encounter. It is the principal source of success in life. Since we are not solely material creatures, it is a mistake to place all our hopes for happiness on external development alone. The key is to develop inner peace.”

“Despite all philosophical differences, all major world religions have the same potential to create good human beings.”

“The foundation of the Buddha’s teachings lies in compassion, and the reason for practicing the teachings is to wipe out the persistence of ego, the number-one enemy of compassion.”

“As free human beings we can use our unique intelligence to try to understand ourselves and our world. But if we are prevented from using our creative potential, we are deprived of one of the basic characteristics of a human being.”

“The essence of any religion is good heart. Sometimes I call love and compassion a universal religion. This is my religion.”

“The ultimate source of happiness is not money and power, but warm-heartedness”

“The world has also learned that economic growth, by itself, cannot close the gap between rich and poor.”

“Historically, the East was more concerned with understanding the mind and the West was more involved in understanding matter.”

“We must recognize that the suffering of one person or one nation is the suffering of humanity.”

“I believe the twenty-first century can become the most important century of human history. I think a new reality is emerging. Whether this view is realistic or not, there is no harm in making an effort.”

“What we do and think in our own lives, then, becomes of extreme importance as it effects everything we’re connected to.”

“Neither a space station nor an enlightened mind can be realized in a day.”

“Every human actions becomes dangerous when it is deprived of human feeling. When they are performed with feeling and respect for human values, all activities become constructive.”

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