Tao Te Ching

The Power of Goodness, the Wisdom Beyond Words
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Buddhism

Quotes (77)

“All Buddhas past, present and future have one essence. Understand this essence and you will discover your mind’s true nature.”

Āryadeva འཕགས་པ་ལྷ། 1
(Kannadeva)
from Four Hundred Verses on the Yogic Deeds of Bodhisattvas

Themes: Mind Buddhism

39. Oneness

“But deluded people don't realize that their own mind is the Buddha. They keep searching outside.”

Bodhidharma 菩提達磨 1
(Daruma)

“A Buddha is someone who finds freedom in good fortune and bad.”

Bodhidharma 菩提達磨 1
(Daruma)

13. Honor and Disgrace

“Zen is the complete realization of mind,
The complete cutting off of delusion,
The power of wise vision penetrating directly to the unborn.”

Yòngjiā Xuānjué 永嘉玄覺 665 – 713 CE
(Yung-chia Ta-shih; Yōka Genkaku; "The Overnight Guest")
from Song of Enlightenment 证道歌

Themes: Buddhism

“Buddhism looks for the basic cause of suffering and discovers this to be the belief in a self or ego... the remedy is to see through the illusion, to attain the insight of emptiness.”

Padmasambhava པདྨཱ་ཀ་ར། 1
("The Lotus-Born", Guru Rinpoche)
from Tibetan Book of the Dead

Themes: Buddhism

“The more you seek the Buddha and the Dharma, the further away they become.”

Rinzai Gigen 臨済義玄 1 via Shan Dao
(Línjì Yìxuán)
from Zen Teachings of Rinzai (Record of Rinzai), Irmgard Schloegl translation 1976

81. Journey Without Goal

“The key difference between Hinduism and Buddhism is that Hinduism asserts ‘Atman (Soul, Self) exists’, while Buddhism teaches that there is ‘no Soul, no Self’”

Adi Shankara 788 – 820 CE via Shan Dao, et alia

Themes: Hinduism Buddhism

“A monk asked Dongshan, "What is Buddha?" Dongshan said, "Three pounds of flax."”

Dongshan Liangjie 洞山良价 807 – 869 CE
(Dòngshān Liángjiè; Tōzan Ryōkai)

Themes: Buddhism

2. The Wordless Teachings

“The Mind is no other than the Buddha, and Buddha is no other than sentient being. When Mind assumes the form of sentient being, it has suffered no decrease; when it has become a Buddha, it has added nothing to itself.”

Huangbo Xiyun 黄檗希运 1
(Huangbo Xiyun, Huángbò Xīyùn, Obaku)

“The sage who knows all as pure potential leaves the material world for Buddhafields of Bliss.”

Tilopa 988 – 1069 CE via Keith Dowman
from Masters of Mahamudra

Themes: Taoism Buddhism

“I haven't got any Buddhism. I live by letting things happen.”

Dōgen Zenji 道元禅師 1200 – 1253 CE

“the idolaters say that it is the sepulchre of Sagamoni Borcan [Shakyamuni Buddha], before whose time there were no idols. They hold him to have been the best of men, a great saint in fact, and the first in whose name idols were made.”

Marco Polo 1254 – 1324 CE
Epitome of adventurous business, political, and geographical exploration

Themes: Buddhism

“Confucianists and Buddhists quarrel and dispute with each other because the Confucianists do not read Buddhist books annd the Buddhists do not read Confucianist books Both are talking about what they do not know.”

Chén Jìrú 陳繼儒 1558 – 1639 CE via Lin Yutang

“The daily decline in the art of learning is due to the lack of clarification of the differences between Confucianism and Buddhism.”

Sun Qifeng 孫奇逢 1583 – 1675 CE

“There is no special doctrine for the study of Zen. All that is needed is to see it directly, hear it directly. In direct seeing there is no seeing. In direct hearing there is no hearing.”

Bunan 至道無難 1603 – 1676 CE
(Shido Bunan Zenji Munan)

Themes: Buddhism

“Rather than trying to become a buddha, nothing could be simpler than taking the shortcut of remaining a buddha!”

Bankei 盤珪永琢 1622 – 1693 CE
(Bankei Yōtaku)

10. The Power of Goodness

“As for the exterior religion of buddhism, the principal point of its doctrine is that the souls of men and of animals are immortal; that they are originally of the same substanace, and they they differ only according to the different bodies they animate”

Diderot 1713 – 1784 CE
from Encyclopédie

“If a person has compassion, they are a Buddha.”

Shabkar Tsokdruk Rangdrol ཞབས་དཀར་ཚོགས་དྲུག་རང་གྲོལ། 1781 – 1851 CE
from Flight of the Garuda

69. No Enemy

“Searching through the paths and levels for a place far away, they have never had a chance to arrive at buddhahood.”

Shabkar Tsokdruk Rangdrol ཞབས་དཀར་ཚོགས་དྲུག་རང་གྲོལ། 1781 – 1851 CE via Erik Pema Kunsang
from Flight of the Garuda

47. Effortless Success

“I know that some will have hard thoughts of me when they hear their Christ named beside my Buddha, yet I am sure that I am willing they should love their Christ more than my Buddha, for the love is the main thing.”

Henry David Thoreau 1817 – 1862 CE
Father of environmentalism and America's first yogi

“Buddhists maintain that there is no Creator but an infinitude of creative powers, which collectively form the one eternal substance, the essence of which is inscrutable hence not a subject for speculation for any true philosopher.”

Blavatsky, Helena Еле́на Петро́вна Блава́тская 1831 – 1891 CE
Co-founder of Theosophy
from Isis Unveiled​​

“Jesus taught the world nothing that had not been taught as earnestly before by other masters... Every word of his sermon is an echo of the essential principles of monastic Buddhism.”

Blavatsky, Helena Еле́на Петро́вна Блава́тская 1831 – 1891 CE
Co-founder of Theosophy
from Isis Unveiled

Themes: Buddhism

“Christianity persecuted, tortured, and burned. Like a hound it tracked the very scent of heresy. It kindled wars and nursed furious hatred and ambitions. Like Islam, it sanctified extermination and tyranny. All this would have been impossible if, like Buddhism, it had looked only to peace and the liberation of souls.”

Santayana, George 1863 – 1952 CE
(Jorge Agustín Nicolás Ruiz de Santayana y Borrás)
Powerfully influential, true-to-himself philosopher/poet
from Reason in Science

“The Buddhists or the Jains do not depend upon God; but the whole force of their religion is directed to the great central truth in every religion, to evolve a God out of man. They have not seen the Father, but they have seen the Son. And he that hath seen the Son hath seen the Father also.”

Swami Vivekananda ʃami bibekanɔnd̪o 1863 – 1902 CE
"The maker of modern India"

“Buddhism has done more for the advance of world civilization and true culture than any other influence in the chronicles of mankind... It is beyond all disputes the achievement of one of the most penetrating intelligence the world has ever known.”

H. G. Wells 1866 – 1946 CE
A father of science fiction and One World Government apostle
from Outline of History

Themes: Buddhism

“It is possible that in contact with western science, and inspired by the spirit of history, the original teachings of Gautama , revived and purified, may yet play a large part in the direction of human destiny”

H. G. Wells 1866 – 1946 CE
A father of science fiction and One World Government apostle
from Outline of History

“The more superficially one studies Buddhism, the more it seems to differ from the Brahmanism in which it originated; the more profound our study, the more difficult it becomes to distinguish Buddhism from Brahmanism, or to say in what respects, if any, Buddhism is really unorthodox.”

Ananda Coomaraswamy குமாரசுவாமி 1877 – 1947 CE
Perennial philosophy's Citizen of the World

Themes: Hinduism Buddhism

“Buddhist doctrine is a medicine solely directed to save the individual from burning, not in a future hell, but in the present fire of his own thirst... Buddhists never directly attempted to organize human society, thinking the wise man should leave the dark state of life in the world”

Ananda Coomaraswamy குமாரசுவாமி 1877 – 1947 CE
Perennial philosophy's Citizen of the World
from The Dance of Shiva (1918)

Themes: Buddhism Health

“The Buddha gave to the world a complete teaching of the perfect construction of life. Each attempt to make a god of the great revolutionist, leads to absurdity.”

Helena Roerich Елéна Ивáновна Рéрих 1879 – 1955 CE

“Self-conceit is hostile to simplicity… Simplicity, beauty, and fearlessness - Christ and Buddha spoke of nothing more. Simplicity is a blessing of the spirit that vibrates in these Teachings.”

Helena Roerich Елéна Ивáновна Рéрих 1879 – 1955 CE

“If there is any religion that would cope with modern scientific needs, it would be Buddhism.”

Albert Einstein 1879 – 1955 CE

Themes: Buddhism

“Only in Christianity and in Buddhism can we find again so heroic an effort to transmute into decency the natural brutality of men.”

Will Durant 1885 – 1981 CE
Philosophy apostle and popularizer of history's lessons
from Our Oriental Heritage

“Buddhism does not follow Buddha, but is a mass of legends and superstitions that have no more right to use his name than the ferocious Christianity of Calvin or Torquemada or Tennessee has to use the name of Christ.”

Will Durant 1885 – 1981 CE
Philosophy apostle and popularizer of history's lessons
from Greatest Minds and Ideas of All Time

Themes: Buddhism

“The teachings of Buddha are eternal, but even then Buddha did not proclaim them to be infallible.”

B.R. Ambedkar 1891 – 1956 CE
(Babasaheb)

Themes: Buddhism

38. Fruit Over Flowers

“The religion of Buddha has the capacity to change according to times, a quality which no other religion can claim to have…”

B.R. Ambedkar 1891 – 1956 CE
(Babasaheb)

Themes: Change Buddhism

12. This Over That

“what you are… that is what we must realize. And to this realization Zen practice leads us step by step. This is the aim of Zen.”

Ruth Fuller Sasaki 1892 – 1967 CE

“[Recipe for a rising-sun world]: Take twenty sexually satisfied couples and their offspring; add science, intuition and humor in equal quantities; steep in Tantrik Buddhism and simmer indefinitely in an open pan in the open air over a brisk flame of affection.”

Aldous Huxley 1894 – 1963 CE
from Island

“In later Buddhist philosophy… language is a main source of the sense of separateness and the blasphemous idea of individual self-sufficiency… the infatuating delusion of ‘I,’ ‘me,’ ‘mine.’”

Aldous Huxley 1894 – 1963 CE
from Perennial Philosophy

“More systematically than any other religion, Buddhism teaches the way to spiritual knowledge in its fullness as well as its heights, in an through the world as well as in an through the soul.”

Aldous Huxley 1894 – 1963 CE
from Perennial Philosophy

Themes: Buddhism

“The Taoist interest in non-being [… ] prepared the Chinese mind for the acceptance of the Buddhist doctrine of Emptiness.”

Wing-tsit Chan 陳榮捷 1901 – 1994 CE
from Way of Lao Tzu

Themes: Taoism Buddhism

“Mitsu asked if he could tell her in a few words what Buddhism was all about… ‘Accept what is as it is and help it to be its best.”

Shunryu Suzuki Roshi 1904 – 1971 CE
from Crooked Cucumber: the Life and Zen Teaching of Shunryu Suzuki

Themes: Buddhism

16. Returning to the Root, Meditation

“Only when you give up everything can you see a true teacher. Even the name of Buddhism is already a dirty spot on our practice. It is not teaching. The character and effort of our teachers is our teaching.”

Shunryu Suzuki Roshi 1904 – 1971 CE
from Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind

Themes: Buddhism

1. The Unnamed

“So to be a human being is to be a Buddha… the most important thing is to express your true nature in the simplest, most adequate way and to appreciate it in the smallest existence.”

Shunryu Suzuki Roshi 1904 – 1971 CE

35. The Power of Goodness

“The closest thing I know to a planetary mythology is Buddhism, which sees all beings as Buddhas. The only task is to know what is”

Joseph Campbell 1904 – 1987 CE
Great translator of ancient myth into modern symbols
from Power of Myth

Themes: Buddhism

“No matter what the situation, you cannot neglect Buddha, because you yourself are Buddha… Usually when someone believes in a particular religion, his attitude becomes more and more a sharp angle pointing away from himself… in our way the point of the sharp angle is always towards ourselves.”

Shunryu Suzuki Roshi 1904 – 1971 CE

Themes: Buddhism

47. Effortless Success

“Buddhism is neither pessimistic nor optimistic. If anything at all, it is realistic, for it takes a realistic view of life and the world. It looks at things objectively. It does not falsely lull you into living in a fool's paradise, nor does it frighten and agonize you with all kinds of imaginary fears and sins. It tells you exactly and objectively what you are and what the world around you is, and shows you the way to perfect freedom, peace, tranquility and happiness.”

Walpola Rahula Thero 1907 – 1997 CE
“Supreme Master of Buddhist Scriptures”

Themes: Reality Buddhism

“The Mind of the Buddha - 'All thoughts in their infinite variety are completely without substance.'”

Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche དིལ་མགོ་མཁྱེན་བརྩེ། 1910 – 1991 CE via Matthieu Ricard
"Mind" incarnation of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo
from Journey to Enlightenment

Themes: Buddhism

“There is no question that the kind of thought and culture represented by Chuang Tzu was what transformed highly speculative Indian Buddhism into the humorous, iconoclastic, and totally practical kind of Buddhism what was to flourish in China and in Japan in the various schools of Zen.”

Thomas Merton 1915 – 1968 CE

Themes: Buddhism Taoism

41. Distilled Life

“Buddhism and Taoism—unlike Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism—are not whole cultures but critiques of culture: endearing, non-violent revolutions or 'loyal oppositions' to the cultures they live in.”

Alan Watts 1915 – 1973 CE
from Psychotherapy East and West

“The decline of Indian Buddhism was centrally due to the fact that it never offered the Indian laity a complete religion. Early Buddhism knew no ceremonies for birth and death, marriage, illness, and other critical turns of private life... Only for the community of monks did Buddhism provide a complete and well-defined way of life... But Brahmins were needed for all the ordinary crises in life, ready with their rites and sacred formulas to ward off danger or minimize the damage. This elemental fact assured the survival of Brahminism in India.”

William Hardy McNeill 1917 – 2016 CE
Historian
from The Rise of the West: A History of the Human Community, 1963

Themes: Hinduism Buddhism

“Buddhism begins with a man who shook off the daze, the doze, the dream-like vagaries of ordinary awareness. It begins with a man who woke up.”

Huston Smith 1919 – 2016 CE
from World's Religions

“What is Zen? Simple, simple, so simple. Infinite gratitude toward all things past; infinite service to all things present; infinite responsibility to all things future.”

Huston Smith 1919 – 2016 CE
from World's Religions

“After his great awakening, the Buddha continued to meditate and to devote himself to others; otherwise his vision would have receded into a pleasant memory.”

Huston Smith 1919 – 2016 CE

Themes: Memory Buddhism

“Buddhism is a return to the Original mind”

Jack Kerouac 1922 – 1969 CE
from Some of the Dharma

Themes: Buddhism

“Buddhism is the understanding of the angels”

Jack Kerouac 1922 – 1969 CE
from Some of the Dharma

Themes: Buddhism

“Chan Buddhism is actually an ancient Taoist teaching cloaked in Buddhist garments, which afterwards spread to Japan and Korea.”

Hua-Ching Ni 1925 CE –
from Complete Works of Lao Tzu

Themes: Buddhism

“The teachings of Lao Tzu and the principles of the I Ching elevated the new teachings of Buddhism as Mahayana”

Hua-Ching Ni 1925 CE –
from Complete Works of Lao Tzu

Themes: Buddhism

“Buddhism teaches us not to try to run away from suffering. You have to confront suffering. You have to look deeply into the nature of suffering in order to recognize its cause, the making of the suffering.”

Thích Nhất Hạnh tʰǐk ɲɜ̌t hɐ̂ʔɲ 1926 CE –

Themes: Buddhism

“The Buddha, the Godhead, resides quite as comfortably in the circuits of a digital computer or the gears of a cycle transmission as he does at the top of the mountain, or in the petals of a flower. To think otherwise is to demean the Buddha - which is to demean oneself.”

Robert M. Pirsig 1928 – 2017 CE
from Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

“The doctrinal differences between Hinduism and Buddhism and Taoism are not anywhere near as important as doctrinal differences among Christianity and Islam and Judaism. Holy wars are not fought over them because verbalized statements about reality are never presumed to be reality itself.”

Robert M. Pirsig 1928 – 2017 CE
from Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

“Suffering in hopefulness is the eternalist. Suffering in hopelessness is the nihilist. Beyond both hopefulness and hopelessness is the Buddhist.”

Thinley Norbu གདུང་སྲས་ཕྲིན་ལས་ནོར་བུ 1931 – 2011 CE
(Kyabjé Dungse)
from Magic Dance (1981)

Themes: Buddhism

“Almost all Western teachers of Buddhism are either nihilists or eternalists, and not actual Buddhist lineage holders…Sometimes American Buddhism looks like communism, sometimes like democracy, sometimes like socialism, and sometimes like nothing, only circling between worldly systems, never cutting from them but only circling between negative phenomena.”

Thinley Norbu གདུང་སྲས་ཕྲིན་ལས་ནོར་བུ 1931 – 2011 CE
(Kyabjé Dungse)

“The myth of the Buddha's enlightenment has the same paradox in it, the same provocation to explanation but with as little possibility of settling the matter... The perfect unspeakability has given rise to an immense flow of literature in scores of languages that shows no signs of abating.”

James P. Carse 1932 – 2020 CE
Thought-proving, influential, deep thinker
from Finite and Infinite Games

Themes: Buddhism

“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.”

Dalai Lama XIV Tenzin Gyatso 1935 CE –

69. No Enemy

“The Buddha’s principal message that day was that holding on to anything blocks wisdom. Any conclusion that we draw must be let go.”

Pema Chödrön 1936 CE –
(Deirdre Blomfield-Brown)
First American Vajrayana nun

57. Wu Wei

“In general, people speak as if there is a kind of religion created by Buddha Shakyamuni. That is not a correct point of view. Buddha never created any kind of school or religion.”

Namkhai Norbu ཆོས་རྒྱལ་ནམ་མཁའི་ནོར་བུ་ 1938 – 2018 CE via John Shane
Dzogchen Master
from Dzogchen: The Self-Perfected State

Themes: Buddhism Religion

“All doctrines are limited and the dogma of the early Buddhists is inseparable from their cultural attitudes. It failed to see the phenomenal world as mother, sister, maiden, or child.”

Chögyam Trungpa 1939 – 1987 CE
from The Collected Works of Chogyam Trungpa

Themes: Buddhism

ViewYou will be able to develop American Buddhism, you will be able to teach the rest of the world, to go back to the Tibetans or the Indians and teach them what their earlier understanding was all about.”

Chögyam Trungpa 1939 – 1987 CE
from Orderly Chaos — The Mandala Principle

Themes: Buddhism

“Buddhists seek to replicate in their own experience the spiritual awakening of the Buddha, while scientists seek to make unprecedented advances in the pursuit of objective knowledge.”

B. Alan Wallace 1950 CE –
(Bruce Alan Wallace)
from Contemplative Science

Themes: Buddhism Science

“It was a Chinese kind of Buddhism, which is a bit of this, that, and the other—ancestor worship, a belief in ghosts, bad fate, all the frightful things. But it was not the Burmese version that desires nothing. With our kind of Buddhism, we desired everything…”

Amy Tan 1952 CE –
Rock and roll singer, bartender, and insightfully talented author

“Zen is for poets, Tibetan Buddhism is for artists, and Vipassana is for psychologists.”

Robert Wright 1957 CE –
from Why Buddhism is True

Themes: Buddhism

“Why Buddhism is true: because we are animals created by natural selection.”

Robert Wright 1957 CE –
from Why Buddhism is True

Themes: Buddhism

“If you still define yourself as a Buddhist, you are not a buddha yet.”

Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche རྫོང་གསར་ འཇམ་དབྱངས་ མཁྱེན་བརྩེ་ རིན་པོ་ཆེ། 1961 CE –
(Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche)
"Activity" incarnation of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo
from What Makes You Not a Buddhist

Themes: Buddhism

37. Nameless Simplicity

“At the point of total realization, you must abandon Buddhism. The spiritual path is a temporary solution, a placebo to be used until emptiness is understood.”

Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche རྫོང་གསར་ འཇམ་དབྱངས་ མཁྱེན་བརྩེ་ རིན་པོ་ཆེ། 1961 CE –
(Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche)
"Activity" incarnation of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo
from What Makes You Not a Buddhist

Themes: Buddhism

38. Fruit Over Flowers

“Meditation is about learning to work with the mind as it is, not about trying to force it into some sort of Buddhist straitjacket.”

Mingyur Rinpoche 1975 CE –
Modern-day Mahasiddha

Themes: Buddhism

“Buddhism has assigned the question of happiness more importance than perhaps any other human creed... Buddhism shares the basic insight of the biological approach to happiness, that happiness results from processes occurring withing one's body, not from events in the outside world... the real root of suffering is this never-ending and pointless pursuit of ephemeral feelings”

Yuval Harari יובל נח הררי‎ 1976 CE –
Israeli historian, professor, and philosopher

from Sapiens

Themes: Buddhism

“Buddhism was accepted as another aspect of the native Taoism when it was first introduced into China... the Buddha was worshiped together with Confucius in the same temple that also enshrined the Yellow Emperor and Lao Tzu.”

Edward T Chʻien 1986 CE –
Chiao Hung and the restructuring of in the late Ming
from Chiao Hung and the restructuring of in the late Ming