Thanks to our “monkey minds,” we live most of our days in our heads, listening to the constant stream of unnecessary and sometimes unhelpful thoughts. Those voices take us out of the present moment, reducing our awareness of what’s happening around us and blinding us from the beauty of the world.
Mindfulness techniques can be incredibly beneficial as we strive to become better people. With practice, we become more aware of the doings of our minds, and we begin to notice those recurrent and negative thought patterns, which we can then choose to ignore.
As we spend more time in our bodies, the thoughts quieten down, realizing that they are losing their power. We start to notice the beautiful things around us, the sound of our children laughing, the colorful flowers in our garden, the smell of a lovingly home-cooked meal.
While the benefits of a more mindful life are incredible, cultivating mindfulness takes time, and we have to consciously practice it each day. Fortunately, there are plenty of mindfulness quotes out there that can help us stay present. Here are some of our favorites.
1. Mindfulness is a way of befriending ourselves and our experience. – Jon Kabat-Zinn
2. I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” – Henry David Thoreau
3. The best way to capture moments is to pay attention. This is how we cultivate mindfulness. – Jon Kabat-Zinn
4. You cannot control the results, only your actions. – Allan Lokos
5. Enlightenment is ego’s ultimate disappointment. – Chögyam Trungpa
6. Every time we become aware of a thought, as opposed to being lost in a thought, we experience that opening of the mind.” – Joseph Goldstein
7. Mindful and creative, a child who has neither a past, nor examples to follow, nor value judgments, simply lives, speaks, and plays in freedom.” – Arnaud Desjardins
8. Sweetheart, you are in pain. Relax. Take a breath. Let’s pay attention to what is happening; then we’ll figure out what to do.” – Sylvia Boorstein
9. By silencing the mind, we can experience real peace. – Henepola Gunaratana
10. The Way is not in the sky, the Way is in the heart. – Buddha
11. Become an alchemist. Transmute base metal into gold, suffering into consciousness, disaster into enlightenment. – Eckhart Tolle
12. No thought, no mind, no choice – just being silent, rooted in yourself. – Osho
13. Mindfulness means being awake. It means knowing what you are doing. – Jon Kabat-Zinn
14. Your actions are your only true belongings. – Allan Lokos
15. Let go of your mind and then be mindful. – Rumi
16. We are sitting under the tree of our thinking minds, wondering why we’re not getting any sunshine.” – Ram Dass
17. Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know. – Pema Chödrön
18. Now is the only reality. All else is either memory or imagination. – Osho
19. Conscious breathing is my anchor. – Thich Nhat Hanh
20. Wherever you are, be all there. – Ram Dass
21. Be happy in the moment, that’s enough, each moment is all we need, not more. – Mother Teresa
22. Be devoted to heedfulness. Guard your mind. – The Dhammapada
23. Mindfulness helps us to live in harmony with our thoughts, words, and actions.” – Amit Ray
24. Meditation is not evasion; it is a serene encounter with reality. – Thích Nhất Hạnh
25. A few simple tips for life: feet on the ground, head to the skies, heart open…quiet mind. – Rasheed Ogunlaru
26. Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life. – Eckhart Tolle
27. In trading the pleasures of an ordinary life for a meditative life, you’re trading candy for gold. – Thanissaro Bhikkhu
28. What you are is what you have been. What you’ll be is what you do now.” – Buddha
29. The first important step into the now is to become aware of whatever surrounds you. – Eckhart Tolle
30. Having no destination, I am never lost. – Ikkyu
31. Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand melting like a snowflake.” – Francis Bacon Sr.
32. Stop doing. Start being. – Maxime Lagacé
33. To think in terms of either pessimism or optimism oversimplifies the truth. The problem is to see reality as it is. – Thích Nhất Hạnh
34. Many people are alive but don’t touch the miracle of being alive. – Thích Nhất Hạnh
35. Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate. – Carl Jung
36. Wherever you go, there you are. – Jon Kabat-Zinn
37. Rejoicing in ordinary things is not sentimental or trite. It actually takes guts. – Pema Chödrön
38. If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath. – Amit Ray
39. Much of spiritual life is self-acceptance, maybe all of it. – Jack Kornfield
40. Meditation practice isn’t about trying to throw ourselves away and become something better. It’s about befriending who we are already. – Pema Chödrön
41. The things that matter most in our lives are not fantastic or grand. They are moments when we touch one another. – Jack Kornfield
42. The present moment contains the fullness of space. – Sahil Lavingia
43. 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
44. Looking at beauty in the world, is the first step of purifying the mind. – Amit Ray
45. If you’re determined to think of yourself as limited, fearful, vulnerable, or scarred by past experience, know only that you have chosen to do so. The opportunity to experience yourself differently is always available.” – Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche
46. You only lose what you cling to. – Buddha
47. Open the window of your mind. Allow the fresh air, new lights and new truths to enter. – Amit Ray
48. Your life should be a continuous death and a continuous resurrection, so that you remain fresh to the very last breath. – Osho
49. In the end, just three things matter: How well we have lived. How well we have loved. How well we have learned to let go. – Jack Kornfield
50. Unless one is able to live fully in the present, the future is a hoax. – Alan Watts
Mindfulness quotes are a brilliant tool for training our minds each day. So why not keep a copy next to your meditation space? Or, better still, jot them down on post-it notes and place them around the home for frequent reminders to get out of your head, focus on your breath, and look around you.
Remember that we cannot completely stop the thoughts in our minds and neither do we want to, for our brains can think up magnificent ideas. So instead, mindfulness simply allows us to live in a more alert state with a clear head and a whole heart.