Buddha is one of the wisest most enlightened individuals who has ever walked the face of the earth.
Even centuries later, regardless of race, religious background and culture you grew up in, you can always use some wisdom from Buddha to heighten your life experience.
#1. “However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them?” ― Gautama Buddha
The basis of most education systems is that you read and study what you learn from your textbooks and teachers so that you can apply what you learn onto your tests.
If you do not apply what you learn from your studies then you will get a failing grade.
Much is the same in the school of life, in that you can study all the books and listen to all the teachers in the world, but if you do not apply what you learn, then life will not be fun.
The only point of learning is so that you can apply that information into your direct experience.
That information that you gather is only knowledgeable to the extent that you can put it into action, and thus it becomes wisdom.
#2. “Doubt everything. Find your own light.” ― Gautama Buddha
According to Tech21Century, the human mind is loaded with 34 gigabytes of information per day.
This is enough information to make your light seem pitch black.
The mind is being bombarded with information that it is constantly filtering out what is true and what is not.
Doubting everything doesn’t mean that you won’t use information to a certain degree, it means that you won’t let information use you.
A good deal of the information that is loaded into you is created based on human psychology, neurolinguistics programming and societal outlooks.
Take what is useful, discard what is not, and MOST IMPORTANTLY, find what feels right in your deep inner silence.
#3. “No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.” ― Gautama Buddha
Growing up is about being less dependent on others to find your way and most dependent on yourself.
This does not mean that community does not have its place, that teamwork does not have its place; these are extremely important factors for a great life.
It means, for the sake of your joy and tranquility you are the only one who can make this happen.
Why? Because nobody experiences life for you.
If you want to find the only one who can set you free, you must look within and find the one.
#4. “Three things cannot hide for long: The Moon, the Sun and the Truth.” ― Gautama Buddha
This was a brilliant analogy from Buddha, because unless you are blind, you cannot miss the moon, or the sun.
Just as much as with the sun and the moon, the human race cannot only be blind to the truth forever. At some point the truth will show itself.
A lot of people will say that the truth is subjective, but it really is not. If all is one, then the truth also must be one, It must also be constant regardless of the way that you look at life.
The truth is now, and that is ultimately the direction the world is going in, the direction of the directionless, the path of the pathless, the time of the timeless.
#5. “Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.” ― Gautama Buddha
There is always something to be grateful for. Gratitude is a sign of one of the complete opposites of the ego. The ego, in its natural state, wants more and is never satisfied, thus it needs more time, and anything in the mind that needs more time is the ego.
#6. “The tongue like a sharp knife… Kills without drawing blood.” ― Gautama Buddha
One of the biggest topics going on in the world is bullying. It’s tough to handle being torn down by others, even if you’re one of the more aware people on this planet.
People who bully others are truly hurting inside; they don’t know or realize the extent of this hurt, and they must take it out on others.
Some bullies go so far that their words have struck so hard with others, that many individuals have committed suicide by not understanding how to handle such harsh words.
Words are more than the passing of sound; they are a communication tool with energy behind them.
You don’t need to be careful what you say; just make the present moment the foundation of your life, and the less you will say things with the intent of harming others.
#7. “The past is already gone; the future is not yet here. There’s only one moment for you to live, and that is the present moment” ― Gautama Buddha
The very foundation of all spiritual teachings is not supposed to be about new belief systems but cutting, scraping and melting down to absolute reality.
In order to know absolute reality, you must have DIRECT evidence, and the only thing that you have direct evidence of is the aliveness that you feel inside at this moment.
What happened in the past is no more than a dream, and what will happen is also no more than an imaginative dream, but in neither of them is there a direct evidence pertaining to this moment.
This direct evidence is life itself, reality.
#8. “In the sky, there is no distinction of east and west; people create distinctions out of their own minds and then believe them to be true.” ― Gautama Buddha
Consider all the labels that you use in your life that are not based on absolute reality.
Sure, we are going to use east and west to make our way around the earth, yet they are only principles used on how to make our way around this world.
This is no different from the very labels we use in our life. EVERYTHING the mind looks at should be taken with a grain of salt.
It should be looked at for what it is, something we use but are not attached to for complete freedom.
We have to use labels, but we don’t have to let labels use us.
#9. “Just as a snake sheds its skin, we must shed our past over and over again.” ― Gautama Buddha
When we believe that the past is who we are, then we will NOT be able to look at this moment with a fresh pair of new eyes.
The present is not dyed with the colors of the past, and unless we completely let go of our identity with the past, we cannot make reality, which is our awareness of this moment, the foundation of our life.
Shedding your past does not mean you are shedding memory, which is needed for practical use, but, most importantly, shedding the thought that who we are absolutely is our experiences from the past.
#10. “A man asked Gautama Buddha, “I want happiness.” Buddha said, “First remove “I,” that’s Ego, then remove “want,” that’s Desire. See now you are left with only “Happiness.” ― Gautama Buddha
Ego is simply the identification of who you are in absolute reality with form.
A thought in its very nature is form, and when you identify who you are with thought, ‘I’ resembles everything in this physical world from your mind, emotions, name, body, past, future, and everything in between and beyond.
When you say “I”, you are referring to this, the phantom or the false you, which already is going to keep you from feeling internally free.
This “I” is also saying that who you are is someone who is not already internally free in this moment, and that your desire, which is future oriented, will bring internal freedom.
The best way to have real happiness, which can best be defined as internal freedom in this moment, is to know that who you are is this moment, and when that is enough, you will be fulfilled and free inside.
This, of course, does not mean that in the next moment you won’t re-identify who you are with needing happiness or some future destination, which is why happiness has to happen by being aware of your own feeling presence with ANY type of internal irritation.
#11. “The secret of health for both mind and body is not too mourn for the past, nor to worry about the future, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly.” ― Gautama Buddha
The concept of time is that we can easily become a victim to it. If we are identified with the past, then we will believe that past sufferings will be a pattern of the present and even of the future.
Even the most seemingly catastrophic past is not you. Seemingly, the past can be more damaging the more we identify who we are with the mind.
If we are anxious about a future, then we are truly not living.
One of the most common causes of fear is of what’s going to happen. Nobody knows what’s going to happen in the future, therefore we fear it. Because we fear what could or could not happen, we are always wanting to be in a future so we know how it’s going to play out.
If the present moment holds the key to internal freedom, and we continue to use it as a stepping-stone to get to the next moment, then we aren’t really living.
Life is not happening, life is.
#12. “Every morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.” ― Gautama Buddha
We are not just reborn every morning, but we are reborn every moment.
The moment is as fresh as a newborn child.
No matter how much of a hole you feel like you have dug yourself into, that hole does not exist without you keeping the past alive. No matter how deep that hole feels, it only feels that deep on the level of your mind.
You are this moment, and your awareness of being is reborn in the moment of conscious awareness.
#13. “You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection” ― Gautama Buddha
This one can be a bit tricky, and loving yourself can be just as egotistical as hating yourself.
If you are loving your self-identity, or the false you, then you are causing internal freedom on your part.
A lot of people use self-love in the rebellious sense, the “I’ll show you” mentality, because they are getting the lack of love from others, which also doesn’t exist.
Love is. Love is the awareness of presence, the natural spontaneous you, which is constantly evolving in this physical world.
You cannot receive love from another, you can be only in love with who you are right now, which is love and so is the perceived other.
#14. “Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.” ― Gautama Buddha
Do you ever wonder why some of the wealthiest people in the world are also the most unpeaceful?
They may have millions of dollars, the biggest house, and the nicest clothes and in general some very nice materials, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are peaceful.
This is by no means a knock on materials. I feel there is a great place for materials, but if we are seeking materials for our peace, then it will always be left in the future.
“When I get this, I will be peaceful…when I get there, I will be peaceful.”
The “If/then” model is flawed in its own right.
All peace stems from within the spontaneous now.
#15. “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.” ― Gautama Buddha
Anger is NOT bad; everyone gets angry at some point or another, even about the smallest, most minute thing and in the smallest way.
Anger, however, becomes really destructive when we hang on to it. Even if we aren’t showing our anger, we are always the ones who suffer from hanging onto it.
The best way to let go of anger is just like any other unwanted emotion, to observe it, accept that it is here through silence, and staying in silence until it dissolves on its own.
Let’s face it though; others do get affected by anger because we project our reality onto others. We think that if we are angry we will get what we want.
Emotions though aren’t something that can be controlled, anger included, because they happen to you through the conditioning, so, in the moment of anger, see it, feel it through silence, and let it break away on its own.