If you want to see the best Buddha teachings in one place, then you’ll love this post.
I’ve personally gone through iconic Buddha quotes and passages and picked out his top 16.
And you can filter through the table of contents to find the lessons that most interest you.
- Lesson 1: He Watches and is Clear
- Lesson 2: Love Conquers All
- Lesson 3: Do Not Quarrel
- Lesson 4: Be Free From Judgement
- Lesson 5: Live Fully
- Lesson 6: Overcome the Negative
- Lesson 7: Awareness
- Lesson 8: Choose Your Words Carefully
- Lesson 9: Monitor Your Thoughts
- Lessons 10: Keep Going and Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
- Lessons 11: Don’t Need to Let Your Thoughts Win
- Lessons 12: Give Forgiveness a Chance.
- Lesson 13: Try to See Things From Other People’s Perspective
- Lesson 14: Start Living For Today
- Lesson 15: Find Balance
- Lesson 16: See as Much as You Can
Lesson 1: He Watches and is Clear
When you open yourself up to see the world around you, you can live a more full and rewarding life.
Most people go through the day-to-day without ever considering there is more to life than the 9 to 5 and Netflix on the weekend.
Looking past what is right in front of us helps connect us to our spirits and the meaning of life.
Lesson 2: Love Conquers All
There’s no question that it is easier to be nice to someone that it is to be mean to them.
When we treat people with dignity and respect, we feel better about ourselves and the world we live in. While it might not be reciprocated, you can only control what you put out into the world.
Lesson 3: Do Not Quarrel
Being angry is not a good way to spend our short time on this earth. Forgive and forget, learn and grow from your experiences, but don’t carry the hate with you. You’ll be better for it.
Lesson 4: Be Free From Judgement
It’s hard to imagine a world without judgement, but it is possible for your to hold your judgements until you have all of the facts and information to make a decision about a person, place, or thing.
Don’t believe everything you hear and choose to decide for yourself when you have all of the information.
Lesson 5: Live Fully
Humans like instant gratification, but there is much more to life when we have to earn our rewards.
Don’t take the escalator, take the stairs. Don’t buy the sofa with 12 equal payments, save the cash and then purchase it when you can afford it.
Lesson 6: Overcome the Negative
Leave the negativity on the doorstep and be open to forgiveness so that you don’t waste your life fighting with others or being angry because of others.
Accept the responsibility for your own feelings and work to move past the anger so you can live more fully.
Lesson 7: Awareness
Buddha believes that when we let go of all that is holding us back in our lives, we can live more freely and find our spiritual path to benefit beyond this world.
Lesson 8: Choose Your Words Carefully
Think before you speak, because you can’t take those words back once they have been sent out into the world. Would you rather impart joy or inflict pain with your words?
Lesson 9: Monitor Your Thoughts
Our thoughts lead to our words, so thinking before we speak can help us deal with a great many situations and feel more profound and open because of them. When we think negatively, we act negatively. When we think positively, we act positively.
(I recently distilled everything I know about Buddhism and eastern philosophy into a practical, down-to-earth guide to living a better life. Check it out here).
Lessons 10: Keep Going and Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
In today’s world, it’s easy to get caught up in the mad rush to the finish line. Everyone thinks they need to finish first or there’s no point in finishing at all. That’s simply not true.
Wisdom teaches us that the journey is as much of a reward as the finish line.
And if you are like most people, you change your mind so much on a daily basis that it can be difficult to understand where that finish line even is.
So you are better off to focus on what’s going on right now, be okay with being a small in a big world, and learn to love it.
Lessons 11: Don’t Need to Let Your Thoughts Win
We are at the mercy of our thoughts. They control everything we do and say. They even have a way of filtering things we hear and see.
If you want to live a better life and learn some good life lessons along the way without the hard part attached, pay attention to your thoughts and remind yourself that they are not always right.
In fact, if they were right, most of us would be doing nothing with our lives because we’d be too afraid to try anything.
Thoughts are powerful, but so are you.
Lessons 12: Give Forgiveness a Chance.
If you find things are especially difficult for you, it might be a good idea to start sending out some forgiveness into the world.
We often think that our hurt comes from external places, but the Buddha teaches us to let go of all anger and hate and entitlement.
If you can forgive yourself, and forgive those around you for the day-in-day-out things that happen and drive you crazy, you’ll find more peace.
You don’t even have to tell anyone you forgive them. Do this for you. Not them.
Lesson 13: Try to See Things From Other People’s Perspective
If you are struggling right now, put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Try seeing things from someone else’s perspective.
While this is a good exercise in empathy, it is also a good exercise in giving yourself the chance to see things from a different point of view.
These lessons can help you solve problems that you are experiencing in life, work, and in love.
Lesson 14: Start Living For Today
When it comes to life, it can seem like the rat race is never going to end.
We are all working toward retirement so we can start living, but if you start looking at the things that are going right, right now, you’ll find that your life is not as bad as you might have thought.
Rather than live for tomorrow, start living for today and all the wins that you have this day. Looking to the future is a great way to feel optimistic but looking at right now is a great way to be thankful.
Lesson 15: Find Balance
Balance is difficult for a lot of people because of the ideal standard we are all trying to live up to in our lives.
If you really want to learn a valuable life lesson, recognize that you don’t have to find any kind of balance just to appease others.
If you like your life running at a certain pace, embrace it. Don’t fight against it and trick yourself into thinking you have to do things the way everyone else is doing them.
Lesson 16: See as Much as You Can
A life’s well lived when it is well traveled. Even if you can’t afford to see the world, spend time in your own backyard and pay attention to the things that are right in front of you.
Even things that seem terrible have beauty in them. Take some time to see as much as you can of the world around you, even if it’s just right in front of you.
So whether you start incorporating all or some of these lessons into your everyday life, you’ll find that you’ll be more engaged, aware and grateful for the world you live in. And you’ll be happy knowing that you are making it a better place for you and everyone else.
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