If you're struggling to live in the present moment, these ten mindfulness quotes from spiritual leaders will inspire you to stay grounded. Recall them when you need to be more mindful. By Calvin Holbrook.

 

Over the past few years, the message about the power of mindfulness has boomed, and for good reason. By practising mindfulness you can be more aware and receptive to how you’re feeling and the reality that surrounds you. Staying mindful is a way of finding pleasure and fulfillment in everyday things and this can make a considerable contribution to your overall happiness. 


Indeed, by practising mindfulness we can improve our patience levels and also positively change our relationships with loved ones, leading to greater kindness, compassion and understanding. 


In simple terms, mindfulness is being aware of what is happening to you and around you right now without wishing it were different – even when it seems trivial or negative.


Mindfulness also means accepting your life and not being critical or judgmental. In essence, practising mindfulness is simple and straightforward, but it may take time to develop the skills. Having inspiration in the form of mindfulness quotes can help you see the benefits of the practice and give you the power to keep going. 


The quotes below come from many experts in the field of mindfulness and meditation. Thinking more deeply about the meanings of these quotes will inspire you to practise mindful behavior each and every day. With time, you – and those around you – will really feel the benefits. 

 

Mindfulness quotes

Recall these ten mindfulness quotes to inspire you and ground you when life is taking you out of the present moment. Focus and bring your mind back to the now. 

 

1. “Wherever you are, be there totally.” Eckhart Tolle

German-born Eckhart Tolle is a spiritual teacher and author and one of the most-quoted people when it comes to mindfulness. This quote sums up the essence of mindfulness: being completely in the moment of where you are. Firstly, it works in a mental or emotional setting: whatever your mood or feeling, acknowledge it and accept that that’s how it is at the moment. Don’t force changes (it will pass eventually). 

 

This mindfulness quote also applies to your physical location or situation too. For example, you may be unhappy with your living situation at the moment, but simply accepting your situation and not judging it can help. Everything will change. Likewise, in a more positive sense, if you’re enjoying a walk by the seaside or practising some forest bathing, really be there: soak up the sights, sounds and smells of everything around you. Give life your undivided attention. 

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2. “You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.” Jon Kabat-Zinn

This mindfulness quote from Jon Kabat-Zinn has to be one of our most-loved – and most repeated! Kabat-Zinn is widely recognized as being the father of mindfulness in the Western world. He's also the creator of the original Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course.


This well-known quote from him sums up how to deal with life’s ups and downs rather nicely. The waves represent life’s many – and unstoppable – changes and challenges. When faced with choppy seas, instead of drowning in them we can get on our surfboard and learn to deal with them by riding the waves. We will probably fall off our surfboard many times, but we can jump back on, and with practice, we can learn how to navigate life's ever-changing waters better. 

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3. “Be happy in the moment, that's enough. Each moment is all we need, not more.” Mother Theresa

This mindfulness quote from nun and missionary Mother Teresa teaches us to enjoy the moment and not to want more than what we have. Sometimes it can be hard to fully embrace the now and stop worrying about the future, but this quote reminds us that we should try to live simply and in the present. 


It also reminds us that we should practise gratitude for what we have, however little. By always being more grateful in life, we can become less self-centred and materialistic, and overall become happier with our lives.

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4. “Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.” Thích Nhất Hạnh

One of the most influential figures in the fields of mindfulness, meditation and Buddhism, the wisdom of Thích Nhất Hạnh has provided countless quotes on mindfulness, but this is one of my favourites.


This quote is all about remaining centred and focusing on our breath through meditation, despite any changes or upsets in our mind. By bringing your attention to your breath, you can calm a busy or troubled mind and bring about an equilibrium. 

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5. “The real question is not whether life exists after death. The real question is whether you are alive before death.”  Osho

Indian mystic Osho was a controversial character, but there’s nothing debatable about this mindfulness quote: we agree 100 per cent! So many of us are rushing through life, doing the things we have to do: the treadmill of work, paying the bills, taking care of the family, etc. But in doing so, we often don’t stop to take in the world around us fully. Being mindful means consciously being aware, stopping to appreciate every moment of life, instead of living it at breakneck speed. 

 

“Having some inspiration in the form of mindfulness quotes can help you see the benefits of the practice and give you the power to keep going.”


Likewise, this mindfulness quote is also a reminder to ask yourself if you are really living your true, authentic life. Are you doing the things which make you happy in life or are you just a slave to the wage? Are you using all your skills and being the best person that you can be? Using mindfulness can be a great tool to be still and evaluate if you are really alive before death!

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6. “Look past your thoughts, so you may drink the pure nectar of This Moment.” Rumi

Rumi was a Persian poet born in 1207. Books of his poetry have sold millions of copies in recent years, making him one of the most popular poets in the United States. Pretty good going for someone that lived 800 years ago! This mindfulness quote from Rumi shows why his sayings are so popular.


Incredibly, experts estimate that the average mind thinks between 60,000 – 80,000 thoughts a day. Some of those thoughts include minor things like what we are thinking to eat for breakfast, but other, deeper thoughts can fly through our minds all day, such as negative thoughts about the past (rumination) and worries for the future. The problem is, when we are focusing on our thoughts, we are missing what is happening in our lives right now. Here and now. In this very moment.


Calming the chatter – the monkey mind – through mindfulness can help you to stop overthinking and live in the present moment, helping you to enjoy life and be happier.  

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7. “We have only now, only this single eternal moment opening and unfolding before us, day and night.” Jack Kornfield

This quote from Jack Kornfield – teacher, writer, and one of the leading proponents of Buddhism in the Western world – encapsulates one of the key elements of mindfulness: living in the present moment. The past is the past; we cannot change it, we can only learn from our mistakes and try to move forward.


Likewise, we can try and plan for the future to some degree, but life has the habit of throwing things up in the air to disrupt those plans! Indeed, what we truly only really have is this moment we are living now, and because of that, we should focus on that and make the most of it. 

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8. “The only way to live is by accepting each minute as an unrepeatable miracle.” Tara Brach

This mindfulness quote from respected teacher and author Tara Brach is essentially saying the same thing. We must learn to appreciate that our time on Earth is limited and we should make the most of every minute. 


This quote also hints at the power of gratitude, suggesting we should be grateful for the gift of life and all the wonder it brings. When problems and thoughts start to cloud your mood and mind, remember this mindfulness quote and try to bring yourself back to the idea of appreciating every moment of our existence.  

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9. “Paradise is not a place; it's a state of consciousness.” Sri Chinmoy

All too often we are searching for our own idea of Paradise: be that in the form of our dream home, an exotic holiday or the perfect relationship. And while, of course, it’s great to have dreams to aspire to, we mustn’t neglect the idea that we can be happy with what we already have. 


Indeed, it’s our mental attitude that can be a source of peace and contentment. If we achieve a peaceful, conscious mind, free from conflict, it can bring us great joy. Practicing mindfulness can help us achieve this state of being. This quote from Indian spiritual leader Sri Chinmoy reminds us that happiness is a journey, not a destination. 

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10. “Mindfulness isn’t difficult, we just need to remember to do it.” Sharon Salzberg

Best-selling author Sharon Salzberg has written many meditation and mindfulness books and has been teaching meditation since 1974. So, she’s pretty well placed to be able to talk about the difficulty – or ease – of practising mindfulness. Indeed, Salzberg's quote is spot-on.


Practising mindfulness in itself is not difficult as it’s simply a way of being that doesn’t require any more of our time. However, training our brains to remember to stay mindful at all times can be more of a challenge, especially if mindful behavior is new to us. However, we can change our behavior gradually, and this mindfulness quote is a reminder of that. 

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Which of these mindfulness quotes do you live your life by? Do you have any others you would like to share? Let us know in the comments below. Want to discuss mindfulness with like-minded people? Head over to our forum

 

 

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Written by Calvin Holbrook

calvin.holbrook.jpegCalvin edits the happiness magazine, as well being an artist and travel lover. He also enjoys hiking, nature, swimming, yoga, sweaty dancing, and all things vintage!


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