Quotes are like small droplets of inspiration. They inspire us. And no matter how many you have, you always want more.
But do you ever get the feeling that some of the modern “gurus” who are dispensing these small packets of knowledge barely have more experience than you? Which usually means their advice is either second-hand or second-rate. And maybe that’s why it fails to hit the spot, and you find yourself reaching robotically for the next tip.
The thing is, sometimes you have to go back to the source to find the real stuff — wisdom borne from personal experience, not well-meaning guesswork or threadbare philosophical hand-me-downs.
So I’ve collected some truly valuable quotes from teachers whose lives have achieved what few others’ have — a scattering for across time and culture, here are the selected quotes.
#1. Inspirational, Think, Become
Read More Quotes by Buddha @ brainyquote
Gautama Buddha (563 BCE/480 BCE – 483 BCE/400 BCE), also known as Siddhārtha Gautama, Shakyamuni Buddha, or simply the Buddha. Buddha was an ascetic (śramaṇa) and sage, on whose teachings Buddhism was founded. … Gautama is the primary figure in Buddhism.
In general, ‘Buddha’ means ‘Awakened One’, someone who has awakened from the sleep of ignorance and sees things as they really are.
#2. You, Without, Sin
Read More Quotes by Jesus Christ @ brainyquote
Jesus Christ also referred to as Jesus of Nazareth, was a Jewish preacher and religious leader who became the central figure of Christianity. Christians believe him to be the Son of God and the awaited Messiah (Christ) prophesied in the Old Testament.
#3. Happiness, Think, You
Read More Quotes by Mahatma Gandhi @ brainyquote
Mahatma Gandhi, by name of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (born October 2, 1869, Porbandar, India—died January 30, 1948, Delhi), Indian lawyer, politician, social activist, and writer who became the leader of the nationalist movement against the British rule of India.
#4. You, Lose, Anything
Read More Quotes by Rumi @ brainyquote
Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi was a 13th century Persian poet, an Islamic dervish and a Sufi mystic. He is regarded as one of the greatest spiritual masters and poetical intellects. Born in 1207 AD, he belonged to a family of learned theologians.
#5. Patience, Easy, Difficult
Read More Quotes by Saadi Shirazi @ brainyquote
Saadi Shirazi was one of the major Persian poets of the medieval period. He is not only famous in Persian-speaking countries, but has also been quoted in western sources.
#6. Wisdom, Sleep, Silence
Read More Quotes by Francis Bacon @ brainyquote
Francis Bacon, 1st Viscount St Alban, 22 January 1561 – 9 April 1626) was an English philosopher, statesman, scientist, jurist, orator, and author. He served both as Attorney General and as Lord Chancellor of England. … Bacon has been called the father of empiricism.
#7. God, Thinking, Spirituality
Read More Quotes by Alan Watts @ brainyquote
Alan Wilson Watts (6 January 1915 – 16 November 1973) was a British philosopher, writer, and speaker, best known as an interpreter and popularizer of Eastern philosophy for a Western audience. Born in Chislehurst, England, he moved to the United States in 1938 and began Zen training in New York.
#8. Way, Essence, Detachment
Read More Quotes by Bodhidharma @ brainyquote
Bodhidharma was a Buddhist monk who lived during the 5th or 6th century. He is traditionally credited as the transmitter of Chan Buddhism to China, and regarded as its first Chinese patriarch.
#9. Pacifying the mind
Read More about Dazu Huike @ ThoughtCo.com
Dazu Huike (487 – 593) is considered the Second Patriarch of Chinese Chán and the twenty-ninth since Gautama Buddha.
#10. Love, Wise, Hate
Read More Quotes by King Solomon @ brainyquote
Solomon was the second son of King David and Bathsheba. His name means “peaceable.” Even as a baby, Solomon was loved by God. A conspiracy by Adonijah, Solomon’s half-brother, tried to rob Solomon of the throne.
#11. Money, Beauty, Less
Read More Quotes by Muhammad @ brainyquote
Prophet Muhammad Saw, Muhammad is the central figure of Islam and widely identified as its founder by non-Muslims. He is known as the “Holy Prophet” to Muslims, almost all of whom consider him to be the final prophet of God.
#12. Perseverance, Determination
Read More Quotes by Confucius @ brainyquote
Confucius (551 BC – 479 BC) was a Chinese teacher, editor, politician, and philosopher of the Spring and Autumn period of Chinese history. The philosophy of Confucius emphasized personal and governmental morality, correctness of social relationships, justice and sincerity.
#13. Wisdom, Yourself, Knowing
Read More Quotes by Lao-Tzu @ brainyquote
Lao-Tzu (also known as Laozi-Tze) was a Chinese philosopher credited with founding the philosophical system of Taoism. He is best known as the author of the Tao-Te-Ching, the work which exemplifies his thought.
#14. Yourself, Enemy, Fight
Read More Quotes by Sun Tzu @ brainyquote
Sun Tzu also rendered as Sun Zi; is known as a Chinese military strategist, Taoist philosopher, and general in the 6th century BCE who is widely recognized for his work “The Art of War”, a treatise on military strategy (also known as “The Thirteen Chapters”).
#15. Equality, Inequality, Equal
Read More Quotes by Aristotle @ brainyquote
Ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle was born circa 384 B.C. in Stagira, Greece. When he turned 17, he enrolled in Plato’s Academy. In 338, he began tutoring Alexander the Great. In 335, Aristotle founded his own school, the Lyceum, in Athens, where he spent most of the rest of his life studying, teaching and writing.
#16. Life, God, Soul
Read More Quotes by Socrates @ brainyquote
Socrates (469/470 – 399 BCE) was a Greek philosopher and is considered the father of western philosophy. Plato was his most famous student and would teach Aristotle who would then tutor to Alexander the Great.
#17. Noblest, Conquer, Self
Read More Quotes by Plato @ brainyquote
Born circa 428 B.C.E., ancient Greek philosopher Plato was a student of Socrates and a teacher of Aristotle. His writings explored justice, beauty and equality, and also contained discussions in aesthetics, political philosophy, theology, cosmology, epistemology and the philosophy of language.
#18. Alone, Learning, Doer
Read More Quotes from Friedrich Nietzsche @ brainyquote
Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche was born on October 15, 1844, in Röcken bei Lützen, Germany. In his brilliant but relatively brief career, he published numerous major works of philosophy, including Twilight of the Idols and Thus Spoke Zarathustra.
#19. Fate, Cards, Play
Read More Quotes by Arthur Schopenhauer @ brainyquote
Arthur Schopenhauer A was born in Danzig, Poland, on February 22, 1788. His most famous book, The World as Will and Representation, argued that human action is driven by the dissatisfied will and is ultimately directionless. He was a devotee of Plato and Immanuel Kant, and a rival of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel.
#20. Passion, Great, World
Read More Quotes by Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel @ brainyquote
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, (1770 – 1831), was a German philosopher who developed a dialectical scheme that emphasized the progress of history and of ideas from thesis to antithesis and thence to a synthesis.
#21. Mistake, Inaction, Price
Read More Quotes by Meister Eckhart @ brainyquote
Eckhart von Hochheim O.P. (1260 – 1328), commonly known as Meister Eckhart, was a German theologian, philosopher and mystic, born near Gotha, in the Landgraviate of Thuringia in the Holy Roman Empire.
#22. Happiness, Religion, People
Read More Quotes by Karl Marx @ brainyquote
Karl Marx (1818 – 1883) was a German-born scientist, philosopher, economist, sociologist, journalist, and revolutionary socialist. Born in Trier to a middle-class family, he later studied political economy and Hegelian philosophy.
#23. Positive Thinking
Read More Quotes by Norman Vincent Peale @ brainyquote
Norman Vincent Peale was an American minister and author known for his work in popularizing the concept of positive thinking, especially through his best-selling book The Power of Positive Thinking.
#24. Inspirational, Happiness
Read More Quotes by Jim Rohn @ brainyquote
Emanuel James “Jim” Rohn (1930 – 2009) was an American entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker.
#25. Strength, Suffering, Scars
Read More Quotes by Kahlil Gibran @ brainyquote
Kahlil Gibran sometimes spelled Jhalil; full Arabic name Gibran Khalil Gibran, (1883 – 1931) was a Lebanese-American artist, poet, and writer.
#26. Motivational, Action
Read More Quotes by Rabindranath Tagore @ brainyquote
Rabindranath Tagore Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) was the youngest son of Debendranath Tagore, a leader of the Brahmo Samaj, which was a new religious sect in nineteenth-century Bengal and which attempted a revival of the ultimate monistic basis of Hinduism as laid down in the Upanishads.
#27. Pain, Change
Read More Quotes from Saint Teresa of Ávila @ brainyquote
Saint Teresa of Ávila, also called Saint Teresa of Jesus, baptized as Teresa Sánchez de Cepeda y Ahumada (1515 – 1582), was a prominent Spanish mystic, Roman Catholic saint, Carmelite nun and author during the Counter Reformation, and theologian of contemplative life through mental prayer.
Walk in the Light of these Historical Authorities
Not all spiritual advice is created equal. Nor every teacher, But the lessons from this list have stood the test of time accumulated by teachers who rose to the top of the pile.
Not every quote will resonate with you, but you can be sure those that do are grounded in the practical realities of a spiritual life. So it’s time to stop chasing new tips and start applying the time-tested advice of these historical experts.
So… which quotes will inspire change in you?
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