Today, we celebrate the transformation of Siddhartha Gautama into the spiritual leader we know as the Buddha.
A bit of history…
Born a prince in Nepal, Siddhartha lived a comfortable and sheltered life. While he could easily have enjoyed those circumstances, he traveled about the country witnessing the misery of old age, sickness, and suffering. Profoundly affected, he chose to leave his palatial home and seek the meaning of life.
He spent six years living the life of an aesthetic and served six teachers. Still unsatisfied, he tried different disciplines, among them surviving by eating only one grain of rice each day.
Frustrated, he vowed to sit under the Bodhi tree until he had answers. After fasting and meditating for an entire week, he woke up on the morning of the eighth day and experienced enlightenment. Those realizations became the basis of modern-day Buddhism.
Here are ten of my favorite quotes from the Buddha…
Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.
The mind is everything. What you think you become.
You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.
Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.
We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.
Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship.
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.
All that we are is the result of what we have thought.
We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world.
Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.