How To Be Calm And Happy: Advice By Buddhist Teachers #9 (Suzuki Shunryū)

He was born as the son of a Japanese Zen-Master 1905. When he was 30 years old he received the permission to teach students. During the second world war he was the leader of a pacifistic community in Japan. 1958 he moved to San Francisco to lead a Japanese Soto community. After just a short time his number of american supporters grew constantly (inter alia Steve Jobs) and so he decided to stay in the USA.

He founded two Zen centres in America and is known for making Zen Buddhism popular in the USA. Suzuki Shunryū died 1971 in San Francisco.


Here are some of my favourite quotes of him about happiness, mindfulness and death:

”The most important point is to accept yourself and stand on your two feet.”

”You are perfect as you are and there is always room for improvement.”

”Leave your front door and your back door open.  Allow your thoughts to come and go. Just don’t serve them tea.”

”Things are always changing, so nothing can be yours.”

”When we do not expect anything we can be ourselves. That is our way, to live fully in each moment of time.”

”Wherever you go you will find your teacher, as long as you have the eyes to see and the ears to hear.”

”When you do not realize that you are one with the river, or one with the universe, you have fear. Whether it is separated into drops or not, water is water. Our life and death are the same thing. When we realize this fact, we have no fear of death anymore.”

”So for a period of time each day, try to sit, without moving, without expecting anything, as if you were in your last moment. Moment after moment you feel your last instant. In each inhalation and each exhalation there are countless instants of time. Your intention is to live in each instant.”

”Treat every moment as your last. It is not preparation for something else.”

If you liked it and you want to be motivated in such a way regularly I would be very happy if you follow me on Flipboard:


How To Be Calm And Happy: Advice By Buddhist Teachers #8 (Dōgen Zenji)

He was born 800 years ago 1200 in Japan. Dōgen’s father was the main enemy of the then ruling power and wanted to regain the power. He made it but a few years later he died so the counterparty got the power back again. Five years later his mother died so when he was seven years old he was an orphan. This was the turning point in his life and he decided to become a monk. (probably amongst others because his mom told him to become a monk in order to help save all beings)

He authored several writings, studied Zen meditation in China and is known for introducing Soto Zen to Japan.

It’s really inspiring and interesting to read this 800 years old quotes of him about Happiness and Life:

If you cannot find the truth right where you are, where else do you expect to find it?

A fool sees himself as another, but a wise man sees others as himself.

Life and death are nothing but the mind. Years, months, days, and hours are nothing but the mind. Dreams, illusions, and mirages are nothing but the mind. The bubbles of water and the flames of fire are nothing but the mind. The flowers of the spring and the moon of the autumn are nothing but the mind. Confusions and dangers are nothing but the mind.

There is a simple way to become buddha: When you refrain from unwholesome actions, are not attached to birth and death, and are compassionate toward all sentient beings, respectful to seniors and kind to juniors, not excluding or desiring anything, with no designing thoughts or worries, you will be called a buddha. Do not seek anything else.

If he cannot stop the mind that seeks after fame and profit, he will spend his life without finding peace.

Those who seek the easy way do not seek the true way.

If you want to travel the Way of Buddhas and Zen masters, then expect nothing, seek nothing, and grasp nothing.

What is the way of the Buddha? It is to study the self. What is the study of the self? It is to forget oneself. To forget oneself is to enlightened by everything in the world.

But do not ask me where I am going, as I travel in this limitless world, where every step I take is my home.

How To Be Calm And Happy: Advice By Buddhist Teachers #7 (Norman Fischer)

Norman Fischer is the child of jewish parents and was born in Pennsylvania in 1946.

He studied poetry at the University of Iowa and afterwards he also studied in Berkeley (California).

Fischer and his wife are the parents of two twin boys. He served in different Zen centres in California and founded the Everyday Zen Foundation in the year 2000. Fischer published nine publications as a poet.


About Happiness and Love:

”Okay, here is the uplifting part: Your life isn’t and has never been about you….about what you accomplish, how successful you are or are not, how much money you make, what sort of position you ascend to,…or how much good you do for others or the world at large. Your life, like mine, and like everyone else’s has always been about one thing: love.”

“We realize how dangerous and painful life is if we don’t open up. We know we have to do it. And as soon as we start to try, we realize immediately that there is no way that we could ever do this alone, because opening up means opening to what’s around us, to others, to the world, and to our radical connectedness.”

“We now see that the only way that we could love ourselves is by loving others, and the only way that we could truly love others is to love ourselves. The difference between self-love and love of others is very small, once we really understand.”

“A person like this is a blessing for the world. And there is no reason why you couldn’t be that person. Why aren’t you that person now? Because of these walls of self-protection you’ve built, these attitudes of limit and lack.”

“The actions, thoughts, and words of each of us are important. All of us together are making the world. So we have to ask ourselves: “How am I living? What kind of actions am I taking? Am I a force for good in the world or am I just another person doing nothing to help and therefore making things worse?”

“Why would we have to know everything all the time? Why do we have to be so knowledgeable, so smart, so in control? We don’t! There’s no need to figure everything out. We can just be alive. We can breathe in and breathe out and let go and just trust our life, trust our body. Our body and our life know what to do. The problem is to let them do it, to relax and let them guide us.”

”We’re living our lives madly trying to hold onto everything, and it looks like it might work for awhile but in the end it always fails, and it never was working, and the way to be happy, the way to be loving, the way to be free is to really be willing to let go of everything on every occasion or at least to make that effort.”

“Trust your own eyes. Only you can determine what is happening in your life and what to do about it.”

”There may be a long list of things to do, but really, there is just one thing on the list at any time. If you think of it like that, the whole world looks different and you can stay quite calm. Maybe everything will get done eventually and maybe not. You can always have hope.”



If you liked it and you want to be motivated in such a way regularly I would be very happy if you follow me on Flipboard:


How To Be Calm And Happy: Advice By Buddhist Teachers #6 (Ayya Khema)

She was born 1923 as the daughter of jewish parents. At the age of 15 she had to leave Germany to England to escape from the threatening deportation through the Nazis.

Later she married, got two children and lived in the USA and Australia. She did several  big journeys around the world. At the age of 56 years she decided to become a nun in Sri Lanka. Later after 50 years she came back to Germany to teach the buddhist Dhamma (it means inter alia the buddhist laws and the ethic).

Khema wrote several books which have been translated in many languages.

She died 1997 in Southern Germany.


Here are some of my favourite quotes of her about happiness and her attitude towards life:

Every day can be regarded as a whole lifespan, since we can only live one day at a time; the past is gone and the future may or may not come; only this rebirth, this day, this moment, is important.

The heart is always the place to go. Go home into your heart, where there is warmth, appreciation, gratitude and contentment

If the whole universe can be found in our own body and mind, this is where we need to make our inquires. We all have the answers within ourselves, we just have not got in touch with them yet. The potential of finding the truth within requires faith in ourselves.

Trying to achieve something in the spiritual world is just as foolish as trying to achieve something in the material world. There’s nothing to achieve. There’s only letting go. As we let go, more and more, of ego identifications, desires, and support systems, bliss will arise.

A truly happy person is someone who is joyfully independent of outer conditions.

About suffering:

Eventually we will find (mostly in retrospect, of course) that we can be very grateful to those people who have made life most difficult for us.

The Buddha compared anger with picking up hot coals with one’s bare hands and trying to throw them at the person with whom one is angry. Who gets burned first? The one who is angry of course.

Suffering is our best teacher because it hangs onto us and keeps us in its grip until we have learnt that particular lesson. Only then does suffering let go. If we haven’t learnt our lesson, we can be quite sure that the same lesson is going to come again, because life is nothing but an adult education class, If we don’t pass in any of the subjects, we just have to sit the examination again. Whatever lesson we have missed, we will get it again. That is why we find ourselves reacting to similar situations in similar ways many times.

If we do not try, we will not know.

If you liked it and you want to be motivated in such a way regularly I would be very happy if you follow me on Flipboard:


How To Be Calm And Happy: Advice By Buddhist Teachers #5 (Sharon Salzberg)

She was born 1952 in New York City and is known for her books and as a meditation teacher.
Firstly Salzberg came in contact with buddhism during a philosophy course of her study.
She lived four years in India to make an intensive meditation course. Two years after her return she began to teach Vipassana-Meditation. Together with two men she founded the Insight Meditation Society. She is also a cofounder of the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies.




Here are some of my favourite quotes of her about Happiness:

“The difference between misery and happiness depends on what we do with our attention.”


“Sometimes kindness is stepping aside, letting go of our need to be right & just being happy for someone.”

“In a situation of potential conflict, let compassion guide you.”

“Everything is impermanent: happiness, sorrow, a great meal, a powerful empire, what we’re feeling, the people around us, ourselves.”

“That’s life: starting over, one breath at a time.”

“We need the courage to learn from our past and not live in it.”

“Vulnerability should be the thing that brings us closer than anything because we all share that.”


“You are capable of so much more than we usually dare to imagine”



About Meditation and Mindfulness:

“Mindfulness helps us get better at seeing the difference between what’s happening and the stories we tell ourselves about what’s happening, stories that get in the way of direct experience. Often such stories treat a fleeting state of mind as if it were our entire and permanent self.”

“Restore your attention or bring it to a new level by dramatically slowing down whatever you’re doing.”

“Meditation is the ultimate mobile device; you can use it anywhere, anytime, unobtrusively.”

“Meditation may be done in silence & stillness, by using voice & sound, or by engaging the body in movement. All forms emphasize the training of attention.”


“All forms of meditation strengthen & direct our attention through the cultivation of three key skills: concentration, mindfulness & compassion or lovingkindness.”


“We know that people who consistently meditate have a singular ability to cultivate positive emotions, retain emotional stability, and engage in mindful behavior.”



More parts of this series:
Part 1: Thich Nhat Han
Part 2: Tenzin Gyatso
Part 3: Pema Chödrön
 Part 4: Sakyong Mipham


If you like it and you want to be motivated in such a way regularly I would be very happy if you support me on Flipboard

How To Be Calm And Happy: Advice By Buddhist Teachers #4 (Sakyong Mipham)

Sakyong Jamgon Mipham Rinpoche was born 1963 in the birthplace of the Buddha in India. He lived his first eight years in a tibetan refugee village in the north west of India.
Sakyong Mipham went to school in the USA and he also studied at the University of Oxford in England. At the age of 24 he moved to Nepal to study the traditional way of the tibetan monks.
He published seven books which have been translated into many languages until now and he is the leader of a school of the tibetan buddhism (Shambhala International) with 165 meditation centres worlwide.


Here are my favourite quotes of him about happiness, mindfulness and success:

”When stress is the basic state of mind, even good things stress us out. We have to learn to let go.


”It doesn’t matter if you’re rich or poor-the determining factor of success and happiness is contentment.”


”The body benefits from movement, and the mind benefits from stillness.”


”The bones and tendons of the mind are mindulness and awareness. Mindfulness is the mind’s strength, and awareness is its flexibility. Without the se abilities, we cannot function. When we drink a glass of water, drive a car, or have a conversation, we are using mindulness and awareness.”


”When I was going into one of my first meditation retreats, I asked my father, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, for some advice. He said, “How you act when you’re alone affects the rest of your life.” Even in solitude, the ruler engages in virtue.”


”When I ask people to contemplate selflessness, the sometimes react as if I’ve asked them to put their house on the market or give away all their money. If there was a self that existed in the way we think, discovering selflessness would be like putting our house on the market. But in the Buddhist tradition, the discovery of selflessness is called ‘completely joyful.’ It’s not called ‘the raw end of the deal,’ or ‘I’d rather go back to bed,’ or ‘This is scary and depressing.’”







More parts of this series:

Part 1: Thich Nhat Han


Part 2: Tenzin Gyatso


Part 3: Pema Chödrön



If you like it and you want to be motivated in such a way regularly I would be very happy if you follow me on Flipboard



Motivational Boost #3: 10 Great Motivational Quotes About Meditation

“Quietly sitting, body still, speech silent, mind at peace, let your thoughts and emotions, whatever arises, comes and go, without clinging to anything.”(Sogyal Rinpoche)

“The gift of learning to meditate is the greatest gift you can give yourself in this life. For it is only through meditation that you can undertake the journey to discover your true nature, and so find the stability and confidence you will need to live, and die, well. Meditation is the road to enlightenment.” (Sogyal Rinpoche)

”The soul always knows how to heal itself. The challenge is to silence the mind.” (Caroline Myss)

”Accepting the reality of change gives rise to equanimity.” (Allan Lokos)

”Meditation practice isn’t about trying to throw ourselves away and become something better, it’s about befriending who we are.” (Ani Pema Chodro)

”The thing about meditation is that you become more and more you.” (David Lynch)

“To know yourself is to forget yourself.” (Dogen Zen-Ji)

”Meditation is not a way of making your mind quiet. It’s a way of entering into the quiet that’s already there – buried under the 50,000 thoughts the average person thinks every day.” (Deepak Chopra)

”One hour of meditation can not tackle the unconsciousness of rest of the day. Slowly we should bring our meditative quality in all our actions.“ (Unknown)

”In the beginning you will fall into the gaps in between thoughts – after practicing for years, you become the gap.” (J. Kleykamp)




If you liked it and you want to be motivated in such a way regularly I would be very happy if you follow me on Flipboard


How To Be Calm And Happy: Advice By Buddhist Teachers #3 (Pema Chödrön)

She was born 1936 in New York. Pema Chödrön is well known as a buddhistic nun and writer. She was the first American who became a leader of a tibetan-buddhistic monastery in Canada.

Pema Chödrön gives courses and retreats around the world. She always tries to show the buddhistic teaching based on everyday situations. She is the author of many well known books and the founder of the Pema Chodron foundation.


One tip of her is for example to integrate mindfulness in your everyday life. You wake up – take three conscious breaths, you go to the subway – take three conscious breaths, you cook in the kitchen – take three conscious breaths. You can step out of your mind cinema and step into the reality with three conscious breaths.


Another simple tip from her is about meditating. It may happen often that your mind wanders and it’s difficult to relax and to be aware of yourself and the environment. In this moments just say to yourself ”Stay!”.
”Aching knees and throbbing back? Stay! What’s for lunch? Stay! What am I doing here? Stay! I can’t stand this another minute! Stay!” (Pema Chödrön)
She says that meditation requires patience and maitri. Maitri means unconditional friendliness and compassion to ourselves.


An important teaching from her ist that everything in the universe is moving towards chaos. There won’t come a time where everything is normal. You have to be aware that everything is transforming every minute. That’s not a depressing message because it can be liberating to know:

“We think that the point is to pass the test or overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It’s just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy. ”

”To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest. To live fully is to be always in no-man’s-land, to experience each moment as completely new and fresh. To live is to be willing to die over and over again.
“Each moment is an opportunity to make a fresh start.”



Here are some more of my favourite quotes of her:

”Nothing ever goes away until it has thaught us what we need to know.”

“The most difficult times for many of us are the ones we give ourselves.”

”You are the sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather.”

“… the life span of any particular emotion is only one and a half minutes. After that we have to revive the emotion and get it going again.”

”We’re here to get to know and study ourselves. The path, the way to do that, our main vehicle, is going to be meditation, and some sense of general wakefulness.”

”It may be hard to remember at first, but once you start doing it, pausing becomes something that nurtures you”

“There’s a common misunderstanding among all the human beings who have ever been born on the earth that the best way to live is to try to avoid pain and just try to get comfortable.”

“Live your life as an experiment.”





More parts of this series:

Part 1: Thich Nhat Han


Part 2: Tenzin Gyatso


Part 3: Sakyong Mipham


If you like it and you want to be motivated in such a way regularly I would be very happy if you follow me on Flipboard



Meditation – How To Begin And Why You Should Begin It

At the beginning of every meditation give yourself an inner smile.

Then sit down in an upright and relaxed position. It doesn’t have to be the lotus position, you can also use a chair or a stool. If you use a chair or a stool place your feet hip width apart.

Then accept the current moment. When there are derogatory thoughts just observe them and don’t interpret them. Let this thoughts come and go, so they can’t get any energy.

You don’t have to achieve anything in this time, you are just there in the present moment. When have you felt and listened to your breathe the last time? Feel it streaming in and out. Do you feel the ground or the chair on your skin? What do you hear and what do you smell? Just be present in the current moment and enjoy it.



Advantages for people who meditate:

There are many advantages to slow down 15 minutes (or longer) every day. Here are a few of them, the list is definitely not complete.


  • helps to integrate the practice of mindfulness in your everyday life to get more relaxed and to get to know the world around us better. Buddha once said that your acting in the everyday life determines if you’re happy or not.



  • mindfulness helps you to master stress. There may be things that put you under stress like the pressure in the office but meditation is without any pressure. So the practice of mindfulness in meditation helps you to slow down and to take a look at the things around you for example to recognize what’s really important to you.



  • many physical advantages: lower highblood pressure, increases serotonin production (improves mood and behaviour), improves the immune system



  • reduce anxiety, increases creativity and peace of mind

How To Be Calm And Happy: Advice By Buddhist Teachers #2 (Tenzin Gyatso)

In my second part of this series it’s about Tenzin Gyatso. He is probably better known as the current Dalai Lama. Dalai Lama is the title for the highest buddhist master within the hierarchy of the Gelug-school of the Tibetan Buddhism.
Tenzin Gyatso is a buddhist monk who was honored with the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989.
He was one of seven out of 16 children of his mother who survived the childhood.
At the age of two years he was identified by four monks based on a vision and other signs as the 14. reincarnation of the Dalai Lama.
In his years as the Dalai Lama he supported the peaceful, constructive and compassionate dialogue.
He traveled around the whole world to hold lecture series. Also well known are his writings about the ideas of the buddhist religion in questions of life praxis and the nature of the human awareness.



Here are my favourite quotes of him:
About happiness:

”Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.”
”What is the meaning of life? To be happy and useful.”

”If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion. ”

”In the practice of tolerance, one’s enemy is the best teacher.“

”When we feel love and kindness toward others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but it helps us also to develop inner happiness and peace.”
”As a human being, anger is a part of our mind. Irritation also part of our mind. But you can do – anger come, go. Never keep in your sort of – your inner world, then create a lot of suspicion, a lot of distrust, a lot of negative things, more worry. ”

”I find hope in the darkest of days, and focus in the brightest. I do not judge the universe.”

”Look at situations from all angles, and you will become more open.”



About giving:

”My true religion is kindness.”

”Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.”

”It is necessary to help others not only in our prayers but in our daily lives.”

”Our greatest joy should come from our concern for others. We should bring happiness to others today.”

”If you wish to experience peace, provide peace for another.”

”Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.”