Bodhidharma Quotes (71 Quotes)


    If you use your mind to study reality, you won't understand either your mind or reality. If you study reality without using your mind, you'll understand both.

    Mortals liberate Buddhas and Buddhas liberate mortals.

    As long as you're enthralled by a lifeless form, you're not free.

    ... this mind, through endless kalpas without beginning, has never varied. It has never lived or died, appeared or disappeared, increased or decreased. It's not pure or impure, good or evil, past or future. It's not true or false. It's not male or female.

    Neither gods nor men can foresee when an evil deed will bear its fruit.


    You can't know your real mind as long as you deceive yourself.

    If you use your mind to look for a Buddha, you won't see the Buddha.

    The Dharma is the truth that all natures are pure.


    If you know that everything comes from the mind, don't become attached. Once attached, you're unaware. But once you see your own nature, the entire Canon becomes so much prose. It's thousands of sutras and shastras only amount to a clear mind. Understanding comes in midsentence. What good are doctrines The ultimate Truth is beyond words. Doctrines are words. They're not the Way. The Way is wordless. Words are illusions.... Don't cling to appearances, and you'll break through all barriers....

    The Buddha is your real body, your original mind.

    Buddhas move freely through birth and death, appearing and disappearing at will.

    To see nothing is to perceive the Way, and to understand nothing is to know the Dharma, because seeing is neither seeing nor not seeing and because understanding is neither understanding nor not understanding.

    A Buddha is someone who finds freedom in good fortune and bad.

    Once you see your nature, sex is basically immaterial.


    People of this world are deluded. They're always longing for something - always, in a word, seeking.


    Disciple But the Bathhouse Sutra says, 'By contributing to the bathing of monks, people receive limitless blessings.' This would appear to be an instance of external practice achieving merit. How does this relate to beholding the mind Bodhidharma ... Our true buddha-nature has no shape. And the dust of affliction has no form. How can people use ordinary water to wash an intangible body It won't work.... To clean such a body you have to behold it. Once impurities and filth arise from desire, they multiply until they cover you inside and out. But if you try to wash this body of yours, you'll have to scrub until it's nearly gone before it's clean.



    If, as in a dream, you see a light brighter than the sun, your remaining attachments will suddenly come to an end and the nature of reality will be revealed. Such an occurrence serves as the basis for enlightenment. But this is something only you know. You can't explain it to others. Or if, while you're walking, standing, sitting, or lying in a quiet grove, you see a light, regardless of whether it's bright or dim, don't tell others and don't focus on it. It's the light of your own nature. Of if, while you're walking, standing, sitting, or lying in the stillness and darkness of night, everything appears as though in daylight, don't be startled. It's your own mind about to reveal itself. Or if, while you're dreaming at night, you see the moon and stars in all their clarity, it means the workings of your mind are about to end. But don't tell others.


    Many roads lead to the path, but basically there are only two: reason and practice.

    To invoke the Buddha's name you have to understand the dharma of invoking. If it's not present in your mind, your mouth chants an empty name. As long as you're troubled by the three poisons or by thoughts of yourself, your deluded mind will keep you form seeing the Buddha and you'll only waste your effort. Chanting and invoking are worlds apart. Chanting is done with the mouth. Invoking is done with the mind. And because invoking comes from the mind, it's called the door to awareness. Chanting is centered in the mouth and appears as sound. If you cling to appearances while searching for meaning, you won't find a thing....

    But while success and failure depend on conditions, the mind neither waxes nor wanes.

    Whoever realizes that the six senses aren't real, that the five aggregates are fictions, that no such things can be located anywhere in the body, understands the language of Buddhas.

    To enter by reason means to realize the essence through instruction and to believe that all living things share the same true nature, which isn't apparent because it's shrouded by sensation and delusion.

    Regardless of what we do, our karma has no hold on us.

    Those who remain unmoved by the wind of joy silently follow the Path.

    All the suffering and joy we experience depend on conditions.

    Buddha means awareness, the awareness of body and mind that prevents evil from arising in either.

    Our nature is the mind. And the mind is our nature.

    The mind is always present. You just don't see it.

    According to the Sutras, evil deeds result in hardships and good deeds result in blessings.

    Bodhidharma Even if a buddha or bodhisattva should suddenly appear before you, there's no need for reverence. This mind of ours is empty and contains no such form. Those who hold onto appearances are devils. They fall from the Path. Why worship illusions.

    Freeing oneself from words is liberation.

    Everything good and bad comes from your own mind. To find something beyond the mind is impossible.


    ... the fools of this world prefer to look for sages far away. They don't believe that the wisdom of their own mind is the sage ... the sutras say, 'Mind is the teaching.' But people of no understanding don't believe in their own mind or that by understanding this teaching they can become a sage. They prefer to look for distant knowledge and long for things in space, buddha-images, light, incense, and colors. They fall prey to falsehood and lose their minds to insanity.

    Not creating delusions is enlightenment.

    And as long as you're subject to birth and death, you'll never attain enlightenment.

    The mind is the Buddha, and the Buddha is the mind.

    As mortals, we're ruled by conditions, not by ourselves.


    The essence of the Way is detachment. And the goal of those who practice is freedom from appearances.

    The ignorant mind, with its infinite afflictions, passions, and evils, is rooted in the three poisons. Greed, anger, and delusion.

    Only one person in a million becomes enlightened without a teacher's help.

    But deluded people don't realize that their own mind is the Buddha. They keep searching outside.

    Delusion means mortality. And awareness means Buddhahood.


    More Bodhidharma Quotations (Based on Topics)


    Mind - Buddhism - Nature - Body - Wisdom & Knowledge - Contemplation - Death & Dying - People - Good & Evil - Appearances - Present - Reality - Past - Fool - Light - Blessings - Truth - Future - Life - View All Bodhidharma Quotations

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