quotes about mindfulness

Don’t believe everything you think.

“… listen to your thoughts with mindful awareness. You will see the evanescent nature of thoughts, that they are fleeting ideas, all impermanent. And then you can begin to realize that just because you have a thought doesn’t mean you have to believe it — much less act on it — and certainly not get caught up in the whole stream of them. You can release the mind of some of its more dangerous patterns. Observing the mind with mindfulness brings liberation.”

Jack Kornfield, A Lamp in the Darkness: Illuminating the Path Through Difficult Times


“Science shows that attempts to block out negative thoughts and emotions backfire. Instead of reducing unwanted negativity, suppression multiples your misery, mentally, physically, and socially. Perhaps counterintuitively, being open to negativity is healthier than being closed off from it. Another scientifically tested way to curb negativity’s momentum is practicing mindfulness.”

Barbara Fredrickson, Positivity: Groundbreaking Research Reveals How to Embrace the Hidden Strength of Positive Emotions, Overcome Negativity, and Thrive


“That deep dive into the mind had yielded many insights, including one about the lightness of thoughts when viewed through the lens of mindfulness. That insight mirrors a principle in cognitive therapy of ‘decentering,’ observing thoughts and feelings without being overly identified with them. We can reappraise our suffering.”

Daniel Goleman and Richard J Davidson, Altered Traits: Science Reveals How Meditation Changes Your Mind, Brain, and Body


“Ram Dass’s famous phrase ‘Be here now’ speaks to the many spiritual practices that intend to bring you to the present moment — the stillness and calmness we find when we slow down and start paying attention. Staying in this space in every moment is the challenge he presents and one which we can all take to heart.”

Eben Alexander, Living in a Mindful Universe: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Heart of Consciousness


“Going slow allows executive function to take over. Executive function consists of focusing and ignoring distractions, remembering, and using new information, planning action, and revising the plan, and inhibiting fast, impulsive thoughts and actions.”

Martin Seligman, Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-Being


“To establish new relations with your thinking experience and develop aware thinking you must be able to break the cycle and develop the skill of non-reaction, the ability to come in touch with an event, a thought, a feeling, and having the choice of not reacting to them.”

Itai Ivtzan, Awareness Is Freedom


“Mindfulness itself only witnesses, but alongside that witnessing could be active, goal-directed efforts to nudge your mind one way or another. Working with your mind is not at odds with mindfulness. In fact, you need to work with your mind to build up the inner strength of mindfulness.”

Rick Hanson, Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence


If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.

Lao-Tse, ancient Chinese philosopher