12 Pieces Of Buddhist Wisdom That Will Transform Your Life



Compassion is one of the most revered qualities in Buddhism and great compassion is a sign of a highly realized human being.

Compassion doesnt just help the world at large, and it isnt just about the fact that its the right thing to do. Compassion, and seeking to understand those around you, can transform your life for a number of reasons.

First, self-compassion is altogether critical towards finding peace within yourself. By learning to forgive yourself and accepting that youre human you can heal deep wounds bring yourself back from difficult challenges.

Next, we can often be tortured because of the fact that we dont completely understand why people do certain things.

Compassion is understanding the basic goodness in all people and then seeking to discover that basic goodness in specific people. Because of this, it helps you from going through the often mental torture we experience because we dont understand the actions of others.

But even more than that, expressing compassion is the very act of connecting wholeheartedly with others, and simply connecting in this way can be a great source of joy for us.

The reasons for practicing compassion are numerous and powerful. Seek to live in a way that you treat everyone you meet as you would yourself. Once you begin trying to do this, it will seem altogether impossible. But keep at it, and youll realize the full power of living with compassion.


In Buddhism, a community of practitioners is called a sangha. A sangha is a community of monks, nuns, laymen, and laywomen who practice together in peace towards the united goal of realizing greater awakening, not only for themselves but for all beings.

The sangha is a principle which much of the world can greatly benefit from. People come together in groups all the time, but its usually for the purpose of creating monetary riches or obtaining substantial power and rarely towards the united goal o1f attaining peace, happiness, and realizing greater wisdom.

The principle of the sangha can be expressed in your own life in many ways. The sangha is ultimately just one way of looking at life, through the lens of the individual expressions of the totality.

By living in a way that youre fully aware of the power of connecting with others, whether its one person or a group of 100, and seeking to nurture those relationships in the appropriate way, you can transform your life in ways that will pay dividends for years to come.


One of the most powerful points on this list, the power of simply living in a way that youre fully awake to every moment of your life pretty much couldnt be exaggerated even if I tried.

Mindfulness, greater awareness, paying attention, whatever you want to call it- it changes every facet of your life and in every way. Its as simple as that.

Strive to live fully awake to each moment of your daily life and overcome your greatest personal struggles, find a great sense of peace and joy, and realize the greatest lessons life can teach you as a result of living fully awake to the present moment.1


To live deeply, in a way that you become keenly aware of the precious nature of life, is to begin down the path of true peace and happiness.

Why? Because to live in this way is to gradually become aware of the true nature of the world. This will happen essentially in sections of the whole, such as realizing your interconnectedness (you begin to see how everything is connected to everything else) and impermanence (you begin to see how everything is ever-changing, constantly dying only to be reborn in another form).

These realizations are the bread and butter of Buddhism and all spiritual practice. These sections of the whole are fragments of the ultimate realization, ways for us to understand that which cant be fully understood in the traditional sense.

By living in a way that you seek to realize these various qualities of the ultimate you find greater and greater peace in realizing the natural way of things. This cultivates in us the ability to savor every moment of life, to find peace in even the most mundane activities, as well as the ability to transform your typically negative experiences into something altogether nourishing and healing.


Buddhists understand that you can hardly help another before you help yourself. But this isnt referring to you gaining power or riches before you can help others, or living in a way that you ignore others.

This is mostly referring to the fact that because were all interconnected, by you helping yourself you create an exponentially positive effect on the rest of the world.

If you want to make an impact on the world, dont falsely convince yourself that its you or them. You dont need to drag yourself through the mud to help those around you. If you do this, youll greatly hamper your ability to create a positive impact.

At the deepest level of understanding, by making it about you youre also making it about them because you know theres no separating you and them.

Take care of yourself and seek to be more than just a help, but an example of how to live for others to follow and youllcreate waves of exponential possibility that inspires others to do the same.


Death is an often taboo topic in Western society. We do everything we can to not only avoid the subject, but pretend that it doesnt even exist.

The reality is, this is really unfortunate and in no way helps us lead better lives. Becoming keenly aware of your ownimpermanence and deeply understanding the nature of death with regards to our interconnectedness are both things which can help us find great peace.

In Buddhism, students in many sects at one point or another meditate on the corpse as it were (a practice which is said to have originated at least as far back as the Buddhas lifetime).

This is literally what it sounds like. They meditate on the image of a corpse slowing decomposing and imagine that process through to its end, eventually resulting in a deep and profound realization on the true nature of death.

That might sound a little intense to you, but the truth is, if you live youre entire life acting as if youre never going to die or ignoring your own impermanence then you wont ever be able to find true peace within yourself.

You dont necessarily have to meditate on the image of a corpse, but simply opening up to yourself about death so that youre no longer shielding it from your mind (which youre likely doing unconsciously, as thats how most of us were brought up in the West) can begin to be a great source of peace and help you appreciate the many joys in your everyday life.

A true appreciation for life can never be fully realized until you come face-to-face with your own impermanence. But once you do this, the world opens up in a new and profound way.


Buddhist meditative practice, particularly mindfulness and contemplation, helps you realize the precious nature of the food in front of you. Indeed, with how integral a part food plays in our lives, to transform our relationship with food is to transform a key aspect of our entire lives, both now and in the future.

By contemplating on the food in front of us, for example, we can come to realize the vast system of interconnectedness that is our life, and how our food coming to be on our dinner plate as it is depended on numerous elements coming to be.

This helps us to deepen our relationship with food, cultivate a deep sense of gratitude before each meal, and learn to respect the delicate but ever-pressing balance that is life.


Giving is more than the act of giving Christmas and Birthday gifts, its also about those gifts which we give each and every day which we dont typically see as gifts at all.

Buddhists hold a very deep understanding of the nature of giving, particularly in that life is a constant play between the act of giving and receiving. This doesnt just help us find peace in understanding the way of the world around us, but helps us realize the amazing gifts we all have within us that we can give others in every moment, such as our love, compassion, and presence.


The easiest way to sum up all spiritual practice is this: spirituality is the act of coming in touch with the ultimate reality or the ground of being, and as a result spiritual practice is the act of overcoming those obstacles which keep us from realizing that.

The primary obstacle in our way? The ego.

To put it short and sweet, the reason the ego is the major obstacle in spiritual practice, or simply the practice of finding true peace and happiness (whatever you choose to call it, its all the same), is because its very function is to pull you away from the ground of your being by convincing you that youre this separate self.

The process of unraveling the ego can take time, as its something which has been with us, intertwined with us, for years. But its infinitely rewarding and altogether necessary if we want to realize our best life.


Life is filled with vices, things which attempt to bind us to unwholesome ways of living and therefore do the very opposite of cultivate peace, joy, and greater realization in our lives. Among these, the 3 poisons are some of the most powerful. The 3 poisons are:

  1. Greed
  2. Hatred
  3. Delusion

Together, these 3 poisons are responsible for the majority of the pain and suffering we experience as a collective species. Its perfectly normal to be affected by each of these poisons throughout your life, so dont knock yourself for falling for them.

Instead, simply accept that theyre something youre experiencing and begin working to remove them from your life. This can take time, but its a key aspect on the path towards realizing true peace and happiness.


We should all strive to work and make our living in a way thats more conscious or aware. This generally means not selling harmful items such as guns, drugs, and services that harm other people, but it goes deeper than that.

Theres ultimately two aspects to this: making a living by doing something which doesnt inhibit your own ability to realize peace and making a living doing something which doesnt inhibit others ability to realize peace.

Facing this can lead to some interesting situations for some people, and as Thich Nhat Hanh has mentioned this is a collective effort as opposed to a solely personal one (the butcher isnt a butcher only because he decided to be, but because there is a demand from people for meat to be neatly packaged and made available for them to be purchased from supermarkets), but you should strive to do your best.

Following the teaching on right livelihood can help you realize the harmful effect that your own work is having on you and therefore coming up with a solution can result in a largely positive shift in your life as a whole. Only you can decide if a change needs to happen though.

Whatever the case, seek to make a living doing something that promotes the peace and happiness of yourself and those around you as much as possible.


This is a difficult point to put into so few words, but a profound one I felt would be greatly beneficial to mention nonetheless.

To realize non-attachment in a Buddhist sense doesnt mean to abandon your friends and family and live alone for the rest of your life, never truly living again just so that you dont become attached to these desires.

Non-attachment refers to living in a way that you exist in the natural flow of life and generally living a typical modern life, building a family, working, etc., while simultaneously not being attached to any of these things. It simply means to live in a way that youve become aware of and accepted the impermanence of all things in this life and live in a way that youre ever-aware of this fact.

Its perfectly normal for a Zen student in Japan, once having completed his training, to actually de-robe and go back into the world so to speak. This is because, once theyve reached this level of realization, they see the beauty in all things and are compelled to live fully absorbed in all the beauty and wonders of this life. From this point on, they can truly live life to the fullest, while not clinging to any of these things.

Keep in mind, this doesnt mean that you stop feeling emotions. On the contrary, these emotions are welcomed and expected, and fully experienced with mindfulness in the moment of their impact. But this is simply the natural course of things.

Once these emotions subside though, and when we have no mental formations or obstructions to block our path, a natural healing process takes place that heals the wound and allows us to continue on living in peace and joy instead of dragging us down into darkness.


12 Pieces of Buddhist Wisdom That Will Transform Your Life, from buddhaimonia.com, by Matt Valentine