Words of Spiritual Encouragement


Some days it's hard to stay motivated. A few words of spiritual encouragement can go a long way to remind us why we're doing what we're doing and give us that little push to climb higher on the spiritual path. Here are quotes taken from a variety of religious texts and notable spiritual figures. If you come across others that you think should be included, please let me know.

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The Power of Gratitude

"Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die; so, let us all be thankful." - Buddha

"The law of gratitude says that the real power of gratitude is to be grateful in advance! So instead of wishing or begging, let's be clear about what we want, grateful in advance and actually expect what we desire." - Wes Hopper

"Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude." - Denis Waitley

"The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving." - H.U. Westermayer

"To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live gratitude is to touch Heaven." - Johannes A. Gaertner

"There is as much greatness of mind in acknowledging a good turn, as in doing it." - Seneca

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity.... It turns problems into gifts, failures into success, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow." - Melody Beattie

Being Happy

When people see the habitual happiness in your eyes, it will make them realize they are the loved children of God... Joy is very infectious; therefore, be always full of joy. - Mother Teresa

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion. - Dalai Lama

Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle,
and the life of the candle will not be shortened.
Happiness never decreases by being shared. - Buddhist saying

Happiness does not come from having much, but from being attached to little. - Venerable Cheng Yen

To be angry is to let others' mistakes punish yourself.
To forgive others is to be good to yourself. - Master ChengYen

Whenever you hear that someone else has been successful, rejoice.
Always practice rejoicing for others - whether your friend or your enemy.
If you cannot practice rejoicing, no matter how long you live, you will not be happy. - Lama Zopa Rinpoche

Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile,
but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy. - Thich Nhat Hanh

Peacefully Patient

I believe that I shall see the bounty of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord with courage; be stouthearted, and wait for the Lord. - Psalm 27: 13-14

Conquer the angry man by love.
Conquer the ill-natured man by goodness.
Conquer the miser with generosity.
Conquer the liar with truth. - The Dhammapada

We know that all that happens to us is working for our good if we love God and are fitting into his plans. - Romans 8:28

Don't be impatient for the Lord to act! Keep traveling steadily along his pathway and in due season he will honor you with every blessing, and you will see the wicked destroyed. - Psalms 37:34

Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day. - Habukkuk 2:3

Man, Know Thyself!

"How are you?"
"Perfect, thank you. I'm traveling incognito."
"Oh? As what are you disguised?"
"I am disguised as myself."
"Don't be silly. That's no disguise. That's what you are."
"On the contrary, it must be a very good disguise, for I see it has fooled you completely." - Nasrudin

Your own Self-Realization is the greatest service you can render the world. - Sri Ramana Maharshi

You are a child of the light,
You were created in the image divine,
You are a child of infinity,
You dwell in the veils of time,
You are a son/daughter of the Most High! - Meru

Know the self to be sitting in the chariot, the body to be the chariot, the intellect the charioteer, and the mind the reins. - Veda Upanishads

As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he. - Proverbs 23:7

I think it is time to face yourself again.
Then again, it is always time. - Stonepeace

Truly if you have faith, and don't doubt, you can do things like this and much more. You can even say to this Mount of Olives, 'Move over into the ocean,' and it will. You can get anything -anything you ask for in prayer- if you believe. - Matthew 21:21-22

The Joy of Loving and Giving

You can explore the universe looking for somebody who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and you will not find that person anywhere. - Buddhist saying

Let your love flow outward through the universe,
To its height, its depth, its broad extent,
A limitless love, without hatred or enmity.
Then as you stand or walk,
Sit or lie down,
As long as you are awake,
Strive for this with a one-pointed mind;
Your life will bring heaven to earth. - Sutta Nipata

A sick body with a good heart is more beneficial to future lives than a fit, healthy body that is used for self-cherishing. - Lama Zopa Rinpoche

If only I could throw away the urge to trace my patterns in your heart, I could really see you. - David Brandon (Zen in the Art of Helping)

He does not live in vain; who employs his wealth, his thought, and his speech to advance the good of others - Hindu proverb

Help thy brother's boat across, and Lo! Thine own has reached the shore. - Hindu proverb

It is possible to give away and become richer! It is also possible to hold on too tightly and lose everything. Yes the liberal man shall be rich! by watering others, he waters himself. - Proverbs 11:24-25

The Time is Now, The Place is Here, The Person is You!

If you want to awaken all of humanity, then awaken all of yourself. - Lao Tzu

Birth and Death is a grave event;
How transient is life!
Every minute is to be grasped.
Time waits for nobody. - Inscription on a Zen Gong

Half the spiritual life consists of remembering what we are up against and where we are going. - Ayya Khema, "When the Iron Eagle Flies"

... And the other half is taking complete personal responsibility for getting there! - Joshua Bryer

Meditation is not to escape from society,
but to come back to ourselves and see what is going on.
Once there is seeing, there must be acting.
With mindfulness, we know what to do and what not to do to help. - Thich Nhat Hanh

Whatever you have in your mind - forget it;
Whatever you have in your hand - give it;
Whatever is to be your fate - face it! - Abu Sa'id (Essential Sufism)

Lazy men are soon poor; hard workers get rich. - Proverbs 10:4

All wisdom can be stated in two lines:
What is done for you - allow it to be done.
What you must do yourself - make sure you do it. - Khawwas (Essential Sufism)

If God be for us, who can be against us? - Romans 8:31

The Infinity of Divinity

Honor the highest thing in the Universe; it is the power on which all things depend. Honor the highest within yourself; for it too is the power on which all things depend, and the light by which all life is guided. - Marcus Aurelius

I am not detachment nor salvation,
Nor anything reached by the senses;
I behold all thought and form.
I am everywhere, and nowhere at all-
I am Consciousness and Bliss.
I am Shiva! I am Shiva! - Shankaracharya

"The formless Absolute is my Father, and God with form is my Mother.” God reveals Himself in the form which His devotee loves most. His love for the devotee knows no bounds. - Ramakrishna

The Self in man and in the sun are one.
Those who understand this see through the world
And go beyond the various sheaths
Of being to realize the unity of life.
Those who realize that all life is one
Are at home everywhere and see themselves
In all beings. - Taittiriya Upanishad

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