Inspiring, Insightful and Just Plain Wise Quotes From the Dalai Lama

Powerful words of wisdom to live by.

Dalai Lama Quotes About Compassion

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

True change is within

“True change is within. Leave the outside as it is.”

Accept everyone as a friend

“I accept everyone as a friend. In truth, we already know one another, profoundly, as human beings who share the same basic goals: We all seek happiness and do not want suffering.”


“Within all beings, there is the seed of perfection.”

Changing for the better

“We can deny everything, except that we have the possibility of being better.”

Dalai Lama quotesPhoto: Nadezda Murmakova /

A pragmatic choice

“If at the beginning and end of our lives we depend upon the kindness of others, why in the middle of our lives should we not act kindly toward them? It is the pragmatic choice.” (These powerful acts of kindness will inspire you to pay it forward.)

Powerful actions

“Compassion is by nature gentle, peaceful, and soft, but it is very powerful.”


“It is the enemy who can truly teach us to practice the virtues of compassion and tolerance.” (Here’s expert advice on how to become a more compassionate person.)

Inner contentment

“In order to be happy, we must first possess inner contentment—and inner contentment doesn’t come from having all we want, but rather from wanting and appreciating all we have.”

Planet Earth

“Because we all share the small planet Earth, we have to learn to live in harmony and peace with each other and with nature. That is not just a dream, but a necessity.”

New friends

“Old friends pass away, new friends appear. It is just like the days. An old day passes, a new day arrives. The important thing is to make it meaningful: a meaningful friend, or a meaningful day.”

If you enjoyed these Dalai Lama quotes, be sure to check out this collection of 50 inspirational quotes to live by.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest