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

In honour of the 14th Dalai Lama’s 84rd birthday on July 6, we rounded up our favourite among his teachings.

Dalai Lama in 2008Photo: vipflash/Shutterstock

The Dalai Lama’s Words of Wisdom

1. True change is within

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

2. Practice compassion

“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” (Here are three ways to become a more compassionate person.)

3. 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.”

4. Perfection

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

5. Changing for the better

“We can deny everything, except that we have the possibility of being better.” (You can perform each of these 30 acts of kindness in two minutes or less.)

6. 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.”

7. Powerful actions

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

8. Tolerance

“It is the enemy who can truly teach us to practice the virtues of compassion and tolerance.”

9. 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.”

10. 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.”

11. 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.”

Next, check out our exclusive conversation with the Dalai Lama!

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest