16 Meditation Quotes That Will Help You Stay Grounded
Breathe deep, quiet your mind, and seek peace. These meditation quotes may help keep you focused and grounded.
Finding the type of meditation for you
If you think meditation is like sitting—but more boring—maybe you just haven’t found the right type for you. It’s worth making meditation a habit says Jennifer Wolkin, a licensed clinical neuropsychologist and assistant professor of psychology at NYU.
Mindfulness practice, including meditation, offers a wide range of mental and physical health benefits, including improved immunity, better heart health, less depression and anxiety, and sharper cognitive skills. Many of the benefits of meditation stem from its ability to reduce stress, Wolkin says. People often find meditation deeply calming in a way nothing else is.
How meditation soothes your brain and body
Meditation changes how your brain and nervous system function. “The amygdala is the part of your brain in charge of fearful and anxious emotions. Studies have found that it decreases in brain cell volume after meditation,” Wolkin explains.
In addition, the breathwork used in meditation invokes the parasympathetic nervous system, which increases your body’s “rest and digest” reflexes and lessens those for “fight-or-flight.” “Deep diaphragmatic breathing elicits this relaxation response through stimulating the vagus nerve, the one responsible for your mind-body connection,” she says. (Try these breathing exercises for anxiety.)
Meditation quotes can help keep you focused
The only way to learn to meditate is to just do it, which can be easier said than does, Wolkin says. Learning to quiet your brain and body in the midst of a busy, noisy life is a skill. One way to help keep your brain focused is to repeat a mantra or short quote. Meditation quotes can also help remind you why it’s important to make it a part of your daily routine.
Here are a few meditation quotes to help you quiet your mind and seek peace.
Kids are naturals at meditation
“When you’re a kid, you lay in the grass and watch the clouds going over, and you literally don’t have a thought in your mind. It’s purely meditation, and we lose that.” — Dick Van Dyke, American actor, comedian, and writer
If you’re not sure how to get started, go back to your childhood and do something simple that you enjoyed then, like watching the clouds, throwing rocks into a puddle, or wandering slowly around the block. (Tap into your inner child with these things you’re never too old for.)
Movement as meditation
“I meditate in the morning, I have my centering, I need that. For me, training is also my meditation.” — Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson, American actor
It’s a myth that you have to sit perfectly still to be mindful, Wolkin says. In fact, many people find repetitive types of exercise, like yoga, hiking, and running, to be the best way for them to meditate. (Check out these other easy meditation tips.)
Make meditation a priority
“Half an hour’s meditation each day is essential, except when you are busy. Then a full hour is needed.” — Saint Francis de Sales
The time when you least feel like meditating is probably the time you most need to do it. Unfortunately, when we get stressed, self-care items are the first things to get taken off the to-do list. But prioritizing mindfulness, especially when you’re busy, will help you get everything done more effectively and you’ll feel less stressed while you’re doing it, Wolkin says. Short on time? Try one of these mini meditations to relieve stress.
Healing from the inside out
“Meditation can help us embrace our worries, our fear, our anger; and that is very healing. We let our own natural capacity of healing do the work.” Thich Nhat Hanh, spiritual leader, poet, and peace activist
Mindfulness affects every system in your body, helping you to heal from the inside out, Wolkin says. (Check out these things that happen in your body after just 15 minutes of meditation.)
Meditating can be creative
“Writing is a very focused form of meditation, just as good as sitting in a lotus position.” Alan Moore, English writer and comic book author
Drawing, painting, sculpting, playing music, and writing are all activities that can help you elicit a powerful type of meditation called a “flow state,” inspiring a feeling of peace and increased creativity. (Pick up a pencil and find out the health benefits of doodling.)
Don’t overthink it
“When there are thoughts, it is distraction: when there are no thoughts, it is meditation.” — Ramana Maharshi
One of the most common questions about meditating is what is the “right” way to do it. But this misses the point, Wolkin says. “It’s simply about cultivating attention on purpose, in the present moment,” she says. “If your mind wanders, don’t judge yourself, just bring your thoughts back to the present.” (Use these tricks to beat boredom and keep your brain engaged.)
Putting it in perspective
“At the end of the day, I can end up just totally wacky, because I’ve made mountains out of molehills. With meditation, I can keep them as molehills.” — Ringo Starr, English musician, singer, and songwriter
When you are stressed, upset, or embarrassed it’s easy to get sucked into a vortex of negative thoughts. Meditation can help stop this vicious cycle before it drags you down. Here’s how to bounce back and recover from mistakes.
Get a natural buzz
“I thought when I started meditation that I was going to get real calm and peaceful and it’s going to be over. It’s not that way; it’s so energetic. That’s where all the energy and creativity is.” — David Lynch, American filmmaker and actor
If you’re finding meditation to be more frustrating than calming, make sure you’re not making these meditation mistakes that can stress you out.
Meditation to go
“Everywhere I go, I still have time to meditate. People think meditating is sitting there, nobody bothering you, but you can even talk and still meditate.” — Jet Li, Chinese-Singaporean actor, film producer, and martial artist
Meditation can involve sitting on a cushion or doing breathwork but it doesn’t have to, Wolkin says.
“Mindfulness is about paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, and without judgment to any activity you engage in,” she says. “So if I’m eating, I try to only be eating. If I’m walking around my apartment, I want to only focus on the micromovements of what that entails.” (Try these mindfulness morning exercises to start your day.)
Comparison is the thief of joy
“Meditation allows us to deal with life as it is rather than looking at it and comparing it with how we think it’s supposed to be.” — Jeff Kober, American actor
A major source of anxiety is getting stuck in fear and worry about the future or regret about the past. The antidote is to train yourself to stay focused on the present, Wolkin says. (Here’s a mindfulness trick that helps with decisions.)
Happiness is a choice, not a circumstance
“The more man meditates upon good thoughts, the better will be his world and the world at large.” — Confucius, Chinese philosopher
Meditation can involve clearing your mind and thinking about nothing, or it can be about focusing on one simple, positive thought. What you choose to think about will make a big difference in how you feel and how you see the world, Wolkin says. Start with these positive thinking quotes to boost your mood.
Just do it
“The best way to meditate is through meditation itself.” — Ramana Maharshi, Indian Hindu sage
If you get too caught up in finding just the right environment to sit in or the perfect mantra to focus on or any other little detail then you’ll never get around to the important part of meditation: the meditating. (Here’s what happened when one woman did Mother Teresa’s meditations for a week.)
You are a speck in the universe
“The reason why I meditate and pray in general is just to remind myself that it is not about me.” — Macklemore, American rapper
Recognizing the importance of others and the relative unimportance of yourself can be remarkably freeing. Follow these steps to conquer worry and stress.
It’s a process
“You don’t meditate once and suddenly your life turns around. What it does is it lets you train your brain to be able to become more stable in an action-oriented way.” — Goldie Hawn, American actress, and comedian
Meditation isn’t a goal in and of itself, it’s a process and a skill to help you in other aspects of your life. When you look at it this way, it becomes less about doing it because you “should” and more about how it can help you, Wolkin says. (Meditation is one of the things you can do now to protect your brain.)
You already know how to do this
“If you know how to worry, you know how to meditate. It means to think of something over and over.” Joyce Meyer, American author and minister
Chances are you’ve already had meditative moments in your life, it’s just a matter of recognizing when it happens. Take note of which ways meditation works best for you; you’ve got this. (Hint: Boost your memory by combining music with meditation.)
“In fact, my New Year’s resolution every year, and I’m Jewish so I get two New Years a year, is to meditate, and I fail every time.” — Sheryl Sandberg, CIO of Facebook
Failing is an integral part of learning to meditate. Every time your thoughts stray and you bring them back to the present you strengthen those connections in your brain, Wolkin says. It’s one of the many brain secrets you should know.
- Jennifer Wolkin, PhD, a licensed clinical neuropsychologist and assistant professor of psychology at NYU