25 Bodhidharma Quotes to Enlighten Your Soul 

Bodhidharma quotes serve as a source for enlightening the inner self.

This is why people share these quotes with their friends and family.

If you also need some Bodhidharma quotes to share via a social media platform, this article can be helpful.

We have created a comprehensive list of such quotes.

All these quotes are placed under their relevant sections to make it easy for you to browse through the list.

Apart from the quotes, we have also discussed Bodhidharma and the key aspects associated with it.

If interested, please continue reading!

Who was Bodhidharma

Also known as Daruma or Damo, Bodhidharma was an influential and powerful Buddhist monk.

He served as a critical figure while spreading Zen Buddhism.

Bodhidharma is also known as the founding father of the “Chan School of Buddhism”.

His legacy and teachings continue to inspire a wide array of individuals, including:

  • Seekers of enlightenment 
  • Practitioners of enlightenment
  • Preachers of enlightenment 

Spiritual Journey

The exact birthplace and date of Bodhidharma are still unknown.

However, it is believed that he came from the Pallava Kingdom, located in South India.

Also, he was born into a Brahmin family. 

After gaining basic education in Buddhism, he left his hometown and embarked on a spiritual quest.

He was in search of ways to seek liberation from the cycle of birth and death.

Arrival in China

Bodhidharma came to China during the 5th or 6th century CE.

He brought the teachings of Mahayana Buddhism. 

First, he arrived at the Shaolin Temple, located in the Henan province.

This was the turning point in the history of Buddhism.

Bodhidharma came with a unique approach to enlightenment.

According to him, it is essential to indulge in direct experience and intuition.

This paved the way for the introduction and propagation of Zen Buddhism.

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Transmission of Zen

The teachings of Bodhidharma were based on meditation.

He stressed the skill of sitting meditation, which is known as “Zazen”.

Bodhidharma also pressed the need to be attaining enlightenment by staying within the moment. 

Bodhidharma rejected the reliance on intellectual knowledge and scriptures.

On the other hand, he preached experiential understanding and indulged in new experiences.

The Legend of the Wall-Gazing 

One of Bodhidharma’s most popular stories relates to meditating for nine years.

During this period, he continuously gazed at the wall for nine years.

This practice was also known as “wall-gazing”. 

According to legend, Bodhidharma transmitted the Dharma to his foremost disciple named “Huike”. 

This established an unshakable connection of enlightened masters.

Top 5 Bodhidharma Quotes 

Below are the top 5 quotes from the famous Buddhist monk Bodhidharma. 

1. “Not engaging in ignorance is wisdom.” — Bodhidharma

2. “Freeing oneself from words is liberation.” — Bodhidharma

3. “All know the way, but few actually walk it.” — Bodhidharma

4. “To seek is to suffer. To seek nothing is bliss.” — Bodhidharma

5. “In order to see a fish, you must watch the water.” — Bodhidharma

Bodhidharma Quotes About Reality 

No one can avoid reality and its impacts on our life. These quotes will show you more about reality and its importance.

6. “Reality has no inside, outside, or middle part.” — Bodhidharma

7. “When you don’t understand, you depend on reality. When you do understand, reality depends on you.” — Bodhidharma

8. “If you use your mind to study reality, you won’t understand either your mind or reality. If you study reality without using your mind, you’ll understand both.” — Bodhidharma

9. “One clings to life although there is nothing to be called life; another cling to death although there is nothing to be called death. In reality, there is nothing to be born; consequently, there is nothing to perish.” — Bodhidharma

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10. “Not thinking about anything is zen. Once you know this, walking, standing, sitting, or lying down, everything you do is zen. To know that the mind is empty is to see the Buddha…. Using the mind to reality is a delusion. Not using the mind to look for reality is awareness. Freeing oneself from words is liberation.” — Bodhidharma

Bodhidharma Quotes Regarding Buddha 

These quotes will motivate you to follow Buddha’s principles in your life, as Bodhidharma did.

11. “The Buddha is your real body, your original mind.” — Bodhidharma

12. “As long as you look for a Buddha somewhere else, you’ll never see that your own mind is the Buddha.” — Bodhidharma

13. “To go from mortal to Buddha, you have to put an end to karma, nurture your awareness, and accept what life brings.” — Bodhidharma

14. “But people of the deepest understanding look within, distracted by nothing. Since a clear mind is the Buddha, they attain the understanding of a Buddha without using the mind.” — Bodhidharma

15. “A Buddha is someone who finds freedom in good fortune and bad. Such is his power that karma can’t hold him. No matter what kind of karma, a Buddha transforms it. Heaven and hell are nothing to him. But the awareness of a mortal is dim compared to that of a Buddha, who penetrates everything, inside and out.” — Bodhidharma

Thought-Provoking and Motivational Bodhidharma Quotes

Ignite your inner wisdom and motivation with these profound and thought-provoking quotes by Bodhidharma. 

16. “Those who remain unmoved by the wind of joy silently follow the Path.” — Bodhidharma

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17. “I never lost or failed, not yet conquered. If I fall seven times, I get up right.” — Bodhidharma

18. “Many roads lead to the Path, but basically, there are only two: reason and practice.” — Bodhidharma

19. “According to the Sutras, evil deeds result in hardships, and good deeds result in blessings.” — Bodhidharma

20. “Once you stop clinging and let things be, you’ll be free, even of birth and death. You’ll transform everything.” — Bodhidharma

Bodhidharma Quotes Full of Wisdom

Uncover the wisdom of Bodhidharma through these enlightening quotes, offering profound insights and timeless guidance.

21. “To give up yourself without regret is the greatest charity.” — Bodhidharma

22. “An Awakened person is someone who finds freedom in good fortune and bad.” — Bodhidharma

23. “The ultimate Truth is beyond words. Doctrines are words. They’re not the Way.” — Bodhidharma

24. “The mind is the root from which all things grow. If you can understand the mind, everything else is included.” — Bodhidharma

25. “The ignorant mind, with its infinite afflictions, passions, and evils, is rooted in the three poisons. Greed, anger, and delusion.” — Bodhidharma

Which One of these Bodhidharma Quotes is your Favorite? 

Bodhidharma has played a critical role when it comes to the introduction of Zen Buddhism.

He is known as a spiritual guide and trailblazer guide. 

The Bodhidharma quotes listed above give a clear insight into his teachings and principles.

Hence, you would love reading our selection of Bodhidharma quotes.

If you have found a quote that inspires you the most, do share it with us via the comments section.

We would love to know about your choice. 

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  1. Sandi Pranata

    August 14, 2023 at 7:50 AM

    The quote that I like the most

    15. “A Buddha is someone who finds freedom in good fortune and bad. Such is his power that karma can’t hold him. No matter what kind of karma, a Buddha transforms it. Heaven and hell are nothing to him. But the awareness of a mortal is dim compared to that of a Buddha, who penetrates everything, inside and out.” — Bodhidharma

    Does this mean that an enlightened person can commit Evil without feeling the consequences? He can change the bad consequences that befell him?
    The Great Buddhist Doctrine says All beings are illusions.

    In the Buddhist Scriptures it is also mentioned that In Heaven, a person who has attained enlightenment can create beings as he wishes.

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