When we think about philosophy, the first thing to come to mind may be any number of famous mind-bendingly abstract or cerebral observations. Thankfully, philosophers enjoy pondering all facets of the human experience, and many of their quotes speak to the lives we lead every day. What makes a good friend, how to find our purpose, the many definitions of love — these all fall under the umbrella of philosophy, too.
Across the Asian continent, Hindu poets, Japanese writers, and Buddhist monks alike have contemplated the ways love fits into our lives. Whether we feel hopeless in love or want to find new ways of expressing our love, we can take comfort in the fact that some of the greatest minds in history have been right there with us for millennia. They make it clear that every form of love — whether romance, self-love, or compassion for others — is important.
Here are nine quotes from renowned Eastern thinkers to remind you that we get to decide how love shows up in our lives.
Close your eyes, fall in Love, stay there.Rumi
Trust love even if it brings sorrow. Do not close up your heart.Rabindranath Tagore
Our capacity to love is an unstoppable essence that when nurtured can expand without limit.Pema Chödrön
Understanding someone’s suffering is the best gift you can give another person. Understanding is love’s other name.Thích Nhất Hạnh
Love is the primary treasure … It is our ability to fully identify and empathize with the wondrous beings and entities of this remarkable universe.Lao Tzu
Love is to conquer self and turn to courtesy.Confucius
Loving others as one loves oneself is humaneness, and this is the heart of humans.Kaibara Ekken
Love concentrates all the power of the will without effort.Swami Vivekananda
Merits of giving away food thrice a day / Cooking in three hundred pots / Cannot equal the merits / Gained from a moment’s love.Nāgārjuna
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