10 Inspirational Quotes by Ogyen Trinley Dorje

10 Inspirational Quotes by Ogyen Trinley Dorje

Ogyen Trinley Dorje, is the 17th in the line of Karmapa (Karma Kagyu school) incarnations in Tibetan Buddhism. He was identified as the 17th Karmapa base on the secret prediction letter written by the 16th Karmapa before he died. This letter contained details of the year of his rebirth, the location, and the names of his future mother and father, and the details matched Apo Gaga’s life exactly. His recognition as the 17th Karmapa was supported by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and the Chinese government.

A strict vegetarian himself, Ogyen Trinley Dorje mandated a purely vegetarian diet in all his monasteries and strongly urged vegetarianism among all his students, even though vegetarianism is not an established practice for Tibetan Buddhists. (Note: His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama is not a vegetarian)

He also encouraged practitioners to plant trees, rather than performing life release, as a way to promote environment protection.

If you wish to understand the wisdom and teachings of Ogyen Trinley Dorje better, you may read his book The Heart Is Noble: Changing the World from the Inside Out. Here are the 10 inspirational quotes extracted from his book:  


#1 – Contentment

Contentment is a wealth that gives the highest satisfaction, and we can gain it simply by mining our own mental resources, and knowing our own mind. We can cultivate the perspective that what we have is enough. We can see that we do not actually need more than we already have, and can be completely satisfied with that.

#2 – Love

When you feel authentic love toward others, you will be deeply moved to act. You will not rest until you have found ways to secure the happiness of all those you are able to include in your feelings of love. As you learn to love more and more widely, your love will motivate you to act to benefit not just the few people in your inner circle, but your whole society, and eventually, the whole world.

#3 – Change

When you are dreaming of what is possible for your life, you should know that anything is possible. You may not always feel it or see it, but you never for a single moment lack the capacity to change course. Your life is subject to infinite revision.

#4 – Self-Love

The deepest reasons to love yourself have nothing to do with anything outside you — not with your body or with others’ expectations of you. If you ground yourself in your own goodness, nothing will be able to damage your self-esteem. Take delight in your inner nature, in your virtues, and in all your beautiful qualities.

#5 – Gentleness

My own way of thinking is that when we are meeting with angry or stubborn people, we should bring even greater understanding to bear. The more closed-minded or hardheaded someone seems, the more reason there is for us to be open-minded and gentle when interacting with them. We can recognize how difficult and painful it is to live with anger or narrow views, and this allows us to feel compassion for them.

#6 – Life

Our life is vast. It does not stop at the limits of what we personally experience. It is not something concrete or bounded. I do not think it is valid to view our life as limited to just ourselves — as if our human life extended only as far as our own body. Rather, we can see that a life extends out in all directions, like a net. We throw a net, and it expands outward. Just like that, our life extends to touch many other lives. Our life can reach out and become a pervasive part of everyone’s life.

#7 – Diversity

Diversity within a society does not have to be problematic; it can be a source of richness and enjoyment. We can recognize and enjoy differences, but we must be careful not to exaggerate their importance or solidify our differences. When we do, we easily lose sight of our shared humanity, and divide ourselves up into categories of us and them, higher and lower, better and worse.

#8 – Teacher

No one owns a copyright on the Buddha’s teachings. They belong to the world, and in that sense they are not something I can offer to you. The teachings and teachers are ubiquitous. Reality is your teacher. Everything that appears can become your teacher. The four seasons can teach you. Anything can be a teacher of Buddhist teachings. Anything.

#9 – Relationship

Shifting your concern from your own well-being to include a genuine concern for the other person can transform your relationships, and it can also transform you as a person. You can become a person who provides well-being to others, and who shoulders the burden for others, too. This is a very uncomplicated shift in outlook that can completely reorient your relationships. I think this outlook might yield the healthiest relationships of all.

#10 – Compassion

We need to let the heart lead. Compassion is indispensable; it is the single most important factor we need if we are going to have any real success in protecting the environment, in creating a just society, or simply in living wholesome, happy lives.


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