Contemplate the fleetingness of life (quotes)

Everything that has a beginning has an end – including our lives

  • Everything passes, everything. Anthony de Mello
  • Everything is passing… enjoy its momentariness. Mooji
  • All things human are short-lived and perishable. Seneca
  • Everything that has a beginning has an ending. Make your peace with that and all will be well. Buddha
  • The only certainty life contains is death. Patricia Briggs
  • ImpermanenceDeath
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Our lives are a brief flash of light

  • An Italian poet said, ‘We live in a flash of light; evening comes and it is night forever.’ It’s only a flash and we waste it. We waste it with our anxiety, our worries, our concerns, our burdens. Anthony de Mello
  • Life is brief—a flash of lightning, a snap of eternity’s fingers. Dan Millman
  • Our lives are mere flashes of light in an infinitely empty universe. Dominic Owen Mallary
  • We are travellers in a cosmic journey – star dust, swirling and dancing in the eddies and whirlpools of infinity. Life is eternal. But the expressions of life are ephemeral, momentary, transient. Buddha once said “This existence of ours is as transient as autumn clouds. To watch the birth and death of beings is like looking at the movements of a dance. A lifetime is like a flash of lightning in the sky.” We have stopped for a moment to encounter each other, to meet, to love, to share. This is a precious moment, but it is transient. It is a little parenthesis in eternity. If we share with caring, light heartedness and love, we will create abundance and joy for each other. And then this moment will have been worthwhile. Deepak Chopra
  • Thus should you think of all this fleeting world; a star at dawn, a bubble in a stream; a flash of lightening in a summer cloud, a flickering lamp, a phantom and a dream. Diamond Sutra
  • We are like butterflies who flutter for a day and think it is forever. Carl Sagan
  • After sleeping through a hundred million centuries we have finally opened our eyes on a sumptuous planet, sparkling with color, bountiful with life. Within decades we must close our eyes again. Richard Dawkins
  • Life is short, God’s way of encouraging a bit of focus. Robert Brault
  • Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand- and melting like a snowflake. Marie Beyon Ray
  • It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it’s called Life. Terry Pratchett
  • After all, what’s a life, anyway? We’re born, we live a little while, we die. B. White
  • What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the winter time; it is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset. Crowfoot, Chief Of The Siksika First Nation
  • Life goes by in a flicker, and then you’re gone. We are all pilgrims passing through on our way to enternity. John Wooden
  • Your body is like a dew-drop on the morning grass, your life is as brief as a flash of lightning. Momentary and vain, it is lost in a moment. Dogen Zenji
  • Life is like a buffalo. Its there and then its gone. Life comes and goes like the cloud of a moist breath on a cloudy morning. Sioux Saying
  • Like vanishing dew, a passing apparition or the sudden flash of lightning — already gone – – thus should one regard one’s self.  Ikkyu
  • What makes human life–which is inseparable from this moment–so precious is its fleeting nature. And not that it doesn’t last but that it never returns again. Steve Hagen
  • This will never come again. Steve Hagen
  • Perspective: We are here for but a blink of the eye in all of eternity… Robert Beno
  • The cradle rocks above an abyss, and common sense tells us that our existence is but a brief crack of light between two eternities of darkness. Vladimir Nabokov
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Contemplating the fleetingness of life is a deeply spiritual act

  • By contemplating the impermanence of everything in the world, we are forced to recognize that every time we do something could be the last time we do it, and this recognition can invest the things we do with a significance and intensity that would otherwise be absent. We will no longer sleepwalk through our life. Some people, I realize, will find it depressing or even morbid to contemplate impermanence. I am nevertheless convinced that the only way we can be truly alive is if we make it our business periodically to entertain such thoughts. William B. Irvine
  • The contemplation of one’s mortality, the fleetingness of life and the impermanence of form is a deeply spiritual thing to do. It is a liberating act that makes life feel considerably less heavy. Eckhart Tolle
  • Healing and positive life change comes from having the courage and spiritual conviction to look squarely at life’s impermanence. Meredith Young Sowers
  • How long am I going to be dead?’ With that eternal perspective, you can now make your own choice and leave the worrying, the fears, the question of whether you can afford it and the guilt to those who are going to be alive forever. Wayne Dyer
  • If you realize that all things change, there is nothing you will try to hold on to. If you aren’t afraid of dying, there is nothing you can’t achieve. Lao Tzu
  • How much time we waste. As if we were going to live forever. Leo Buscaglia
  • Take it that you have died today, and your life’s story is ended; and henceforward regard what future time may be given you as an uncovenanted surplus, and live it out in harmony with nature. Marcus Aurelius
  • Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything, all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure, these things just fall away in the face of death leaving only what is trully important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart. Steve Jobs
  • The way to really live is to die. The passport to living is to imagine yourself in your grave. Imagine you’re lying in your coffin…. Now look at your problems from that viewpoint. Changes everything, doesn’t it? Anthony de Mello
  • In the proximity of death, the whole concept of ownership stands revealed as ultimately meaningless. Eckhart Tolle
  • That it will never come again is what makes life so sweet. Emily Dickinson
  • During crisis or stress, remember that 100 years from now we will all be gone from this planet. Richard Carlson
  • I take nothing for granted. I now have only good days, or great days. Lance Armstrong
  • I have learned to offer no resistance to what is; I have learned to allow the present moment to be and to accept the impermanent nature of all things and conditions. Thus I have found peace. Eckhart Tolle
  • It is because everything must come to an end that everything is so beautiful. Charles Ramuz
  • To know yourself you must know the transience of your self. Ilyas Kassam
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Knowing life is fleeting, don’t squander it.

  • A warrior must learn to make every act count, since he is going to be here in this world for only a short while, in fact, too short for witnessing all the marvels of it. Carlos Castaneda
  • Travelers, it is late. Life’s sun is going to set. During these brief days that you have strength, be quick and spare no effort of your wings. Rumi
  • We live in deeds, not years; In thoughts, not breaths; In feelings, not in figures on a dial. We should count time by heart throbs. Aristotle
  • Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time; for that’s the stuff life is made of. Benjamin Franklin
  • Every day, therefore, should be regulated as if it were the one that brings up the rear, the one that rounds out and completes our lives. Seneca
  • If we were to grasp fully that someday we too shall die, would it help us to answer the poet Mary Oliver’s question, “What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” John Robbins
  • Surely your sojourn on earth is so brief, it ought to be pleasing to you. In a word, it’s your life; do with it what you want. Wayne Dyer
  • Death will swoop on you so swiftly. Gather merit till that moment comes! For even if you then throw off your indolence, What will you do when there is no more time? Bodhisattva
  • With death so endless a proposition and life so breathtakingly brief, ask yourself, ‘Should I avoid doing the things I really want to do?’ ‘Should I live my life as others want me to?” ‘Are things important to accumulate?’ ‘Is putting it off the way to live?’ Chances are your answers can be summed up in a few words: Live… Be You… Enjoy… Love. Wayne Dyer
  • This is a precious moment, but it is transient. It is a little parenthesis in eternity. If we share with caring, light-heartedness, and love, we will create abundance and joy for each other. And then this moment will have been worthwhile. Deepak Chopra
  • If you live each day as if it’s your last, some day you’ll most certainly be right. Steve Jobs
  • After sleeping through a hundred million centuries we have finally opened our eyes on a sumptuous planet, sparkling with colour, bountiful with life. Within decades we must close our eyes again. Isn’t it a noble, an enlightened way of spending our brief time in the sun, to work at understanding the universe and how we have come to wake up in it? This is how I answer when I am asked-as I am surprisingly often-why I bother to get up in the mornings. Richard Dawkins
  • Everything in life is transitory. I feel the tenderness and fragility of it all. This makes it all the more precious. For every moment is unique. It can be appreciated only once and only now. Let us kiss our lover each moment. Let us accept it totally. John Kehoe
  • We only live once. We all have an expiration date after that we will never come again. I am not saying that to make you sad. I am saying that so you can cherish each moment in your life and be grateful that you are here and you are Special. Pablo Valle
  • I know that life is short. I appreciate every moment I have. Susan Jeffers
  • Wake up! If you knew for certain you had a terminal illness–if you had little time left to live– you would waste precious little of it! Well, I’m telling you…you do have a terminal illness: It’s called birth. You don’t have more than a few years left. No one does! So be happy now, without reason–or you will never be at all. Dan Millman
  • Be happy now for you’re a long-time dead! Scottish Proverb
  • I want to convince you that you must learn to make every act count, since you are going to be here for only a short while, in fact, too short for witnessing all the marvels of it. Carlos Castaneda, Journey to Ixtlan
  • Ultimately, life goes by in a blink. And too many people live the same year 80 times. Robin Sharma
  • That it will never come again is what makes life so sweet. Emily Dickinson
  • How did it get so late so soon? Seuss
  • The trouble is, you think you have time. Buddha
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Life is a terminal so embrace it fully while you’re still alive

  • Life is an incurable disease. Cowley Abraham
  • Life is a disease: sexually transmitted, and invariably fatal. Neil GaimanLife is a disease: sexually transmitted, and invariably fatal.  Neil Gaiman
  • Life is a sexually transmitted disease and the mortality rate is one hundred percent. D. Laing
  • Wake up! If you knew for certain you had a terminal illness–if you had little time left to live- – you would waste precious little of it! Well, I’m telling you…you do have a terminal illness: It’s called birth. You don’t have more than a few years left. No one does! So be happy now, without reason–  or you will never be at all.  Dan Millman
  • Embrace life
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On a lighter note

  • Life is like a very short visit to a toy shop between birth and death. Desmond Morris
  • I’m going to live forever – or die in the attempt.
  • I intend to live forever. So far, so good.
  • Life is too short to stuff a mushroom. Shirley Conran
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