This saying comes from the Buddha in the Dhammapada (276).  But what does it mean?

In order to escape the cycle of rebirth, and achieve Nirvana, only you can do this.  No teacher, Buddha, or supernatural force can do what you alone must do.  Only through hard work, dedication, and experience, can you achieve this goal.

So, in other words, no free ride…you actually gotta work at this but its worth it 🙂

For those who are curious, the entire verse is:

You yourself must strive.
The Buddhas only point the way.
Those meditative ones who tread the path are released from the bonds of Mara.

Graphic by Alan Peto

Graphic by Alan Peto