Zen Quotes

577 Zen Quotes: Largest Library With Amazing Collections

When you realize nothing is lacking, the whole world belongs to you. Lao Tzu


Let go, or be dragged. Zen Proverb


What the superior man seeks is in himself; what the small man seeks is in others. Confucius


To seek is to suffer. To seek nothing is bliss. Bodhidharma


Mind is like a mad monkey. Sathya Sai Baba


Wise men don’t judge – they seek to understand. Wei Wu Wei


When thoughts arise, then do all things arise. When thoughts vanish, then do all things vanish. Huang Po


The noble-minded are calm and steady. Little people are forever fussing and fretting. Confucius


Rest and be kind, you don’t have to prove anything. Jack Kerouac




Relax. Nothing is under control. Adi Da


I live by letting things happen. Dogen


Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know. Pema Chödrön


You are exactly where you need to be. Unknown


Only the hand that erases can write the true thing. Meister Eckhart


Before enlightenment; chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment; chop wood, carry water. Buddha


Who you are is always right. Ming-Dao Deng


The search for happiness is one of the chief sources of unhappiness. Eric Hoffer


The resistance to the unpleasant situation is the root of suffering. Ram Dass


Education breeds confidence. Confidence breeds hope. Hope breeds peace. Confucius


Still your waters. Josh Waitzkin


If a warrior is not unattached to life and death, he will be of no use whatsoever. Yamamoto Tsunetomo (Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai)


The mind of the beginner is empty, free of the habits of the expert, ready to accept, to doubt, and open to all the possibilities. Shunryu Suzuki (Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind)


The place to improve the world is first in one’s own heart and head and hands. Robert M. Pirsig (Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance)


Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend. Bruce Lee


If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present. Lao Tzu


Do you have the patience to wait until your mud settles and the water is clear? Lao Tzu


Everything that happens to you is a form of instruction if you pay attention. Robert Greene


I don’t mind what happens. That is the essence of inner freedom. Jiddu Krishnamurti


Where can I find a man who has forgotten words so I can talk with him? Zhuangzi


Forget the years, forget distinctions. Leap into the boundless and make it your home. Zhuangzi


Life is a balance of holding on and letting go. Rumi


When we discover that the truth is already in us, we are all at once our original selves. Dogen


When one first seeks the truth, one separates oneself from it. Dogen


Peace of mind is that mental condition in which you have accepted the worst. Lin Yutang


Don’t seek, don’t search, don’t ask, don’t knock, don’t demand – relax. Osho


Wherever you are, be there totally. Eckhart Tolle


Life isn’t as serious as the mind makes it out to be. Eckhart Tolle


And when they played they really played. And when they worked they really worked. Dr. Seuss


Do not seek the truth, only cease to cherish your opinions. Seng-ts’an


One loses joy and happiness in the attempt to possess them. Masanobu Fukuoka


Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun. Alan Watts


Muddy water is best cleared by leaving it alone. Alan Watts


Every experience is a lesson. Every loss is a gain. Sathya Sai Baba




In Zen we have no gurus. Frederick Lenz


Zen is an effort to become alert and awake. Osho


Zen teaches nothing; it merely enables us to wake up and become aware. It does not teach, it points. D.T. Suzuki


Zen in it’s essence is the art of seeing into the nature of one’s being, and it points the way from bondage to freedom. D.T. Suzuki


The practice of Zen is forgetting the self in the act of uniting with something. Koun Yamada


The true purpose [of Zen] is to see things as they are, to observe things as they are, and to let everything go as it goes. Shunryu Suzuki


Zen practice is to open up our small mind. Shunryu Suzuki


Zen is not a religion. There is no room for a cult. There is no dependence on a teacher. There is only learning how to use your own mind and making it strong. Frederick Lenz


Zen teaches that if we can open up to the inevitability of our demise, we can begin to transform and lighten up about it. Allen Klein


Zen is a liberation from time. For if we open our eyes and see clearly, it becomes obvious that there is no other time than this instant, and that the past and the future are abstractions without any concrete reality. Alan Watts


Zen is a path of liberation. It liberates you. It is freedom from the first step to the last. You are not required to follow any rules; you are required to find out your own rules and your own life in the light of awareness. Osho


Zen is not some kind of excitement, but concentration on our usual everyday routine. Shunryu Suzuki


Zen is not an art, it’s not a religion. It’s a realisation. Gene Clark




To be wronged is nothing unless you continue to remember it. Confucius


If you chase two rabbits, you catch none. Confucius


Do not think you will necessarily be aware of your own enlightenment. Dogen


To study Buddhism is to study ourselves. To study ourselves is to forget ourselves. Dogen


Treat every moment as your last. It is not preparation for something else. Shunryu Suzuki (Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind)


In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s mind there are few. Shunryu Suzuki


The only Zen you can find on the tops of mountains is the Zen you bring up there. Robert M. Pirsig (Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance)


There are only two ways to live your life. One is as if nothing is a miracle. The other is as if everything is a miracle. Albert Einstein


Give a bowl of rice to a man and you will feed him for a day. Teach him how to grow his own rice and you will save his life. Confucius


Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power. Lao Tzu


Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished. Lao Tzu


If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion. Dalai Lama


The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus. Bruce Lee


Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment. Buddha


The first and the best victory is to conquer self. Plato


All know the way, but few actually walk it. Bodhidharma


Not engaging in ignorance is wisdom. Bodhidharma


The essence of the Way is detachment. Bodhidharma




Don’t try to steer the river. Deepak Chopra


Not creating delusions is enlightenment. Bodhidharma


All things are difficult before they are easy. Thomas Fuller


Words diminish meanings; these words included. Unknown


The more you know, the less you need. Yvon Chouinard (Patagonia)


Don’t be afraid to just sit and watch. Anthony Bourdain


Act without expectation. Lao Tzu


Become comfortable with not knowing. Eckhart Tolle


Life begins where fear ends. Osho


Be present above all else. Naval Ravikant


Think with your whole body. Taisen Deshimaru


Love all. Serve all. Help ever. Hurt never. Sathya Sai Baba


To go beyond is as wrong as to fall short. Confucius


Roads were made for journeys not destinations. Confucius


Don’t curse the darkness, light a candle. Confucius


Body and mind dropped off. Dogen (on enlightenment)


Those who seek the easy way do not seek the true way. Dogen


Enlightenment is intimacy with all things. Dogen


A zen master’s life is one continuous mistake. Dogen


Now I know what success is: living your truth, sharing it. Kamal Ravikant


I follow four dictates: face it, accept it, deal with it, then let it go. Sheng-yen


To live – is that not enough? D.T. Suzuki


Zen has no business with ideas. D.T. Suzuki


Sleep is the best meditation. Dalai Lama


Don’t seek the truth; just drop your opinions. Anthony


This will never come again. Steve Hagen


Movement is evil. Being still is good. Ben Caesar


Life is a second-by-second miracle. Joko Beck


In the highest level a man has the look of knowing nothing. Yamamoto Tsunetomo


Singlemindedness is all-powerful. Yamamoto Tsunetomo




The personal life deeply lived always expands into truths beyond itself. Anais Nin


When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps. Confucius


If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help someone else. Confucius


Truth makes you rise to new heights, no matter where you are. Kamal Ravikant


These mountains that you are carrying, you were only supposed to climb. Najwa Zebian


Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose. Lyndon B. Johnson


It is easy to believe we are each waves and forget we are also the ocean. Jon J. Muth


Emptiness which is conceptually liable to be mistaken for sheer nothingness is in fact the reservoir of infinite possibilities. D.T. Suzuki


In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity. Sun Tzu


If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles. Sun Tzu


Even if it seems certain that you will lose, retaliate. Neither wisdom nor technique has a place in this. A real man does not think of victory or defeat. He plunges recklessly towards an irrational death. By doing this, you will awaken from your dreams. Yamamoto Tsunetomo (Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai)


Purity is something that cannot be attained except by piling effort upon effort. Yamamoto Tsunetomo (Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai)


The three elements of creativity are thus: loving, knowing, and doing – or heart, mind, and hands – or, as Zen Buddhist teaching has it; great faith, great question, and great courage. Eric Maisel


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You look at where you’re going and where you are and it never makes sense, but then you look back at where you’ve been and a pattern seems to emerge. Robert M. Pirsig (Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance)


There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness. Dalai Lama


As a bee gathering nectar does not harm or disturb the color and fragrance of the flower; so do the wise move through the world. Buddha


My daily affairs are quite ordinary; but I’m in total harmony with them. Layman Pang


Unhappiness and rain just drift by and are gone, they are visitors. John Aske


Have the fearless attitude of a hero and the loving heart of a child. Soyen Shaku


A man is great not because he hasn’t failed; a man is great because failure hasn’t stopped him. Confucius


Confuse them with your silence and amaze them with your actions. Unknown


I don’t hold on to anything, don’t reject anything; nowhere an obstacle or conflict. Layman Pang


We just let it happen… and that’s the beauty of this technique. Bob Ross


Just as parents care for their children, you should bear in mind the whole universe. Dogen



If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito. Dalai Lama


A true Zen saying: “Nothing is what I want”. Frank Zappa


When I’m riding my bicycle I feel like a Buddhist who is happy just to enjoy his mundane existence. Robin Williams


When you’ve understood this scripture, throw it away. If you can’t understand this scripture, throw it away. I insist on your freedom. Jack Kerouac


Too lazy to be ambitious, I let the world take care of itself. Ten days’ worth of rice in my bag; a bundle of twigs by the fireplace. Why chatter about delusion and enlightenment? Listening to the night rain on my roof, I sit comfortably, with both legs stretched out. Ryōkan


Craziness is good. Crazy people are happy, free, they have no hindrance. But since you have many attachment, you are only a little crazy. This is not crazy enough. You must become completely crazy. Then you will understand. Seungsahn


I have lived with several Zen masters – all of them cats. Eckhart Tolle


The menu is not the meal. Alan Watts


Zen is nothing to get excited about. Shunryu Suzuki


Do not be too interested in Zen. Shunryu Suzuki




We are here to awaken from our illusion of separateness. Thich Nhat Hanh


The whole moon and the entire sky are reflected in one dewdrop on the grass. Dogen


Cease from practice based on intellectual understanding, pursuing words, and following after speech. Dogen


It is the nature of the wise to resist pleasures, but the foolish to be a slave to them. Epictetus


They call it ‘peace of mind’ but maybe it should be called ‘peace from mind.’ Naval Ravikant


It’s almost always possible to be honest and positive. Naval Ravikant


To set up what you like against what you dislike, this is the disease of the mind. Sengcan


Life is a journey. Time is a river. The door is ajar. Jim Butcher


But as long as you think you are practicing zazen for the sake of something, that is not true practice. Shunryu Suzuki


Many have died; you also will die. The drum of death is being beaten. The world has fallen in love with a dream. Only sayings of the wise will remain. Kabir


The ability to observe without evaluating is the highest form of intelligence. Jiddu Krishnamurti


Pursue not the outer entanglements; dwell not in the inner void; be serene in the oneness of things; and dualism vanishes by itself. Sengcan


Matters of great concern should be treated lightly. Matters of small concern should be treated seriously. Yamamoto Tsunetomo (Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai)


One thing, all things: move among and intermingle, without distinction. To live in this realization is to be without anxiety about non-perfection. To live in this faith is the road to non-duality, because the non-dual is one with the trusting mind. Sengcan


There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in. Leonard Cohen


Why do you so earnestly seek the truth in distant places? Look for delusion and truth in the bottom of your own heart. Ryōkan


The thief left it behind: the moon at my window. Ryōkan


We shape clay into a pot, but it is the emptiness inside that holds whatever we want. Lao Tzu


Even death is not to be feared by one who has lived wisely. Buddha


For things to reveal themselves to us, we need to be ready to abandon our views about them. Thich Nhat Hanh


One has not understood until one has forgotten it. D.T. Suzuki



A great man is hard on himself; a small man is hard on others. Confucius


To be truly ignorant, be content with your own knowledge. Zhuangzi


It’s beautiful to be alone. To be alone does not mean to be lonely. It means the mind is not influenced and contaminated by society. Jiddu Krishnamurti


When you understand one thing through and through, you understand everything. When you try to understand everything, you will not understand anything. Shunryu Suzuki


When we start to feel anxious or depressed, instead of asking, “What do I need to get to be happy?” The question becomes, “What am I doing to disturb the inner peace that I already have?”. D.T. Suzuki


If you want something then you lose everything. If you don’t want anything then you already have everything. Seungsahn


To say one is revolutionary is a little like saying one is a Zen Buddhist – if you say you are, you probably aren’t. Lawrence Ferlinghetti


When you catch yourself slipping into a pool of negativity, notice how it derives from nothing other than resistance to the current situation. Donna Quesada


The foolish reject what they see, not what they think; the wise reject what they think, not what they see. Huang Po


A wise man speaks because he has something to say; a fool because he has to say something. Plato


Un-think. Un-learn. Un-know. Un-believe. Un-speculate. Un-seek. Un-strive. Un-fear. Lose your mind and effortlessly be. Brian Thompson


Knowledge is learning something everyday. Wisdom is letting go of something everyday. Unknown


Don’t be satisfied with your accomplishment, nor be dissatisfied with it. Unknown


The man who asks a question is a fool for a minute, the man who does not ask is a fool for life. Confucius


You can have the mind or you can have the moment. Naval Ravikant


A fool sees himself as another, but a wise man sees others as himself. Dogen


One must be deeply aware of the impermanence of the world. Dogen


Prefer to be defeated in the presence of the wise than to excel among fools. Dogen



The greatest effort is not concerned with results. Atisa


Do not look for a sanctuary in anyone except your self. Buddha


Life is more or less a lie, but then again, that’s exactly the way we want it to be. Bob Dylan


To be in harmony with the wholeness of things is not to have anxiety over imperfections. Dogen


Here it is – right now. Start thinking about it and you miss it. Huang Po


Children are natural Zen masters; their world is brand new in each and every moment. John Bradshaw


Happiness only comes when you let go of who you think you are. If you think you’re wealthy and powerful and noble and truthful or horrible and demonic, whatever it may be, it’s all a waste of time. Frederick Lenz


All I can guarantee you is that as long as you are searching for happiness, you will remain unhappy. U.G. Krishnamurti


Letting go takes a lot of courage sometimes. But once you let go, happiness comes very quickly. You won’t have to go around search for it. Thich Nhat Hanh


Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness. If, in our heart, we still cling to anything – anger, anxiety, or possessions – we cannot be free. Thich Nhat Hanh


There is surely nothing other than the single purpose of the present moment. A man’s whole life is a succession of moment after moment. There will be nothing else to do, and nothing else to pursue. Live being true to the single purpose of the moment. Yamamoto Tsunetomo (Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai)


Be true to the thought of the moment and avoid distraction. Other than continuing to exert yourself, enter into nothing else, but go to the extent of living single thought by single thought. Yamamoto Tsunetomo (Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai)


If we are always demanding something out of life, then we will never be content. But if we accept life as it is, then we will know contentment. Thich Thien-An


Flow with whatever may happen, and let your mind be free: Stay centered by accepting whatever you are doing. This is the ultimate. Zhuangzi


Your life is your practice. Your spiritual practice does not occur someplace other than in your life right now, and your life is nowhere other than where you are. Karen Maezen Miller


Live the life in front of you, be the life you are, and see what you find out for yourself. Karen Maezen Miller


People of this world are deluded. They’re always longing for something – always, in a word, seeking. Bodhidharma


When you bow, you should just bow; when you sit, you should just sit; when you eat, you should just eat. Shunryu Suzuki


When there is no gaining idea in what you do, then you do something. Shunryu Suzuki


So if you do something, you should be observant, and careful, and alert. Shunryu Suzuki


Where you stand, where you are, that’s what your life is right there, regardless of how painful it is or how enjoyable it is. That’s what it is. Taizan Maezumi


I am not devaluing thoughts. Just do not mix up what we think with what actually is. Taizan Maezumi


Nothing has ever existed except this moment. That’s all there is. That’s all we are. Yet most human beings spend 50 to 90 percent or more of their time in their imagination, living in fantasy. We think about what has happened to us, what might have happened, how we feel about it, how we should be different, how others should be different, how it’s all a shame, and on and on. Joko Beck


There is one thing in life that you can always rely on: life being as it is. Joko Beck


Throughout this life, you can never be certain of living long enough to take another breath. Huang Po


To see things for what they are is to see with the eyes of the vastness itself. Suzanne Segal


When reading, only read. When eating, only eat. When thinking, only think. Seungsahn




When we do not expect anything we can be ourselves. Shunryu Suzuki


Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it. Bruce Lee


If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves. Bruce Lee


Detachment is necessary for peace, and peace is necessary for happiness. Naval Ravikant


The phrase that I use the most to myself in my head is one word: accept. Naval Ravikant


If you cry because the sun has gone out of your life, your tears will prevent you from seeing the stars. Rabindranath Tagore


Letting go is the lesson. Letting go is always the lesson. Have you ever noticed how much of our agony is all tied up with craving and loss? Susan Gordon Lydon


It is a timeless spiritual truth: release attachment to outcomes, deep inside yourself, you’ll feel good no matter what. Jiddu Krishnamurti


If you want to travel the Way of Buddhas and Zen masters, then expect nothing, seek nothing, and grasp nothing. Dogen


To escape from the world means that one’s mind is not concerned with the opinions of the world. Dogen


Lose yourself in nothing to become everything; Relax into an infinite deep sea of coherent energy; Keep unfolding deeper and deeper into oneness; Continuously let go of control; Feel greater and greater degrees of wholeness. Joe Dispenza


Learning to let go should be learned before learning to get. Life should be touched, not strangled. You’ve got to relax, let it happen at times, and at others move forward with it. Ray Bradbury


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


You are here to learn something. Don’t try to figure out what it is. This can be frustrating and unproductive. Steven L. Peck


Obey the nature of things (your own nature), and you will walk freely and undisturbed. Sengcan


Do not become caught in the teaching. You must be able to let it go. Thich Nhat Hanh


You have to learn how to sit without fighting. If you know how to sit like that, sitting is very pleasant. Thich Nhat Hanh


Just let things be in their own way and there will be neither coming nor going. Sengcan


Drop the craving for self, for permanence, for particular circumstances, and go straight ahead with the movement of life. Alan Watts


With no set idea of how something is supposed to be, it is hard to get stuck on things not happening in the time frame you desired. Instead, you are just being there, open to the possibilities of your life. Lodro Rinzler


Let go. Let Be. See through everything and be free, complete, luminous, at home — at ease. Lama Surya Das


The true purpose is to see things as they are, to observe things as they are, and to let everything go as it goes. Shunryu Suzuki


Our way is not to sit to acquire something; it is to express our true nature. That is our practice. Shunryu Suzuki


Do not be trapped by the need to achieve anything. This way, you achieve everything. Frank Herbert


Think of patience as an act of being open to whatever comes your way. Lodro Rinzler


A Buddha is an idle person. He doesn’t run around after fortune and fame. Bodhidharma




Life is a balance between rest and movement. Rajneesh


Next to love, balance is the most important thing. John Wooden


A warrior balances solitude and dependence. Paulo Coelho


Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving. Albert Einstein


He who loves with purity considers not the gift of the lover, but the love of the giver. Thomas a Kempis


Balance is the perfect state of still water. Let that be our model. It remains quiet within and is not disturbed on the surface. Confucius


Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely but striving for such achievement is, in itself, a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security. Albert Einstein


It is a wretched thing that the young men of today are so contriving and so proud of their material possessions. Men with contriving hearts are lacking in duty. Lacking in duty, they will have no self-respect. Yamamoto Tsunetomo


He who is self-conceited has no superiority allowed to him. Lao Tzu


The most transformative experience has been the simple act of loving myself. Kamal Ravikant


Have good trust in yourself, not in the One that you think you should be, but in the One that you are. Taizan Maezumi


Being attached to someone is not about the other person. It is about your own sense of inadequacy. Jaggi Vasudev


Any love is a home-sickness, a longing for a lost paradise. Jean Klein


A man walking is never in balance but always correcting for imbalance. Gregory Bateson


The more we value things, the less we value ourselves. Bruce Lee


Love is the absence of judgment. Dalai Lama


Since we desire the true happiness that is brought about by a calm mind, and such peace of mind arises only from having a compassionate attitude, we need to make a concerted effort to develop compassion. Dalai Lama


The most important point is to accept yourself and stand on your two feet. Shunryu Suzuki


When asked “Who I Am’, the only answer possible is: I am the infinite, the vastness that is the substance of all things. I am no one and everyone, nothing and everything – just as you are. Suzanne Segal


When we have our body and mind in order, everything else will exist in the right place, in the right way. Shunryu Suzuki


More important than any stage which you will attain is your sincerity, your right effort. Shunryu Suzuki


In deep self acceptance, grows a compassionate understanding. Jack Kornfield


There is not secret to balance. You just have to feel the waves. Frank Herbert


I live by four simple words. Love. Being. Here. Now. Todd Crawshaw


Your treasure house is in yourself, it contains all you need. Hui Hai




It is the power of the mind to be unconquerable. Seneca


The mind: A beautiful servant, a dangerous master. Osho


Keep it simple and focus on what matters. Don’t let yourself be overwhelmed. Confucius


Nurture your mind with great thoughts, for you will never go any higher than you think. Benjamin Disraeli


The best cure for the body is a quiet mind. Napeleon Bonaparte


Peace of mind produces right values, right values produce right thoughts. Right thoughts produce right actions. Mark Richardson


As you become more and more deeply rooted in witnessing, thoughts start disappearing. You are, but the mind is utterly empty. Osho


You must only concentrate on the next step, the next breath, the next stroke of the broom, and the next, and the next. Nothing else. Michael Ende


Keep your heart clear and transparent, and you will never be bound. A single disturbed thought creates ten thousand distractions. Ryōkan


Not thinking about anything is Zen. Once you know this, walking, sitting, or lying down, everything you do is Zen. Bodhidharma


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


Not till your thoughts cease all their branching here and there, not till you abandon all thoughts of seeking for something, not till your mind is motionless as wood or stone, will you be on the right road to the Gate. Huang Po


The things I carry are my thoughts. That’s it. They are the only weight. My thoughts determine whether I am free and light or burdened. Kamal Ravikant


You are, after all, what you think. Your emotions are the slaves to your thoughts, and you are the slave to your emotions. Elizabeth Gilbert


Distraction is the main problem for us all – what the Buddha called the monkey mind. We need to tame this monkey mind. Tenzin Palmo


The word ‘innocence’ means a mind that is incapable of being hurt. Jiddu Krishnamurti


If your mind is empty, it is always ready for anything; it is open to everything. Shunryu Suzuki


Not till your thoughts cease all their branching here and there, not till you abandon all thoughts of seeking for something, not till your mind is motionless as wood or stone, will you be on the right road to the Gate. Huang Po


True depth of understanding is wide and steady. Shallow understanding is lazy and wandering. Zhuangzi


It is only with total humility, and in absolute stillness of mind that we can know what indeed we are. Wei Wu Wei


If moment by moment you can keep your mind clear then nothing will confuse you. Sheng-yen


A mind that worries about the past is distracted, and a mind that worries about the future is delusional. Cheng Yen


Technical knowledge is not enough. One must transcend techniques so that the art becomes an artless art, growing out of the unconscious. D.T. Suzuki


Buddha means awareness, the awareness of body and mind that prevents evil from arising in either. Bodhidharma


When thought is in bondage the truth is hidden, for everything is murky and unclear, and the burdensome practice of judging brings annoyance and weariness. What benefit can be derived from distinctions and separations? Sengcan


The struggle of what one likes and what one dislikes is the disease of the mind. Sengcan


What pleases our mind is not dangerous enough. Kazuaki Tanahashi


Within our impure mind the pure one is to be found. Huineng


Nothing divides one so much as thought. R.H. Blyth




Time does not change us. It just unfolds us. Max Frisch


I never think of the future – it comes soon enough. Albert Einstein


The memory of everything is very soon overwhelmed in time. Marcus Aurelius


Time is the fire in which we burn. Gene Roddenberry


Our opinions have no permanence; like autumn and winter, they gradually pass away. Zhuangzi


Everything that has a beginning has an ending. Make your peace with that and all will be well. Jack Kornfield


The more a thing tends to be permanent, the more it tends to be lifeless. Alan Watts


See and realize that this world is not permanent. Neither late nor early flowers will remain. Ryōkan


Every day passes whether you participate or not. Ming Dao Deng


Unless we die to ourselves, we can never be alive again. D.T. Suzuki


We’re in such a hurry most of the time we never get much chance to talk. The result is a kind of endless day-to-day shallowness, a monotony that leaves a person wondering years later where all the time went and sorry that it’s all gone. Robert M. Pirsig


When we realize the everlasting truth of “everything changes” and find our composure in it, we find ourselves in Nirvana. Shunryu Suzuki


Time’s the king of men; he’s both their parent, and he is their grave, and gives them what he will, not what they crave. William Shakespeare


Time is the coin of life. Only you can determine how it will be spent. Carl Sandburg


Awareness is the greatest agent for change. Eckhart Tolle


Whether we like it or not, change comes, and the greater the resistance, the greater the pain. Alan Watts


Don’t waste your time chasing butterflies. Mend your garden, and the butterflies will come. Mario Quintana


There is only one thing in life which never changes, and it is change. Confucius


Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values. Dalai Lama




We teach ourselves; Zen merely points the way. D.T. Suzuki


Reality is created by the mind, we can change our reality by changing our mind. Plato


The truth is not always beautiful, nor beautiful words the truth. Lao Tzu


In order to be effective truth must penetrate like an arrow – and that is likely to hurt. Wei Wu Wei


Realisation is a matter of becoming conscious of that which is already realised. Wei Wu Wei


Unless it grows out of yourself no knowledge is really yours, it is only borrowed plumage. D.T. Suzuki


The Truth is realized in an instant; the Act is practiced step by step. Seungsahn


But opinions, judgments, memories, dreaming about the future—ninety percent of the thoughts spinning around in our heads have no essential reality. Joko Beck


If you forget yourself, you become the universe. Hakuin Ekaku


No word matters. But man forgets reality and remembers words. Roger Zelazny


Not knowing how near the truth is, we seek it far away. Hakuin Ekaku


It is easier for the world to accept a simple lie than a complex truth. Alexis de Tocqueville


The way of Zen is to become independent and strong. Don’t rely on others for perceptions of life and truth. Do it individually. Frederick Lenz


Truth is not far away. It is nearer than near. There is no need to attain it, since not one of your steps leads away from it. Dogen


The Great Way is not difficult for those who have no preferences. When love and hate are both absent everything becomes clear and undisguised. Make the smallest distinction, however, and heaven and earth are set infinitely apart. If you wish to see the truth then hold no opinion for or against. Sengcan


If you are under control, you lose the danger of glimpsing an unknown realm. Kazuaki Tanahashi


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


The farther away you are from the truth, the more the hateful and pleasurable states will arise. Bodhidharma


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


Reality has no inside, outside, or middle part. Bodhidharma


The more you talk and think about it, the further astray you wander from the truth. Stop talking and thinking and there is nothing you will not be able to know. Sengcan


I feel cut off only because I am split within myself, because I try to be divided from my own feelings and sensations. What I feel and sense therefore seems foreign to me. And on being aware of the unreality of this division, the universe does not seem foreign any more. Alan Watts


A mind full of preconceived ideas, subjective intentions, or habits is not open to things as they are. Shunryu Suzuki


Do not seek for the truth, only stop having an opinion. Seng-ts’an


If you cannot find the truth right where you are, where else do you expect to find it? Dogen




He who knows, does not speak. He who speaks, does not know. Lao Tzu


When there is no desire, all things are at peace. Lao Tzu


Countless words count less than the silent balance between yin and yang. Lao Tzu


Taoism is a way of liberation, which never comes by means of revolution, since it is notorious that most revolutions establish worse tyrannies than they destroy. Alan Watts


You should rather be grateful for the weeds, because eventually they will enrich your practice. Shunryu Suzuki


You must let what happens happen. Everything must be equal in your eyes, good and evil, beautiful and ugly, foolish and wise. Michael Ende


Taoism is the profoundest nonconformism that has ever been evolved anywhere in the world, at any time in history; essentially it is rebellion. Osho


Taoism has no rules. It’s a suggestion for perceiving life in its wholeness, without unnecessary categorization, yet enjoying the beauty of categorization. Frederick Lenz


Taoism is the gentle way. The path of least resistance. Frederick Lenz


Taoism is the way of water. The most frequent element or symbol referred to in Lao Tzu’s writings is the symbol of water. Frederick Lenz


Taoism is simply the complete acceptance of yourself as you are right in this moment. Sheila M. Burke


Accept everything just the way it is. Miyamoto Musashi


Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world. Miyamoto Musashi


The flame that burns Twice as bright burns half as long. Lao Tzu


If you try to change it, you will ruin it. Try to hold it, and you will lose it. Lao Tzu


He who is in harmony with the Tao is like a newborn child. Its bones are soft, its muscles are weak, but its grip is powerful. Lao Tzu


To have some deep feeling about Buddhism is not the point; we just do what we should do, like eating supper and going to bed. This is Buddhism. Shunryu Suzuki


Patience from a Buddhist perspective is not a “wait and see” attitude, but rather one of “just be there”. Lodro Rinzler


Buddhism teaches that joy and happiness arise from letting go. Please sit down and take an inventory of your life. There are things you’ve been hanging on to that really are not useful and deprive you of your freedom. Find the courage to let them go. Thich Nhat Hanh


Buddhism may be summed up in two phrases: “Let go!” and “Walk on!”. Alan Watts




Suffering is when we resist the moment. Kamal Ravikant


Those who are free of resentful thoughts surely find peace. Buddha


Attack the evil that is within yourself, rather than attacking the evil that is in others. Confucius


We are not disturbed by what happens to us, but by our thoughts about what happens to us. Epictetus


Life and death are of supreme importance. Time swiftly passes by and opportunity is lost. Each of us should strive to awaken. Awaken! Take heed, do not squander your life. Dogen


Breath by breath, let go of fear, expectation, anger, regret, cravings, frustration, fatigue. Let go of the need for approval. Let go of old judgments and opinions. Die to all that, and fly free. Soar in the freedom of desirelessness. Lama Surya Das


Stress is caused by being “here” but wanting to be “there”. Eckhart Tolle


Guilt, regret, resentment, sadness and all forms of nonforgiveness are caused by too much past and not enough presence. Eckhart Tolle


Any effort that has self-glorification as its final endpoint is bound to end in disaster. Robert M. Pirsig (Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance)


Anger, ego, jealousy are the biggest diseases. Keep yourself aloof from these three diseases. Sathya Sai Baba


The saint is a man who disciplines his ego. The sage is a man who rids himself of his ego. Wei Wu Wei


The more you suffer the deeper grows your character, and with the deepening of your character you read the more penetratingly into the secrets of life. All great artists, all great religious leaders, and all great social reformers have come out of the intensest struggles which they fought bravely, quite frequently in tears and with bleeding hearts. D.T. Suzuki


Unless we agree to suffer we cannot be free from suffering. D.T. Suzuki


The trying to do something is in itself enlightenment. When we are in difficulty or distress, there we have enlightenment. Shunryu Suzuki


When another person makes you suffer, it is because he suffers deeply within himself, and his suffering is spilling over. He does not need punishment; he needs help. That’s the message he is sending. Thich Nhat Hanh


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Nirvana means to extinguish the burning fires of the Three Poisons: greed, anger, and ignorance. This can be accomplished by letting go of dissatisfaction. Shinjo Ito


Life always gives us exactly the teacher we need at every moment. This includes every mosquito, every misfortune, every red light, every traffic jam, every obnoxious supervisor (or employee), every illness, every loss, every moment of joy or depression, every addiction, every piece of garbage, every breath. Every moment is the guru. Joko Beck


We have to face the pain we have been running from. In fact, we need to learn to rest in it and let its searing power transform us. Joko Beck


Do not permit the events of your daily lives to bind you, but never withdraw yourselves from them. Only by acting thus can you earn the title of ‘A Liberated One’. Huang Po


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


Those who don’t know how to suffer are the worst off. There are times when the only correct thing we can do is to bear out troubles until a better day. Ming-Dao Deng


If you haven’t wept deeply, you haven’t begun to meditate. Ajahn Chah


An outside enemy exists only if there is anger inside. Thubten Zopa Rinpoche


Hating someone makes them important. Forgiving them makes them obsolete. Unknown


Pain doesn’t last. And when it’s gone, we have something to show for it. Growth. Kamal Ravikant


Why seek a doctrine? As soon as you have a doctrine, you fall into dualistic thought. Huang Po


Your body and mind are the field. Suffering is the seed, wisdom the sprout, and buddhahood the grain. Bodhidharma


A Buddha is someone who finds freedom in good fortune and bad. Bodhidharma


I haven’t learned how to confront a problem by avoiding it. Brian Spellman




Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet. Thich Nhat Hanh


Trees are like people. They all have a few flaws in them. Bob Ross


You are the sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather. Pema Chödrön


A lily or a rose never pretends, and its beauty is that it is what it is. Jiddu Krishnamurti


Sitting quietly, doing nothing, Spring comes, and the grass grows, by itself. Matsuo Basho


If you become restless, speed up. If you become winded, slow down. You climb the mountain in an equilibrium between restlessness and exhaustion. Robert M. Pirsig (Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance)


Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day. A. A. Milne


The moon does not fight. It attacks no one. It does not worry. It does not try to crush others. It keeps to its course, but by its very nature, it gently influences. What other body could pull an entire ocean from shore to shore? The moon is faithful to its nature and its power is never diminished. Ming-Dao Deng


A finger points at the moon, but the moon is not at the tip of the finger. Words points at the truth, but the truth is not in words. Huineng


A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms. Zen Shin


The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings. Masanobu Fukuoka


Clear mind is like the full moon in the sky. Sometimes clouds come and cover it, but the moon is always behind them. Clouds go away, then the moon shines brightly. So don’t worry about clear mind: it is always there. When thinking comes, behind it is clear mind. When thinking goes, there is only clear mind. Thinking comes and goes, comes and goes, You must not be attached to the coming or the going. Seungsahn


The waters are in motion, but the moon retains its serenity. D.T. Suzuki


When fishermen cannot go to sea, they repair nets. Nabil Sabio Azadi


Three things cannot long be hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth. Confucius


A flower falls, even though we love it; and a weed grows, even though we do not love it. Dogen




Zen is a quiet thing. It listens. Howard Fast


Awareness allows us get outside of your mind and observe it in action. Dan Brule


Those who seek the truth by means of intellect and learning only get further and further away from it. Huang Po


It is simply sitting silently, witnessing the thoughts, passing before you. Just witnessing, not interfering not even judging, because the moment you judge you have lost the pure witness. Osho


Not being tense but ready. Not thinking but not dreaming. Not being set but flexible. Liberation from the uneasy sense of confinement. It is being wholly and quietly alive, aware and alert, ready for whatever may come. Bruce Lee


Silence is the language of Om. We need silence to be able to reach our Self. Both internal and external silence is very important to feel the presence of that supreme Love. Amit Ray


If you would spend all your time – walking, standing, sitting or lying down – learning to halt the concept-forming activities of your own mind, you could be sure of ultimately attaining the goal. Huang Po


Be soft in your practice. Think of the method as a fine silvery stream, not a raging waterfall. Sheng-yen


Meditation is a secular practice, not a religious practice. Abhijit Naskar


There is only the one reality, neither to be realized nor attained. Huang Po


There is no beginning to practice nor end to enlightenment; There is no beginning to enlightenment nor end to practice. Dogen


For the beginner, practice without effort is not true practice. Shunryu Suzuki


It will take quite a long time before you find your calm, serene mind in your practice. Shunryu Suzuki


It is when your practice is rather greedy that you become discouraged with it. Shunryu Suzuki


Follow the stream, have faith in its course. It will go on its own way, meandering here, trickling there. It will find the grooves, the cracks, the crevices. Just follow it. Never let it out of your sight. It will take you. Sheng-yen


As long as we remain within the confines of the thinking mind, we can’t experience the state of non-thinking. If we can’t experience non-thinking, we will not understand what our life truly is. Please realize this for yourself! Just sit. Taizan Maezumi


Enlightenment is not something you achieve. It is the absence of something. All your life you have been going forward after something, pursuing some goal. Enlightenment is dropping all that. Joko Beck


Those who worship don’t know, and those who know don’t worship. Bodhidharma


An Awakened person is someone who finds freedom in good fortune and bad. Bodhidharma


In contemplation, one’s mind should be stable and unmoving, like a wall. Bodhidharma


Even to be attached to the idea of enlightenment is to go astray. Sengcan




The obstacle is the path. Zen Proverb


Move and the way will open. Zen Proverb


Be master of mind rather than mastered by mind. Zen Proverb


When the student is ready, the teacher will appear. Zen Proverb


You should sit and meditate for 20 minutes, unless you’re too busy, then you should sit and meditate or an hour. Zen Proverb


To follow the path, look to the master, follow the master, walk with the master, see through the master, become the master. Zen Proverb


The wise adapt themselves to circumstances, as water molds itself to the pitcher. Zen Proverb


Only when you can be extremely pliable and soft can you be extremely hard and strong. Zen Proverb


Man stands in his own shadow and wonders why it is dark. Zen Proverb


When walking, walk. When eating, eat. Zen Proverb


No snowflake ever falls in the wrong place. Zen Proverb


When you reach the top of the mountain, keep climbing. Zen Proverb




To live is enough. Shunryu Suzuki


Calmness in activity is true calmness. Shunryu Suzuki


When you do something, you should do it with your whole body and mind; you should be concentrated on what you do. You should do it completely, like a good bonfire. Shunryu Suzuki


You should not be a smoky fire. You should burn yourself completely. If you do not burn yourself completely, a trace of yourself will be left in what you do. Shunryu Suzuki


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Emotionally we have many problems, but these problems are not actual problems; they are something created; they are problems pointed out by our self-centered ideas or views. Shunryu Suzuki


Zen is not some kind of excitement, but concentration on our usual everyday routine. Shunryu Suzuki


What we call “I” is just a swinging door which moves when we inhale and when we exhale. Shunryu Suzuki


We do not exist for the sake of something else. We exist for the sake of ourselves. Shunryu Suzuki


We should not hoard knowledge; we should be free from our knowledge. Shunryu Suzuki


The goal of practice is always to keep our beginner’s mind. Shunryu Suzuki


Sincerity itself is the railroad track. Shunryu Suzuki


When something dies is the greatest teaching. Shunryu Suzuki

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