31 Zen Quotes
Be inspired by our collection of zen quotes. Open your mind with zen and let these quotes help you along your life’s journey. We have carefully selected quotes that we found most relevant and helpful when practicing zen and we hope you find them as enlightening as we did.
- He was powerful, not because he dominated the scene, but because he was true.
- Zazen reflects in the beautiful mirror of not seeing from your own telescope, and just zazen appears. Then we can say zazen is you; you are zazen.
Dainin Katagiri, Each Moment Is the Universe: Zen and the Way of Being Time
- Accordingly, in Buddhism everything without exception is relative, relational, nonsubstantial, and changeable. Even the divine (Buddha) does not exist by itself, but is entirely interrelated to humans and nature.
Arvind Sharma, Kathleen M. Dugan, A Dome of Many Colors: Studies in Religious Pluralism, Identity, and Unit
- One can never find that which is only within by looking away.
Huang Po & Thomas E. Uharriet, Zen Haiku: Haiku derived from the Zen Teachings of Huang Po on Mind Transmission
- Drop all images and concepts–including the image of dropping all concepts– and simply breathe, act.
Robert Epstein, Suffering Buddha: The Zen Way Beyond, Health and Illness
- As we become more humble and simple we then become fitting vessels for true power and true peace of mind to enter our lives.
The Zen Road to Happiness: Simple Steps to Attaining Peace of Mind
- A reality exists, even before heaven and earth; It has no form, much less a name. Eyes fail to see it. No voice has it for ears to hear. To call it ”Mind” or ”Buddha” violates its nature. For then it becomes like some visionary flower in the air.
James H. Austin, Zen-Brain Reflections
- Human happiness comes from perfect harmony with others.
CHUANG – TZU
- The world may not be as we think it is. In fact, it is virtually certain that it is not.
- If the mind is never aroused toward objects, then wherever you walk is the site of enlightenment.
Chris Prentiss, Zen and the Art of Happiness
- If we are going to take care of our suffering, we have to Know the true face of Reality.
Dainin Katagiri, You Have to Say Something: Manifesting Zen Insight
- When there is no self, there is just being.
Dennis Genpo Merzel, The Path of the Human Being: Zen Teachings on the Bodhisattva Way
- Whether there is God, all-creating, all-governing, and all-comprehensive, Zen does neither assert nor deny.
Daisetsu Teitaro Suzuki, Selected Works of D.T. Suzuki, Volume I: Zen
- Zen is freedom, happiness, truth, living, wisdom, peace, tranquility, stillness, letting go, and so much more. It’s a perfect lifestyle.
Ian Tuhovsky, Zen
Life is Beautiful
- Every man carries his own philosophy, and every man in his own way is a professor – because you profess your ideas, you believe in them.
OSHO, A Bird on the Wing
Believe in Yourself
- You can be calm in the middle of the storm. You can be a pillar of peace in a hurricane. Let’s find the eye of the storm. Let’s be the eye of the storm until it dissipates.
Samantha Gordon, How To Be Zen In A Crisis
Words of Encouragement
- Anything that stops you from living in the moment also holds you back from realizing happiness and peace in that very same moment.
LEAH FERRISS, Zen Life
- The Zen experience is not an idea to be grasped by the mind. It is more like having the clearest, most inspiring thought you can possibly imagine — except without the thought!
- Wise listeners, the wisdom of enlightenment is inherent in each of us. We fail to recognise it because of delusion of mind, and so to know our own essence of Mind we seek the teachings of the enlightened.
- The practice of zazen is the practice of inifinity. Living in infinity is the practice of being.
Kongo Langlois, Roshi
- There is in Zen nothing to explain, nothing to teach, that will add to your knowledge. Unless it grows out of yourself no knowledge is really yours, it is only a borrowed plumage.
D. T. SUZUKI
- Zen is life — completely natural and without any artificiality. It is something so intimate and apparent that it defies language and so can never be satisfactorily captured by words.
TIM FREKE, ZEN WISDOM
One Line Quotes On Life
- While striving to catch the butterfly of Zen in the net of reason we must know that the task is hopeless.
- All sounds are the voice of Buddha.
Lao Tzu, Takuan Soho, Tao Te Ching: Zen Teachings on the Taoist Classic
- If you meet a wise man and you do not say anything to him nor keep silence, how would you question him?
- The truths of this world are forever plain and simple, in the same way that the sun rises every day in the east, just as spring is the time for sowing and autumn is the time to harvest.
Yu Dan, Confucius from the Heart: Ancient Wisdom for Today’s World
- Take the time to sit, breathe, and feel to bring yourselves to a place of clarity —clarity that will bring forth new insights for better tomorrows.
Joanna Alexopoulos, Awaken To Your Truth
- By quieting the inner turmoil one can conquer external conflict with ease.
Jason Chin, Long-form Improvisation & the Art of Zen
- By practicing Zen, you are reminded to take back this creative power and to re-create a better world for yourself and others.
Dharma Master Hsin Tao, The Power of Zen Meditation
- We must simply learn to become whole and complete within ourselves, free to be with or without a companion, free to depend upon ourselves, know who we are, not be led around by others, but walk freely on our own two feet on this precious earth.
Brenda Shoshanna, Zen and the Art of Falling in Love
- If we equate “giving” with “freedom from craving,” then we become more eager to act, even if it causes some pain.
Pema Chodron, No Time to Lose: A Timely Guide to the Way of the Bodhisattva
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