Zen Quotes

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 Shunryu Suzuki Roshi was one of the most influential teachers of Soto Zen Buddhism in American history. 

Ryoanji Zen Garden - by Kamoda

Zen Buddhism was transmitted from China to Japan in the twelfth century, and was distinguished by the direct transmission of profound insight into the nature of Reality, from master to disciple, rather than through reliance on words and scriptures.

“Zen” is the Japanese pronunciation of Chinese chán, “meditation”. Chán in turn comes from the Prajhna,  (Sanskrit dhyanam), also meaning “meditation,”  and from the Sanskrit root dhya “to see, observe”.

International interest in Zen began in the 1950’s and Zen was popularised in the West by Alan Watts and DT Suzuki. As a result of the growing interest in Zen in particular and Buddhism in general, many Westerners travelled to the East to immerse themselves in the teachings and practice of Buddhism. Many of these people returned to the West to found temples and monasteries which have thrived in the ensuing years due to the flourishing interest in Buddhist teachings.

I asked the boy beneath the pines
He said ” the Master’s gone alone
Herb-picking somewhere on the mount
cloud-hidden, whereabouts unknown”

– Chia Tao



Goto page: 1 2 3 4

What happens after death? Master: I don’t know. Student: How can you not know, You’re a Zen Master. Yes, but I am not a dead one.

— Anon

Eyes horizontal, Nose vertical. Essence of Buddhism.

— Dogen Zenji

If you are unable to find the truth right where you are, where else do you expect to find it?

— Dogen Zenji

To study the Buddha way is to study the self.

— Dogen Zenji

To study the self is to forget the self. To forget the self is to be enlightened by the ten thousand things.

— Dogen Zenji

Happiness is simple. Everything we do to find it is complicated.

— Karen Maezen Miller

Wisdom is free. What we pay for is foolishness.

— Karen Maezen Miller

Zazen is the self being itself by itself.

— Kodo Sawaki Roshi

When the mind does not dwell on any one thing, true mind appears.

— Master Taisen Deshimaru

Zen is not some special state, it is our normal condition, silent, peaceful, awake, without agitation.

— Master Taisen Deshimaru

You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes every day – unless you’re too busy; then you should sit for an hour.

— Old Zen adage

The only Zen you find on the tops of mountains is the Zen you bring up there.

— Robert M. Pirsig

The bird of paradise lands only on the hand that does not grasp.

— Roshi So

No matter how many years you sit doing zazen, you will never become anything special.

— Kodo Sawaki Roshi

Throwing away Zen mind is correct Zen mind. Only keep the question ‘What is the best way of helping other people?

— Seung Sahn

As long as you seek for something, you will get the shadow of reality and not reality itself.

— Shunryu Suzuki

Daily life becomes our Zen training.

— Shunryu Suzuki

For Zen students a weed is a treasure. With this attitude, whatever you do, life becomes an art.

— Shunryu Suzuki

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

— Shunryu Suzuki

Life is like stepping onto a boat which is about to sail out to sea and sink.

— Shunryu Suzuki
Goto page: 1 2 3 4

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