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Quotes About Zen Buddhism

Quotes tagged as "zen-buddhism" (showing 1-30 of 31)
Shunryu Suzuki
“A student, filled with emotion and crying, implored, "Why is there so much suffering?"

Suzuki Roshi replied, "No reason.”
Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Is Right Here: Teaching Stories and Anecdotes of Shunryu Suzuki, Author of "ZEN Mind, Beginner's Mind"

Shunryu Suzuki
“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, Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind: Informal Talks on Zen Meditation and Practice

Shunryu Suzuki
“In the zazen posture, your mind and body have, great power to accept things as they are, whether agreeable or disagreeable.
In our scriptures (Samyuktagama Sutra, volume 33), it is said that there are four kinds of horses: excellent ones, good ones, poor ones, and bad ones. The best horse will run slow and fast, right and left, at the driver's will, before it sees the shadow of the whip; the second best will run as well as the first one does, just before the whip reaches its skin; the third one will run when it feels pain on its body; the fourth will run after the pain penetrates to the marrow of its bones. You can imagine how difficult it is for the fourth one to learn how to run!”
Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind: Informal Talks on Zen Meditation and Practice

Michelle Cruz-Rosado
“Life is a whirlwind of many opportunities. Choose to embrace all of them in deepest gratitude. Learn to forgive yourself and honour the heart that beats within you, as well as the head that rests on your shoulders. Learn how to believe in people again and not be judging or cynical to various beliefs.

We are all of one light on this one Earth, and loving humanity makes all the difference.”
Michelle Cruz-Rosado

T. Scott McLeod
“Life gives you exactly what you need to awaken.”
T. Scott McLeod

“People get stuck a lot because they're afraid to act; in the worst case,...we get so attached to some end result that we can't function. We need help just to move on, only life doesn't wait.”
Bernie Glassman, The Dude and the Zen Master

“When you break something, is your first impulse to throw it away? Or do you repair it but feel a sadness because it is no longer "perfect"? Whatever the case, you might want to consider the way the Japanese treated the items used in their tea ceremony. Even though they were made from the simplest materials... these teacups and bowls were revered for their plain lines and spiritual qualities. There were treated with the utmost care, integrity and respect.

For this reason, a cup from the tea ceremony was almost never broken. When an accident did occur and a cup was broken, there were certain instances in which the cup was repaired with gold.

Rather than trying to restore it in a what they would cover the gace that it ahad been broken, the cracks were celebrated in a bold and spirited way. The thin paths of shining gold completely encircled the ceramic cup, announcing to the world that the cup was broken and repaired and vulnerable to change.

And in this way, its value was even further enhanced.”
Gary Thorp, Sweeping Changes: Discovering the Joy of Zen in Everyday Tasks

T. Scott McLeod
“You will bring yourself the suffering you need to bring yourself so that you may awaken.”
T. Scott McLeod, All That Is Unspoken

T. Scott McLeod
“Can you allow yourself to be impaled on the present moment?”
T. Scott McLeod, All That Is Unspoken

Charlotte Joko Beck
“...we're constantly waking up to what we're about, what we're really doing in our lives. And the fact is, that's painful. But there's no possibility of freedom without this pain.”
Charlotte Joko Beck, Nothing Special

T. Scott McLeod
“It is the rub that polishes the jewel,” Enso Roshi says. “Nobody ever gets to nirvana without going through samsara. Nobody ever gets to heaven, without going through hell. The center of all things, the truth, is surrounded by demons.”
T. Scott McLeod, All That Is Unspoken

Peter Matthiessen
“Zen has been called the "religion before religion," which is to say that anyone can practice, including those committed to another faith. And that phrase evokes that natural religion of our early childhood, when heaven and a splendorous earth were one. But soon the child's clear eye is clouded over by ideas and opinions, preconceptions and abstractions. Not until years later does an instinct come that a vital sense of mystery has been withdrawn. The sun glints through the pines, and the heart is pierced in a moment of beauty and strange pain, like a memory of paradise. After that day, at the bottom of each breath, there is a hollow place filled with longing. We become seekers without knowing that we seek, and at first, we long for something "greater" than ourselves, something apart and far away. It is not a return to childhood, for childhood is not a truly enlightened state. Yet to seek one's own true nature is "a way to lead you to your long lost home." To practice Zen means to realize one's existence moment after moment, rather than letting life unravel in regret of the past and daydreaming of the future. To "rest in the present" is a state of magical simplicity...out of the emptiness can come a true insight into our natural harmony all creation. To travel this path, one need not be a 'Zen Buddhist', which is only another idea to be discarded like 'enlightenment,' and like 'the Buddha' and like 'God.”
Peter Matthiessen, Nine-Headed Dragon River: Zen Journals, 1969-1982

C.B. Murphy
“I stole this from Zen Master Suzuki Roshi: If it's not paradoxical it's not true!”
C.B. Murphy

Ken Kesey
“Always stay in your own movie.”
Ken Kesey

“The object of Zen is not to kill all feelings and become anesthetized to pain and fear. The object of Zen is to free us to scream loudly and fully when it is time to scream.”
Francis Harold Cook, How to Raise an Ox: Zen Practice as Taught in Zen Master Dogen's Shobogenzo, Including Ten Newly Translated Essays

T. Scott McLeod
“There were so many beliefs which we had about the world, which then influenced everything, everything, about how we saw the world and interacted in the world and were with others. Everything. It was profound to me, amazing, the ramifications, the implications, the far-reaching impact that one’s beliefs could have on the world. It was actually mind-blowing for me. Figuratively speaking. Like, it was just, holy shit. Look at that. And nobody, hardly anybody sees it. They’re just ideas. Ideas. And yet, I’d believed them for so long, and still, was still shirking free of them. How was it that we believed in them, so readily, so easily?”
T. Scott McLeod, All That Is Unspoken

Peter Matthiessen
“Indicating his twisted legs without a trace of self-pity or bitterness, as if they belonged to all of us, he casts his arms wide to the sky and the snow mountains, the high sun and dancing sheep, and cries, ’Of course I am happy here! It’s wonderful! Especially when I have no choice!’ In its wholehearted acceptance of what is;I feel as if he had struck me in the chest. Butter tea and wind pictures, the Crystal Mountain, and blue sheep dancing on the snow-it’s quite enough!

Have you seen the snow leopard?

No! Isn’t that wonderful?”
Peter Matthiessen, The Snow Leopard

“Even if you strive diligently on your chosen path day after day, if your heart is not in accord with it, then even if you think you are on a good path, from the point of view of the straight and true, this is not a genuine path. If you do not pursue a genuine path to its consummation, then a little bit of crookedness in the mind will later turn into a major warp. Reflect on this.”
Musashi Miyomoto, A Book of Five Rings: The Classic Guide to Strategy

“Barn's burnt down--now I can see the moon.”
Masahide

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. 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, Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind

“The essence of your mind is not born, so it will never die. It is not an existence, which is perishable. It is not an emptiness, which is a mere void. It has neither colour nor form. It enjoys no pleasures and suffers no pains.
I know you are very ill. Like a good Zen student, you are facing that sickness squarely. You may not know exactly who is suffering, but question yourself: What is the essence of this mind? Think only of this. You will need no more. Covet nothing. Your end which is endless is as a snowflake dissolving in pure air.”
Bassui Takusho

Shunryu Suzuki
“Before we were born we had no feeling; we were one with the universe. This is called "mind-only," or "essence of mind," or "big mind," After we are separated by birth from this oneness, as the water falling from the waterfall is separated by the wind and rocks, then we have feeling. You have difficulty because you have feeling. You attach to the feeling you have without knowing just how this kind of feeling is created. When you do not realize that you are one with the river, or one with the universe, you have fear. Whether it is separated into drops or not, water is water. Our life and death are the same thing. When we realize this fact we have no fear of death anymore, and we have no actual difficulty in our life.”
Shunryu Suzuki

Thích Nhất Hạnh
“Anywhere we go, we will have our self with us; we cannot escape ourselves.”
Thích Nhất Hạnh

Jaimal Yogis
“So, without telling any of my Zen-snob buddies, I liked to pretend everything was the Pure Land, that my life was already perfect as it was.”
Jaimal Yogis, Saltwater Buddha: A Surfer's Quest to Find Zen on the Sea

Wu Cheng'en
“With passions stilled and one's nature firm, all destinies are in harmony; When the full moon of contemplation is reached you will be pure.”
Wu Cheng'en, Journey to the West

“When you live in the moment, you are always on time”
Dave Rauschkolb

Baisao
“The Zen Monk Kyō Has Changed His Name to Mujū Dōryū. I Wrote This Verse to Celebrate The Great Prospects That Lie Before Him

Unwillingness to remain in the ruts of former Buddha patriarchs
Unsurpassed aspiration and fierce passion to achieve the Way
These are precisely the qualities found in a true Zen monk
Attained the very moment you "have been there and back.”
Baisao, The Old Tea Seller: Life and Zen Poetry in 18th Century Kyoto

Thích Nhất Hạnh
“Interbeing: If you are a poet, you will see clearly that there is a cloud floating in this sheet of paper. Without a cloud, there will be no rain; without rain, the trees cannot grow; and without trees, we cannot make paper. The cloud is essential for the paper to exist. If the cloud is not here, the sheet of paper cannot be here either. So we can say that the cloud and the paper inter-are. “Interbeing” is a word that is not in the dictionary yet, but if we combine the prefix “inter-” with the verb “to be,” we have a new verb, inter-be. Without a cloud and the sheet of paper inter-are.

If we look into this sheet of paper even more deeply, we can see the sunshine in it. If the sunshine is not there, the forest cannot grow. In fact, nothing can grow. Even we cannot grow without sunshine. And so, we know that the sunshine is also in this sheet of paper. The paper and the sunshine inter-are. And if we continue to look, we can see the logger who cut the tree and brought it to the mill to be transformed into paper. And we see the wheat. We know the logger cannot exist without his daily bread, and therefore the wheat that became his bread is also in this sheet of paper. And the logger’s father and mother are in it too. When we look in this way, we see that without all of these things, this sheet of paper cannot exist.

Looking even more deeply, we can see we are in it too. This is not difficult to see, because when we look at a sheet of paper, the sheet of paper is part of our perception. Your mind is in here and mine is also. So we can say that everything is in here with this sheet of paper. You cannot point out one thing that is not here-time, space, the earth, the rain, the minerals in the soil, the sunshine, the cloud, the river, the heat. Everything co-exists with this sheet of paper. That is why I think the word inter-be should be in the dictionary. “To be” is to inter-be. You cannot just be by yourself alone. You have to inter-be with every other thing. This sheet of paper is, because everything else is.

Suppose we try to return one of the elements to its source. Suppose we return the sunshine to the sun. Do you think that this sheet of paper will be possible? No, without sunshine nothing can be. And if we return the logger to his mother, then we have no sheet of paper either. The fact is that this sheet of paper is made up only of “non-paper elements.” And if we return these non-paper elements to their sources, then there can be no paper at all. Without “non-paper elements,” like mind, logger, sunshine and so on, there will be no paper. As thin as this sheet of paper is, it contains everything in the universe in it.”
Thích Nhất Hạnh

“At the moment of giving birth to a child, is the mother separate from the child? You should study not only that you become a mother when your child is born, but also that you become a child.”
Dogen Zenji

Elizabeth Gilbert
“Yet what keeps me from dissolving right now into a complete fairy-tale shimmer is this solid truth, a truth which has veritably built my bones over the last few years - I was not rescued by a prince; I was the administrator of my own rescue.
My thoughts turn to something I read once, something the Zen Buddhists believe. They say that an oak tree is brought into creation by two forces at the same time. Obviously, there is the acorn from which it all begins, the seed which holds all the promise and potential, which grows into the tree. Everybody can see that. But only a few can recognize that there is another force operating here as well - the future tree itself, which wants so badly to exist that it pulls the acorn into being, drawing the seedling forth with longing out of the void, guiding the evolution from nothingness to maturity. In this respect, say the Zens, it is the oak tree that creates the very acorn from which it was born.”
Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

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