Koan Quotes

Quotes tagged as "koan" Showing 1-19 of 19
“When you paint Spring, do not paint willows, plums, peaches, or apricots, but just paint Spring. To paint willows, plums, peaches, or apricots is to paint willows, plums, peaches, or apricots - it is not yet painting Spring.”
Eihei Dogen

“that stone Buddha deserves all the
birdshit it gets
I wave my skinny arms like a tall
flower in the wind”
Ikkyu, Crow with No Mouth

“it isn't that we're alone or not alone
whose voice do you want mine? yours?”
Ikkyu, Crow with No Mouth

“I'd love to give you something
but what would help?”
Ikkyu, Crow with No Mouth

“we're lost where the mind can't find us
utterly lost”
Ikkyu, Crow with No Mouth

“clouds very high look
not one word helped them get up there”
Ikkyu, Crow with No Mouth

“don't wait for the man standing in the
to cut off his arm help him now”
Ikkyu, Crow with No Mouth

“Hearing a crow with no mouth
Cry in the deep
Darkness of the night,
I feel a longing for
My father before he was born.”
Ikkyu, Crow with No Mouth

“born born everything is always born
thinking about it try not to”
Ikkyu, Crow with No Mouth

Erwin Schrödinger
“What is it that has called you so suddenly out of nothingness to enjoy for a brief while a spectacle which remains quite indifferent to you? The conditions for your existence are almost as old as the rocks. For thousands of years men have striven and suffered and begotten and women have brought forth in pain. A hundred years ago, perhaps, another man sat on this spot; like you he gazed with awe and yearning in his heart at the dying light of the glaciers. Like you he was begotten of man and born of woman. He felt pain and brief joy as you do. Was he someone else? Was it not you yourself? What is this Self of yours? What was the necessary condition for making the thing conceived this time into you, just you and not someone else? What clearly intelligible scientific meaning can this 'someone else' really have? If she who is now your mother had cohabited with someone else and had a son by him, and your father had done likewise, would you have come to be? Or were you living in them, and in your father's father... thousands of years ago? And even if this is so, why are you not your brother, why is your brother not you, why are you not one of your distant cousins? What justifies you in obstinately discovering this difference - the difference between you and someone else - when objectively what is there is the same?”
Erwin Schrödinger, My View of the World

Thomas Pynchon
“And what we’ve been always been is…?”
“Is living on borrowed time. Never caring about who’s paying for it, who’s starving somewhere else all jammed together so we can have cheap food, a house, a yard in the burbs … planetwide, more every day, the payback keeps gathering. And meantime the only help we get from the media is boo hoo the innocent dead. Boo fuckin hoo. You know what? All the dead are innocent. There’s no uninnocent dead.”
After a while, “You’re not going to explain that, or…”
“Course not, it’s a koan.”
Thomas Pynchon, Bleeding Edge

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

Wumen Huikai
“Every day Zuigan used to call out to himself, "Master!" and then he answered himself, "Yes, Sir!" And he added, "Awake, Awake!" and then answered, "Yes, Sir! Yes, Sir!"
"From now onwards, do not be deceived by others!" "No, Sir! I will not, Sir!"

Mumon, The Gateless Gate

Dick Allen
“You listen to people, you listen so deeply that you can hear their past lives,
The crackle of their funeral pyres,”
Dick Allen, Zen Master Poems

Jack Gilbert
“When I was walking in the mountains with the Japanese man and began to hear the water, he said, 'What is the sound of the waterfall?' 'Silence,' he finally told me.”
Jack Gilbert, Collected Poems

“Zhaozhou often quoted this saying by Sengcan: “The great way is not difficult if you just don’t pick and choose.”
John Tarrant, Bring Me the Rhinoceros: And Other Zen Koans to Bring You Joy

Maximus Freeman
“Our minds are a lot like our rear-ends. Sometimes they are constipated, other times stricken with mental diarrhea, and occasionally a little bubbly. However, none of these and all of these conditions define our rear-ends or our personalities. Could contentment come from accepting all of our rocks, rumbles and runs?”
Maximus Freeman
tags: koan

“how do you lead if you're being followed?”
Benjamin Aubrey Myers

“The only thing I know that you don't is whether or not I know anything more than you do.”
Eugene Noguera