Zen Buddhism Quotes

Quotes tagged as "zen-buddhism" Showing 1-30 of 152
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

Shunryu Suzuki
“While you are continuing this practice, week after week, year after year, your experience will become deeper and deeper, and your experience will cover everything you do in your everyday life. The most important thing is to forget all gain
ing ideas, all dualistic ideas. In other words, just practice zazen in a certain posture. Do not think about anything. Just remain on your cushion without expecting anything. Then eventually you will resume your own true nature. That is to say, your own true nature resumes itself.”
Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind: Informal Talks on Zen Meditation and Practice

Mladen Đorđević
“Patience is the river that finds its way to the sea, by flowing through many confluences.”
Mladen Đorđević, Svetioničar - Pritajeno zlo

Dainin Katagiri
“Detachment doesn’t mean you should ignore form; it means you have to attach to form through and through. A form may bother you, but you need form because you love truth, you love peace, you love life itself.”
Dainin Katagiri, Each Moment Is the Universe: Zen and the Way of Being Time

Dainin Katagiri
“When you touch this basic nature of human life you feel relief. This is your final abode, your terminal station. If you take the train of human life, finally you arrive at the terminal station. It seems to be a dead end, but it is not the usual dead end. When you reach that terminal station it is the end, but it is also the beginning. At that dead end something happens. A new life comes up. From this basic place you can go anywhere—to the north, to the west, to the south, to the east—everywhere. Your life is open in all directions.”
Dainin Katagiri, Each Moment Is the Universe: Zen and the Way of Being Time

“There is no clump called “I” moving from this spot to that spot, instant by instant. Rather, through particular encounters with particular people, within each encounter, within each transition, something called “I” makes its appearance. Thus it is that what seems to be an object outside yourself is, in reality, your complement, that which gives this instant of your life its glow.”
Soko Morinaga, Novice to Master: An Ongoing Lesson in the Extent of My Own Stupidity

Dainin Katagiri
“If you try to examine your life analytically, asking yourself who you are, finally you will realize that there is something you cannot reach. You don’t know what it is, but you feel the presence of something you want to connect with. This is sometimes called the absolute. Buddha and Dogen Zenji say true self. Christians say God.”
Dainin Katagiri, Each Moment Is the Universe: Zen and the Way of Being Time

Kosho Uchiyama
“KODO SAWAKI: Studying originally meant aspiring to discover the meaning of life. These days studying has become all about getting a job.”
Kosho Uchiyama Roshi, Zen Teaching of Homeless Kodo

Dainin Katagiri
“It is difficult to receive and accept oneness because human speculation doesn’t catch it. But if you practice with full devotion, finally you will come to the final goal—silence. When you touch the core of existence and see the fundamental truth, there is nothing to say; you are just present in silence. This silence really makes your life alive. Then, even though you don’t say anything, your silence has lots of words, demonstrating the truth in a physical and mental way, which can be seen by others. This is Buddha’s teaching appearing through the form of a person who sees into the pure and clear depth of human existence.”
Dainin Katagiri, Each Moment Is the Universe: Zen and the Way of Being Time

Dainin Katagiri
“So we have to find the realm of buddhas within the realm of demons. In other words, in the realm of pain and suffering, we have to find the realm of peace and harmony. This is religious practice.”
Dainin Katagiri, Each Moment Is the Universe: Zen and the Way of Being Time

Dainin Katagiri
“So I stayed with the old priest who was my teacher, but lots of unanswered questions always came up. Then I thought, “Why don’t you teach me anything?” But my teacher didn’t care. He just lived. He just let me be alive every day.”
Dainin Katagiri, Each Moment Is the Universe: Zen and the Way of Being Time

“If you desire to gaze out over wide vistas, you do well to climb up to a high spot. But if you wish to gaze into the human heart, you must climb down and look from a low place.”
Soko Morinaga, Novice to Master: An Ongoing Lesson in the Extent of My Own Stupidity

“For some people, being a Zen monk is the perfect expression. For others, drinking beer and calling meditation hogwash is the perfect expression. Some teachers will tell you to sweep the floor mindfully, and others will tell you that your mindful sweeping is only a dream. Life is wonderfully playful and diverse.”
Joan Tollifson, Nothing to Grasp

Kosho Uchiyama
“In short, zazen is seeing this world from the casket, without me.”
Kosho Uchiyama Roshi, Zen Teaching of Homeless Kodo

Kosho Uchiyama
“Shohaku Okumura ~ We cannot expect any ecstasy greater than right here, right now—our everyday lives.”
Kosho Uchiyama Roshi, Zen Teaching of Homeless Kodo

Dainin Katagiri
“But then people say, “Let’s get that miracle!” and it makes people crazy. We grope for something, something that makes us feel good and satisfied, putting knowledge into our heads, emphasizing miracles, technique, and power. But we don’t pay attention to the basic activity that is the source of those things. We can experience miracles, but a miracle is just part of impermanence. Sometimes a miracle is good, but sometimes a miracle is not so good. Zen Buddhism doesn’t emphasize miracles. We don’t pay attention to them. We just come back to the unknown time and space of this very moment, the source of miracles, in every moment of every day. Then, from a miracle, comes a very stable way of life.”
Dainin Katagiri, Each Moment Is the Universe: Zen and the Way of Being Time

Kosho Uchiyama
“SHOHAKU OKUMURA ~ If we feel we’re becoming enlightened, that’s delusion.”
Kosho Uchiyama Roshi, The Zen Teaching of Homeless Kodo

Kosho Uchiyama
“Zazen is indeed the posture of “God, be merciful to me, a sinner!” (Luke 18:13). In our zazen we realize the illusory nature of thoughts, and no matter how powerful they might be, we don’t chase after them, try to get rid of them, or act on them. So zazen is the posture of “We know that our old self was crucified with him” (Romans 6:6) or “I have been crucified with Christ” (Galatians 2:19). In the end, zazen is the purest expression of “Be still, and know that I am God!” (Psalms 46:10).”
Kosho Uchiyama Roshi, The Zen Teaching of Homeless Kodo

Kosho Uchiyama
“However, for human beings, practice is much too tiresome. We want to show our appreciation like sightseers, without doing it ourselves. Like spectator sports, which are very popular, the Zen fad is really a spectator Zen or Zen sightseeing fad.

Roshi, Kosho Uchiyama. Zen Teaching of Homeless Kodo (Kindle Locations 2165-2167). Wisdom Publications. Kindle Edition.”
Kosho Uchiyama Roshi, Zen Teaching of Homeless Kodo

Kosho Uchiyama
“However, for human beings, practice is much too tiresome. We want to show our appreciation like sightseers, without doing it ourselves. Like spectator sports, which are very popular, the Zen fad is really a spectator Zen or Zen sightseeing fad.”
Kosho Uchiyama Roshi, Zen Teaching of Homeless Kodo

Kosho Uchiyama
“KODO SAWAKI ~ To practice the buddha way is not to let our minds wander but to become one with what we’re doing. This is called zanmai (or samadhi) and shikan (or “just doing”). Eating rice isn’t preparation for shitting; shitting isn’t preparation for making manure. And yet these days people think that high school is preparation for college and college is preparation for a good job.”
Kosho Uchiyama Roshi, Zen Teaching of Homeless Kodo

Kosho Uchiyama
“If he hadn’t become a Buddhist monk, Sawaki Roshi would have been successful in a worldly sense in business, politics, or the military. Instead, he devoted his life to wholeheartedly practicing Dogen Zenji’s just sitting, or shikantaza, which according to him was good for nothing. For him, social climbing in pursuit of fame and profit was meaningless. The Japanese expression for “waste” is bonifuru, which means “sacrifice,” “lose all,” or “ruin.” So when we say he wasted his life, we use the expression in a paradoxical way—like saying that zazen is good for nothing.”
Kosho Uchiyama Roshi, The Zen Teaching of Homeless Kodo

Dainin Katagiri
“Everydayness perfumes the depth of life, the huge ocean where all are interconnected, and makes your life mature. Then a new life arises from the depth and appears on the surface. So, by taking care of everydayness, you don’t make just the surface mature; you also make the depth of your life mature.”
Dainin Katagiri, Each Moment Is the Universe: Zen and the Way of Being Time

Dainin Katagiri
“If you don’t understand, please keep your mouth shut and just live with all sentient beings in peace and harmony beyond your intellectual speculation. It’s not necessary to think how much that helps people or how many people it helps. All you have to do is be peaceful with people right now, right here, day by day.”
Dainin Katagiri, Each Moment Is the Universe: Zen and the Way of Being Time

“Going through all these quotations, it may be thought that the critics are justified in charging Zen with advocating a philosophy of pure negation, but nothing is so far from Zen as this criticism would imply. For Zen always aims at grasping the central fact of life, which can never be brought to the dissecting table of the intellect. To grasp this central fact of life, Zen is forced to propose a series of negations. Mere negation, however, is not the spirit of Zen, but as we are so accustomed to the dualistic way of thinking, this intellectual error must be cut at its root. Naturally Zen would proclaim, "Not this, not that, not anything." But we may insist upon asking Zen what it is that is left after all these denials, and the master will perhaps on such an occasion give us a slap in the face, exclaiming, "You fool, what is this?" Some may take this as only an excuse to get away from the dilemma, or as having no more meaning than a practical example of ill-breeding. But when the spirit of Zen is grasped in its purity, it will be seen what a real thing that slap is. For here is no negation, no affirmation, but a plain fact, a pure experience, the very foundation of our being and thought. All the quietness and emptiness one might desire in the midst of most active mentation lies therein. Do not be carried away by anything outward or conventional. Zen must be seized with bare hands, with no gloves on.”
D.T. Suzuki, An Introduction to Zen Buddhism

“Zen is forced to resort to negation because of our innate ignorance (avidya), which tenaciously clings to the mind as wet clothes do to the body. 'Ignorance' is all very well as far as it goes, but it must not go out of its proper sphere. 'Ignorance' is another name for logical dualism. White is snow and black is the raven. But these belong to the world and its ignorant way of talking. If we want to get to the very truth of things, we must see them from the point where this world has not yet been created, where the consciousness of this and that has not yet been awakened and where the mind is absorbed in its own identity, that is, in its serenity and emptiness. This is a world of negations but leading to a higher and absolute affirmation--an affirmation in the midst of negations. Snow is not white, the raven is not black, yet each in itself is white or black. This is where our everyday language fails to convey the exact meaning as conceived by Zen.”
D.T. Suzuki, An Introduction to Zen Buddhism

Dainin Katagiri
“Consideration of others extends beyond just other human beings to include all things—tables, cushions, even toilet paper. We must be considerate of all things and treat them with great appreciation and respect.”
Dainin Katagiri, You Have to Say Something: Manifesting Zen Insight

Shunryu Suzuki
“Although Buddhism is unattainable, we vow to attain it.If it is unattainable, how can we attain it? But we should! That is Buddhism.”
Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind: Informal Talks on Zen Meditation and Practice

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