45 Quotes About Zen Buddhism


There are many paths that can lead someone to a life of Buddhism. These quotes about Zen Buddhism highlight some common characteristics and facts about this belief.

“A flower falls, even though we love it; and a weed grows, even though we do not love it.”

“As a matter of face, Zen is at present most fashionable in America among those who are least concerned with moral discipline.”

“Before enlightenment; chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment; chop wood, carry water.”

“Clear sight has nothing to do with trying to see; it is just the realization that that the eyes will take in every detail all by themselves, for so long as they open they can hardly prevent the light from reaching them.”

“Do not lose yourself in the past. Do not lose yourself in the future. Do not get caught in your anger, worries, or fears. Come back to the present moment, and touch life deeply. This is mindfulness.”

“Even in getting the wonderful things we long for, we tend to live in want of something more.”

“For if we open our eyes and see clearly, it becomes obvious that there is no other time than this instant, and that the past and the future are abstractions without any concrete reality.”

“Good times come and go. And bad times do the same.”

“How much does he lack himself who must have many things?”

“I come to realize that mind is no other than mountains and rivers and the great wide earth, the sun and the moon and stars.”

“I haven’t learned how to confront a problem by avoiding it.”

“I see that this body-made of the four elements-is not really me, and I am not limited to this body.”

“If you miss the present moment, you miss your appointment with life. That is very serious!”

“If you understand, things are just as they are… If you do not understand, things are just as they are.”

“If you want to change the world, start with the next person who comes to you in need.”

“In a mind clear as still water, even the waves, breaking, are reflecting its light.”

“Life and death are of supreme importance. Time swiftly passes by and opportunity is lost. Each of us should strive to awaken. Awaken. Take heed, do not squander your life.”

“My experience is that the teachers we need most are the people we’re living with right now.”

“Old age and death are in the natural course of things. There is nothing a doctor can do about them.”

“On my journey from the fantastical to the practical, spirituality has gone from being a mystical experience to something very ordinary and a daily experience.”

“One who conquers himself is greater than another who conquers a thousand times a thousand on the battlefield.”

“Practice is this life, and realization is this life, and this life is revealed right here and now.”

“The impossibility of arriving at Truth by giving up your own authority and following the lights of others. Such a path will only lead to an opinion.”

“The one who is good at shooting does not hit the center of the target.”

“The only thing that is ultimately real about your journey is the step that you are taking at this moment. That’s all there ever is.”

“Think with your whole body.”

“This is the real secret of life — to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play.”

“Those who see worldly life as an obstacle to Dharma see no Dharma in everyday actions. They have not yet discovered that there are no everyday actions outside of Dharma.”

“Throughout this life, you can never be certain of living long enough to take another breath.”

“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.”

“To study Buddhism is to study ourselves. To study ourselves is to forget ourselves.”

“We can only be here. We can’t leave. We are always here.”

“We have endless opportunities to forget the self – in planting a tree for future generations; in creating a poem, a meal, and a vessel of clay.”

“We suffer from a hallucination, from a false and distorted sensation of our own existence as living organisms.”

“What is the sound of one hand clapping?”

“When an ordinary man attains knowledge, he is a sage; when a sage attains understanding, he is an ordinary man.”

“When we attach to a problem, we make the problem worse. When we attach to a solution, we make the problem worse.”

“When we fancy ourselves to be a particular thing with a name, we see ourselves as we would a cork in a stream. What we do not realize is that there is only stream. What we fancy as particular is, from the first, only movement, change and flow.”

“When you are present, you can allow the mind to be as it is without getting entangled in it.”

“When you do something, you should burn yourself up completely, like a good bonfire, leaving no trace of yourself.”

“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.”

“You should study not only that you become a mother when your child is born, but also that you become a child.”

“You will not be punished for your anger; you will be punished by your anger.”

“Zen is not some kind of excitement, but concentration on our usual everyday routine.”

“Zen probably won’t solve a single one of our problems. What it might do is help us relate differently to what we consider problems.”

There is much to learn about the harmony of Buddhist teaching with regards to a mother and child.

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