Zen Quotes

Thich Nhat Hanh

The son needs the father to have access to his source, and the father needs the son to have access to the future and the infinite.

Eric Micha'el Leventhal

He who fights is powerless, but he who loves is power itself.. Eric Micha'el Leventhal
He who fights is powerless, but he who loves is power itself.

Jim Butcher

Life is a journey. Time is a river. The door is ajar. Jim Butcher
Life is a journey. Time is a river. The door is ajar

Robert M. Pirsig

The truth knocks on the door and you say, "Go away, I'm looking for the truth," and so it goes away. Puzzling.

Natalie Goldberg

We are searching for the core of our lives; our culture intuits that writing, that ancient activity, might be the pathway...Awakening does not feed ego's needs and desires; it pulverizes the self. Our society couldn't knowingly bear such reduction, so we've tricked ourselves into the same path but call it writing.

Eric Micha'el Leventhal

Perfection itself is not the ultimate goal
but the ultimate condition of life.

Eric Micha'el Leventhal

Search not for happiness outside yourself, for nothing could be further from the truth.

Alina Radoi

if only people stopped acting like they've been asked to donate a lung every time somebody asks for something the world would be a better place

Ian Tucker

Every answer you ever need lies within your own silence..

Louisa Edwards

Winslow bounced over on the balls of his feet, clearly not experiencing any sort of crash. 'Aren't your guys nervous? I'm nervous as all hell.'
'There's nothing to be nervous about,' Beck said, joining them. 'Nerves are only useful when they can spur you on to work harder, faster, better. Once the work is done, they become pointless.

Dawn Gluskin

You are not your thoughts!! This simple yet powerful statement can greatly change the quality of your life.


To escape from the world means that one's mind is not concerned with the opinions of the world.

Chris Prentiss

The more you engage in any type of emotion or behavior, the greater your desire for it will become.

Chris Prentiss

If you feel depressed for an hour, you've produced approximately eighteen billion new cells that have more receptors calling out for depressed-type peptides and fewer calling out for feel-good peptides.

Chris Prentiss

Again, all of life presents us with two basic ways to treat events. We can either label them "god for us" or "bad for us." The event is only an event. It's how we treat the event that determines what it becomes in our lives. The event doesn't make that determination- we do.


One must be deeply aware of the impermanence of the world.

Alan W. Watts

The world is filled with love-play, from animal lust to sublime compassion.

Amit Ray

Silence is the language of Om. We need silence to be able to reach our Self.
Silence is the language of Om. We need silence to be able to reach our Self. Both internal and external silence is very important to feel the presence of that supreme Love.

Ray Bradbury

Learning to let go should be learned before learning to get. Life should be touched, not strangled. You’ve got to relax, let it happen at times, and at others move forward with it.

Bob Dylan

Life is more or less a lie, but then again, that's exactly the way we want it to be.

Susan Gordon Lydon

Letting go is the lesson. Letting go is always the lesson. Have you ever noticed how much of our agony is all tied up with craving and loss?

Meister Eckhart

Only the hand that erases can write the true thing.


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


Love always wins over hate

Alan W. Watts

Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun.

Shunryu Suzuki

A student, filled with emotion and crying, implored, "Why is there so much suffering?"

Suzuki Roshi replied, "No reason.

Amy Joy

Who we are now is all that really matters.

Shunryu Suzuki

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


Too lazy to be ambitious,
I let the world take care of itself.
Ten days' worth of rice in my bag;
a bundle of twigs by the fireplace.
Why chatter about delusion and enlightenment?
Listening to the night rain on my roof,
I sit comfortably, with both legs stretched out.


The way out is through the door. Why is it that no one will use this method?

Eckhart Tolle

I have lived with several Zen masters - all of them cats.


Many have died; you also will die. The drum of death is being beaten. The world has fallen in love with a dream. Only sayings of the wise will remain.

Yvon Chouinard

The more you know, the less you need.


When mind exists undisturbed in the Way, nothing in the world can offend, and when a thing can no longer offend it ceases to exist in the old way. When no discriminating thoughts arise, the old mind ceases to exist.


To deny the reality of things is to miss their reality; to assert the emptiness of things is to miss their reality. The more you talk and think about it, the further astray you wander from the truth. Stop talking and thinking and there is nothing you will not be able to know.


For the unified mind in accord with the Way all self-centered striving ceases. Doubts and irresolutions vanish and life in true faith is possible. With a single stroke we are freed from bondage; nothing clings to us and we hold nothing. All is empty, clear, self-illuminating, with no exertion of the mind's power.


When thought is in bondage the truth is hidden, for everything is murky and unclear, and the burdensome practice of judging brings annoyance and weariness. What benefit can be derived from distinctions and separations?


One thing, all things: move among and intermingle, without distinction. To live in this realization is to be without anxiety about non-perfection. To live in this faith is the road to non-duality, because the non-dual is one with the trusting mind.

Steven L. Peck

[Y]ou are here to learn something. Don’t try to figure out what it is. This can be frustrating and unproductive.

Haruki Murakami

There had to be something wrong with my life. I should have been born a Yugoslavian shepherd who looked up at the Big Dipper every night.

Santōka Taneda

Haiku is not a shriek, a howl, a sigh, or a yawn; rather, it is the deep breath of life.

Matsuo Bashō

When composing a verse let there not be a hair's breath separating your mind from what you write; composition of a poem must be done in an instant, like a woodcutter felling a huge tree or a swordsman leaping at a dangerous enemy.

Yosa Buson

In pale moonlight / the wisteria's scent / comes from far away.


don't wait for the man standing in the
to cut off his arm help him now


we're lost where the mind can't find us
utterly lost


it isn't that we're alone or not alone
whose voice do you want mine? yours?


that stone Buddha deserves all the
birdshit it gets
I wave my skinny arms like a tall
flower in the wind


I'd love to give you something
but what would help?


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.


clouds very high look
not one word helped them get up there


born born everything is always born
thinking about it try not to


Does one really have to fret
About enlightenment?
No matter what road I travel,
I’m going home.

Donna Quesada

What we can change is our perceptions, which have the effect of changing everything.

Donna Quesada

The effects you will have on your students are infinite and currently unknown; you will possibly shape the way they proceed in their careers, the way they will vote, the way they will behave as partners and spouses, the way they will raise their kids.

David Brazier

A boddhisattva is someone who is on the way to becoming a buddha. All of us become boddhisattvas as soon as we start to take our Zen work seriously and the work we do contributes to creating a world in which all good actions become more efficacious.

Chris Prentiss

Zen is a journey of exploration and a way of living that, in and of itself, does not belong to any one religion or tradition. It is about experiencing life in the here and now and about removing the dualistic distinctions between "I" and "you" between "subject" and "objective", between our spiritual and our ordinary, everyday activities.

Chris Prentiss

What determines each person's state of happiness or unhappiness is not the event itself, but what the event means to that person.

Vernon Kitabu Turner

It is not enough to believe in yourself alone; there will come a day when you will fail yourself. That is why we must also believe in a supportive power beyond our control - a safety net, a super intelligence - or there is no hope for the moment when all our strength is gone.

Stephen Batchelor

We took a bus to the nearby monastery of one of the last great Tang dynasty Chan masters, Yun-men. Yun-men was known for his pithy “one word” Zen. When asked “What is the highest teaching of the Buddha?” he replied: “An appropriate statement.” On another occasion, he answered: “Cake.” I admired his directness.

Annastacia Dickerson

For some reason when I type the word "love" in my iPad it keeps autocorrecting to "live". I find it oddly profound. My ipad IS. My iPad is ZEN:

“Only the iPad that autocorrects can write the true thing.

Kamal Ravikant

Life is a river," a wise friend told me. "It's flowing. You're never at the same place twice.

D.T. Suzuki

When mountain-climbing is made too easy, the spiritual effect the mountain exercises vanishes into the air.

Dag Hammarskjold

Doffing the ego's
safe glory, he finds
his naked reality.

Dag Hammarskjold

The dizziness in the face of les espaces infinis-only overcome if we dare to gaze into them without any protection. And accept them as the reality before which we must justify our existence. For this is the truth we must reach to live, that everything is and we just in it.

Alan W. Watts

Zen is a liberation from time. 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.

Eric Micha'el Leventhal

The sacred stillness of your brilliant heart
has as the myriad wonders masqueraded.
But if you knew this secret from the start,
then you'd have quit this Game before you played it.

Eric Micha'el Leventhal

The awareness that seeks to know is the very object of its own seeking.

Eric Micha'el Leventhal

Sometimes it takes a miracle to remind us that the only permanent condition is that of impermanence.

Vesa Peltonen

there is no problems, only solutions".

Alan W. Watts

The brush must draw by itself. This cannot happen if one does not practice constantly. But neither can it happen if one makes an effort.

Kamal Ravikant

When something comes from within, when it is a part of you, you have no choice but to live it, to express it.

Beckah Krahula

There are no mistakes in Zentangle, so there is no need for an eraser. If you do not like the look of a stroke you have made, it then becomes only an opportunity to create a new tangle, or transform it using an old trusty pattern. A Zentangle tile is meant to be a surprise that unfolds before the creator's eyes, one stroke at a time.

Huang Po

Not till your thoughts cease all their branching here and there, not till you abandon all thoughts of seeking for something, not till your mind is motionless as wood or stone, will you be on the right road to the Gate.

Karen Maezen Miller

Your life is your practice. Your spiritual practice does not occur someplace other than in your life right now, and your life is nowhere other than where you are. You are looking for answers, insight, and wisdom that you already possess. Live the life in front of you, be the life you are, and see what you find out for yourself.

Donna Quesada

When you catch yourself slipping into a pool of negativity, notice how it derives from nothing other than resistance to the current situation.

Donna Quesada

When you blame, you open up a world of excuses, because as long as you're looking outside, you miss the opportunity to look inside, and you continue to suffer.


But people of the deepest understanding look within, distracted by nothing. Since a clear mind is the Buddha, they attain the understanding of a Buddha without using the mind.

Donna Quesada

Courage is often associated with aggression, but instead should be seen as a willingness to act from the heart.

Jennifer Sodini

We grow up to believe that we are supposed to somehow "become" who we are meant to be through the trial-by-fire that is life here on planet Earth.

Reality is...there's no "becoming".

It's actually all an "un-becoming", only to reunite with who you were born to be in the first place before society told you otherwise.

Bryant McGill

Zen movement is a meditative practice.

Jennifer Sodini

The glass is neither half empty, nor half full. The glass is just a glass and it's content can perpetually change with your perception.

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.


I am Not, but the Universe is my Self.

Jasz Gill

I'm born with wild horses in my head..
With an imagination to conquer this world..
I will not settle for comforts of a golden cage.

Francis Harold Cook

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.

Bert McCoy

Be aware of yourself without thinking or looking in the mirror

Thich Nhat Hanh

Anywhere we go, we will have our self with us; we cannot escape ourselves.

Kevin Michel

Every hour of your life that ticks by, there are numerous points and moments when you can choose to pause - and be aware of your mental and physical state. At any given point, you can freeze the flow that is your life, and be fully conscious for a moment.

Jon Kabat-Zinn

See for yourself whether letting go when a part of you really wants to hold on doesn't bring a deeper satisfaction than clinging.

Eric Micha'el Leventhal

A peaceful mind appreciates the present moment as the living embodiment of naked perfection, rather than a means to future attainment.

T. Scott McLeod

You will bring yourself the suffering you need to bring yourself so that you may awaken.

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

Maybe it’s something which can’t be defined,” Enso Roshi says. “Maybe it’s a question, to be lived.

Ian Tucker

Almost everything that I've ever worried about has never happened ..

Thich Nhat Hanh

Some people live as though they are already dead. There are people moving around us who are consumed by their past, terrified of their future, and stuck in their anger and jealousy. They are not alive; they are just walking corpses.

Jack Kerouac

When you've understood this scripture, throw it away. If you can't understand this scripture, throw it away. I insist on your freedom.

Kamal Ravikant

The things I carry are my thoughts. That's it. They are the only weight. My thoughts determine whether I am free and light or burdened.

Chris Prentiss

Who you allow into the circle of your life will make the difference in the quality of your life.

Thich Nhat Hanh

Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.

Hongzhi Zhengjue

Sing before the spirits and dance with the earth deities
And you will be able to compose your own tune.
Then you and I, united, will clap hands joyously,
Singing 'tum-tiddly-um tum-tiddly-um-tum.

T. Scott McLeod

We find what's in our own heads.


It is the power of the mind to be unconquerable.

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