D. T. Suzuki Quotations

-The truth of Zen, just a little bit of it, is what turns one’s humdrum life, a life of monotonous, uninspiring commonplaceness, into one of art, full of genuine creativity.

-Zen makes use, to a great extent, of poetical expressions; Zen is wedded to poetry.

-Art always has something of the unconscious about it.

-We say, “In calmness there should be activity; in activity there should be calmness.” Actually, they are the same thing; to say “calmness” or to say “activity” is just to express different interpretations of one fact. There is harmony in our activity, and where there is harmony there is calmness.

-A wonderful painting is the result of the feeling in your fingers. If you have the feeling of the thickness of the ink in your brush, the painting is already there before you paint. When you dip your brush into the ink you already know the result of your drawing, or else you cannot paint. So before you do something, “being” is there, the result is there. Even though you look as if you were sitting quietly, all your activity, past and present, is included, and the result of your sitting is also already there.

-Technical knowledge is not enough. One must transcend techniques so that the art becomes an artless art, growing out of the unconscious.

-As I have said before, Zen mistrusts the intellect, does not rely upon traditional and dualistic methods of reasoning, and handles problems after its own original manners….To understand all this, it is necessary that we should acquire a “third eye”, as they say, and learn to look at things from a new point of view.

-If I were asked then, what Zen teaches, I would answer, Zen teaches nothing.

-The fundamental idea of Buddhism is to pass beyond the world of opposites, a world built up by intellectual distinctions and emotional defilements
D. T. Suzuki