Zen Sayings

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

-To get rid of your passions is not Nirvana; to look upon them as no matter of yours, that is nirvana.

-There is nothing left to you at this moment but to have a good laugh.

-When the student is ready the teacher appears.

-An old pine tree preaches wisdom, And a wild bird is crying out truth.
Zen Sayings


-When you expect something, when you aim at something, right there you dilute your energy; you split your energy, you split your attention and it becomes more than the place of yin and yang. You do not only divide, but you create the problem.
Taizan Maezumi

-This sounds an extraordinary statement to make, but in fact all truth is very ordinary. It is peoples’ fantasies of what is true that is so extraordinary. That that we were born and that we face eternal extinction after death is an extraordinary fantasy.
Brian Perkins

-Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it.

-Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. Security does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than exposure.

-Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.

-I long to accomplish a great and noble task; but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble.

-We would never learn to be brave and patient if there were only joy in the world.

-People do not like to think. If one thinks, one must reach conclusions. Conclusions are not always pleasant.

-No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the stars or sailed to an uncharted land or opened a new heaven to the human spirit.

-The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.

-One can never consent to creep when one feels an impulse to soar.

-I long to accomplish a great and noble task but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble…. The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shove of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of the honest worker.

-I am only one, but still I am one; I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; I will not refuse to do the something I can do.
Helen Keller

If you are in the future, then ego seems to be very substantial. If you are in the present the ego is a mirage, it starts disappearing.

Not to study the Buddha way is to fall into the realm of shameless and erroneous ways. All preceding and succeeding Buddhas always practice the Buddha way.
Dogen Zenji

Covering both the natural and the spiritual, it (religion) should be based on a religious sense arising from the experience of all things, natural and spiritual and a meaningful unity. Buddhism answers this description.
Albert Einstein

Even to speak the word Buddha is dragging it in the mud soaking wet; Even to say the word Zen is a total embarrassment.
Blue Cliff Record

Do not entertain hopes for realization, but practice all your life.

If you understand, things are just as they are… If you do not understand, things are just as they are….
Zen Saying

As one lamp serves to dispel a thousand years of darkness, so one flash of wisdom destroys ten thousand years of ignorance.

Seize from every moment its unique novelty and do not prepare your joys.
Andre Gide

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

All conditioned things are impermanent. Work out your own salvation with diligence.
Buddha’s last words

I do not cut my life up into days but my days into lives, each day, each hour, an entire life.
Juan Ramon Jimenez

I have discovered that all of man’s unhappiness derives from only one source, not being able to sit quietly in a room.
Blaise Pascal

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

It is the thoughtlife that pollutes.

We do not learn by experience, but by our capacity for experience.

The world is ruled by letting things take their course.

If your eye is pure, there will be sunshine in your soul. But if your eye is clouded with evil thoughts and desires, you are in deep spiritual darkness. And oh, how deep that darkness can be!

Carrying the self forward to confirm the myriad dharmas is delusion. The myriad dharmas advancing and confirming the self is realization.
Dogen Zenji

To get rid of your passions is not Nirvana; to look upon them as no matter of yours, that is nirvana.

Give up remembrance–What end is there to pure wind circling the earth?
Blue Cliff Record

The fundamental delusion of humanity is to suppose that I am here and you are out there.
Yasutani Roshi

If you cannot find the truth right where you are, where else do you expect to find it?
Dogen Zenji

Beyond, beyond, totally beyond, perfectly beyond: Awakening ..Yes!
Heart Sutra

Have good trust in yourself — not in the One that you think you should be, but in the One that you are.
Maezumi Roshi

The universe contracts, the sun, moon, and stars go black; even if blows of the cane shower like rain, and shouts thunder, this still does not measure up to the business of the transcendent methodology of Zen.
Blue Cliff Record

Ten thousand years are one moment, one moment is ten thousand years. If you want to become acquainted with direct perception, it is before mention is made.
Blue Cliff Record

We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest. A kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us.
Albert Einstein

I’d like to offer something to help you but in the zen school we don’t have a single thing!

I gained nothing at all from supreme enlightenment, and for that very reason it is called supreme enlightenment.
The Buddha

Real Practice has orientation or direction, but it has no purpose or gaining idea, so it can include everything that comes.
Shunryu Suzuki

In your hopelessness is the only hope, and in your desirelessness is your only fulfillment, and in your tremendous helplessness suddenly the whole existence starts helping you.

Our life is shaped by our mind; we become what we think. Suffering follows an evil thought as the wheels of a cart follow the oxen that draws it. Our life is shaped by our mind; we become what we think. Joy follows a pure thought like a shadow that never leaves.
The Buddha

One who conquers himself is greater than another who conquers a thousand times a thousand on the battlefield.
The Buddha