Best 766 of Zen quotes - MyQuotes
By emphasizing doubt rather than belief, perplexity rather than certainty, and questions rather than answers, Zen practice granted me the freedom to imagine.
Benjamin W. Decker
Count on your beginner's mind to help you through any times when you might feel resistant or self-conscious about your practice.
The central feature of the practice of meditation and hard work known as Zen is that, as Matthiessen says, it “has no patience with mysticism, far less the occult.” Nor does it have any time with moralism, the prescriptions or distortions we would impose on the world, obscuring it from our view. It asks, it insists rather, that we take this moment for what it is, undistracted, and not cloud it with needless worries of what might have been or fantasies of what might come to be. It is, essentially, a training in the real…”the Universe itself is the scripture of Zen." Pico Iyer from introduction.
Joseph P. Kauffman
Your body and my body are both totally made up of and dependent upon the elements of the earth—the water, the air, the heat, the land, the soil and the food it produces—as well as all of the elements that these elements are dependent upon—the sun, the stars, the galaxies, and a vast field of energy and space to contain them in. Nature is our extended body, and the elements outside of our skin are just as important to our health as the elements within our skin. Our bodies are connected to the universe as a whole, and consequently to each other and the many ways in which we influence our shared environment.
Mastery of anything is, more than anything else, the transformation of work into play. Giving orders and answers, never making mistakes, and having around you others with the opinion that you are great has nothing at all to do with it. Read carefully: to yearn for, to be compelled by, is being called to play.
Joseph P. Kauffman
We often try to force the experience we want to have, instead of allowing the experience we were meant to have, and in doing this, we miss out on gaining any new insight or understanding.
If you, one, loves something or someone, that means that one is willing to, and does, sacrifice for it. That is, one chooses to do and give what is better to the being or thing one loves than to sacrifice the loved one for the personal emotion that is unrelated to or even hinders the giving. In other words, the way to transform an emotion is with a deeper one. This involves discernment and, yes, discipline, which are both frowned upon and seen as emotionless and less important. Which is immaturity, plain and simple, and is the fundamental aspect of human growth from child to adolescence to adult.
Meditation is a secular practice, not a religious practice.
Mastery of impulse is all about self-discipline and choice. The mind is a powerful tool with which we have the ability to be in control of ourselves.
A pity it is evening, yet I do love the water of this spring seeing how clear it is, how clean; rays of sunset gleam on it, lighting up its ripples, making it one with those who travel the roads; I turn and face the moon; sing it a song, then listen to the sound of the wind amongst the pines.
born born everything is always born thinking about it try not to
The only path wide for us all is love.
Sw. Chidananda Tirtha
For self realization you need to take a step, a step backwards.
The trick is in genuinely appreciating the elements of apparent resistance while you are engaging them. Not to oppose or remove them as much as to creatively fold them into one’s linear line of movement, exploiting them and making the necessary adjustments as you go.
In general, I call her every night, and we talk for an hour, which is forty-five minutes of me, and fifteen minutes of her stirring her tea, which she steeps with the kind of Zen patience that would make Buddhists sit up in envy and then breathe through their envy and then move past their envy.
The object of your desire is not an object.
Joseph P. Kauffman
Because we feel ourselves to be separate from the world in which we live, we have also grown to feel quite alone in this world. Our sense of loneliness and isolation not only makes us feel depressed and miserable, but it also causes us to be anxious and afraid of the world and everyone in it. Because of this inherent fear, we put up all kinds of barriers to protect us from the world—barriers that we have created to keep us safe, but that really end up making us feel more alone, more miserable, and more afraid, as they prevent us from being our natural selves.
Why wait to forgive and let go only after you have sufficiently wallowed in your despair? Why not forgive and let go now?
In the quest for a functional and direct interaction between imagination and reality, and the evolution of them both, there is in place a natural resistance, which I have referred to as Creative Resistance, because it demands just that: creativity. Much of this calls for redefining, or refining, one’s relationship with time, and all the qualities and skills that will only come from engaging time more creatively and effectively. As such, part of the bargain is about acquiescing to a rhythm that is subtler and has more definite purpose to it than one’s subjective preferences.
In my experience, most people are actually seeking recovery from the monotony and anxiety of qualitative repetition. This applies to body, emotions and mind. And that monotony and anxiety involves inertia just as much as over-use, meaning inertia in some areas and over-use in others.
The drive, the ambition, the art; it all comes to me when I close my eyes and think about the sacrifices my Mom made for me.
Alan W. Watts
[I]t becomes clearer and clearer that we do not live in a divided world. The harsh divisions of spirit and nature, mind and body, subject and object, controller and controlled, are seen more and more to be awkward conventions of language. These are misleading and clumsy terms for describing a world in which all events seem to be mutually interdependent[.]
Joseph P. Kauffman
Everything exists as information in a field of infinite possibilities, and it is our Consciousness that renders the information and causes it to appear as the material world.
Every day I wake up and ask myself, ‘How can I accept myself and others more fully?
Mindfulness helps you understand that the past is gone, can’t be changed and all the lessons are already learned.
Are you able to remain humble and kind when things do not go the way you want or expect? Be kind when you are in pain; be kind even when your life seems to be falling apart around you. Be humble not only when you succeed but also when you fail. Kindness in word and action, and humble in thought and belief. It is important to not only say and do the ‘right’ thing, it is important to also think and believe it - which is being genuine in nature of peace embodiment.
Meditation, in contrast, is the accidental moments of actual harmony that arrive anyway when you are trying to get something, even in trying to get harmony or calm. This often happens outside of the intention to meditate, and most people access the beginnings of this through other events, such as walking, working, athletic activities, or transitional moments, such as between waking and sleeping. The effect, in brief, is one of harmony and well-being, from which other insights or intuitive glimpses can naturally emerge. The moment you notice this, the meditation is over.
You see something or hear a sound, and there you have everything just as it is. [...] Whatever you do, it should be an expression of the same deep activity. We should appreciate what we are doing. There is no preparation for something else.
Become the person of no rank. Become the noble soul, and live in this awakened way, not imitating anyone. Whatever the circumstances your life asks of you, respond to them in your own individual Zen-spirited way. Don't waste any time trying to be someone else...We are not here to have someone else's experience. We are here to have our own vivid experience. So please don't cling to yesterday, to what happened, to what didn't happen. And do not judge today by yesterday. Let us just live today to the fullest! Moment after moment, each sitting is the only sitting.
Until today, it really pissed me off that I'd become this totally centered Zen Master, and nobody had noticed. Still, i'm doing the little FAX thing. I write little HAIKU things and FAX them around to everyone. When i pass people in the hall at work, I get toally ZEN right in everyone's hostile little FACE.
Being under stress is like being stranded in a body of water. If you panic, it will cause you to flail around so that the water rushes into your lungs and creates further distress. Yet, by calmly collecting yourself and using controlled breathing you remain afloat with ease.
Detachment is being apathetic or aloof to other people, while un-attachment is acknowledging and honoring other people, while choosing not to let them influence your emotional well being. Detached would mean I do not care, while un-attached means I care, although I am not going to alter my emotional state due to your emotions, words, or actions.
If you’re ignoring a high percentage of the elements of your entire being, and the range of qualities they can naturally engage, there will be no real recovery or progress until you do. The typical relentless worker is just as lazy as the typical indulgent idler; they’re both just going through the habitual motions. To break the repetitive pattern, and discover more energy and effectiveness, one simply must stretch out in all directions, rotating focus and application of the qualities that make up one’s natural versatility.
One of the great images to come down to us through Zen Buddhism is the encounter between an enlightened master and an advanced apprentice during the course of a shared meal. The apprentice, becoming fed up with the stress and waiting and the master’s apparent disregard for him, demands an explanation without complication of exactly how to become enlightened. The master asks, “Have you finished your rice?” “Yes,” says the apprentice. “Then go wash your bowl.
The journey is made up of the most genuine and honest wonders of the mind, but also includes unfathomable sorrow and despair; yet, this is what makes up a journey as well as the human experience in entirety.
I have no news of my coming or passing away-- the whole thing happened quicker than a breath; ask no questions of the moth.
The depth and complexity of the questions we’ve recently been engaging tend to ignite associated questions very quickly. The family members of these subjects—purpose, responsibility, devotion, commitment, trust, yearning—and their neighbors—frustration, jealousy, ambition, sloth, etc.—get all excited and have things to say to each other. Because of the pressure and tension between them, one has to negotiate the dialogue carefully and use a lot of patience, tolerance and other unsexy qualities. Otherwise, we’ve got another war on our hands.
A ‘caring’ judgment is still a judgment. And any form of judgment creates blocks and stagnation.
As we live out of such a mind, we become generous, with no sense of tolerance. We become patient, with no sense of putting up with anything. We become compassionate, with no sense of separation. And we become wise, with no sense of having to straighten anyone out.
Everyone is doing the best they can with what they know, and we are all here to learn and grow.
The truth of life is just to live.
When angry, count to Zen.
There is a pivot point, however, to become an adult. That transition comes from recognizing and acting in accordance with your own deepest impulses. On the responsibility front, that means acting in harmony with your conscience, not because you’re going to be punished if you don’t, or paid for it if you do (heaven, enlightenment, salvation, or whatever), but because you know it to be right. On the freedom front, that means acquiescing to your deepest inspirations, following what truly compels you, even when it’s difficult to do so. These two principles brought together in the same time and space is what integrity is all about. And it is only through such integrity that you resolve conflict between the two of them: what you “know to do” and what you “want to do.
A Buddha doesn’t observe precepts. A Buddha doesn’t do good or evil. A Buddha isn’t energetic or lazy. A Buddha is someone who does nothing, someone who can’t even focus his mind on a Buddha. A Buddha isn’t a Buddha. Don’t think about Buddhas.
Bravery is listening even when you don't want to hear it.
Sw. Chidananda Tirtha
Through words, no matter how much you may try, you cannot make a blind man understand light.
No ideals. No illusions. Just reality - but more perfect than you’ve ever imagined. That’s what being mindful and living in the present means.
By creating an image of low self- esteem within ourselves, we bomb and terrorize our true self. When we refuse to forgive, we create an insensible war from old grudges. When we allow stress to impede our healthy flow of energy, we create the weapon of destruction that kills humanity.
True strength. There is no conflict with vulnerability or humility. Indeed, vulnerability and humility are essential here, and ultimately what makes strength true. One does not don the mask of strength in response to fear, which is a con, like those crazy small reptiles that stand up on their hind legs and spread useless wings to intimidate as a last resort. You stand there in self-respect for Christ’s sake and take it with some courage, responding in accordance with your honest values, taking sincere responsibility for them. Stand up for who you truly are, not the image you would like to sell, nor shrink to fit into the false harmony around you.
As a soul, you have the freedom – and earned responsibility – to transpose your personal process of evolution, to manifest your greatest talents and vision, into the work that matters to you most as a means to personal redemption.