Zen Quotes and Proverbs to Awaken and Enlighten

Zen Quotes

Zen is a school of Mahayana Buddhism, which says that enlightenment can be attained through meditation, contemplation and intuition, rather than through faith and devotion.

Zen is practiced mainly in China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam, but there are Zen followers all around the world.

This philosophy and way of life teaches that the potential for achieving enlightenment is inherent in everyone, and is best awakened by breaking through the boundaries of mundane logical thought.

On this page you will find zen quotes and proverbs on life, the mind, enlightenment, peace, and other topics. Each zen quote contains wisdom and insight that can enlighten and expand the mind.

Zen Quotes and Proverbs

“Although gold dust is precious, when it gets in your eyes, it obstructs your vision.” –Hsi-Tang

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

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

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

“To set up what you like against what you dislike – this is the disease of the mind.” –Seng-T’San

“The whole moon and the entire sky are reflected in one dewdrop on the grass.” –Dogen

“The mind of the beginner is empty, free of the habits of the expert, ready to accept, to doubt, and open to all the possibilities.” –Shunryu Suzuki

“From the withered tree, a flower blooms.” –Zen Proverb

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

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“Zen is not a religion. There is no room for a cult. There is no dependence on a teacher. There is only learning how to use your own mind and making it strong.” –Frederick Lenz

“Zen is not an art, it’s not a religion. It’s a realisation.” –Gene Clark

“We shape clay into a pot, but it is the emptiness inside that holds whatever we want.” –Lao Tzu

“Water which is too pure has no fish.” –Ts’ai Ken T’An

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

“Everything the same; everything distinct.” –Zen Proverb

“A wise man makes his own decisions. An ignorant man follows the public opinion.” –Chinese Proverb

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“He who knows others is wise. He who knows himself is enlightened.” –Tao Te Ching

“To know the road ahead, ask those coming back.” –Chinese Proverb

“To be a man of knowledge one needs to be light and fluid.” –Yaqui Mystic

“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.” –Alan Watts

“Be master of mind rather than mastered by mind.” –Zen Proverb

“Move and the way will open.” –Zen Proverb

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“When walking, walk. When eating, eat.” –Zen Proverb

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” –Lao Tzu

“Nothing on earth can overcome an absolutely nonresistant person.” –Zen Proverb

“Sitting peacefully doing nothing Spring comes and the grass grows all by itself.” –Zen Proverb

“Do not permit the events of your daily life to bind you, but never withdraw yourself from them.” –Zen Proverb

“Roads were made for journeys not destinations.” –Confucius

“Zen has no business with ideas.” –D.T. Suzuki

“Truth makes you rise to new heights, no matter where you are.” –Kamal Ravikant

“It is easy to believe we are each waves and forget we are also the ocean.” –Jon J. Muth

“You look at where you’re going and where you are and it never makes sense, but then you look back at where you’ve been and a pattern seems to emerge.” –Robert M. Pirsig

“Have the fearless attitude of a hero and the loving heart of a child.” –Soyen Shaku

“To a mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.” –Chuang Tzu

“This dew like life fades away; time speeds swiftly. In this short life of ours, avoid involvement in superfluous things and just study the Way.” –Dogen Zenji

“The mind should be as a mirror.” –Zen Proverb

“To follow the path, look to the master, follow the master, walk with the master, see through the master, become the master.” –Zen Saying

“Not thinking about anything is Zen. Once you know this, walking, sitting, or lying down, everything you do is Zen.” –Bodhidharma

“What the superior man seeks is in himself; what the small man seeks is in others.” –Confucius

“Cast away all things, becoming without thought and without mind.” –Hakuin-Zenji

“In the study of Zen, the power of an all-illuminating insight must go hand in hand with a deep sense of humility and meekness of heart.” –D.T. Suzuki

“Wise men don’t judge – they seek to understand.” –Wei Wu Wei

“The resistance to the unpleasant situation is the root of suffering.” –Ram Dass

“Peace of mind is that mental condition in which you have accepted the worst.” –Lin Yutang

“Only when you can be extremely pliable and soft can you be extremely hard and strong.” –Zen Proverb

“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”Buddha

“One must be deeply aware of the impermanence of the world.” –Dogen

“Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.” –Thich Nhat Hanh

“Melting our attachment to self is the most powerful medication for bringing mental and emotional imbalances in check.” –Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche

“Zen teaches that if we can open up to the inevitability of our demise, we can begin to transform and lighten up about it.” –Allen Klein

“If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.”Lao Tzu

“To seek is to suffer. To seek nothing is bliss.” –Bodhidharma

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

“For things to reveal themselves to us, we need to be ready to abandon our views about them.” –Thích Nhat Hanh

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

“Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves – slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future.” –Thich Nhat Hanh

“Heaven and earth and I are of the same root, The ten-thousand things and I are of one substance.” –Seng-chao

“Melting our attachment to self is the most powerful medication for bringing mental and emotional imbalances in check.” –Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche

Quotes Directory >> Zen Quotes and Proverbs

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