Zen Quotes and Proverbs to Awaken and Expand the Mind

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.

A collection of Zen Quotes and Proverbs

Words that Awaken and Expand the Mind

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

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

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

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

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

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

7. “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

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

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

10. “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

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

12. “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

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

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

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

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

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

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19. “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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

31. “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

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

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

34. “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

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

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

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