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Zen Sayings
Zen Quotes and Sayings

Thank you for visiting these Zen Sayings and Quotes. I hope you find value in these Zen Quotes and Sayings from my large collection of Inspirational Sayings.

The words of truth are always paradoxical.
- Lao Tzu

Related topics: Wisdom Live-By

A good traveler has no fixed plans,
and is not intent on arriving.
- Lao Tzu PHOTO

To the mind that is still,
the whole universe surrenders.
- Lao Tzu PHOTO

Fully experience THIS moment -
breathe in, breathe out - nothing more.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie PHOTO

 

Freedom from desire leads to inner peace.
- Lao-Tzu

Great acts are made up of small deeds.
- Lao Tzu

Yielding is the way of the Tao.
- Lao Tzu

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Be - don't try to become.
Being is enlightenment, becoming is ignorance.
- Osho

He who knows himself is enlightened.
- Lao Tzu

Be still and know who you are.
- Kirtana

No more walls.
- Anais Nin

By letting it go it all gets done.
The world is won by those who let it go.
But when you try and try.
The world is beyond the winning.
- Lao Tzu

Dare to be naive.
- Buckminster Fuller

Maybe So, Maybe Not.
- Ancient Taoist Proverb

He who knows, does not speak.
He who speaks, does not know.
- Lao Tzu

He who knows that enough is enough
will always have enough.
- Lao Tzu

"It's not that important,
don't worry about it" is the answer,
now what was the question?
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Don't choose. Accept life as it is in its totality.
- Osho

Be content with what you have,
rejoice in the way things are.
When you realize there is nothing lacking,
the whole world belongs to you.
- Lao Tzu

Manifest plainness, embrace simplicity,
reduce selfishness, have few desires.
- Lao Tzu

The Tao abides in non-action,
Yet nothing is left undone.
- Lao Tzu

The Tao of the sage is work without effort.
Practice non-action. Work without doing.
- Lao Tzu

Abandon hope.
- Pema Chodron

Zen says that if you drop knowledge -
and within knowledge everything is included;
your name, your identity, everything,
because this has been given to you by others -
if you drop all that has been given by others,
you will have a totally different quality to your being: innocence.
This will be a crucifixion of the persona, the personality,
and there will be a resurrection of your innocence.
You will become a child again, reborn.
- Osho

Those who have knowledge, don't predict.
Those who predict, don't have knowledge.
- Lao Tzu

NECESSITY and URGENCY are twin poisons of our rattlesnake minds.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Money is not required to buy one necessity of the soul.
- Henry David Thoreau

What is the Sound of One Hand Clapping?
- Traditional Zen Koan

The water in a vessel is sparkling;
the water in the sea is dark.
The small truth has words which are clear;
the great truth has great silence.
- Rabindranath Tagore

I confess that there is nothing to teach:
no religion, no science, no writings
which will lead your mind back to Spirit.
Today I speak this way, tomorrow that,
but always the Path is beyond words and beyond mind.
- Lao Tzu
(paraphrase)

Besides the noble art of getting things done,
there is the noble art of leaving things undone.
The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials.
- Lin Yutang

He who obtains has little.
He who scatters has much.
- Lao Tzu

Stay at the center
and let all things take their course.
- Lao Tzu

When you are eating, eat totally -
chew totally, taste totally, smell totally.
Touch your bread, feel the texture.
Smell the bread, smell the flavor.
Chew it, let it dissolve into your being,
and remain conscious - and you are meditating.
And then meditation is not separate from life.
- Osho

Today, I am Sending My Monkey Mind to the Zoo.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

The things of this world exist;
they are; you can't refuse them.
- Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching - Book One #2 - version by Ursula K. Le Guin

Walking is Zen, sitting is Zen.
Then what will be the quality?
Watchfully alert, joyously unmotivated,
centered, loving, flowing, one walks.
And the walking is sauntering.
Loving, alert, watchful, one sits, unmotivated -
not sitting for anything in particular,
just enjoying how beautiful
just sitting doing nothing is,
how relaxing, how restful.
- Osho

"Beginner Mind" is a Zen Buddhist term
that describes moving past our assumptions
of the nature of our life,
and really SEEING our surroundings -
especially the people we interact with -
with new eyes.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Fill your bowl to the brim and it will spill.
Keep sharpening your knife and it will blunt.
- Lao Tzu

Children are natural Zen masters;
their world is brand new in each and every moment.
- John Bradshaw

The wise man looks back into the past,
and does not grieve over what is far off,
nor rejoice over what is near;
for he knows that time is without end.
- Lao Tzu

Wherever you go, there you are.
- Traditional Zen Proverb

Time to Die:
A Zen teacher had a rare and priceless teacup.
One day, his precocious student accidentally broke the cup.
Hearing the footsteps of his teacher,
the student held the pieces of the cup behind his back.
When the master appeared, he asked: "Why do people have to die?"
"This is natural," explained the teacher.
"Everything has to die and has just so long to live."
The student showed the shattered cup, saying,
"It was time for your cup to die."
- Traditional Zen Koan

The soul loves to meditate,
for in contact with the Spirit lies its greatest joy.
If, then you experience mental resistance during meditation,
remember that reluctance to meditate comes from the ego;
it doesn't belong to the soul.
- Paramahansa Yogananda

The Moon Cannot Be Stolen:
A thief entered the little hut of a Zen Master,
but discovered there was nothing to steal.
The Zen Master discovered the thief.
"You have come a long way to visit me," he told the prowler,
"and you should not return empty-handed.
Please take my clothes as a gift."
The thief was bewildered,
but he took the clothes and slunk away.
The Zen Master sat naked, watching the moon.
"Poor fellow," he mused,
"I wish I could have given him this beautiful moon."
- Traditional Zen Koan

In dwelling, live close to the ground.
In thinking, keep to the simple.
In conflict, be fair and generous.
In governing, don't try to control.
In work, do what you enjoy.
In family life, be completely present.
- Lao Tzu

The True Path is the path on which
there is no coming and no going.
- Traditional Zen Koan

Overflowing Cup of Tea:
The Zen Master poured his visitor's teacup full, and then kept pouring.
The visitor watched until he could no longer restrain himself.
"It is overfull. No more will go in!"
"Like this cup," the Zen Master said,
"you are full of your own opinions and assumptions.
How can you learn truth until you first empty your cup?"
- Traditional Zen Koan

The wise man looks into space,
and does not regard the small as too little,
nor the great as too much;
for he knows that there is no limit to dimensions.
- Lao Tzu

In the midst of movement and chaos,
keep stillness inside of you.
- Deepak Chopra

To manage your mind,
know that there is nothing,
and then relinquish all attachment to nothingness.
- Lao Tzu

Looking at a sunset, just for a second
you forget your separateness:
you are the sunset.
That is the moment when you feel the beauty of it.
But the moment you say that it is a beautiful sunset,
you are no longer feeling it;
you have come back to your separate,
enclosed entity of the ego.
Now the mind is speaking.
- Osho

Maybe life isn't really as complicated
as we make it out to be.
Perhaps a simple child-like attitude would create
a less stressful and happier life.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Just one quality of the Buddha has to be remembered.
He consists only of one quality: witnessing.
This small word witnessing contains the whole of spirituality.
Witness that you are not the body.
Witness that you are not the mind.
Witness that you are only a witness.
As the witnessing deepens,
you start becoming drunk with the divine.
That is what is called ecstasy.
- Osho

The moment you start seeing life
as non-serious, a playfulness,
all the burden on your heart disappears.
All the fear of death, of life,
of love - everything disappears.
- Osho

Can you let go of words and ideas,
attitudes and expectations?
If so, then the Tao will loom into view.
- Lao Tzu

Ecstasy is our very nature;
not to be ecstatic is simply unnecessary.
To be ecstatic is natural, spontaneous.
It needs no effort to be ecstatic,
it needs great effort to be miserable.
That's why you look to tired,
because misery is really hard work;
to maintain it is really difficult,
because you are doing something against nature.
- Osho

The past is no more and the future is not yet.
The only right person is one who lives moment to moment,
whose arrow is directed to the moment,
who is always here and now; wherever he is,
his whole consciousness, his whole being,
is involved in the reality of here and in the reality of now.
- Osho

Being wakeful in each and every moment of your life is meditation.
The simplest definition of meditation is:
when seeing, just see; when hearing, just hear.
- Josh Baran

Life repeats itself mindlessly -
unless you become mindful, it will go on repeating like a wheel.
That's why Buddhists call it the wheel of life and death,
the wheel of time.
It moves like a wheel: birth is followed by death,
death is followed by birth;
love is followed by hate, hate is followed by love;
success is followed by failure,
failure is followed by success. Just see!
If you can watch just for a few days,
you will see a pattern emerging, a wheel pattern.
One day, a fine morning, you are feeling so good and so happy,
and another day you are so dull,
so dead that you start thinking of committing suicide.
And just the other day you were so full of life,
so blissful that you were feeling thankful to God,
that you were in a mood of deep gratefulness,
and today there is great complaint
and you don't see the point why one should go on living...
And it goes on and on, but you don't see the pattern.
Once you see the pattern, you can get out of it.
- Osho

All the Buddhas of all the ages have been
telling you a very simple fact:
Be - don't try to become.
Within these two words, be and becoming,
your whole life is contained.
Being is enlightenment, becoming is ignorance.
- Osho

This moment! - this here-now - is forgotten
when you start thinking in terms of achieving something.
When the achieving mind arises,
you lose contact with the paradise you are in.
- Osho

Do not say, "It is morning,"
and dismiss it with a name of yesterday.
See it for the first time
as a newborn child that has no name.
- Rabindranath Tagore

Misery nourishes your ego -
that's why you see so many miserable people in the world.
The basic, central point is the ego.
- Osho

When you become centered, suddenly there is great freedom
because you know you are not the mind and you are not the body.
- Osho

The Sweetest Strawberry:
A man traveling across a field encountered a tiger.
He fled, the tiger after him.
Coming to a precipice,
he caught hold of the root of a wild vine
and swung himself over the edge.
The tiger sniffed at him from above.
Trembling, the man looked down to where,
far below, another tiger was waiting to eat him.
Only the vine sustained him.
Two mice, one white and one black,
little by little started to gnaw away the vine.
The man then saw a luscious strawberry near him.
Grasping the vine with one hand,
he plucked the strawberry with the other.
How sweet it tasted.
- Zen Koan

Remain in wonder if you want the mysteries to open up for you.
Mysteries never open up for those who go on questioning.
Questioners sooner or later end up in a library.
Questioners sooner or later end up with scriptures,
because scriptures are full of answers.
And answers are dangerous, they kill your wonder.
- Osho

A newborn does not have worry, or stress, or anger,
because they have not yet learned those things.
Consider what life would be like if you could
forget all the past resentments and perceived offenses
that color your thinking and your emotions.
Buddhists call that state "beginner mind" -
an opening to experience life
without the jaundiced filter of past disappointments.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Mind is repetitive, mind always moves in circles.
Mind is a mechanism: you feed it with knowledge,
it repeats the same knowledge,
it goes on chewing the same knowledge again and again.
No-mind is clarity, purity, innocence.
No-mind is the real way to live,
the real way to know, the real way to be.
- Osho

Be an Observer of Life.
See the events, feel the emotions,
and recognize the difference.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

First meditate, be blissful,
then much love will happen of its own accord.
Then being with others is beautiful
and being alone is also beautiful.
Then it is simple, too.
You dont depend on others
and you dont make others dependent on you.
- Osho


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