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Zen Monks Quotes


"All hoods make not monks." - William Shakespeare

"Zen is poetry; poetry is Zen." - Reginald Horace Blyth

"Zen is everywhere.... But for you, Zen is right here." - Shunryu Suzuki

"From my own personal encounters and studies with both Tantric and Zen Buddhist monks, I have found them to be humorous, warm, charming, and compassionate." - Frederick Lenz

"All is lost. Monks, monks, monks!" - Henry VIII of England

"[The monks'] minds were inaccessible to reason or mercy . . ." - Edward Gibbon

"Artists are the monks of the bourgeois state." - Cesare Pavese

"What are you, Zen Master Fang?" - Charlaine Harris

"Zen is the unsymbolization of the world." - Reginald Horace Blyth

"To Zen, time and eternity are one." - D.T. Suzuki

"Be calm. Be Zen. You are Buddha." - James Patterson

"I consider writing a legitimate Zen practice." - Natalie Goldberg

"Zen has no business with ideas." - D.T. Suzuki

"When you visit the Zen Monasteries, one of the first things required is that you bring a donation. They have to pay for those monasteries. The upkeep is fantastic. The monks have to be fed, and so on." - Frederick Lenz

"Zen Makes use, to a great extent, of poetical expressions; Zen is wedded to poetry." - D.T. Suzuki

"This is Zen, and in Zen, as we all know ... anything goes!" - Frederick Lenz

"He called out to his fellow monks,'Come quickly I am tasting stars." - John Green

"Then are they truly monks when they live by the labor of their hands." - Benedict of Nursia

"Poets and monks... We're both sort of peripheral to the world." - Kathleen Norris

"I envy them, those monks of old Their books they read, and their beads they told." - George Payne Rainsford James

"Hell is paved with monks' cowls, priests' drapery, and spike helmets." - Carl Wanderer

"I envy them, those monks of old; Their books they read, and their beads they told." - George Payne Rainsford James

"[All] the manly virtues were oppressed by the servile and pusillanimous reign of the monks." - Edward Gibbon

"This is not a dress. This is a sacred robe of the ancient psychedelic monks." - Noel Fielding

"Monks are not expected to speak about themselves; the message is important, not the person." - Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

"You haven't partied until you've partied at dawn in complete silence with Buddhist monks." - Cameron Diaz

"When I say that Zen is life, I mean that Zen is not to be confined within conceptualization, that Zen is what makes conceptualization possible." - D.T. Suzuki

"Zen is a very quick path. Zen is the path of meditation. The word Zen means emptiness or fullness, meditation. Meditation is the quickest path to enlightenment." - Frederick Lenz

"Zen is not about eliminating thoughts but illuminating them." - Gerald May

"Zen is all about self-study/knowledge and self-help!" - Mika

"If I am asked If I am asked, then, what Zen teaches, I would answer, Zen teaches nothing. Whatever teachings there are in Zen, they come out of one's own mind. We teach ourselves; Zen merely points the way." - D.T. Suzuki

"Zen aims at freedom but its practice is disciplined." - Gary Snyder

"For Zen students, a weed is a treasure." - Shunryu Suzuki

"Years of expensive Zen training gone to waste" - Zentatsu Richard Baker

"The purpose of Zen is the perfection of character." - Yamada Koun

"A zen master's life is one continuous mistake." - Dogen

"A true Zen saying: 'Nothing is what I want." - Frank Zappa

"A true Zen saying: "Nothing is what I want." - Frank Zappa

"Zen Buddhism is a discipline where belief isn't necessary." - David Sylvian

"There are two primary ways of studying Zen. Either an individual will enter into a Zen monastery and study with a Zen master there, or they will study with a Zen master who lives in the contemporary world." - Frederick Lenz

"Old Zen was the reduction of concepts to absurdity." - Frederick Lenz

"I just had to stay cool. Zen. No punching in the face. Punching would not be Zen." - Ilona Andrews

"There's something Zen-like about the way I work - it's like raking gravel in a Zen Buddhist garden." - Chuck Close

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

"To remain caught up in ideas and words about Zen is, as the old masters say, to stink of Zen." - Alan Watts

"The only Zen you can find on the tops of mountains is the Zen you bring up there." - Robert M Pirsig

"The only Zen you find on the tops of mountains is the Zen you bring up there." - Robert M Pirsig

"Zen is the study of mind in all of its manifestations. The purpose of Zen is to be happy." - Frederick Lenz

"These are the roots of trees, O monks, these are empty huts. Meditate, monks, do not be negligent, or else you will regret it later. This is our instruction to you." - Gautama Buddha

"In the year 415, the woman scientist Hypatia, head of the legendary Alexandria library, was beaten to death by Christian monks who considered her a pagan. The leader of the monks, Cyril, was canonized a saint." - James A. Haught

"At the museum a troubled woman destroys a sand painting meticulously created over days by Tibetan monks. The monks are not disturbed. The work is a meditation. They simply begin again." - Susan Griffin

"When I go visit my brother monks in Japan and sit down with other Zen Masters, they look at my crazy clothes and my strange expression, but they feel the power that emanates from my dedication to the practice. So they are comfortable with me, yet they're very uncomfortable." - Frederick Lenz

"My comic sense, although deliberately Americanized, is, in its intent, much closer related to the crazy wisdom of Zen monks and the goofy genius of Taoist masters than it is to, say, the satirical gibes on Saturday Night Live. It has both a literary and a metaphysical function." - Tom Robbins

"Now I think on't, They should be good men, their affairs are righteous; But all hoods make not monks." - William Shakespeare

"Certainly," quoth Athelstane, "women are the least to be trusted of all animals, monks and abbots excepted." - Walter Scott

"The Holy Scriptures do not know any distinctions. They enjoin that all lead the life of monks." - Saint John Chrysostom

"Then owls and bats Cowls and twats Monks and nuns in a cloister's moods, Adjourn to the oak-stump pantry." - Robert Browning

"Monks will have three begging bowls for their food: one for water, one for liquid food, one for dry food." - Satish Kumar

"All is lost! Monks, Monks, Monks! So, now all is gone - Empire, Body, and Soul!." - Henry VIII of England

"Zen is the spirit of a man. Zen believes in his inner purity and goodness. Whatever is superadded or violently torn away, injures the wholesomeness of the spirit. Zen, therefore, is emphatically against all religious conventionalism." - D.T. Suzuki

"When you are free of form and not confused, you are focused. To be free of form externally is 'Zen.' Not to be confused internally is 'meditation.' External Zen and internal meditation, this is what we mean by 'Zen meditation." - Bill Porter

"To these Teachers of Zen; you want a zafu cushion? sit your zen ass on a bicycle seat and peddle into hurricane wind for 8 hours at your max effort; there is your ENGAGED ZEN!" - Steve Ilg

"Bodhidharma who brought Zen from India to the Orient, taught a very pure Zen - in that it was pure Zen. He wanted to show that the way still existed and wanted to get back to its essence." - Frederick Lenz

"Now when I speak about Zen, I have a problem, in the sense that the Zen of today has lost the essence, in my estimation, of what I call "old Zen."" - Frederick Lenz

"Different schools of Zen have evolved, principally the Rinzai and Soto orders. A whole hierarchy has developed for the teaching and practice of Zen. Zen has become, to a certain degree, institutionalized." - Frederick Lenz

"The whole zen attitude is to bring to your notice the fact that there is no effort to be made. The zen attitude is that of effortlessness." - Rajneesh

"What is Zen? Zen is looking at things with the eye of God, that is, becoming the thing's eyes so that it looks at itself with our eyes." - Reginald Horace Blyth

"I'm a poet who practices Zen. And it's not, I'm somebody who practices Zen who writes poetry. There's no separation for me." - Sam Hamill

"Zen... does not confuse spirituality with thinking about God while one is peeling potatoes. Zen spirituality is just to peel the potatoes." - Alan Watts

"Zen does not confuse spirituality with thinking about God while one is peeling potatoes. Zen spirituality is just to peel the potatoes." - Alan Watts

"Zen is non-serious. Zen has a tremendous sense of humor. No other religion has evolved so much that it can have that sense of humor." - Rajneesh

"Zen doesn't believe in the reconciliation of opposites because from the point of view of Zen, there is no point of view." - Frederick Lenz

"The theory of Zen is non-competition. But that is not really true at all. People who practice Zen are very competitive. They are competing against emptiness." - Frederick Lenz

"Those who sit perfectly physically usually take more time to obtain the true way of Zen." - Shunryu Suzuki

"Zen martini: A martini with no vermouth at all. And no gin, either." - P. J. O'Rourke

"Zen teaches that our approach to today determines our whole approach to life." - Philip Toshio Sudo

"Zen is like soap. First you wash with it, and then you wash off the soap." - Yamaoka Tesshu

"Zen is the enemy of analysis, the friend of intuition. The Zen artist understands the ends of his art intuitively, and the last thing he would do is create categories; the avowed purpose of Zen is to eliminate categories! The true Zen-man holds to the old Taoist proverb, Those who know do not speak. Those who speak do not know." - Tom Hoover

"Zen culture invites us to experience reality without the intervening distractions of intellect, categories, analysis." - Tom Hoover

"Zen is based on the recognition of two incompatible types of thought: rational and intuitive." - Tom Hoover

"Zen is...joyous iconoclasm which respects nothing and no one, particularly itself." - Dave Brandon

"The only zen thoughts you can find on a mountain summit are those you brought yourself." - Robert M Pirsig

"The real Zen of the old Chinese masters was wu-shih, or "no fuss."" - Alan Watts

"Zen is to have the heart and soul of a little child." - Takuan Soho

"The practice of Zen is forgetting the self in the act of uniting with something." - Yamada Koun

"I have lived with several Zen masters - all of them cats." - Eckhart Tolle

"Zen masters say you cannot see your reflection in running water, only in still water." - Elizabeth Gilbert

"In a certain sense, Zen is feeling life instead of feeling something about life." - Alan Watts

"A zen couch potato is a person who contemplates the nature of televised existence." - Richard Helms

"Zen phrase says The instant you speak about a thing you miss the mark." - Fritjof Capra

"Zen has no secrets other than seriously thinking about life and death." - Takeda Shingen

"Zen insight is not our awareness, but Being's awareness of itself in us." - Thomas Merton

"Until now, I had misunderstood the Satori, enlightenment of Zen Buddhism." - Masaoka Shiki

"America is a place where Jewish merchants sell Zen love beads to agnostics for Christmas." - John Burton Brimer

"I feel like I'm being too Zen. I'm inhaling too much patchouli and incense. It's embarrassing." - Jimmy Fallon

"My look is either very baroque or very Zen - everything in between makes me itch." - Iris Apfel

"When other sects speak well of Zen, the first thing that they praise is its poverty." - Dogen

"There's a Zen to acting, by being in the moment. That's where the power is." - Christine Ebersole

"In Japanese art, space assumed a dominant role and its position was strengthened by Zen concepts." - Stephen Gardiner

"Zen pretty much comes down to three things - everything changes; everything is connected; pay attention." - Jane Hirshfield

"Golf is a spiritual game. It's like Zen. You have to let your mind take over." - Amy Alcott

"Zen, per se, is not just an art, it's not just a religion, it's a realisation." - Gene Clark

"One thing I like about Zen. It doesn't believe in achievement." - Agnes Martin

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

"Any good athletic is always in a state of perpetual training, as is the Zen student." - Frederick Lenz

"Zen and Buddhism have produced martial arts, because of the Buddhist injunction against weapons." - Frederick Lenz

"We can see unmistakeably that there is an inner relationship between Zen and the warrior's life." - D.T. Suzuki

"There is no need to have a deep understanding of Zen." - Shunryu Suzuki

"Zen is about breaking out of your ideas and experiencing life and not ideas." - Frederick Lenz

"Zen is meditation, the actual experience of life directly, immediately with no buffers." - Frederick Lenz

"Zen is the way of splitting the self again and again, untilt there is nothing left." - Frederick Lenz

"People who practice Zen correctly are not spaced-out or unrealistic. They are balanced and grounded." - Frederick Lenz

"Old Zen is the way of nothingness, the way of having a good time." - Frederick Lenz

"In Zen you are learning how to make new realities, to build things inside your mind." - Frederick Lenz

"What I term Zen, old Zen, the original face of Zen, new Zen, pure Zen, or Tantric Zen is - Zen in its essence." - Frederick Lenz

"What! Have you no monks to teach, to dispute, to govern, to intrigue and to burn people who do not agree with them?" - Voltaire

"As you know, the Inquisition is an admirable and wholly Christian invention to make the pope and the monks more powerful and turn a whole kingdom into hypocrites." - Voltaire

"Merrily sang the monks in Ely When Cnut, King, rowed thereby; Row, my knights, near the land, And hear we these monkes' song." - Cnut the Great

"In a quiet Franciscan monastery kind and silent monks looked after me. After many weeks I was discharged. Unfit for further service." - Ernst Toller

"[The monks'] credulity debased and vitiated the faculties of the mind: they corrupted the evidence of history; and superstition gradually extinguished the hostile light of philosophy and science." - Edward Gibbon

"But when it comes to democratic political parties, I prefer that monks and nuns not join them - in order to ensure proper democratic practice." - Dalai Lama

"My house was a guest house of many Jaina saints, Hindu monks, Sufi mystics, because my grandfather was interested in all of these people." - Rajneesh

"Most of the great books on prayer are written by 'experts' - monks, missionaries, mystics, saints. I've read scores of them, and mainly they make me feel guilty." - Philip Yancey

"We have wasted our spirit in the regions of the abstract and general just as the monks let it wither in the world of prayer and contemplation." - Alexander Herzen

"I grew with it, and I used to go to see the monks, who had no possessions, even more extreme than my mother." - Satish Kumar

"Just studying Buddhism, then meditating and going to Buddhist monasteries, talking to Buddhist monks, combined with the Thai people themselves, changed the way I look at the world." - John Burdett

"I would go from one city to the next, inspired by the monks in the Middle Ages, who would carry knowledge from one monastery to the next monastery." - Hansulrich Obrist

"Movable type seemed magical to the monks who were illuminating manuscripts and copying texts. Certainly e-books seem magical to me." - Paul Theroux

"There is, monks, an unborn, unbecome, unmade, unconditioned. If, monks, there were no unborn... no escape would be discerned from what is born, become, made, conditioned. But because there is an unborn..., therefore an escape is discerned from what is born, become, made, conditioned." - Gautama Buddha

"The claim of the Zen followers that they are transmitting the essence of Buddhism is based on their belief that Zen takes hold of the enlivening spirit of the Buddha, stripped of all its historical and doctrinal garments." - D.T. Suzuki

"If you try to grasp Zen in movement, it goes into stillness. If you try to grasp Zen in stillness, it goes into movement. It is like a fish hidden in a spring, drumming up waves and dancing independently." - Linji Yixuan

"Zen is the way of complete self-realization; a living human being who follows the way of Zen can attain satori and then live a new life as a Buddha." - Zenkei Shibayama

"The true purpose of Zen is to see things as they are, to observe things as they are, and to let everything go as it goes. Zen practice is to open up our small mind." - Shunryu Suzuki

"Wabi means spare, impoverished; simple and functional. It connotes a transcendence of fad and fashion. The spirit of wabi imbues all the Zen arts, from calligraphy to karate, from the tea ceremony to Zen archery." - Shunryu Suzuki

"Haiku is a particularly Zen form of poetry; for Zen detests egoism in the form of calculated effects or self-glorification of any sort. The author of haiku should be absent, and only the haiku present." - Anne Bancroft

"I seemed to recall some words from an old Zen master, something like, "My Zen cuts down mountains." My rejection of Buddhism was a cutting down of mountains; that is precisely how it felt to me." - Quentin S. Crisp

"Sometimes people come up and they get infatuated with some little brief imagistic poem or something, and they say, "Oh, I really like your Zen poems." And I say, "Which ones are not Zen poems?"" - Sam Hamill

"The true "Way" cannot be used to look into the heart of another, and can only be appreciated and found on one's own. What others say is but "oral Zen" - Zen not practiced but simply preached or talked about." - Henry Chang

"The object of Zen is not to kill all feelings and become anesthetized to pain and fear. The object of Zen is to free us to scream loudly and fully when it is time to scream." - Francis Harold Cook

"If you have the sense of participation in sports or athletics, of being a player, then you are not really into the Zen mind. In Zen mind there is no sense of self in the play." - Frederick Lenz

"The samurais were very interested in Zen because they admired the tremendous precision that the Zen Masters had, their lack of fear and pain and their absolute lack of fear of death." - Frederick Lenz

"The future of humanity will move closer and closer toward the approach of Zen, because the meeting of the East and West is possible only through something like Zen, which is earthly and yet unearthly." - Rajneesh

"No matter what verbal space you try to enclose Zen in, it resists, and spills over ... the Zen attitude is that words and truth are incompatible, or at least that no words can capture truth." - Douglas Hofstadter

"It is not good to talk about Zen, because Zen is nothingness... If you talk about it, you are always lying, and if you don't talk about it, no one knows it is there." - Robert M Pirsig

"Zen was a reaction. Just as Buddha came into the world and spoke against the fall of Vedanta, so Buddhism lost its essence and became ritual. Zen was a reaction to that." - Frederick Lenz

"In the old days, Zen was not really practiced so much in a monastery. The Zen Master usually lived up on a top of the mountain or the hill or in the forest or sometimes in the village." - Frederick Lenz

"Each of the small enlightenments that a Zen practitioner has, which are known in Zen as "Satori experiences," provides deeper insights into the nature of existence and helps a person prepare for complete enlightenment." - Frederick Lenz

"There are monasteries in Japan where they teach Zen with rules, more rules than you can imagine, and you might feel comfortable with that. I don't teach that type of Zen." - Frederick Lenz

"Zen purposes to discipline the mind itself, to make it its own master, through an insight into its proper nature. This getting into the real nature of one's own mind or soul is the fundamental object of Zen Buddhism. Zen, therefore, is more than meditation and Dhyana in its ordinary sense. The discipline of Zen consists in opening the mental eye in order to look into the very reason of existence." - D.T. Suzuki

"Zen approaches it from the practical side of life-that is, to work out Enlightenment in life itself." - D.T. Suzuki



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