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Zen Quotes

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

"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

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

"Tantric Zen is the original Zen, Zen without rules, Zen without form. Zen can certainly take rules and form. So Tantric Zen might have some rules and form, but it would remain formless even though it had rules and form." - Frederick Lenz

"Tantric Zen is for someone who is really broad-minded. It is Bodhidharma's Zen, your Zen, my Zen. Which doesn't mean I have a problem with Japanese Zen. Most Japanese Zen is minding your p's and q's." - Frederick Lenz

"Here it is ... your moment of zen." - Jon Stewart

"Tantric Zen is a state of mind" - Frederick Lenz

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

"In Zen we have no gurus." - Frederick Lenz

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

"Zen is the vehicle of reality." - Jim Harrison

"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

"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

"And finally, be assured that Zen asks nothing even as it promises nothing. One can be a Protestant Zen Buddhist, a Catholic Zen Buddhist or a Jewish Zen Buddhist. Zen is a quiet thing. It listens." - Howard Fast

"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

"In Tantric Zen it doesn't matter but it does ... ." - Frederick Lenz

"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

"We teach ourselves; Zen merely points the way." - D.T. Suzuki

"There is really only one Zen Master ... and that's yourself." - Frederick Lenz

"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

"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

"Meryl Streep is expert at only using the requisite amount of energy to express her character, not an ounce too little or too much. She's Zen and doesn't know she's Zen. That's very Zen!" - Frederick Lenz

"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 Tantric Zen? Well, I don't think I can give you a straight answer, since I don't happen to be a very straight Zen master." - Frederick Lenz

"Throwing away Zen mind is correct Zen mind. Only keep the question, 'What is the best way of helping other people?'" - Seungsahn

"A Zen master is someone whose life is one with enlightenment and self-discovery. They can never be separated from that. They've been essentially mastered by Zen." - Frederick Lenz

"The Zen master can see precisely what it will take to cause your awareness to become free. But the Zen master can't do it for you." - Frederick Lenz

"Facts of experience are valued in Zen more than representations, symbols, and concepts-that is to say, substance is everything in Zen and form nothing." - D.T. Suzuki

"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

"What attracted me to Zen was my first teacher, Tim McCarthy. He was extremely genuine. It wasn't even really a Zen thing, that sort of came along later." - Brad Warner

"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

"Zen is not some kind of excitement, but concentration on our usual everyday routine." - Shunryu Suzuki

"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 values the simple, concrete, living facts of everyday direct personal experience." - James H. Austin

"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

"What is perfect? From the Zen mind, perfection is not being there." - Frederick Lenz

"If you say you had a zen moment, you already didn't." - Alec Sulkin

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

"In Tantric Zen there is no rule. There is only your immediate experience." - Frederick Lenz

"Tantric Zen is the exploration of everything, since everything is a part of enlightenment." - Frederick Lenz

"Tantric Zen, and the people who practice it, of course, make some people feel extremely uncomfortable." - Frederick Lenz

"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

"The secret of zen is just two words: not... always... so." - Shunryu Suzuki

"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

"I learned that you can stand up for yourself and still maintain your zen!" - Doreen Virtue

"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

"The trick is to be Zen about it. Winning is sometimes not the prize" - Jane Fonda

"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

"Smile, breathe and go slowly." - Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Zen monk, author and peace activist." - Nhat Hanh

"Zen is a special transmission outside the Canonical Scriptures; it does not depend upon texts." - Robert Linssen

"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

"Working out is my biggest hobby. It's my Zen hour. I just zone out." - Zac Efron

"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

"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

"There is competition in Zen. Let's not be ridiculous. There is competition in everything in life; being a winner in Zen means, competing and winning in the world of enlightenment." - Frederick Lenz

"Tantric Zen, at first, does not appear to have a method. In Tantric Zen, you could meditate on a Brillo box or you could meditate on the clear light of reality." - Frederick Lenz

"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 not effort. Effort is tension, effort is work, effort is to achieve something. Zen is not something to achieve. You are already that. Just relax, relax so deeply that you become a revelation to yourself." - Rajneesh

"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

"A well known Los Angeles newspaper referred to a small group of gentlemen who live up on a mountain and practice Zen as 'the Zen cult'. The cult phenomenon is definitely journalistically 'in'." - Frederick Lenz

"In Old Zen, the Zen Master would do literally anything to break down the concept of what the study was. He would present conflicting codes all the time, just to shake this fixation people had on how to attain liberation." - Frederick Lenz

"The Zen Master was constantly attempting to break up concepts that people had about what it was like to be a spiritual teacher. We have a traditional image. Each Zen master was a complete character." - Frederick Lenz

"In the advanced practice, the relationship between the Zen master and the student becomes very terse. The Zen master will expect things of the student because the student is in graduate school." - Frederick Lenz

"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

"Most writers agree on the fact that Zen is not to be understood but to be lived; and far from being incompatible with the requirements of everyday life, Zen confers on it its own full revealing value." - Robert Linssen

"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

"The beauty of Zen is found in simplicity and tranquility, in a sense of the all-embracing harmony of things." - Thich Thien-An

"Most assuredly Zen is a religion, but it is a religion without scripture, without doctrine or dogma and without sin." - Howard Fast

"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

"Personal experience, therefore, is everything in Zen. No ideas are intelligible to those who have no backing of experience." - D.T. Suzuki



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