Zen is full of paradoxes. So are Zen quotes...
It’s human tendency to segregate life events into good and bad. We say happiness, sorrow, pain, pleasure, life, death, friend, enemy, love, hate and so on. This duality indwelling in our mind can sound reasonable but it’s just illusion. They are just product of our minds. They don’t last long. Everything is temporary. Being dual, we focus only on one aspect, the good aspect, of our life and make us believe that we can avoid the other half. And then we stumble upon the other half. We become miserable, we suffer. But we are so obsessed with pleasure and happiness, we still miss the point of life, i.e. there is no duality, everything comes in a packet, a packet which contains both pain and pleasure. Zen, though it may sound crazy for our conventional mind, is the true and holistic explanation of the world and life.
When we realize the oneness, we find peace. Following Zen can liberate us above the mundane ripples of duality continuously arising in the vast ocean of our consciousness. Just imagine you’ll be like somebody on a tree along the beach enjoying the appearance and disappearance of waves. Everything will become fun.
Warning: Repeat the Zen quotes below, nothing will happen. Yeah, you may sound wise, witty but you’ll find the real essence only by observing you yourself.
We cannot change anything unless we accept it. Carl Jung
What is Zen? Zen means doing anything perfectly, making mistakes perfectly, being defeated perfectly, hesitating perfectly, doing anything perfectly or imperfectly, perfectly. What is the meaning of this perfectly? How does it differ from perfectly? Perfectly is in the will; perfectly is in the activity. Perfectly means that at each moment of the activity there is no egoism in it… our pain is not only our own pain; it is the pain of the universe. The joy of the universe is also our joy. Our failure and misjudgment is that of nature, which never hopes or despairs, but keeps on trying. R. H. Blyth
In Zen, you drop off all the stuff you don’t need- your worries, fears, opinions, preconceptions, attachments because you really don’t need them! Complete Idiots Guide to Zen Living
… unless there is an innate passion to find out, to discover for oneself one will not be equipped to live the meditative way. Meditation is a total way of living, not a partial or fragmentary activity… Life is neither occidental nor oriental... There is no excitement in a real enquirer; there is a depth of intensity, not the shallowness of enthusiastic excitement. Vimala Thakar
Being totally busy is a wasteful way of living. Zen saying
Make ‘being’ your priority, not ‘becoming’. Zen saying
What does mindfulness mean? Buddha said: “When the mind is restless, one knows that the mind is restless”. Snow in summer by Ven. Jotika
At first, form is needed; then doubt and inhibition must be dispelled. Eventually, form is celebrated with joy: And expression becomes formless. - Deng Ming-Dao
The past is already past. Don’t try to regain it. The
present does not stay. Don’t try to touch it.
From moment to moment, the future has not come; don’t think about it beforehand.
Whatever comes to the eye, leave it be. There are no commandments to be kept;
There’s no filth to be cleansed.
With empty mind really penetrated, the dharmas have no life.
When you can be like this, you’ve completed the ultimate attainment.- Layman P’ang
When you see things in the world like banana peels that have no great value for you, then you’re free to walk in the world without being moved, without being bothered, without being hurt in any way by all of the various kinds of things that come and pass away, whether pleasant or unpleasant. This is the path that leads you to freedom. Ajahn Chah
When the heart truly understands, it lets go of everything. Thinking and feeling will still be there, but they will be deprived of power. Now you are in total control of yourself. Ajahn Chah
Mental activity is like a deadly poisonous cobra. If we don’t interfere with a cobra, how poisonous it may be, it simply goes its own away. Ajahn Chah
Most people just want to perform good deeds to make merit, but they don’t want to give up wrongdoing. It’s just that “the hole is too deep”. Ajahn Chah
A person who has not passed through the inferno of their passions has never overcome them. Snow in summer
Non-doing is a state of mind which is free from ego. Doing without reacting; without a person doing it. And most important of all, doing wholesome deed without expecting anything in return. Snow in summer
Instead of running away from boredom, if you can work through it you will find a kind of wakefulness, alertness, life, clarity beyond that. When you are bored, be with it and see what happens. Snow in summer
Walk more and be mindful. The more you think of how to improve your situation the unhappier you become. Always planning for the future- “I will be happy if…” Never, “I am happy…” Enough planning, improving. Snow in summer
Whoever fights with monsters should see to it that in the process they do not themselves become monsters. Nietszche
My life is like an old run-down hermitage. Poor, simple and quiet. Ryokan
Happiness is a simple thing: you are happy when you are not trying to be happy. Zen saying
Do not disturb yourself by thinking of the whole of your life. Do not let your thoughts at once embrace all the various trouble which you may expect to befall you; but on every occasion ask yourself ‘What is there in this which is intolerable and past bearing?’ for you will be ashamed to confess. Marcus Aurelius
Three treasures I cherish: The first is fathomless love, the second is frugality and the third is reluctance to lead! Tao The Ching.
Desires and expectations are the sources of disappointment. Don’t cling to them. Do your work, walk your way. Zen saying
If you want the truth, I will tell you the truth. Friend, listen: the God whom I love is inside. Kabir
Simplify yourself as much as possible… Zen saying
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- Zen Quotes
Zen is a school of Buddhism that strongly emphasizes on non attachment. Buddha is the most misunderstood person in the history of mankind. He always insisted his followers on being themselves, he was against...
mischeviousme from Bradenton, FL on January 09, 2012:
Many of my own hubs reflect this one. It is excellent!
Dinesh Mohan Raturi from Dehradun on February 13, 2011:
Lovely quotes. I really like your hubs on Zen. Keep them coming.
Craig M on January 17, 2011:
I love this enlightening hub. It reminds me to wake up and be open to whatever each moment presents. Thanks for sharing these quotes!
AustinAmerica from North Bay, Cali on November 10, 2010:
Thanks for the sayings. I don't understand all but enjoy the ones I do!
Mike cheffings on November 08, 2010:
Fantastic I have been really getting into trying to live a zen life and looking for more info does anyone know of good books or recorded material
Rem Tanauan on September 27, 2010:
I love paradoxes! Thanks for this Drabsurd!
drabsurd (author) from Kathmandu,Nepal on July 14, 2010:
thanx robert for your comment... zen emphasizes on silence but i have presented many sayings here... zen is full of paradoxes...hehe
Robert Hughes on July 14, 2010:
I liked this post, though I was overwhelmed by the number of sayings, and only read the first two or three. Thanks for keeping Zen articles going! Have you looked at the daily zen site? I love their daily quotes!
drabsurd (author) from Kathmandu,Nepal on July 14, 2010:
zen is beautiful... it makes us think again and again the meaning of life...