Friday, August 04, 2017


Touch the hole in your life, and there flowers will bloom.
- Zen proverb

Zen: Seeing into one’s own nature. ~Hui-Neng

Zen is to have the heart and soul of a little child. ~Takuan

The infinite is in the finite of every instant. ~Zen proverb

I’d like to offer something to help you but in the zen school we don’t have a single thing! ~Ikkyu

Entering the forest, he does not disturb a blade of grass. Entering the water, he does not make a ripple. ~Zen saying

When you pass through,
no one can pin you down,
no one can call you back.

Whether talking or remaining silent, Whether moving or standing quiet, The Essence itself is ever at ease. ~Daishi

The true Way is as vast and boundless as outer space. How can you talk about it in terms of right and wrong? ~Nansen

There is one thing you can always rely on: life being as it is. ~Charlotte Joko Beck

The secret is just to say “Yes!” and jump off from there. ~Shunryu Suzuki

Life, according to Zen, ought to be lived as a bird flies through the air, or as a fish swims in the water. ~D. T. Suzuki

Everything the same; everything distinct. ~Wu-Men

Still music
Quiet sound
Deep water
Silent ground
~C. Alexander & Annellen Simpkins

To be enlightened is to be intimate with all things. ~Dogen

Do not permit the events of your daily life to bind you, but never withdraw yourself from them. ~Wu-Men

There is nothing you can see that is not a flower; there is nothing you can think that is not the moon. ~Basho

Zen in its essence is the art of seeing into the nature of one’s being, and it points the way from bondage to freedom. ~D. T. Suzuki

The fundamental delusion of humanity is to suppose that I am here and you are out there. ~Yasutani Roshi

The most important point is to accept yourself and stand on your two feet. ~Shunryu Suzuki

A tenth of an inch’s difference, and heaven and earth are set apart. ~Chinese Zen saying

Real Practice has orientation or direction, but it has no purpose or gaining idea, so it can include everything that comes. ~Shunryu Suzuki

No matter how many years you sit doing zazen, you will never become anything special. ~Sawaki

A noble heart never forces itself forward. Its words are as rare gems, seldom displayed and of great value. ~Wu-Men

Life is like stepping onto a boat that is about to sail out to sea and sink. ~Shunryu Suzuki

Those who see worldly life as an obstacle to Dharma see no Dharma in everyday actions. They have not yet discovered that there are no everyday actions outside of Dharma. ~Dogen

You stick to naturalness too much. When you stick to it, it is not natural anymore. ~Shunryu Suzuki

We have two eyes to see two sides of things, but there must be a third eye which will see everything at the same time and yet not see anything. That is to understand Zen. ~D. T. Suzuki

Like the little stream
Making its way
Through the mossy crevices
I, too, quietly
Turn clear and transparent.

To study the self is to forget the self. To forget the self is to be enlightened by the ten thousand things. ~Dogen

What I tell you is not [a] secret. The secret is in you. ~Hui-Neng

As long as you seek for something, you will get the shadow of reality and not reality itself. ~Shunryu Suzuki

People are scared to empty their minds fearing that they will be engulfed by the void. What they don’t realize is that their own mind is the void. ~Huang-Po

Touch the hole in your life, and there flowers will bloom. ~Zen proverb

In zazen leave your front door and your back door open. Let thoughts come and go. Just don’t serve them tea. ~Shunryu Suzuki

Zazen is the self being itself by itself. ~Sawaki

Ten thousand flowers in spring; the moon in autumn; a cool breeze in summer; snow in winter. If your mind isn’t clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life. ~Wu-Men

Our ‘original mind’ includes everything within itself. It is always rich and sufficient within itself. ~Shunryu Suzuki

Open your mouth, and you’re wrong. ~Zen Proverb

When you are deluded and full of doubt, even a thousand books of scripture are not enough.
When you have realized understanding, even one word is too much.

There is no beginning to practice nor end to enlightenment; There is no beginning to enlightenment nor end to practice. ~Dogen

Let us be respectfully reminded: Life and death are of supreme importance. Time swiftly passes by, and with it, our only chance. Each of us must aspire to awaken. Be aware. Do not squander our life. ~Charlotte Joko Beck

If you seek, how is that different from pursuing sound and form? If you don’t seek, how are you different from earth, wood or stone? You must seek without seeking. ~Fo-Yan

Ordinary life and Buddhahood have no distinction. ~Paoh Chih

Have good trust in yourself — not in the One that you think you should be, but in the One that you are. ~Maezumi Roshi

Cease from practice based on intellectual understanding, pursuing words, and following after speech, and learn the backward step that turns your light inward to illuminate your self. Body and mind of themselves will drop away, and your original face will be manifest.~Dogen

Zen is a way of liberation, concerned not with discovering what is good or bad or advantageous, but what is. ~Alan Watts
This is the Zen approach: nothing is there to be done. There is nothing to do. One has just to be. Have a rest and be ordinary and be natural. ~Osho

If you love the sacred and hate the secular, you’ll float and sink in the birth-and-death sea. The passions exist dependent on mind: have no-mind, and how can they bind you? ~Rinzai

Everything the same; everything distinct. ~Zen saying

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

Here it is–right now. Start thinking about it and you miss it. ~Huang-Po

If you try to aim for it, you are turning away from it. ~Zen master

Look upon the body as unreal, an image in a mirror, the reflection of the moon in water. Contemplate the mind as formless, yet bright and pure. Not a single thought arising, empty, yet perceptive; still, yet illuminating; complete like the Great Emptiness, containing all that is wonderful. ~Han Shan Te Ch’ing

Zen is the unsymbolization of the world. ~R.H. Blyth

Outside of Poetry there is no Zen.
~Ten’in Ryutaku

You cannot avoid paradise. You can only avoid seeing it. ~Charlotte Joko Beck

Zen is like looking for spectacles that are sitting on your nose. ~Zen Saying

The Great Way is not difficult. It only avoids picking and choosing. ~Hsin Hsin Ming

In the scenery of spring, nothing is better, nothing worse; The flowering branches are of themselves, some short, some long. ~Zen unknown

I come to realize that mind is no other than mountains and rivers and the great wide earth, the sun and the moon and stars. ~Dogen

Like the empty sky it has no boundaries, yet it is right in this place, ever profound and clear. When you seek to know it, you cannot see it. You cannot take hold of it, but you cannot lose it. In not being able to get it, you get it. When you are silent, it speaks; when you speak, it is silent. The great gate is wide open to bestow alms, and no crowd is blocking the way. ~Cheng-tao Ke

Ears hear and eyes see, what then does mind do? ~Zen saying

An inch of time is an inch of gold: Treasure it. Appreciate its fleeting nature; misplaced gold is easily found, misspent time is lost forever. ~Loy Ching-Yuen

A primary aim of Zen is the uncovering of what is known as inherent knowledge. This is not the kind of knowledge that is produced by thinking based on conditioned consciousness. It is said that the ignorant are obstructed by ignorance, while intellectuals are obstructed by intellectual knowledge. One way of getting past these obstacles and approaching inherent knowledge is to let go of whatever comes to mind. ~Muso Kokushi

Confused by thoughts, we experience duality in life. Unencumbered by ideas, the enlightened see the one Reality. ~Hui-Neng
Seek not to follow in the footsteps of men of old; seek what they sought. ~Matsuo Basho

When you are deluded and full of doubt, even a thousand books of scripture are not enough. When you have realized understanding, even one word is too much. ~Fen-Yang

The true person is
Not anyone in particular;
But, like the deep blue color
Of the limitless sky,
It is everyone, everywhere in the world.

A monk asked Master Haryo, “What is the way?” Haryo said, “An open-eyed man falling into the well. ~Zen Kōan
Having no destination, I am never lost. ~Ikkyuu

The true purpose is to see things as they are, to observe things as they are, and to let everything go as it goes. ~Shunryu Suzuki

If you look for the truth outside yourself, it gets farther and farther away. Today, walking alone, I meet him everywhere I step. He is the same as me, yet I am not him. Only if you understand it in this way will you merge with the way things are. ~Tung-Shan

Being straightforward, being direct, being honest, telling it like it is … We call it ruthless compassion. ~Zen Master Merzel

Truth is not far away; it is ever present. It is not something to be attained, since not one of your steps leads away from it. ~Dogen

The menu is not the meal. ~Alan Watts

Learn how to listen as things speak for themselves. ~Basho

But opinions, judgments, memories, dreaming about the future—ninety percent of the thoughts spinning around in our heads have no essential reality. ~Charlotte J. Beck
The beauty of Zen is found in simplicity and tranquility, in a sense of the all-embracing harmony of things. ~Thich Thien-An
Let your ears hear without trying to hear. Let the mind think without trying to think and without trying to stop it. ~Shunryu Suzuki

The real way circulates everywhere;
how could it require
practice or enlightenment?
The essential teaching is fully available;
how could effort be necessary?
Furthermore, the entire mirror is
free of dust; why take steps to polish it?
Nothing is separate from this
very place; why journey away?

To each thing, its own
true deepest inner nature:
water does not think
of itself as consort
of the bright moonlight it hosts.