Zen Quotes (48) Spiritual Sayings

Summary: Definition of Zen. The word Zen is derived from the Japanese pronunciation of the Middle Chinese word Dzyen (Modern Mandarin: Chán), which in turn is derived from the Sanskrit word dhyāna, which can be approximately translated as "absorption" or "meditative state". Zen emphasizes the attainment of enlightenment and the personal expression of direct insight in the Buddhist teachings. As such, it de-emphasizes mere knowledge of sutras and doctrine and favors direct understanding through zazen and interaction with an accomplished teacher.


“Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.” 
~ Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life

Always now - just now - come into being. Always now - just now - give yourself to death. Practicing this is Zen practice.
~ Soko Morinaga

“Flow with whatever may happen, and let your mind be free: Stay centered by accepting whatever you are doing. This is the ultimate.” 
~ Zhuangzi, Nan-Hua-Ch'en-Ching, or, the Treatise of the transcendent master from Nan-Hua

“What we can change is our perceptions, which have the effect of changing everything.” 
~ Donna Quesada, The Buddha in the Classroom: Zen Wisdom to Inspire Teachers

Worry is an addiction that interferes with compassion.
~ Deng Ming Dao

"What we think, we become."
~ Buddha

"You can cheat an honest man but you can not make a fool out of him."
~ Confucius

"Dream is the spark of passion; talent is the firework of its expression; perseverance, the sacred fire of its accomplishment."
~ Daniel Chabot

"I'm a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it."
~ Thomas Jefferson

"Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration."
~ Thomas Edison

"Time isn't a commodity, something you pass around like cake. Time is the substance of life. When anyone asks you to give your time, they're really asking for a chunk of your life."
~ Antoinette Bosco

"Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart."
~ Eleanor Roosevelt

"The wise adapt themselves to circumstances, as water molds itself to the pitcher."
~ Chinese Proverb

"Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness."
~ Chinese Proverb

"No man is free who is not master of himself."
~ Epictetus

"To talk much and arrive nowhere is the same as climbing a tree to catch a fish."
~ Ancient Chinese Proverb

"Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds you plant."
~ Robert Louis Stevenson

"Keep your fears to yourself, but share your courage with others."
~ Robert Louis Stevenson

"...Not all those who wander are lost."
~ J.R.R. Tolkien

"Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power. If you realize that you have enough, you are truly rich."
~ Tao Te Ching

"Great things are done by a series of small things brought together."
~ Vincent Van Gogh

"If you neglect your art for one day it will neglect you for two."
~ Chinese Proverb

"You must be the change you want to see in the world."
~ Mahatma Gandhi

"Following the Noble Path is like entering a dark room with a light in the hand; the darkness will all be cleared away, and the room will be filled with light."
~ Buddha

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

“Some people live as though they are already dead. There are people moving around us who are consumed by their past, terrified of their future, and stuck in their anger and jealousy. They are not alive; they are just walking corpses.” 
~ Thich Nhat Hanh, You Are Here: Discovering the Magic of the Present Moment

“If you have time to be mindful, you have time to meditate.” 
~ Ajahn Chah

Sayings remain meaningless until they are embodied in habits.
~ Kahlil Gibran

How bright and transparent the moonlight of wisdom.
~ Hakuin

Zen is the vehicle of reality.
~ Jim Harrison

In dwelling, be close to the land. In meditation, go deep in the heart.
~ Lao Tzu

No fight: no blame.
~ Lao Tzu

Nothing is softer or more flexible than water, yet nothing can resist it.
~ Lao Tzu

One cannot reflect in streaming water. Only those who know internal peace can give it to others.
~ Lao Tzu

The sage does not collect precious things. He does not hold on to ideas. He brings men back to what they have lost.
~ Lao Tzu

To know and not to do is not yet to know.
~ Lau Tzu

Who can wait quietly until the mud settles? Who can remain still until the moment of action?
~ Lao Tzu

When you truly feel this equal love for all, when your heart has expanded so much that it embraces the whole of creation, you will certainly not feel like giving up this or that. You will simply drop off from secular life as a ripe fruit drops from the branch of a tree. You will feel that the whole world is your home.
~ Ramana Maharshi

Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.
~ A. A. Milne

Zen has no gates. The purpose of Buddha's words is to enlighten others. Therefore Zen should be gateless. But, how does one pass through the gateless gate?
~ Mumon

If my heart can become pure and simple like that of a child, I think there probably can be no greater happiness than this.
~ Kitaro Nishida

Before enlightenment; chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment; chop wood, carry water.
~ Zen Proverb

Don’t just do something, sit there.
~ Zen Proverb

If something is boring after two minutes, try it for four: If still boring, try it for eight, sixteen, thirty-two, and so on. Eventually, one discovers that it is not boring but very interesting.
~ Zen Proverb

It is through creating, not possessing, that life is revealed.
~ Vida D. Scudder

In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s mind there are few.
~ Shunryu Suzuki

The more one is absorbed in so-called philosophy, the greater one's delusion and blindness.
~ Emanuel Swedenborg

Great knowledge is universal. Small knowledge is limited. Great words are inspiring; small words are chatter.
~ Chuang Tzu

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Zen Quotes - (48) - Awakening Spiritual Quotations
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