SELECT ZEN QUOTES
Whatever is material shape, past, future, present, subjective or objective, gross or subtle, mean or excellent, whether it is far or near — all material shape should be seen by perfect intuitive wisdom as it really is: “This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.” Whatever is feeling, whatever is perception, whatever are habitual tendencies, whatever is consciousness, past, future, present, subjective or objective, gross or subtle, mean or excellent, whether it is far or near — all should be seen by perfect intuitive wisdom as it really is: “This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.” Zen Quotes by Buddha Gautama (born 563 B.C.)
Externally keep yourself away from all relationships, and internally have no pantings in your heart; when your mind is like unto a straight-standing wall, you may enter into the Path. Zen Quotes by Bodhidharma (470-543)
Just think of the trees: they let the birds perch and fly, with no intention to call them when they come and no longing for their return when they fly away. If people’s hearts can be like the trees, they will not be off the Way. Langya
One single still light shines bright: if you intentionally pursue it, after all it’s hard to see. Suddenly encountering it, people’s hearts are opened up, and the great matter is clear and done. This is really living, without any fetters — no amount of money could replace it. Even if a thousand sages should come, they would all appear in it’s shadow. Chuzhen
When you’re deluded, every statement is an ulcer; when you’re enlightened, every word is wisdom. Zhiqu
The living meaning of Zen is beyond all notions. To realize it in a phrase is completely contrary to the subtle essence; we cannot avoid using words as expedients, though, but this has limitations. Needless to say, of course, random talk is useless. Nonetheless, the matter is not one-sided, so we temporarily set forth a path in the way of teaching, to deal with people. Qingfu
Neither is there Bodhi-tree, Nor yet a mirror bright; Since in reality all is void, Whereon can the dust fall?….Hui Neng (638-713)
You cannot describe it or draw it. You cannot praise it enough or perceive it. No place can be found in which to put the Original Face; it will not disappear even when the universe is destroyed….Mumon.
No thought, no reflection, no analysis, no cultivation, no intention; let it settle itself….Tilopa.
If I am holding a cup of water and I ask you, “is the cup empty?” you will say “No, it is full of water.” But if i pour out the water and I ask you again, you may say, “yes, it is empty.” but, empty of what?….My cup is empty of water, but it is not empty of air. To be empty is to be empty of something….. When Avalokita [Kuan-Yin, or Kannon, the bodhisattva who embodies Compassion] says [in the Heart Sutra] that the five skandas are equally empty, to help him be precise, we must ask “Mr. Avolikta, empty of what?” The five Skandas, which may be translated into english as the five heaps, or five aggregates, are the five elements of that comprise the human being…..In fact, these are really five rivers flowing together in us: the river of form, which means our body, the river of mental formations, the river of feelings, the river of perceptions and the river of consciousness. They are always flowing within us… Arvalokit looked deeply into the five skhandas… and discovered none of them can be by itself alone….Form is empty of a separate self, but it is full of everything else in the cosmos. The same is true with feelings, perceptions, mental formations, and consciousness. Thich Nat Hanh The Heart of Understanding
The heart Sutra teaches that “form is emptiness, and emptiness is form. “Many people don’t know what that means–even some long time students of meditation. But there is a very easy way to see this in our every day lives. For example, here is a wooden chair. It is brown. You sit in the chair, and it holds you up. You can place things on it. But then you light the chair on fire, then leave. When you come back later, the chair is no longer there! This thing that seemed so solid and string and real is now just a pile of cinder and ash which the wind blows around. This example shows how the chair is empty: It as no independent existence. Over a long or short time, the chair will eventually change and become something other than it appears. So, the brown chair is complete emptiness. But though it always has the quality of emptiness, this emptiness is form: you can sit in the chair, and it will hold you up. “Form is emptiness, and emptiness is form.” ….Zen Master Seun Sahn, The Compass of Zen
The process of practice is to see through, not to eliminate, anything to which we are attached. We could have great financial wealth and be unattached to it, or we light have nothing and be very attached to having nothing. Usually, if we have seen through the nature of attachment, we will have a tendency to have few possessions, but not necessarily. Most practice gets caught in this area of fiddling with our environments or our minds. ” My mind should be quiet”. Our mind doesn’t matter; what matters is non attachment to the activities of the mind. And our emotions are harmless unless they dominate us 9 that is, if we are attached to them)—then they create dis-harmony for everyone. The first problem in practice is to see that we are attached. As we do consistent, patient zazen we begin to know that we are nothing but attachments; they rule our lives. But we never lose an attachment by saying it has to go. Only as we gain true awareness of its true nature does it quietly and imperceptibly wither away; like a sandcastle with waves rolling over, it just smoothes out and finally Where is it? What was it? ….. Charlotte Joko Beck, Everyday Zen
1. Don’t wish for perfect health. In perfect health, there is greed and wanting. So an ancient said, ” Make good medicine from the suffering of sickness.”
2. Don’t hope for life without problems. An easy life results in a judgmental and lazy ind. So an ancient once said, “Accept the anxieties and difficulties of this life”.
3. Don’t expect your practice to be clear of obstacles. Without hindrances the mind that seeks enlightenment may be burnt out. So an ancient once said, “Attain deliverance in disturbances”. Zen Master Kyong Ho [ 1849-1912], in Thousand Peaks
Summer at its height– and snow on the rocks! The death of winter-and the withered tree blossoms!….Zen Quote.
Ride your horse along the edge of a sword; hide yourself in the middle of flames….Zen saying.
I cannot tell if what the world considers ‘happiness’ is happiness or not. All I know is that when I consider the way they go about attaining it, I see them carried away headlong, grim and obsessed, in the general onrush of the human herd, unable to stop themselves or to change their direction. All the while they claim to be just on the point of attaining happiness….Chuang-tzu.
All conditioned things are impermanent. Work out your own salvation with diligence….The Buddha’s last words.
Let your mind wander in simplicity, blend your spirit with the vastness, follow along with things the way they are, and make no room for personal views-then the world will be governed….Chuang-tzu.
Be soft in your practice. Think of the method as a fine silvery stream, not a raging waterfall. Follow the stream, have faith in its course. It will go its own way, meandering here, trickling there. It will find the grooves, the cracks, the crevices. Just follow it. Never let it out of your sight. It will take you….Sheng-yen.
Do not mistake understanding for realization, and do not mistake realization for liberation….Tibetan Saying. Buddha said, “If you are going to practice giving to yourself, how moocher to your parents, wife, and children.” Therefore you should know that to give to yourself is a part of giving. To give to your family is also giving. Even when you give a particle of dust, you should rejoice in your own act, because you correctly transmit the merit of all buddha’s and for the first time practice the art of bodhisattva. The mind of an sentient being is a difficult thing to change. You should keep on changing the minds of sentient beings, from the first moment they have one particle, to the moment that they attain the way. This should be started by giving. For this reason giving is the first of the six paramitas ( perfections ). Mind is beyond measure. Things are given beyond measure. Moreover, in giving, mind transforms the gift and the gift transforms mind. Zen Master Dogen, (1200-1253).