430 Zen Quotes That Will Make You Feel Peaceful

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zen quotes when you realize nothing is lacking the whole world belongs to you lao tzu wisdom quotes

When you realize nothing is lacking, the whole world belongs to you. Lao Tzu

zen quotes let go or be dragged zen proverb wisdom quotes

Let go, or be dragged. Zen proverb

zen quotes what the superior man seeks is in himself what the small men seeks in in others confucius wisdom quotes

What the superior man seeks is in himself; what the small man seeks is in others. Confucius

zen quotes to seek is to suffer to seek nothing is bliss bodhidharma wisdom quotes

To seek is to suffer. To seek nothing is bliss. Bodhidharma

zen quotes mind is life a mad monkey sathya sai baba wisdom quotes

Mind is like a mad monkey. Sathya Sai Baba

zen quotes wise men dont judge they seek to understand wei wu wei wisdom quotes

Wise men don’t judge – they seek to understand. Wei Wu Wei

zen quotes when thoughts arise then do all things arise when thoughts vanish then do all things vanish huang po wisdom quotes

When thoughts arise, then do all things arise. When thoughts vanish, then do all things vanish. Huang Po

zen quotes wherever you are place need maxime lagace wisdom

Wherever you are, it’s the place you need to be. Maxime Lagacé

zen quotes noble minded are calm steady little people forever fussing fretting confucius wisdom

The noble-minded are calm and steady. Little people are forever fussing and fretting. Confucius

zen quotes rest kind you dont have prove anything jack kerouac wisdom

Rest and be kind, you don’t have to prove anything. Jack Kerouac

zen quotes nothing ever goes away until has taught what need know pema chodron wisdom man water sea standing

Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know. Pema Chödrön

zen quotes only hand that erases can write true thing meister eckhart wisdom path hiking

Only the hand that erases can write the true thing. Meister Eckhart

zen quotes where can find man who has forgotten words can talk him zhuangzi wisdom people sitting

Where can I find a man who has forgotten words so I can talk with him? Zhuangzi

zen quotes when discover that truth already once original selves dogen wisdom man smiling sitting

When we discover that the truth is already in us, we are all at once our original selves. Dogen

zen quotes life balance holding letting rumi wisdom mountain man standing top clouds

Life is a balance of holding on and letting go. Rumi

See also: positive quotes, silence quotes, Buddha quotes

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The Best Zen Quotes

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zen quotes wherever there totally eckhart tolle wisdom man city looking

Wherever you are, be there totally. Eckhart Tolle

I live by letting things happen. Dogen

Forget the years, forget distinctions. Leap into the boundless and make it your home. Zhuangzi

Before enlightenment; chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment; chop wood, carry water. Buddha

Who you are is always right. Ming-Dao Deng Click to tweet

The search for happiness is one of the chief sources of unhappiness. Eric Hoffer

And when they played they really played. And when they worked they really worked. Dr. Seuss

Do not seek the truth, only cease to cherish your opinions. Seng-ts’an

One loses joy and happiness in the attempt to possess them. Masanobu Fukuoka

Education breeds confidence. Confidence breeds hope. Hope breeds peace. Confucius Click to tweet

zen quotes relax nothing under control adi da wisdom man looking up sky

Relax. Nothing is under control. Adi Da Click to tweet

Still your waters. Josh Waitzkin Click to tweet

Relax. Nothing’s missing. Maxime Lagacé

Peace of mind is that mental condition in which you have accepted the worst. Lin Yutang

Learn to be comfortable in adversity but most importantly, learn to be comfortable when you’re bored. Maxime Lagacé

If a warrior is not unattached to life and death, he will be of no use whatsoever. Yamamoto Tsunetomo (Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai)

The mind of the beginner is empty, free of the habits of the expert, ready to accept, to doubt, and open to all the possibilities. Shunryu Suzuki (Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind)

The place to improve the world is first in one’s own heart and head and hands. Robert M. Pirsig (Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance)

Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend. Bruce Lee

Everything that happens to you is a form of instruction if you pay attention. Robert Greene

I don’t mind what happens. That is the essence of inner freedom. Jiddu Krishnamurti

The less you try to impress, the more peaceful you can be. Maxime Lagacé

If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present. Lao Tzu

Do you have the patience to wait until your mud settles and the water is clear? Lao Tzu

When one first seeks the truth, one separates oneself from it. Dogen

Don’t seek, don’t search, don’t ask, don’t knock, don’t demand – relax. Osho Click to tweet

Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun. Alan Watts

Muddy water is best cleared by leaving it alone. Alan Watts

Every experience is a lesson. Every loss is a gain. Sathya Sai Baba

See also: quotes to live by

See also: Tao Te Ching, The Definitive Edition (Amazon book)

What Is Zen?

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zen quotes effort become alert awake osho wisdom beach water sea

Zen is an effort to become alert and awake. Osho

In Zen we have no gurus. Frederick Lenz Click to tweet

Zen teaches nothing; it merely enables us to wake up and become aware. It does not teach, it points. D.T. Suzuki

Zen in it’s 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 practice of Zen is forgetting the self in the act of uniting with something. Koun Yamada

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. Shunryu Suzuki

Zen practice is to open up our small mind. Shunryu Suzuki Click to tweet

Zen is not a religion. There is no room for a cult. There is no dependence on a teacher. There is only learning how to use your own mind and making it strong. Frederick Lenz

Zen teaches that if we can open up to the inevitability of our demise, we can begin to transform and lighten up about it. Allen Klein

Zen is a liberation from time. For if we open our eyes and see clearly, it becomes obvious that there is no other time than this instant, and that the past and the future are abstractions without any concrete reality. Alan Watts

Zen is a path of liberation. It liberates you. It is freedom from the first step to the last. You are not required to follow any rules; you are required to find out your own rules and your own life in the light of awareness. Osho

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

Zen is not an art, it’s not a religion. It’s a realisation. Gene Clark

See also: What is Zen? (zen-buddhism.net)

Part 2. Zen Quotes That Are…

The Most Famous Zen Quotes (Lao Tzu, Confucius, Buddha, etc.)

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zen quotes wronged nothing unless you continue remember confucius wisdom woman laughing

To be wronged is nothing unless you continue to remember it. Confucius Click to tweet

If you chase two rabbits, you catch none. Confucius

Do not think you will necessarily be aware of your own enlightenment. Dogen

To study Buddhism is to study ourselves. To study ourselves is to forget ourselves. Dogen

Treat every moment as your last. It is not preparation for something else. Shunryu Suzuki (Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind)

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

The only Zen you can find on the tops of mountains is the Zen you bring up there. Robert M. Pirsig (Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance)

There are only two ways to live your life. One is as if nothing is a miracle. The other is as if everything is a miracle. Albert Einstein

Give a bowl of rice to a man and you will feed him for a day. Teach him how to grow his own rice and you will save his life. Confucius

Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power. Lao Tzu

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished. Lao Tzu

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion. 14th Dalai Lama

The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus. Bruce Lee

Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment. Buddha

The first and the best victory is to conquer self. Plato Click to tweet

All know the way, but few actually walk it. Bodhidharma

Not engaging in ignorance is wisdom. Bodhidharma

The essence of the Way is detachment. Bodhidharma

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See also: 12 Practical Steps for Learning to Go With the Flow (zenhabits.net) or Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind by Shunryu Suzuki (Amazon book)

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Short Zen Quotes

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One-liners, short zen quotes, sayings, thoughts and captions for your bio, social status, self-talk, motto, mantra, signs, posters, wallpapers, backgrounds.
zen quotes act without expectation lao tzu wisdom

Act without expectation. Lao Tzu

Not creating delusions is enlightenment. Bodhidharma

All things are difficult before they are easy. Thomas Fuller

Words diminish meanings; these words included. Unknown

The more you know, the less you need. Yvon Chouinard (Patagonia)

Don’t be afraid to just sit and watch. Anthony Bourdain

Your mind wants control. Life wants change. Maxime Lagacé

Become comfortable with not knowing. Eckhart Tolle

Life begins where fear ends. Osho Click to tweet

Be present above all else. Naval Ravikant

Think with your whole body. Taisen Deshimaru

Love all. Serve all. Help ever. Hurt never. Sathya Sai Baba

zen quotes dont try steer river deepak chopra wisdom man silhouette

Don’t try to steer the river. Deepak Chopra Click to tweet

To go beyond is as wrong as to fall short. Confucius

Roads were made for journeys not destinations. Confucius

Don’t curse the darkness, light a candle. Confucius

Body and mind dropped off. Dogen (on enlightenment)

Those who seek the easy way do not seek the true way. Dogen Click to tweet

Enlightenment is intimacy with all things. Dogen

A zen master’s life is one continuous mistake. Dogen

Now I know what success is: living your truth, sharing it. Kamal Ravikant

I follow four dictates: face it, accept it, deal with it, then let it go. Sheng-yen

To live – is that not enough? D.T. Suzuki

Zen has no business with ideas. D.T. Suzuki

Sleep is the best meditation. 14th Dalai Lama

This will never come again. Steve Hagen

Movement is evil. Being still is good. Ben Caesar

Life is a second-by-second miracle. Joko Beck

In the highest level a man has the look of knowing nothing. Yamamoto Tsunetomo

Singlemindedness is all-powerful. Yamamoto Tsunetomo

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Inspirational Zen Quotes (Positive, Uplifting)

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zen quotes know enemy know yourself need not fear results hundred battles sun tzu wisdom woman looking

If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles. Sun Tzu

The personal life deeply lived always expands into truths beyond itself. Anais Nin Click to tweet

When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps. Confucius

If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help someone else. Confucius

Truth makes you rise to new heights, no matter where you are. Kamal Ravikant

These mountains that you are carrying, you were only supposed to climb. Najwa Zebian

Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose. Lyndon B. Johnson

It is easy to believe we are each waves and forget we are also the ocean. Jon J. Muth

Little people overwhelmed by emotions. Zen people are calm and detached. Maxime Lagacé

Emptiness which is conceptually liable to be mistaken for sheer nothingness is in fact the reservoir of infinite possibilities. D.T. Suzuki

In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity. Sun Tzu (See also: uplifting quotes)

Even if it seems certain that you will lose, retaliate. Neither wisdom nor technique has a place in this. A real man does not think of victory or defeat. He plunges recklessly towards an irrational death. By doing this, you will awaken from your dreams. Yamamoto Tsunetomo (Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai)

Purity is something that cannot be attained except by piling effort upon effort. Yamamoto Tsunetomo (Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai)

The three elements of creativity are thus: loving, knowing, and doing – or heart, mind, and hands – or, as Zen Buddhist teaching has it; great faith, great question, and great courage. Eric Maisel

You look at where you’re going and where you are and it never makes sense, but then you look back at where you’ve been and a pattern seems to emerge. Robert M. Pirsig (Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance)

zen quotes great because hasnt failed failure hasnt stopped him confucius wisdom

A man is great not because he hasn’t failed; a man is great because failure hasn’t stopped him. Confucius

There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness. 14th Dalai Lama

As a bee gathering nectar does not harm or disturb the color and fragrance of the flower; so do the wise move through the world. Buddha

My daily affairs are quite ordinary; but I’m in total harmony with them. Layman Pang

Unhappiness and rain just drift by and are gone, they are visitors. John Aske

Have the fearless attitude of a hero and the loving heart of a child. Soyen Shaku

Confuse them with your silence and amaze them with your actions. Unknown

I don’t hold on to anything, don’t reject anything; nowhere an obstacle or conflict. Layman Pang

We just let it happen… and that’s the beauty of this technique. Bob Ross

Just as parents care for their children, you should bear in mind the whole universe. Dogen

See also: quotes about strength

See also: Here’s How A Month Of Zen Meditation Changed My Life (fastcompany.com)

Funny And Surprising Zen Quotes

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zen quotes think you are too small make difference sleeping mosquito 14th dalai lama wisdom bed woman

If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito. 14th Dalai Lama Click to tweet

A true Zen saying: “Nothing is what I want”. Frank Zappa

When I’m riding my bicycle I feel like a Buddhist who is happy just to enjoy his mundane existence. Robin Williams

When you’ve understood this scripture, throw it away. If you can’t understand this scripture, throw it away. I insist on your freedom. Jack Kerouac

Too lazy to be ambitious, I let the world take care of itself. Ten days’ worth of rice in my bag; a bundle of twigs by the fireplace. Why chatter about delusion and enlightenment? Listening to the night rain on my roof, I sit comfortably, with both legs stretched out. Ryōkan

Craziness is good. Crazy people are happy, free, they have no hindrance. But since you have many attachment, you are only a little crazy. This is not crazy enough. You must become
completely crazy. Then you will understand. Seungsahn

I have lived with several Zen masters – all of them cats. Eckhart Tolle Click to tweet

The menu is not the meal. Alan Watts

Zen is nothing to get excited about. Shunryu Suzuki

Do not be too interested in Zen. Shunryu Suzuki

Deep Zen Quotes

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zen quotes here awaken from out illusion separateness thich nhat hanh wisdom woman silhouette

We are here to awaken from our illusion of separateness. Thich Nhat Hanh Click to tweet

The whole moon and the entire sky are reflected in one dewdrop on the grass. Dogen

Cease from practice based on intellectual understanding, pursuing words, and following after speech. Dogen

It is the nature of the wise to resist pleasures, but the foolish to be a slave to them. Epictetus

They call it ‘peace of mind’ but maybe it should be called ‘peace from mind’. Naval Ravikant

Your mind is a mad monkey trying to understand life which is unfair and crazy. Get used to it. Maxime Lagacé

To set up what you like against what you dislike, this is the disease of the mind. Sengcan

Life is a journey. Time is a river. The door is ajar. Jim Butcher

Life isn’t as serious as the mind makes it out to be. Eckhart Tolle

But as long as you think you are practicing zazen for the sake of something, that is not true practice. Shunryu Suzuki

Many have died; you also will die. The drum of death is being beaten. The world has fallen in love with a dream. Only sayings of the wise will remain. Kabir

zen quotes ability observe without evaluating highest form intelligence jiddu krishnamurti wisdom woman port water

The ability to observe without evaluating is the highest form of intelligence. Jiddu Krishnamurti

Pursue not the outer entanglements; dwell not in the inner void; be serene in the oneness of things; and dualism vanishes by itself. Sengcan

Matters of great concern should be treated lightly. Matters of small concern should be treated seriously. Yamamoto Tsunetomo (Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai)

One thing, all things: move among and intermingle, without distinction. To live in this realization is to be without anxiety about non-perfection. To live in this faith is the road to non-duality, because the non-dual is one with the trusting mind. Sengcan

There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in. Leonard Cohen

Why do you so earnestly seek the truth in distant places? Look for delusion and truth in the bottom of your own heart. Ryōkan

The thief left it behind: the moon at my window. Ryōkan Click to tweet

We shape clay into a pot, but it is the emptiness inside that holds whatever we want. Lao Tzu

Even death is not to be feared by one who has lived wisely. Buddha

For things to reveal themselves to us, we need to be ready to abandon our views about them. Thich Nhat Hanh

One has not understood until one has forgotten it. D.T. Suzuki

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Wise Zen Quotes (Words Of Wisdom)

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zen quotes great man hard himself small others confucius wisdom

A great man is hard on himself; a small man is hard on others. Confucius Click to tweet

To be truly ignorant, be content with your own knowledge. Zhuangzi

It’s beautiful to be alone. To be alone does not mean to be lonely. It means the mind is not influenced and contaminated by society. Jiddu Krishnamurti

When you understand one thing through and through, you understand everything. When you try to understand everything, you will not understand anything. Shunryu Suzuki

When we start to feel anxious or depressed, instead of asking, “What do I need to get to be happy?” The question becomes, “What am I doing to disturb the inner peace that I already have?”. D.T. Suzuki

If you want something then you lose everything. If you don’t want anything then you already have everything. Seungsahn

To say one is revolutionary is a little like saying one is a Zen Buddhist – if you say you are, you probably aren’t. Lawrence Ferlinghetti

When you catch yourself slipping into a pool of negativity, notice how it derives from nothing other than resistance to the current situation. Donna Quesada

The foolish reject what they see, not what they think; the wise reject what they think, not what they see. Huang Po

A wise man speaks because he has something to say; a fool because he has to say something. Plato Click to tweet

zen quotes man who asks question fool minute does ask life confucius wisdom

The man who asks a question is a fool for a minute, the man who does not ask is a fool for life. Confucius

Un-think. Un-learn. Un-know. Un-believe. Un-speculate. Un-seek. Un-strive. Un-fear. Lose your mind and effortlessly be. Brian Thompson

Knowledge is learning something everyday. Wisdom is letting go of something everyday. Unknown

Don’t be satisfied with your accomplishment, nor be dissatisfied with it. Unknown

Little people try to control everything. Thus, they control nothing. Wise people focus on one thing, the most important, and let go of the rest. Maxime Lagacé

You can have the mind or you can have the moment. Naval Ravikant

One must be deeply aware of the impermanence of the world. Dogen

Prefer to be defeated in the presence of the wise than to excel among fools. Dogen

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See also: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values (Amazon book)

Part 3. Zen Quotes About…

Zen Quotes About Life, Happiness, Living In The Moment

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The greatest effort is not concerned with results. Atisa Click to tweet

Do not look for a sanctuary in anyone except your self. Buddha

Life is more or less a lie, but then again, that’s exactly the way we want it to be. Bob Dylan

To be in harmony with the wholeness of things is not to have anxiety over imperfections. Dogen

Here it is – right now. Start thinking about it and you miss it. Huang Po Click to tweet

Children are natural Zen masters; their world is brand new in each and every moment. John Bradshaw

Little people seek lasting happiness in the material world. Zen people seek understanding first and then find lasting peace. Maxime Lagacé

Happiness only comes when you let go of who you think you are. If you think you’re wealthy and powerful and noble and truthful or horrible and demonic, whatever it may be, it’s all a waste of time. Frederick Lenz

All I can guarantee you is that as long as you are searching for happiness, you will remain unhappy. U.G. Krishnamurti

Letting go takes a lot of courage sometimes. But once you let go, happiness comes very quickly. You won’t have to go around search for it. Thich Nhat Hanh

Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness. If, in our heart, we still cling to anything – anger, anxiety, or possessions – we cannot be free. Thich Nhat Hanh

There is surely nothing other than the single purpose of the present moment. A man’s whole life is a succession of moment after moment. There will be nothing else to do, and nothing else to pursue. Live being true to the single purpose of the moment. Yamamoto Tsunetomo (Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai)

Be true to the thought of the moment and avoid distraction. Other than continuing to exert yourself, enter into nothing else, but go to the extent of living single thought by single thought. Yamamoto Tsunetomo (Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai)

If we are always demanding something out of life, then we will never be content. But if we accept life as it is, then we will know contentment. Thich Thien-An

Flow with whatever may happen, and let your mind be free: Stay centered by accepting whatever you are doing. This is the ultimate. Zhuangzi

Your life is your practice. Your spiritual practice does not occur someplace other than in your life right now, and your life is nowhere other than where you are. Karen Maezen Miller

Live the life in front of you, be the life you are, and see what you find out for yourself. Karen Maezen Miller

People of this world are deluded. They’re always longing for something – always, in a word, seeking. Bodhidharma

When you bow, you should just bow; when you sit, you should just sit; when you eat, you should just eat. Shunryu Suzuki

When there is no gaining idea in what you do, then you do something. Shunryu Suzuki

So if you do something, you should be observant, and careful, and alert. Shunryu Suzuki Click to tweet

Where you stand, where you are, that’s what your life is right there, regardless of how painful it is or how enjoyable it is. That’s what it is. Taizan Maezumi

I am not devaluing thoughts. Just do not mix up what we think with what actually is. Taizan Maezumi

Nothing has ever existed except this moment. That’s all there is. That’s all we are. Yet most human beings spend 50 to 90 percent or more of their time in their imagination, living in fantasy. We think about what has happened to us, what might have happened, how we feel about it, how we should be different, how others should be different, how it’s all a shame, and on and on. Joko Beck

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

Throughout this life, you can never be certain of living long enough to take another breath. Huang Po

To see things for what they are is to see with the eyes of the vastness itself. Suzanne Segal

When reading, only read. When eating, only eat. When thinking, only think. Seungsahn

See also: 12 Essential Rules to Live More Like a Zen Monk (zenhabits.net)

Zen Quotes About Letting Go, Control, Patience, Expectations

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When we do not expect anything we can be ourselves. Shunryu Suzuki Click to tweet

Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it. Bruce Lee

If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves. Bruce Lee

Detachment is necessary for peace, and peace is necessary for happiness. Naval Ravikant

The phrase that I use the most to myself in my head is one word: accept. Naval Ravikant

The more I expect things to be a certain way, the more I reject reality, the more I risk being disappointed. Maxime Lagacé

If you cry because the sun has gone out of your life, your tears will prevent you from seeing the stars. Rabindranath Tagore

Letting go is the lesson. Letting go is always the lesson. Have you ever noticed how much of our agony is all tied up with craving and loss? Susan Gordon Lydon

It is a timeless spiritual truth: release attachment to outcomes, deep inside yourself, you’ll feel good no matter what. Jiddu Krishnamurti

If you want to travel the Way of Buddhas and Zen masters, then expect nothing, seek nothing, and grasp nothing. Dogen

To escape from the world means that one’s mind is not concerned with the opinions of the world. Dogen

Lose yourself in nothing to become everything; Relax into an infinite deep sea of coherent energy; Keep unfolding deeper and deeper into oneness; Continuously let go of control; Feel greater and greater degrees of wholeness. Joe Dispenza

Learning to let go should be learned before learning to get. Life should be touched, not strangled. You’ve got to relax, let it happen at times, and at others move forward with it. Ray Bradbury

Once you stop clinging and let things be, you’ll be free, even of birth and death. You’ll transform everything. Bodhidharma

You are here to learn something. Don’t try to figure out what it is. This can be frustrating and unproductive. Steven L. Peck

Obey the nature of things (your own nature), and you will walk freely and undisturbed. Sengcan

Do not become caught in the teaching. You must be able to let it go. Thich Nhat Hanh

You have to learn how to sit without fighting. If you know how to sit like that, sitting is very pleasant. Thich Nhat Hanh

Just let things be in their own way and there will be neither coming nor going. Sengcan

Drop the craving for self, for permanence, for particular circumstances, and go straight ahead with the movement of life. Alan Watts

With no set idea of how something is supposed to be, it is hard to get stuck on things not happening in the time frame you desired. Instead, you are just being there, open to the possibilities of your life. Lodro Rinzler

Let go. Let Be. See through everything and be free, complete, luminous, at home — at ease. Lama Surya Das

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

Our way is not to sit to acquire something; it is to express our true nature. That is our practice. Shunryu Suzuki

Do not be trapped by the need to achieve anything. This way, you achieve everything. Frank Herbert

Think of patience as an act of being open to whatever comes your way. Lodro Rinzler

A Buddha is an idle person. He doesn’t run around after fortune and fame. Bodhidharma

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Zen Quotes About Balance, Self-Respect, Self-Love

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Life is a balance between rest and movement. Rajneesh Click to tweet

Next to love, balance is the most important thing. John Wooden

A warrior balances solitude and dependence. Paulo Coelho

Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving. Albert Einstein

The more Zen and balanced you are, the more your actions are quality. You’re all in. Maxime Lagacé

He who loves with purity considers not the gift of the lover, but the love of the giver. Thomas a Kempis

Balance is the perfect state of still water. Let that be our model. It remains quiet within and is not disturbed on the surface. Confucius

Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely but striving for such achievement is, in itself, a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security. Albert Einstein

It is a wretched thing that the young men of today are so contriving and so proud of their material possessions. Men with contriving hearts are lacking in duty. Lacking in duty, they will have no self-respect. Yamamoto Tsunetomo

He who is self-conceited has no superiority allowed to him. Lao Tzu

The most transformative experience has been the simple act of loving myself. Kamal Ravikant

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

Being attached to someone is not about the other person. It is about your own sense of inadequacy. Jaggi Vasudev

Any love is a home-sickness, a longing for a lost paradise. Jean Klein

A man walking is never in balance but always correcting for imbalance. Gregory Bateson

The more we value things, the less we value ourselves. Bruce Lee Click to tweet

Love is the absence of judgment. 14th Dalai Lama

Since we desire the true happiness that is brought about by a calm mind, and such peace of mind arises only from having a compassionate attitude, we need to make a concerted effort to develop compassion. 14th Dalai Lama

The most important point is to accept yourself and stand on your two feet. Shunryu Suzuki (See also: be yourself quotes)

When asked “Who I Am’, the only answer possible is: I am the infinite, the vastness that is the substance of all things. I am no one and everyone, nothing and everything – just as you are. Suzanne Segal

When we have our body and mind in order, everything else will exist in the right place, in the right way. Shunryu Suzuki

More important than any stage which you will attain is your sincerity, your right effort. Shunryu Suzuki

In deep self acceptance, grows a compassionate understanding. Jack Kornfield

There is not secret to balance. You just have to feel the waves. Frank Herbert

I live by four simple words. Love. Being. Here. Now. Todd Crawshaw

Your treasure house is in yourself, it contains all you need. Hui Hai

See also: love yourself quotes

See also: 5 Easy Steps for Creating Balance in Your Life (huffingtonpost.com)

Zen Quotes About The Mind, Thoughts, Concentration

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It is the power of the mind to be unconquerable. Seneca Click to tweet

The mind: A beautiful servant, a dangerous master. Osho

Keep it simple and focus on what matters. Don’t let yourself be overwhelmed. Confucius Click to tweet

Nurture your mind with great thoughts, for you will never go any higher than you think. Benjamin Disraeli

The best cure for the body is a quiet mind. Napoleon Bonaparte

Your whole world happens in your mind. Make sure you give it ample amount of love and care. Are you? Maxime Lagacé

Peace of mind produces right values, right values produce right thoughts. Right thoughts produce right actions. Mark Richardson

As you become more and more deeply rooted in witnessing, thoughts start disappearing. You are, but the mind is utterly empty. Osho

You must only concentrate on the next step, the next breath, the next stroke of the broom, and the next, and the next. Nothing else. Michael Ende

Keep your heart clear and transparent, and you will never be bound. A single disturbed thought creates ten thousand distractions. Ryōkan

Not thinking about anything is Zen. Once you know this, walking, sitting, or lying down, everything you do is Zen. Bodhidharma

The mind is the root from which all things grow. If you can understand the mind, everything else is included. Bodhidharma

Not till your thoughts cease all their branching here and there, not till you abandon all thoughts of seeking for something, not till your mind is motionless as wood or stone, will you be on the right road to the Gate. Huang Po

The things I carry are my thoughts. That’s it. They are the only weight. My thoughts determine whether I am free and light or burdened. Kamal Ravikant

You are, after all, what you think. Your emotions are the slaves to your thoughts, and you are the slave to your emotions. Elizabeth Gilbert

Distraction is the main problem for us all – what the Buddha called the monkey mind. We need to tame this monkey mind. Tenzin Palmo

The word ‘innocence’ means a mind that is incapable of being hurt. Jiddu Krishnamurti

If your mind is empty, it is always ready for anything; it is open to everything. Shunryu Suzuki

Not till your thoughts cease all their branching here and there, not till you abandon all thoughts of seeking for something, not till your mind is motionless as wood or stone, will you be on the right road to the Gate. Huang Po

True depth of understanding is wide and steady. Shallow understanding is lazy and wandering. Zhuangzi

It is only with total humility, and in absolute stillness of mind that we can know what indeed we are. Wei Wu Wei

If moment by moment you can keep your mind clear then nothing will confuse you. Sheng-yen Click to tweet

A mind that worries about the past is distracted, and a mind that worries about the future is delusional. Cheng Yen

Technical knowledge is not enough. One must transcend techniques so that the art becomes an artless art, growing out of the unconscious. D.T. Suzuki

Buddha means awareness, the awareness of body and mind that prevents evil from arising in either. Bodhidharma

When thought is in bondage the truth is hidden, for everything is murky and unclear, and the burdensome practice of judging brings annoyance and weariness. What benefit can be derived from distinctions and separations? Sengcan

The struggle of what one likes and what one dislikes is the disease of the mind. Sengcan

What pleases our mind is not dangerous enough. Kazuaki Tanahashi

Within our impure mind the pure one is to be found. Huineng

Nothing divides one so much as thought. R.H. Blyth

More mind quotes

See also: Marcus Aurelius Quotes

Zen Quotes About Change And Time passing

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Time does not change us. It just unfolds us. Max Frisch Click to tweet

I never think of the future – it comes soon enough. Albert Einstein

The memory of everything is very soon overwhelmed in time. Marcus Aurelius

Are you attached to the old and the dead or detached, dynamic and alert to the present? Maxime Lagacé

Time is the fire in which we burn. Gene Roddenberry

Our opinions have no permanence; like autumn and winter, they gradually pass away. Zhuangzi

Everything that has a beginning has an ending. Make your peace with that and all will be well. Jack Kornfield

The more a thing tends to be permanent, the more it tends to be lifeless. Alan Watts

See and realize that this world is not permanent. Neither late nor early flowers will remain. Ryōkan

Every day passes whether you participate or not. Ming Dao Deng

Unless we die to ourselves, we can never be alive again. D.T. Suzuki

We’re in such a hurry most of the time we never get much chance to talk. The result is a kind of endless day-to-day shallowness, a monotony that leaves a person wondering years later where all the time went and sorry that it’s all gone. Robert M. Pirsig (Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance)

When we realize the everlasting truth of “everything changes” and find our composure in it, we find ourselves in Nirvana. Shunryu Suzuki (See also: confidence quotes)

Time’s the king of men; he’s both their parent, and he is their grave, and gives them what he will, not what they crave. William Shakespeare

Time is the coin of life. Only you can determine how it will be spent. Carl Sandburg

Awareness is the greatest agent for change. Eckhart Tolle Click to tweet

Whether we like it or not, change comes, and the greater the resistance, the greater the pain. Alan Watts

Don’t waste your time chasing butterflies. Mend your garden, and the butterflies will come. Mario Quintana

There is only one thing in life which never changes, and it is change. Confucius

Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values. 14th Dalai Lama

More change quotes, inspirational quotes for men

Zen Quotes About Truth And Reality

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We teach ourselves; Zen merely points the way. D.T. Suzuki Click to tweet

Reality is created by the mind, we can change our reality by changing our mind. Plato

The truth is not always beautiful, nor beautiful words the truth. Lao Tzu

Little people reject reality which brings confusion. Zen people accept reality which brings understanding. Maxime Lagacé

Realisation is a matter of becoming conscious of that which is already realised. Wei Wu Wei

Unless it grows out of yourself no knowledge is really yours, it is only borrowed plumage. D.T. Suzuki

The Truth is realized in an instant; the Act is practiced step by step. Seungsahn

But opinions, judgments, memories, dreaming about the future—ninety percent of the thoughts spinning around in our heads have no essential reality. Joko Beck

If you forget yourself, you become the universe. Hakuin Ekaku

No word matters. But man forgets reality and remembers words. Roger Zelazny

Not knowing how near the truth is, we seek it far away. Hakuin Ekaku Click to tweet

It is easier for the world to accept a simple lie than a complex truth. Alexis de Tocqueville

The way of Zen is to become independent and strong. Don’t rely on others for perceptions of life and truth. Do it individually. Frederick Lenz

Truth is not far away. It is nearer than near. There is no need to attain it, since not one of your steps leads away from it. Dogen

The Great Way is not difficult for those who have no preferences. When love and hate are both absent everything becomes clear and undisguised. Make the smallest distinction, however, and heaven and earth are set infinitely apart. If you wish to see the truth then hold no opinion for or against. Sengcan

If you are under control, you lose the danger of glimpsing an unknown realm. Kazuaki Tanahashi

If you use your mind to study reality, you won’t understand either your mind or reality. If you study reality without using your mind, you’ll understand both. Bodhidharma

The farther away you are from the truth, the more the hateful and pleasurable states will arise. Bodhidharma

The ultimate Truth is beyond words. Doctrines are words. They’re not the Way. Bodhidharma Click to tweet

Reality has no inside, outside, or middle part. Bodhidharma

The more you talk and think about it, the further astray you wander from the truth. Stop talking and thinking and there is nothing you will not be able to know. Sengcan

I feel cut off only because I am split within myself, because I try to be divided from my own feelings and sensations. What I feel and sense therefore seems foreign to me. And on being aware of the unreality of this division, the universe does not seem foreign any more. Alan Watts (theunboundedspirit.com)

A mind full of preconceived ideas, subjective intentions, or habits is not open to things as they are. Shunryu Suzuki

If you cannot find the truth right where you are, where else do you expect to find it? Dogen

Zen Quotes About Buddhism And Taoism

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He who knows, does not speak. He who speaks, does not know. Lao Tzu Click to tweet

When there is no desire, all things are at peace. Lao Tzu

Countless words count less than the silent balance between yin and yang. Lao Tzu

Taoism is a way of liberation, which never comes by means of revolution, since it is notorious that most revolutions establish worse tyrannies than they destroy. Alan Watts

You should rather be grateful for the weeds, because eventually they will enrich your practice. Shunryu Suzuki

You must let what happens happen. Everything must be equal in your eyes, good and evil, beautiful and ugly, foolish and wise. Michael Ende

Taoism is the profoundest nonconformism that has ever been evolved anywhere in the world, at any time in history; essentially it is rebellion. Osho

Taoism has no rules. It’s a suggestion for perceiving life in its wholeness, without unnecessary categorization, yet enjoying the beauty of categorization. Frederick Lenz

Taoism is the gentle way. The path of least resistance. Frederick Lenz

Taoism is the way of water. The most frequent element or symbol referred to in Lao Tzu’s writings is the symbol of water. Frederick Lenz

Taoism is simply the complete acceptance of yourself as you are right in this moment. Sheila M. Burke

Accept everything just the way it is. Miyamoto Musashi

Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world. Miyamoto Musashi

The flame that burns Twice as bright burns half as long. Lao Tzu

If you try to change it, you will ruin it. Try to hold it, and you will lose it. Lao Tzu

He who is in harmony with the Tao is like a newborn child. Its bones are soft, its muscles are weak, but its grip is powerful. Lao Tzu

To have some deep feeling about Buddhism is not the point; we just do what we should do, like eating supper and going to bed. This is Buddhism. Shunryu Suzuki

Patience from a Buddhist perspective is not a “wait and see” attitude, but rather one of “just be there”. Lodro Rinzler

Buddhism teaches that joy and happiness arise from letting go. Please sit down and take an inventory of your life. There are things you’ve been hanging on to that really are not useful and deprive you of your freedom. Find the courage to let them go. Thich Nhat Hanh

Buddhism may be summed up in two phrases: “Let go!” and “Walk on!”. Alan Watts

Zen Quotes About Suffering, Death, Anger, Fear, Ego

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Suffering is when we resist the moment. Kamal Ravikant Click to tweet

Those who are free of resentful thoughts surely find peace. Buddha

Life is not easy, unfair, surprising, and painful. Get used to it. Maxime Lagacé

Attack the evil that is within yourself, rather than attacking the evil that is in others. Confucius

We are not disturbed by what happens to us, but by our thoughts about what happens to us. Epictetus

Life and death are of supreme importance. Time swiftly passes by and opportunity is lost. Each of us should strive to awaken. Awaken! Take heed, do not squander your life. Dogen

Breath by breath, let go of fear, expectation, anger, regret, cravings, frustration, fatigue. Let go of the need for approval. Let go of old judgments and opinions. Die to all that, and fly free. Soar in the freedom of desirelessness. Lama Surya Das

Stress is caused by being “here” but wanting to be “there”. Eckhart Tolle

Guilt, regret, resentment, sadness and all forms of nonforgiveness are caused by too much past and not enough presence. Eckhart Tolle

Any effort that has self-glorification as its final endpoint is bound to end in disaster. Robert M. Pirsig (Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance)

Anger, ego, jealousy are the biggest diseases. Keep yourself aloof from these three diseases. Sathya Sai Baba

The saint is a man who disciplines his ego. The sage is a man who rids himself of his ego. Wei Wu Wei

The more you suffer the deeper grows your character, and with the deepening of your character you read the more penetratingly into the secrets of life. All great artists, all great religious leaders, and all great social reformers have come out of the intensest struggles which they fought bravely, quite frequently in tears and with bleeding hearts. D.T. Suzuki

Unless we agree to suffer we cannot be free from suffering. D.T. Suzuki

See also: How to Drop Your Ego With 5 Techniques (huffingtonpost.com)

The trying to do something is in itself enlightenment. When we are in difficulty or distress, there we have enlightenment. Shunryu Suzuki

When another person makes you suffer, it is because he suffers deeply within himself, and his suffering is spilling over. He does not need punishment; he needs help. That’s the message he is sending. Thich Nhat Hanh

Nirvana means to extinguish the burning fires of the Three Poisons: greed, anger, and ignorance. This can be accomplished by letting go of dissatisfaction. Shinjo Ito

Life always gives us exactly the teacher we need at every moment. This includes every mosquito, every misfortune, every red light, every traffic jam, every obnoxious supervisor (or employee), every illness, every loss, every moment of joy or depression, every addiction, every piece of garbage, every breath. Every moment is the guru. Joko Beck

We have to face the pain we have been running from. In fact, we need to learn to rest in it and let its searing power transform us. Joko Beck

Do not permit the events of your daily lives to bind you, but never withdraw yourselves from them. Only by acting thus can you earn the title of ‘A Liberated One’. Huang Po

The ignorant mind, with its infinite afflictions, passions, and evils, is rooted in the three poisons. Greed, anger, and delusion. Bodhidharma

Those who don’t know how to suffer are the worst off. There are times when the only correct thing we can do is to bear out troubles until a better day. Ming-Dao Deng

If you haven’t wept deeply, you haven’t begun to meditate. Ajahn Chah

An outside enemy exists only if there is anger inside. Thubten Zopa Rinpoche

Hating someone makes them important. Forgiving them makes them obsolete. Unknown

Pain doesn’t last. And when it’s gone, we have something to show for it. Growth. Kamal Ravikant Click to tweet

Why seek a doctrine? As soon as you have a doctrine, you fall into dualistic thought. Huang Po

Your body and mind are the field. Suffering is the seed, wisdom the sprout, and buddhahood the grain. Bodhidharma

A Buddha is someone who finds freedom in good fortune and bad. Bodhidharma

I haven’t learned how to confront a problem by avoiding it. Brian Spellman

See also: humility quotes, ego quotes

Zen Quotes About Nature (Flowers, Mountains, Rivers, Moon, Snowflakes)

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Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet. Thich Nhat Hanh Click to tweet

Trees are like people. They all have a few flaws in them. Bob Ross

You are the sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather. Pema Chödrön

A lily or a rose never pretends, and its beauty is that it is what it is. Jiddu Krishnamurti Click to tweet

Sitting quietly, doing nothing, Spring comes, and the grass grows, by itself. Matsuo Basho

If you become restless, speed up. If you become winded, slow down. You climb the mountain in an equilibrium between restlessness and exhaustion. Robert M. Pirsig (Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance)

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

The moon does not fight. It attacks no one. It does not worry. It does not try to crush others. It keeps to its course, but by its very nature, it gently influences. What other body could pull an entire ocean from shore to shore? The moon is faithful to its nature and its power is never diminished. Ming-Dao Deng

A finger points at the moon, but the moon is not at the tip of the finger. Words points at the truth, but the truth is not in words. Huineng

A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms. Zen Shin

The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings. Masanobu Fukuoka

Clear mind is like the full moon in the sky. Sometimes clouds come and cover it, but the moon is always behind them. Clouds go away, then the moon shines brightly. So don’t worry about clear mind: it is always there. When thinking comes, behind it is clear mind. When thinking goes, there is only clear mind. Thinking comes and goes, comes and goes, You must not be attached to the coming or the going. Seungsahn

The waters are in motion, but the moon retains its serenity. D.T. Suzuki

When fishermen cannot go to sea, they repair nets. Nabil Sabio Azadi

Three things cannot long be hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth. Confucius

A flower falls, even though we love it; and a weed grows, even though we do not love it. Dogen

See also: (How To) Be a Calm Person (psychologytoday.com)

More nature quotes

Zen Quotes About Spirituality, Meditation, Silence, Enlightenment

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Zen is a quiet thing. It listens. Howard Fast Click to tweet

Awareness allows us get outside of your mind and observe it in action. Dan Brule

Those who seek the truth by means of intellect and learning only get further and further away from it. Huang Po

It is simply sitting silently, witnessing the thoughts, passing before you. Just witnessing, not interfering not even judging, because the moment you judge you have lost the pure witness. Osho

Not being tense but ready. Not thinking but not dreaming. Not being set but flexible. Liberation from the uneasy sense of confinement. It is being wholly and quietly alive, aware and alert, ready for whatever may come. Bruce Lee

Silence is the language of Om. We need silence to be able to reach our Self. Both internal and external silence is very important to feel the presence of that supreme Love. Amit Ray

If you would spend all your time – walking, standing, sitting or lying down – learning to halt the concept-forming activities of your own mind, you could be sure of ultimately attaining the goal. Huang Po

Be soft in your practice. Think of the method as a fine silvery stream, not a raging waterfall. Sheng-yen

Meditation is a secular practice, not a religious practice. Abhijit Naskar

There is only the one reality, neither to be realized nor attained. Huang Po Click to tweet

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

For the beginner, practice without effort is not true practice. Shunryu Suzuki

It will take quite a long time before you find your calm, serene mind in your practice. Shunryu Suzuki

It is when your practice is rather greedy that you become discouraged with it. Shunryu Suzuki

Follow the stream, have faith in its course. It will go on 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

As long as we remain within the confines of the thinking mind, we can’t experience the state of non-thinking. If we can’t experience non-thinking, we will not understand what our life truly is. Please realize this for yourself! Just sit. Taizan Maezumi

Enlightenment is not something you achieve. It is the absence of something. All your life you have been going forward after something, pursuing some goal. Enlightenment is dropping all that. Joko Beck

Those who worship don’t know, and those who know don’t worship. Bodhidharma

An Awakened person is someone who finds freedom in good fortune and bad. Bodhidharma

In contemplation, one’s mind should be stable and unmoving, like a wall. Bodhidharma

Even to be attached to the idea of enlightenment is to go astray. Sengcan

More meditation quotes

See also: How to Practice Mindfulness (mindful.org), spiritual quotes

Part 4. Top 10 Zen Proverbs

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The obstacle is the path. Zen proverb Click to tweet

Move and the way will open. Zen proverb

Be master of mind rather than mastered by mind. Zen proverb

When the student is ready, the teacher will appear. Zen proverb

You should sit and meditate for 20 minutes, unless you’re too busy, then you should sit and meditate or an hour. Zen proverb (See also: How to Meditate, nytimes.com)

To follow the path, look to the master, follow the master, walk with the master, see through the master, become the master. Zen proverb

The wise adapt themselves to circumstances, as water molds itself to the pitcher. Zen proverb

Only when you can be extremely pliable and soft can you be extremely hard and strong. Zen proverb

Man stands in his own shadow and wonders why it is dark. Zen proverb

When walking, walk. When eating, eat. Zen proverb

Bonus proverb #1

No snowflake ever falls in the wrong place. Zen proverb

Bonus Proverb #2

When you reach the top of the mountain, keep climbing. Zen proverb Click to tweet

Part 5. Top 10 Quotes From Zen Mind Beginner’s Mind (Book)

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To live is enough. Shunryu Suzuki Click to tweet

Calmness in activity is true calmness. Shunryu Suzuki

When you do something, you should do it with your whole body and mind; you should be concentrated on what you do. You should do it completely, like a good bonfire. Shunryu Suzuki

You should not be a smoky fire. You should burn yourself completely. If you do not burn yourself completely, a trace of yourself will be left in what you do. Shunryu Suzuki

Emotionally we have many problems, but these problems are not actual problems; they are something created; they are problems pointed out by our self-centered ideas or views. Shunryu Suzuki

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

What we call “I” is just a swinging door which moves when we inhale and when we exhale. Shunryu Suzuki

We do not exist for the sake of something else. We exist for the sake of ourselves. Shunryu Suzuki

We should not hoard knowledge; we should be free from our knowledge. Shunryu Suzuki

The goal of practice is always to keep our beginner’s mind. Shunryu Suzuki

Bonus Quote #1

Sincerity itself is the railroad track. Shunryu Suzuki

Bonus Quote #2

When something dies is the greatest teaching. Shunryu Suzuki Click to tweet

Part 6. Conclusion

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Doing nothing is better than being busy doing nothing. Lao Tzu Click to tweet

Call to action: Read The Beginner’s Guide to Zen Habits: A Guided Tour (zenhabits.net)

Author Bio

maxime lagace

Maxime Lagacé started collecting quotes in 2004 after he lost his girlfriend in a car accident.

In search of meaning, he dived in the self-improvement world, psychology and trail running. His goal was to understand his pain, his depression, his fears, his lack of motivation and inspiration.

Books, blogs, quotes and nature became his guide.

He finished his software engineering degree in 2007 at the École de Technologie Supérieure de Montréal. He also studied at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. A few years later, he started his first website to share his passion for quotes.

Maxime is a father of two and also loves running. His best 5k is 17 minutes 41 seconds and his best marathon (42k) is in 3 hours 33 minutes 11 seconds (with 1800 meters of elevation gain).

Other notable interests of Maxime are health (mental and physical), meditation, nutrition, bananas, human potential, education, learning, productivity and minimalism.

Finally, he is (very) far from being perfect.

You can find him on Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Quora, Strava, Sportstats, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube.

Creation Date

March 15, 2018

Last Update

September 16, 2020


  1. What’s my favorite Zen quote? “If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.” Lao Tzu

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