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111 Captivating Zen Quotes and Proverbs

  1.  “Nothing happens next, this is it.” – Grahan Wilson
  2. “People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child — our own two eyes. All is a miracle.”– Thích Nhat Hanh
  3. “To deny the reality of things is to miss their reality; to assert the emptiness of things is to miss their reality. 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
  4. “This will never come again” ― Steve Hagen
  5. “No snowflake ever falls in the wrong place.”– Zen Proverb
  6. “The object of your desire is not an object.” ― Jack Gardner
  7. “There is no mistake in nature.”– Byron Katie
  8. “The resistance to the unpleasant situation is the root of suffering.”– Ram Dass
  9. “Do not seek the truth, only cease to cherish your opinions.”– Seng-ts’an
  10. “Through our eyes, the universe is perceiving itself. Through our ears, the universe is listening to its harmonies. We are the witnesses through which the universe becomes conscious of its glory, of its magnificence.”– Alan Watts
  11. “I’ve lived with several Zen masters – all of them cats.” – Eckhart Tolle
  12. “The meaning of life is just to be alive. It is so plain and so obvious and so simple. And yet, everybody rushes around in a great panic as if it were necessary to achieve something beyond themselves.”– Alan Watts
  13. “A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.” – Lao Tzu
  14. “The whole moon and the entire sky are reflected in one dewdrop on the grass.”– Dogen
  15. “The greatest effort is not concerned with results.”– Atisha
  16. “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
  17. “It’s not about approving or liking, but just being able to allow the world to be the way it is without resenting, hating, or judging it.”– Buddhism Now
  18. “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.” ― Charlotte Joko Beck
  19. “Joy is being willing for things to be as they are.” ― Charlotte Joko Beck
  20. “Earth, mountains, rivers, hidden in this nothingness. In this nothingness, earth, mountains, rivers revealed. Spring flowers, winter snows. There’s no being or non-being, nor denial itself.” ― Saisho Hiroshi
  21. “He knows not where he’s going, For the ocean will decide, It’s not the destination, It’s the glory of the ride” ― Edward Monkton
  22. “Only when you can be extremely pliable and soft can you be extremely hard and strong.”– Zen Proverb
  23. “Treat every moment as your last. It is not preparation for something else.” ― Shunryu Suzuki
  24. “Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”― Lao Tzu
  25. “Any experience of reality is indescribable!– R. D. Laing
  26. “Nothing we see or hear is perfect. But right there in the imperfection is perfect reality.” ― Shunryu Suzuki
  27. “Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.” ― Thich Nhat Hanh
  28. “Let your mind wander in the pure and simple. Be one with the infinite. Let all things take their course.”– Chuang Tzu
  29. “Breathing in, I calm body and mind. Breathing out, I smile. Dwelling in the present moment I know this is the only moment.” ― Thich Nhat Hanh
  30. “Think with your whole body.”- Taisen Deshimaru
  31. “Zen has no business with ideas.”– D.T. Suzuki
  32. “The object of your desire is not an object.” ― Jack Gardner
  33. “In a mind clear as still water, even the waves, breaking, are reflecting its light.”- Dogen Zenji
  34. “If you understand, things are just as they are… If you do not understand, things are just as they are…”- Anonymous
  35. “When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.”― Lao Tzu
  36. “Before enlightenment; chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment; chop wood, carry water.”- Buddha
  37. “You cannot travel the path until you have become the path itself”- Buddha
  38. “No thought, no reflection, no analysis, no cultivation, no intention; let it settle itself.”– Tilopa
  39. “If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath.” ― Amit Ray
  40. “Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves – slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future; live the actual moment. Only this moment is life.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
  41. “Still water has no mind to receive the image of the migrating geese.”– Zen Proverb
  42. “To follow the path, look to the master, follow the master, walk with the master, see through the master, become the master.”– Zen Proverb
  43. “Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” ― Lao Tzu
  44. “What is important is not the right doctrine but the attainment of the true experience. It is giving up believing in belief.”– Alan Keightley
  45. “In today’s rush, we all think too much — seek too much — want too much — and forget about the joy of just being.” ­- Eckhart Tolle
  46. “Suffering usually relates to wanting things to be different than they are.” ­ – Allan Lokos
  47. “Clearly what is meant to be is. The peace is always in that.” – Gangaji
  48. Be soft in your practice. Think of the method as a fine silvery stream, not a raging waterfall. Follow the stream. —Sheng-yen
  49. “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
  50. “Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun.”– Alan Watts
  51. “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
  52. “As a bee gathering nectar does not harm or disturb the color & fragrance of the flower; so do the wise move through the world.”– Buddha
  53. “It isn’t that we’re alone or not alone whose voice do you want mine? Yours?” ― Ikkyu
  54. “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
  55. “Trying to define yourself is like trying to bite your own teeth.”– Alan Watts
  56. “Flow with whatever may happen, and let your mind be free: Stay centered by accepting whatever you are doing. This is the ultimate.” ― Zhuangzi
  57. “Each morning we are born again, what we do today matters most.” – Buddha
  58. “Who would then deny that when I am sipping tea in my tearoom I am swallowing the whole universe with it and that this very moment of my lifting the bowl to my lips is eternity itself transcending time and space?” ― D.T. Suzuki
  59. “Let go over a cliff, die completely, and then come back to life — after that you cannot be deceived.”– Zen Proverb
  60. “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I’ll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass the world is too full to talk about.” ― Rumi
  61. “All the things that truly matter, beauty, love, creativity, joy and inner peace arise from beyond the mind.”– Eckhart Tolle
  62. “Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” ― Lao Tzu
  63. “To understand everything is to forgive everything”– Gautama Siddhartha
  64. “If you are unable to find the truth right where you are, where else do you expect to find it?” ― Dōgen
  65. “The only Zen you can find on the tops of mountains is the Zen you bring up there.” — Robert M. Pirsig
  66. Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are. – Zen Saying
  67. In the stillness of the mind I saw myself as I am – unbound – Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
  68. What was never lost can never be found. – Zen Saying
  69. “All true artists, whether they know it or not, create from a place of no-mind, from inner stillness.”– Eckhart Tolle
  70. “To follow the path, look to the master, follow the master, walk with the master, see through the master, become the master.”– Zen Proverb
  71. “The personal life deeply lived always expands into truths beyond itself.”– Anais Nin
  72. When you plant a seed of love, it is you that blossoms. – Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati
  73. If you have inner peace, nobody can force you to be a slave to the outer reality. – Sri Chinmoy
  74. “Silence is a source of Great Strength.” ― Lao Tzu
  75. “Life isn’t as serious as the mind makes it out to be.”– Eckhart Tolle
  76. “The moment is freedom. — I couldn’t live by a rigid schedule. I try to live freely from moment to moment, letting things happen and adjusting to them.” – Bruce Lee
  77. People living deeply have no fear of death. – Anais Nin
  78. We have only now, only this single eternal moment opening and unfolding before us, day and night. – Jack Kornfield
  79. We carry inside us the wonders we seek outside us. – Rumi
  80. The obstacle is the path. — Zen Saying
  81. “The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.” ― Masanobu Fukuoka
  82. “This is the real secret of life — to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play.”– Alan Watts
  83. “The only thing that is ultimately real about your journey is the step that you are taking at this moment. That’s all there ever is.”– Eckhart Tolle
  84. “I’m here to tell you that the path to peace is right there, when you want to get away.”– Pema Chödrön
  85. “Who we are now is all that really matters.” ― Amy Joy
  86. “To a mind that is still the whole universe surrenders.” ― Lao Tzu
  87. “Practice is this life, and realization is this life, and this life is revealed right here and now.”– Maezumi Roshi
  88. “Self-realization is effortless. What you are trying to find is what you already are.”– Ramesh Balsekar
  89. “When an ordinary man attains knowledge, he is a sage; when a sage attains understanding, he is an ordinary man.”– Zen Proverb
  90. “My experience is that the teachers we need most are the people we’re living with right now.”– Byron Katie
  91. “Throughout this life, you can never be certain of living long enough to take another breath.”– Huang Po
  92. “When you do something, you should burn yourself up completely, like a good bonfire, leaving no trace of yourself.”– Shunryu Suzuki
  93. “The intuitive recognition of the instant, thus reality… is the highest act of wisdom.”– D.T. Suzuki
  94. “The more you know, the less you need.” ― Yvon Chouinard
  95. “Things derive their being and nature by mutual dependence and are nothing in themselves”– Nagarjuna
  96. “When the mind is perfectly clear, what is…is what we want.”– Byron Katie
  97. “Heaven and earth and I are of the same root. The ten-thousand things and I are of one substance.”– Seng-chao
  98. “I don’t let go of concepts – I meet them with understanding. Then they let go of me.”– Byron Katie
  99. “The self divides into ten billion distinct illuminating spirits. Distinguish these without falling into names and classifications.”– Hongzhi
  100. “To study Buddhism is to study the self. To study the self is to forget the self. To forget the self is to be awakened by all things.”– Dogen
  101. “Melting our attachment to self is the most powerful medication for bringing mental and emotional imbalances in check.”– Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche
  102. “My finger can point to the moon, but my finger is not the moon. You don’t have to become my finger, nor do you have to worship my finger. You have to forget my finger, and look at where it is pointing.”– Osho
  103. “At the still-point in the center of the circle one can see the infinite in all things.”– Chuang Tzu
  104. “To accept some idea of truth without experiencing it is like a painting of a cake on paper which you cannot eat.”– Suzuki Roshi
  105. “The way out of life & death is not some special technique; essential thing is to penetrate to the root of life & death.”– Bukko
  106. “When mind exists undisturbed in the Way, nothing in the world can offend, and when a thing can no longer offend it ceases to exist in the old way. When no discriminating thoughts arise, the old mind ceases to exist.” ― Sengcan
  107. “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 W. Watts
  108. “A follower of the way has neither form nor shape, neither root nor trunk; nor dwelling place; like a fish leaping in the water.”– Rinzai Zen proverb
  109. “Let go or be dragged.” – Zen Proverb
  110. “Your own positive future begins in this moment. All you have is right now. Every goal is possible from here.” ― Lao Tzu
  111. “And that is the whole secret of Zen: to become unconnected with time.” – Osho

Matthew Scott Donnelly

Matthew Scott Donnelly was born and raised in Indiana. At the age of 24 he decided that he had not manifest a life that he was happy with, and decided to dedicate his heart and soul to Personal Growth and Development material. Roughly about one year later at the age of 25 he went from basic personal growth teachings to the a deeper realm into spirituality. Matthew is now 27 and his main focus is to continue on the path of awakening, and utilize his Facebook marketing skills to spread Spiritual and Consciousness related material to the rest of the world. You can follow Matthew and his work down below.

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