Zen Quotes and Proverbs

Zen is a school of Mahayana Buddhism. It states that enlightenment can be attained through meditation, contemplation, and intuition, rather than through faith and devotion. Zen is practiced mainly in China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam.

Zen teaches that the potential to achieve enlightenment is inherent in everyone, and is best awakened by breaking through the boundaries of mundane logical thought.

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

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

Although gold dust is precious, when it gets in your eyes, it obstructs your vision.

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

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

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

From the withered tree, a flower blooms.
Zen Proverb

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

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

Water which is too pure has no fish.
Ts’ai Ken T’An

He who knows others is wise. He who knows himself is enlightened.
Tao Te Ching

You will not be punished for your anger; you will be punished by your anger.

Everything the same; everything distinct.
Zen Proverb

A wise man makes his own decisions, an ignorant man follows the public opinion.
Chinese Proverb

To know the road ahead, ask those coming back.
Chinese Proverb

To be a man of knowledge one needs to be light and fluid.
Yaqui Mystic

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

Move and the way will open.
Zen Proverb

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

Nothing on earth can overcome an absolutely nonresistant person.
Zen Proverb

Sitting peacefully doing nothing Spring comes and the grass grows all by itself.
Zen Proverb

Do not permit the events of your daily life to bind you, but never withdraw yourself from them.
Zen Proverb

The mind should be as a mirror.
Zen Proverb

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

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