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

~Zen Proverb~

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

~Gene Clark~

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

~Shunryu Suzuki~

Only the hand that erases
can write the true thing.

~Meister Eckhart~

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

~Leonardo da Vinci~

What was never lost
can never be found.

~Zen Proverb~

When you seek it,
you cannot find it.

~Zen Proverb~

When I let go of what I am,
I become what I might be.

~Lao Tzu~

We carry inside us
the wonders we seek outside us.


Peace comes from within.
Do not seek it without.


Let go, or be dragged.

~Zen Proverb~

Act without expectation.

~Lao Tzu~

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


Love is the absence of judgment.

~Dalai Lama~

The true miracle is not
walking on water
or walking in air,
but simply walking on this earth.

~Thích Nhất Hạnh~

Life is like stepping onto a boat
which is about to sail out to sea
and sink.

~Shunryu Suzuki~

Don’t seek, don’t search, don’t ask,
don’t knock, don’t demand: relax.


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


Fear is the path to the dark side.
Fear leads to anger.
Anger leads to hate.
Hate leads to suffering


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


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~

The trouble is,
you think you have time.


If you miss the present moment,
you miss your appointment with life.
That is very serious!

~Thich Nhat Hanh~

At the still-point in the center of the circle
one can see the infinite in all things.

~Chuang Tzu~

Mind your thoughts,
as they become your words.
Mind your words,
as they become your actions.
Mind your actions,
as they become you.


You cannot travel the path
until you have become the path itself.


Move and the way will open.

~Zen Proverb~

The journey of a thousand miles
begins with a single step.

~Lao Tzu~

When the student is ready,
the teacher will appear.

~Zen Proverb~

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

~Lao Tzu~

Walk as if you are
kissing the Earth with your feet.

~Thich Nhat Hanh~

Those who are awake,
live in a state of constant amazement.


To a mind that is still,
the whole universe surrenders.

~Chuang Tzu~

In a mind clear as still water,
even the waves, breaking,
are reflecting its light.

~Dōgen Zenji~

Be master of mind
rather than mastered by mind.

~Zen Proverb~

Muddy water is best cleared
by leaving it alone.

~Alan Watts~

The only Zen you can find on the tops of mountains
is the Zen you bring up there.

~Robert M. Pirsig~

If you realize you have enough,
you are truly rich.

~Lao Tzu~

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

~Eckhart Tolle~

Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass.
It’s about learning how to dance in the rain.

~Vivian Greene~

The more you know, the less you need.

~Yvon Chouinard~

To receive everything,
one must open one’s hands and give.

~Taisen Deshimaru~

The quieter you become,
the more you are able to hear.

~Lao Tzu~

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

~Lao Tzu~

Trying to define yourself is like
trying to bite your own teeth.

~Alan Watts~

When you do something,
you should burn yourself up completely,
like a good bonfire,
leaving no trace of yourself.

~Shunryu Suzuki~

And when they played
they really played.
And when they worked
they really worked.

~ Seuss~

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

~Zen Proverb~

Things are as they are.
Looking out into the universe at night,
we make no comparisons
between right and wrong stars,
nor between well and
badly arranged constellations.

~Alan Watts~

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~

It’s not life.
It is living.

It is not the pointing finger.
It is the direction.

It is not the Path.
It is the Walking.

There are only two mistakes
one can make along the road to truth;
not going all the way, and not starting.


The finger pointing to the moon is not the moon.
Ceci N’est Pas Une Pipe.”
Follow the direction not the sign.

Nothing ever exists entirely alone.
Everything is in relation to everything else.


Be kind whenever possible.
It is always possible.

~Dalai Lama~

Nature does not hurry,
yet everything is accomplished.

~Lao Tzu~

When walking, walk.
When eating, eat.

~Zen Proverb~

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

~Jon J. Muth~

zen humor

Q: What did one Zen practitioner
give to another for his/her birthday?

A: Nothing.

Q: What did the birthday boy/girl respond in return?

A: You are thoughtless for giving me this meaningless gift.

To which the giver replied, “Thank you.

Relax, Nothing is under control!

Blessed is he who finds happiness in his own foolishness.
For he will always be happy.

~ Chade Meng ~

Things are not what they seem;
nor are they otherwise.

~ Lankavatara Sutra ~

Paradise is exactly like where you are right now,
only much, much better.

~ Laurie Anderson ~

Meditation is not about doing something.

~ Joko Beck ~

Disciple: Oh wise and all knowing one,
show me the place of perfect peace.

Master: If I show it to you,
it will no longer be peaceful.

Nothing leads me further from attachment
than a week with the in-laws.

~ David Loomis~

What is nirvana?

Nothing happens next. This is it.
said the old monk to the young one.

Only two things are infinite,
the universe and human stupidity,
and I’m not sure about the former.

~ Albert Einstein ~

Buddha’s last words:
Decay is inherent in all compounded things.
Strive unceasingly.

Buddha stated the second law of thermodynamics.
His inherent understanding still amazes me.

~ William A. Russell ~

I’d like to offer something to help you.
But in the Zen School we don’t have a single thing!

~ Zen Master Ikkyu ~

Your personality is an often insurmountable speedbump
on the path to Nirvana.

~ “Slug” ~

A monk went to the dentist for an exam.
The dentist found a cavity and said
he would have to give the monk a filling.

Do you want something for the pain?“,
asked the dentist.

The monk replied, “No thank you,
I transcend dental medication.

Q: How many Zen buddhists
does it take to change a light bulb?

A: Three – 
one to change it,
one to not-change it
and one to both change- and not-change it.