People say that
what we are all seeking is meaning for life. I think that what we're
really seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life
experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonance within
our innermost being and reality, so that we can actually feel the
rapture of being alive.
- Joseph Campbell.
of life is not a problem to be solved but a reality to be experienced.
- Art Van der Leeuw
thing to do when working on a motorcycle, as in any other task, is to
cultivate the peace of mind which does not separate one's self from
one's surroundings. When that is done successfully, then everything
else follows naturally. Peace of mind produces right values, right
values produce right thoughts. Right thoughts produce right actions
and right actions produce work which will be a material reflection
for others to see of the serenity at the center of it all.
- Robert M. Pirsig
remain meaningless until they are embodied in habits.
- Kahil Gibran
If you want
to be happy, BE.
- Leo Tolstoy
walk, you cut open and create that riverbed into which the stream of
your descendants shall enter and flow.
- Nikos Kazantzakis
From Layman P'ang
The whole world is the same single community; each and everyone learns there's nothing to do. This is the very place to select a buddha! I return empty-minded, having passed the exam.
My doctrine makes no distinction between high and low, rich and poor. It is like the sky, it has room for all. Like water, it washes all alike.
From Walt Whitman:
These are the thoughts of men in all ages and lands, they are not original with me, If they are not yours as much as mine they are nothing or next to nothing. If the do not enclose everything they are next to nothing. If they are not the riddle and the untying of the riddle they are nothing. If they are not just as close as they are distant they are nothing.
One day Banzan
was walking through a market when he overheard a customer ask a
butcher for the best piece of meat he had. "Every piece in my
shop is the best", the butcher said. Hearing the butcher's
explanation, Banzan became enlightened.
Poetry there is no Zen.
Outside of Zen,
there is no Poetry.
- Ten'in Ryutaku
The echo of the bell At Yoshimizu - I am here too, In a black robe Set against the white mist
illusion makes you wiser than finding a truth.
- Ludwig Borne
rather be ruined than changed.
We would rather
die in our dread,
Than climb the
cross of the moment,
And let our
- Author Unknown
reject what they see, not what they think.
The wise reject
what they think, not what they see.
ordinary man attains knowledge he is [(becomes)] a sage.
When a sage
attains understanding, he is [(becomes)] an ordinary man.
- Zen Saying
What I tell
you is not [a] secret.
The secret is
to listen to what is said without words,
to obey the law
too subtle to be written,
to worship the
to embrace the unformed.
dance, I dance; when I sleep, I sleep; yes, and when I walk alone in
a beautiful orchard, if my thoughts drift to far-off matters for some
part of the time, for some other part I lead them back again to the
walk, the orchard, to the sweetness of this solitude, to myself.
Son-O nd his disciple, Menzan, were eating melon together. Suddenly
the master said, "Where does all this sweetness come from?".
swallowed quickly and answered, "It's a product of cause and effect".
that's just cold logic!"
where?", Menzan dared ask.
very 'where' itself, that's where.".
- Zen Mondo
and transparent the moonlight of wisdom.
your Original Nature, Snowman?
- Natsume Soseki
greed for worldly things is inhibiting and self-defeating,
so also craving
for other-wordly things prevents the opening of the mind.
- Muso Kokushi
your mind, know that there is nothing
relinquish all attachment to the nothingness.
Kangan pointed to the sea and said to Daichi:
of mind over matter - then let's see you stop those boats from sailing."
young disciple pulled the shoji screen across their view.
smiled and put the shoji back into position. "You had to use
Daichi closed eyes.
capacity of the mind is broad and huge, like the vast sky. Do not sit
with a mind fixed on emptiness. If you do, you will fall into a
neutral kind of emptiness. Emptiness includes the sun, moon, stars,
and planets, the great earth, mountains and rivers, all trees and
grasses, bad people and good people, bad things and good things,
heaven and hell; they are all in the midst of emptiness. The
emptiness of human nature is also like this.
The mind of
which we are unaware is aware of us.
- R.D. Laing
this moment is lacking?
- Lin-Chi (Rinzai)
corrupt age, when prayers are not answered, that itself is the answer.
- Muso Kokushi
We all want
to be famous people,
and the moment
we want tobe something
we are no longer free.
- J. Krishnamurti
cares one loses when one decides
not to be
but to be
- Coco Chanel
walk on water? You have done no better than a straw. Can you fly in
the air? You have done no better than a bluebottle. Conquer your
heart; then you may become somebody.
just hearing, just seeing, just feeling. This is what Christians call
the face of God: simply taking in this world as it manifests. We feel
our body; we hear the cars and birds. That's all there is.
the quietude of the sage, he is not quiet because quietness is said
to be good. He is quiet because the multitude of things cannot
disturb his quietude. When water is still, one's beard and eyebrows
are reflected in it. A skilled carpenter uses it in a level to obtain
a measurement. If still water is so clear how much more are the
The mind of a
sage is the mirror of heaven and earth in which all things are reflected.
"Look! This world is vast and wide. Why do you put on your
priest's robe at the sound of the bell?"
- Zen saying
consciously seek enlightenment.
- Muso Kokushi
is not a means to an end. It is both the means and the end.
- J. Krishnamurti
knowing and not knowing, existing and not existing. Then leave both
aside so that you may be.
the sutras - practice meditation.
Don't take up
the broom - practice meditation.
Don't plant tea
seeds - practice meditation.
point when sleep has not yet come and wakefullness vanishes, being
Let us open
our leaves like a flower, and be receptive.
- John Keats
leaving the house I know the whole universe.
with which I see God is the same eye with which God sees me.
- Meister Exkhart
confronts the paradoxical exposes himself to reality.
- Friedrich Durrenmatt
facing each other. There is no image in between.
- Zen Proverb
person is confused, he sees east as west.
When he is
enlightened, west itself is east.
I can no
longer tell the dream from reality.
Into what world
shall I awake, from this bewildering dream?
- Akazome Emon
And He'll open
And He'll make
you shine like the sun.
And He'll raise
you to the heavens.
And He'll turn
you into everything!
- Jelaluddin Rumi
enough food to eat, and eat it.
2.Find a place
to sleep where it is quiet, and sleep there.
intellectual and emotional noise until you arrive
at the silence of yourself, and listen to it.
- Richard Brautigan
If you can
spend a perfectly useless afternoon in a perfectly useless manner,
you have learned how to live.
- Lin Yu-T'ang
knows how to shave the razor, will know how to erase the eraser.
- Henri Michaux
moment is nothing without end.
- Octavio Paz
about Zen all the time is like looking for fish tracks in a dry riverbed.
We are all
deep in a hell each moment of which is a miracle.
- E.M. Cioran
beginnings begin within us,
even when they
are brought to our attention
by external opportunities.
- William Bridges
and ordinary people are just one mind.
This mind is
beyond all measurements, names, oppositions:
this very being
is it; as soon as you stir your mind you turn away from it.
around in a ring and suppose,
But the Secret
sits in the middle and knows.
- Robert Frost
Sung-yuan said, "Why does the enlightened man not stand on his
feet and explain himself?" And he said, "It is not with the
tongue that you speak.
- Zen Koan
scramble about in search of inner peace, you will lose your inner
peace. - Lao-Tzu
of a fish trap is to catch fish, and when the fish are caught the
trap is forgotten.
The purpose of
a rabbit snare is to catch rabbits.
rabbits are caught, the snare is forgotten.
The purpose of
words is to convey ideas.
When the ideas
are grasped, the words are forgotten.
Where can I
find a man who has forgotten words?
He is the one I
would like to talk to.
umbrella, getting soaked,
I'll just use
the rain as my raincoat.
and Me there is no "Between".
- Meister Eckhart
not communicable. The wisdom which a wise man tries to communicate
always sounds foolish.
- Hermann Hesse
are deluded and full of doubt, even a thousand books of scripture are
When you have
realized understanding, even one word is too much.
things is superior, pursuing things is inferior.
In the end,
everything is a gag.
- Charlie Chaplin
shop this time
on the banks of
Forget host and guest.
They drink a
cup of tea,
sleep is over;
Awake they realize
same as before.
If I meet a
hundred-year-old man and I have something to teach him, I will teach;
if I meet an eight-year-old boy and he has something to teach me, I
doing; work without effort.
- Tao The Ching
bamboos for ten years, become a bamboo, then forget all about bamboos
when you are drawing.
- Georges Duthuit
Do not speak. The ultimate truth is not even to think.
Zen is the
unsymbolization of the world.
R. H. Blyth
something about a thing and already you are off the mark.
- Nan-Yueh Huai-Jang
of the man is not perfect until he no longer recognizes himself or
the fact that that he is praying.
- St. Anthony
she died, Gertrude Stein asked: "What is the answer?" No
She laughed and
said: "In that case what is the question?" Then she died.
asked Yueh-shan, "What does one think of while sitting?"
thinks of not-thinking", the Master replied.
one think of not-thinking?" the monk asked?
thinking", the Master said.
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.
elephants don't travel on rabbit paths, great enlightenment isn't a
matter of details.
great things which are to be found among us, the Being of Nothingness
is the greatest.
- Leonard Da Vinci
mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of
But it is much
gharder for us
To fall away
from our own
leads us to believe that there exists a certain point of the
intelligence at which life and death, the real and the imaginary, the
past and the future... cease to be perceived as opposites.
- Andre' Breton
(Word carved on
a stone on John Ruskin's desk)
given moment, I open my eyes and exist.
that, during all eternity, what was there? Nothing.
- Ugo Betti
more real than nothing.
- Samuel Beckett
belongs to me; I belong to no one.
There is no
"I" or "mine"; all is blissful aloneless.
- The Mahabharata
of Life is to see.
discovered the secret of the sea in meditation upon the dew drop.
during a dark night, enter that darkness.
enlightenment is not where you are standing, where will you look?
- Zen Saying
Life was to
be a search, or nothing! But it was the fear that it was nothing that
drove me forward. Every encounter was an encounter with myself.
John Le Carre'
behind us and what lies before us
matters compared to what lies within us.
If any man
thinks he slays, and if another thinks he is slain, neither knows the
ways of truth. The Eternal in man cannot kill: the Eternal in man
cannot kill: the Eternal in man cannot die.
- Bhagavad Gita
had often heard all this before, all these numerous voices in the
river, but today they sounded different... They all belonged to each
other: the lament of those who yearn, the laughter of the wise, the
cry of indignation and the groan of dying...and all the voices, all
the goals, all the pleasures, all the good and evil, all of them
together was the world.
- Hermann Hesse
see Eternity in things that pass away and Infinity in finite things,
then one has
- Bhagavad Gita
are the thing. The gaps are the spirit's one home, the altitudes and
latitudes so dazzingly spare and clean that the spirit can discover
itself like a once-blind man unbound. The gaps are the clefts in the
rock where you cower to see the back parts of God; they are the
fissures between mountains and cells the wind lances through, the icy
narrowing fiords splitting the cliffs of mystery. Go up into the
gaps. If you can find them; they shift and vanish too. Stalk the
gaps. Squeak into a gap in the soil, turn, and unlock - more than a
maple - a universe.
overlook the Way right before your eyes,
how will you
recognize the path beneath your feet?
We are more
curious about the meaning of dreams than about things we see when awake.
If you are
not happy here and now, you never will be.
- Taisen Deshimaru
Zen is like
looking for spectacles that are sitting on your nose.
- Zen Saying