Quotes that have changed my life

  1. 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.

  2. The mystery of life is not a problem to be solved but a reality to be experienced.
    - Art Van der Leeuw
  3. So the 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
  4. Sayings remain meaningless until they are embodied in habits.
    - Kahil Gibran
  5. If you want to be happy, BE.
    - Leo Tolstoy
  6. As you walk, you cut open and create that riverbed into which the stream of your descendants shall enter and flow.
    - Nikos Kazantzakis
  7. 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.


  8. 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.
  9. 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.

  10. Outside of Poetry there is no Zen.
    Outside of Zen, there is no Poetry.
    - Ten'in Ryutaku
  11. From Rengetsu

    The echo of the bell
    At Yoshimizu -
    I am here too,
    In a black robe
    Set against the white mist


  12. Losing an illusion makes you wiser than finding a truth.
    - Ludwig Borne
  13. We would rather be ruined than changed.
    We would rather die in our dread,
    Than climb the cross of the moment,
    And let our illusions die.
    - Author Unknown
  14. The foolish reject what they see, not what they think.
    The wise reject what they think, not what they see.
    - Huang-Po
  15. When an ordinary man attains knowledge he is [(becomes)] a sage.
    When a sage attains understanding, he is [(becomes)] an ordinary man.
    - Zen Saying
  16. What I tell you is not [a] secret.
    The secret is in you.
    - Hui-Neng
  18. Take time to listen to what is said without words,
    to obey the law too subtle to be written,
    to worship the unnameable and,
    to embrace the unformed.
    - Lao-Tzu
  19. When I 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.
  20. One day Son-O nd his disciple, Menzan, were eating melon together. Suddenly the master said, "Where does all this sweetness come from?".
    Menzan swallowed quickly and answered, "It's a product of cause and effect".
    "But that's just cold logic!"
    "Then from where?", Menzan dared ask.
    "From that very 'where' itself, that's where.".
    - Zen Mondo
  21. How bright and transparent the moonlight of wisdom.
    - Hakuin
  22. What is your Original Nature, Snowman?
    - Natsume Soseki
  23. Just as greed for worldly things is inhibiting and self-defeating,
    so also craving for other-wordly things prevents the opening of the mind.
    - Muso Kokushi
  24. To manage your mind, know that there is nothing
    and then relinquish all attachment to the nothingness.
  25. Master Kangan pointed to the sea and said to Daichi:
    "You speak of mind over matter - then let's see you stop those boats from sailing."
    Wordlessly, the young disciple pulled the shoji screen across their view.
    The Master smiled and put the shoji back into position. "You had to use your hands."
    Silently, Daichi closed eyes.
  26. The 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.
    - Hui-Neng
  27. The mind of which we are unaware is aware of us.
    - R.D. Laing
  28. What at this moment is lacking?
    - Lin-Chi (Rinzai)
  29. In a corrupt age, when prayers are not answered, that itself is the answer.
    - Muso Kokushi
  30. We all want to be famous people,
    and the moment we want to be something we are no longer free.
    - J. Krishnamurti
  31. How many cares one loses when one decides
    not to be something but to be someone.
    - Coco Chanel
  32. Can you 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.
  33. Practice is 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.
    - Charlotte Joko Beck
  34. As regards 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 mental faculties!
    The mind of a sage is the mirror of heaven and earth in which all things are reflected.
    - Chuang-Tzu
  35. Ummon said, "Look! This world is vast and wide. Why do you put on your priest's robe at the sound of the bell?"
    - Zen saying
  36. Do not consciously seek enlightenment.
    - Muso Kokushi
  37. Meditation is not a means to an end. It is both the means and the end.
    - J. Krishnamurti
  38. Meditate on knowing and not knowing, existing and not existing. Then leave both aside so that you may be.
  39. Don't read the sutras - practice meditation.
    Don't take up the broom - practice meditation.
    Don't plant tea seeds - practice meditation.
    - Ikkyu
  40. At the point when sleep has not yet come and wakefullness vanishes,
    being is revealed.
    - Shiva
  41. Let us open our leaves like a flower, and be receptive.
    - John Keats
  42. Without leaving the house I know the whole universe.
    - Lao-Tzu
  43. The eye with which I see God is the same eye with which God sees me.
    - Meister Exkhart
  44. He who confronts the paradoxical exposes himself to reality.
    - Friedrich Durrenmatt
  45. Two mirrors facing each other. There is no image in between.
    - Zen Proverb
  46. When a person is confused, he sees east as west.
    When he is enlightened, west itself is east.
  47. I can no longer tell the dream from reality.
    Into what world shall I awake, from this bewildering dream?
    - Akazome Emon
  48. Knock,
    And He'll open the door.
    And He'll make you shine like the sun.
    And He'll raise you to the heavens.
    Become nothing,
    And He'll turn you into everything!
    - Jelaluddin Rumi
  49. 1.Get enough food to eat, and eat it.
    2.Find a place to sleep where it is quiet, and sleep there.
    3.Reduce intellectual and emotional noise until you arrive
        at the silence of yourself, and listen to it.
    - Richard Brautigan
  50. If you can spend a perfectly useless afternoon in a perfectly useless manner, you have learned how to live.
    - Lin Yu-T'ang
  51. He who knows how to shave the razor, will know how to erase the eraser.
    - Henri Michaux
  52. Every moment is nothing without end.
    - Octavio Paz
  53. Talking about Zen all the time is like looking for fish tracks in a dry riverbed.
    - Wu-Tzu
  54. We are all deep in a hell each moment of which is a miracle.
    - E.M. Cioran
  55. Genuine beginnings begin within us,
    even when they are brought to our attention
    by external opportunities.
    - William Bridges
  56. All Buddhas 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.
    - Huang-Po
  57. We dance around in a ring and suppose,
    But the Secret sits in the middle and knows.
    - Robert Frost
  58. The priest 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
  59. If you scramble about in search of inner peace, you will lose your inner peace. - Lao-Tzu
  60. The purpose 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.
    When the 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.
    - Chuang-Tzu
  61. No umbrella, getting soaked,
    I'll just use the rain as my raincoat.
    - Daito
  62. Between God and Me there is no "Between".
    - Meister Eckhart
  63. Wisdom is not communicable. The wisdom which a wise man tries to communicate always sounds foolish.
    - Hermann Hesse
  64. When you are deluded and full of doubt, even a thousand books of scripture are not enough.
    When you have realized understanding, even one word is too much.
    - Fen-Yang
  65. Abandoning things is superior, pursuing things is inferior.
    - Yen-T'ou
  66. In the end, everything is a gag.
    - Charlie Chaplin
  67. I've opened shop this time
    on the banks of the Kamo.
    Customers, sitting idly,
    Forget host and guest.
    They drink a cup of tea,
    Their long sleep is over;
    Awake they realize
    They're the same as before.
    - Baisao
  68. 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 will learn.
    - Chao-Chou
  69. Act without doing; work without effort.
    - Tao The Ching
  70. Draw bamboos for ten years, become a bamboo, then forget all about bamboos when you are drawing.
    - Georges Duthuit
  71. Stop, stop. Do not speak. The ultimate truth is not even to think.
    - Buddha
  72. Zen is the unsymbolization of the world.
    R. H. Blyth
  73. Say something about a thing and already you are off the mark.
    - Nan-Yueh Huai-Jang
  74. The prayer of the man is not perfect until he no longer recognizes himself or the fact that that he is praying.
    - St. Anthony
  75. Just before she died, Gertrude Stein asked: "What is the answer?" No answer came.
    She laughed and said: "In that case what is the question?" Then she died.
  76. A monk asked Yueh-shan, "What does one think of while sitting?"
    "One thinks of not-thinking", the Master replied.
    "How does one think of not-thinking?" the monk asked?
    "Without thinking", the Master said.
  77. 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.
    - Charlotte Joko Beck
  78. Just as elephants don't travel on rabbit paths, great enlightenment isn't a matter of details.
  79. Among the great things which are to be found among us, the Being of Nothingness is the greatest.
    - Leonard Da Vinci
  80. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.
    - Wu-Men
  81. We accept graceful falling
    Of Mountain cherry blossoms,
    But it is much gharder for us
    To fall away from our own
    Attachment to the world.
    - Rengetsu
  82. Everything 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
  83. TODAY
    (Word carved on a stone on John Ruskin's desk)
  84. At any given moment, I open my eyes and exist.
    And before that, during all eternity, what was there? Nothing.
    - Ugo Betti
  85. Nothing is more real than nothing.
    - Samuel Beckett
  86. No one belongs to me; I belong to no one.
    There is no "I" or "mine"; all is blissful aloneless.
    - The Mahabharata
  87. The Meaning of Life is to see.
  88. I discovered the secret of the sea in meditation upon the dew drop.
    Kahil Gibran
  89. In rain during a dark night, enter that darkness.
    - Shiva
  90. If enlightenment is not where you are standing, where will you look?
    - Zen Saying
  91. 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'
  92. What lies behind us and what lies before us
    are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
    - Oliver Wendell Holmes
  93. 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
  94. Siddhartha 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
  95. When one see Eternity in things that pass away and Infinity in finite things,
    then one has pure knowledge.
    - Bhagavad Gita
  96. The gaps 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.
    Annie Dillard
  97. If you overlook the Way right before your eyes,
    how will you recognize the path beneath your feet?
    - Shih-T'ou
  98. We are more curious about the meaning of dreams than about things we see when awake.
    - Diogenes
  99. If you are not happy here and now, you never will be.
    - Taisen Deshimaru
  100. Zen is like looking for spectacles that are sitting on your nose.
    - Zen Saying

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