When we start to feel anxious or depressed, instead of asking, “What do I need to get to be happy?” The question becomes, “What am I doing to disturb the inner peace that I already have?”
Zen teaches nothing; it merely enables us to wake up and become aware. It does not teach, it points.
The more you suffer the deeper grows your character, and with the deepening of your character you read the more penetratingly into the secrets of life. All great artists, all great religious leaders, and all great social reformers have come out of the intensest struggles which they fought bravely, quite frequently in tears and with bleeding hearts
Unless it grows out of yourself no knowledge is really yours, it is only borrowed plumage.
Thought creates things by slicing up reality into small bits that it can easily grasp. Thus when you are think-ing you are thing-ing. Thought does not report things, it distorts reality to create things, and as Bergson noted, “In so doing it allows what is the very essence of the real to escape.” Thus to the extent we actually imagine a world of discrete and separate things, conceptions have become perceptions, and we have in this manner populated our universe with nothing but ghosts.
Unless we agree to suffer we cannot be free from suffering.
I am an artist at living – my work of art is my life.
When traveling is made too easy and comfortable, its spiritual meaning is lost. This may be called sentimentalism, but a certain sense of loneliness engendered by traveling leads one to reflect upon the meaning of life, for life is after all a travelling from one unknown to another unknown.
Emptiness which is conceptually liable to be mistaken for sheer nothingness is in fact the reservoir of infinite possibilities.
The waters are in motion, but the moon retains its serenity.
You ought to know how to rise above the trivialities of life, in which most people are found drowning themselves.
The truth of Zen, just a little bit of it, is what turns one’s humdrum life, a life of monotonous, uninspiring commonplaceness, into one of art, full of genuine inner creativity.
We have two eyes to see two sides of things, but there must be a third eye which will see everything at the same time and yet not see anything. That is to understand Zen.
Great works are done when one is not calculating and thinking.
If you have attained something, this is the surest proof that you have gone astray. Therefore, not to have is to have, silence is thunder, ignorance is enlightenment.
Eternity is the Absolute present.
In the spiritual world there are no time divisions such as the past, present and future; for they have contracted themselves into a single moment of the present where life quivers in its true sense. The past and the future are both rolled up in this present moment of illumination, and this present moment is not something standing still with all its contents, for it ceaselessly moves on.
Technical knowledge is not enough. One must transcend techniques so that the art becomes an artless art, growing out of the unconscious.
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?
Implicity, there should be something mysterious in every day.
The ego-shell in which we live is the hardest thing to outgrow.
To live – is that not enough?
The truth of Zen is the truth of life, and life means to live, to move, to act, not merely to reflect.
Enlightenment is like everyday consciousness but two inches above the ground.
As soon as you raise a thought and begin to form an idea of it, you ruin the reality itself, because you then attach yourself to form.