Zen sayings, sayings about life, inspirational quotes, daily positive thoughts from the teachings of Zen, Buddhism, and Taoism.
Sometimes an inspirational saying can just change your mood for the day...
And that is exactly what zen sayings will do...
Enjoy these carefully selected zen quotes and proverbs from such great teachers such as Lao Tzu and Buddha. And then scroll down to the bottom to see our selection of zen books and gifts.
~ "Your Treasure House is in yourself, it contains all you need."
~ "Before enlightenment; chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment; chop wood, carry water."
~ "Move and the way will open."
~ "Sitting quietly, doing nothing, spring comes, and the grass grows by itself."
~ "From the withered tree, a flower blooms."
~ "After enlightenment, the laundry."
~ "When walking, walk. When eating, eat."
~ "If you understand, things are just as they are; if you do not understand, things are just as they are."
~ "Do not seek the truth, only cease to cherish your opinions."
~ "If you want a certain thing, you must first be a certain person. Once you are that certain person, obtaining that certain thing will no longer be a concern of yours."
Zen Sayings by Lao Tzu
~ "The journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step."
~ "He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still."
~ "When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be."
~ "At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want."
~ "Be Content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you."
~ "The words of truth are always paradoxical."
~ "Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished."
Zen Sayings by the Buddha
~ "When the pupil is ready to learn, a teacher will appear."
~ "You will not be punished for your anger; you will be punished by your anger."
~ "All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become."
~ "If you light a lamp for somebody, it will also brighten your own path."
~ "One who conquers himself is greater than another who conquers a thousand times a thousand on the battlefield."
~ "All conditioned things are impermanent. When one see this is Wisdom, then one becomes dispassionate towards the painful."
~ "Support thy mother and father, Cherish loved ones and children. This is a blessing."
~ "The Middle Path of righteous living brings knowledge and understanding. It brings insight, leads to calm and wisdom, to awakening – Nirvana."
More Zen Sayings
"Just think of the trees: they let the birds perch and fly, with no intention to call them when they come and no longing for their return when they fly away. If people's hearts can be like the trees, they will not be off the Way."
~ Langya ~
"No thought, no reflection, no analysis, no cultivation, no intention; let it settle itself."
~ Tilopa ~
"I have done my best", that is about all the philosophy of living that one needs."
~ Lin-yutang ~
"Although gold dust is precious, when it gets in your eyes, it obstructs your vision."
~ Hsi-Tang ~
"No snowflake ever falls in the wrong place."
~ Ts’ai Ken T’an ~
"Be soft in your practice. Think of the method as a fine silvery stream, not a raging waterfall. Follow the stream, have faith in its course. It will go its own way, meandering here, trickling there. It will find the grooves, the cracks, the crevices. Just follow it. Never let it out of your sight. It will take you..."
~ Sheng-yen ~
"Talking about Zen all the time is like looking for fish tracks in a dry riverbed."
~ Wu-Tzu ~
"Just live that life. It doesn't matter whether it is life or hell, life of the hungry ghost, life of the animal, it's okay; just live that life, see. And as a matter of fact no other way. Where you stand, where you are, that's what your life is right there, regardless of how painful it is or how enjoyable it is. That's what it is."
~ Taizan Maezumi ~
"What is the path? the Zen Master Nan-sen was asked. Everyday life is the path, he answered."
~ Master Nan-sen~
"Zen does not confuse spirituality with thinking about God while one is peeling potatoes. Zen spirituality is just to peel the potatoes."
~ Alan Watts ~
"One day Chao-chou fell down in the snow, and called out, ''Help me up! Help me up!'' A monk came and lay down beside him. Chao-chou got up and went away."
~ Zen koan ~
"If you cannot find the truth right where you are, where else do you expect to find it?"
~ Dogen Zenji ~
"You will not be punished for your anger; you will be punished by your anger."
~ Hui Hai ~
Zen Sayings and Quotes by Osho
~ "This is the Zen approach: nothing is there to be done. There is nothing to do. One has just to be. Have a rest and be ordinary and be natural."
~ "Don’t seek, don’t search, don’t ask, don’t knock, don’t demand – relax. If you relax, it comes. If you relax, it is there. If you relax, you start vibrating with it."
~ "God is a synergetic experience. Science can never reveal it, philosophy can never come to it – only a poetic approach, a very passive, very loving approach, can."
~ "Zen is not a philosophy, it is poetry. It does not propose, it simply persuades. It does not argue, it simply sings its own song."
~ "In your hopelessness is the only hope, and in your desirelessness is your only fulfillment, and in your tremendous helplessness suddenly the whole existence starts helping you."
~ "Teachers open the door... You enter by yourself."
~ "A wise man makes his own decisions, an ignorant man follows the public opinion."
~ "The path of the enlightened one leaves no track- it is like the path of birds in the sky."
Japanese and Taoist Proverbs
~ "The reverse side also has a reverse side."
~ "When the character of a man is not clear to you, look at his friends."
~ "Don't seek the truth; just drop your opinions."
Zen Books And Gifts
If you have enjoyed our Zen Sayings, you might enjoy:
Set your mind to be calm and centered each day, practice non-attachment and start living better everyday!