Zen Sayings and Quotes

Below you will find our collection of inspirational, wise, and humorous old zen quotes, zen sayings, and zen proverbs, collected over the years from a variety of sources.

Zen teaches that if we can open up to the inevitability of our demise, we can begin to transform and lighten up about it. Allen Klein
We carry inside us the wonders we seek outside us. Rumi
The way out is through the door. Why is it that no one will use this method? Confucius
This is the real secret of life -- to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play. Alan Watts
If you have inner peace, nobody can force you to be a slave to the outer reality. Sri Chinmoy
A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep. Saul Bellow
The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. Eleanor Roosevelt
I'm here to tell you that the path to peace is right there, when you want to get away. Pema Chödrön
Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun. Alan W. Watts
Before enlightenment; chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment; chop wood, carry water. Buddha
Recognize the ego for what it is: a collective dysfunction, the insanity of the human mind. Eckhart Tolle
Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering. Yoda
To study Buddhism is to study ourselves. To study ourselves is to forget ourselves. Dogen Zenji
In the stillness of the mind I saw myself as I am - unbound. Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
Guilt, regret, resentment, sadness & all forms of nonforgiveness are caused by too much past & not enough presence. Eckhart Tolle
Work out your own salvation. Do not depend on others. Buddha
Zen is not an art, it's not a religion. It's a realisation. Gene Clark
You should study not only that you become a mother when your child is born, but also that you become a child. Dogen Zenji
Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet. Thich Nhat Hanh
Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I'll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass the world is too full to talk about. Jalaluddin Rumi
What was never lost can never be found. Zen Saying
Throughout this life, you can never be certain of living long enough to take another breath. Huang Po
Life is a journey. Time is a river. The door is ajar. Jim Butcher
One who conquers himself is greater than another who conquers a thousand times a thousand on the battlefield. Buddha
Zen does not confuse spirituality with thinking about God while peeling potatoes. Zen spirituality is just to peel the potatoes. Alan Watts
Practice is this life, and realization is this life, and this life is revealed right here and now. Maezumi Roshi
Only the hand that erases can write the true thing. Meister Eckhart
Meditation is the ultimate mobile device; you can use it anywhere, anytime, unobtrusively. Sharon Salzberg
Zen is not some kind of excitement, but concentration on our usual everyday routine. Shunryu Suzuki
I come to realize that mind is no other than mountains and rivers and the great wide earth, the sun and the moon and stars. Dogen Zenji