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.— D.T. Suzuki
The most grateful D.T. Suzuki quotes that are easy to memorize and remember
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
Emptiness which is conceptually liable to be mistaken for sheer nothingness is in fact the reservoir of infinite possibilities.
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.
I am an artist at living - my work of art is my life.
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?
Zen opens a man's eyes to the greatest mystery as it is daily and hourly performed; it enlarges the heart to embrace eternity of time and infinity of space in its every palpitation; it makes us live in the world as if walking in the garden of Eden
Technical knowledge is not enough. One must transcend techniques so that the art becomes an artless art, growing out of the unconscious.
You ought to know how to rise above the trivialities of life, in which most people are found drowning themselves.
The contradiction so puzzling to the ordinary way of thinking comes from the fact that we have to use language to communicate our inner experience, which in its very nature transcends linguistics.
That's why I love philosophy: no one wins.
The right art is purposeless, aimless! The more obstinately you try to learn how to shoot the arrow for the sake of hitting the goal, the less you will succeed in the one and the further the other will recede.
Among the most remarkable features characterizing Zen we find these: spirituality, directness of expression, disregard of form or conventionalism, and frequently an almost wanton delight in going astray from respectability.
Personal experience, therefore, is everything in Zen.
No ideas are intelligible to those who have no backing of experience.
The ego-shell in which we live is the hardest thing to outgrow.
Zen wants us to acquire an entirely new point of view whereby to look into the mysteries of life and the secrets of nature. This is because Zen has come to the definite conclusion that the ordinary logical process of reasoning is powerless to give final satisfaction to our deepest spiritual needs.
The waters are in motion, but the moon retains its serenity.
A simple fishing boat in the midst of the rippling waters is enough to awaken in the mind of the beholder a sense of vastness of the sea and at the same time of peace and contentment - the Zen sense oof the alone.
The intuitive recognition of the instant, thus reality is the highest act of wisdom.
Zen is the spirit of a man. Zen believes in his inner purity and goodness. Whatever is superadded or violently torn away, injures the wholesomeness of the spirit. Zen, therefore, is emphatically against all religious conventionalism.
The worst passion we mortals cherish is the desire to possess.
Even when we know that our final destination is a hole not more than three feet square, we have the strongest craving
Dhyana is retaining one's tranquil state of mind in any circumstance, unfavorable as well as favorable, and not being disturbed or frustrated even when adverse conditions present themselves one after another.
The fighter is to be always single-minded with one object in view: to fight, looking neither backward nor sidewise. To go straight forward in order to crush the enemy is all that is necessary for him.
Zen, in its essence is the art of seeing into the nature of one's own being, and it points the way from bondage to freedom. By making us drink right from the fountain of life it liberates us from all the yokes under which we finite beings are usually suffering in this world.
We do not realize that as soon as our thoughts cease and all attempts at forming ideas are forgotten the Buddha reveals himself before us.
The mistake consists in our splitting into two what is really and absolutely one. Is not life one as we live it, which we cut to pieces by recklessly applying the murderous knife of intellectual surgery?
Because since the beginningless past we are running after objects, not knowing where our Self is, we lose track of the Original Mind and are tormented all the time by the threatening objective world, regarding it as good or bad, true or false, agreeable or disagreeable. We are thus slaves of things and circumstances.
I raise my hand; I take a book from the other side of this desk; I hear the boys playing ball outside my window; I see the clouds blown away beyond the neighboring woods:-in all these I am practicing Zen, I am living Zen. No worldly discussion is necessary, or any explanation.
Suzuki's works on Zen Buddhism are among the best contributions to the knowledge of living Buddhism... We cannot be sufficiently grateful to the author, first for the fact of his having brought Zen closer to Western understanding, and secondly for the manner in which he has achieved this task.
Let the intellect alone, it has its usefulness in its proper sphere, but let it not interfere with the flowing of the life-stream.
The claim of the Zen followers that they are transmitting the essence of Buddhism is based on their belief that Zen takes hold of the enlivening spirit of the Buddha, stripped of all its historical and doctrinal garments.
To be a good Zen Buddhist it is not enough to follow the teaching of its founder; we have to experience the Buddha's experience.
Copying is slavery. The letter must never be followed, only the spirit is to be grasped. Higher affirmations live in the spirit. And where is the spirit? Seek it in your everyday experience, and therein lies abundance of proof for all you need.
Prophecy is rash, but it may be that the publication of D.
T. Suzuki's first Essays in Zen Buddhism in 1927 will seem to future generations as great an intellectual event as William of Moerbeke's Latin translations of Aristotle in the thirteenth century or Marsiglio Ficino's of Plato in the fifteenth.
The basic idea of Zen is to come in touch with the inner workings of our being, and to do this in the most direct way possible, without resorting to anything external or superadded. Therefore, anything that has the semblance of an external authority is rejected by Zen. Absolute faith is placed in a man's own inner being. For whatever authority there is in Zen, all comes from within.
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.
Great works are done when one is not calculating and thinking.
Zen Makes use, to a great extent, of poetical expressions; Zen is wedded to poetry.
The mind has first to be attuned to the Unconscious.
To Zen, time and eternity are one.
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.
One has not understood until one has forgotten it.
When the identity is realized, I as swordsman see no opponent confronting me and threatening to strike me. I seem to transform myself into the opponent, and every movement he makes as well as every thought he conceives are felt as if they were my own and I intuitively...know when and how to strike him.
Fundamentally the marksman aims at himself.
We can see unmistakeably that there is an inner relationship between Zen and the warrior's life.
If I am asked If I am asked, then, what Zen teaches, I would answer, Zen teaches nothing. Whatever teachings there are in Zen, they come out of one's own mind. We teach ourselves; Zen merely points the way.
Until we recognize the SELF that exists apart from who we think we are - we cannot know the Ch'an ( ZEN ) MIND
Zen professes itself to be the spirit of Buddhism, but in fact it is the spirit of all religions and philosophies.
Zen teaches nothing; it merely enables us to wake up and become aware. It does not teach, it points.