quote by Dogen

If you cannot find the truth right where you are, where else do you expect to find it?

— Dogen

Provocative Zen Life quotations

If you light a lamp for somebody, it will also brighten your path.


Zen life quote For what it's worth: it's never too late to be whoever you want to be. I hope yo
For what it's worth: it's never too late to be whoever you want to be. I hope you live a life you're proud of, and, if you find that you're not, I hope you have the strength to start over.

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.

Zen life quote Some days I wish I could go back in life. Not to change anything, but to feel a
Some days I wish I could go back in life. Not to change anything, but to feel a few things twice.

In a controversy, the instant we feel anger, we have already ceased striving for truth and have begun striving for ourselves.

You are an aperture through which the universe is looking at and exploring itself.

Life is a vast, unknowable movement of wholeness with no one separate from it and nothing outside of it.


Zen life quote There comes a point in your life when you need to stop reading other people's bo
There comes a point in your life when you need to stop reading other people's book and write your own.

Mind is everything. What we think, we become.

Flow with whatever may happen and let your mind be free.

When the student is ready the teacher will appear.

Zen life quote Never be a prisoner of your past. It was just a lesson, not a life sentence.
Never be a prisoner of your past. It was just a lesson, not a life sentence.
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Learning to let go should be learned before learning to get. Life should be touched, not strangled.

A zen master's life is one continuous mistake.


Zen has no secrets other than seriously thinking about life and death.

Zen life quote Getting knocked down in life is a given. Getting up and moving forward is a choi
Getting knocked down in life is a given. Getting up and moving forward is a choice.

Before enlightenment; chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment; chop wood, carry water.

Zen is not “attained” by mirror-wiping mediation, but by “self-forgetfulness in the existential 'present' of life here and now.” We do not “come”, we “are.” Don't strive to become, but be.

Nothing ever exists entirely alone; everything is in relation to everythiong else.

Zen life quote The secret to living well and longer is: eat half, walk double, laugh triple and
The secret to living well and longer is: eat half, walk double, laugh triple and love without measure.

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.


Don't seek, don't search, don't ask, don't knock, don't demand - relax.

When a garden is used as a place to pause for thought, that is when a Zen garden comes to life. When you contemplate a garden like this it will form as lasting impression on your heart.

Zen life quote Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest ste
Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life. Tip top if you must, but take the step.

The central benefit of Zen, in the context of ordinary ups and downs of life,is not in preventing the minus and promoting the plus,but in directing people to the fundamental reality that is not under the sway of ups and downs.

Walking is Zen, sitting is Zen. Then what will be the quality? Watchfully alert, joyously unmotivated, centered, loving, flowing, one walks. And the walking is sauntering. Loving, alert, watchful, one sits, unmotivated - not sitting for anything in particular, just enjoying how beautiful just sitting doing nothing is, how relaxing, how restful.

Zen is not some kind of excitement, but concentration on our usual everyday routine.


Zen life quote Don't wait for everything to be perfect before you decide to enjoy your life.
Don't wait for everything to be perfect before you decide to enjoy your life.

The real goal of Zen is to find a way of life that's easy and undramatic.

Strong attachments lead to upset and drama.

People get stuck a lot because they're afraid to act;

in the worst case,...we get so attached to some end result that we can't function. We need help just to move on, only life doesn't wait.

Real Freedom is to not feel limited when wearing this Zen robe, this troublesome formal robe. Similarly, in our busy life we should wear this civilization without being bothered by it, without ignoring it, without being caught by it.

Zen life quote Don't compare your life to others. There's no comparison between the sun and the
Don't compare your life to others. There's no comparison between the sun and the moon. They shine when it's their time.

Even death is not to be feared by one who has lived wisely.

Life should be touched, not strangled.


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.

Zen life quote Failure are part of life. If you don't fail, you don't learn. If you don't learn
Failure are part of life. If you don't fail, you don't learn. If you don't learn you'll never change.

Zen is the way of complete self-realization;

a living human being who follows the way of Zen can attain satori and then live a new life as a Buddha.

We take life for granted, sleepwalking until a shattering event knocks us awake.

Zen says, don't wait until the car accident, the cancer diagnosis, or the death of a loved one to get your priorities straight. Do it now.

There are things that I value now that I didn't when I first went over there, like Zen Buddhism, which has become part of my life over the last couple years.

Zen life quote Life is like a piano, the white keys represent happiness and the black shows sad
Life is like a piano, the white keys represent happiness and the black shows sadness, but as you go through life's journey, remember that the black keys also makes music.
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To practice Zen means to realize one's existence in the beauty and clarity of this present moment, rather than letting life unravel in useless daydreaming of the past and future.


The life of Zen begins, therefore, in a disillusion with the pursuit of goals which do not really exist the good without the bad, the gratification of a self which is no more than an idea, and the morrow which never comes.

I have developed a Zen-like approach to the operating systems that people use: 'When you're ready, the right operating system will appear in your life.

Life shoould be touched, not strangled.

You've got to relax, let it happen at times, and at other move forward with it.

I think metaphysics is good if it improves everyday life; otherwise forget it.