I’ve always loved the religious philosophy of Zen Buddhism, for many reasons, and one of those reasons is that just by speaking a few words, Zen masters are able to transmit tremendously important messages that are of immense value to all seekers on the path to spiritual awakening. Here you will find for yourself a collection of some (100!) of the best zen sayings and proverbs of all time, which will hopefully help you see yourself and the world with new, fresh eyes.

THE PRESENT MOMENT AND MINDFULNESS

“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

“The only thing that is ultimately real about your journey is the step that you are taking at this moment. That’s all there ever is.”- Eckhart Tolle

“If you miss the present moment, you miss your appointment with life. That is very serious!”- Thich Nhat Hanh

“Practice is this life, and realization is this life, and this life is revealed right here and now.”- Maezumi Roshi

“If you want to change the world, start with the next person who comes to you in need.”- B. D. Schiers

“My experience is that the teachers we need most are the people we’re living with right now.”- Byron Katie

“Wherever you are, be there totally.”- Eckhart Tolle

“I’m here to tell you that the path to peace is right there, when you want to get away.”- Pema Chödrön

“When you are present, you can allow the mind to be as it is without getting entangled in it.”- Eckhart Tolle

“Guilt, regret, resentment, sadness & all forms of nonforgiveness are caused by too much past & not enough presence.”- Eckhart Tolle

“Throughout this life, you can never be certain of living long enough to take another breath.”- Huang Po

“Awareness is the greatest agent for change.”- Eckhart Tolle

“When you do something, you should burn yourself up completely, like a good bonfire, leaving no trace of yourself.”- Shunryu Suzuki

“The art of living… is neither careless drifting on the one hand nor fearful clinging to the past on the other. It consists in being sensitive to each moment, in regarding it as utterly new and unique, in having the mind open and wholly receptive.”- Alan Watts

“The intuitive recognition of the instant, thus reality… is the highest act of wisdom.”- D.T. Suzuki

“Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves – slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future.”- Thich Nhat Hanh

“And when they played they really played. And when they worked they really worked.”- Dr. Seuss

INTERBEING

“Heaven and earth and I are of the same root,
The ten-thousand things and I are of one substance.”- Seng-chao

“It really boils down to this: that all life is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”- Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Preparing food is not just about yourself and others. It is about everything!”- Shunryu Suzuki

“Things derive their being and nature by mutual dependence and are nothing in themselves”- Nagarjuna

“Nothing ever exists entirely alone. Everything is in relation to everything else.”- Buddha

“We are here to awaken from our illusion of separateness.”- Thích Nhat Hanh

“Heaven & earth & I are of the same root. Ten thousand things & I are of one substance.”- Sêng-chao

AWAKENING AND EVERYDAY LIFE

If we don’t occupy ourself with everything, then peaceful mind will have nowhere to abide.”- Shen-hui

“Flow with whatever may happen and let your mind be free: Stay centered by accepting whatever you are doing. This is the ultimate.”- Chuang

“The Buddha talked about saving all beings from delusion, not converting them to a new religion.”- Buddhism Now

“Let your mind wander in the pure and simple. Be one with the infinite. Let all things take their course.”- Chuang Tzu

“Let go over a cliff, die completely, and then come back to life — after that you cannot be deceived.”- Zen Proverb

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