10 Thoughts on Zen

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Zen can be a philosophy, a spiritual tradition, or simply a“way.” Here are ten diverse thoughts (from teachers, writers and Zen masters)on what it means to walk the Zen path.

1. Zen is not about eliminating thoughts butilluminating them. (Gerald May)

2. Zen is not some kind of excitement butconcentration on our usual everyday routine. (Shunryu Suzuki)

3. The ultimate standpoint of Zen is that… thepeace we are seeking so eagerly has been there all the time. (D.T. Suzuki)

4. The beauty of Zen is found in simplicity andtranquility, in a sense of the all-embracing harmony of things. (ThichThien-An)

5. The whole point of Zen is to suspend therules we have superimposed on things and to see the world as it is. (AlanWatts)

6. Before enlightenment, I chopped wood andcarried water. After enlightenment, I chopped wood and carried water. (ZenBuddhism)

7. Zen: If you try to aim for it, you areturning away from it. (Anonymous)

8. Zen is not thinking about God while peeling potatoes.Zen is just about peeling the potatoes. (Modern Saying)

9. The only Zen you can find on the tops ofmountains is the Zen you bring up there. (Robert M. Pirsig)

10. There is no need to have a deepunderstanding of Zen. (Shunryu Suzuki)

Overall, Zen means creating a sense of awareness and intentionin everything you do. To do this, you do not have to live on a mountaintop ortemple – simply breathe and go slowly in order to find your unique path ineveryday surroundings.


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