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Zen Koan Quotes & Sayings

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Top Zen Koan Quotes

Zen Koan Quotes By Frederick Lenz

Zen has lost its zip, if you will, or its nothingness and has become ritualistic Its established in monastaries with strict codes of koan study. — Frederick Lenz

Zen Koan Quotes By Ikkyu

It isn't that we're alone or not alone
whose voice do you want mine? yours? — Ikkyu

Zen Koan Quotes By Zsuzsi Gartner

Wisteria hangs over the eaves like clumps of ghostly grapes. Euphorbia's pale blooms billow like sea froth. Blood grass twists upward, knifing the air, while underground its roots go berserk, goosing everything in their path. A magnolia, impatient with vulvic flesh, erupts in front of the living room window. The recovering terrorist
holding a watering can filled with equal parts fish fertilizer and water, paisley gloves right up over her freckled forearms, a straw hat with its big brim shading her eyes, old tennis shoes speckled with dew
moves through her front garden. Her face, she tells herself, like a Zen koan. The look of one lip smiling. — Zsuzsi Gartner

Zen Koan Quotes By Ikkyu

That stone Buddha deserves all the
birdshit it gets
I wave my skinny arms like a tall
flower in the wind — Ikkyu

Zen Koan Quotes By Scarlett Thomas

Christopher, like most people, didn't like his universe being unfathomable, so I doubted that a Zen koan would help him. — Scarlett Thomas

Zen Koan Quotes By Dick Allen

You listen to people, you listen so deeply that you can hear their past lives,
The crackle of their funeral pyres, — Dick Allen

Zen Koan Quotes By Tom Robbins

Well, I believe life is a Zen koan, that is, an unsolvable riddle. But the contemplation of that riddle - even though it cannot be solved - is, in itself, transformative. And if the contemplation is of high enough quality, you can merge with the divine. — Tom Robbins

Zen Koan Quotes By Ikkyu

I'd love to give you something
but what would help? — Ikkyu

Zen Koan Quotes By Brad Warner

Sanity and enlightenment ... I've been reading a new book Dogen's Genjo Koan: Three Commentaries, and it contains a commentary on Genjo Koan by Shunryu Suzuki, the author who wrote Zen Mind, Beginners Mind. He doesn't mention sanity at all but I think that one possible definition of enlightenment would be a kind of profound sanity, where being insane is no longer an option. — Brad Warner

Zen Koan Quotes By Ikkyu

Born born everything is always born
thinking about it try not to — Ikkyu

Zen Koan Quotes By Dan Simmons

[Once Ummon asked a lesser light Are you a gardener> Yes it replied Why have turnips no roots> Ummon asked the gardener who could not reply Because said Ummon rainwater is plentiful] I think about this for a moment. Ummon's koan is not difficult now that I am regaining the knack of listening for the shadow of substance beneath the words. The little Zen parable is Ummon's way of saying, with some sarcasm, that the answer lies within science and within the antilogic which scientific answers so often provide. The rainwater comment answers everything and nothing, as so much of science has for so long. As Ummon and the other Masters teach, it explains why the giraffe evolved a long neck but never why the other animals did not. It explains why humankind evolved to intelligence, but not why the tree near the front gate refused to. — Dan Simmons

Zen Koan Quotes By Ikkyu

Hearing a crow with no mouth
Cry in the deep
Darkness of the night,
I feel a longing for
My father before he was born. — Ikkyu

Zen Koan Quotes By Ikkyu

We're lost where the mind can't find us
utterly lost — Ikkyu

Zen Koan Quotes By Stephen King

I had worked for a newspaper of sorts, word got around, and I became editor of our local school newspaper, The Drum. I don't recall being given any choice in this matter; I think I was simply appointed. My second-in-command, Danny Emond, had even less interest in the paper than I did. Danny just liked the idea that Room 4, where we did our work, was near the girls' bathroom. "Someday I'll just go crazy and hack my way in there, Steve," he told me on more than one occasion. "Hack, hack, hack." Once he added, perhaps in an effort to justify himself: "The prettiest girls in school pull up their skirts in there." This struck me as so fundamentally stupid it might actually be wise, like a Zen Koan or an early story by John Updike. — Stephen King

Zen Koan Quotes By Joe Hyams

The principle of avoiding conflict and never opposing an aggressor's strength head-on is the essence of aikido. We apply the same principle to problems that arise in life. The skilled aikidoist is as elusive as the truth of Zen; he makes himself into a koan - a puzzle which slips away the more one tries to solve it. He is like water in that he falls through the fingers of those who try to clutch him. Water does not hesitate before it yields, for the moment the fingers begin to close it moves away, not of its own strength, but by using the pressure applied to it. It is for this reason, perhaps, that one of the symbols for aikido is water. — Joe Hyams

Zen Koan Quotes By John Green

A koan is like a riddle that's supposed to help you toward enlightenment in Zen Buddhism. For my answer, I wrote about this guy Banzan. He was walking through the market on day when he overheard someone ask a butcher for his best piece of meat. The butcher answered, "Everything in my shop is the best. You cannot find a piece of meat that is not the best." Upon hearing this, Banzan realized that there is no best and no worst, that those judgments have no real meaning because there is only was is, and poof, he reached enlightenment. — John Green

Zen Koan Quotes By Dogen

When you paint Spring, do not paint willows, plums, peaches, or apricots, but just paint Spring. To paint willows, plums, peaches, or apricots is to paint willows, plums, peaches, or apricots - it is not yet painting Spring. — Dogen

Zen Koan Quotes By Ikkyu

Don't wait for the man standing in the
to cut off his arm help him now — Ikkyu

Zen Koan Quotes By Wumen Huikai

Every day Zuigan used to call out to himself, "Master!" and then he answered himself, "Yes, Sir!" And he added, "Awake, Awake!" and then answered, "Yes, Sir! Yes, Sir!"
"From now onwards, do not be deceived by others!" "No, Sir! I will not, Sir!"

Wumen Huikai

Zen Koan Quotes By Frederick Lenz

If the Zen master sees that it will cause a person to progress, he will ask that person to do a task. The task is charged with power if it's performed properly. It's a koan between yourself and the Zen Master. — Frederick Lenz

Zen Koan Quotes By Antoni Tapies

In the potential of absurdity, hiding in the disparate combination of the various different subjects which in themselves are nothing but daily items equally in the exclusive representation of a normal item taken out of their usual context , is by far the most radical - in its effect comparable to a Japanese Zen koan - paradox to be witnessed, which modern art has produced, one of the most forceful impulses that generated from it. — Antoni Tapies

Zen Koan Quotes By Ikkyu

Clouds very high look
not one word helped them get up there — Ikkyu