Awakening Spiritual

100 Best Zen Sayings And Proverbs That Will Make You Feel Peaceful


Reading and listening carefully to the best inspirational Zen sayings and proverbs may sometimes be the selfcare you need to improve your life.

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 about life, which will hopefully help you see yourself and the world with new, fresh eyes.

100 Daily Zen Sayings About Life

Zen Sayings About Life
Motivational Zen Proverbs And Sayings


1.“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 to work, realize it is played.”- Alan Watts

2.“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

Zen Sayings And Proverbs
Zen Sayings About Stress

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

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

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

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

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

Zen Sayings And Proverbs
Funny Zen Sayings And Proverbs

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

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

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

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

12. “Many people think excitement is happiness…. But when you are excited you are not peaceful. True happiness is based on peace.” ― Thich Nhat Hanh, The Art of Power

Zen Sayings And Proverbs
Zen Sayings About Life

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

14.“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

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

16.“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

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

Zen Sayings And Proverbs
Zen Quotes And Sayings


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

19.“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.

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

27. “Life is the most true school,
The teacher who never stops teaching
Even when you think you know everything
it keeps giving you lessons.” – Maria Rita Canto

Zen Sayings And Proverbs
Daily Zen Sayings About Life That Will Make You Feel Peaceful

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

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

30.“People sleep, and when they die they wake.”- Muhammad

31.“Today, you can decide to walk in freedom. You can choose to walk differently. You can walk as a free person, enjoying every step.”- Thich Nhat Hanh

32.“When an ordinary man attains knowledge, he is a sage; when a sage attains understanding, he is an ordinary man.”- Zen Proverb

33.“The personal life deeply lived always expands into truths beyond itself.”- Anais Nin

34.“Each step along the Buddha’s path to happiness requires practicing mindfulness until it becomes part of your daily life.”- Henepola Gunaratana

35.“Power over others is weakness disguised as strength. True power is within & available to you now.”- Eckhart Tolle

36. You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection. – Buddha

Zen Sayings And Proverbs
Daily Zen Sayings About Life That Will Make You Feel Peaceful

37.“Self-realization is effortless. What you are trying to find is what you already are.”- Ramesh Balsekar

38. “There are hundreds of paths up the mountain, all leading in the same direction, so it doesn’t matter which path you take. The only one wasting time is the one who runs around and around the mountain, telling everyone else that their path is wrong.” – Hindu Teaching

Zen Sayings And Proverbs
Daily Zen Sayings About Life That Will Make You Feel Peaceful

39.“The way out of life & death is not some special technique; the essential thing is to penetrate to the root of life & death.”- Bucko

40.“The aim of spiritual life is to awaken a joyful freedom, a benevolent and compassionate heart in spite of everything.”- Jack Kornfield

41.“People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child — our own two eyes. All is a miracle.”- Thích Nhat Hanh

42.“Not thinking about anything is Zen. Once you know this, walking, sitting, or lying down, everything you do is Zen.”- Bodhidharma

43.“It’s not about approving or liking, but just being able to allow the world to be the way it is without resenting, hating, or judging it.”- Buddhism Now

44.“Only when you can be extremely pliable and soft can you be extremely hard and strong.”- Zen Proverb

45.“It all depends on you. You can go on sleeping forever, you can wake up right this moment.”- Osho

46.“To understand everything is to forgive everything”- Gautama Siddhartha

47.“Any enlightenment which requires to be authenticated, certified, recognized, congratulated, is false, or at least incomplete.”- R.H. Blyth

48.“To follow the path, look to the master, follow the master, walk with the master, see through the master, become the master.”- Zen Proverb

49.“Learning Zen is a phenomenon of gold & dung. Before you learn it, it’s like gold; after you learn it, it’s like dung.”- Zen Proverb


50.“You are a function of what the whole universe is doing in the same way that a wave is a function of what the whole ocean is doing.”- Alan Watts

51.“At the still-point in the center of the circle, one can see the infinite in all things.”- Chuang Tzu

52.“No snowflake ever falls in the wrong place.”- Zen Proverb

53.“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and right-doing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there.”- Rumi

Zen Sayings And Proverbs
Daily Zen Sayings About Life That Will Make You Feel Peaceful

54.“Why is the tao so valuable? Because it is everywhere, and everyone can use it. This is why those who seek will find.”- Lao Tzu

55.“Do not seek the truth, only cease to cherish your opinions.”- Seng-ts’an

56.“Any experience of reality is indescribable!”- R. D. Laing

57.“No thought, no reflection, no analysis, no cultivation, no intention; let it settle itself.”- Tilopa

58.“You’re never given more pain than you can handle. You never, ever get more than you can take.”- Byron Katie

59.“In the scenery of spring, nothing is better, nothing worse; the flowering branches are; some long, some short.”- Eicho

60. “I’ve learned so much from my mistakes, I’m thinking of making a few more.”

Zen Sayings And Proverbs
Funny Zen Sayings About Life

61.“Still water has no mind to receive the image of the migrating geese.”- Zen Proverb

62.“All the things that truly matter, beauty, love, creativity, joy and inner peace arise from beyond the mind.”- Eckhart Tolle

63.“As a bee gathering nectar does not harm or disturb the color & fragrance of the flower; so do the wise move through the world.”- Buddha

64.“Zazen is an activity that is an extension of the universe. Zazen is not the life of an individual, it’s the universe that’s breathing.”- Dogen

65.“The whole moon and the entire sky are reflected in one dewdrop on the grass.”- Dogen

66.“Tao in the world is like a river flowing home to the sea.”- Lao Tzu

67.“Try to imagine what it will be like to go to sleep and never wake up… now try to imagine what it was like to wake up having never gone to sleep.”- Alan Watts

68.“You are an aperture through which the universe is looking at and exploring itself.”- Alan Watts

Zen Sayings And Proverbs
Zen Quotes And Sayings

69.“Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.”- Alan Watts

70.“Through our eyes, the universe is perceiving itself. Through our ears, the universe is listening to its harmonies. We are the witnesses through which the universe becomes conscious of its glory, of its magnificence.”- Alan Watts

71.“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?”- D.T. Suzuki


72.“One must be deeply aware of the impermanence of the world.”- Doge


73.“The practice of Zen is forgetting the self in the act of uniting with something.”- Koun Yamada

74.“The self divides into ten billion distinct illuminating spirits. Distinguish these without falling into names and classifications.”– Hongzhi1

75.“To study Buddhism is to study the self. To study the self is to forget the self. To forget the self is to be awakened by all things.”- Dogen

76.“Melting our attachment to self is the most powerful medication for bringing mental and emotional imbalances in check.”- Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche

77. Your mind is a powerful tool. Fill it with positive thoughts, and your life will flourish.

Zen Sayings And Proverbs
Daily Zen Sayings About Life

78.“The Zen expression “Kill the Buddha!” means to kill any concept of the Buddha as something apart from oneself. – Peter Matthiessen

79.“When you hear that all beings are Buddha, don’t fall into the error of thinking there’s more than one Buddha.”- Zen Graffiti

80.“Have good trust in yourself … not in the One that you think you should be, but in the One that you are.”- Maezumi Roshi


81.“Zen has no business with ideas.”- D.T. Suzuki

82.“What is important is not the right doctrine but the attainment of the true experience. It is giving up believing in belief.”- Alan Keightley

83.“The menu is not the meal.”- Alan Watts

84.“Trying to define yourself is like trying to bite your own teeth.”- Alan Watts

85.“My finger can point to the moon, but my finger is not the moon. You don’t have to become my finger, nor do you have to worship my finger. You have to forget my finger, and look at where it is pointing.”- Osho

86. “You will have bad times, but they will always wake you up to the stuff you weren’t paying attention to.” – Robin Williams

Zen Sayings And Proverbs
Daily Zen Sayings About Life


87.“If you are unable to find the truth right where you are, where else do you expect to find it?”- Dogen

88.“The meaning of life is just to be alive. It is so plain and so obvious and so simple. And yet, everybody rushes around in a great panic as if it were necessary to achieve something beyond themselves.”- Alan Watts

89.“Life isn’t as serious as the mind makes it out to be.”- Eckhart Tolle

90.“Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun.”- Alan Watts

91.“Muddy water is best cleared by leaving it alone.”- Alan Watts

92.“The greatest effort is not concerned with results.”- Atisha

93.“When I feel like dancing, I dance. I don’t care if anyone else is dancing or if everyone else is laughing at me. I dance.”- Rachel Danson

94.“Every being is in search of truth, but small fears go on preventing you.”- Osho

95.“All true artists, whether they know it or not, create from a place of no-mind, from inner stillness.”- Eckhart Tolle

96.“I have lived with several Zen masters — all of them cats.”- Eckhart Tolle

97.“The search for happiness is one of the chief sources of unhappiness.”- Eric Hoffer

98.“The resistance to the unpleasant situation is the root of suffering.”- Ram Dass

99.“For things to reveal themselves to us, we need to be ready to abandon our views about them.”- Thích Nhat Hanh

100.“A follower of the way has neither form nor shape, neither root nor trunk; nor dwelling place; like a fish leaping in the water.”- Rinzai Zen proverb

101.“I cannot tell you any spiritual truth that you don’t know already. All I can do is remind you of what you have forgotten.”- Eckhart Tolle

Zen Sayings And Proverbs
Daily Zen Sayings About Life

If you want more Zen in your life then here are a few things to do:

Zen Sayings And Proverbs
Funny Zen Sayings About Life

So which one of these Zen sayings about life your favorite? Drop your thoughts in the comments below.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can anyone become Zen?

Zen is a path that requires study, training, and enlightenment. Anyone may become Zen if the essential ideals are mastered with diligence.

Are there different types of Zen?

There are five types of Zen: bompu zen, gedo zen, shojo zen, daijo zen, and saijojo zen.

What is the difference between the concept of Buddhism and Zen?

Buddhism is based on the life-death cycle and the pursuit of enlightenment. Zen focuses on achieving enlightenment while also accepting a few radical Taoist beliefs.


Category: Awakening Spiritual

Infinity Kelly

Infinity Kelly(she/her) is a freelance writer and astrologer who covers news, lifestyle, and entertainment topics, including astrology and relationships. She regularly contributes to elitedaily, Wooman’s Day, and YouGov, among other publications. When she’s not working, you can find her running, traveling, or scrolling TikTok. Follow her on Twitter.

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