Quotes

If you’re looking for the old rants page, or some general me-talking-shit-about-nothing-particular stuff, well I’m sorry to disappoint you. My views on things have not changed, but I no longer feel the need or want to emote them here.

I give you something more positive and humorous. There’s a particularly Zen leaning in many of these quotes, which I make no apologies for – they just seemed appropriate. Make of them what you will. 😀

No Attachment To Dust

Zengetsu, a Chinese master of the T’ang dynasty, wrote the following advice for his pupils:

  • Living in the world yet not forming attachments to the dust of the world is the way of a true Zen student.
  • When witnessing the good action of another encourage yourself to follow his example. Hearing of the mistaken action of another, advise yourself not to emulate it.
  • Even though alone in a dark room, be as if you were facing a noble guest. Express your feelings, but become no more expressive than your true nature.
  • Poverty is your treasure. Never exchange it for an easy life.
  • A person may appear a fool and yet not be one. He may only be guarding his wisdom carefully.
  • Virtues are the fruit of self-discipline and do not drop from heaven of themselves as does rain or snow.
  • Modesty is the foundation of all virtues. Let your neighbors discover you before you make yourself known to them.
  • A noble heart never forces itself forward. Its words are as rare gems, seldom displayed and of great value.
  • To a sincere student, every day is a fortunate day. Time passes but he never lags behind. Neither glory nor shame can move him.
  • Censure yourself, never another. Do not discuss right and wrong.
  • Some things, though right, were considered wrong for generations. Since the value of righteousness may be recognized after centuries, there is no need to crave immediate appreciation.

What is the Way? (Unmon Yenyan)

Monk: “What is the one road of Ummon?”
Ummon: “Personal Experience!”
Monk: “What is the Way?”
Ummon: “Go!”
Monk: “What is the road, where is the Way?”
Ummon: “Begin walking it!”

The Source of Your Joy (Thich Nhat Hanh)

Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy

Folk Zen Quotes

  • Master your mind, rather than mastered by mind
  • Do not speak – unless it improves on silence
  • You can explore the universe looking for somebody who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and you will not find that person anywhere.
  • A heavy snowfall disappears into the sea. What silence!
  • When an ordinary man attains knowledge, he is a sage; when a sage attains understanding, he is an ordinary man.

The Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear

I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass through me and over me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.

Dune – A Place is only a place (Thufir Hawat, Mentat)

Parting with friends is a sadness. A place is only a place.

Not Out There – Here! (Yasutani Roshi)

The fundamental delusion of humanity is to suppose that I am here and you are out there.

I’m where I needed to be (Douglas Adams)

I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.

Mind (Siddartha Gautama)

Everything is based on mind, is led by mind, is fashioned by mind. If you speak and act with a polluted mind, suffering will follow you, as the wheels of the oxcart follow the footsteps of the ox.
Everything is based on mind, is led by mind, is fashioned by mind. If you speak and act with a pure mind, happiness will follow you, as a shadow clings to a form.

Love (Lao Tzu)

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength; loving someone deeply gives you courage.

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