Zen Inspirational Quotes

zen quotes on change

Zen is a form of Buddhism. It emphasizes the practice of meditation (known as zazen), as well as other practices aimed at achieving a state of enlightenment or awakening.

In Zen, the goal of meditation is to cultivate mindfulness and awareness of the present moment. This is often achieved through focusing on the breath or other physical sensations and allowing thoughts and emotions to arise and pass without getting caught up in them.

Zen also places an emphasis on living in the present moment and finding joy and contentment in everyday activities. This can be achieved through simple practices such as mindfulness of eating or walking, as well as through the cultivation of compassion and kindness towards others.

Buddha Zen Quote

In addition to meditation and mindfulness practices, Zen also includes teachings on ethics, philosophy, and the nature of reality. Zen teachings often emphasize the importance of direct experience and personal understanding over dogma or intellectual analysis.

Overall, Zen is a practice-based tradition that emphasizes the cultivation of awareness, compassion, and wisdom as a means of achieving greater insight and liberation.

Zen Quotes on Life

Here are some Zen quotes on life that offer insights and inspiration:

“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.”

Thich Nhat Hanh

“When walking, walk. When eating, eat.”

– Zen proverb

“The only way to live is by accepting each minute as an unrepeatable miracle.”

Tara Brach

“You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in a drop.”


“Life is a journey, and if you fall in love with the journey, you will be in love forever.”

Peter Hagerty

“The quieter you become, the more you can hear.”

Baba Ram Dass

“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.”


“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”

Nelson Mandela

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”

Lao Tzu

“Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions.”

Dalai Lama

These quotes offer reminders to live in the present moment, find joy in the journey of life, and cultivate a sense of compassion and awareness.

zen quotes for work

Here are some Zen quotes that may offer inspiration and guidance for work:

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

Shunryu Suzuki

“The secret of success is to do the common things uncommonly well.”

John D. Rockefeller

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

Mahatma Gandhi

“The obstacle is the path.”

Zen proverb

“Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart to give yourself to it.”


“If your mind is empty, it is always ready for anything; it is open to everything.”

Shunryu Suzuki

“Fall down seven times, get up eight.”

Japanese proverb

“Let go of what you think you know. It’s the only way to learn anything new.”

Zen proverb

“The way to do is to be.”

Lao Tzu

“The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried.”

Stephen McCranie

These quotes offer reminders to focus on the present moment, embrace challenges, and find purpose and meaning in one’s work.

zen quotes on balance

Here are some Zen quotes on balance that may offer inspiration and guidance:

“In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you.”

Deepak Chopra

“Balance is not something you find, it’s something you create.”

Jana Kingsford

“The most important thing is balance, and a sense of equilibrium, throughout your life.”

Hugh Mackay

“The wise find balance between the extremes.”


“The key to keeping your balance is knowing when you’ve lost it.”


“Balance is not better time management, but better boundary management. Balance means making choices and enjoying those choices.”

– Betsy Jacobson

“To attain knowledge, add things every day. To attain wisdom, subtract things every day.”

Lao Tzu

“If we could learn to balance rest against effort, calmness against strain, quiet against turmoil, we would assure ourselves of joy in living and psychological health for life.” Rathbone


“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”

Lao Tzu

“The best way to find balance is to not lose yourself in the first place.”


These quotes offer reminders to find balance in life by embracing stillness, managing boundaries, and finding equilibrium between opposing forces.

Famous Zen Quotes

Each morning, we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.


Do not let the behaviour of others destroy your inner peace.

Dalai Lama

When you realize nothing is lacking, the whole world belongs to you.

– Lao Tzu

If you are unable to find the truth right where you are, where else do you expect to find it?

– Dogen

If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.

Lao Tzu

Smile, breathe and go slowly.

Thich Nhat Hanh

Silence isn’t empty it’s full of answers.


Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.

Dalai Lama

Respect life, revere life. There is nothing more holy than life, nothing more divine than life.

Zen Sun Tzu Quote

All that we are, is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think, we become.”


Zen is not some kind of excitement, but concentration on our usual everyday routine.

Shunryu Suzuki

Trying to define yourself is like trying to bite your own teeth.

Alan Watts

To seek is to suffer. To seek nothing is bliss.


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

Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.


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

Wise men don’t judge – they seek to understand.

Wei Wu Wei

Nothing ever exists entirely alone. Everything is in relation to everything else.


Do not follow the idea of others, but learn to listen to the voice within yourself.

Dōgen Zenji

Wisdom says we are nothing. Love says we are everything. Between these two our life flows.

Jack Kornfield
zen proverb quotes

Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness. If, in our heart, we still cling to anything – anger, anxiety, or possessions – we cannot be free.

Thích Nhất Hạnh

Rest and be kind, you don’t have to prove anything.

Jack Kerouac

As a bee gathering nectar does not harm or disturb the color and fragrance of the flower; so do the wise move through the world.


Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.

Bruce Lee

When we meet real tragedy in life, we can react in two ways – either by losing hope and falling into self-destructive habits or by using the challenge to find our inner strength. Thanks to the teachings of Buddha, I have been able to take this second way.

Dalai Lama

If we do not know how to take care of ourselves and to love ourselves, we cannot take care of the people we love. Loving oneself is the foundation for loving another person.

Thích Nhất Hạnh

You have to grow from the inside out. None can teach you, none can make you spiritual. There is no other teacher but your own soul.

Swami Vivekananda

We all die. The goal isn’t to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.

Chuck Palahniuk

Do not let the behaviour of others destroy your inner peace.

Dalai Lama

Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.


Here Are Top Zen Inspirational Quotes For All Times

“The mind is everything. What you think, you become.”


This quote explains the point that our thoughts and attitudes shape who we are. It reminds us to be conscious of our thoughts and to make sure they align with who we want to become.

“You cannot travel the path until you have become the path itself.”


This quote emphasizes the importance of living in the present moment and truly embodying what we strive for.

“The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.”

– Henry Ford

This quote reminds us that even our mistakes can be valuable learning experiences. Instead of dwelling on them, we should focus on what we can gain from them and move forward.

“Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise. Seek what they sought.”

– Matsuo Basho

This quote encourages us to find our own path and not just imitate others. It reminds us to think for ourselves and trust our own instincts.

“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.”

– Shunryu Suzuki

This quote emphasizes the value of approaching things with a beginner’s mindset and staying open to new ideas and possibilities. It also reminds us not to get too caught up in being an “expert” and to continue learning and growing.

“The quieter you become, the more you can hear.”

– Ram Dass

This quote reminds us to take time for stillness and silence, as it allows us to truly listen and connect with ourselves and our surroundings.

“When walking, walk. When eating, eat.”

– Zen proverb

This simple yet profound quote encourages mindfulness and staying present in each moment. It reminds us not to get too caught up in distractions and to fully enjoy and savor each experience.

“When you realize nothing is lacking, the whole world belongs to you.”

Lao Tzu

This quote reminds us to be grateful for what we have and to let go of the desire for more. It encourages a sense of contentment and fulfillment in life.

“Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions.”

Dalai Lama

This quote reminds us that true happiness comes from within, and it is up to us to take action and cultivate it in our lives.

“The obstacle is the path.”

– Zen saying

This quote reminds us that challenges can actually be opportunities for growth and transformation. It encourages us to approach obstacles with a positive mindset and see them as chances to learn and improve.

“The feeling that any task is a nuisance will soon disappear if it is done in mindfulness.”

– Thich Nhat Hahn

This quote reminds us to approach all tasks, even the mundane ones, with awareness and intention. It encourages us to find joy and purpose in everything we do.

“Only when you can be extremely pliable and soft can you be extremely hard and strong.”

– Zen Proverb

This quote emphasizes the importance of balance and flexibility in life. It reminds us to stay open-minded and adaptable, while also staying strong in our beliefs and values.

“Zen is not some kind of excitement, but concentration on our usual everyday routine.”

– Shunryu Suzuki

This quote reminds us to find peace and stillness in the ordinary moments of life. It encourages us to live mindfully and be present in each moment, rather than constantly seeking excitement or external stimulation.

“To think in terms of either pessimism or optimism oversimplifies the truth. The reality is that things are not good or bad, but simply as they are.”

– Unknown

This quote encourages us to let go of judgment and rigid thinking. It reminds us to simply accept things as they are, without labeling them as “good” or “bad.”

“The more you know yourself, the more clarity there is. Self-knowledge has no end – you don’t come to an achievement, you don’t come to a conclusion. It is an endless river.”

– Jiddu Krishnamurti