Zen Thoughts

Dr. Frederick Lenz, Zen Master Rama, quotes on buddhism, enlightenment, nirvana, zen, tantra, tibetan and mahayana.


Tonight is not the end of the world. This is our hot tip of the evening.


I don't know how much you know about Zen, but you'll know less when I'm done with you.


You may have had countless lives, and many more stretching before you, and what else have you got to do with your time?


Nothing lasts forever - except forever. That's the good news. It's a good thing that nothing lasts forever because things would get terribly boring.


Forever is not an idea or a concept, it is reality. All of the things here come from forever. We call forever nirvana in Zen.


Everything is one. You can connect with the emptiness of all things. All things are empty.


The mind of the Buddha is perfect because it is empty and yet it contains all things.


If we view the universe as other than what we are, we are everything we don't perceive.


You and I are both life. There's just the experience of every moment. We like to call them moments. There isn't really such a thing. There's just is-ness; there's just eternity.


There are no words, there's only the possibility of a moment even more incredible a little bit further down the road.


You get to the point where you have to wash the dishes. That's the fun in life. Being behind the scenes and doing things for others; being an instrument of that cause.


You come back to the beginning. That’s why in the "Searching for the Ox" sequence, at the very end of that sequence of the Zen paintings, we’re back in the world again.


Zen is discipline, the discipline of living life, of taking a breath, of not knowing and not trying to know.


Never get so stuck in being responsible and mindful that you can't let it all go and run off with the Zen master or run off chasing your private dream, if it leads to the shiny worlds, the worlds of beauty.


Feel that you are always a beginner in Zen. They refer to it as "beginners mind". I feel I am a beginner, always - because it's true.


Everything has a nothingness. On the other side of physical reality, there is another world, and in that world, everything is something else.


The world is filled with people who understand.  I personally value people who don't understand.  People who understand have nothing more to learn. People who don't understand have hope. Do you understand?


I don't think anyone knows why they meditate. As a matter of fact I'm not even sure that we do meditate. All we know is that we don't know.


A person trying to meditate is doing something that's impossible since meditation is not an action.


You're not the doer. What's to do? You can't undo what's not done. It's all one anyway, why think about it? But you need to discriminate, so you'd better think about it.


I'm not exactly sure where we are, but I'm confident of where we're not.


Stop trying to figure it all. Why worry about it all so much? Why not just live? And then you die. And then you live again, unless, of course, you follow me.


Gain control of the mind and make it still, initially just during periods of zazen, but then throughout the day and throughout the night.


Learn the motions of infinity within your mind. Your mind becomes a perfect mirror to the motions of infinity.


Perfection is not a final state. It is a state of mind. There are ten thousand states of mind.


The reason you see yourself as a creep is because you have an appreciation of what perfection is, whereas no one else conceives of themselves in that way, since they don't even strive.


What is perfect?  From the Zen mind, perfection is not being there.


When you realize your own emptiness, that will be something, won't it?


Discriminate between the transient and the eternal. Learn to move from complete control to complete abandon.


The world that you see is like a motion picture. We are engrossed in a film and we have forgotten that we're sitting in a movie theatre.


Meryl Streep is expert at only using the requisite amount of energy to express her character, not an ounce too little or too much. She's Zen...and doesn't know she's Zen. That's very Zen!


Zen students see themselves as athletes. Their competitive sport is enlightenment; only with enlightenment do we compete.


There is competition in Zen.  Let's not be ridiculous.  There is competition in everything in life; being a winner in Zen means, competing and winning in the world of enlightenment.


Thousands and thousands of incarnations and nothing to show for it. You must choose whether to follow the path of love or the path of attachment.


When your Japanese lifetime is coming out, drink all the sake you want. Have a little bash.


It is in Zen practice that you gain power, balance and wisdom. The battles that you fight are within your own mind. That is where the real victories and defeats are.


Eternity is everywhere, it stretches endlessly in all directions, never beginning and never ending. Merge with it. Embrace it. Be free and disciplined.


There is no ultimate objective reality within the ten thousand states of mind. Most people don't like to hear this. But there are ten thousand realities, and each is definitely unifying.


Try to feel that you are beyond time and space when you meditate, when you practice zazen. Go beyond this world, beyond time, beyond life, not a feeling of being spaced out, but in touch with the moment and with eternity.


I live in the constant newness of aspiration. Whatever I think, I ignore. Whatever I feel, I don't trust. Yet I listen to my thoughts and follow my feelings.


Slow it down. Relax, be cool, says the Zen master. Look at how beautiful life is, and just keep looking until you see it. You don't see what is in front of you because you're so distracted by your thoughts.


What you focus on you become. So always focus on that which is highest, brightest, happiest and most noble of all things, enlightenment.