Peter Matthiessen

Zen is really just a reminder to stay alive and to be awake. We tend to daydream all the time, speculating about the future and dwelling on the past. Zen practice is about appreciating your life in this moment. If you are truly aware of five minutes a day, then you are doing pretty well. We are beset by both the future and the past, and there is no reality apart from the here and now. 

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Ajahn Chah

You will succeed in truly spreading the Buddha's Dhamma here only if you are not afraid to challenge the desires and opinions of your students. If you do this, you will succeed; if you do not, if you change the teachings and the practice to fit the existing habits and opinions of people out of a misguided sense of wanting to please them, you will have failed in your duty to serve in the best way possible.

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Franz Kafka

You need not leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. You need not even listen, simply wait. You need not even wait, just learn to become quiet, and still, and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked. It has no choice; it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.

D.T. Suzuki

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

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Layman P'ang

When the mind is at peace, the world too is at peace. Nothing real, nothing absent. Not holding on to reality, not getting stuck in the void, you are neither holy nor wise, just an ordinary fellow who has completed his work.

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Robert Adams

When you stop searching and you calm down and you put your books away, and you confront yourself and see what you are all about, that will bring bliss faster than anything you can ever imagine or ever do.

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Dave Eggers

We have advantages. We have a cushion to fall back on. This is abundance. A luxury of place and time. Something rare and wonderful. It's almost historically unprecedented. We must do extraordinary things. We have to. It would be absurd not to.

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Chögyam Trungpa

We are not enslaved by our lives; we are free. Being free, in this case, means simply that we have a body and a mind, and we can uplift ourselves in order to work with reality in a dignified and humorous way. If we begin to perk up, we will find that the whole universe including the seasons, the snowfall, the ice and the mud is also powerfully working with us. Life is a humorous situation, but it is not mocking us.

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Joanna Macy

To be alive in this beautiful, self-organizing universe, to participate in the dance of life with senses to perceive it, lungs that breathe it, organs that draw nourishment from it is a wonder beyond words.

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Clark Strand

There's a tension between the part of us that wants to move along at speed, infatuated with our ever-proliferating array of screens and gadgets, and the part of us that deeply hates them, too. There's the part that doesn't want to be bothered with other people's lives and is therefore comfortable with the false proximity that social media affords. But there's also the part that is heartbroken at the loneliness and isolation of the life we are livingthe part that requires medication and constant distraction just to endure it.

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Kosho Uchiyama

There will always be an infinity of things to do. We can never get our life or our business or our kitchen running exactly the way we want it to run. No matter how we envision it, it can't be that way. Life is not predetermined to the point that we can get to some stage and then see how it all works. What happens is that we have a better and better understanding of things, we have more and more clarity and ability to deal with things as they arise. But they keep arising, endlessly. The empty sky is always creating new clouds. The pot is always boiling.

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Stephen Batchelor

The self may not be something, but neither is it nothing. It is simply ungraspable, unfindable. I am who I am not because of an essential self hidden away in the core of my being, but because of the unprecedented and unrepeatable matrix of conditions that have formed me.

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Kobun Chino Roshi

The main subject (of taking the Precepts and the Bodhisattva Vow) is how to become a transmitter of actual light - life light. Practice takes place to shape your whole ability to reflect the light coming through you, and to generate - to regenerate - your system, so the light increases its power. Each precept is a remark about hard climbing, maybe climbing down. You don't use the precepts for accomplishing your own personality, or fulfilling your dream of your highest image. You don't use the precepts in that way. The precepts are the reflected light-world of one precept, which is Buddha's mind itself, which is the presence of Buddha. Zazen is the first formulation of the accomplishment of Buddha existing.

 The more you sense the rareness and value of your own life, the more you realize that how you use it, how you manifest it, is all your responsibility. We face such a big task, so naturally a person sits down for a while. It's not an intended action, it is a natural action.

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