Osho Zen Quotes
- For DHYAN, Zen, there exists no equivalent in the English language, because meditation itself means thinking — to meditate upon. Some object is there. Remember, dhyan is the original word. Dhyan traveled to China with Bodhidharma and in the Chinese language it became CH’AN. And then from China it traveled to Japan and in Japanese it became first ZAN, and then ZEN; but the original root is dhyan — Ch’an, Zan, Zen. In English there is no word equivalent to it. Meditation also means thinking, a consistent thinking. Contemplation means thinking too. It may be thinking about God, but it is thinking, and dhyan or Zen is a no-thinking state. It is action, without thought. Thought needs time.
- You cannot deceive a Zen master. He is not concerned with what you are doing, he is concerned with what you are in that moment of doing. That is a totally different thing.
- All Zen masters are depicted in a ridiculous way. Disciples enjoy it. But those portraits carry a quality that Bodhidharma is dangerous, that if you go to him he will kill you, that you cannot escape him, that he will follow you and haunt you, that wherever you go he will be there, that unless he kills you he cannot leave you. That is the thing depicted with all Zen masters, even Buddha.
- Life is a mystery, and there is nothing to explain — because everything is just open, it is just in front of you. Encounter it! Meet it! Be courageous! That is the whole standpoint of Zen.
- Zen is an effort to become alert and awake. All religion is nothing but that: an effort to become more conscious, an effort to become more aware, an effort to bring more alertness, more attentiveness to your life.
- Zen believes that truth cannot be expressed by words, but it can be expressed by gestures, action. Something can be done about it. You cannot say it, but you can show it.
- ZEN IS JUST ZEN. There is nothing comparable to it. It is unique — unique in the sense that it is the most ordinary and yet the most extraordinary phenomenon that has happened to human consciousness. It is the most ordinary because it does not believe in knowledge, it does not believe in mind. It is not a philosophy, not a religion either. It is the acceptance of the ordinary existence with a total heart, with one’s total being, not desiring some other world, supra-mundane, supra-mental. It has no interest in any esoteric nonsense, no interest in metaphysics at all. It does not hanker for the other shore; this shore is more than enough. Its acceptance of this shore is so tremendous that through that very acceptance it transforms this shore — and this very shore becomes the other shore.
- The great miracle of Zen is in the transformation of the mundane into the sacred. And it is tremendously extraordinary because this way life has never been approached before, this way life has never been respected before.
- When I look all around, Zen seems to be the only possibility, because in Zen, Buddha and Lao Tzu have become one. The meeting has already happened. The seed is there, the seed of that great bridge which can make East and West one. Zen is going to be the meeting-point. It has a great future — a great past and a great future. And the miracle is that Zen is neither interested in the past nor in the future. Its total interest is in the present. Maybe that’s why the miracle is possible, because the past and the future are bridged by the present.
- Zen lives in the present. The whole teaching is: how to be in the present, how to get out of the past which is no more and how not to get involved in the future which is not yet, and just to be rooted, centered, in that which is. The whole approach of Zen is of immediacy, but because of that it can bridge the past and the future. It can bridge many things: it can bridge the past and the future, it can bridge the East and the West, it can bridge body and soul. It can bridge the unbridgeable worlds: this world and that, the mundane and the sacred.
- Zen cures you of your abnormality. It makes you again normal, it makes you again ordinary. It does not make you a saint, remember. It does not make you a holy person, remember. It simply makes you an ordinary person — takes you back to your nature, back to your source.
- Try to understand Zen through laughter, not through prayer. Try to understand Zen through flowers, butterflies, sun, moon, children, people in all their absurdities. Watch this whole panorama of life, all these colors, the whole spectrum. Zen is not a doctrine, it is not a dogma. It is growing into an insight. It is a vision — very light-hearted, not serious at all. Be light-hearted, light-footed. Be of light step. Don’t carry religion like a burden. And don’t expect religion to be a teaching; it is not. It is certainly a discipline, but not a teaching at all. Teaching has to be imposed upon you from the outside and teaching can only reach to your mind, never to your heart, and never, never to the very center of your being. Teaching remains intellectual. It is an answer to human curiosity, and curiosity is not a true search.
- Zen gives you a discipline to become a mirror so that you can reflect that which is. All that is needed is a thoughtless awareness.
- Zen is interested in discipline, not in teaching. It wants you to be more alert so you can see more clearly. It does not give you the answer; it gives you the eyes to see. What is the use of telling a blind man what light is and all the theories about light? It is futile. You are simply being stupid by answering the curiosity of a blind man. What is urgently needed is treatment of his eyes. He needs an operation, he needs new eyes, he needs medicine. That is discipline.
- Zen, in the first place, is not a teaching but a device to awaken you. It is not information, it is not knowledge. It is a method to shake you up, to wake you up. Teaching means you are fast asleep and somebody goes on talking about what awakening is — and you go on snoring and he goes on talking. YOU are asleep, HE is asleep; otherwise he will not talk to you. At least when he sees that you are snoring he will not talk to you.
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