Osho Zen Quotes
- In Zen they have a saying: From the very beginning all are saved, all are Buddhas. But deep deep sleep has fallen over us. The function of the Master is not to save you but just to remind you.
- 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.
- It happens to almost all people — unless they come to know that there is a possibility of a totally different kind of creativity. That creativity is not of the mind. It is of no-mind. In the West, mind still remains the source of all creativity. In the East, we have worked totally differently. That’s why you will always see a difference in a zen painting, or a zen poem. It is a totally different world, because the person who was making it was not motivated by any idea. It simply came — out of the blue. He was not more than a vehicle, a passage.
- Zen follows the principle of anima: sitting silently, the spring comes and the grass grows by itself. Zen does not believe in exploring; there is no need to go. Buddhism basically is rooted in the feminine principle, hence Buddha looks so feminine, so graceful, so round.
- 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.
- I love the statement that the “man of Zen walks in Zen and sits in Zen” for the simple reason that meditation cannot be just a part of your life. You cannot make a fragment of your life meditative; it is not possible to be meditative for one hour and then non-meditative for twenty-three hours. It is absolutely impossible. If you are doing that, that means your meditation is false.
- 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.
- Zen never became the religion of the majority and it will never become. It will remain always for the chosen few, for the rare ones, just because it does not console you by giving any opium, and it does not give you promises and hopes for the future life. It insists on remaining in the present. Don’t move backwards or forwards, because the present moment is the only moment you ever have been in and will ever be in. Whenever it is, it is the present moment.
- 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.