- Zen is a non-political religiousness. You cannot call it even religion. It is so individualistic and so emphatically concerned only with the potential of the individual. It does not want anything from the individual, it simply wants him to be himself.
- Zen gives you a totally different climate. Sometimes masters have even sent their followers to other masters who are against them. It is a very strange phenomenon to the modern eyes, sending someone to your own opponent. But we have to look deep down: if the person can grow more easily in the climate that the opponent master has created, then there is no hesitation in sending him to the other master.
- 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.
- In Zen everything is, as it is, a manifestation of the cosmic soul. It has to be loved and respected. It does not matter what the manifestation is doing. What matters is that the man who is a thief or a murderer is also coming from the same source as you are, and he will be going to the same source as you are.
- Zen is for the simple, for the ordinary, for the natural. But the mind of man is for just the opposite; it wants to be extraordinary, it wants to be special, it wants to be known. Respectability, reputation, honor, riches — they are all desires for making you special.
- Zen wants everybody to be a glory unto himself. It is not an achievement, it is not competition; it is simply originality. And the originality is already there, you have just to throw away all the rubbish that you have been collecting from others. However valuable it may be, it is destroying your original being, covering it with dust; and you will never be happy unless you find your original being. The very finding of your original being is such a dance, such a joy, that you can bless the whole world yet you will remain overflowing.
- Zen wants you to drop all knowledge so that you can become utterly pure and innocent, so that you can say with tremendous beauty, “I don’t know.”
- 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.
- Jesus says, “Seek, and seek until you find.” Go on making the effort, bring the effort to a climax, to a crescendo, then Zen becomes applicable. If you study Zen in the beginning you can move in a wrong direction. And that is happening in the West, because people in the West who have written about Zen don’t know what effort Zen people have been making before they relax. And it appeals to the lazy mind very much. That’s why there is so much attraction for Zen in the West: don’t do anything — it appeals, because nothing is needed, you are already the case. It appeals, but it is not going to help.
- In Zen, and only in Zen, something of great import has happened. That is, they don’t make any distinction between ordinary life and religious life; rather, they have bridged them both. And they have used very ordinary skills as UPAYA, as methods for meditation. That is something of tremendous import. Because if you don’t use ordinary life as a method to meditation, your meditation is bound to become something of an escape.
- Zen masters have used terms and words that no religion can use. But because of that I say that no religion is so religious as Zen, because if you REALLY love, where is the fear? You can joke, you can laugh, and an enlightened man like Buddha will laugh with you — there is no problem. He will not feel hurt. If he feels hurt, he is not enlightened at all. And he will not say: Don’t use such profane language — because for Buddha all language is profane, only silence is sacred. So whether you call him a stupid fellow or one who has awakened, both are the same for him. Language as such is profane. Only silence is holy. Whatsoever you say is the same.