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Zen Quotes and Proverbs to Help You Live Your Best Life

This Zen quotes collection will help bring your mind, body and true nature into a connected state of focus.

For many of us life is a drive on the Autobahn; it’s fast, it’s flashy and it can become reckless. We confuse initiative with risky behavior. We’re always in a hurry to get to “the next best thing.” Our desires drive our point of view.

So, we see things the way we want them to be; not the way they really are. Before we know it, our actions can often go awry, and we find ourselves stressed, confused and dealing with conflicts or issues resulting from our distorted state of thinking which led to misguided actions.

25 Zen Quotes and Proverbs to Help You Live Your Best Life

But, we can take a stand and drive to live the best life we can. It is within our power to manage our mindset, thoughts and action. This power comes when we utilize the insight into our true nature to honestly frame our mind and our thoughts; guiding our decisions and actions.

It is this very same power that is harnessed in the practice of Zen to stay calm, maintain attentiveness, remove selfish desires and rely on wisdom that is not distorted by illusions; thereby, getting to the “real” and operating without “noise” and “external influences.” So, we can start today by trying to bring our mind, body and true nature into a connected state of focus.

Begin today with motivation from these Zen quotes and proverbs, and continue on with our collection of Confucius quotes.

Zen Quotes and Proverbs to Help You Live Your Best Life

1. “Have the fearless attitude of a hero and the loving heart of a child.” — Soyen Shaku

2. “When I feel like dancing, I dance. I don’t care if anyone else is dancing or if everyone else is laughing at me. I dance. “ – Rachel Danson

3. “The good life can be as simple as just paying attention.” — Charlie Ambler

4. “Have a mind that is open to everything and attached to nothing.” — Tilopa

5. “The most important point is to accept yourself and stand on your two
feet.” — Shunryu Suzuki

6. “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” — Lao Tzu

7. “The art of living… is neither careless drifting on the one hand nor fearful clinging to the past on the other. It consists in being sensitive to each
moment, in regarding it as utterly new and unique, in having the mind open and wholly receptive.” — Alan Watts

8. “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as if nothing is a miracle. The other is as if everything is a miracle.” —Albert Einstein

Zen quotes to inspire and motivate

9. “I don’t have a preconception of a perfect day because if I did then it would ruin the day that I was living.” — Naval Ravikant

10. “Realize that life will never be how you want it to be. Jump in regardless. The jump itself is living; its whole spectrum, its entire beauty.” – Mr. Mircea

11. “Once you realize that the road is the goal and that you are always on the
road, not to reach a goal, but to enjoy its beauty and its wisdom, life ceases
to be a task and becomes natural and simple, in itself an ecstasy.”
Nisargadatta Maharaj

12. “The problem with winning the rat race is: you’re still a rat.” — Lily Tomlin

13. “The quieter you become, the more you are able to hear.” — Lao Tzu

14. “To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.” —Thích Nhất Hạnh

15. “If we do not know how to take care of ourselves and to love ourselves, we cannot take care of the people we love. Loving oneself is the foundation for loving another person.” — Thích Nhất Hạnh

16. “Suffering is how Life tells you that you are resisting or misperceiving what is real and true.” —Adyashanti

More Zen quotes to help shape your attitude and character

17. “The less you judge things, including the contents of your mind, the more clearly you’ll see them.” — Robert Wright

18. “Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.”
Pema Chödrön
If you’re enjoying these quotes, you’ll love our collection of Pema Chödrön quotes about finding peace in life.

19. “If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.” — Lao Tzu

20. “Old friends pass away, new friends appear. It is just like the days. An old day passes, a new day arrives. The important thing is to make it meaningful: a meaningful friend – or a meaningful day.” — Dalai Lama

21. “Don’t believe everything you think.” — Byron Katie

22. “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” —Zen Proverb

23. “My experience is that the teachers we need most are the people we’re living with right now.” — Byron Katie

24. “Upon retiring, sleep as if you had entered your last sleep. Upon awakening, leave your bed behind you instantly as if you had cast away a pair of old shoes.“– Soyen Shaku

25. “Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.” — Buddha

Which of these Zen quotes was your favorite?

Attitude and mindset guide our hearts and drives the quality of the life we live. So, these “simple” but “eye-opening” messages are helpful tools for getting to a calm, mellow, insightful and introspective state of being.

If we meditate on them from time to time; they can work to free our mind of clutter; and in turn, tune our heart with mind so we get started on the road which leads to living peacefully.

Which of these Zen quotes and proverbs resonated with you best? Do you have any other favorite quotes to add? Feel free to share with us in the comment section below.

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  1. Ben

    December 18, 2018 at 11:26 PM

    Um, most of these are not quotes from the Zen tradition. The Dalai Lama and Lily Tomlin might both be surprised to find out that they are Zen sages. It’s kind of like calling Tom Cruise and the Pope Jehovah’s Witnesses. But, you know, enjoy your page clicks.

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