Quotes from Zen Flesh, Zen Bones: A Collection of Zen and Pre-Zen Writings

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“14. Muddy Road

Tanzan and Ekido were once traveling together down a muddy road. A heavy rain was still falling.

Coming around a bend, they met a lovely girl in a silk kimono and sash, unble to cross the intersection.

"Come on, girl," said Tanzan at once. Lifting her in his arms, he carriedher over the mud.

Ekido did not speak again until that night when they reached a lodging temple. Then he could no longer restrain himself. "We monks don't go near females," he told Tanzan, "especially not young and lovely ones. It is dangerous. Why did you do that?"

"I left the girl there," said Tanzan. "Are you still carrying her?”
― quote from Zen Flesh, Zen Bones: A Collection of Zen and Pre-Zen Writings


“If the feet of enlightenment moved, the great ocean would overflow; If that head bowed, it would look down upon the heavens.
Such a body has no place to rest. . . .
Let another continue this poem.”
― quote from Zen Flesh, Zen Bones: A Collection of Zen and Pre-Zen Writings


“It is too clear and so it is hard to see. A dunce once searched for a fire with a lighted lantern. Had he known what fire was, He could have cooked his rice much sooner.”
― quote from Zen Flesh, Zen Bones: A Collection of Zen and Pre-Zen Writings


“When the mouth opens All are wrong.”
― quote from Zen Flesh, Zen Bones: A Collection of Zen and Pre-Zen Writings


“Meeting a Zen master on the road, Face him neither with words nor silence. Give him an uppercut And you will be called one who understands Zen.”
― quote from Zen Flesh, Zen Bones: A Collection of Zen and Pre-Zen Writings


“Mamiya concentrated upon what the sound of one hand might be. “You are not working hard enough,” his teacher told him. “You are too attached to food, wealth, things, and that sound. It would be better if you died. That would solve the problem.” The next time Mamiya appeared before his teacher he was again asked what he had to show regarding the sound of one hand. Mamiya at once fell over as if he were dead. “You are dead all right,” observed the teacher. “But how about that sound?” “I haven’t solved that yet,” replied Mamiya, looking up. “Dead men do not speak,” said the teacher. “Get out!” 43.”
― quote from Zen Flesh, Zen Bones: A Collection of Zen and Pre-Zen Writings


“Gutei raised his finger whenever he was asked a question about Zen. A boy attendant began to imitate him in this way. When anyone asked the boy what his master had preached about, the boy would raise his finger. Gutei heard about the boy’s mischief. He seized him and cut off his finger. The boy cried and ran away. Gutei called and stopped him. When the boy turned his head to Gutei, Gutei raised up his own finger. In that instant the boy was enlightened.”
― quote from Zen Flesh, Zen Bones: A Collection of Zen and Pre-Zen Writings


“When there is no place for Zen in the head of our generation, it is in grievous trouble.”
― quote from Zen Flesh, Zen Bones: A Collection of Zen and Pre-Zen Writings


Popular quotes

“So overnight I’ve somehow turned into a woman who has sex with a complete stranger, a slightly weird stranger might I add, that results in my clothes getting ruined to the point of incineration and I have no memory of said sex. Which I suppose in a way is kind of a shame because he is really fit.”
― Samantha Towle, quote from First Bitten


“My problems are like waves - just as one disappears with a snarl and a hiss there’s another shaping up to knock me down.”
― Fiona Wood, quote from Six Impossible Things


“I’m not just taking trips down memory lane; I’m broken down on it.”
― Pete Wentz, quote from Gray


“Jesus Christ did not set a limit for Himself, neither did He follow all His own maxims to the letter. The Holy Spirit ever inspired His holy soul and, being entirely abandoned to its every breath, it had no need to consult the moment that had passed, to know how to act in that which was coming. The breath of grace shaped every moment according to the eternal truths subsisting in the invisible and unfathomable wisdom of the Blessed Trinity. The soul of Jesus Christ received these directions at every moment, and acted upon them externally. The Gospel shows in the life of Jesus Christ a succession of these truths; and this same Jesus who lives and works always, continues to live and work in the souls of His saints. If you would live according to the Gospel, abandon yourself simply and entirely to the action of God. Jesus Christ is its supreme mouthpiece. “He was yesterday, is to-day, and will be for ever.” (Hebr. xiii, 8); continuing, not recommencing His life. What He has done is finished; what remains to be done is being carried on at every moment. Each saint receives a share in this divine life, and in each, Jesus Christ is different, although the same in Himself. The life of each saint is the life of Jesus Christ; it is a new gospel. The cheeks of the spouse are compared to beds of flowers, to gardens filled with fragrant blossoms. The divine action is the gardener, admirably arranging the flower beds. This garden resembles no other, for among all the flowers there are no two alike, or that can be described as being of the same species, except in the fidelity with which they respond to the action of the Creator, in leaving Him free to do as He pleases, and, on their side, obeying the laws imposed on them by their nature. Let God act, and let us do what He requires of us; this is the Gospel; this is the general Scripture, and the common law.”
― quote from Abandonment to Divine Providence: The Classic Text with a Spiritual Commentary


“But then, maybe “I don’t believe in you” is the cruelest way to kill a monster.”
― Helen Oyeyemi, quote from White is for Witching


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