Some Quotes to Help You Through From Dogen

A fool sees himself as another, but a wise man sees others as himself.”

“Do not be concerned with the faults of other persons. Do not see others’ faults with a hateful mind. There is an old saying that if you stop seeing others’ faults, then naturally seniors and venerated and juniors are revered. Do not imitate others’ faults; just cultivate virtue. Buddha prohibited unwholesome actions, but did not tell us to hate those who practice unwholesome actions.”

“Do not view mountains from the scale of human thought”

“Each moment is all being, each moment is the entire world. Reflect now whether any being or any world is left out of the present moment.”

“Every man possesses the Buddha-nature. Do not demean yourselves.”

“Forgetting oneself is opening oneself”

“If you are unable to find the truth right where you are, where else do you expect to find it?”

“If you have compassion and are imbued with the spirit of the Way, it is of no consequence to be criticized, even reviled, by the ignorant. But if you lack the spirit of the Way, you should be wary of being thought of by others as having the Way.”

“If you study a lot because you are worried that others will think badly of you for being ignorant and you’ll feel stupid, this is a serious mistake.”

“If you want to travel the Way of Buddhas and Zen masters, then expect nothing, seek nothing, and grasp nothing.”

“In a snowfall that covers the winter grass a white heron uses his own whiteness to disappear.”

“It’s too late to be ready.”

“Know that the true dharma emerges of itself, clearing away hindrances and distractions.”

“Life and death are of supreme importance. Time swiftly passes by and opportunity is lost. Each of us should strive to awaken. Awaken! Take heed, do not squander your life.”

“No matter how bad a state of mind you may get into, if you keep strong and hold out, eventually the floating clouds must vanish and the withering wind must cease.”

“Nothing can be gained by extensive study and wide reading. Give them up immediately.”

“One must be deeply aware of the impermanence of the world.”

“Only those who have the great capacity of genuine trust can enter this realm [the realm of the buddhas]. Those who have no trust are unable to accept it, however much they hear it.”

“Prefer to be defeated in the presence of the wise than to excel among fools.”

“The zazen I speak of is not learning meditation. It is simply the Dharma gate of repose and bliss, the practice-realization of totally culminated enlightenment. It is the manifestation of ultimate reality. Traps and snares can never reach it. Once its heart is grasped, you are the dragon when he gains the water, the tiger when she enters the mountain. For you must know that just there (in zazen) the right Dharma is manifesting itself and that, from the first, dullness and distraction are struck aside.”

“There is a simple way to become buddha: When you refrain from unwholesome actions, are not attached to birth and death, and are compassionate toward all sentient beings, respectful to seniors and kind to juniors, not excluding or desiring anything, with no designing thoughts or worries, you will be called a buddha. Do not seek anything else.”

“To enter the Buddha Way is to stop discriminating between good and evil and to cast aside the mind that says this is good and that is bad.”

“To escape from the world means that one’s mind is not concerned with the opinions of the world.”

“To study the Buddha Way is to study the self. To study the self is to forget the self. To forget the self is to be actualized by myriad things. When actualized by myriad things, your body and mind, as well as the bodies and minds of others, drop away. No trace of enlightenment remains, and this no-trace continues endlessly.”

“Treading along in this dreamlike, illusory realm,
Without looking for the traces I may have left,
A cuckoo’s song beckons me to return home,
Hearing this, I tilt my head to see,
Who has told me to turn back,
But do not ask me where I am going,
As I travel in this limitless world,
Where every step I take is my home.”


“What you think in your own mind to be good, or what people of the world think is good, is not necessarily good.”

“When you paint Spring, do not paint willows, plums, peaches, or apricots, but just paint Spring. To paint willows, plums, peaches, or apricots is to paint willows, plums, peaches, or apricots – it is not yet painting Spring.”

“When you ride in a boat and watch the shore, you might assume that the shore is moving. But when you keep your eyes closely on the boat, you can see that the boat moves. Similarly, if you examine many things with a confused mind, you might suppose that your mind and nature are permanent. But when you practice intimately and return to where you are, it will be clear that there is nothing that has unchanging self.”

“You should not be esteemed by others if you have no real inner virtue. People here in Japan esteem others on the basis of outward appearances, without knowing anything about real inner virtue; so students lacking the spirit of the Way are dragged down into bad habits and become subject to temptation.”

“Your body is a dew-drop on the morning grass, your life is as brief as a flash of lightning. Momentary and vain, it is lost in a moment. ”

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