83 Zen Quotes to Calm Mind and Bring Peace in Life

Zen is a branch of Buddhism that emphasizes on present moment awareness and dedication to tasks at hand.

It’s a philosophy rooted in Mahayana Buddhism, blending Taoist philosophy and Chinese spiritual practices, focusing on self-awareness, self-control and rigorous meditation to achieve inner peace.

The practice of Zen can have a calming effect on the mind and body, aiding in healthier living and efficient problem-solving.

It is regarded more as a lifestyle than a religion.


Zen is open to anyone, regardless of religious affiliation.

The power of Zen can be harnessed through inspirational quotes, which can profoundly improve life quality.

Here are 83 top Zen quotes have been collected to help foster calmness, wisdom and inner peace – elements that can be a superpower in navigating life’s challenges.

Zen Quotes


Those who are awake, live in a state of constant amazement. ~ Buddha.


The practice of Zen is forgetting the self in the act of uniting with something. ~ Koun Yamada.


Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment. ~ Buddha.

In the highest level a man has the look of knowing nothing. ~ Yamamoto Tsunetomo.

Respect life, revere life. There is nothing more holy than life, nothing more divine than life. ~ Unknown.

When you do something, you should burn yourself up completely, like a good bonfire, leaving no trace of yourself. ~ Shunryu Suzuki.

Fear is a natural reaction to moving closer to the truth. ~ Pema Chödrön.

As a bee gathering nectar does not harm or disturb the color and fragrance of the flower; so do the wise move through the world. ~ Buddha.


Don’t curse the darkness, light a candle. ~ Confucius.

The resistance to the unpleasant situation is the root of suffering. ~ Ram Dass.

Best Zen Quotes

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.

And when they played they really played. And when they worked they really worked. ~ Dr. Seuss.


Smile, breathe and go slowly. ~ Thích Nhat Hạnh.

If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. ~ Sun Tzu.

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.

All true artists, whether they know it or not, create from a place of no-mind, from inner stillness. ~ Eckhart Tolle.

Related: 85 Solitude Quotes to Bring You Peace and Calm and 85 Intuition Quotes to Listen to Your Inner Voice

Zen Quotes to Calm Your Mind

Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know. ~ Pema Chödrön.

At the still-point in the center of the circle one can see the infinite in all things. ~ Chuang Tzu.


A Zen master’s life is one continuous mistake. ~ Dogen.

Wise men don’t judge – they seek to understand. ~ Wei Wu Wei.

Have good trust in yourself … not in the One that you think you should be, but in the One that you are. ~ Maezumi Roshi.

Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations. ~ Alan Watts.


Love is a gift of one’s innermost soul to another so both can be whole. ~ Buddha.

Rest and be kind, you don’t have to prove anything. ~ Jack Kerouac.

Flow with whatever may happen and let your mind be free: Stay centered by accepting whatever you are doing. This is the ultimate. ~ Chuang.

Zen Quotes To Bring Stillness Into Your Life

If you miss the present moment, you miss your appointment with life. That is very serious! ~ Thich Nhat Hanh.

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.


Single Mindedness is all-powerful. ~ Yamamoto Tsunetomo.

To accept some idea of truth without experiencing it is like a painting of a cake on paper which you cannot eat. ~ Suzuki Roshi.

When you are present, you can allow the mind to be as it is without getting entangled in it. ~ Eckhart Tolle.

One must be deeply aware of the impermanence of the world. ~ Dogen.


Do not let the behavior of others destroy your inner peace. ~ Dalai Lama.

All that we are, is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think, we become. ~ Buddha.

To think in terms of either pessimism or optimism oversimplifies the truth. The problem is to see reality as it is. ~ Thich Nhat Hanh.

Zen Quotes on Life, Love, and Death

Surrender to what is. Let go of what was. Have faith in what will be. ~ Sonia Ricotti.


Do not follow the idea of others, but learn to listen to the voice within yourself. ~ Dōgen Zenji.

The true miracle is not walking on water or walking in air, but simply walking on this earth. ~ Thích Nhất Hạnh.

Preparing food is not just about yourself and others. It is about everything! ~ Shunryu Suzuki.

Throughout this life, you can never be certain of living long enough to take another breath. ~ Huang Po.


To go beyond is as wrong as to fall short. ~ Confucius.

To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself. ~ Thích Nhất Hạnh.

Best Zen Proverbs

Obstacles don’t block the path. They are the path. ~ Zen Proverb.

Only when you can be extremely pliable and soft can you be extremely hard and strong. ~ Zen Proverb.


What was never lost can never be found. ~ Zen Proverb.

Learning Zen is a phenomenon of gold & dung. Before you learn it, it’s like gold; after you learn it, it’s like dung. ~ Zen Proverb.

When an ordinary man attains knowledge, he is a sage; when a sage attains understanding, he is an ordinary man. ~ Zen Proverb.

Let go, or be dragged. ~ Zen Proverb.


No snowflake ever falls in the wrong place. ~ Zen Proverb.

Let go over a cliff, die completely, and then come back to life – after that you cannot be deceived. ~ Zen Proverb.

To follow the path, look to the master, follow the master, walk with the master, see through the master, become the master. ~ Zen Proverb.

Zen Quotes That Will Blow Your Mind

Zen is not some kind of excitement, but concentration on our usual everyday routine. ~ Shunryu Suzuki.


Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them. ~ Dalai Lama.

There is no mistake in nature. ~ Byron Katie.

This dew like life fades away; time speeds swiftly. In this short life of ours, avoid involvement in superfluous things and just study the Way. ~ Dōgen Zenji.

Mindfulness isn’t difficult, we just need to remember to do it. ~ Sharon Salzberg.

Love is the absence of judgment. ~ Dalai Lama.


When you realize nothing is lacking, the whole world belongs to you. ~ Lao Tzu.

Trying to define yourself is like trying to bite your own teeth. ~ Alan Watts.

Zen Quotes on Balance

Act without expectation. ~ Lao Tzu.

Each morning, we are born again. What we do today is what matters most. ~ Buddha.

Everything that has a beginning has an ending. Make your peace with that and all will be well. ~ Jack Kornfield.


Zen has no business with ideas. ~ D.T. Suzuki.

Just as a mother would protect her only child with her life, even so, let one cultivate a boundless love towards all beings. ~ Buddha.

If you realize you have enough, you are truly rich. ~ Lao Tzu.

Zen Quotes on Putting Life in Perspective

When thoughts arise, then do all things arise. When thoughts vanish, then do all things vanish. ~ Huang Po.


Awareness is the greatest agent for change. ~ Eckhart Tolle.

The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it. ~ Thich Nhat Hanh.

Life is like stepping onto a boat which is about to sail out to sea and sink. ~ Shunryu Suzuki.

If we don’t occupy yourself with everything, then peaceful mind will have nowhere to abide. ~ Shen-hui.

Zen Buddhism Quotes

To seek is to suffer. To seek nothing is bliss. ~ Bodhidharma.


Treat every moment as your last. It is not preparation for something else. ~ Shunryu Suzuki.

The feeling that any task is a nuisance will soon disappear if it is done in mindfulness. ~ Thich Nhat Hanh.

What the superior man seeks is in himself; what the small man seeks is in others. ~ Confucius.


I follow four dictates: face it, accept it, deal with it, then let it go. ~ Sheng-yen.

Each step along the Buddha’s path to happiness requires practicing mindfulness until it becomes part of your daily life. ~ Henepola Gunaratana.

Famous Zen Quotes

Those who seek the easy way do not seek the true way. ~ Dogen.


Wisdom says we are nothing. Love says we are everything. Between these two our life flows. ~ Jack Kornfield.

Nothing ever exists entirely alone. Everything is in relation to everything else. ~ Buddha.

The noble-minded are calm and steady. Little people are forever fussing and fretting. ~ Confucius.

The most important point is to accept yourself and stand on your two feet. ~ Shunryu Suzuki.

The real meditation is how you live your life. ~ Jon Kabat-Zinn.

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.

So these were the 83 quotes about Zen.

If you like these quotes and sayings, then you can also read my other popular blog posts on the topics of Compassion quotes and Healing quotes and Stress Relief quotes and Community quotes.

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Chandan Negi
Chandan Negi

I’m the Founder of Internet Pillar - I love sharing quotes and motivational content to inspire and motivate people - #quotes #motivation #internetpillar