[dropcap size=small]F[/dropcap]ew things in life are as serenely pragmatic as a Zen quote is. While the subjective depth of these lines of wisdom can’t be completely described (Buddha, shall you become; if you could), surely some objectivity can be applied to narrow these lines of wisdom to a select few. Now the meanings that have been derived are purely subjective and as such, should only act as pointers, the resulting intellectual journey being entirely the invention of the reader. Crizic brings to you the ten Zen quotes to live by:

1. Eyes horizontal, Nose vertical:

Zen Quotes

Essence of Buddhism. There is no such thing as awareness without meditation. To be aware of every moment in time, to measure singular moments as infinite, therein true wisdom lies.

2. Man stands in his own shadow and wonders why it’s dark:


Man’s ego blinds him to the greater truth. Realization of the infinite causes a realization of one-self in return. To realize the infinite, one must look beyond boundaries created by man, and search for meaning within the subtle.

3. The tighter you squeeze, the less you have:


Attachments amount to squeezing.

4. The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago:


The second best time is now: A stitch in time eventually saves a million.

5. Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water, after enlightenment chop wood, carry water:

Enlightenment should just be another thing to you. When such detachment is achieved, enlightenment ensues.

6. The bird of paradise lands only on the hand that does not grasp:

Enlightenment comes easily to those who listen.

7. Knowledge is learning something new every day. Wisdom is letting go of something every day:

Detachment and subsequent service should be the aim of every man.

8. The only Zen you find on the tops of mountains is the Zen you bring up there:

A change of scenery isn’t going to induce enlightenment. It’s what you carry inside that will.

9. Life is like stepping onto a boat which is about to sail out to sea and sink:

The futility of life is the primary reason why it’s beautiful.

10. If you understand, things are just as they are; if you do not understand, things are just as they are:

Creation exists by itself. Whether you listen to it or not: is your prerogative.