Zen Buddhism is a powerful philosophy that helps us find true meaning in life.
In western society, we tend to think that we’ll only find happiness once we reach a certain level of income, or we cultivate the perfect relationship. However, Zen Buddhism says that true inner peace can only come from within.
The key, according to Zen, is to let go of attachments and embrace living fully in the present moment. It’s certainly an outlook on life that all could benefit from, particularly for those of us who grew up in the west.
Below we have found 25 pieces of concise Zen Buddhist wisdom that you might not have heard before. I hope they shift your perspective as much as they have mine. Enjoy!
1) The temptation to give up is strongest just before victory.
2) The goal in life is to die young, but to do as late as possible.
3) Don’t speak if it doesn’t improve on silence.
4) A thousand-mile journey begins with just one step.
5) A strong man overcomes an obstacle, a wise man goes the whole way.
6) Don’t be afraid to go slowly. Be afraid of stopping.
7) Even the happiness of a fool is a stupid kind of happiness.
8) Even if you stumble and fall down, it doesn’t mean you’ve chosen the wrong path.
9) A hut full of laughter is richer than a palace full of sadness.
10) Always look on the bright side of things. If you can’t comprehend this, polish that which has become dull until it begins to shine.
11) Whatever happens always happens on time.
12) Someone who points out your flaws to you is not necessarily your enemy. Someone who speaks of your virtues is not necessarily your friend.
13) Don’t be afraid that you do not know something. Be afraid of not learning about it.
14) A good teacher opens the door for you, but you must enter the room by yourself.
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15) A mountain never yields to the wind no matter how strong it is.
16) Live calmly. The time will come when the flowers bloom by themselves.
17) There’s no such thing as a friend who doesn’t have any flaws. But if you try to look for all their flaws, you will remain with no friends.
18) Unhappiness enters through a door that has been left open.
19) No one returns from a long journey the same person they were before.
20) A person who is capable of blushing cannot have a bad heart.
21) It’s better be a person for a day than to be a shadow for a 1,000 days.
22) Your home is where your thoughts find peace.
23) The man who moved the mountain was the one who began carrying away the smallest stones.
24) If you’ve made a mistake, it’s better just to laugh at it.
25) The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.
Check out Hack Spirit's eBook on How to Use Buddhist Teachings for a Mindful, Peaceful and Happy Life.
Here's what you'll learn:
• How and why to be mindful: There are many simple exercises you can do to bring a mindful attitude to quotidian activities such as eating breakfast, walking the dog, or sitting on the floor to stretch.
• How to meditate: Many beginning meditators have a lot of questions: How should I sit? How long should I meditate? What if it feels awkward or uncomfortable or my foot falls asleep? Am I doing it wrong? In this book, you’ll find simple steps and explanations to answer these questions and demystify meditation. (And no, you’re not doing it wrong).
• How to approach relationships: This section offers tips for interacting with friends and enemies alike and walks you through a loving kindness meditation.
• How to minimize harm: There is a lot of suffering in the world; it’s best for everyone if we try not to add to it. Here you’ll read about the idea of ahimsa (non-harming) and how you might apply it to your actions.
• How to let things go: As Buddhism teaches, excessive attachment (whether we’re clinging to something or actively resisting it) all too often leads to suffering. Practitioners of mindfulness meditation find peace in letting go and accepting things as they are in the moment.
Check it out here.