“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it.
Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumoured by many.
Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books.
Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders.
Do not believe in traditions simply because they have been handed down for many generations. 

But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it." 

Bodhidharma- 28th ancestor in India, introduced Zen (Chan) to China; 1st Patriarch

His message when he went to China from India:

“A special transmission outside the scriptures;

No dependence upon words and letters; 

Direct pointing at the mind of man;

Seeing into one’s nature and the attainment of Buddhahood”


Hui Neng- (Japanese: Daikan Eno) 33rd ancestor; sixth and last Patriarch after Bodhidharma

“The Wisdom of Enlightenment is inherent in every one of us. It is because of the delusion under which our mind works that we fail to realize it ourselves, and that we have to seek the advice and the guidance of enlightened ones before we can know our own Essence of Mind. You should know that as far as Buddha-nature is concerned, there is no difference between an enlightened man and an ignorant one. What makes the difference is that one realizes it, while the other is ignorant of it.”   


Dogen Zenji- 51st ancestor, and 1st ancestor in Japan. Co-founder of the Soto Zen School

“To study the Way is to study the self. To study the self is to forget the self. To forget the self is to be enlightened by all things in the universe. To be enlightened by all things in the universe is to cast off the body and the mind of the self as well as those of others. Even the traces of enlightenment are wiped out, and life with traceless enlightenment goes on for ever and ever”. 


“When all dharmas are the Buddha Dharma, there is delusion and realization, practice, life and death, buddhas and living beings. When the ten thousand dharmas are without [fixed] self, there is no delusion and no realization, no buddhas and no living beings, no birth and no death.”


“To practice the Way single heartedly is, in itself, enlightenment. There is no gap between practice and enlightenment or Zazen or daily life”. 


Zen Master Lin-Chi (Rinzai in Japanese; founder of the other major Zen School)

"If you live the sacred and despise the ordinary, you are still bobbing in the ocean of delusion." 

Shunryu Suzuki- Zen Master and founder of the San Francisco Zen Centre

“Whatever happens, whether you think it is good or bad, study closely and see what you can find out. This is the fundamental attitude. Sometimes you will do things without much reason, like a child who draws pictures whether they are good or bad. If that is difficult for you, you are not actually ready to practice zazen.” 


“Even in our imperfect practice, enlightenment is there. We just don’t know it. So the point is to find the true meaning of practice before we attain enlightenment. Wherever you are, enlightenment is there. If you stand up right where you are, that is enlightenment.” 

Alan Watts

“This is it!”

Brad Warner- Zen Master and author of ‘Hardcore Zen: punk rock, monster movies and the truth about reality’

“Being just what you are right now is the very definition of success in zazen”

“The oneness of you and the entire universe isn’t just a way of thinking about things, a philosophical speculation. After a few years of practice this becomes the only possible way of looking at the world that makes any sense at all. You are forced to accept it whether you like it or not.” 


Ekai Korematsu Osho- Zen Master; Abbott of Jikishoan Zen Buddhist Community

“It’s all in one. We all commonly share it, without exception. Not only human beings, but also trees, animals. There is no borderline. So that is ‘thus come, thus gone’. Tathagata. Thus come from the truth. Thus gone back to the truth. It’s always like this. It is manifesting moment after moment.”

Canberra Soto Zen Group

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