35 Inspirational D.T. Suzuki Quotes On Success

35 Inspirational D.T. Suzuki Quotes On Success

Daisetsu Teitaro Suzuki was a Japanese author of books and essays on Buddhism, Zen, and Shin that were instrumental in spreading interest in both Zen and Shin (and Far Eastern philosophy in general) to the West. Suzuki was also a prolific translator of Chinese, Japanese, and Sanskrit literature. Suzuki spent several lengthy stretches teaching or lecturing at Western universities, and devoted many years to a professorship at Ōtani University, a Japanese Buddhist school. He was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1963. May his quotes inspire you to take action so that you may live your dreams.

1. “The truth of Zen, just a little bit of it, is what turns one’s humdrum life, a life of monotonous, uninspiring commonplaceness, into one of art, full of genuine inner creativity.” D.T. Suzuki

2. “Who would then deny that when I am sipping tea in my tearoom I am swallowing the whole universe with it and that this very moment of my lifting the bowl to my lips is eternity itself transcending time and space?” D.T. Suzuki

3. “Technical knowledge is not enough. One must transcend techniques so that the art becomes an artless art, growing out of the unconscious.” D.T. Suzuki

4. “Emptiness which is conceptually liable to be mistaken for sheer nothingness is in fact the reservoir of infinite possibilities.” D.T. Suzuki

5. “The intuitive recognition of the instant, thus reality is the highest act of wisdom.” D.T. Suzuki

6. “The idea of Zen is to catch life as it flows.” D.T. Suzuki

7. “I am an artist at living – my work of art is my life.” D.T. Suzuki

8. “Modern life seems to recede further and further away from nature, and closely connected with this fact we seem to be losing the feeling of reverence towards nature.” D.T. Suzuki

9. “When mountain-climbing is made too easy, the spiritual effect the mountain exercises vanishes into the air.” D.T. Suzuki

10. “If there is anything Zen strongly emphasizes it is the attainment of freedom; that is, freedom from all unnatural encumbrances.” D.T. Suzuki

11. “Meditation is something artificially put on; it does not belong to the native activity of the mind.” D.T. Suzuki

12. “However insistently the blind may deny the existence of the sun, they cannot annihilate it.” D.T. Suzuki

13. “The way to ascend unto God is to descend into one’s self; these are Hugo’s words. If thou wisheth to search out the deep things of God, search out the depths of thine own spirit.” D.T. Suzuki

14. “The wise Sekiso (Shih-Shuang) said, ‘Stop all your hankerings; let the mildew grow on your lips; make yourself like unto a perfect piece of immaculate silk; let your one thought be eternity; let yourself be like the dead ashes, cold and lifeless; again let yourself be like an old censer in a deserted village shrine!” D.T. Suzuki

15. “Emptiness constantly falls within our reach. It is always with us, and conditions all our knowledge, all our deeds and is our life itself. It is only when we attempt to pick it up and hold it forth as something before our eyes that it eludes us, frustrates all our efforts and vanishes like vapor.” D.T. Suzuki

16. “We teach ourselves; Zen merely points the way.” D.T. Suzuki

17. “There is something rejuvenating in the possession of Zen. The spring flowers look prettier, and the mountain stream runs cooler and more transparent. The subjective revolution that brings about this state of things cannot be called abnormal. When life becomes more enjoyable and its expense broadens to include the universe itself, there must be something in ‘satori’ that is quite precious and well worth one’s striving after.” D.T. Suzuki

18. “When a thing is denied, the very denial involves something not denied.” D.T. Suzuki

19. “But nothing awakens religious consciousness like suffering.” D.T. Suzuki

20. “The finger pointing at the moon remains a finger and under no circumstances can it be changed into the moon itself.” D.T. Suzuki

21. “Zen perceives and feels, and does not abstract and meditate. Zen penetrates and is finally lost in the immersion. Meditation, on the other hand, is outspokenly dualistic and consequently inevitably superficial.” D.T. Suzuki

22. “This acquisition of a new viewpoint in Zen is called ‘Satori’ (‘Wu’ in Chinese) and its verb form is ‘Satoru’. Without it there is no Zen, for the life of Zen begins with the ‘opening of Satori’; ‘Satori’ may be defined as intuitive looking-in, in contradistinction to intellectual and logical understanding. Whatever the definition, ‘Satori’ means the unfolding of a new world hitherto unperceived in the confusion of the dualistic mind.” D.T. Suzuki

23. “If a person opens his mouth to say affirmation or denial, he is lost. Zen is gone. But keeping silence does not go away. The stone on the ground is silent, the blossoming flower under the window is also silent, but they do not understand Zen. There must be some way to find the silence and the speech to be the same, ie. denial and affirmation to be unified in a higher form of utterance. We do that, so we have met Zen.” D.T. Suzuki

24. “How hard, then, and yet how easy it is to understand Zen! Hard because to understand it is not to understand it; easy because not to understand it is to understand it.” D.T. Suzuki

25. “Birth in the Pure Land is an event that takes place while we are still living in this life.” D.T. Suzuki

26. “No amount of wordy explanations will ever lead us into the nature of our own selves. The more you explain, the more it runs away from you. It’s like trying to get hold of your own shadow. You run after it and it runs with you at the same rate of speed.” D.T. Suzuki

27. “In Zen, there is nothing to explain, nothing to learn, nothing to enrich human knowledge. If knowledge does not arise in man, it is not his own, it is like a borrowed foreign adornment.” D.T. Suzuki

28. “When we start to feel anxious or depressed, instead of asking, What do I need to get to be happy? The question becomes, “What am I doing to disturb the inner peace that I already have?” D.T. Suzuki

29. “Monks ought to behave like a grinding stone: Changsan comes to sharpen his knife, Li-szŭ comes to grind his axe, everybody and anybody who wants to have his metal improved in anyway comes and makes use of the stone. Each time the stone is rubbed, it wears out, but it makes no complaint, nor does it boast of its usefulness. And those who come to it go home fully benefitted; some of them may not be quite appreciative of the stone; but the stone itself remains ever contented.” D.T. Suzuki

30. “When consciousness is not housed in a particular object, we say that it resides where there is no permanent cloister. What does it mean not to be located in a particular site? That is, it does not reside in goodness – evil, existence – non-existence, spirit – matter. This means not to remain in the emptiness or non-emptiness, nor in the rest or the no-one. Where there is no permanent cloister, there is the true cloak of consciousness.” D.T. Suzuki

31. “The more you suffer the deeper grows your character, and with the deepening of your character you read the more penetratingly into the secrets of life. All great artists, all great religious leaders, and all great social reformers have come out of the intensest struggles which they fought bravely, quite frequently in tears and with bleeding hearts.” D.T. Suzuki

32. “As far as the content goes, there is none in either Satori or Zen that can be described or presented or demonstrated for your intellectual appreciation. For Zen has no business with ideas, and Satori is a kind of inner perception – not the perception, indeed, of a single individual object but the perception of Reality itself, so to speak.” D.T. Suzuki

33. “Zen professes to be the spirit of Buddhism, but in fact it is the spirit of all religions and philosophies. When Zen is thoroughly understood, absolute peace of mind is attained, and a man lives as he should live.” D.T. Suzuki

34. “Perhaps there is after all nothing mysterious in Zen. Everything is open to your full view. If you eat your food and keep yourself cleanly dressed and work on the farm to raise your rice or vegetables, you are doing all that is required of you on this earth, and the infinite is realized in you.” D.T. Suzuki

35. “The basic idea of Zen is to come in touch with the inner workings of our being, and to do so in the most direct way possible, without resorting to anything external or superadded.” D.T. Suzuki

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