- I call Zen the only living religion because it is not a
religion, but only a religiousness. It has no dogma, it does not depend on
any founder. It has no past; in fact it has nothing to teach you. It is
the strangest thing that has happened in the whole history of mankind â€“
strangest because it enjoys in emptiness, it blossoms in nothingness. It
is fulfilled in innocence, in not knowing. It does not discriminate
between the mundane and the sacred. For it, all that is, is sacred.
- One of the fundamentals of Zen that makes it a totally
unique religion, more than any other religion of the world, is that it
does not want to exclude anything from your life. Your life has to be
inclusive. It has to comprehend all the stars and the sky and the earth.
It is not a path of renouncing the world.
- Zen is not a morality. It never talks about right and
wrong. It never talks about the saint and the sinner. It is so respectful
of reality that nothing in the whole of history can be compared with this
respectfulness. It is not only respectful to human beings, but to this
cricket, to these cuckoos, to these crows. Wherever life is, the Zen
experience is that it is the same life. There is no categorization; nobody
is lower or higher, but just different forms of the abundance of
existence. It blossoms in many forms, in many colors; it dances in many
ways and in many forms, but hidden within it is the same eternal
- Zen comes closer to science than any other religion for
the simple reason that it does not require any faith. It requires of you
only an intense inquiry into yourself, a deepening of consciousness, not
concentration â€“ a settling, a relaxing of consciousness, so that you can
find your own source. That very source is the source of the whole
- Zen is the very principle of existence. Whether there
is anyone who teaches it or not, whether there is anyone who learns it or
not, it is there. Zen is the very heartbeat of existence. It is not
dependent on any teaching, not dependent on any masters, not dependent on
disciples. Masters come and go, disciples come and disappear; Zen remains.
Just as it is. It is always just as it is.
- Now, even in Japan, Zen has become just a scholarly
study. Zen is not a scholarly study. Zen is an existential quantum leap.
It is not of the mind. It is going beyond the mind.
- Zen is non-judgemental, Zen is non-evaluative, Zen imposes
no character on anybody. Because to impose character, you will need
valuation â€“ good and bad.
- Zen has nothing to do with any god. No sincere man, no
intelligent man has anything to do with any fiction. He searches within.
He looks within â€“ because he is life, so there must be some center
within himself from where the life arises.
- Zen is so strange as far as intellectual understanding
is concerned. It looks almost absurd. That is one of the reasons why it
has not grown into a vast tree around the world, but has remained a small
stream of only those who can see beyond the mind, who can feel it, even
though it is illogical, irrational.
- In Zen a totally new dimension opens, the dimension of
effortless transformation. The dimension of transformation that comes
naturally, by clearer eyes, by clarity. By seeing into the nature of
things more directly, without any hindrance of prejudices.
- Zen says: Remain true to your freedom. And then a
totally different kind of being arises in you, which is very unexpected,
unpredictable. Religious, but not moral. Not immoral â€“ amoral: beyond
morality, beyond immorality.
- Zen is not effort. Effort is tension, effort is work,
effort is to achieve something. Zen is not something to achieve. You are
already that. Just relax, relax so deeply that you become a revelation to
- The bamboo is very much loved by the Zen poets for its
tremendous quality of being hollow. Out of this hollowness of the bamboo,
a flute can be made. The bamboo will not sing, but it can allow any song
to pass through it.
- Even Zen finally has to be transcended. Finally you
have to become so meditative that you donâ€™t need to meditate any more
â€“ meditation becomes your very being. That is what is called â€the old
Zen barrier.â€ The day your very existence becomes meditative, when you
donâ€™t have to sit down at a certain hour to meditate in a certain way;
the day when whatever you do, you do it meditatively â€“ you sleep in
meditation and you wake up in meditation â€“ you have passed the old Zen
- Zen is not a renunciation, it is a rejoicing. It is the
manifesto of dance and celebration.