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40 Taisen Deshimaru Quotes That Will Make You Feel Peaceful

Quotes by Taisen Deshimaru:


Taisen Deshimaru was a Japanese-born Soto Zen priest who founded the Association Zen Internationale in 1970 in Paris, France.

His teachings helped spread the influence of Zen in America and Europe, especially of the Soto sect.

Moreover, his simple and straight to the point approach make his books accessible to both the advanced practitioners and the general public.

In early 1982, Deshimaru was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Taisen Deshimaru died on April 30, 1982. Deshimaru reportedly bade his students farewell with the following admonition: “Please, continue zazen.”

List of 40 Taisen Deshimaru Quotes That Will Make You Feel Peaceful:

#1 “Everything in the universe is connected. Everything is osmosis. You cannot separate any part from the whole interdependence rules the cosmic order.”

#2 ”If you are not happy here and now, you never will be.”

#3 ”What is called zazen is sitting on a zafu [pillow] in a quiet room, absolutely still, in the exact and proper position and without uttering a word, the mind empty of any thought, good or wicked. It is continuing to sit peacefully, facing a wall, and nothing more. Every day.”

#4 ”Descartes said, “I think, therefore I am.” I say, “I do not think, that is why I exist.””

#5 ”We feel our shell keeps us safe, but it crushes us and others, and keeps out light and sun.”

#6 ”In a fight between a strong technique and a strong body, the technique will prevail. In a fight between a strong mind and a strong technique, the mind will prevail, because it will find the weak point.”

#7 ”You cannot separate any part from the whole: interdependence rules the cosmic order.”

#8 ”The body moves naturally, automatically, without any personal intervention or awareness. If we think too much, our actions become slow and hesitant.”

#9 ”Sometimes I am a philosopher, sometimes a religious person, sometimes a monk, sometimes an educator, sometimes a whiskey-drinker.”

#10 “If the body is strong and the mind is weak, the body kills mind. And you become insane. If the mind is strong and the body weak, then mind kills the body. And you commit suicide.”

#11 ”True religion is not esoteric or mystical, it is not an exercise in well-being or gymnastics.”

#12 “To have a few precious stones is better than to have many pebbles. If everyone became a precious stone, then the stones would lose their value.”

#13 ”Each person is living in a world which he creates by his own proper consciousness. So, what is the ego?…. Each one of us thinks: “I am me,” I am like this or like that.”

#14 “Zazen is like water in a glass. Leave the water to sit quietly and soon the dirt will sink down, down, and the water will become pure.”

#15 ”We feel our shell keeps us safe, but it crushes us and others, and keeps out light and sun.”

#16 “Discussion has nothing to do with Zen.”

#17 ”During zazen, brain and consciousness become pure. It’s exactly like muddy water left to stand in a glass. Little by little, the sediment sinks to the bottom and the water becomes pure.”

#18 ”Do zazen unconsciously, automatically and naturally, and it will have an infinite influence. Then everything is possible. But if your object is limited, then this object is not so large, it is not infinite.”

#19 ”You have to practice until you die.”

#20 “To have compassion is to have the same mind as the other.”

#21 ”To practice Zen or the Martial Arts, you must live intensely, wholeheartedly, without reserve – as if you might die in the next instant.”

#22 “Don’t think of after or of before. This is the secret of kendo. Only of here and now. During combat, don’t think of defeat, nor of victory, but be in the freedom of here and now.”

#23 ”Human beings are afraid of dying. They are always running after something: money, honor, and pleasure. But if you had to die now, what would you want?”

#24 “Even if we hate the weed, and even if we abandon this hate of the weed, it will grow.”

#25 ”Nobody today is normal, everybody is a little bit crazy or unbalanced, people’s minds are running all the time. Their perceptions of the world are partial, incomplete. They are eaten alive by their egos. They think they see, but they are mistaken; all they do is project their madness, their world, upon the world. There is no clarity, no wisdom in that!”

#26 “Zen is beyond this: there is no man, no woman. During zazen, no female, no male. No masculine, no feminine. The sexual organs are not at all important. Women in zazen are better off-they don’t have testicles which get in their way.”

#27 ”Religions remain what they are. Zen is meditation. Meditation is the foundation of every religion.”

#28 “Western political movements, the masculine-feminine movement-they like the monsieur-madame dualism…. Women criticizing men…. Always this dualism. So it is not possible to harmonize…. This works for a while. But then comes the divorce.”

#29 ”Harmonizing opposites by going back to their source is the distinctive quality of the Zen attitude, the Middle Way: embracing contradictions, making a synthesis of them, achieving balance.”

#30 “The error of democracy is that people imitate others and do not create anything.”

#31 ”You must concentrate upon and consecrate yourself wholly to each day, as though a fire were raging in your hair.”

#32 “Most people do not like criticism. But they should. They should say thank you.”

#33 ”Keep your hands open, and all the sands of the desert can pass through them. Close them, and all you can feel is a bit of grit.”

#34 “Zen is physical education. It is not a gymnastic, nor is it a martial art. The action of the body influences mind and consciousness.”

#35 “Your world and the cat’s world are not the same.”

#36 “There is no need to have an object in what you do.”

#37 “To receive everything, one must open one’s hands and give.”

#38 “Zazen means to stop running after and to stop running away.”

#39 ”What I am trying to say is that the person who could treat you good and really love you could already be in your life, but you could have been blinded by the things you want in a man so you overlooked the person that you were really looking for.”

#40 “In modern times education is too soft. You here all receive soft educations. You have all received educations which make your minds become like encyclopedias.”

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