65 Inspirational Shunryu Suzuki Quotes On Success In Life

Shunryu Suzuki was an Sōtō Zen monk and teacher who helped popularize Zen Buddhism in the United States. and is renowned for founding the first Zen Buddhist monastery outside Asia (Tassajara Zen Mountain Center). Suzuki founded the San Francisco Zen Center which, along with its affiliate temples, comprises one of the most influential Zen organizations in the United States. These Shunryu Suzuki quotes will motivate you.

Best Shunryu Suzuki Quotes

  1. “Wherever you go you will find your teacher, as long as you have the eyes to see and the ears to hear.” ~ Shunryu Suzuki
  2. “Leave your front door and your back door open.
    Allow your thoughts to come and go.
    Just don’t serve them tea.” ~ Shunryu Suzuki
  3. “How much ‘ego’ do you need? Just enough so that you don’t step in front of a bus.” ~ Shunryu Suzuki
  4. “Moment after moment everything comes out of nothingness. This is the true joy of life.” ~ Shunryu Suzuki
  5. “Treat every moment as your last. It is not preparation for something else.” ~ Shunryu Suzuki
  6. “If you can just appreciate each thing, one by one, then you will have pure gratitude. Even though you observe just one flower, that one flower includes everything” ~ Shunryu Suzuki
  7. “Everything is perfect, but there is a lot of room for improvement.” ~ Shunryu Suzuki

  8. “Nothing outside yourself can cause any trouble. You yourself make the waves in your mind. If you leave your mind as it is, it will become calm. This mind is called big mind.” ~ Shunryu Suzuki
  9. “When you try to understand everything, you will not understand anything. The best way is to understand yourself, and then you will understand everything.” ~ Shunryu Suzuki
  10. “Faith is a state of openness or trust…In other words, a person who is fanatic in matters of religion, and clings to certain ideas about the nature of God and the universe, becomes a person who has no faith at all. Instead they are holding tight. But the attitude of faith is to let go, and become open to the truth, whatever it might turn out to be.” ~ Shunryu Suzuki
  11. “Life is like stepping onto a boat which is about to sail out to sea and sink.” ~ Shunryu Suzuki

  12. “As soon as you see something, you already start to intellectualize it. As soon as you intellectualize something, it is no longer what you saw.” ~ Shunryu Suzuki
  13. “Wherever you are, you are one with the clouds and one with the sun and the stars you see. You are one with everything. That is more true than I can say and more true than you can hear.” ~ Shunryu Suzuki
  14. “Hell is not punishment, it’s training.” ~ Shunryu Suzuki
  15. “It is easy to have calmness in inactivity, it is hard to have calmness in activity, but calmness in activity is true calmness.” ~ Shunryu Suzuki
  16. “It is easy to have calmness in inactivity, it is hard to have calmness in activity, but calmness in activity is true calmness.” ~ Shunryu Suzuki
  17. “Instead of criticizing, find out how to help.” ~ Shunryu Suzuki

  18. “You must be true to your own way until at last you actually come to the point where you see it is necessary to forget all about yourself.” ~ Shunryu Suzuki
  19. “When my master and I were walking in the rain, he would say, ‘Do not walk so fast, the rain is everywhere.'” ~ Shunryu Suzuki
  20. “When my master and I were walking in the rain, he would say, ‘Do not walk so fast, the rain is everywhere.'” ~ Shunryu Suzuki
  21. “So for a period of time each day, try to sit, without moving, without expecting anything, as if you were in your last moment. Moment after moment you feel your last instant. In each inhalation and each exhalation there are countless instants of time. Your intention is to live in each instant.” ~ Shunryu Suzuki
  22. “The most important point is to accept yourself and stand on your two feet.” ~ Shunryu Suzuki

  23. “It is only by practicing through a continual succession of agreeable and disagreeable situations that we acquire true strengths. To accept that pain is inherent and to live our lives from this understanding is to create the causes and conditions for happiness.” ~ Shunryu Suzuki
  24. “When you are practicing zazen, do not try to stop your thinking. Let it stop by itself. If something comes into your mind, let it come in, and let it go out. It will not stay long. When you try to stop your thinking, it means you are bothered by it. Do not be bothered by anything. It appears as if something comes from outside your mind, but actually it is only the waves of your mind, and if you are not bothered by the waves, gradually they will become calmer and calmer.” ~ Shunryu Suzuki
  25. “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities; in the expert’s mind there are few…. In the beginner’s mind there is no thought, ‘I have attained something.’ All self-centered thoughts limit our vast mind. When we have no thought of achievement, no thought of self, we are true beginners. We can really learn something.” ~ Shunryu Suzuki
  26. “Nothing we see or hear is perfect. But right there in the imperfection is perfect reality.” ~ Shunryu Suzuki

  27. “You are perfect as you are and there is always room for improvement.” ~ Shunryu Suzuki
  28. “Ego is a social institution with no physical reality. The ego is simply your symbol of yourself.” ~ Shunryu Suzuki
  29. “The highest truth is daiji, translated as dai jiki in Chinese scriptures. This is the subject of the question the emperor asked Bodhidharma: “What is the First Principle?” Bodhidharma said, “I don’t know.” “I don’t know” is the First Principle.” ~ Shunryu Suzuki
  30. “Things are always changing, so nothing can be yours.” ~ Shunryu Suzuki

  31. “In Japan we have the phrase, “Shoshin,” which means “beginner’s mind.” Our “original mind” includes everything within itself. It is always rich and sufficient within itself. This does not mean a closed mind, but actually an empty mind and a ready mind. If your mind is empty, it is always ready for anything. It is open to everything. In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities; in the expert’s mind there are few.” ~ Shunryu Suzuki
  32. “Everything you do is right, nothing you do is wrong, yet you must still make ceaseless effort.” ~ Shunryu Suzuki
  33. “Without accepting the fact that everything changes, we cannot find perfect composure. But unfortunately, although it is true, it is difficult for us to accept it. Because we cannot accept the truth of transience, we suffer.” ~ Shunryu Suzuki
  34. “The beginner’s mind is the mind of compassion. When our mind is compassionate, it is boundless.” ~ Shunryu Suzuki
  35. “The beginner’s mind is the mind of compassion. When our mind is compassionate, it is boundless.” ~ Shunryu Suzuki

  36. “The point we emphasize is strong confidence in our original nature.” ~ Shunryu Suzuki
  37. “In the Lotus Sutra, Buddha says to light up one corner – not the whole world. Just make it clear where you are.” ~ Shunryu Suzuki
  38. “Don’t move. Just die over and over. Don’t anticipate. Nothing can save you now because you have only this moment. Not even enlightenment will help you now because there are no other moments. With no future, be true to yourself and express yourself fully. Don’t move.” ~ Shunryu Suzuki Quotes
  39. “Happiness is sorrow; sorrow is happiness. There is happiness in difficulty; difficulty in happiness. Even though the ways we feel are different, they are not really different, in essence, they are the same. This is the true understanding transmitted from Buddha to us.” ~ Shunryu Suzuki
  40. “We try, and we try, and we fail, and then we go deeper.” ~ Shunryu Suzuki

  41. “A flower falls, even though we love it; and a weed grows, even though we do not love it….In this way our life should be understood. Then there is no problem.” ~ Shunryu Suzuki
  42. “Concentration comes not from trying hard to focus on something, but from keeping your mind open and directing it at nothing.” ~ Shunryu Suzuki
  43. “The practice of Zen mind is beginner’s mind. The innocence of the first inquiry—what am I?—is needed throughout Zen practice. The mind of the beginner is empty, free of the habits of the expert, ready to accept, to doubt, and open to all the possibilities. It is the kind of mind which can see things as they are, which step by step and in a flash can realize the original nature of everything.” ~ Shunryu Suzuki Quotes
  44. “Moment after moment, completely devote yourself to listening to your inner voice.” ~ Shunryu Suzuki
  45. “To renounce things is not to give them up. It is to acknowledge that all things go away.” ~ Shunryu Suzuki

  46. “You will always exist in the universe in one form or another.” ~ Shunryu Suzuki
  47. “Although we have no actual written communications from the world of emptiness, we have some hints or suggestions about what is going on in that world, and that is, you might say, enlightenment. When you see plum blossoms or hear the sound of a small stone hitting bamboo, that is a letter from the world of emptiness.” ~ Shunryu Suzuki
  48. “Meditation opens the mind to the greatest mystery that takes place daily and hourly; it widens the heart so that it may feel the eternity of time and infinity of space in every throb; it gives us a life within the world as if we were moving about in paradise.” ~ Shunryu Suzuki
  49. “So the secret is just to say ‘Yes!’ and jump off from here. Then there is no problem. It means to be yourself, always yourself, without sticking to an old self.” ~ Shunryu Suzuki
  50. “In the zazen posture, your mind and body have, great power to accept things as they are, whether agreeable or disagreeable.” ~ Shunryu Suzuki
  51. “I think you’re all enlightened until you open your mouths.” ~ Shunryu Suzuki

  52. “Because we cannot accept the truth of transience, we suffer.” ~ Shunryu Suzuki
  53. “The mind we have when we practice zazen is the great mind: we don’t try to see anything; we stop conceptual thinking; we stop emotional activity; we just sit. Whatever happens to us, we are not bothered. We just sit. It is like something happening in the great sky. Whatever kind of bird flies through it, the sky doesn’t care. That is the mind transmitted from Buddha to us.” ~ Shunryu Suzuki
  54. “The true purpose of Zen is to see things as they are, to observe things as they are, and to let everything go as it goes. Zen practice is to open up our small mind.” ~ Shunryu Suzuki
  55. “To express yourself as you are, without any intentional, fancy way of adjusting yourself, is the most important thing.” ~ Shunryu Suzuki
  56. “What we call “I” is just a swinging door which moves when we inhale and when we exhale.” ~ Shunryu Suzuki

  57. “Even though you try to put people under control, it is impossible. You cannot do it. The best way to control people is to encourage them to be mischievous. Then they will be in control in a wider sense. To give your sheep or cow a large spacious meadow is the way to control him. So it is with people: first let them do what they want, and watch them. This is the best policy. To ignore them is not good. That is the worst policy. The second worst is trying to control them. The best one is to watch them, just to watch them, without trying to control them.” ~ Shunryu Suzuki Quotes
  58. “A student, filled with emotion and crying, implored, “Why is there so much suffering?” Suzuki Roshi replied, “No reason.” ~ Shunryu Suzuki
  59. “It is wisdom that is seeking for wisdom.” ~ Shunryu Suzuki

  60. “When you are just you, without thinking or trying to say something special, just saying what is on your mind and how you feel, then there is naturally self-respect.” ~ Shunryu Suzuki
  61. “When we have our body and mind in order, everything else will exist in the right place, in the right way. But usually, without being aware of it, we try to change something other than ourselves; we try to order things outside us. But it is impossible to organize things if you yourself are not in order. When you do things in the right way, at the right time, everything else will be organized.” ~ Shunryu Suzuki
  62. “It must be obvious…that there is a contradiction in wanting to be perfectly secure in a universe whose very nature is momentariness and fluidity.” ~ Shunryu Suzuki

  63. “There is no connection between I myself yesterday and I myself in this moment” ~ Shunryu Suzuki
  64. “I discovered that it is necessary, absolutely necessary, to believe in nothing. That is, we have to believe in something which has no form and no color–something which exists before all forms and colors appear… No matter what god or doctrine you believe in, if you become attached to it, your belief will be based more or less on a self-centered idea.” ~ Shunryu Suzuki
  65. “When you sit, everything sits with you.” ~ Shunryu Suzuki

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