D. T. Suzuki Quotes

Do you have any favorite D. T. Suzuki quotes?

Daisetsu Teitaro Suzuki, popularly known as D. T. Suzuki, was a Japanese philosopher, professor, author and writer of books and essays on Buddhism, Zen and Shin. Along with other influential personalities like Alan Watts, D. T. Suzuki was one of the people who were very instrumental in spreading interest in Zen and Shin to the West.

D. T. Suzuki is the author of books like An Introduction to Zen Buddhism, Zen Buddhism, selected writings, Zen and Japanese culture, Essays in Zen Buddhism, Mysticism : Christian and Buddhist, Essays in Zen Buddhism: First Series and many others.

Here are some of the best inspirational D. T. Suzuki quotes about life, zen and so much more:

Best D. T. Suzuki Quotes

best D. T. Suzuki quotes

1. That’s why I love philosophy: no one wins. -D. T. Suzuki

2. Great works are done when one is not calculating and thinking. -D. T. Suzuki

3. When a thing is denied, the very denial involves something not denied. -D. T. Suzuki

4. God against man. Man against God. Man against nature. Nature against man. Nature against God. God against nature. Very funny religion! -D. T. Suzuki

5. The finger pointing at the moon remains a finger and under no circumstances can it be changed into the moon itself.

D. T. Suzuki

6. Eternity is the Absolute present. -D. T. Suzuki

7. Enlightenment is like everyday consciousness but two inches above the ground. -D. T. Suzuki

8. The intuitive recognition of the instant, thus reality is the highest act of wisdom. -D. T. Suzuki

9. As soon as you raise a thought and begin to form an idea of it, you ruin the reality itself, because you then attach yourself to form. -D. T. Suzuki

10. Copying is slavery. The letter must never be followed, only the spirit is to be grasped. Higher affirmations live in the spirit. And where is the spirit? Seek it in your everyday experience, and therein lies abundance of proof for all you need. -D. T. Suzuki

Famous D. T. Suzuki Quotes

Famous D. T. Suzuki Quotes

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

12. 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

13. The contradiction so puzzling to the ordinary way of thinking comes from the fact that we have to use language to communicate our inner experience, which in its very nature transcends linguistics. -D. T. Suzuki

14. A simple fishing boat in the midst of the rippling waters is enough to awaken in the mind of the beholder a sense of vastness of the sea and at the same time of peace and contentment – the Zen sense of the alone. -D. T. Suzuki

15. But nothing awakens religious consciousness like suffering.

D. T. Suzuki

16. Unless it grows out of yourself no knowledge is really yours, it is only borrowed plumage. -D. T. Suzuki

17. No amount of wordy explanations will ever lead us into the nature of our own selves. The more you explain, the further it runs away from you. It is like trying to get hold of your own shadow. You run after it and it runs with you at the identical rate of speed. -D. T. Suzuki

18. 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. It is probably inevitable when science and machinery, capitalism and materialism go hand in hand so far in a most remarkably successful manner. -D. T. Suzuki

19. 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

20. 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

Inspirational D. T. Suzuki Quotes

Inspirational D. T. Suzuki Quotes

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

22. 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

23. Unless we agree to suffer we cannot be free from suffering.

D. T. Suzuki

24. 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

25. In Christianity we seem to be too conscious of God, though we say that in him we live and move and have our being. Zen wants to have this last trace of God-consciousness, if possible, obliterated. That is why Zen masters advise us not to linger where the Buddha is, and to pass quickly away where he is not. -D. T. Suzuki

Motivational D. T. Suzuki Quotes

Motivational D. T. Suzuki Quotes

26. The intuitive recognition of the instant, thus reality… is the highest act of wisdom. -D. T. Suzuki

27. Not to be bound by rules, but to be creating one’s own rules-this is the kind of life which Zen is trying to have us live. -D. T. Suzuki

28. We have never lost Paradise, but human consciousness tells us we have lost it and that we have to regain it. But in fact, Paradise has never been lost, Paradise is never to be therefore regained. We are in Eden, just as we are now.

D. T. Suzuki

29. The waters are in motion, but the moon retains its serenity. -D. T. Suzuki

30. If we really want to get to the bottom of life, we must abandon our cherished syllogisms, we must acquire a new way of observation whereby we can escape the tyranny of logic and the one-sidedness of our everyday phraseology. -D. T. Suzuki

D. T. Suzuki Zen Quotes

D. T. Suzuki Zen Quotes

31. We teach ourselves; Zen merely points the way. -D. T. Suzuki

32. Life, according to Zen, ought to be lived as a bird flies through the air, or as a fish swims in the water. -D. T. Suzuki

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

34. In the study of Zen, the power of an all-illuminating insight must go hand in hand with a deep sense of humility and meekness of heart. -D. T. Suzuki

35. Zen has nothing to teach us in the way of intellectual analysis; nor has it any set doctrines which are imposed on its followers for acceptance. -D. T. Suzuki

36. 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

37. Zen professes itself 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 ought to live. -D. T. Suzuki

38. Taking it all in all, Zen is emphatically a matter of personal experience; if anything can be called radically empirical, it is Zen. No amount of reading, no amount of teaching, no amount of contemplation will ever make one a Zen master. Life itself must be grasped in the midst of its flow; to stop it for examination and analysis is to kill it, leaving its cold corpse to be embraced. -D. T. Suzuki

39. 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

40. The idea of Zen is to catch life as it flows. There is nothing extraordinary or mysterious about Zen. I raise my hand ; I take a book from the other side of the desk ; I hear the boys playing ball outside my window; I see the clouds blown away beyond the neighboring wood: — in all these I am practicing Zen, I am living Zen. No wordy discussions is necessary, nor any explanation. I do not know why — and there is no need of explaining, but when the sun rises the whole world dances with joy and everybody’s heart is filled with bliss. If Zen is at all conceivable, it must be taken hold of here.

D. T. Suzuki

41. Zen has nothing to do with letters, words, or sutras. -D. T. Suzuki

42. 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

43. 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

44. 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

45. The claim of the Zen followers that they are transmitting the essence of Buddhism is based on their belief that Zen takes hold of the enlivening spirit of the Buddha, stripped of all its historical and doctrinal garments. -D. T. Suzuki

46. Among the most remarkable features characterizing Zen we find these: spirituality, directness of expression, disregard of form or conventionalism, and frequently an almost wanton delight in going astray from respectability. -D. T. Suzuki

47. In Zen there must be satori; there must be a general mental upheaval which destroys the old accumulations of intellection and lays down the foundation for a new life; there must be the awakening of a new sense which will review the old things from a hitherto undreamed-of angle of observation. -D. T. Suzuki

48. Zen wants us to acquire an entirely new point of view whereby to look into the mysteries of life and the secrets of nature. This is because Zen has come to the definite conclusion that the ordinary logical process of reasoning is powerless to give final satisfaction to our deepest spiritual needs. -D. T. Suzuki

49. Mysticism, which is the life of religion in whatever sense we understand it, has come to be relegated altogether in the background. Without a certain amount of mysticism there is no appreciation for the feeling of reverence, and, along with it, for the spiritual significance of humility. Science and scientific technique have done a great deal for humanity; but as far as our spiritual welfare is concerned we have not made any advances over that attained by our forefathers. In fact we are suffering at present the worst kind of unrest all over the world. -D. T. Suzuki

50. If there is anything Zen strongly emphasizes it is the attainment of freedom; that is, freedom from all unnatural encumbrances. Meditation is something artificially put on; it does not belong to the native activity of the mind. Upon what do the fowls of the air meditate? Upon what do the fish in the water meditate? They fly; they swim. Is not that enough? Who wants to fix his mind on the unity of God and man, or on the nothingness of life? Who wants to be arrested in the daily manifestations of his life-activity by such meditations as the goodness of a divine being or the everlasting fire of hell? -D. T. Suzuki