Greetings Zen brothers and sisters!

In this file you will find a collection of koans that have called out to my heart. Give them a chance and perhaps a gem will be placed inside you as well. Sees the moment.

 All work is copyrighted to their respective owners. Art Credits License Creative Commons.

bamboo bamboo bamboo
Book One
  1. A short saying
  2. In the beginner's mind
  3. I'm going to pose a questions
  4. Every day
  5. Love God
  6. Ring the bells
  7. The only Zen
  8. A poor man
  9. Simplify
  10. Purpose of a pilgrim
  11. Journey
  12. Every exit
  13. Only joy
  14. What happens to the hole
  15. Easy is right
  16. Act without doing
  17. No act of kindness goes unreward
  18. When the student is ready
  19. Teacher open the door
  20. Footsteps
  21. Somebody showed it to me
  22. Why tell animals
  23. Too pure
  24. Target practice
  25. When hungry
  26. Less is more
  27. Perfect flow
  28. The happening
  29. Thinking
  30. Massless particle
  31. Among the great things
  32. He who knows
  33. Lift the stone
  34. The prayer of the monk
  35. This
  36. Be master of mind
  37. The reason angels can fly
  38. Attachment
  39. The more you know
  40. The less effort
  41. Bull's eye
  42. If you are going to do something
  43. Plenty of time
  44. Focus on what you are doing
  45. Learn from your mistakes
  46. The reason devils have horns
  47. How to study
  48. Laugh at yourself
  49. If you love something
  50. Silent men
Book Two
  1. We make war
  2. The most exciting phrase
  3. The most important things
  4. Real knowledge
  5. We are going to have peace
  6. I hate quotations
  7. When it is dark enough
  8. There's a difference
  9. A diplomat
  10. An ounce
  11. Without feeling
  12. To light a candle
  13. Cinema should make you forget
  14. The whole problem
  15. Well done
  16. Loved and lost
  17. The journey of a thousand miles
  18. Just what I wanted
  19. Wovon mann nicht sprechen kann
  20. I didn't do it
  21. I got the right day
  22. Venimus
  23. If you don't care where you are
  24. Don't lose your head
  25. It's so easy to laugh
  26. Silence
  27. For I am a bear of very little brain
  28. Back off man
  29. Kindness
  30. To do two things
  31. It's today
  32. My younger days
  33. Life Lessons from the Dalai Lama
  34. Language is a tool of power
  35. Is that so?
  36. Muddy road
  37. The first principles
  38. Mother's advice
  39. My Heart Burns Like Fire
  40. Three Days More
  41. Trading Dialogue For Lodging
  42. Calling Card
  43. Everything is best
  44. The Giver Should Be Thankful
  45. No Attachment To Dust
  46. No Work, No Food
  47. Time To Die
  48. The Last Rap
  49. Teaching The Ultimate
  50. With power
Book Three
  1. A problem
  2. Bad taste
  3. Learn to pause
  4. Get something done
  5. The way of the warrior
  6. 90% of politicians
  7. What should I do?
  8. Sex
  9. Laugh when you can
  10. No sooner said than done
  11. Time is an illusion
  12. Happiness isn't having what you want
  13. Never hit a man with glasses
  14. It may be
  15. No
  16. Never wrestle with a pig
  17. In a fight with a fool
  18. He who slings mud
  19. Being at peace
  20. Old Grandad is dead
  21. Measure twice
  22. Absence
  23. Everybody is different
  24. A nice old temple
  25. Overcome your uncertainties
  26. To stay youthful
  27. Preudhomme's Law
  28. If you don't have time
  29. Long letter
  30. To be wise
  31. Nobody really knows what happiness is
  32. A good plan
  33. If a man has talent
  34. Cleaning your house
  35. Seek your own Buddha within
  36. Come quickly
  37. When the only tool you have
  39. Be soft in your practice
  40. XML is like violence
  41. A program should be light and agile
  42. Like the little stream
  43. Waking me up
  44. If you want to be free
  45. Perfect is the enemy of the good
  46. The longer the title
  47. Calming the mind
  48. If you haven't attained
  49. From the passions arise worry
  50. All constants
Book Four
  1. Work smarter
  2. The ancient masters
  3. Let go
  4. Mind has no color
  5. Free and independent
  6. Anything worthwhile
  7. What ever you want
  8. You can not win the game
  9. Seeing into nothingness
  10. Standards
  11. If we spoke a different language
  12. If we won't stand together
  13. You can disagree
  14. Till now
  15. One architecture
  16. Neither sorrows nor delights
  17. Purifying our self-direction
  18. Japanes mafia
  19. There never was
  20. To be free from the passions
  21. Don't force it
  22. Ceasing is the same as samadhi
  23. Anything is possible
  24. The earth is very thick
  25. Too much knowledge
  26. Right where you are
  27. Circulates everywhere
  28. Stop searching
  29. A quiet room
  30. Sit straight
  31. The sweeter the apple
  32. The speed of anything
  33. Diplomacy
  34. Any sufficiently advanced technology
  35. Leave the fires of defilement
  36. Buddha is like empty space
  37. When the mind's as is
  38. The pure land
  39. In all worldly situations
  40. Dharma door
  41. Everyone arrives
  42. Comprehending everything
  43. I build a hut
  44. No moon
  45. Watch your mouth
  46. Slight weapons malfunction
  47. Scruffy-looking
  48. Inwardly empty
  49. See for yourself
  50. achieve freedom in this life
Book Five
  1. Plan9
  2. Computers are useless
  3. The connection
  4. Stinginess with privileges
  5. Steady state of disks
  6. Nothing
  7. Most productive days
  8. Clean and simple
  9. Source motel
  10. Very different
  11. Goto
  12. Untrusted code
  13. Thing of beauty
  14. Persistant objects
  15. Trust
  16. Debugging
  17. Outsmart a compiler
  18. Occupational hazard
  19. The best design
  20. About the use of language
  21. Imagination
  22. A part of a whole
  23. Everything that counts
  24. God's thoughts
  25. Only a life
  26. Laws of mathematics
  27. Two things are infinite
  28. Opportunity
  29. Cosmic religion
  30. When all else fails
  31. Without a doubt.
  32. Golden bikini
  33. Nothing compares to learning
  34. Utter emptiness has no image
  35. Stillness and illumination
  36. The water of the mind
  37. Joka hallitsee kalenteria
  38. My hut settled among neighbors
  39. Complete in itself
  40. Thinking of that which is beyond thought
  41. Conditions of delusions
  42. To err is human
  43. Follow the truth of the way
  44. Let there be nothing behind you
  45. Fifteen years ago
  46. True study of the way
  47. The sound of a swollen mountain stream
  48. Daemons are processes
  49. Just get to the root
  50. Arrive at its source
Book Six
  1. Beyond the realm of words
  2. Make no mistake about it
  3. Own the sitaution
  4. Sages do not want anything
  5. Just don’t seek from others
  6. Many paths
  7. Pellucid ocean
  8. The obstacle is the mind
  9. Careful!
  10. The way is vast and without favor
  11. Over the ages
  12. If people are quiet
  13. Walking in the garden
  14. Inherent reality-nature is empty
  15. The way of becoming a Buddha
  16. Returning where
  17. Subjugate your own mind
  18. Three different doctrines or that same
  19. The concept of an I
  20. Every heart is its own Buddha
  21. It has always existed
  22. Pit of fire
  23. When the mind can see
  24. Fill the streams
  25. The imperfect becomes whole
  26. Sentient beings
  27. Understand objectively
  28. Universal emptiness
  29. Know the essence of mind
  30. The great mystery
  31. Simply be normal
  32. Mind ground
  33. The croak of a frog
  34. My trials continue
  35. This is the last day of your life
  36. All care forgotten
  37. So is all
  38. The brightly shining mind
  39. Empty and calm
  40. Without beginning
  41. Mind cannot grasp it
  42. Everywhere is immaculate
  43. Cease to be affected
  44. Life is short
  45. The true teaching of the Buddha
  46. Not the way
  47. Deepest suffering
  48. Every energy
  49. Purify all bad feelings and views
  50. Right here and now
  51. People who have many desires
bamboo bamboo bamboo
  1. A short saying
  2. A short saying contains much wisdom.
  3. In the beginner's mind
  4. In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's mind there are few.
    Shunryan Suzuki
  5. I'm going to pose a questions
  6. "I'm going to pose a questions," King Milinda said to Venerable Nagasena. "can you answer?" Nagasena: "Please ask your question." The king said: "I have already asked." Nagasena: "I have already answered." The king said: "What did you answer?" Nagasena: "What did you ask?" The king said: "I asked Nothing." Nagasena: "I answered nothing."
    "Who's on first" Zen
  7. Every day
  8. Every day people are straying away from church and going back to god.
    Lenny Bruce
  9. Love God
  10. Love God and do what you will
    St. Augustine
  11. Ring the bells
  12. Ring the bells that still can ring. Forget you perfect offering. There is a crack in everything. That is how the light gets in.
    Leonard Cohen
  13. The only Zen
  14. The only Zen you find on the tips of mountains is the Zen you bring up there.
    Robert M. Pirsig
  15. A poor man
  16. A monk asked Chaoe-chou, "if a poor man comes, what should one give him?" "He lacks nothing," answered the Master.
    Zen Mondo
  17. Simplify
  18. Our life is frittered away by detail... Simplify, Simplify.
  19. Purpose of a pilgrim
  20. Ti-ts'ang asked Fa-zen, "where are you going?" Fa-zen said, "around on pilgrim." Ti-ts'ang said, "what is the purpose of pilgrim?" Fa-zen said, "I don't know." Ti-ts'ang said, "not knowing is nearest."
    Zen Mondo
  21. Journey
  22. It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.
    Ursula K. Le Guin
  23. Every exit
  24. Every exit is an entry somewhere else.
    Tom Stoppard
  25. Only joy
  26. The only joy in the world is to begin.
    Cesar Pavese
  27. What happens to the hole
  28. What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?
    Bertolt Brecht
    What happens to the ass when the hole is gone?
    Unknown, suggested by Peter Alhfors
  29. Easy is right
  30. Easy is right. begin right and you are easy. Continue easy and you are right. The right way to go easy is to forget the right way and forget that going is easy.
  31. Act without doing
  32. Act without doing; work without effort.
    Tao Te Ching
  33. No act of kindness goes unreward
  34. No act of kindness goes unreward. No harmful deed goes unpunished.
    Buddist proverb
  35. When the student is ready
  36. When the student is ready, the Master appears
    Buddist proverb
  37. Teacher open the door
  38. Teacher open the door, but you must enter by yourself.
    Chinese proverb
  39. Footsteps
  40. Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the men of old, seek what they sought.
  41. Somebody showed it to me
  42. Somebody showed it to me and I found it by myself.
    Lew Welch
  43. Why tell animals
  44. Why tell animals living in the water to drink?
    West african proverb
  45. Too pure
  46. Water which is too pure has no fish.
    Ts'ai Ken T'an
  47. Target practice
  48. The one who is good at shooting does not hit the center of the target.
    Zen saying
  49. When hungry
  50. When hungry, eat your rice; when tired, close you eyes. Fools may laugh at me, but wise men will know what I mean.
  51. Less is more
  52. Those who want the fewest things are nearest to the gods.
  53. Perfect flow
  54. TODAY.
    Word carved on a stone on hon ruskin's desk.
  55. The happening
  56. It loved to happen.
    Marcus Aurelius
  57. Thinking
  58. Thinking is more interesting than knowing, but less interesting than looking.
  59. Massless particle
  60. Picture a massless particle.
    A koan of modern physics
  61. Among the great things
  62. Among the great things which are to be found among us, the being of nothingness is the greatest.
    Leonard Da Vinci
  63. He who knows
  64. He who knows others is wise. He who knows himself is enlighten.
    Tao Te Ching
  65. Lift the stone
  66. Lift the stone and you will find me; cleave the wood and I am there.
  67. The prayer of the monk
  68. The prayer of the monk is not perfect until he no longer recognizes himself or the fact that he is praying.
    St anthony
  69. This
  70. This is this.
    The deer hunter
  71. Be master of mind
  72. Be master of mind rather than mastered by mind.
    Zen saying
  73. The reason angels can fly
  74. The reason angels can fly is that they take themselves so lightly.
    G.K Chesterton
  75. Attachment
  76. Attachment is the greatest fabricator of illusions; reality can be attained only by someone who is detached.
    Simone Weil
  77. The more you know
  78. The more you know, the less you understand.
    Tao Te Ching
  79. The less effort
  80. The less effort, the faster and more powerful you will be.
    Bruce Lee, J. Hyams (1979, 109).
  81. Bull's eye
  82. A wonderful Buddhist saying states, "The arrow that hits the bull's eye is the result of a hundred misses." You perfect your game through adversity and failure. Lao-tzu taught that we must align with the forces of nature. Look at failure as a lesson from which you can learn. Seeing failure as an opportunity for improvement makes it more tolerable and will help you relax and figure out how to go beyond your present level of peformance.
  83. If you are going to do something
  84. If you are going to do something, take care to do it right. There is no sense in practicing halfheartedly.
    p.t. sudo
  85. Plenty of time
  86. If you're going to do something as well as it can be done, give yourself plenty of time. High quality does not come of haste.
    p.t. sudo
  87. Focus on what you are doing
  88. But do not feel overwhelmed by the length of this journey. All you ever need do is focus on one thing, what you are doing. Stay on the path and put one foot in front of the other - that is all. There is joy in the struggle.
    p.t. sudo
  89. Learn from your mistakes
  90. You must take care not to make mistakes. But when they happen, learn from them. Use your mistakes as a springboard into new areas of discovery; accidents can hold the key to innovation.
    p.t. sudo
  91. The reason devils have horns
  92. The reason devils have horns is that they are horny.
    Unknown, suggested by Peter Alhfors
  93. How to study
  94. Study without doing.
  95. Laugh at yourself
  96. If you can laugh at yourself, then you are always in good company.
    Unknown, suggested by Peter Alhfors
  97. If you love something
  98. If you love something, set it free. If it doesn't return, it was never yours anyway. If it does, love it forever.
  99. Silent men
  100. Women like silent men. They think they're listening.
    Marcel Archard
  101. We make war
  102. We make war that we may live in peace.
  103. The most exciting phrase
  104. The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not "Eureka!" (I found it!) but "That's funny ..."
    Isaac Asimov
  105. The most important things
  106. The most important things to do in this world are to get something to eat, something to drink and somebody to love you.
    Brendan Behan, in "Weekend", 1968
  107. Real knowledge
  108. Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance.
  109. We are going to have peace
  110. We are going to have peace even if we have to fight for it.
    Dwight D. Eisenhower
  111. I hate quotations
  112. I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Journal", May 1849
  113. When it is dark enough
  114. When it is dark enough you can see the stars.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson
  115. There's a difference
  116. There's a difference between beauty and charm. A beautiful woman is one I notice. A charming woman is one who notices me.
    John Erskine
  117. A diplomat
  118. A diplomat is a man who always remembers a woman's birthday but never remembers her age.
    Robert Frost
  119. An ounce
  120. An ounce of emotion is equal to a ton of facts.
    John Junor
  121. Without feeling
  122. Without feeling there's no reason to live.
    Andr Kert, sz, photographer, 1894-1985
  123. To light a candle
  124. To light a candle is to cast a shadow.
    Ursula K. Le Guin, "A Wizard of Earthsea", 1975
  125. Cinema should make you forget
  126. Cinema should make you forget you are sitting in a theater.
    Roman Polanski
  127. The whole problem
  128. The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.
    Bertrand Russell
  129. Well done
  130. If you want a thing well done, do it yourself.
    Charles Haddon Spurgeon
  131. Loved and lost
  132. 'Tis better to have loved and lost Than never to have loved at all.
    Alfred Lord Tennyson, "In Memoriam, xxvii"
  133. The journey of a thousand miles
  134. The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.
    Lao Tsu
  135. Just what I wanted
  136. I heard the Dalai Lama got a box for a gift. He opened it and it was empty. He said, "Oh, just what I wanted. Nothing."
  137. Wovon mann nicht sprechen kann
  138. Wovon mann nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen.
    Ludwig Wittgenstein
  139. I didn't do it
  140. I didn't do it. I wasn't there. Nobody saw me.
  141. I got the right day
  142. I got the right day. I got the wrong week.
  143. Venimus
  144. Venimus, Vidimus, Dolavimus
    We Came, We Saw, We Hacked
  145. If you don't care where you are
  146. If you don't care where you are, then you are never lost.
  147. Don't lose your head
  148. Don't lose your head to gain a minute, you need your head your brains are in it.
    Burma Shave
  149. It's so easy to laugh
  150. It's so easy to laugh it's so easy to hate it takes guts to be gentle and kind.
  151. Silence
  152. Silence is better than unmeaning words.
  153. For I am a bear of very little brain
  154. For I am a bear of very little brain, and big words bother me.
    Winnie the Pooh
  155. Back off man
  156. "Back off man, I'm a scientist!"
    Dr. Peter Venkman
  157. Kindness
  158. No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.
  159. To do two things
  160. To do two things at once is to do neither.
    Publilius Syrus
  161. It's today
  162. "It's today!" said Piglet. "My favorite day," said Pooh.
    A. A. Milne
  163. My younger days
  164. Oh my younger days! Have not seen so much bullshit since my days of working on the farm.
  165. Life Lessons from the Dalai Lama
  166. - Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk. - When you lose, don't lose the lesson. - Follow the three Rs: Respect for self, respect for others, responsibility for all your actions. - Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck. - Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly. - Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship. - When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it. - Spend some time alone every day. - Open your arms to change, but don't let go of your values. - Live a good, honorable life. Then, when you get older and think back, you'll be able to enjoy it a second time. - A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life. - In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don't bring up the past. - Share your knowledge. It's a way to achieve immortality. - Be gentle with the earth. - Once a year, go someplace you've never been before. - Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other. - Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it. - Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.
    Dalai lama
  167. Language is a tool of power
  168. Language is a tool of power: - One can either cover something up or bring it to the surface. Kielihän on vallan väline: - Sillä voidaan peitellä asiota, tai tuoda niitä esille
    Merja Arppe
  169. Is that so?
  170. The Zen master Hakuin was praised by his neighbors as one living a pure life. A beautiful Japanese girl whose parents owned a food store lived near him. Suddenly, without any warning, her parents discovered she was with child. This made her parents angry. She would not confess who the man was, but after much harassment at last named Hakuin. In great anger the parents went to the master. "Is that so?" was all he would say. After the child was born it was brought to Hakuin. By this time he had lost his reputation, which did not trouble him, but he took very good care of the child. He obtained milk from his neighbors and everything else the little one needed. A year later the girl-mother could stand it no longer. She told her parents the truth-that the real father of the child was a young man who worked in the fishmarket. The mother and father of the girl at once went to Haikun to ask his forgiveness, to apologize at length, and to get the child back again. Haikun was willing. In yielding the child, all he said was: "Is that so?".
  171. Muddy road
  172. Tanzan and Ekido were once traveling together down a muddy road. A heavy rain was still falling. Coming around the bend, they met a lovely girl in a silk kimono and sash, unable to cross the intersection. "Come on, girl" said Tanzan at once. Lifting her in his arms, he carried her over the mud. Ekido did not speak again until the night when they reached a lodging temple. Then he no longer could restrain himself. "We monks don't go near females", he told Tanzan, "especially not young and lovely ones. It is dangerous. Why did you that?". "I left the girl there", said Tanzan. "Are you still carrying her?"
  173. The first principles
  174. When one goes to Obaku temple in Kyoto he sees carved over the gate the words "The First Principles". The letters are unusually large, and those who appreciate calligraphy always admire them as being a master-piece. They were drawn by Kosen two hundred years ago. When the master drew them he did so on paper, from which workmen made the larger carvings in wood. As Kosen sketched the letters a bold pupil was with him who had made several gallons of ink for the calligraphy and who never failed to criticize his master's work. "That is not good," he told Kosen after the first effort. "How is that one?" "Poor. Worse than before," pronounced the pupil. Kosen patiently wrote one sheet after the another until eighty-four First Principles had accumulated, still without the approval of the pupil. Then, When the young man stepped outside for a few moments, Kosen though: "Now is my chance to escape his keen eye," and he wrote hurriedly, with a mind free from distraction: "The First Principles". "A masterpiece," pronounced the pupil.
  175. Mother's advice
  176. Jiun, a Shingon master, was a well-known Sanskrit scholar of the Tokugawa era. When he was young he used to deliver lectures to his brother students. His mother heard about this and wrote him a letter: "Son, I do not think you became a devotee of the Buddha because you desire to turn into a walking dictionary for others. There is no end to information and commentation, glory and honor. I wish you would stop this lecture business. Shut yourself up in a little temple in a remote part of the mountain. Devote your time to meditation and in this way attain true realization."
    Jiuan's mother
  177. My Heart Burns Like Fire
  178. Soyen Shaku, the first Zen teacher to come to America, said: "My heart burns like fire but my eyes are as cold as dead ashes." He made the following rules which he practiced every day of his life. - In the morning before dressing, light incense and meditate. - Retire at a regular hour. - Partake of food at regular intervals. - Eat with moderation and never to the point of satisfaction. - Receive a guest with the same attitude you have when alone. - When alone, maintain the same attitude you have in receiving quests. - Watch what you say, and whatever you say, practice it. - When an opportunity comes do not let it pass by, yet always think twice before acting. - Do not regret the past. Look to the future. - Have the fearless attitude of a hero and the loving heart of a child. - Upon retiring, sleep as if you had entered your last sleep. - Upon awakening, leave your bed behind you instantly as if you had cast away a pair of old shoes.
    Soyen Shaku
  179. Three Days More
  180. Suiwo, the disciple of Hakuin, was a good teacher. During one summer seclusion period, a pupil came to him from a southern island of Japan. Suiwo gave him the problem: "Hear the sound of one hand." The pupil remained three years but could not pass the test. One night he came in tears to Suiwo. "I must return south in shame and embarrassment," he said, "for I cannot solve my problem." "Wait one week more and meditate constantly," advised Suiwo. Still no enlightenment came to the pupil. "Try for another week," said Suiwo. The pupil obeyed, but in vain. "Still another week." Yet this was of avail. In despair the student begged to be released, but Suiwo requested another meditation of five days. They were without result. Then he said: "Meditate for three days longer, then if you fail to attain enlightenment, you had better kill yourself." On the second day the pupil was enlightened.
  181. Trading Dialogue For Lodging
  182. Provided he makes and wins an argument about Buddhism with those who live there, any wandering monk can remain in a Zen temple. If he is defeated, he has to move on. In a temple in the northern part of Japan two brother monks were dwelling together. The elder one was learned, but the younger one was stupid and had but one eye. A wandering monk came and asked for lodging, properly challenging them to a debate about the sublime teaching. The elder brother, tired that day from much studying, told the younger one to take his place. "Go and request the dialogue in silence," he cautioned. So the younger monk and the stranger went to the shrine and sat down. Shortly afterwards the traveler rose and went in to the elder brother and said:"Your young brother is a wonderful fellow. He defeated me." "Relate the dialog to me," said the elder one. "Well," explained the traveler, "first I held up one finger, representing Buddha, the enlightened one. So he held up two fingers, signifying Buddha and his teaching. I held up three fingers, representing Buddha, his teachings, and his followers, living the harmonious life. Then he shook his clenched fist in my face, indicating that all three come from the realization. Thus he won and so I have no right to remain here." With this, the traveler left. "Where is that fellow?" asked the younger one, running in to his elder brother. "I understand you won the debate." "Won nothing. I'm going to beat him up!" "Tell me the subject of the debate," asked the elder one. "Why, the minute he saw me he held up one finger, insulting me by insinuating that I have only one eye. Since he was a stranger I thought I would be polite to him, so I held up two fingers, congratulating him that he has two eyes. Then the impolite wretch held up three fingers, suggesting that between us we only have three eyes. So I got mad and started to punch him, but he ran out and that ended it!"
  183. Calling Card
  184. Keichu, the great Zen teacher of the Meiji era, was the head of Tofuku, a cathedral in Kyoto. One day the governor of Kyoto called upon him for the first time. His attendant presented the card of the governor, which read: Kitagaki, Governor of Kyoto. "I have no business with such a fellow," said Keichu to his attendant. "Tell him to get out of here." The attendant carried the card back with apologies. "That was my error," said the governor, and with a pencil he scratched out the words Governor of Kyoto. "Ask your teacher again." "Oh, is that Kitagaki?" exclaimed the teacher when he saw the card. "I want to see that fellow."
  185. Everything is best
  186. When Banzan was walking through a market he overheard a conversation between a butcher and his customer. "Give me the best piece of meat you have," said the customer. "Everything in my shop is the best," replied the butcher. "You cannot find here any piece of meat that is not the best." At those words Banzan became enlightened.
  187. The Giver Should Be Thankful
  188. While Seisetsu was the master of Engaku in Kamakura he required larger quarters, since those in which he was teaching were overcrowded. Umezu Seibei a merchant of Edo, decided to donate five hundred pieces of gold called ryo toward the construction of a more commodius school. This money he brought to the teacher. Seisetsu said: "All right. I will take it." Umezu gave Seisetsu the sack of gold, but he was dissatisfied with the attitude of the teacher. One might live a whole year on three ryo, and the merchant had not even been thanked for five hundred. "in the sack are five hundred ryo", hinted Umezu. "You told me that before", replied Seisetzu. "Even if I am a wealthy merchant, five hundred ryo is a lot of money", said Umezu. "Do you want me to thank you for that?" asked Seisetsu. "You ought to," replied Umezu. "Why should I?" inquired Sesetsu. "The giver should be thankful."
  189. No Attachment To Dust
  190. Zengetsu, a Chinese master of the T'ang dynasty, wrote the following advice for his pupils: - Living in the world yet not forming attachments to the dust of the world is the way of a true Zen Student. - When witnessing the good action of another encourage yourself to follow his example. - Hearing of the mistaken action of another, advise yourself not to emulate it. - Even though alone in a dark room, be as if you were facing a noble guest. - Express your feelings, but become no more expressive than true nature. - Poverty is your treasure. Never exchange it for an easy life. - A Person may appear a fool and yet not be one. He may only be guarding his wisdom carefully. - Virtues are the fruit of self-discipline and do not drop from heaven of themselves as does rain and snow. - Modesty is the foundation of all virtues. - Let your neighbors discover you before you make yourself known to them. - A noble heart never forces itself forward. Its words are as rare gems, seldom displayed and of great value. - To a sincere student, every day is a fortunate day. - Time passes but he never lags behind. - Neither glory nor shame can move him. - Censure yourself, never another. - Do not discuss right and wrong. - Some things, though right, were considered wrong for generations. Since the value of righteousness may be recognized after centuries, there is no need to crave and immediate appreciation. - Live with cause and leave results to the great law of the universe. Pass each day in peaceful contemplation.
  191. No Work, No Food
  192. Hyakuja, The Chinese Zen Master, used to labor with his pupils even at the age of eighty, trimming the gardens, cleaning the grounds and pruning the trees. The pupils felt sorry to see the old teacher working so hard, but they know he would not listen to their advice to stop, so they hid away his tools. That day the master did not eat. the next day he did not eat, nor the next. "He may be angry because we have hidden his tools," the pupils surmised. "We had better put then back". The day they did, the teacher worked and ate the same as before. In the evening he instructed them: "No work, no food".
  193. Time To Die
  194. Ikkyu, the Zen master, was very clever even as a boy. His teacher had a precious teacup, a rare antique. Ikkyu happened to break his cup and was greatly perplexed. Hearing the footsteps of his teacher, he held the pieces of the cup behind him. When the master appeared, Ikkyu asked: "Why do people have to die?" "This is natural," explained the older man. "Everything has to die and just so long to live." Ikkyu, producing the shattered cup, added: "It was time for your cup to die".
  195. The Last Rap
  196. Tangen had studied with Sengai since childhood. When he was twenty he wanted to leave his teacher and visit others for comparative study, but Sengai would not permit this. Every time Tangen suggested it, Sengai would give him a rap on the head. Finally Tangen asked an elder brother to coax permission from Sengai. This the brother did and the reported to Tangen: "It is arranged. I have fixed it for you to start on your pilgrimage at once." Tangen went to Sengai to thank him for his permission. The master answered by giving him another rap. When Tangen realted this to his elder brother the other said: "What is the matter? Sengai has no business giving permission and then changing his mind. I will tell him so." And off he went to see the teacher. "I did not cancel my permission," said Sengai. "I just wished to give him one last smack over the head, for when he returns he will be enlightened and I will not be able to reprimand him again."
  197. Teaching The Ultimate
  198. In early times in Japan, bamboo-and-paper lanterns were used with candles inside. A blind man, visiting a friend one night, was offered a lantern to carry home with him. "I do not need a lantern," he said. "Darkness or light is all the same to me." "I know you do not need a lantern to find your was," his friend replied. "but if you don't have one, someone else may run into you. So you must take it." The blind man started off with the lantern and before he had walked very far someone ran squarely into him. "Look our where you are going!" he exclaimed to the stranger. "Can't you see this lantern?" "Your candle has burned out, brother" replied the stranger. Stop searching forever. Samsaric happiness is unattainable.
  199. With power
  200. With power comes complexity.
  201. A problem
  202. I've never had a problem with drugs; I've had problems with the police.
    Keith Richards
  203. Bad taste
  204. I never turn blue in anyone's bathroom. I think that's the height of bad taste.
    Keith Richards
  205. Learn to pause
  206. Learn to pause, or nothing worthwhile can catch up to you.
  207. Get something done
  208. The more I want to get something done, the less I call it work.
    Richard Bach, "Illusions"
  209. The way of the warrior
  210. Generally speaking, the way of the warrior is resolute acceptance of death.
    Miyamoto Musashi, 1645
  211. 90% of politicians
  212. 90% of Politicians give the other 10% a bad name.
    Henry Kissinger
  213. What should I do?
  214. An older student came to Otis and said, "I have been to see a great number of teachers and I have given up a great number of pleasures. I have fasted, been celibate and stayed awake nights seeking enlightenment. I have given up everything I was asked to give up and I have suffered, but I have not been enlightened. What should I do?" Otis replied, "Give up suffering."
    Camden Benares, "Zen Without Zen Masters"
  215. Sex
  216. Sex: the thing that takes up the least amount of time and causes the most amount of trouble.
    John Barrymore
  217. Laugh when you can
  218. Laugh when you can; cry when you must.
  219. No sooner said than done
  220. No sooner said than done, so acts your man of worth.
    Quintus Ennius
  221. Time is an illusion
  222. Time is an illusion; lunchtime, doubly so.
    Ford Prefect (Doublas Adams)
  223. Happiness isn't having what you want
  224. Happiness isn't having what you want, it's wanting what you have.
  225. Never hit a man with glasses
  226. Never hit a man with glasses. Hit him with a baseball bat.
  227. It may be
  228. It may be that your whole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.
  229. No
  230. A "No" uttered from deepest conviction is better and greater than a "Yes" merely uttered to please, or what is worse, to avoid trouble.
    Mahatma Ghandi
  231. Never wrestle with a pig
  232. Never wrestle with a pig. You both get dirty, but the pig enjoys it.
    Attributed variously
  233. In a fight with a fool
  234. In a fight with a fool, it's the wise man who quits.
    Malagasy proverb
  235. He who slings mud
  236. He who slings mud generally loses ground.
    Adlai Stevenson
  237. Being at peace
  238. Today I contemplated the principle of being at peace whatever circumstances are encountered. The sense of rest is still with me. This purpose does not admit any slackening. How could I get sick and tired of things due to old age?
    Wu Yubi (1391-1469)
  239. Old Grandad is dead
  240. Old Grandad is dead but his spirits live on.
  241. Measure twice
  242. Measure twice, cut once.
  243. Absence
  244. Absence makes the heart go wander.
  245. Everybody is different
  246. Everybody is different but we are all the same.
  247. A nice old temple
  248. A nice old temple against a green mountain; A white cloud opens and closes Its two brushwood doors. All I have is a water bottle and a stick, And I don't care if time passes or not.
    Daegak Euchon (1055-1101)
  249. Overcome your uncertainties
  250. Overcome your uncertainties And free yourself From dwelling on sorrow. If you delight in existence, You will become a guide To those who need you, Revealing the path to many.
    Sutta Nipata
  251. To stay youthful
  252. To stay youthful, stay useful.
  253. Preudhomme's Law
  254. Preudhomme's Law of Window Cleaning: It's on the other side.
  255. If you don't have time
  256. If you don't have time to do it right, where are you going to find the time to do it over?
  257. Long letter
  258. I have made this letter longer than usual because I lack the time to make it shorter.
    Blaise Pascal
  259. To be wise
  260. To be wise, the only thing you really need to know is when to say "I don't know."
  261. Nobody really knows what happiness is
  262. Nobody really knows what happiness is, until they're married. And then it's too late.
  263. A good plan
  264. A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow.
  265. If a man has talent
  266. If a man has talent and cannot use it, he has failed.
    Thomas Wolfe
  267. Cleaning your house
  268. Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing.
    Phyllis Diller
  269. Seek your own Buddha within
  270. Seek your own Buddha within. No need to ask others about your father. If you glimpse your mother's original face, You'll know everything is Buddha.
    Jaewol Kyunghun (1542-1632)
  271. Come quickly
  272. Come quickly, I am tasting stars!
    Dom Perignon, upon discovering champagne.
  273. When the only tool you have
  274. When the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem starts to look like a nail.
  276. COMPLEX SYSTEM: One with real problems and imaginary profits.
  277. Be soft in your practice
  278. Be soft in your practice. Think of the method as a fine silvery stream, not a raging waterfall. Follow the stream, have faith in its course. It will go its own way, meandering here, trickling there. It will find the grooves, the cracks, the crevices. Just follow it. Never let it out of your sight. It will take you.
  279. XML is like violence
  280. XML is like violence. If it doesn't solve your problem, you're not using enough of it.
  281. A program should be light and agile
  282. A program should be light and agile, its subroutines connected like a strings of pearls. The spirit and intent of the program should be retained throughout. There should be neither too little nor too much, neither needless loops nor useless variables, neither lack of structure nor overwhelming rigidity. A program should follow the 'Law of Least Astonishment'. What is this law? It is simply that the program should always respond to the user in the way that astonishes him least. A program, no matter how complex, should act as a single unit. The program should be directed by the logic within rather than by outward appearances. If the program fails in these requirements, it will be in a state of disorder and confusion. The only way to correct this is to rewrite the program.
    Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"
  283. Like the little stream
  284. Like the little stream Making its way Through the mossy crevices I, too, quietly Turn clear and transparent.
    Ryokan Taigu (1758-1831)
  285. Waking me up
  286. Waking me up To the spring that's come Water trickles down The valley, and long crag-bound ice Now cracks open, slides free.
    Saigyo (1118-1190)
  287. If you want to be free
  288. If you want to be free, Get to know your real self. It has no form, no appearance, No root, no basis, no abode, But is lively and buoyant. It responds with versatile facility, But its function cannot be located. Therefore when you look for it, You become further from it; When you seek it You turn away from it all the more.
    Linji (d. 867)
  289. Perfect is the enemy of the good
  290. The perfect is the enemy of the good. The best is the enemy of the good.
  291. The longer the title
  292. The longer the title, the less important the job.
  293. Calming the mind
  294. Calming the mind Too much knowledge Leads to overactivity; Better to calm the mind. The more you consider, The greater the loss; Better to unify the mind.
    Shih Wang Ming (6th c)
  295. If you haven't attained
  296. If you haven't attained clear, true vision, This causes you to lapse into extremes, So that you lose contact with reality.
  297. From the passions arise worry
  298. From the passions arise worry, and from worry arises fear. Away with the passions, and no fear, No worry.
    Sutra of Forty Two Chapters
  299. All constants
  300. All constants are variables.
  301. Work smarter
  302. Work smarter, not harder, and be careful of your speling.
  303. The ancient masters
  304. The ancient masters slept without dreams and woke up without worries. Their food was plain. Their breath came from deep inside them. They didn't cling to life, weren't anxious about death. They emerged without desire and reentered without resistance. They came easily; they went easily. They didn't forget where they were from; they didn't ask where they were going. They took everything as it came, gladly, and walked into death without fear. They accepteded life as a gift, and they handed it back gratefully.
  305. Let go
  306. Let go of all your previous imaginings, opinions, interpretations, worldly knowledge, intellectualism, egotism, and competitiveness; become like a dead tree, like cold ashes. When you reach the point where feelings are ended, views are gone, and your mind is clean and naked, you open up to Zen realization. After that it is also necessary to develop consistency, keeping the mind pure and free from adulteration at all times. If there is the slightest fluctuation, there is no hope of transcending the world. Cut through resolutely, and then your state will be peaceful. When you cannot be included in any stage, whether of sages or of ordinary people, then you are like a bird freed from its cage.
    Yuan wu (1063-1135)
  307. Mind has no color
  308. Mind has no color, Is neither long nor short, Doesn't appear or disappear; It is free from both purity and impurity; It was never born and can never die; It is utterly serene. This is the form of our Original mind, Which is also our original body.
    Hui-hai (8th cent)
  309. Free and independent
  310. When you are free and independent, you are not bound by anything, so you do not seek liberation. Consummating the process of Zen, you become unified. Then there are no mundane things outside of Buddhism, and there is no Buddhism outside of mundane things.
    Yuan wu (1063-1135)
  311. Anything worthwhile
  312. You can not get anything worthwhile done without raising a sweat.
    The First Law Of Thermodynamics
  313. What ever you want
  314. What ever you want is going to cost a little more than it is worth.
    The Second Law Of Thermodynamics
  315. You can not win the game
  316. You can not win the game, and you are not allowed to stop playing.
    The Third Law Of Thermodynamics
  317. Seeing into nothingness
  318. Seeing into nothingness This is the true seeing, The eternal seeing
    Shen-hui (8th cent)
  319. Standards
  320. The nice thing about standards is that there are so many of them to choose from.
    Andrew S. Tanenbaum
  321. If we spoke a different language
  322. If we spoke a different language, we would perceive a somewhat different world.
  323. If we won't stand together
  324. If we won't stand together, we don't stand a chance.
  325. You can disagree
  326. You can disagree. You obviously do. I simply don't care. Because I'm right.
    Linus Torvalds, on GPG tagging and GIT.
  327. Till now
  328. Till now you seriously considered yourself to be the body and to have a form. That is the primal ignorance which is the root cause of all trouble.
    Ramana Maharshi (1879-1950)
  329. One architecture
  330. "One architecture, one OS" also translates as "One egg, one basket".
  331. Neither sorrows nor delights
  332. When the mind neither sorrows nor delights, that is supreme attainment of virtue. To succeed without changing is supreme attainment of calm. To be unburdened by habitual desires is supreme attainment of emptiness. To have no likes and dislikes is supreme attainment of equanimity. Not getting mixed up with things is supreme attainment of purity. Those who can accomplish these five things reach spiritual illuminations. Those who reach spiritual illumination are those who attain the inward.
  333. Purifying our self-direction
  334. Purifying our self-direction, Our emotions, and behavior in all endeavors, One grows in understanding of the Way. But individual abilities vary And the exalted Way has many different aspects. To students of Tao, this sincere forewarning: Only with a clear, honest spirit Can we begin meaningful learning. With an unsullied heart We may even move the immortals. Debasing the Way, Not even heaven forgives us.
    Loy Ching-yuen 1879-1960's)
  335. Japanes mafia
  336. (-.-(-.-(-.-(-.-)-.-)-.-)-.-) The japanes mafia
  337. There never was
  338. There never was a good war or a bad peace.
    B. Franklin
  339. To be free from the passions
  340. To be free from the passions and to be calm, This is the most excellent Way.
    Sutra of Forty Two Chapters
  341. Don't force it
  342. Don't force it, get a larger hammer.
  343. Ceasing is the same as samadhi
  344. Ceasing is the same as samadhi, and contemplation is the same as wisdom. All good dharmas arise from cultivating these two. And why is this so? This is so because ceasing overcomes attachment while contemplating disentangles one entirely from it.
    Treatise on Completion of Truth
  345. Anything is possible
  346. Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about. Don't create a problem for which you do not have the answer.
    Burke's Postulates
  347. The earth is very thick
  348. The earth is very thick. Lowly, below all else, it bears everything and nurtures all beings. It can bear even the weight of the great mountains, and it can endure even the erosive force of great waters. It tolerates being pierced by plants and trees, and it submits to the tread of bird and beasts. What I realize as I observe this is the Tao of emulating heaven and earth. If people can be open-minded and magnanimous, be receptive to all, take pity on the old and poor, assist those in peril and rescue those in trouble, give of themselves without seeking reward, never bear grudges, look upon others and self impartially, and realize all as one, then people can be companions of heaven.
    Lui I-Ming
  349. Too much knowledge
  350. Too much knowledge leads to overactivity; Better to calm the mind. The more you consider, the greater the loss; Better to unify the mind. Water dripping ceaselessly will fill the four seas. Specks of dust not wiped away will become the five mountains.
    Wang Ming (6th century)
  351. Right where you are
  352. If you cannot find the truth right where you are, where else do you expect to find it?
  353. Circulates everywhere
  354. The real way circulates everywhere; How could it require practice or enlightenment? The essential teaching is fully available; How could effort by necessary? Furthermore, the entire mirror is free of dust; Why take steps to polish it? Nothing is separate from this very place; Why journey away?
    Dogen (~1227)
  355. Stop searching
  356. Stop searching for phrases and chasing after words. Take the backward step and turn the light inward. Your body-mind of itself will drop off and your original face will appear. If you want to attain just this, immediately practice just this.
    Dogen (1227)
  357. A quiet room
  358. For zazen, a quiet room is appropriate. Drink and eat in moderation. Let go of all involvements and let myriad things rest. Do not think good or bad. Do not judge right or wrong. Stop conscious endeavor and analytic introspection. Do not try to become a buddha. How could being a buddha be limited to sitting or not sitting? In an appropriate place for sitting, set out a thick mat and put a round cushion on top of it. Sit either in the full or half-lotus posture. Loosen the robes and arrange them in an orderly way. Then place the right hand palm up on the left foot, and the left hand on the right hand, lightly touching the ends of the thumbs together.
    Dogen Kigen 1227
  359. Sit straight
  360. Sit straight up without leaning to the right or left and without bending forward or backward. The ears should be in line with the shoulders and the nose in line with the navel. Rest the tongue against the roof of the mouth, with lips and teeth closed. Keep the eyes open and breathe gently through the nose. Having adjusted your body in this manner, take a breath and exhale fully, then sway your body to left and right. Now sit steadfastly and think not-thinking. How do you think not-thinking? Beyond thinking. This is the essential art of zazen.
    Dogen Kigen 1227
  361. The sweeter the apple
  362. The sweeter the apple, the blacker the core, Scratch a lover and find a foe!
    Dorothy Parker, "Ballad of a Great Weariness"
  363. The speed of anything
  364. The speed of anything depends on the flow of everything.
  365. Diplomacy
  366. Diplomacy is the art of saying "nice doggy" until you can find a rock.
    Will Rogers
  367. Any sufficiently advanced technology
  368. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    Arthur Clarke
  369. Leave the fires of defilement
  370. In meditation we leave the fires of defilement for the coolness of clear samadhi. And this feels just like the joy of falling into cool, clear water after burning in the heat of the sun.
    Treatise on the Perfection of Wisdom
  371. Buddha is like empty space
  372. Buddha is like empty space, free of comings and goings. He manifests in response to conditions and yet does not abide anywhere. Thus, the nature of the sage in the world is that of utter quiescence and empty non being. He is free of clinging and contentiousness, leads yet never initiates, responds but only when moved to do so by another. He is like an echo sounding in a deep valley or an image reflecting in a clear mirror. Encountering him you do not know whence he comes; following him you do not know whither he goes.
    Chao lun
  373. When the mind's as is
  374. When the mind's as is, circumstances also are as is. There's no real and also no unreal. Giving no heed to existence, You're neither saint nor sage, just An ordinary person who has settled his affairs. Easy, so easy...
    Layman P'ang (740-808)
  375. The pure land
  376. If you want to go to the pure land, Then purify your mind. When your mind is pure, Then whatever you see will be pure And wherever you go You will find the Buddha realm.
    Vimalakirtinirdesa Sutra
  377. In all worldly situations
  378. In all worldly situations, whether good or evil, pleasant or ugly, friendly or hostile and when faced with provocative, critical, oppressive and quarrelsome language, all this should be treated as empty and all thought of retaliation should be dismissed. Instant after instant, one should not think of the past, because if past, present and future thoughts succeed one another without interruption, this is bondage. If there are no thoughts abiding in anything, this is freedom from bondage. therefore non-abiding is set up as the fundamental of this dharma door.
    Vimalakirti Nirdesa Sutra
  379. Dharma door
  380. When you enter this Dharma door, Sitting upright, you become Buddha. Upon reaching the other shore you attain perfection. True aspirants of the Tao contemplate their own mind. Knowing Buddha lies within, There is no need to search outside.
    Master Fu (497-569)
  381. Everyone arrives
  382. There is a road to emptiness; Everyone arrives. Those who arrive then realize The excellence of their aim. The mind ground does not grow Useless plants and trees; Naturally the body spontaneously Radiates clear light. When I was young, even though I had not attained the way, in my heart I knew these were extraordinary lines. But how about hearing sound and seeing form? They are both conceivable; how can they be inconceivable? Then when he talks about realization, he turns around and says, "It's just like before you were enlightened." Everything before enlightenment is conceivable; how can you see a realization? This man attained nonattainment; only when you reach the ultimate stage can you be like this. Only after ten years did I actually understand him. Generally speaking, when you go journeying to learn the path to enlightenment, you seek. Do not sit ignorantly, but go to someone to find out the truth with certainty. When this truth is hard to realize, that is called unfinished business. Have you not heard it said that once you realize, then there's a difference? Yesterday one had breakfast and dinner, today one has breakfast and dinner-is it the same person as before? There's a difference; it's not the same.
    Foyan (1067-1120)
  383. Comprehending everything
  384. The Zen school is called the school of Kasyapa's great absorption in quiescence. Without stirring a thread, all is understood; without stirring a hair, all is realized. It is not just a matter of not stirring and letting it go at that. Do not rouse the mind or stir thoughts throughout the twenty four hours of the day, and you should be able to comprehend everything. This is called being a member of Kasyapa's school. Only then can you enter great absorption in quiescence. Now what is there that acts as a mental object and an obstruction? Although people can investigate, people can study, they cannot understand by arousing the mind and stirring thoughts. When you encounter a situation or hear a saying, if your thoughts stir, your mind gets excited, and you make up an interpretation, in any case you are in a scattered state. When Elder Ming has accomplished "not thinking good or bad," only then did he manage to see; thereupon he said, "Although I was in the school of the Fifth Patriarch of Zen, I really did not know what the Buddha meant by saying, 'Not this shore, not the further shore, not the current in between.'" Nanquan said, "It is not Buddha, it is not a thing." This is precisely what you are focusing on now. Simply study in this way. Just as a scholar has the attitude of an official once he's passed the civil service examination, you must come to the realization that you are Buddha; only then will you be free from doubt. Each of you must take responsibility for this yourself; don't pass the time pursuing the hubbub.
    Foyan (1067-1120)
  385. I build a hut
  386. I build a hut in the world of people, Yet I hear no noise of carriages and horses. Ask me how can I be like this? When the mind is distant, The place sets itself apart.
    T'ao Yuan-ming (365-427)
  387. No moon
  388. That's no moon...
    Obi-wan Kenobi
  389. Watch your mouth
  390. Watch your mouth, kid, or you'll find yourself floating home.
    Han Solo
  391. Slight weapons malfunction
  392. Uh, we had a slight weapons malfunction, but uh... Everything's perfectly all right now. We're fine. We're all fine here now, thank you. How are you?
    Han Solo
  393. Scruffy-looking
  394. Who's scruffy-looking?
    Han Solo
  395. Inwardly empty
  396. It is not necessary to reject activity and seek quiet; Just make yourself inwardly empty while outwardly harmonious. Then you will be at peace in the midst of frenetic activity in the world.
    Sokei-an Sasaki
  397. See for yourself
  398. To see into your own nature is to see for yourself. The True Face of the Lotus.
    Hakuin (1685-1769)
  399. achieve freedom in this life
  400. If you fail to achieve freedom in this life, when do you expect to achieve it? While still alive, you should be tireless in practicing contemplation. The practice consists of abandonments. "The abandonment of what?" you may ask. You should abandon all the workings of your relative consciousness, which you have been cherishing since eternity; retire within your inner being and see the reason of it. As your self-reflection grows deeper and deeper, the moment will surely come upon you when the spiritual flower will suddenly burst into bloom, illuminating the entire universe.
  401. Plan9
  402. Don't worry, it's not loaded. Every solution breeds new problems. Everything breaks down. Everything takes longer than you think. Everything you know is wrong. Excellent day for drinking heavily. Spike the office water cooler. Fill what's empty; empty what's full; scratch where it itches. -Alice Roosevelt Longworth Find the enemy and shoot him down; everything else is rubbish. -M. von Richthofen For me, UNIX is a way of being. -Armando P. Stettner He who hesitates is last. He who laughs, lasts. Home is where / is. How can I take an interest in my work when I don't like it? I love you.
  403. Computers are useless
  404. Computers are useless. They can only give you answers.
    Pablo Picasso
  405. The connection
  406. The connection between the language in which we think/program and the problems and solutions we can imagine is very close. For this reason restricting language features with the intent of eliminating programmer errors is at best dangerous.
    Bjarne Stroustrup
  407. Stinginess with privileges
  408. Stinginess with privileges is kindness in disguise.
    Guide to VAX/VMS Security, Sep. 1984
  409. Steady state of disks
  410. The steady state of disks is full.
    Ken Thompson
  411. Nothing
  412. I know nothing.
    Ken Thompson
  413. Most productive days
  414. One of my most productive days was throwing away 1000 lines of code.
    Ken Thompson
  415. Clean and simple
  416. I think the major good idea in Unix was its clean and simple interface: open, close, read, and write.
    Ken Thompson
  417. Source motel
  418. SCCS, the source motel! Programs check in and never check out!
    Ken Thompson
  419. Very different
  420. I wanted to separate data from programs, because data and instructions are very different.
    Ken Thompson
  421. Goto
  422. If you want to go somewhere, goto is the best way to get there.
    Ken Thompson
  423. Untrusted code
  424. No amount of source-level verification or scrutiny will protect you from using untrusted code.
    Ken Thompson
  425. Thing of beauty
  426. That brings me to Dennis Ritchie. Our collaboration has been a thing of beauty.
    Ken Thompson
  427. Persistant objects
  428. We have persistant objects, they're called files.
    Ken Thompson
  429. Trust
  430. You can't trust code that you did not totally create yourself.
    Ken Thompson
  431. Debugging
  432. Debugging is twice as hard as writing the code in the first place. Therefore, if you write the code as cleverly as possible, you are, by definition, not smart enough to debug it.
    Brian W. Kernighan
  433. Outsmart a compiler
  434. Trying to outsmart a compiler defeats much of the purpose of using one.
    Kernighan & Plauger, The Elements of Programming Style
  435. Occupational hazard
  436. Optimism is an occupational hazard of programming; feedback is the treatment.
    Kent Beck
  437. The best design
  438. The best design is the simplest one that works
    Albert Einstein
  439. About the use of language
  440. About the use of language: it is impossible to sharpen a pencil with a blunt ax. It is equally vain to try to do it with ten blunt axes instead.
    Edsger Dijkstra
  441. Imagination
  442. Imagination is more important than knowledge.
    Albert Einstein
  443. A part of a whole
  444. A human being is a part of a whole, called by us 'universe', a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest... a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.
    Albert Einstein
  445. Everything that counts
  446. Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.
    Albert Einstein, Sign hanging in Einstein's office at Princeton
  447. God's thoughts
  448. I want to know God's thoughts; the rest are details.
    Albert Einstein
  449. Only a life
  450. Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.
    Albert Einstein
  451. Laws of mathematics
  452. As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain, as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.
    Albert Einstein
  453. Two things are infinite
  454. Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe.
    Albert Einstein
  455. Opportunity
  456. 1. Out of clutter, find simplicity 2. From discord, find harmony. 3. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.
    Alber Einstein, Thee rules of work
  457. Cosmic religion
  458. Buddhism has the characteristics of what would be expected in a cosmic religion for the future: it transcends a personal God, avoids dogmas and theology; it covers both the natural & spiritual, and it is based on a religious sense aspiring from the experience of all things, natural and spiritual, as a meaningful unity
    Albert Einstein
  459. When all else fails
  460. When all else fails, read the instructions.
    L. Lasellio
  461. Without a doubt.
  462. Zen enlightenment is as if you have been away from home for many years, when suddenly you see your father or mother in town. You know them right away, without a doubt. There is no need to ask whether they are your parents or not.
  463. Golden bikini
  464. ... The master penguin, while debug a series of weird crashes... But this is definitely another of those "This is our most desperate hour. Help me, Al-biwan Ke-Viro, you're my only hope" issues. Al? Please don't make me wear that golden bikini.
    Linus Torvalds
  465. Nothing compares to learning
  466. If people want to do the finest thing in the world, nothing compares to learning. If they want to be the best of learners, nothing compares to learning the Way. Master Zhu said, "Learning is for seeking the Way; what is the use of learning otherwise?"
    Anon (1739)
  467. Utter emptiness has no image
  468. Utter emptiness has no image, Upright independence does not rely on anything. Just expand and illuminate the original truth Unconcerned by external conditions.
    Hongzhi Zhengjue (1091–1157)
  469. Stillness and illumination
  470. Simultaneously practice stillness and illumination. Carefully observe, But see no dharmas, See no body and see no mind. The mind is nameless, And the body is empty; The dharmas are a dream. There is nothing to be attained, No enlightenment to experience. This is called liberation.
    Seng Ts'an (d. 606)
  471. The water of the mind
  472. The water of the mind, how clear it is! Gazing at it, the boundaries are invisible. But as soon as even a slight thought arises, Ten thousand images crowd it. Attach to them and they become real, Be carried by them, and it will be difficult to return. How painful to see a person trapped In the ten-fold delusions.
    Ryokan (1758-1831)
  473. Joka hallitsee kalenteria
  474. Koska kalenteri määrää ihmisten tekemisistä, vallanpitäjät ovat halunneet maailman sivu muokata sitä: joka hallitsee kalenteria, hallitsee ihmistä ja hänen ajankäyttöään.
    Tuomas Heikkilä
  475. My hut settled among neighbors
  476. My hut settled among neighbors, I ignore the noise of horses and carts. You ask how I get along— My mind remains wide, So my place is naturally remote.
    Tao Yuan Ming (365–427)
  477. Complete in itself
  478. Truth is perfect and complete in itself. It is not something newly discovered; It has always existed. Truth is not far away. It is nearer than near. There is no need to attain it, Since not one of your steps leads away from it.
  479. Thinking of that which is beyond thought
  480. The Buddha said: "My doctrine implies thinking of that which is beyond thought, performing that which is beyond performance, speaking of that which is beyond words and practicing that which is beyond practice. The way that can be expressed in words stops short; there is nothing which can be grasped. If you are wrong by so much as the thousandth part of a hair, you will lose the Way in a flash."
    Sutra of 42 Sections
  481. Conditions of delusions
  482. If you delve into the conditions of delusions, You cannot find the place where they arise. Should you suddenly awaken to the right direction, Where can delusion go?
    Lung-men Fo-yen
  483. To err is human
  484. To err is human. To arg is pirate.
  485. Follow the truth of the way
  486. Follow the truth of the way. Reflect on it. Make it your own. Live it. It will always sustain you. Do not turn away what is given you, Nor reach out for what is given to others, Lest you disturb your quietness.
    Buddha in the Dhammapada
  487. Let there be nothing behind you
  488. Let there be nothing behind you; leave the future to one side. Do not clutch at what is left in the middle; then you will become a wanderer and calm.
    Sutta Nipata
  489. Fifteen years ago
  490. I was here once before, Fifteen years ago. I recognize half the monks The temple is the same. In those days the willows Were just starting to grow. Now they rise beautifully Above the high eaves.
    Yang Wan-li (1127-1206)
  491. True study of the way
  492. True study of the way does not rely on knowledge and genius Or cleverness and brilliance. It is an easy thing, Just cultivate a keen and sincere desire to seek the Way.
    Dogen (1200-1253)
  493. The sound of a swollen mountain stream
  494. The sound of a swollen mountain stream rapidly rushing Makes one know how very quickly life itself is pressed along its course.
    Saigyo (1118-1190)
  495. Daemons are processes
  496. Daemons are processes that live for a long time. They are often started when the system is bootstrapped and terminate only when the system is shut down. Because they don’t have a controlling terminal, we say that they run in the background.
    W. Richard Stevens, Advanced programming in the UNIX environment.
  497. Just get to the root
  498. Just get to the root, Don’t worry about the branches, For someday you will come to have them naturally. If you have not attained the basis, Even if you consciously study, You cannot attain the outgrowths either.
  499. Arrive at its source
  500. When enlightened Zen masters set up teachings for a spiritual path, the only concern is to clarify the mind to arrive at its source. It is complete in everyone, yet people turn away from this basic mind because of their illusions.
    Yuanwu (1063–1135)
  501. Beyond the realm of words
  502. All beings in the world are beyond the realm of words. Their ultimate nature, pure and true, is like the infinity of space.
    Prajnaparamita Sutra
  503. Make no mistake about it
  504. Make no mistake about it; if you do not find it now, you will repeat the same routines for myriad eons, a thousand times over again, following and picking up on objects that attract you. We are no different from Shakyamuni Buddha. Today, in your various activities, what do you lack? The spiritual light coursing through your six senses has never been interrupted. If you can see in this way, you will simply be free of burdens all your life.
    Lin Chi (d. 867)
  505. Own the sitaution
  506. If you love the situation, you own the sitaution.. The good wibe must have infected the others as well.. What a role model.. They just went out there and owned it all. Älskar man situationen, äger man situationen.. Smittade nog av sig på de andra.. Vilket föredöme.. De gick ut och ägde.
    Tommy Brånhede, 6.1.2016
  507. Sages do not want anything
  508. Sages do not want anything And do not avoid anything. When you want something, That may make you lose it; And if you try to avoid something, That may just bring it about. When you desire something in your heart, Then you forget what you are doing. Therefore sages carefully examine the Changes of action and repose, Adjusting the measures of Receiving and giving suitably, Governing feelings of Like and dislike rationally, And harmonizing degrees of joy and anger.
  509. Just don’t seek from others
  510. Just don’t seek from others, Or you’ll be far estranged from Self. I now go on alone; Everywhere I meet It: It now is me; I now am It. One must understand in this way To merge with thusness.
    Dongshan Liangjie (807–869)
  511. Many paths
  512. Many paths lead from the foot of the mountain, but at the peak we all gaze at the single bright moon.
    Ikkyu (1394-1481)
  513. Pellucid ocean
  514. In a pellucid ocean, Bubbles arise and dissolve again. Just so, thoughts are no Different from ultimate reality, So don’t find fault; remain at ease. Whatever arises, whatever occurs, Don’t grasp — Release it on the spot. Appearances, sounds, and objects Are all one’s own mind; There’s nothing except mind.
  515. The obstacle is the mind
  516. There is no help in changing your environment. The obstacle is the mind, Which must be overcome, Whether at home or in the forest. If you can do it in the forest, Why not in the home? Therefore, why change the environment?
    Ramana Maharshi
  517. Careful!
  518. Careful! Even moonlit dewdrops, If you’re lured to watch, Are a wall before the Truth.
    Sogyo (1667–1731)
  519. The way is vast and without favor
  520. The way is vast and without favor. The all-empty Tao is profound. With an empty heart, its nature is Easily learned. Though its power encompasses the cosmos. With its wisdom one may discern Life’s great mysteries, So that the heart may become pure As the throne of the immortals.
    Loy Ching-Yuen (1873-1960)
  521. Over the ages
  522. Over the ages you have followed objects, Never once turning back to look within. Time slips away; months and years are wasted.
    Kuei-Shan (771-854)
  523. If people are quiet
  524. If people are quiet, They can be quiet anywhere. If people aren’t quiet They won’t be quiet in the mountains. Everything depends on you. Life is transient, Like a flash of lightning in a dream. Before we receive this form, We had another face, Our original face. We can’t see it with our eyes. We can only know it with wisdom.
    Chi-ch’en g
  525. Walking in the garden
  526. Walking in the Garden Everywhere spring birds Are singing their new songs And delicate flowers Celebrate soft air. I explore each corner Of the winding path, Making sure not to waste a single step.
    Yang Wan-li (1127-1206)
  527. Inherent reality-nature is empty
  528. There is no Dharma that can be explained, no Mind that can be spoken of: inherent reality-nature is empty. Going back to the fundamental basis, it is the Path. The real identity of the Path is empty and boundless, vast and pure. With its stillness and solitude, it obliterates the cosmos. It pervades ancient and modern, but its nature is pure. This is the pure buddha-land.
    Records of the Lanka
  529. The way of becoming a Buddha
  530. Those who wish to break the cycle of rebirth must know the way of becoming a Buddha. The way of becoming a Buddha is the way of enlightenment of the mind. Before one’s father and mother were born and before one’s own body was born, one’s own mind existed unchanged until now, as the ground of all sentient beings.
    Bassui (1327-1387)
  531. Returning where
  532. After begging food around town i proudly return carrying my bag. Returning where? Do you know? To my home in the white clouds.
  533. Subjugate your own mind
  534. If you would quell demons, You must first subjugate your own mind. When the mind has yielded, Then the legions of demons Will disperse obediently. If you would drive away deceitfulness, You must first bridle you own spirit. When your spirit is at peace, Heresies will not bother you.
    Hung Ying-min
  535. Three different doctrines or that same
  536. Master Hui-hai was asked: "Are Taoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism three different doctrines or that same?" He replied: "To those with great understanding they are the same. To those of average understanding they are different. They all come from the one Truth, but an analytical approach makes them seem three. However, whether someone achieves enlightenment or remains deluded depends on the seeker, not on differences in doctrine."
    Hui-hai (8th c)
  537. The concept of an I
  538. If this doctrine is not understood thoroughly, The concept of an I prevails, Hence come virtuous and non-virtuous actions Which give rise to good and bad rebirths Therefore, as long as the doctrine of removing The concept of I is not known, Take heed of the practices Of giving, ethics and patience.
    Nagarjuna (150-250)
  539. Every heart is its own Buddha
  540. As flowing waters disappear into the mist we lose all track of their passage every heart is its own Buddha ease off; become immortality wake up: the world's a mote of dust behold heaven's round mirror turn loose: slip past shape and shadow sit side by side with nothing—save Tao.
    Shih-shu (17th c)
  541. It has always existed
  542. Truth is perfect and complete in itself. It is not something newly discovered; it has always existed. Truth is not far away; it is ever present. It is not something to be attained since not one of your steps leads away from it.
  543. Pit of fire
  544. Where people of today dwell, I do not dwell. What people of today do, I do not do. If you clearly understand What this really means, You must be able to enter a pit of fire with your whole body.
    Huanglong (1002-1069)
  545. When the mind can see
  546. Only when the mind is settled can it become quiet. Only when the mind is quiet can it become still. Only when the mind is still can it see. And only when the mind can see, Can it reach the mystery of mysteries. This is the process that anyone who practices has to go through. How long it takes is up to the individual.
  547. Fill the streams
  548. Just as the soft rains fill the streams, Pour into the rivers, And join together in the oceans, So many the power of every moment Of your goodness flow forth to awaken And heal all beings; Those here now, Those gone before, Those yet to come.
    Traditional Buddhist blessing
  549. The imperfect becomes whole
  550. The imperfect becomes whole. How true that is! To become whole and Return to the Source, One must ever be in accord With nature. There is nothing in the world So weak as water, Nor anything strong enough To overcome it. The person of great wisdom Is like water which, Though benefiting all things, Never strives.
  551. Sentient beings
  552. Sentient beings are primarily all Buddhas: It is like ice and water, Apart from water no ice can exist; Outside sentient beings, where do we find the Buddhas? Not knowing how near the Truth is, People seek it far away, what a pity!
    Hakuin (1685–1768)
  553. Understand objectively
  554. If you want to perceive and understand objectively, Just don’t allow yourself to be confused by people. Detach from whatever you find inside or outside yourself Detach from religion, tradition, and society, And only then will you attain liberation. When you are not entangled in things, You pass through freely to autonomy.
    Linji (d. 867)
  555. Universal emptiness
  556. Once you realize universal emptiness, All situations are naturally mastered. You have perfect communion with what is beyond the world, While embracing what is within the realms of being. If you miss the essence of Zen, After all, there’s nothing to it. If you get its function, it has spiritual effect.
  557. Know the essence of mind
  558. Know the essence of mind. Its intrinsic essence is pure clarity. It is essentially the same as a Buddha. Know the functions of the mind. Its functions produce the treasure of teachings. When its activity is always silent, Myriad illusions become suchness. Constantly be aware, Without stopping.
    Tao-hsin (580-651)
  559. The great mystery
  560. w This is the great mystery; you do and do not exist.
    Shen T'sing
  561. Simply be normal
  562. It is most urgent that you seek real, true perception, So you can be free in the world and not confused by ordinary practitioners. It is best to have no obsessions. Just don’t be contrived. Simply be normal. You impulsively seek elsewhere, Looking to others for your own hands and feet. This is already mistaken.
  563. Mind ground
  564. The teaching of the mind ground is the basis of Zen study. The mind ground is the great awareness of being as is.
  565. The croak of a frog
  566. In a moonlit night on a spring day The croak of a frog Pierces through the whole cosmos And turns it into A single family!
    Chang Chiu-ch'en
  567. My trials continue
  568. My trials continue On and on Now I'll see How steady My mind really is
    Daito (1282-1337)
  569. This is the last day of your life
  570. You should realize that this is the last day of your life. Have you prepared yourself for today's matter? You cannot prepare by studying the sutras and teachings, you cannot prepare by reciting from your Chan notebooks, and you cannot prepare by maintaining a clever mind. Precisely at this time when you are dying and all confused, forgetting instantly everything you remembered in the past — at this point is it necessary that you establish yourself in the ground of truth, and it is no use trying to do it in a superficial manner. Right away, for twenty-four hours a day, you should all prepare for it by ceasing and resting. You must completely let go of all worldly concerns and sit totally still in the "dry wood hall." You must die a turn and then in this death establish everything in the whole universe.
    Danxia Zichun
  571. All care forgotten
  572. Above an incense burner on the south terrace, Sitting in still meditation all day long, All care forgotten. Delusions depart un-banished And I am free from distraction.
  573. So is all
  574. If the mind's at ease so is all, In market place or mountain stream. Right and wrong, fame and profit Are suddenly a dream, And when you see them with a wiser eye, They live only for an instant.
    Fayan (d. 1104)
  575. The brightly shining mind
  576. The brightly shining mind is never absent but is colored by the thoughts and emotions that people put upon it. If you were to see the luminous freedom of this mind, you would cultivate it before any other, keeping it free from all attachments.
    Anguttara Nikaya
  577. Empty and calm
  578. Empty and calm and devoid of self is the nature of all things. No individual being in reality exists.
    Prajnaparamita Sutra
  579. Without beginning
  580. Without beginning, Utterly without end, The mind is born To struggles and distresses, And dies — and that is emptiness
    Ikkyu (1394-1481)
  581. Mind cannot grasp it
  582. Eye cannot see it, tongue cannot utter it, mind cannot grasp it. There is no way to learn or to teach it. It is different from the known, beyond the unknown. In this all the ancient masters agree.
  583. Everywhere is immaculate
  584. What is the Buddha and the devil? A moment of doubt in the mind is a devil. If you realize all things are unborn, and mind is like an illusory projection, so that there is no longer a single particle, a single phenomenon, but everywhere is immaculate, this is Buddha.
    Lin Chi (d 867)
  585. Cease to be affected
  586. You don't need to avoid or deny anything. It is enough to just know about it. When you are busy trying to avoid something, It's still affecting you. Simply cease to be affected Or impelled by anything And you'll find you are free.
  587. Life is short
  588. Life is short and no one knows what the next moment will bring. Open your mind while you have the opportunity, thereby gaining the treasures of wisdom, which in turn you can share abundantly with others, bringing them happiness.
  589. The true teaching of the Buddha
  590. Students should understand the true teaching of the Buddha and distinguish clearly between the following two teachings: the fundamental ground of mind never changes, while at the same time the form of your mind conforms to causes and conditions.
    So Sahn
  591. Not the way
  592. Your search among books, word upon word, may lead you to depths of knowledge, but it is not the way to receive the reflection of your true self.
  593. Deepest suffering
  594. Compounding is the deepest suffering Nibbana is the highest happiness Really knowing this truth One is on the path to peace.
  595. Every energy
  596. If the mind applies its every energy to this end it will forget itself; when nothing remains but the posture and movement of the body in zazen, the moment of illumination will arrive without one’s desiring it, as suddenly as if one had awakened from a dream.
    Gettan Soko
  597. Purify all bad feelings and views
  598. Third, one must purify all bad feelings and views that have been formed and accumulated.
    Han-Shan Te-Ch'ing
  599. Right here and now
  600. I never cite Buddha’s words or the word of Zen patriarchs when I teach. All I do is comment directly on people themselves. That takes care of everything. I don’t have to quote either the Buddha Dharma or the Zen Dharma. I don’t have to when I can clear everything up for you by commenting directly on you and your personal concerns right here and now. I’ve no reason to preach about Buddhism or Zen.
  601. People who have many desires
  602. The Buddha said, "Monks, know that people who have many desires intensely seek for fame and gain; therefore they suffer s great deal. Those who have few desires do not seek for fame and gain and are free from them, so they are without such troubles."
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