I find Zen and Buddhism fascinating. As I've written previously I have three Buddhas on the mantelpiece in our living room. One day, just before she died, my mum said words to the effect, "It's strange that you have a Buddha on the mantelpiece as my father always had one on his as well." I never knew this as my grandfather died long before I was born.
Buddhist Koans also interest to me. You probably know the sort of thing: "What is the sound of one hand clapping?" They are questions than cannot be answered by normal rational thinking.
The following sayings aren't, however, koans but are attributed to Taisen Deshimaru (1914 – April 30, 1982) who was a Japanese Sōtō Zen Buddhist teacher. See what you think of them. I've classed them as his 'Top Ten Sayings'
1) To receive everything, one must open one's hands and give.
2) You must concentrate upon and consecrate yourself wholly to each day, as though a fire were raging in your hair.
3) If you have a glass full of liquid you can discourse forever on its qualities, discuss whether it is cold, warm, whether it is really and truly composed of H-2-O, or even mineral water, or saki. Meditation is Drinking it!
4) You are the strongest and the others keep their distance. It is no longer necessary to win victories over them.
5) If you are not happy here and now, you never will be.
6) Harmonizing opposites by going back to their source is the distinctive quality of the Zen attitude, the Middle Way: embracing contradictions, making a synthesis of them, achieving balance.
7) We feel our shell keeps us safe, but it crushes us and others, and keeps out light and sun.
8) We feel our shell keeps us safe, but it crushes us and others, and keeps out light and sun.
9) Train the body and develop stamina and endurance. But the spirit of competition and power that presides over them is not good, it reflects a distorted vision of life. The root of the martial arts is not there.
10) You have to practice until you die.
... and a bonus one for good luck ...
Think with your whole body.