Taisen Deshimaru

Born in Japan in 1914, Mokudo Taisen Deshimaru grows up close to his mother and grandfather, a former samurai.In his youth, he meets Kodo Sawaki, a great master of Soto Zen, and follows his teachings. He was ordained monk by the latter, who asks him to travel to Europe and spread the practice of Zen. He comes to Paris in 1967. Taisen Deshimaru (1914-1982) grew up on the island of Kyushu in Japan. He was a disciple of Kodo Sawaki, who was one of the most influential Zen masters of the 20th century in Japan: He insisted on the importance of the practice of zazen and made the practice accessible to lay people.

Taisen Deshimaru has 42 books on Goodreads with 2723 ratings. Taisen Deshimaru’s most popular book is The Zen Way to Martial Arts: A Japanese Master Reve. Taisen Deshimaru (1914-1982) was a Japanese Zen Master, and the individual largely responsible for bringing Soto Zen to Europe. A legendary figure, widely acknowledged throughout the Zen world, he stands in the ranks of the great Zen teachers of modern times, including, Suzuki Roshi, Maezumi Roshi,.

Taisen Deshimaru’s was one of the first Zen masters to come and teach in the West. It is through Master Deshimaru’s books that I have discovered Zen. Discover his humor and profound wisdom through these quotes.

“Discussion has nothing to do with Zen.”
Taisen Deshimaru

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

Taisen

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

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

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

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

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

“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.”
Taisen Deshimaru

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

Taisen DeshimaruTaisen deshimaru pdfDeshimaru

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

“If you are not happy here and now, you never will be.”
Taisen Deshimaru

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

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

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

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

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

Photograph Of Taisen Deshimaru

“Religions remain what they are. Zen is meditation. Meditation is the foundation of every religion.”
Taisen Deshimaru

“Sometimes I am a philosopher, sometimes a religious person, sometimes a monk, sometimes an educator, sometimes a whiskey-drinker.”
Taisen Deshimaru

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

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

“There is no need to have an object in what you do.”
Taisen Deshimaru

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

“To have compassion is to have the same mind as the other.”
Taisen Deshimaru

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

To receive everything, one must open one’s hands and give.”
Taisen Deshimaru

“True religion is not esoteric or mystical, it is not an exercise in well-being or gymnastics.”
Taisen Deshimaru

“We feel our shell keeps us safe, but it crushes us and others, and keeps out light and sun.”
Taisen Deshimaru

“We feel our shell keeps us safe, but it crushes us and others, and keeps out light and sun.”
Taisen Deshimaru

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

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

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

“You cannot separate any part from the whole: interdependence rules the cosmic order.”
Taisen Deshimaru

Deshimaru

Taisen Deshimaru Books Pdf

“You have to practice until you die.”
– – Taisen Deshimaru

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

Taisen Deshimaru

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

“Zazen means to stop running after and to stop running away.”
–– Taisen Deshimaru

Taisen Deshimaru Pdf

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

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

More on Taisen Deshimaru
– Taisen Deshimaru, the Modern-day Bodhidharma