All quotes from Alan Watts’

One thing is certain: the harder you try to possess life, the faster it slips away from you, and the less you understand of its mystery.

To thought and sense and feeling Reality is a void, for they cannot lay hold on it or keep it in any fixed form.

There is only one place where we are truly alive, where we come into immediate contact with Reality, and that is now—this present moment.

As soon as we realize that the moment is in reality inescapable, we shall no longer try to grasp it; for whether we know it or not, it grasps us.

Whenever you think you have the right idea of Zen, drop it and walk on.

As Lao-tzu said, the wise man hides his virtue and appears on the surface like a fool, for “true grace does not appear as grace, and thus is grace; false grace is so aware of itself as grace that it is not grace.” Zen produces thousands of Bodhisattvas who do not advertise themselves.

In essence, Zen involves no doctrine. It is an experience of Reality beyond doctrine, for which reason Zen may be of use to people of any religion. It is to be doubted, however, whether one can ground one’s life in pure, essential Zen alone, for even as a specific religious cult Zen employs forms and symbols, and the normal structure of the Buddhist religion. For pure life expresses itself within and through structure. Life without structure is unseen; it is the unmanifested Absolute. But structure without life is dead, and religion has altogether too much of this death.

The ordinary religious consciousness grasps too much, and has too little faith in the actual present fact of the Life of life as the most all-absorbing and self-evident reality of our existence.