Zen and the Philosophy of Simplicity

Zen and Simplicity

In the study and practice of Zen, simplicity is a goal. Of course, life can be as complex or as simple as you like, but it’s important to achieve a sense of clarity surrounding your day-to-day activities.

Life can be complex and full of details, yet the mind can still be simple and full of clarity.

I believe it’s important to keep a sense of simplicity in life, even when situations become far from simple. As long as the mind adheres to a philosophy of simplicity, a sense of Zen can be achieved regardless of the situation.

But a good goal is to begin the task of simplifying one’s life, so that your situation doesn’t become too complex and confusing.

When one ponders over this, life is too short to deal with too many details and complexities. Leading a more simplified lifestyle makes our lives more manageable and less stressful.

Stress is another reason to simplify our life. As stress can hurt us. Reducing stress by keeping things simple is a means to achieve that inner Zen we are aiming for.

Quotes on Simplicity

“Things should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.”
— Albert Einstein

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
— Leonardo da Vinci

“Simplicity is the direct result of profound thought.”
— Anonymous

“Our lives are frittered away by detail; simplify, simplify.”
— Henry David Thoreau

“If you can’t describe it simply, you can’t use it simply.”
— Anonymous

“You can always recognize truth by its beauty and simplicity.”
— Richard Feynman

“A vocabulary of truth and simplicity will be of service throughout your life”
— Winston Churchill

“Simplicity is the nature of great souls.”
— Anonymous

“As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness.”
— Henry David Thoreau

“Simplicity is the final achievement. After one has played a vast quantity of notes and more notes, it is simplicity that emerges as the crowning reward of art.”
— Frederic Chopin

“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”

— Antoine de Saint Exupéry

“Simplicity is making the journey of this life with just baggage enough.”
— Charles Dudley Warner

“Purity and simplicity are the two wings with which man soars above the earth and all temporary nature.”
— Thomas Kempis

“Nothing is true, but that which is simple.”
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“Simplicity is the glory of expression”
— Walt Whitman



Carlos Rull

Carlos Rull is a musician living in the San Diego area. His interests include Yoga, Eastern Philosophy, Zen Buddhism, and Gardening. He plays drums, piano, and composes New Age & Ambient music, and his albums are available on iTunes and Amazon.com.

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