“But there are moments when you stop searching. Those are moments without doubt or questions.” Leonard Cohen On The Benefit Of Zen


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If you decide to search and look for an object outside yourself, you’ll, of course, never find it. But there are moments when you stop searching. Those are moments without doubt or questions. And if you practice Zen, there are many such moments.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From Leonard Cohen als Zen-Mönch, a video shot during one of the several visits Leonard Cohen and Roshi made to a Zen Center in Austria from 1990 to 1996. Quotation interpreted and, in part, translated by Rike.

Note: The words quoted are from a videotaped interview that is overdubbed in German. This quotation as represented comprises Leonard Cohen’s words in English except portions obscured by the overdubbing, in which case a translation of the German overdubbing is used.

“I even danced and sang with the Hare Krishnas” Leonard Cohen On His Spiritual Investigations

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I participated in all these investigations that engaged the imagination of my generation at that time. I even danced and sang with the Hare Krishnas—no robe, I didn’t join them, but I was trying everything.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen Makes It Darker by David Remnick (New Yorker: October 17, 2016)

For the record, Leonard could dance while wearing a robe; check out Jikan Gets Jiggy

“In religion, there is God and the relationship with God. When I want to get in touch with God, for that I have Judaism. Zen is not a religion. It’s the study of the self – as it arises and how the self disappears.” Leonard Cohen

From Leonard Cohen als Zen-Mönch. a video shot during one of the several visits Leonard Cohen and Roshi made to a Zen Center in Austria from 1990 to 1996.  Quotation interpreted and, in part, translated by Rike.

Note: The words quoted are from a videotaped interview that is overdubbed in German. This quotation as represented comprises Leonard Cohen’s words in English except portions obscured by the overdubbing, in which case a translation of the German overdubbing is used.  In this quotation, for example,  the phrase ““for that I have Judaism”” is an English translation of the German narration.

“I think people who need this book will find it useful. …” Leonard Cohen On His Book Of Mercy


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At a certain point I felt the need to ask for something from no earthly authority and found myself addressing the source of mercy. I think people who need this book will find it useful.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Cohen at 50: On His Songs, His Women And Children by Chris Cobb Ottawa Citizen: April 21, 1984

Leonard Cohen On The Influence Of The Kabbalah On His Songs

Elliot: I am a professor of Jewish mysticism at NYU, and on Oct. 18th [2001] I will be delivering a lecture at McGill entitled “New Jerusalem Glowing: The Songs of Leonard Cohen in a Kabbalistic Key.” I would like to take this unique opportunity to ask Mr. Cohen directly if he has studied kabbalah or hasidism, and if so, he acknowledges a direct influence on his work.

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Dear Professor Wolfson, Thank you for studying my lyrics in relation to the kabbalah. I have a very superficial knowledge of the matter but even by dipping into the many books, I have been deeply touched by what I read, and by my conversations with living Hasidic masters. The model of the Tree of Life and the activities and interactions of the sephirot has been especially influential. The idea of the in-breath to clear a space for the whole manifestation and the out-breath as the place of the manifestation, has of course been illumined by my studies with Roshi and his instructions in zen meditation. Please give my regards to the folks at McGill.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From the Sony 2001 online chat. Thanks to Tom Sakic, who alerted me to this.