Bodhidharma, who brought Zen Buddhism to China, is reported to have said:
A special teaching outside the sutras.
Not depending on words and letters.
Directly pointing to the mind.
Seeing into one’s true nature and attaining awakening.
This points to Zen’s salient characteristics.
After I published this I used Google translator for this quote. In Chinese it is:
Google translator rendered this into English as:
Don’t teach outsiders, don’t set up words, point to people’s minds, see nature and become a Buddha