A character who has been through utter hell, and came out sad, cynical, and Wise Beyond Their Years. Part of their wisdom is knowing that it is wasted on most people, so they don’t go around babbling it to everybody. Instead, they wait until they see somebody who is worthy, and serve as the worthy one’s Mentor.Like an ancient Zen master, a Zen Survivor never gives straight advice. Instead they speak in odd riddles and hints, delighting in Cryptic Conversation. They also make bizarre demands, and do cruel, seemingly pointless things to their student.

Source: Zen Survivor – TV Tropes