Creations are numberless, I vow to be one with them Delusions are inexhaustible, I vow to endure them Dharmas are boundless, I vow to be teachable The enlightened way is unsurpassable, I vow to embody it.
Shi Gu Sei Gan Mon (Japanese)
Shu Jo Muhen Sei Gan Do Bon No Mujin Sei Gan Dan Ho Mon Muryo, Sei Gan Gaku Butsodo Mujo Sei Gan Jo.
Let me respectfully remind you Life and death are of supreme importance Time swiftly passes by and opportunity is lost Each of us should strive to awaken, awaken Take heed, this night your days are diminished by one Do not squander your life.
Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva (The Awakened One of Compassion) Doing deep Prajna Paramita, Clearly saw emptiness of all the five conditions, Thus completely relieving misfortune and pain. O Shariputra (a disciple), form is no other than emptiness, Emptiness no other than form; Form is exactly emptiness, Emptiness exactly form; Sensation, conception, discrimination, awareness are likewise like this. O Shariputra, all dharmas are forms of emptiness, Not born, not destroyed; Not stained, not pure, Without loss, without gain: So in emptiness there is no form, No sensation, conception, discrimination, awareness; No eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, mind; No color, sound, smell, taste, touch, phenomena; No realm of sight, No realm of consciousness; No ignorance And no end to ignorance … No old age and death And no end to old age and death; No suffering, No cause of suffering, No extinguishing, No path; No wisdom and no gain. No gain and thus the Bodhisattva lives Prajna Paramita With no hindrance in the mind, No hindrance, therefore no fear, Far beyond deluded thoughts, This is Nirvana. All past, present and future Buddhas live Prajna Paramita, And therefore attain anuttara-samyak-sambodhi (enlightenment) Therefore know Prajna Paramita is the great mantra, The vivid mantra, The best mantra, The unsurpassable mantra; It completely clears all pain – This is the truth, not a lie. So set forth the Prajna Paramita mantra, Set forth this mantra and say: Gate! Gate! (arriving, arriving) Paragate! (fully arriving) Parasamgate! (fully arriving together) Bodhi Svaha! (Awake, Rejoice) Prajna Heart Sutra!
Sutra on the Heart of Realizing Wisdom Beyond Wisdom (The Heart Sutra)
Avalokiteshvara, who helps all to awaken, moves in the deep course of realizing wisdom beyond wisdom, sees that all five streams of body and mind are boundless, and frees all from anguish.
Oh Shariputra, form is not separate from boundlessness; boundlessness is not separate from form. Form is boundlessness; boundlessness is form. Feelings, perceptions, inclinations and discernment are also like this.
Oh Shariputra, boundlessness is the nature of all things. It neither arises nor perishes, neither stains nor purifies, neither increases nor decreases.
Boundlessness is not limited by form, nor by feelings, perceptions, inclinations, and discernment. It is free of the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and mind; free of sight, sound, smell, taste, touch, and any object of mind; free of sensory realms, including the realm of mind. It is free of ignorance and the end of ignorance. Boundlessness is free of old age and death, and free of the end of old age and death. It is free of suffering, arising, cessation, and path, and free of wisdom and attainment.
Being free of attainment, those who help all to awaken abide in the realization of wisdom beyond wisdom and live with an unhindered mind. Without hindrance, the mind has no fear. Free from confusion, those who lead all to emancipation embody complete serenity.
All those in the past, present, and future, who realize wisdom beyond wisdom, manifest unsurpassable and thorough awakening.
Know that realizing wisdom beyond wisdom is no other than this wondrous mantra, luminous, unequalled, and supreme. It relieves all suffering. It is genuine, not illusory.
So set forth this mantra of realizing wisdom beyond wisdom. Set forth this mantra that says: Gaté, gaté, paragaté, parasamgaté, bodhi! svaha! _______________
This translation by Kazuaki Tanahashi and Joan Halifax
The Sutra of Perfection of Wisdom of the Diamond that Cuts through Illusion
Excerpts from the teaching dialogue in which the Buddha questions his disciple Subhuti.
Q1. Though all the sentient beings to be delivered by me are innumerable and without limit, / in reality, / there are no sentient beings to be delivered. / Why?
A1. Because should there exist in the minds of Bodhisattvas / arbitrary conceptions of phenomena / such as the existence of one’s self / or the self of another / or selfness as divided into beings / or selfness as unified into one universal self existing eternally, / they would be unworthy to be called Bodhisattvas.
Q2. When the Buddha speaks of great universes / does he have in mind any definite idea?
A2. No, When the Buddha uses the words great universes / he does not assert any definite idea. / He merely uses the words as words.
Q3. Is this true for the words Buddha and Dharma?
A3. There are no Buddhas and there are no Dharmas.
Q4. Should a disciple strive to attain Buddhahood?
A4. No, that would mean the disciple is striving to attain something limited. / as in perfect-supreme-wisdom; / but true Buddhahood, whose essence is identical with the essence of all things, / is inconceivable / and beyond all striving.
Q5. How is it possible to explain this sutra without ideas of things and dharmas?
A5. This sutra can only be explained / by keeping the mind in perfect oneness and tranquility.
Q6. Should a Bodhisattva make an assertion / such as “I have entered the stream?”
A6. No. Because / he has not entered anything / nor has his mind entered any idea / such as form sound, taste. odor or touch.
Q7. Because of his virtue / will Buddha be reborn either in this world or any other world?
A7. No. / There will be no rebirth / either in this world / or in any other world. / It is because he knows this / the Buddha is called a Buddha.
Q8. Is there any one who is a fully enlightened one?
A8. No. Should a disciple cherish in his mind an idea such as / “I have become enlightened,” / he would soon be grasping after things / such as his own selfhood, / or other selves, / or a universal self.
Q9. If there is no distinction between one’s own self and the selfhood of others, / how do we practice kindness?
A9. We practice kindness / by giving not only objective gifts / but the selfless gifts of kindness and sympathy.
Q10. Is there any merit for acts of kindness?
A10. Bodhisattvas never seek merit / nor look upon kind acts as private possessions / but as the common possessions of all animate beings.
Q11. What does it mean to say there is no such thing as supreme-perfect-wisdom / and that the Buddha does not teach any fixed dharma?
A11. This means Bodhisattvas are not enlightened by an fixed teaching / but by an intuitive process / that is spontaneous and natural.
Q12. What does it mean to say the Buddha has come or has gone?
A12. This means the Buddha is never coming from anywhere / nor is he going anywhere. / The name Buddha is merely a word.
Q13. Why does the Buddha use words and ideas in his teachings?
A13. The Buddha uses words and ideas in his teaching / in resemblance to a raft, / of use only to cross a river. / As the raft is of no use after the river is crossed, / it should be discarded./ So too ideas about things should be given up as one attains enlightenment.
Q14. Has the Buddha given us any definite teaching in this sutra?
A14. No. The Buddha has not given us any definite teaching in this sutra.
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o “Like a meteor, like darkness, as a flickering lamp, an illusion, like hoar frost, or a bubble, like clouds, a flash of lightning, or a dream. So all conditioned existence is to be seen.”
The mind of the great sage of India Was intimately conveyed from west and east Among human beings are wise and fools But in the way there is no northern or southern Patriarch The subtle source is clear and bright The tributary streams flow through the darkness To be attached to things is illusion To encounter the absolute is not yet enlightenment Each and all the subjective and objective spheres Are related And at the same time independent Related yet working differently Though each keeps its own place Form makes the character and appearance different Sounds distinguish comfort and discomfort The dark makes all words one The brightness distinguishes good and bad phrases The four elements return to their nature As a child to its mother Fire is hot Wind moves Water is wet Earth hard Eyes see Ears hear Nose smells Tongue tastes the salt and sour Each is independent of the other Cause and effect must return to the great reality The words high and low are used relatively Within light there is darkness But do not try to understand the darkness Within darkness there is light But no not look for that light Light and darkness are a pair Like the foot before and the foot behind in walking Each thing has its own intrinsic value And is related to everything else in function and position Ordinary life fits the absolute As a box and its lid The absolute works together with the relative Like two arrows meeting in mid-air Reading words you should grasp the great reality Do not judge by any standards If you do not see the Way You do not see it even as you walk on it When you walk the Way It is not near It is not far If you are deluded You are mountains and rivers away from it. I respectfully say to those who wish to be enlightened Do not waste your time by night or day.
Emmei Jukku Kannon Gyo (Kanzeon Sutra of Compassion)
(Chant 3 times) KAN ZE ON NA MU BUTSU YO BUTSU U IN YO BUTSU U EN BU PO SO EN JO RAKU GA JO CHO NEN KAN ZE ON BO NEN KAN ZE ON NEN NEN JU SHIN KI NEN NEN FU RI SHIN
(Chant 3 times) Kanzeon! At one with Buddha Directly Buddha Also indirectly Buddha And indirectly Buddha Dharma, Sangha Joyful Pure Eternal Being! Morning Mind is Kanzeon (compassion) Evening Mind is Kanzeon This moment arises from Mind The moment is not separate from Mind.
Chant Leader: From the beginning all beings are Buddha ….. All: Like water and ice, Without water no ice, Chant Leader: Outside us no Buddhas All: How near the truth, Yet how fa-ar we seek Being in water Crying in thirst Being the child//of a rich family Wandering poor on this earth Chant Leader: Endlessly circling the six worlds All: The cause of our sorrow is ego delusion From dark path to dark path We’ve wandered in darkness Chant Leader: How can we be freed from the wheel of samsara? All: The gateway to freedom is zazen Samadhi Beyond exaltation Beyond all our praises The pure Mahayana Observing the Precepts, Repentance and Giving The countless good deeds and the Way of Right Living Chant Leader: All comes from Zazen All: Thus one true Samadhi extinguishes evils. It purifies karma, dissolving obstructions. Then where are the dark paths to lead us astray? The Pure Lotus Land// is not far away Hearing this truth,// heart humble and grateful To praise and embrace it To practice its Wisdom Brings unending blessings Brings mountains of merit And if we turn inward and prove our True Nature That True Self is no-self, Our own self is no-self We go beyond ego And past clever words Then the gate to the oneness of cause-and-effect is thrown open Not two and not three Straight ahead runs the Way Our form now being no-form In going and coming Chant Leader: We never leave home All: Our thought now being no-thought Our dancing and singing Chant Leader: Are the Voice of the Dharma All: How vast is the heaven of boundless Samadhi! How bright and transparent the moonlight of wisdom! What is there outside us? What is there we lack? Nirvana is openly shown to our eyes Chant Leader: This earth where we stand is the pure lotus land! And this very body, the body of Buddha.
Calling out to hungry hearts Everywhere through endless time You who wander, you who thirst I offer you this bodhi mind. Calling out to hungry spirits Everywhere through endless time Calling out to hungry hearts All the lost and left behind.
Gather round and share this meal Your joy and your sorrow I make mine.
This is our life The length of our days. Day and night We meditate upon it.
Practice of Gratitude I offer my gratitude for the people, animals, plants, pebbles, insects, and creatures of the sky and sea, air and water, fire and earth, and for all whose joyful exertion blesses my life every day I offer my gratitude for the care and labor of a thousand generations of elders and ancestors who came before me I offer my gratitude for the safety and well-being I have been given I offer my gratitude for the blessings of this earth I have been given I offer my gratitude for the family and friends I have been given I offer my gratitude for the community I have been given I offer my gratitude for the teachings and lessons I have been given I offer my gratitude for the life I have been given I offer my gratitude for the sangha and for all sentient and insentient beings.
In the presence of Sangha, in the light of Dharma, in oneness with Buddha – may my path to complete enlightenment benefit everyone! In this passing moment karma ripens and all things come to be. I vow to affirm what is:
If there’s cost, I choose to pay. If there’s need, I choose to give. If there’s pain, I choose to feel. If there’s sorrow, I choose to grieve. When burning, I choose heat. When calm, I choose peace. When starving, I choose hunger. When happy, I choose joy. Whom I encounter, I choose to meet. What I shoulder, I choose to bear. When it’s my birth, I choose to live. When it’s my death, I choose to die. Where this takes me, I choose to go. Being with what is, I respond to what is.
This life is as real as a dream; the one who knows it cannot be found; and truth is not a thing, therefore I vow to choose THIS Dharma entrance gate! May all Buddhas and Wise Ones help me live this vow.