All evil karma ever created by me of old On account of my beginningless greed, hatred, and ignorance Born of my conduct, speech and thought, Now I atone for it all.
The Four Great Vows
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.
Maha Prajna Paramita Heart (Hrdaya) Sutra
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! (Gone Gone) Paragate! (Gone beyond) Parasamgate! (Fully beyond) Bodhi Svaha! (Awake, Rejoice) Prajna Heart Sutra!
Sandokai: Identity of Relative and Absolute
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 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.
Emmei Jukku Kannon Gyo (Kanzeon Sutra of Compassion)
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
Kanzeon (Bodhisattva of Compassion)
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.
Hakuin’s Song of Zazen
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.
The Gate of Sweet Nectar Opening Verse: 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.
Final Verse: Gather round and share this meal Your joy and your sorrow I make mine.
Closing verse: 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.
The Five Remembrances
from the Upajjhatthana Sutra or “Subjects for Contemplation”
I am of the nature to grow old. There is no way to escape growing old.
I am of the nature to have ill-health. There is no way to escape having ill-health.
I am of the nature to die. There is no way to escape death.
All that is dear to me and everyone I love are of the nature to change. There is no way to escape being separated from them.
My actions are my only true belongings. I cannot escape the consequences of my actions. My actions are the ground on which I stand. —translated by Thich Nhat Hanh