Sutras and Texts

Master Hakuin’s Chant in Praise of Zazen
From the very beginning
all beings are Buddha.
Like water and ice,
without water no ice,
outside us no Buddhas.
 
How near the truth,
yet how far we seek,
like one in water crying, “I thirst!”
Like a child of rich birth
wandering poor on this earth,
we endlessly circle the six worlds.
 
The cause of our sorrow is ego delusion.
From dark path to dark path
We’ve wandered in darkness—
how can we be free from birth and death?
The gateway to freedom is zazen samadhi—
beyond exaltation, beyond all our praises,
the pure Mahayana.
 
Upholding the precepts,
repentance and giving,
the countless good deeds,
and the way of right living
all come from zazen.
 
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 when 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 returning we never leave home.
Our thought now being no-thought,
our dancing and songs
are the voice of the Dharma.
 
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.
This earth where we stand
is the pure lotus land,
and this very body the body of Buddha.
 

Atonement Gatha
All my ancient twisted karma
From beginningless greed, hate, and delusion
Born through body, speech, and mind
I now fully avow.
 
[Recite three times]
 

Bodhisattva’s Vow
SHU JO MU HEN SEI GAN DO
BON NO MU JIN SEI GAN DAN
HO MON MU RYO SEI GUN GAKU
BUTSU DO MU JO SEI GUN JO
 
SHU JO MU HEN SEI GAN DO
BON NO MU JIN SEI GAN DAN
HO MON MU RYO SEI GUN GAKU
BUTSU DO MU JO SEI GUN JO
 
Beings are numberless, I vow to awaken with them.
Delusions are inexhaustible, I vow to end them.
Dharma gates are boundless, I vow to enter them.
Buddha’s Way is unsurpassable, I vow to become it.
 

Enmei Jukko Kannon Gyo
KAN ZE ON
NA MU BUTSU
YO BUTSU U IN
YO BUTSU U EN
BUP 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
 
[Recite seven times]
 
All Buddhas, ten directions, three times
All beings, Bodhisattvas, Mahasattvas
Wisdom beyond wisdom, Maha Prajna Paramita
 

Heart Sutra (English)
Avaloketesvara bodhisattva, when practicing deeply the prajna paramita, perceived that all five skhandas in their own being are empty, and was saved from all suffering.

O Shariputra, form does not differ from emptiness emptiness does not differ from form; that which is form is emptiness, that which is emptiness form. The same is true of feelings, perceptions, formations, consciousness.

O, Shariputra, all dharmas are marked with emptiness: They do not appear nor disappear, are not tainted nor pure, do not increase nor decrease.

Therefore, in emptiness, no form, no feelings, no perceptions, no formations, no consciousness.

No eyes, no ears, no nose, no tongue, no body, no mind.

No color, no sound, no smell, no taste, no touch, no object of mind, no realm of eyes, until no realm of mind-consciousness.

No ignorance, and also no extinction of it, until no old-age-and-death, and also no extinction of it.

No suffering, no origination, no stopping, no path, no cognition, also no attainment.

With nothing to attain, a Bodhisattva depends on prajna parmaita and the mind is no hindrance.

Without any hindrance, no fears exist. Far apart from every perverted view, one dwells in Nirvana.

In the three worlds all buddhas depend on prajna paramita and attain unsurpassed complete perfect enlightenment.

Therefore, know the prajna paramita is the great transcendent matra, is the great bright mantra, is the utmost mantra, is the supreme mantra, which is able to relieve all suffering and is true not false.

So, proclaim the prajna paramita mantra, proclaim the mantra that says, Gate gate paragate parasamgate Bodhi Svaha!
 

Heart Sutra in Sino-Japanese
MA KA HAN NYA HA RA MI TA SHIN GYO
KAN JI ZAI BO SA GYO JIN HAN NYA HA RA MI
TA JI SHO KEN GO ON KAI KU DO IS SAI KU
YAKU SHA RI SHI SHIKI FU I KU KU FU I SHIKI
SHIKI SOKU ZE KU KU SOKU ZE SHIKI JU SO
GYO SHIKI YAKU BU NYO ZE SHA RI SHI ZE
SHO HO KU SO FU SHO FU METSU FU KU FU
JO FU ZO FU GEN ZE KO KU CHU MU SHIKI
MU JU SO GYO SHIKI MU GEN NI BI ZES SHIN
NI MU SHIKI SHO KO MI SOKU HO MU GEN
KAI NAI SHI MU I SHIKI KAI MU MU MYO
YAKU MU MU MYO JIN NAI SHI MU RO SHI
YAKU MU RO SHI JIN MU KU SHU METSU DO
MU CHI YAKU MU TOKU I MU SHO TOK KO
BO DAI SAT TA E HAN NYA HA RA MI TA KO
SHIN MU KE GE MU KE GE KO MU U KU FU
ON RI IS SAI TEN DO MU SO KU GYO NE HAN
SAN ZE SHO BUTSU E HAN NYA HA RA MI TA
KO TOKU A NOKU TA RA SAM MYAKU SAM
BO DAI KO CHI HAN NYA HA RA MI TA ZE DAI
JIN SHU ZE DAI MYO SHU ZE MU JO SHU ZE
MU TO TO SHU NO JO IS SAI KU SHIN JITSU
FU KO KO SETSU HAN NYA HA RA MI TA SHU
SOKU SETSU SHU WATSU GYA TEI GYA TEI HA
RA GYA TEI HARA SO GYA TEI BO JI SOWA KA
HAN NYA SHIN GYO
 

Sho Sai Myo Kichijo Darani
NO MO SAN MAN DA, MOTO NAN, OHA RA CHI KOTO SHA, SONO NAN TO JI TO, EN, GYA GYA, GYA KI GYA KI, UN NUN, SHIFU RA SHIFU RA, HARA SHIFU RA HARA SHIFU RA, CHISU SA CHISU SA, CHI SHU RI CHI SHU RI, SOWA JA SOWA JA, SEN CHI GYA, SHIRI EI SO MO KO
 
[Recite three times]