Landermere space
 Landermere space

In praise of zazen  (meditation)

All sentient beings originally are Buddha.
It is the same with water and ice.
There is no ice separate from water;


Outside all sentient beings, no Buddha.
Because the multitude of beings are unconscious of the inner life,
They seek it far away. Alas how pitiful!
It is like the example of sitting in the middle of water
But crying out in thirst; and, while being the son of a millionaire's family,
wandering lost in poverty.
The causes and conditions of the rebirth in the six realms
Are but one's own road through the darkness of ignorance;
Treading dark roads to dark roads,
Someday you should abandon birth and death.
As to the zen samadhi of the Mahayana, there is just too much to praise.
The several perfections such as charity, morality, and such;
Chanting Buddha's name, confession and repentance, austerities, and the like;
The many good deeds and various virtuous pilgrimages;
All these find their source in zazen.
As a person succeeds by the merit of a single sitting
To obliterate countless wrongdoings;
How then could evil appearances exist?
The Pure Land is not far away.
One, who by this Dharma graciously
Has the occasion to hear this teaching even once, 
This person, receiving it with deep gratitude,
Receives supreme blessings without limits.
You will attain great happiness, so much more, to personally turn around to face inward, and,
Directly confirm by your own nature,
That one's own nature is no-nature,
And afterwards stay apart from useless discussion;
Then opens the gate of the oneness of cause and effect;
The Way of not-two and not-three is straightened.
When form is the form of non-form,
One's going and one's returning are not anywhere else.
When thought is the thought of no-thought,
One's singing and one's dancing are the voice of Dharma.
The sky of boundless Samadhi is wide!
How brilliant the full moon of fourfold wisdom!
At this time what more should you want?
Nirvana appears before you.
This place is the lotus land.
This body is the Buddha.


Hakuin          1685 - 1769