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白隠慧鶴 Hakuin Ekaku (1686-1769)


Hakuin
festménye önmagáról, mint a zsákján meditáló Hotei (Putaj)

Hakuin
here caricatures himself as Pu-tai (Hotei)

おぼう 今日は
奇特 に 坐禪と
出 かけてじゃの
おうよ

"O bō! kyō wa
kidoku ni zazen to
dekakete ja no."
"Ō yo!"

"Hey, bonze!
Wonder of wonders
you're doing zazen today."
"Sure!"
(Tr. Ruth Fuller Sasaki)

Ej, bonc!
Csodák csodája,
ücsörögsz máma?"
Még szép!"
(Terebess Gábor fordítása)

Selected Writings I.

Selected Writings II.

Paintings

 

坐禅和讚 Zazen Wasan


Tartalom

Contents

白隱禪師坐禪和讚
HAKUIN ZENJI ZAZEN WASAN

Hakuin éneke a meditációról
Fordította: Darabos Pál (1966)

A zazen dala
Fordította: Komár Lajos

A zazen dala
Fordította: Hadházi Zsolt (2005)

Hakuin zenji zazen dala
In: Sódó Harada: Bódhidharma ösvényén, Budapest, Filosz Kiadó, 2005, 139-142. old.
Fordította: Egy Csepp Szangha munkacsoport

A zazen dala
Fordította: Bakonyi Berta
(2008)

PDF: Vadborostyán - Hakuin zen mester önéletrajza
Az itt közölt válogatást Norman Waddell Wild Ivy (japánul Icumadegusa) c. angol fordítása alapján Sitkéry Zoltán készítette. Az idézetek ugyanabban a sorrendben találhatók, mint az önéletírásban, de szemelvényes formában, több fejezet alapján.
In: Ullmann, Robert, Reichenberg-Ullmann, Judith:
Szentek, bölcsek, mesterek és misztikusok:
Megvilágosodásbeszámolók a régmúlttól napjainkig. Budapest: Filosz Kiadó, 2005. pp. 111-118.

 

白隱禪師坐禪和讚
HAKUIN ZENJI ZAZEN WASAN

Song of Practicing Dhyana
Translated by Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki (2 versions)

The Song of Meditation
Translated by Trevor Leggett

Songs in Praise of Meditation
Translated by R.D.M. Shaw

Song of Zazen
Translated by Miura Isshū and Ruth Fuller Sasaki

The Song of Zazen
Translated by Zenkei Shibayama

Chant in Praise of Zazen
Translated by Philip Kapleau (2 versions)

Hakuin's Song of Zazen
Translated by Norman Waddell

Chant in Praise of Zazen
Produced by the Zen Buddhist Order of Hsu Yun

Ode to Sitting-Meditation
Translated by Gregory Wonderwheel

The Song of Meditation
Translated by John Stevens

What is the sound of one hand clapping?
by Saieditor (Shepparton, Australia)

Song of Zazen
Translated by Robert Aitken

 

白隱禪師坐禪和讚 HAKUIN ZENJI ZAZEN WASAN

衆生 (しゆじやう) 本來佛なり
水と氷のごとくにて
水をはなれて氷なく
衆生の外に佛なし

衆生近きを不知 (しらず) して
遠く求 (もとむ) るはかなさよ
譬 (たとへ) ば水の中に居て
渇 (かつ) を叫 (さけぶ) がごとくなり

長者の家の子となりて
貧里に迷ふに異ならず
六趣輪廻 (ろくしゆりんね) の因縁は
己 (おのれ) が愚痴の闇路なり

闇路にやみぢを踏 (ふみ) そへて
いつか生死 (しやうじ) をはなるべき
夫 (そ) れ摩訶衍 (まかえん) の禪定 (ぜんじやう) は
稱歎 (しようたん) するに餘 (あま) りあり

布施や持戒の諸波羅蜜 (しよはらみつ)
念佛懺悔修行等 (とう)
其 (その) 品多き諸善行 (しよぜんぎやう)
皆この中 (うち) に歸するなり

一座の功をなす人も
積 (つみ) し無量の罪ほろぶ
惡趣いづくにありぬべき
淨土即ち遠からず

辱 (かたじけな) くも此の法 (のり) を
一たび耳にふるる時
さんたん隨喜 (ずゐき) する人は
福を得 (う) る事限りなし

いはんや自 (みづか) ら回向して
直 (ぢき) に自性 (じしやう) を證すれば
自性即ち無性 (むしやう) にて
すでに戯論 (けろん) を離れたり

因果一如 (いちによ) の門ひらけ
無二無三の道直 (なほ) し
無相 (むさう) の相 (さう) を相として
行 (ゆく) も歸るも餘所 (よそ) ならず

無念の念を念として
謠 (うた) ふも舞ふも法 (のり) の聲
三昧 (ざんまい) 無碍 (むげ) の空ひろく
四智 (しち) 圓明 (ゑんみやう) の月さえん

此時何をか求むべき
寂滅 (じやくめつ) 現前するゆへに
當所即ち蓮華國 (れんげこく)
此身 (このみ) 即ち佛なり

SHUJŌ HONARI HOTOKE NARI
MIZU TO KŌRI NO GOTOKU NITE
MIZU O HANARETE KŌRI NAKU
SHUJŌ NO HOKA NI HOTOKE NASHI

SHUJŌ CHIKAKI O SHIRAZU SHITE
TŌKU MOTOMURU HAKANASA YO
TATOEBA MIZU NO NAKA NI ITE
KATSU O SAKEBU GA GOTOKU NARI

CHŌJA NO IE NO KO TO NARITE
HINRI NI MAYOU NI KOTONARAZU
ROKUSHU RINNE NO INNEN WA
ONORE GA GUCHI NO YAMIJI NARI

YAMIJI NI YAMIJI O FUMISOETE
ITSUKA SHŌJI O HANARU BEKI
SORE MAKAEN NO ZENJŌ WA
SHŌTAN SURU NI AMARI ARI

FUSE YA JIKAI NO SHOHARAMITSU
NENBUTSU ZANGE SHUGYŌ TŌ
SONO SHINA ŌKI SHOZENGYŌ
MINA KONO UCHI NI KISURU NARI

ICHIZA NO KŌ O NASU HITO MO
TSUMISHI MURYŌ NO TSUMI HOROBU
AKUSHU IZUKU NI ARINU BEKI
JŌDO SUNAWACHI TŌKARAZU

KATAJIKENAKUMO KONO NORI O
HITOTABI MIMI NI FURURU TOKI
SANDAN ZUIKI SURU HITO WA
FUKU O URU KOTO KAGIRI NASHI

IWANYA MIZUKARA EKŌ SHITE
JIKI NI JISH O SHŌ SUREBA
JISHŌ SUNAWACHI MUSHŌ NITE
SUDENI KERON O HANARETARI

INGA ICHINYO NO MON HIRAKE
MUNI MUSAN NO MICHI NAOSHI
MUSŌ NO SŌ O SŌ TO SHITE
YUKUMO KAERUMO YOSO NARAZU

MUNEN NO NEN O NEN TO SHITE
UTAU MO MAU MO NORI NO KOE
ZANMAI MUGE NO SORA HIROKU
SHICHI ENMYŌ NO TSUKI SAEN

KONO TOKI NANI O KA MOTOMU BEKI
JAKUMETSU GENZEN SURU YUE NI
TŌSHO SUNAWACHI RENGEKOKU
KONO MI SUNAWACHI HOTOKE NARI

 

Hakuin éneke a meditációról
Fordította: Darabos Pál (1931–2012)
(Forrása: Ogata, Sohaku: Zen for the West. The Dial Press, New York, 1959.)
Helikon, Világirodalmi Figyelő, 1966/3. XII. évfolyam, 334-335. oldal

Minden Buddha eredetileg érző lény.
Olyan ez, mint a jég és a víz;
víztől távol jég sincsen,
az érző lényeken kívül hol találunk Buddhákat?
Nem tudva, hogy mily közel az igazság,
messze távol keresik az emberek, - milyen szomorú!
Hasonlatosak ahhoz, aki a vízben
esdve kiált szomja miatt;
hasonlatosak a gazdag ember fiához;
aki a szegények közt vándorol tova.
Hat világon át vándorlunk,
mert elvesztünk a tudatlanság sötétségében;
egyre távolabb tévelyegve a sötétben,
mikor menekülhetünk meg a születés-haláltól?
Nincs szavunk, hogy kellőképp dicsérjük
a mahayana meditációját;
a tökéletesség erénye, mint a könyörület és erkölcsiség,
Buddha nevének hívása, bűnbánat és aszkétikus fegyelem,
és sok más jótett és érdem,
mind a meditáció gyakorlásából erednek;
akik csak egyszer gyakorolták,
még azok is látni fogják minden rossz karmájukat eltörölve;
sohasem bukkannak gonosz ösvényekre,
de a tiszta Föld közel van hozzájuk;
áhitatos szívvel figyeljenek erre az igazságra,
ha csak egyszer is,
és dicsérjék és öleljék boldogan magukhoz,
és végtelenűl áldottak lesznek.
Azok, akik önmagukban elmélkedve
az Öntermészet igazsága mellett tanúskodnak,
az igazság mellett, hogy az Öntermészet nemtermészet,
azok túljutottak minden álokoskodáson.
Előttük megnyílik az ok és hatás egységének kapuja,
és egyenesen vezet a nemkettősség és nemháromság ösvénye.
Ragaszkodva a nemrészlethez, amely a részletben van,
akár elmennek, akár visszatérnek, örökre mozdulatlanok;
megragadva a nemgondolatot, amely a gondolatban van,
minden cselekedetükben hallható az igazság hangja.
Milyen végtelen a béklyótlan samadhi ege!
Milyen tiszta a négyszeres Bölcsesség tökéletes holdfénye!
Mit hiányolnak még e pillanatban?
Mivel az örökkévaló nyugodt Igazság megnyilatkozik nékik,
éppen ez a föld a Tisztaság Lótusz Földje,
és ez a test Buddha teste.

 

 

A zazen dala
Hakuin Ekaku: Song of Zazen
Fordította Komár Lajos

Minden érző lény lényegileg Buddha. Ahogy a víz és a jég: nincs jég víz nélkül; érző lények nélkül nincsenek Buddhák. Nem tudván, milyen közel van az igazság, távol keressük azt – milyen szomorú! Olyanok vagyunk, mint aki a vízben szomjúságtól szenvedve kiáltozik. Olyanok vagyunk, mint a gazdag ember fia, aki szegények közt kóborol. Újra testetöltünk a Hat Világ valamelyikében, mert elvesztünk a tudatlanság sötétjében. Ahogy egyre távolabb és távolabb tévelygünk a sötétben, hogyan leszünk valaha is szabadok születéstől és haláltól?

A Nagy Ösvény felébresztő gyakorlatára nincs szó azt a maga teljességében dicsőíteni. A Hat Túlpartra Juttató (adakozás, fogadalmak megtartása), és más jó cselekedetek, mint a Buddha nevének imételgetése, megbánás, szellemi gyakorlatok: ezek min-mind részei annak. Aki csupán egyszer is megélte gyakorlása során a felébredést, az megtapasztalja minden hajlamosító tényező megszűnését. Nem lép a tévelygés ösvényére, s a Tiszta Föld felé halad.

Ha csak egyszer is nyitott szívvel figyelünk erre az igazságra, akkor dicsöítjük és boldogan magunkhoz öleljük majd; még inkább akkor, ha magunkba tekintve közvetlenül ráébredünk Önvalónkra, bizonyságot szerezve arra, hogy az Önvaló nem is valós. Messzire jutottunk, a terméketlen gondolkodáson túlra. Az ok és következmény egységének kapuja nyitva ezáltal; nincs keresztút, egyenesen fut az Ösény. Felismervén a nem-testeöltött alakját, mint alakot, megértjük: a nagy jövés-menésben nem is lehetünk másutt. Felismervén a gondolatnéküli ismeretet, mint tudomást, akár éneklünk, vagy táncolunk, a Tan hangja vagyunk. Milyen nagy és hatalmas a felébredés akadálytalan ege! Milyen ragyogó és tiszta a Négyrétű Bölcsesség tökéletes holdfénye! Ebben a pillanatban mi többet kellene még keresnünk? Ahogy az Igazság örök nyugalma megjelenik előttünk: ez a Lótusz földje, ez a Buddha teste.

 

 

A zazen dala
Hakuin Ekaku
Fordította Hadházi Zsolt (2005)
http://zen.gportal.hu/gindex.php?pg=4792614&nid=929642

Minden érző lény lényegileg Buddha.
Ahogy a víz és a jég, nincs jég víz nélkül;
érző lények nélkül nincsenek Buddhák.

Nem tudván, milyen közel van az igazság,
távol keressük azt – milyen szomorú!
Olyanok vagyunk, mint aki a vízben
szomjúságtól szenvedve kiáltozik.

Olyanok vagyunk, mint a gazdag ember fia
aki elvándorolt a szegények közé.
Újraszületünk a Hat Birodalomban,
mert elvesztünk a tudatlanság sötétjében.

Egyre távolabb és távolabb megyünk
a sötétben, hogyan leszünk valaha is
szabadok születéstől és haláltól így?

A mahájána zazen gyakorlatára
nincs szó azt teljességében dicsőíteni.
A Hat Páramitá, mint adakozás,
fogadalmak megtartása, és más
jó cselekedetek, mint Buddha nevének
mantrázása, megbánás és szellemi fejlődés,
mind visszatér a zazen gyakorlatához.

Még az is, aki csak egyszer ült zazenben,
meglátja az összes karma megszűnését.
Sehol sem fognak találni gonosz utakat
és a Tiszta Föld nem lesz messze.

Ha csak egyszer is nyitott szívvel figyelünk
erre az igazságra, majd dicsőítjük és örömmel
magunkhoz öleljük, mennyivel inkább akkor,
ha magunkba tekintve közvetlenül ráébredünk
Öntermészetünkre, bizonyságot szerezve az
igazságra, hogy az Öntermészet nem-természet.
Messzire jutottunk, a tétlen agyaláson túlra.
Az ok és okozat egységének kapuja nyitva ezáltal,
és nem kettősen, nem hármasan, egyenesen fut az Út.

Ráébredve a nem-alak alakjára mint alakra,
akár megyünk, vagy jövünk, nem lehetünk másutt.
Ráébredve a nem-gondolat gondolatára mint gondolatra,
akár éneklünk, vagy táncolunk, a Dharma hangja vagyunk.

Milyen nagy és hatalmas a szamádhi
akadálytalan ege!
Milyen ragyogó és tiszta a Négyes Bölcsesség
tökéletes holdfénye!
Ebben a pillanatban mi többet kellene
még keresnünk?
Ahogy az Igazság örök nyugalma
megjeleníti magát nekünk,
ez a hely a Lótuszok földje és
ez a test a Buddha teste.

 

 

Hakuin zenji zazen dala
In: Sódó Harada: Bódhidharma ösvényén, Budapest, Filosz Kiadó, 2005, 139-142. oldal
One Drop Zendo / Egy Csepp Szangha munkacsoport
http://zazen.hu/hu/irasok/szutrak/hakuin-zenji-zazen-dala

Minden érző lény
lényege szerint buddha.
Ahogy nincs jég víz nélkül,
nincsenek buddhák az érző lényektől függetlenül.

Nem tudván,
az igazság milyen közel van,
a messze távolban keressük – milyen szomorú!

Mint az ember,
aki a vízben állva
a szomjúságtól kétségbeesetten kiabál.
Mint a gazdag ifjú,
aki a szegények közé téved.

Sötét tudatlanságunkban
elveszve így tévelygünk a hat világban.
A sötétségben egyre messzebb jutva,
hogyan szabadulhatnánk meg valaha is
születéstől és haláltól.

Nincsen szó,
amely a mahájána zen gyakorlat
tökéletességét kifejezné.

A hat paramita:
az adakozás,
az előírások megtartása,
és az egyéb üdvös cselekedetek,
mint Buddha nevének recitálása,
az önmegtartóztatás és a szellemi gyakorlatok,
mind a zazen által teljesednek ki.

Ülj le!
akár csak egyszer,
és láthatod,
a zen miként törli el valamennyi karmád.
Nincs többé rossz út,
és a megtisztulás világa sincs már tőled távol.

Elég
ezt az igazságot
egyszer nyílt szívvel meghallgatnunk,
hogy méltassuk és örömmel befogadjuk.

Mennyivel inkább
így van ez,
ha önmagunkban elmélyedve

közvetlenül megvalósítjuk az Én-természetet,
de belátjuk annak igazságát,
hogy az Én-természet nem-természet.

Adjunk fel
minden hiábavaló elmélkedést,
így az okok és okozatok zárt sorának kapuja feltárul,
és a nyílegyenes utat,
nem kettőt, és nem is hármat,
követni tudjuk.

Ha megérted,
hogy minden alak nem-alak, ezért alak,
jöjj vagy távozz,
mindig ugyanott jársz.

Ha megérted,
hogy a gondolat nem-gondolat, ezért gondolat,
énekelj vagy táncolj,
mindig a Dharma hangján szólsz.

Milyen hatalmas és kimeríthetetlen
a szamádhi szabad ege!

Milyen ragyogó és tiszta
a Négyrétű Bölcsesség tökéletes holdfénye!

E pillanatban mi mást kívánhatnál még?
Amikor az Igazság örök nyugalma megnyilatkozik,
a hely, ahol most időzöl,
maga a Lótuszok Földje,
és lakhelyed, e test,
maga Buddha teste.

 


A zazen dala
Fordította: Bakonyi Berta

in: Miriam Levering: ZEN - Inspiráló tanítások, Alexandra, 2008, 56-59. oldal

Az érző lények lényegükben mind Buddhák.
Olyan ez, mint a víz és a jég.
Víz nélkül jég sincs,
Buddhák sincsenek érző lények nélkül.

Milyen kár, hogy az érző lények mégis messze kutatnak,
Nem tudják, mijük van.
Olyan ez, mintha vízben állva
Szomjúságra panaszkodnának.
Vagy a szegények közt tévelyegne
A gazdag ember fia.

Azért születünk újjá a hat világban,
Mert káprázatok sötétjében élünk.
Ha egyik sötét utat járjuk a másik után,
Hogy menekülhetnénk születéstől és haláltól?

A mahájána zen meditációját nem lehet eléggé dicsérni.
Tanokat átadni és megtartani, tökéletességre törekedni,
Buddha nevét kántálni; megbánás és tanulás és
Sok egyéb méltó cselekedet
Mind a zazenben gyökerezik.

Ha csak egyszer is leülsz,
Már azzal elhomályosítod rossz tetteidet.
Hogy lehetnek rossz világok?
A tisztaság földje nincs messze,

Ha jó szerencséd folytán
Hallhatod ezt a tanítást,
Csodáld meg, és örvendezz benne.

Határtalan boldogságot érsz el -
S még mennyire, ha elkötelezed magad,
És ráébredsz valódi természetedre.

Magad természete nem a természet.
Máris távol állsz hasztalan vitáktól.
A kapu feltárul, ha nem választod el az okot és okozatot,
A nem kettes, nem hármas út megnyílik előtted.

Tedd a formát a formátlanság formájává,
Mely sehová nem megy, sehová nem tér vissza.
Tedd a gondolatot a gondolattalanság gondolatává,
Dalolj, táncolj a Dharma hangjára.

Milyen tágas az akadálytalan figyelem ege!
Milyen ragyogó a négyszeres bölcsesség holdja!

Ebben a pillanatban mit kereshetsz?
A Nirvána itt van.
Ez a föld a lótuszok földje.
Ez a test Buddha teste.


 

HAKUIN'S SONG OF PRACTICING DHYANA
Translated by Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki
http://www.zazen.or.jp/wasan.html

All beings are primarily Buddhas.
It is like water and ice:
There is no ice apart from water;
There are no Buddhas apart from beings.

Not knowing how close the truth is to them,
Beings seek for is afar -- what a pity!
They are like those who, being in the midst of water,
Cry out for water, feeling thirst.

They are like the son of the rich man,
Who, wandering away from his father,
Goes astray amongst the poor.
It is all due to their ignorance
That beings transmigrate in the darkness
Of the Six Paths of existence.

When they wander from darkness to darkness,
How can they ever be free from birth-and-death?

As for the Dhyana practice as taught in the Mahayana,
No amount of praise can exhaust its merits.
The Six Paramitas--beginning with the Giving, Observing the Precepts,
And other good deeds, variously enumerated,
Such as Nembutsu, Repentance, Moral Training, and so on -
All are finally reducible to the practice of Dhyana.

The merit of Dhyana practice, even during a single sitting,
Erases the countless sins accumulated in the past.
Where then are the Evil Paths to misguide us?
The Pure Land cannot be far away.

Those who, for once, listening to the Dharma
In all humility,
Praise it and faithfully follow it,
Will be endowed with innumerable merits.

But how much more so when you turn your eyes within yourselves
And have a glimpse into your self-nature!
You find that the self-nature is no-nature -
The truth permitting no idle sophistry.
For you, then, open the gate leading to the oneness of cause and effect;
Before you, then, lies a straight road of non-duality and non-trinity.

When you understand that form is the form of the formless,
Your coming-and-going takes place nowhere else but where you are
When you understand that thought is the thought of the thought-less
Your singing-and-dancing is no other than the voice of the Dharma
How boundless is the sky of Samadhi
How refreshingly bright is the moon of the Fourfold Wisdom
Being so is there anything you lack?
As the Absolute presents itself before you
To be place where you stand is the Land of the Lotus,
And your person - the body of the Buddba.

 

HAKUIN'S "SONG OF MEDITATION"
From Manual of Zen Buddhism, by D.T. Suzuki

Sentient beings are primarily all Buddhas:
It is like ice and water,
Apart from water no ice can exist;
Outside sentient beings, where do we find the Buddhas?
Not knowing how near the Truth is,
People seek it far away,--what a pity!
They are like him who, in the midst of water,
Cries in thirst so imploringly;
They are like the son of a rich man
Who wandered away among the poor.
The reason why we transmigrate through the six worlds
Is because we are lost in the darkness of ignorance;
Going astray further and further in the darkness,
When are we able to get away from birth-and-death?

As regards the Meditation practised in the Mahayana,
We have no words to praise it fully:
The virtues of perfection such as charity, morality, etc.,
And the invocation of the Buddha's name, confession, and ascetic discipline,
And many other good deeds of merit,--
All these issue from the practice of Meditation;
Even those who have practised it just for one sitting
Will see all their evil karma wiped clean;
Nowhere will they find the evil paths,
But the Pure Land will be near at hand.
With a reverential heart, let them to this Truth
Listen even for once,
And let them praise it, and gladly embrace it,
And they will surely be blessed most infinitely.

For such as, reflecting within themselves,
Testify to the truth of Self-nature,
To the truth that Self-nature is no-nature,
They have really gone beyond the ken of sophistry.
For them opens the gate of the oneness of cause and effect,
And straight runs the path of non-duality and non-trinity.
Abiding with the not-particular which is in particulars,
Whether going or returning, they remain for ever unmoved;
Taking hold of the not-thought which lies in thoughts,
In every act of theirs they hear the voice of the truth.
How boundless the sky of Samadhi unfettered!
How transparent the perfect moon-light of the fourfold Wisdom!
At that moment what do they lack?
As the Truth eternally calm reveals itself to them,
This very earth is the Lotus Land of Purity,
And this body is the body of the Buddha.

 

 

The Song of Meditation
Translated by Trevor Leggett (1914-2000)
First Zen Reader, Charles E. Tuttle, Tokyo, 1960, pp. 67-68.

All beings are from the very beginning Buddhas.
It is like water and ice:
Apart from water, no ice,
Outside living beings, no Buddhas.
Not knowing it is near, they seek it afar. What a pity!
It is like one in the water who cries out for thirst;
It is like the child of a rich house who has strayed away among the poor.
The cause of our circling through the six worlds
Is that we are on the dark paths of ignorance.
Dark path upon dark path treading,
When shall we escape from birth-and-death?
The Zen meditation of the Mahayana
Is beyond all our praise.
Giving and morality and the other perfections,
Taking of the Name, repentance, discipline,
And the many other right actions,
All come back to the practice of meditation.
By the merit of a single sitting
He destroys innumerable accumulated sins.
How should there be wrong paths for him?
The Pure Land paradise is not far.
When in reverence this truth is heard even once,
He who praises it and gladly embraces it has merit without end
How much more he who turns within
And confirms directly his own nature,
That his own nature is no-nature -
Such has transcended vain words.
The gate opens, and cause and effect are one;
Straight runs the way - not two, not three.
Taking as form the form of no-form,
Going or returning, he is ever at home.
Taking as thought the thought of no-thought.
Singing and dancing, all is the voice of truth.
Wide is the heaven of boundless Samadhi,
Radiant the full moon of the fourfold wisdom.
What remains to be sought? Nirvana is clear before him,
This very place the Lotus paradise, this very body the Buddha.

 


ZA ZEN WASAN
Songs in Praise of Meditation

Translated by R.D.M. Shaw

In: Embossed Tea Kettle by Hakuin Zenji, George Allen & Unwin Ltd., London, 1963, pp. 182-183.

The primary essence of all sentient beings is Buddha.
The originating nature of the self is the Non-Buddha nature
Without sentient beings there is no Buddha.

The reckless way of utter absorption is the true way.
As one who is immersed in water
So make the thought of the Nonthought the whole of your thought.

Even when one is tramping along dark roads
Those roads are themselves the Lotus Land,
This is more than sufficient for rejoicing and praise.

Even as water and ice go together
So good works of graciousness
Do not know any attachment to sentient things
Nevertheless they destroy the innumerable accumulations of sins
They are like the utterance of the mystic cry (at enlightenment).

How thankworthy is the Law
By it the causes and relationships of the Six Regions of the Wheel
Receive endless happiness.
Escape from the Life-Death cycle will take place.

Almsgiving, Obedience to the laws, the paramitas
All are but the dark road of our own ignorance
But all of them come to an end in the Law.

As for the Meditation of the Mahayana
Where can the evil regions be?

Recollection of the Buddha, Repentance, The Discipline of Life
When once these have entered our ears
Then he who performs one meritorious act of Meditation
Much more he who has 'turned himself round'
From such the Pure Land is not far distant.

He who has ceased from vain argumentation
He who extols and rejoices in the goodness of others
He who realizes that 'Form' is 'Non-Form'
He who bears witness to the nature of the Self as Originating Essence.

To such an one singing and dancing are alike the voice of the Law
He has opened the gate of the Absolute Undifferentiated Nature
When that happens what is there to seek?
Whether one goes on or returns there is no 'elsewhere'
The very body he has is indeed Buddha.

The sky of the unhindered Samadhi is broad
Just as there can be no ice without water, so Nirvana is immediately present. To go seeking it in distant places
--How foolish--
So do you become the son of that rich man.

 


Song of Zazen
Translated by Miura Isshū and Ruth Fuller Sasaki
In: Zen Dust: The History of the Kōan and Kōan Study in Rinzai (Lin-Chi) Zen. Kyoto: The First Zen Institute of America in Japan. 1966, pp. 251-253.

Zazen wasan 坐禅和讚 "Song of Zazen," a poem by Hakuin Zenji written in Japanese, is to be found in all handbooks used for sutra chanting in the Rinzai Sect of Zen. It is invariably recited when a group of laymen gather to practice zazen or to listen to a lecture by a roshi or eminent priest. Since it is a poem all Zen students should know by heart, an English translation follows:

Sentient beings are intrinsically Buddha.
It is just as it is with ice and water -
Apart from water there is no ice,
Apart from sentient beings there is no Buddha.
They do not know how near at hand He is;
How vain their seeking in far distant places!
They are like one who cries, "I thirst!"
Whilst standing in the midst of water;
Or like the child of a rich household
Who goes astray in some poor village.
The cause of their endlessly traversing the Six Ways
Is the dark road of their own ignorance.
Treading one dark pathway, then another,
When can they ever leave Samsara!

O the Samadhi of the Mahayana,
There are no words with which to praise it!
Alms-giving, commandments, and the other Paramitas,
Nembutsu, repentance, and religious practice,
These and good deeds countless in variety,
All are embraced within it.
Even he who achieves the merit of but one sitting
Wipes out his immeasurable accumulation of transgressions.
Where can he find the evil ways?
Indeed the Pure Land is not far distant.
When graciously this truth vouchsafes
To touch his ear but once,
He who offers praise and adoration
Will thereby gain illimitable blessings.

How much the more, then, if you turn and enter in it,
And directly prove your own true nature!
Your own true nature, being no-nature,
Already is far removed from wanton words.
The gate of the oneness of cause and effect opens,
The non-dual, non-triple road lies straight ahead.
The formless form now being your form,
Going or returning you go not elsewhere;
The thoughtless thought now being your thought,
Singing and dancing are the voice of the Dharma.
How vast and unobstructed the empty sky of Samadhi!
How perfect and bright the moon of the Four Wisdoms!
At this moment, what is there more for you to seek,
With Nirvana itself manifest before you?
This very place, this is the Lotus Land;
This very body, this is Buddha.

 

 

ZAZEN WASAN
The Song of Zazen

Translated by Zenkei Shibayama
From A Flower Does Not Talk, Turttle, 1970, pp. 65-67.

All beings are primarily Buddhas.
Like water and ice,
There is no ice apart from water;
There are no Buddhas apart from beings.
Not knowing how close the Truth is to them,
Beings seek for it afar--what a pity!
It is like those who being in water
Cry out for water, feeling thirst.
It is like the rich man's son,
Who has lost his way among the poor.
The reason why beings transmigrate through the six worlds,
Is because they are lost in the darkness of ignorance.
Wandering from darkness to darkness,
How can they ever be free rom birth-and-death?
As to Zazen taught in the Mahayana,
No amount of praise can exhaust its merits.
The Six Paramitas, beginning with the Giving,
Observing the Precepts and other good deeds, variously enumerated,
As Nembutsu, Repentance, and so on--
All are finally reducible to Zazen.
The merit of even a single sitting in Zazen
Erases the countless sins accumulated in the past.
Where then are there the evil paths to misguide us?
The Pure Land cannot be far away.
Those who, even once, in all humility,
Listen to this Truth.
Praise it and faithfully follow it,
Will be endowed with innumerable merits.
But if you turn your eyes within yourselves
And testify to the truth of Self-nature--
The Self-nature that is no-nature,
You will have gone beyond the ken of sophistry.
The gate of the oneness of cause and effect is opened;
The path of non-duality and non-trinity runs straight ahead.
Your form being the form of no-form,
Your going-and-returning takes place nowhere but where your are;
Your thought being the thought of no-thought,
Your singing-and-dancing is none other than the voice of Dharma.
How boundless and free is the sky of Samadhi!
How refreshingly bright, the moon of the Fourfold Wisdom!
At this moment what is there that you lack!
Nirvana presents itself before you,
Where you stand is the Land of Purity.
Your person, the body of Buddha.

 

 

MASTER HAKUIN'S CHANT IN PRAISE OF ZAZEN
Translated by Philip Kapleau
From Zen: Dawn in the West, Garden City, N.Y.: Anchor Press, 1979, page 181.

From the 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 the son of a rich man wand'ring 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 the wheel of samsara?
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
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 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 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 bight and transparent the moonlight of wisdom!
What is there outside us,
what is there to 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.

Version for chanting:
http://www.rzc.org/publications/zen-center-chants/hakuinchant/

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
wand'ring 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.

 

 

Hakuin's Song of Zazen
Translated by Norman Waddell
http://web.ukonline.co.uk/gary.leeming/zen/hakuin.htm
https://web.archive.org/web/20060220131414/http://www.boundlesswayzen.org/liturgybook.html

All beings by nature are Buddha,
As ice by nature is water.
Apart from water there is no ice;
Apart from beings, no Buddha.
How sad that people ignore the near
And search for truth afar:
Like someone in the midst of water
Crying out in thirst,
Like a child of a wealthy home
Wandering among the poor.
Lost on dark paths of ignorance,
We wander through the Six Worlds,
From dark path to dark path--
When shall we be freed from birth and death?

Oh, the zazen of the Mahayana!
To this the highest praise!
Devotion, repentance, training,
The many paramitas--
All have their source in zazen.

Those who try zazen even once
Wipe away beginning-less crimes.
Where are all the dark paths then?
The Pure Land itself is near.

Those who hear this truth even once
And listen with a grateful heart,
Treasuring it, revering it,
Gain blessings without end.
Much more, those who turn about
And bear witness to self-nature,
Self-nature that is no-nature,
Go far beyond mere doctrine.
Here effect and cause are the same,
The Way is neither two nor three.
With form that is no-form,
Going and coming, we are never astray,
With thought that is no-thought,
Singing and dancing are the voice of the Law.

Boundless and free is the sky of samadhi!
Bright the full moon of wisdom!
Truly, is anything missing now?
Nirvana is right here, before our eyes,
This very place is the Lotus Land,
This very body, the Buddha.

 

 

MASTER HAKUIN'S CHANT IN PRAISE OF ZAZEN
Produced by the Zen Buddhist Order of Hsu Yun
http://www2.uiuc.edu/ro/BSG/wasan.html
http://www.hsuyun.org/Dharma/zbohy/Sruti-Smriti/Chants/song.html

From the 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
wand'ring 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 the wheel of samsara?
The gateway to freedom is zazen samadhi,
beyond exultation, beyond all our praises,
the pure Mahayana.
Observing 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 purified 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.

But 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 coming and going 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 it there outside us, what it 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.

 

 

ZAZEN WASAN
"ODE TO SITTING-MEDITATION"

Translated by Gregory Wonderwheel
http://home.pon.net/wildrose/zazenode.htm

All sentient beings are essentially Buddha.
Like ice and water,
There is no ice separate from water;
No sentient beings who are not Buddha.

Not knowing how near Truth is,
Beings seek it far away, what a pity!
Like one immersed in water crying out in thirst,

Like that son of a rich man who roamed the land in poverty,
We transmigrate among the Six Worlds of the Wheel of Life,
Lost on the dark road of our own ignorance.
Wandering down dark roads to dark roads,
How can we escape from the Cycle of Birth and Death?

As to Mahayana Sitting-Meditation,
No praise can exalt it fully.

The Six Perfections starting with charity, morality, and so on,
And other good deeds of merit,
Such as chanting Buddha's name, repentance, and forbearance,
Are all included within Sitting-Meditation.

The merit of a single act of Sitting-Meditation
Removes the infinite karma of wicked acts;
Then where can dark roads lead amiss?
Then the Pure Land is not far away.

Those who, with reverent humility,
Even once, listen to this Truth,
Rejoice in It, praise It, and embody It
Are bestowed infinite blessing.

The one who turns the eye inward
Can testify to the Original Essence of Self-nature,
That the Original-self-nature is No-nature,
And go beyond the ken of sophistry.

Then opens the gate of the Undifferentiated Absolute-nature.
Not duality and not trinity, straight ahead runs the Way.
Realizing "form is non-form,"
One's going or returning arrives no where else.

When thought is the thought of no-thought,
One's singing and dancing are equally the voice of Dharma.

How boundless and free is the sky of Samadhi!
How perfectly transparent is the moonlight of the Fourfold Wisdom!

What do you lack at any moment?
Nirvana reveals itself to your immediate view.
This place where you stand is the Pure Lotus Land.
This very body is the body of Buddha.

 

 

The Song of Meditation (Zazen Wasan)
Translated by John Stevens

Sentient beings are originally Buddhas.
Like water and ice.
There is no ice without water,
No Buddhas outside sentient beings.
Yet sentient beings don't know how close it is,
And search for it far away. How sad!
It's like dying of thirst
In the middle of a fount of water;
Or a rich man's son
Wandering like a lost beggar.
We are bound to the realm of samsara
Because ignorance keeps us in darkness.
Walking in darkness,
When will we escape from birth and death?
The Zen of the Great Vehicle
is beyond all superlatives.
Charity, precepts, all the other virtues,
Chanting, repentance, training, and
All good works
Have their source in Zen.
Sit sincerely in meditation just once,
And it erases layers of evil karms.
No longer in the valley of hell,
The Pure Land is so close.
Reverently listen to this teaching
Just one time,
Praise and rejoice in it,
And boundless good fortune will be your.
Better yet, dedicate yourself
Directly to enlightening your own nature;
Once self-nature equals no nature,
You'll be free of this empty chatter.
Open the gate of cause and effect
And walk straight ahead without delay.
Use no-form as form,
Wander without settling down.
Use no-thought as thought,
Sing and dance with the Buddha's Law.
Open the vastness of unobstructed repose,
Bask in the brilliance of complete wisdom.
At this very moment, what do we need to seek?
Nirvana is before our eyes.
This place is the Lotus Land,
This body is that of the Buddha

 

 

Spiritual Stars of the Golden Age - Hakuin
What is the sound of one hand clapping?
by Saieditor (Shepparton, Australia)
http://www.saieditor.com/stars/hakuin.html

"So asked Hakuin, the author of this well known Zen koan. Hakuin was one of the most important Japanese Zen masters of the Rinzai school. He is often referred to as the father of modern Rinzai Zen, since he gave new impetus to the Rinzai school which had been gradually deteriorating since the 14th century and reformed it. He systematized koan training and emphasized once again the importance of zazen (sitting in absorption) the practice of which had been more and more eclipsed by intellectual preoccupation with Zen writings.

Sugiyama Iwajiro, known to posterity as the Zen Master Hakuin Ekaku, was born on January 19, 1686, in Hara, a small coastal village situated at the foot of Mt. Fuji on the Tokkaido Road between Edo (Tokyo) and Kyoto. Hakuin was born into a time and place where the established religion had lost its life. The Zen of Bodhidharma, of the Sixth Patriarch, and of Rinzai had become the court religion of the samurai. Hakuin was to fan the dying fire of the true Zen so effectively during the eighty-three years of his life that the Rinzai sect remains a living Dharma to this day, and all modern Masters of the school trace their lineage directly to him.

In his famous praise of zazen ("Hakuin Zenji zazen-wasan" frequently chanted in Zen Monasteries of Japan), he extolls the importance of "sitting in meditation" for the actualization of enlightenment, which is the goal of the way of Zen

From the 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 the son of a rich man
Wandering poor on this earth,
We endlessly circle the Six Worlds.
From dark path to dark path
We've wandered in darkness.
How can we be free from the wheel of Samsara?

The Perfection of 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,
All flow from this Zen.
Even one meditation extinguishes evil;
It purifies karma, dissolving obstruction.
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.

But if we turn directly, and prove our True Nature,
That true Self is no-self,
Our own Self is no-self,
We stand 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.
Now our form is no-form,
So in coming and going we never leave home.
Now our thought is no-thought,
So our dancing and songs are the voice of the Dharma.
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!
(Zazen Wasan - Song of Zazen by Hakuin)

Zen is an abbreviation of the word zenna, the Japanese way of reading Ch'an-na (ch'an). This, in turn, is the Chinese version of the sanskrit word dhyana, the discipline, the process by which the mind is trained to acquire concentration. Concentration is the meditative absorption in which all dualistic distincitons like I/you, subject/object, true/false are eliminated. Zen is sometimes regarded as a school of Mahayana Buddhism.

At the age of seven or eight Hakuin visited a Buddhist temple with his mother. He heard a discourse by the temple priest in which the torments of hell beings as described in a sutra were so graphically presented that young Hakuin could not shake off the horrifying vision of hell. He resolved to become a monk and to come to the state of a man whom "fire could not burn and water could not drown."

His parents opposed his aspiration to become a monk, but at fifteen he left home and entered a monastery. There, day and night he recited sutras and venerated the buddhas. At nineteen he read the story of the great Chinese Ch'an (Zen) master Yen-t'ou Ch'iian-huo (Jap, Ganto Zenkatsu). The thought that even so great a master of the buddha-dharma could not escape a painful death caused him for a time to lose all faith in the truth of Buddhism. He absorbed himself in the study of literature in order to cover over his torturesome doubt. After his first experience of enlightenment (often called satori) at the age of twenty-two, which came as he heard a sentence from a Buddhist scripture, his desire to attain peace of mind only became deeper, and he dedicated himself with complete devotion to practice with the koan "mu".

I related my understanding to the Master one day during dokusan [another name for sanzen]. He said to me, "Commitnent to the study of Zen has to be a true commitment. What about the dog and the Buddha-nature [a famous Zen koan]?"

"There's no way at all for hand or foot to touch it," I replied.

He suddenly reached out, grabbed my nose in his hand, and gave it a sharp push. "How's that for a firm touch!" he declared. I was incapable of moving forward. I couldn't retreat. I couldn't spit out a single syllable.

After that, I was totally disheartened and frustrated. I sat red-eyed and miserable. My cheeks burned from the constant tears.

Hakuin had been brought up against his superficial approach to truth. Hakuin continues,

[ I ] resumed my practice. I didn't stop for sleep. The Master came and shouted abuse at me. I was doing "Zen-down-a-hole," hesaid. Then he told me, 'You could go out and scour the whole world for a teacher who could raise up the fortunes of 'closed-door' Zen [i.e., Shoju's peerless Zen, open only to serious aspirants], but you'll never find one. You'd as soon see the morning star at noon!

Continually confronted and abused, Hakuin began to doubt his Teacher.

I reasoned, "there are great monasteries all over the place. Celebrated Masters reside in them - they're numerous as sesame or flax. That old man in his wretched ramshackle old poorhouse of a temple - and that preposterous pride of his! I'd be better off leaving here for some other temple."

Still deeply dejected, I took up my begging bowl early the next morning and went into the village below Iayama Castle. My mind was hard at work on my koans. It never left them. I stood before the gate of a house, my bowl in hand, lost in a kind of trance.

A voice within yelled, "Go on! Go somewhere else!" But I was so preoccupied I didn't even notice it. This must have angered the resident of the house, because she suddenly appeared, flourishing a broom upside down in her hand. She flew at me flailing out wildly, whacking away at my head as if she was bent on dashing my brains out. My sedge hat lay in tatters. I was knocked down and ended heels up on the ground. I lost consciousness and lay there like a dead man.

As I regained consciousness, my eyes opened, and as they did, I found that the unsolvable and impenetrable koans I had been working on --all those pointed cat's paws--were completely penetrated. Right to the root. They had suddenly ceased to exist. I clapped my hands and laughed great shouts of laughter, frightening the people who had gathered around me.

Hakuin had further enlightenment experiences but was not confirmed by Master Dokyo, who obviously saw the great potential of the young monk and wanted to drive him on to a more profound experience of Zen. Even though, as it seems, Hakuin never received inka- shomei [the legitimate seal of clearly furnished proof] from Dokyo and truly understood his dharma teaching as he himself said only years after Dokyo's death, today Hakuin is considered to have been Dokyo's dharma successor.

Hakuin's style of Zen training, which was further developed in certain details by his student and dharma successor Torei Enji (1721- 92), and by successive dharma heirs, thus setting the standard up to the present time for the Rinzai school of Zen. According to Hakuin, there are three essentials of the practice of zazen: great faith (dai-shinkon), great doubt (dai- gidait), and great resolve (dai-junshi). He stressed the importance of koan practice and arranged the traditional koans into a system in which the practioner has to resolve koans in a particular order according to their level of difficulty. The koan mu and then later his sekishu he regarded as the best hosshin-koan (introductory koan).


Hakuin's Classsroom:
Hakuin suggests that because it is harder to meditate while being engaged in daily activities, that the individual who is able to do so is better or has attained a greater awareness or awakening than the monk or hermit who goes off by themselves (removes themselves from society) to meditate.


Monk vs. Layman - Some questions from Hakuin :
While it seems clear that meditation would be more difficult while engaged in daily life (of society), does it necessarily follow that it will be a more significant accomplishment than any other form of meditation? Will the "awakening" achieved be any less significant? Once awakened, won't both individuals be aware of reality the same, whether engaged in the world or not? Hakuin says:


"Even if you are a monk, if your practice of the Way is not intense, if your aspiration is not pure, how are you any different from a layman? Again, even if you are a layman, if your aspiration is intense and your conduct wise, why is this any different from being a monk?"
What is it that makes enlightenment so difficult?

According to Hakuin, it is the same for both monk and layman:

"if you examine it closely you will find that what it comes down to is one concept: that the self is real. Because of this view that the self exists, we have birth and death, Nirvana, the passions, enlightenment."

How do we let go of the self in order to find our "buddha nature" (realizing that this is just a symbolic expression)?

For Hakuin, it is like hanging over an abyss -

we have no where to go (really) but down - eventually we must all let go and jump - it is supposedly that act which propels us to the next level - to enlightenment. What would bring us to the this point - where we are willing to give up the self? Does the fall into the abyss always result in enlightenment? How would we know? What do we have to give up or suspend to make such a leap?

After the successful conclusion of koan training, marked by the conferral of a seal of confirmation, there should follow, as the masters of the Rinzai Zen in the tradition of Hakuin emphasize, a several-year period of solitary life, which serves for the deepening and clarification of the experience of the confirmed one before he makes his appearance as a master. Hakuin also stressed the importance of a strictly regulated monastic life and in the tradition of Pai-chang Huai-hai (daily physical work). He regarded this work as part of meditation practice, which should continue during the everyday activity of the monastery and outside the monastery. In his Orategama he writes on the importance of "practice in action".

Hakuin was especially critical of the "silent illumination heretics" and "do-nothings" who filled the monasteries and temples. They were the "talking school" of Zen, those who took such Enlightened confessions as "Nirvana and samsara are the ame", or "Our own mind is Buddha" to mean that no practice was necessary. Listen to what Hakuin had to say about the practice He saw around him:

What's earth's foulest thing, from which all men recoil?
Charcoal that crumbles? Firewood that's wet? Watered lamp oil?
A cartman? A boatman? A second wife? Skunks?
Mosquitoes? Lice? Blue flies? Rats? Thieving monks!
Ahh! Monks! Priests! You are thieving brigands, every one of you.
When I say brigand priest, I mean the 'silent illumination
Zennists' who now infest the land.

What I am saying does not mean that you should do away with your sitting in stillness and place priority on finding an occupation in which you can continue your practice. What is worthy of the highest respect is pure koan practice, which neither knows nor is affected by either stillness or activity. Thus it is said that the monk who is practicing properly walks but does not know that he is walking, sits but does not know that he is sitting. In order to penetrate to the depths of one's own nature and realize a true living quality that is preserved under all circumstances, there is nothing better than still absorption in the midst of activity.

Hakuin demanded three things from his monks: great faith in the Teaching, a great "ball of doubt", that is, energetic application to the koan, and finally, great tenacity of purpose. As he said, "a man who lacks any of these is like a three-legged kettle with a broken leg. Of tenacity he has this to say:

At any rate, there is no worse thing than for the practitioner to treasure his body, give it value and pay it favor.... Even if surrounded by snakes and water spirits, a man, once he has determined to do something, must resolve to leave unfinished what he has started. No matter how cold or hungry he may be, he must bear it; no matter how much wind or rain may come, he must withstand it. Even if he must enter into the heart of fire or plunge to the bottom of icy water, he must open the eye that the Buddhas and Patriarchs have achieved, penetrate the essential meaning of the teaching and see through to the ultimate principle.

On January 18, 1769, Ekaku Hakuin Zenji went to sleep and abandoned the body at the age of eighty-three. He is said to have left over ninety Enlightened heirs.

Hakuin's sekishu, "What is the sound of one hand clapping?" is the best-known koan stemming from a Japanese master.

 

Zazen Wasan – Song Of Zazen
by Hakuin Ekaku
version by Robert Aitken Roshi


All beings by nature are Buddha,
as ice by nature is water;
apart from water there is no ice,
apart from beings no Buddha.

How sad that people ignore the near
and search for truth afar,
like someone in the midst of water
crying out in thirst,
like a child of a wealthy home
wandering among the poor.

Lost on dark paths of ignorance
we wander through the six worlds,
from dark path to dark path we wander,
when shall we be freed from birth and death?

For this the zazen of the Mahayana
deserves the highest praise:
offerings, precepts, paramitas,
Nembutsu, atonement, practice˜
the many other virtues˜
all rise within zazen.

Those who try zazen even once
wipe away immeasurable crimes˜
where are all the dark paths then?
The Pure Land itself is near.

Those who hear this truth even once
and listen with a grateful heart,
treasuring it, revering it,
gain blessings without end.

Much more, if you turn yourself about
and confirm your own self-nature˜
that self-nature is no nature˜
you are far beyond mere argument.

The oneness of cause and effect
is clear,
not two, not three, the path is put right;
with form that is no form
going and coming never astray,
with thought that is no thought
singing and dancing are the voice
of the Law.

Boundless and free is the sky of samadhi!
Bright the full moon of wisdom!
Truly is anything missing now?
Nirvana is here, before your eyes,
this very place is the Lotus Land,
this very body the Buddha.