The four great vows of the Boddhisattva are a commitment to practise with compassion, awareness and determination.
This little verse was in the newsletter a while ago as part of the Ghohatsu Nenju – Formal Meal Verses. It is chanted at the end of the meal by the Ino. I have also heard it chanted in the dojo at the end of a teaching or a mondo or a short zazen. I think it is a beautiful verse in both English and Sino-Japanese.
Someone from the British sangha has asked the question that a godo does not really want to answer. It is very difficult, in fact, to explain in a few lines what is covered by this word that refers to the foundation of the universe, the essence of each thing, ultimate reality…
The question of life and death 1 is a fundamental one for us who practise the Way. To understand and above all to resolve the problem of life and death is in fact the koan of Buddhism. What is death? What is birth or rather what is it that appears when there is a birth, what is it that disappears when someone dies?
It may not seem necessary, but it’s a reality. Remember that the first thing the Buddha said, when he started teaching, was that all is suffering. So suffering is a fundamental truth.We talked about suffering during a zazen day we held recently in Bristol;
The knees press the earth, the head the sky. The lower back is stretched and erect, the head is straight on the shoulders, which fall naturally, as does the gaze. And the breathing: the exhalation is deep and long, the inhalation is short and vital. If you can manage to concentrate on, say, the position of the thumbs, or on the exhalation of air, for any length of time – and all of this while thinking-not-thinking
In all the dojos of our sangha, after zazen the practitioners chant the Shigu seigan mon, the four vows of the bodhisattva. The first of these vows expresses the desire and commitment of practitioners of Buddhism, lay practitioners as well as monks and nuns, to ‘save all beings’
This is the text for the Sandokai, in Japanese, with bells marked – including a PDF suitable for printing out and giving to the bell or ino for use in ceremony
This is the text for the Dai Hi Shin Dharani, in Japanese, with bells marked – including a PDF suitable for printing out and giving to the bell or ino for use in ceremony. English Translation follows. Bells: (*) large bell, (**)small bell, (x) stifled bell Daihi Shin Darani (*) Namu kara tan no, tora ya ya, namu ori ya, […]
This is the text for the Hannya Shingyo, in Japanese, with bells marked – including a PDF suitable for printing out and giving to the bell or ino for use in ceremony. English Translation follows.