Sesshin Sutra Book
Translations/revisions by Robert Aitken Roshi
of the Diamond
Sangha Zen Buddhist Society,
Koko An, 2119 Kaloa Way, Honolulu, Hawaii,
Song on Realizing the
by Yung-chia Hsuan-ch'e (Yoka
truth and rejecting delusion
These are but skillful lies.
who do zazen by such lies
Love thievery in their own
Christians admire an angel but hate a devil. Some Confucians pine for the
ancient kingdom but complain of the present government. All of them
attempt to take hold of the true by abandoning the false. They struggle
endlessly, but never attain true peacefulness. Zen students who try to
reach truth by rejecting delusions are making the same mistake.
miss the Dharma-treasure;
They lose accumulated power;
disaster follows directly upon dualistic thinking.
So Zen is the
complete realization of mind,
The complete cutting off of
The power of wise vision penetrating directly to the
Chinese Zen master, once said, "Buddhas and sentient beings both grow out
of One Mind, and there is no reality other than this Mind. . . . Only
because we seek it outwardly in a world of form, the more we seek the
farther away it moves from us. To make Buddha seek after himself, or to
make the Mind take hold of itself is impossible to the end of eternity. We
do not realize that as soon as our thoughts cease and all attempts at
forming ideas are forgotten, the Buddha is revealed before us.
of vigorous will hold the sword of wisdom;
The prajna edge is a diamond
It not only cuts off useless knowledge,
But also exterminates
They roar with Dharma-thunder;
They strike the
They spread clouds of love, and pour ambrosial
Their giant footsteps nourish limitless beings;
Pratyeka, Bodhisattva--all are enlightened;
Five kinds of human nature
all are emancipated.
devils" are those who call themselves Zen masters or those who wear the
robes of various religious sects, and think that by so doing they have
been equally invested with some divine right to direct the lives of
others. Pride is one of the most subtle and insidious evils of all,
appearing in many forms. Only the student who has accomplished Prajna has
any right to lead others.
the Himalayas, only fei-ni grass grows.
Here cows produce pure and
And this food I continually enjoy.
nature passes to all natures;
One universal Dharma encloses all
One moon is reflected in many waters;
water-moons are from the one moon.
The Dharma-body of all Buddhas has
entered my own nature,
And my nature becomes one with the
One level completely contains all levels;
It is not
matter, mind nor activity.
In an instant eighty-thousand teachings are
In a twinkling the evil of eons is destroyed.
categories are no category;
What relation have have these to my
Beyond praise, beyond blame,
Like space itself it has no
of nature makes the whole world kin." All things return to one, and one
operates in all things. When you pass one koan, you have passed all koans.
It is your own fault if you are entangled by the next one. Realization has
no color, no form, no psychological movement, and no action of dualistic
here it is eternally full and serene,
If you search elsewhere, you
cannot see it.
You cannot grasp it, you cannot reject it;
midst of not gaining,
In that condition you gain it.
It speaks in
In speech you hear its silence.
The great way has
opened and there are no obstacles.
begin to study Zen, you aim to attain realization. Your motive is good
insofar as motive is concerned, but in your meditation you should aim at
nothing. You may aim at realization to encourage yourself when you are not
meditating, but beware of clinging entanglements. Encouragement is one
thing, meditation is another. Do not mix them up. Carry your meditation as
the eternal present, and saturate your everyday life in it.
BookTable of Contents
Notes and comments
are lifted from the endnotes of the Empty Sky compilation of these Zen
Buddhist texts and The Syllabus section of Encouraging
Words - zen buddhist teachings for western students by Robert