Archive for the ‘Zen / Chan’ Category

The Gates of Paradise

February 8, 2012

A soldier named Nobushige came to Hakuin and asked, “Is there really a paradise and a hell?”

“Who are you?”, asked Hakuin.

“I am a samurai.”, the warrior replied.

You, a soldier!”, exclaimed Hakuin. “What kind of ruler would have you as his guard? Your face looks like that of a beggar.”

Nobushige became so angry that he began to draw his sword, but Hakuin continued, “So you have a sword! Your weapon is probably much too dull to cut off my head.”

As Nobushige drew his sword, Hakuin remarked, “Here open the gates of hell!”

At these words, the samurai, perceiving the master’s discipline, sheathed his sword and bowed.

“Here open the gates of paradise.”, said Hakuin.

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In this passing moment

December 2, 2011

 “In the presence of Sangha, in the light of Dharma,
in oneness with Buddha — may my path
to complete enlightenment benefit everyone!”

In this passing moment karma ripens
and all things come to be.
I vow to choose what is:
If there is cost, I choose to pay.
If there is need, I choose to give.
If there is pain, I choose to feel.
If there is sorrow, I choose to grieve.
When burning — I choose heat.
When calm — I choose peace.
When starving — I choose hunger.
When happy — I choose joy.
Whom I encounter, I choose to meet.
What I shoulder, I choose to bear.
When it is my death, I choose to die.
Where this takes me, I choose to go.
Being with what is — I respond to what is.

This life is as real as a dream;
the one who knows it can not be found;
and, truth is not a thing — Therefore I vow
to choose THIS dharma entrance gate!
May all Buddhas and Wise Ones
help me live this vow.

 

By Shodo Harada Roshi
(1940 – )