Ancient Forest Zen

Chants

Heart of Great Perfect Wisdom Sutra

Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva, when deeply practicing prajna paramita,clearly saw that all five aggregates are empty and thus relieved all suffering. Shariputra, form does not differ from emptiness, emptiness does not differ from form. Form itself is emptiness, emptiness itself form. Sensations, perceptions, formations, and consciousness are also like this. Shariputra, all dharmas are marked by emptiness; they neither arise nor cease, are neither defiled nor pure, neither increase nor decrease. Therefore, given emptiness, there are no forms, sensations, perceptions, formations, or consciousness; no eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, or mind; no sights, sounds, smells, tastes, touch, or objects of mind; no realm of sight, and so forth, down to no realm of mind consciousness. There is neither ignorance nor extinction of ignorance, and so forth, down to neither old age and death, nor extinction of old age and death; no suffering, no cause, no cessation, no path; no knowledge and no attainment. With nothing to attain, a bodhisattva relies on prajna paramita and thus the mind is without hindrance. Without hindrance, there is no fear. Far beyond all inverted views, one realizes nirvana. All buddhas of past, present, and future rely on prajna paramita and thereby attain unsurpassed, complete, perfect enlightenment.

Therefore, know the prajna paramita as the great miraculous mantra, the great bright mantra, the supreme mantra, the incomparable mantra, which removes all suffering and is true, not false. Therefore we proclaim the prajna paramita mantra, the mantra that says: "Gate Gate Paragate Parasamgate Bodhi Svaha."



Alternate translation by Kaz Tanahashi and Joan Halifax:
Avalokiteshvara, who helps all to awaken,
moves in the deep course of
realizing wisdom beyond wisdom,
sees that all five streams of
body and mind are boundless,
and frees all from anguish.
Oh Shariputra,
form is not separate from boundlessness;
boundlessness is not separate from form.
Form is boundlessness; boundlessness is form.
Feelings, perceptions, mental formations,
and discernment are also like this.
Oh Shariputra,
boundlessness is the nature of all things.
It neither arises nor perishes,
neither stains nor purifies,
neither increases nor decreases.
Boundlessness is not limited by form,
nor by feelings, perceptions,
mental formations, and discernment.
It is free of the eyes, ears, nose,
tongue, body and mind;
free of sight, sound, smell, taste,
touch, and any object of mind;
free of sensory realms
including mind-consciousness.
It is free of ignorance and the end of ignorance.
Boundlessness is free of old age and death
and free from the end of old age and death.
It is free of suffering, arising, cessation, and path,
and free of wisdom and attainment.
Being free of attainment,
those who help all to awaken
abide in the realization of wisdom beyond wisdom
and live with an unhindered mind.
Without hindrance, the mind has no fear.
Free from confusion,
those who lead all to emancipation
embody complete serenity.
All those, in the past, present, and future,
who realize wisdom beyond wisdom
manifest unsurpassable, authentic and
thorough awakening.
Know that realizing wisdom beyond wisdom
is no other than this great mantra,
luminous, incomparable, and supreme.
It relieves all suffering.
It is genuine, not illusory.
So set forth this mantra of realizing
wisdom beyond wisdom.
Set forth this mantra that says,
Gate, gate, paragate, parasamgate, bodhi! svaha!

Before Dharma Discussion

The unsurpassed, profound, and wondrous Dharma is rarely met with, even in a hundred, thousand, million kalpas.

Now I can see and hear it, accept and maintain it,

May I realize the meaning of the Tathagata’s truth.

 

After Dharma Discussion

Beings are numberless, I vow to free them.

Delusions are inexhaustible, I vow to end them.

Dharma gates are boundless, I vow to enter them.

Buddha’s way is unsurpassable, I vow to realize it.

 

Repentance Sutra

All my past harmful karma

Born from beginningless greed, hate and delusion

through body, speech and mind

I now fully avow.

Soanka
Song Of The Grass Hut 

I've built a grass hut where there's nothing of value.
After eating, I relax and enjoy a nap.

When it was completed, fresh weeds appeared.
Now it's been lived in-covered by weeds.

The person in the hut lives here calmly,
not stuck to inside, outside, or in-between.

Places worldly people live, he doesn't live.
Realms worldly people love, she doesn't love.

T
hough the hut is small, it includes the entire world.
In ten feet square, an old man illumines forms and their nature.

A Mahayana bodhisattva trusts without doubt.
The middling or lowly can't help wondering;

Will this hut perish or not?
Perishable or not, the original master is present,

Not dwelling south or north, east or west.
Firmly based on steadiness, it can't be surpassed.

A shining window below the green pines-
jade palaces or vermilion towers can't compare with it.

Just sitting with head covered all things are at rest.
Thus, this mountain monk doesn't understand at all.

Living here he no longer works to get free.
Who would proudly arrange seats, trying to entice guests?

Turn around the light to shine within, then just return.
The vast inconceivable source can't be faced or turned away from.

Meet the ancestral teachers, be familiar with their instructions,
bind grasses to build a hut, and don't give up.

Let go of hundreds of years and relax completely.
Open your hands and walk, innocent.

 Thousands of words, myriad interpretations,
are only to free you from obstructions.

 

If you want to know the undying person in the hut,
don't separate from this skin bag here and now.

Metta Prayer

May I be filled with loving-kindness
May I be free from suffering

May I be happy and at peace

May each of us be filled with loving-kindness
May each of us be free from suffering

May each of us be happy and at peace

 

May all beings be filled with loving-kindness
May all beings be free from suffering
May all beings be happy and at peace

We dedicate the positive energy of our practiceFor the well-being of all life.

May all attain the awakened Way.



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