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Yung-chia Hsuan-chueh (Yongjia Xuanjue): Excerpt from Shodoka

Yung-chia Hsuan-chueh (Yongjia Xuanjue): Excerpt from Shodoka
 
Photo: Kodo Sawaki (沢木 興道 Sawaki Kōdō, June 16, 1880 - December 21, 1965) was a prominent Japanese Sōtō Zen teacher of the 20th century. He is considered to be one of the most significant Zen priests of his time for bringing Zen practice into the lives of laypeople and popularizing the ancient tradition of sewing the kesa. Peter Sloterdijk has called him "one of the most striking Zen masters of recent times."
 
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There is the leisurely one,
Walking the Tao, beyond philosophy,
Not avoiding fantasy, not seeking truth.
The real nature of ignorance is the Buddha-nature itself;
The empty delusory body is the very body of the Dharma.

When the Dharma body awakens completely,
There is nothing at all.
The source of our self-nature
Is the Buddha of innocent truth.
Mental and physical reactions come and go
Like clouds in the empty sky;
Greed, hatred, and ignorance appear and disappear
Like bubbles on the surface of the sea.

When we realize actuality,
There is no distinction between mind and thing
And the path to hell instantly vanishes.
If this is a lie to fool the world,
My tongue may be cut out forever.

Once we awaken to the Tathagata-Zen,
The six noble deeds and the ten thousand good actions
Are already complete within us.
In our dream we see the six levels of illusion clearly;
After we awaken the whole universe is empty.

No bad fortune, no good fortune, no loss, no gain;
Never seek such things in eternal serenity.
For years the dusty mirror has gone uncleaned,
Now let us polish it completely, once and for all.

(Shodoka [or Song of Enlightenment, Song of Immediate Satori, Song of Realization, Song of the Realization of the Way, Odes on Enlightenment] is a Zen Buddhist didactical poem in 64 verses summarising basic tenets of Ch'an Buddhism. Its authorship is traditionally attributed to Yung-chia Hsuan-chueh [Yongjia Xuanjue] - one of the most gifted teachers of the Ch'an school during the T'ang Dynasty China.)
 
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Recommended Reading:

'The Zen Teaching of Homeless Kodo'
By Kosho Uchiyama Roshi (Author), Shohaku Okumura (Author, Translator), Jokei Molly Delight Whitehead (Editor)

Purchase Book:

Amazon.com
Amazon.co.uk

Description:

Abandon your treasured delusions and hit the road with one of the most important Zen masters of twentieth-century Japan.

Eschewing the entrapments of vanity, power, and money, "Homeless" Kodo Sawaki Roshi refused to accept a permanent position as a temple abbot, despite repeated offers. Instead, he lived a traveling, "homeless" life, going from temple to temple, student to student, teaching and instructing and never allowing himself to stray from his chosen path. He is responsible for making Soto Zen available to the common people outside of monasteries. His teachings are short, sharp, and powerful. Always clear, often funny, and sometimes uncomfortably close to home, they jolt us into awakening.

Kosho Uchiyama expands and explains his teacher's wisdom with his commentary. Trained in Western philosophy, he draws parallels between Zen teachings and the Bible, Descartes, and Pascal. Shohaku Okumura has also added his own commentary, grounding his teachers' power and sagacity for the contemporary, Western practitioner.

Experience the timeless, practical wisdom of three generations of Zen masters.

"Sawaki Roshi's profound and simple Dharma expression comes from the depth of his empty, open heart, like the light of the sun or the flow of a river, pure and unhindered, touching and awakening that same place in ourselves."

(Mel Weitsman, founder of Berkeley Zen Center)

"Provides pure, rich examples of living the Buddha Way by three renowned contemporary Zen practitioners. Filled with glimpses into their daily lives, it is replete with teachings that directly point to letting go of confusion and wholeheartedly living our actual lives."

(Steve Hagen, author of Buddhism Plain & Simple)

"Clear and conversational. The variety among the three voices encourages the emergence of a fourth: yours, as you browse and come back again and again."

(Jisho Warner, founder of Stone Creek Zen Center)

"A wonderful opportunity to catch a glimpse of a vibrant lineage in action and an invaluable contribution to all schools of meditative living." (Larry Rosenberg, author of Breath by Breath)

"Kodo Sawaki was straight-to-the-point, irreverent, and deeply insightful—and one of the most influential Zen teachers for us in the West. Until now it has been very hard to find any of his writings in English. I'm very happy to see this book."

(Brad Warner, author of Hardcore Zen)

"Studying this book is a rare chance to sit with three Zen masters as they bring forth the Dharma with their unique family style—compassionate, blunt, humorous, wholehearted—each one devotedly helping the other and helping us to wake up."

(Eijun Linda Ruth Cutts, Central Abbess, San Francisco Zen Center)

"Shohaku Okumura is a true treasure for contemporary American Zen, humbly but clearly expressing this noble legacy."

(Taigen Dan Leighton, author of Zen Questions)
 
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