Heart of Perfect Wisdom

(Prajña Paramita Hridaya)

The Bodhisattva of Compassion
from the depths of prajña wisdom
saw the emptiness of all five skandhas
and sundered the bonds that cause all suffering.

Know then :
Form here is only emptiness ;
emptiness only form.
Form is no other than emptiness ;
emptiness no other than form.
Feeling, thought, and choice —
consciousness itself —
are the same as this.

Dharmas here are empty;
all are the primal void.
None are born or die,
nor are they stained or pure,
nor do they wax or wane.

So in emptiness no form,
no feeling, thought, or choice,
nor is there consciousness.
No eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, mind,
no color, sound, smell, taste, touch,
or what the mind takes hold of,
nor even act of sensing.
No ignorance or end of it,
nor all that comes of ignorance :
No withering, no death, no end of them.

Nor is there pain, or cause of pain,
or cease in pain,
or noble path to lead from pain;
not even wisdom to attain:
Attainment too is emptiness.

So know that the Bodhisattva,
holding to nothing whatever,
but dwelling in prajña wisdom,
is freed of delusive hindrance,
rid of the fear bred by it,
and reaches clearest nirvana.

All buddhas of past and present,
buddhas of future time,
through faith in prajña wisdom,
come to full enlightenment.
Know then the great dharani,
the radiant, peerless mantra,
the supreme, unfailing mantra,
the Prajña Paramita,
whose words allay all pain.
This is highest wisdom,
true beyond all doubt ;
know and proclaim its truth:

Gate, gate
bodhi, svaha!


Ten-Verse Kannon Sutra

Praise to Buddha!
All are one with Buddha;
all awake to Buddha.
Buddha, Dharma, Sangha —
eternal, joyous, selfless, pure.
Through the day Kanzeon
through the night Kanzeon.
This moment arises from Mind;
this moment itself is Mind.


Return of Merit

[Hands palm-to-palm]


Faith in Buddha, Dharma, Sangha
brings true liberation.
We now return the merit of our chanting to:
Shakyamuni Buddha,
Mañjushrı Bodhisattva,
Avalokita Bodhisattva,
Bhadra Bodhisattva.
We place our faith in the Great Heart of Perfect Wisdom.
May all beings attain Buddhahood !


Ten Directions, Three Worlds,
All Buddhas, Bodhisattva-mahasattvas,
Maha Prajña Paramita.


Master Hakuin’s Chant in Praise of Zazen

From the very beginning all beings are Buddha.
Like water and ice,
without water no ice,
outside us no Buddhas.

How near the truth
yet how far we seek,
like one in water crying ‘I thirst!’
Like a child of rich birth wandering poor on this earth,
we endlessly circle the six worlds.

The cause of our sorrow is ego delusion.
From dark path to dark path we’ve wandered in darkness.
How can we be free from birth and death ?
The gateway to freedom is zazen samadhi
beyond exaltation, beyond all our praises,
the pure Mahayana.

Upholding the precepts,
repentance and giving,
the countless good deeds,
and the way of right living
all come from zazen.

Thus one true samadhi extinguishes evils ;
it purifies karma, dissolving obstructions.

Then where are the dark paths to lead us astray ?
The pure lotus land is not far away.

Hearing this truth, heart humble and grateful,
to praise and embrace it,
to practice its wisdom,
brings unending blessings,
brings mountains of merit.

And when we turn inward and prove our True-nature
that True-self is no-self,
our own Self is no-self
we go beyond ego and past clever words.

Then the gate to the oneness of cause and effect is thrown open.
Not two and not three,
straight ahead runs the Way.

Our form now being no-form,
in going and returning we never leave home.
Our thought now being no-thought,
our dancing and songs are the voice of the Dharma.

How vast is the heaven of boundless samadhi!
How bright and transparent the moonlight of wisdom !

What is there outside us,
what is there we lack ?
Nirvana is openly shown to our eyes.
This earth where we stand is the pure lotus land,
and this very body—the body of Buddha.


The Four Vows

[Hands palm-to-palm]

All beings, without number,
I vow to liberate.

Endless blind passions
I vow to uproot.

Dharma gates, beyond measure,
I vow to penetrate.

The Great Way of Buddha
I vow to attain.