Hakuin’s In Praise of Zazen (Song of Samadhi)

Translated by Zen Master e (Ian Paul Marshall)

In Praise of Zazen

All beings are Buddhas.

It’s like ice and water – without water there’s no ice.

Without sentient beings there’s no Buddhas.

Not knowing how close the truth is – they go looking for it outside of themselves.

It’s a pity really.

It’s kind of like being so thirsty that you cry out, “Will someone please give me a drink of water!”

Not realizing that you’re standing in the middle of the most crystal clear and pure river of life quenching water.

It’s like a child from a rich and loving household who has forgotten their birthright, wandered far from home and now lives amongst the poor.

We go wandering lost through the six realms of existence because of the darkness of our own ignorance.

Darkness within darkness – spinning in circles – how can we ever become free from the wheel of samsara?

Zazen samadhi – If you’re truly looking for the gateway to freedom then nothing is higher.

It’s the great vehicle beyond praise.

All the Paramitas, every good deed, all turning away from unskillful thoughts, words and deeds, living an awakened life, all find their source and arise from Zazen.

The one true samadhi extinguishes greed, hatred and ignorance, purifies karma and dissolves all obstructions so that you can see clearly your own Buddha Nature.

Resting there nothing can lead us astray.

Heavenly realms, lotus lands and paradise isn’t far away – they’re right here.

Hear this truth…

It’s simple – it takes a humble and grateful heart to embrace it, to practice it, to discover and live by its wisdom.

It brings unending blessings and mountains of merit to the one who looks within and sees their own self nature for themselves.

In that moment they will discover nothing at all.

Just vast illuminating emptiness.

Clear knowing awareness.

Words can’t really describe it.

The gateless gate is thrown open and we discover the originating essence of cause and effect and see only Non-dual oneness.

When that happens you’ll see that there was nothing to seek.

And you’ll only go straight.

Form is emptiness and emptiness is form.

Coming and going appears but we never leave home.

Thoughts are no-thought.

Singing and dancing become the expressions and voice of the dharma.

Boundless and free is the sky of samadhi!

Bright is the full moon of wisdom!

Truly is anything missing now?

Freedom is here, right before your eyes.

This very place is the Lotus Land.

This very body is the Buddha.

Song of Zazen by Hakuin

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