Mind is unlimited. Chanting when performed egolessly has the power to penetrate visible and invisible worlds. 
—Roshi Philip Kapleau

Chanting Service

Chants and Sutras

See also the Chanting Services page for a description of various chanting services performed at the Center.

    Prajna Paramita Hridaya

    Heart of Perfect Wisdom

    The Bodhisattva of Compassion from the depths of prajna wisdom
    saw the emptiness of all five skandhas and sundered the bonds
    that create suff’ring.

    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 prajna 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 prajna wisdom come to full enlightenment.

    Know then the great dharani, the radiant, peerless mantra,
    the supreme, unfailing mantra, the Prajna Paramita,
    whose words allay all pain. This is highest wisdom,
    true beyond all doubt, know and proclaim its truth:

    Gate, gate
    bodhi, svaha!

    Kannon Sutra/En Mei Jikku Kannon Gyo


    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 springs from Mind.
    This moment itself is Mind.


    Namu Butsu
    Yo Butsu U In
    Yo Butsu U En
    Bup Po So En
    Jo Raku Ga Jo
    Cho Nen Kanzeon
    Bo Nen Kanzeon
    Nen Nen Ju Shin Ki
    Nen Nen Fu Ri Shin

    Affirming Faith in Mind

    Hsin Hsin Ming

    The Great Way is not difficult
    for those who do not pick and choose.

    When pref’rences are cast aside
    the Way stands clear and undisguised.

    But even slight distinctions made
    set earth and heaven far apart.

    If you would clearly see the truth,
    discard opinions pro and con.

    To founder in dislike and like
    is nothing but the mind’s disease.

    And not to see the Way’s deep truth
    disturbs the mind’s essential peace.

    The Way is perfect like vast space,
    where there’s no lack and no excess.

    Our choice to choose and to reject
    prevents our see’ng this simple truth.

    Both striving for the outer world
    as well as for the inner void
    condemn us to entangled lives.

    Just calmly see that all is One
    and by themselves false views will go.

    Attempts to stop activity
    will fill you with activity.

    Remaining in duality,
    you’ll never know of unity.

    And not to know this unity
    lets conflict lead you far astray.

    When you assert that things are real
    you miss their true reality.

    But to assert that things are void
    also misses reality.

    The more you talk and think on this
    the further from the truth you’ll be.

    Cut off all useless thoughts and words
    and there’s nowhere you cannot go.

    Returning to the root itself,
    you’ll find the meaning of all things.

    If you pursue appearances
    you overlook the primal source.

    Awak’ning is to go beyond
    both emptiness as well as form.

    All changes in this empty world
    seem real because of ignorance.

    Do not go searching for the truth,
    just let those fond opinions go.

    Abide not in duality,
    refrain from all pursuit of it.

    If there’s a trace of right and wrong,
    True-mind is lost, confused, distraught.

    From One-mind comes duality,
    but cling not even to this One.

    When this One-mind rests undisturbed
    then nothing in the world offends.

    And when no thing can give offense,
    then all obstructions cease to be.

    If all thought-objects disappear
    the thinking subject drops away.

    For things are things because of mind,
    as mind is mind because of things.

    These two are merely relative
    and both at source are Emptiness.

    In Emptiness these are not two,
    yet in each are contained all forms.

    Once coarse and fine are seen no more,
    then how can there be taking sides?

    The Great Way is without limit,
    beyond the easy and the hard.

    But those who hold to narrow views
    are fearful and irresolute;
    their frantic haste just slows them down.

    If you’re attached to anything,
    you surely will go far astray.

    Just let go now of clinging mind,
    and all things are just as they are.
    In essence nothing goes or stays.

    See into the true self of things,
    and you’re in step with the Great Way,
    thus walking freely, undisturbed.

    But live in bondage to your thoughts,
    and you will be confused, unclear.
    This heavy burden weighs you down—
    so why keep judging good and bad?

    If you would walk the highest Way,
    do not reject the sense domain.

    For as it is, whole and complete,
    this sense world is enlightenment.

    The wise do not strive after goals,
    but fools place bonds upon themselves.

    The One Way knows no diff’rences,
    the foolish cling to this and that.

    To seek Great Mind with thinking mind
    is certainly a grave mistake.

    From small mind come rest and unrest,
    but mind awakened transcends both.

    Delusion spawns dualities—
    these dreams are merely flow’rs of air—
    why work so hard at grasping them?

    Both gain and loss, and right and wrong—
    once and for all get rid of them.

    When you no longer are asleep,
    all dreams will vanish by themselves.

    If mind does not discriminate,
    all things are as they are, as One.

    To go to this mysterious Source
    frees us from all entanglements.

    When all is seen with “equal mind,”
    to our Self-nature we return.

    This single mind goes right beyond
    all reasons and comparison.

    Stop movement and there’s no movement,
    Stop rest and no-rest comes instead.

    When rest and no-rest cease to be,
    then even oneness disappears.

    This ultimate finality’s
    beyond all laws, can’t be described.

    With single mind one with the Way,
    all ego-centered strivings cease;

    Doubts and confusion disappear,
    and so true faith pervades our life.

    There is no thing that clings to us,
    and nothing that is left behind.

    All’s self-revealing, void and clear,
    without exerting power of mind.

    Thought cannot reach this state of truth,
    here feelings are of no avail.

    In this true world of Emptiness
    both self and other are no more.

    To enter this true empty world,
    immediately affirm “not-two.”

    In this “not-two” all is the same,
    with nothing separate or outside.

    The wise in all times and places
    awaken to this primal truth.

    The Way’s beyond all space, all time,
    one instant is ten thousand years.

    Not only here, not only there,
    truth’s right before your very eyes.

    Distinctions such as large and small
    have relevance for you no more.

    The largest is the smallest too—
    here limitations have no place.

    What is is not, what is not is
    if this is not yet clear to you,
    you’re still far from the inner truth.

    One thing is all, all things are one—
    know this and all’s whole and complete.

    When faith and Mind are not sep’rate,
    and not sep’rate are Mind and faith,
    this is beyond all words, all thought

    For here there is no yesterday,
    no tomorrow,
    no today.

    The Sandokai


    Lead Chanter: The mind of . . .
    Everyone: the great sage of In-di-a
    is inti-mate-ly trans-mitted from west to east.
    While human facul-ties are sharp or dull,
    the Way has no north-ern or southern ances-tors.
    The subtle source shines clear in the light;
    the branching streams flow on in the dark.
    Gras-ping at things is sure-ly de-lu-sion ac-cor-ding with
    same-ness is still not en-lighten-ment.
    All the ob-jects of the sen-ses
    inter-act and yet do not.
    Inter-ac-ting brings in-volve-ment.
    Other-wise, each keeps its place.
    Sights vary in charac-ter and form,
    sounds differ as pleas-ing or harsh.
    Re-fined and coarse speech
    come to-gether in the dark,
    Clear and murky phra-ses
    are dis-tinguished in the light.
    The four ele-ments re-turn to their na-tures
    just as a child turns to its mo-ther;
    Fire heats, wind moves,
    water wets, earth is sol-id.
    Eye and sights, ear and sounds,
    nose and smells, tongue and tastes;
    Thus with each and every-thing,
    de-pending on these roots, the leaves spread forth.
    Trunk and bran-ches share the es-sence;
    re-fined and com-mon, each has its speech.
    In the light there is dark but don’t take it as dark;
    in the dark there is light, but don’t see it as light
    Light and dark op-pose one a-noth-er
    like the front and back foot in walk-ing.
    Each of the myriad things has its mer-it ex-pressed
    ac-cording to func-tion and place.
    Phe-nome-na e-xist — box and lid fit;
    princi-ple re-sponds — arrow points meet.
    Hear-ing the words, under-stand the mean-ing;
    don’t set up stan-dards of your own.
    If you don’t under-stand the Way right be-fore you,
    how will you know the path as you walk?
    Pro-gress is not a mat-ter of far or near,
    but if you are con-fused, moun-tains and ri-vers block your way.
    I re-spect-fully urge you who stu-dy the myster-y do
    not pass your days and nights in vain.

    The Lotus Sutra Scripture of Kanzeon Bodhisattva


    Lead Chanter:
    In verse Mujinni Bodhisattva asked,
    “World Honored One possessor of all grace
    For what reason is the heir of the Buddha named Kanzeon?”

    The World Honored One answered too in verse:
    “Listen to the actions of Kanzeon
    Which have their application to all!
    Her vow is deep like the ocean
    Unfathomable though kalpas pass
    A myriad of Buddhas she has truly served
    And made a great, pure vow.
    If you hear her name and see her body,
    and bear her in mind,
    Your life will not be in vain;
    And you will end all sufferings.
    If someone wants to hurt you
    And pushes you into a great firepit,
    If you think on the power of Kanzeon
    The firepit will change into a pond.
    If you’re cast adrift upon the vast ocean
    And meet danger from dragons, fish and demons,
    If you think on the power of Kanzeon
    The waves will not drown you.
    If from the peak of Sumeru
    Someone would push you down
    If you think on the power of Kanzeon
    Like the sun you will stand firm in the sky.
    If evil ones chase you
    And push you from Mount Diamond,
    If you think on the power of Kanzeon
    Not even a single hair will be harmed.
    If robbers surround you
    Each with a sword drawn to strike,
    If you think on the power of Kanzeon
    Compassion will awaken in them.
    If you suffer by royal command
    And your life is to end in execution,
    If you think on the power of Kanzeon
    The sword will be broken to bits.
    If you are imprisoned,
    Shackled, and chained,
    If you think on the power of Kanzeon
    The fetters will drop and you’ll be released.
    If someone wants to injure you
    With curses or poison,
    If you think on the power of Kanzeon
    These ills will return from whence they came.
    If you meet evil rakshas,
    Poisonous dragons or demons,
    If you think on the power of Kanzeon
    They will not dare to harm you.
    If you are surrounded by evil beasts
    Whose teeth and claws are fearfully sharp,
    If you think on the power of Kanzeon
    They will run away in boundless retreat.
    If vipers, lizards, snakes or scorpions,
    Threaten to scorch you with poisonous breath
    If you think on the power of Kanzeon
    They will turn away quickly at the sound
    of your voice.
    If clouds thunder and lightning flashes,
    If hailstones beat and rain pours down,
    If you think on the power of Kanzeon
    Immediately they will vanish away.
    If sentient beings are in great adversity
    And immeasurable suffering presses them down,
    The wonderful power of the wisdom of Kannon can relieve the sufferings of the world.
    Endowed with transcendent powers
    Full master of wisdom and skillful means,
    In all the worlds in the ten directions,
    There’s no place she doesn’t manifest herself.
    The suff’rings of those in the troubled states:
    Hell dwellers, hungry spirits, and beasts;
    The sufferings of birth, old age, illness and death all by degrees are ended by her.
    She of the true gaze, she of the pure gaze,
    gaze of great and encompassing wisdom,
    gaze of pity, gaze of compassion—
    ever longed for, ever revered.
    She is a spotless pure ray of light,
    A sun of wisdom dispelling darkness.
    Subduer of woes of storm and fire
    Illumining all the world.
    Her will of compassion shakes like thunder;
    Her mind of mercy is like a great cloud
    Which sends down sweet dew of Dharma rain to quench the flames of earthly desires.
    In disputes before judges or in the midst of battle,
    If you think on the power of Kanzeon
    All enemies will flee away.
    She has a wondrous voice,
    The voice of one who perceives the world,
    A brahma voice, voice of the rolling tide,
    A voice unsurpassed in all this world;
    Therefore you should always think on her.
    Have no doubt, even for a moment
    The pure seer Kanzeon will be a refuge
    When suffering distress or the misery of death. She is endowed with every quality.
    Her eye of compassion views all sentient beings, her ocean of blessings is beyond measure. Therefore you should pay homage to her.”

    Then Jiji bodhisattva arose,
    Stood before the Buddha and addressed him thus:
    “World Honored One, they who hear this scripture
    Of Kanzeon bosatsu, and hear of her deeds
    And transcendent powers,
    No small amount of merit will they gain.”

    Lead Chanter: (All with hands in gassho)
    When the Buddha taught the scripture of the life and work of the All-Sided One, all present then in number eighty-four thousand strong, with all their hearts cherished a longing for the Supreme Enlightenment, with which nothing in all the universe compares.

    The Ancestral Line

    LEADER: O Awakened Ones! May the power of your samadhi sustain us. We now return the merit of our chanting to:

    ALL (Hands in Gassho):
    Vipashyin Buddha, Honored One
    Shikhin Buddha, Honored One
    Vishvabhu Buddha, Honored One
    Krakucchanda Buddha, Honored One
    Kanakamuni Buddha, Honored One
    Kashyapa Buddha, Honored One
    Shakyamuni Buddha, Honored One
    Mahakashyapa, Honored One
    Ananda, Honored One
    Shanavasa, Honored One
    Upagupta, Honored One
    Dhritaka, Honored One
    Miccaka, Honored One
    Vasumitra, Honored One
    Buddhanandi, Honored One
    Buddhamitra, Honored One
    Bhikshu Parshva, Honored One
    Punyayashas, Honored One
    Ashvaghosha, Honored One
    Kapimala, Honored One
    Nagarjuna, Honored One
    Kanadeva, Honored One
    Rahulata, Honored One
    Sanghanandi, Honored One
    Gayashata, Honored One
    Kumarata, Honored One
    Jayata, Honored One
    Vasubandhu, Honored One
    Manorhita, Honored One
    Haklenayashas, Honored One
    Bhikshu Simha, Honored One
    Basiasita, Honored One
    Punyamitra, Honored One
    Prajnatara, Honored One
    Bodhidharma, Honored One

    Tai-dzoo Hway ku, Honored One
    (T’ai-tsu Hui-k’o)
    Jyen-jrh Sung-tsan, Honored One
    (Chien-chih Seng-ts’an)
    Dah-yee Dau-syin, Honored One
    (Ta-i Tao-hsin)
    Dah-mahn Hoong-ren, Honored One
    (Ta-man Hung-jen)
    Dah-jyen Hway-nung, Honored One
    (Ta-chien Hui-neng)
    Ching-yuen Sying-sih, Honored One
    (Ching-yuan Hsing-ssu)
    Shr-toe Syi-chien, Honored One
    (Shih-t’ou Hsi-ch’ien)
    Yueh-shan Way-yen, Honored One
    (Yueh-shan Wei-yen)
    Yoon-yen Tahn-shung, Honored One
    (Yun-yen T’an-sheng)
    Doong-shan Lyang-jyeh, Honored One
    (Tung-shan Liang-chieh)
    Yoon-joo Dow-ying, Honored One
    (Yun-chu Tao-ying)
    Toong-ahn Dow-ying, Honored One
    (T’ung-an Tao-ying)
    Toong-ahn Gwon-jrh, Honored One
    (T’ung-an Kuan-chih)
    Lyang-shan Yuen-gwan, Honored One
    (Liang-shan Yuan-kuan)
    Dah-yahng Jing-shwen, Honored One
    (Ta-yang Ching-hsuan)
    Toe-dz Yee-ching, Honored One
    (T’ou-tzu I-ch’ing)
    Fu-roong Dow-kai, Honored One
    (Fu-jung Tao-k’ai)
    Dhan-shah Dz-chun, Honored One
    (Tan-hsia Tzu-ch’un)
    Jun-syeh Ching-lyiao, Honored One
    (Chen-hsieh Ch’ing-liao)
    Tyen-toong Dzoong-jueh, Honored One
    (T’ien-t’ung Tsung-chueh)
    Shueh-doe Jrh-jyen, Honored One
    (Hsueh-tou Chih-chien)
    Tyen-toong Roo-jing, Honored One
    (T’ien-t’ung Ju-ching)

    Eihei Dogen, Honored One
    Koun Ejo, Honored One
    Tetsu Gikai, Honored One
    Keizan Jokin, Honored One
    Meiho Sotetsu, Honored One
    Shugan Dochin, Honored One
    Tessan Shikaku, Honored One
    Keigan Eisho, Honored One
    Chuzan Ryoun, Honored One
    Gisan Tonin, Honored One
    Shogaku Kenryu, Honored One
    Kinen Horyu, Honored One
    Teishitsu Chisen, Honored One
    Kokei Shojun, Honored One
    Sesso Yuho, Honored One
    Kaiten Genju, Honored One
    Shuzan Shunsho, Honored One
    Chozan Genetsu, Honored One
    Fukushu Kochi, Honored One
    Myodo Yuton, Honored One
    Hakuho Gentekki, Honored One
    Gesshu Soko, Honored One
    Tokuo Ryoko, Honored One
    Hogan Soren, Honored One
    Sekiso Tesshu, Honored One
    Ryuko Ryoshu, Honored One
    Renzan Soho, Honored One
    Motsugai shido, Honored One
    Gukei Youn, Honored One
    Kakusho Sodo, Honored One
    Daiun Sogaku, Honored One
    Hakuun Ryoko, Honored One
    Philip Kapleau, Honored One

    You who have handed down the light of Dharma,
    we shall repay your benevolence.

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

    Honzon Eko/Ten Directions

    Honzon Eko

    (Chanted with Hands in Gassho)

    Faith in Buddha, Dharma, Sangha
    brings true liberation.
    We now return the merit of our chanting to:
    Shakyamuni Buddha
    Manjusri 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 Prajna Paramita.

    Four Vows

    (Chanted with Hands in Gassho)

    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.

    Dharanis and Mantras

    Dai Hi Shin Dharani

    Dharani of the Great Compassionate One

    Namu Kara Tan No Tora Ya Ya Namu Ori Ya Boryo Ki Chi Shifu Ra Ya
    Fuji Sato Bo Ya Moko Sato Bo Ya Mo Ko Kya Runi Kya Ya En Sa
    Hara Ha Ei Shu Tan No Ton Sha Namu Shiki Ri Toi Mo Ori Ya
    Boryo Ki Chi Shifu Ra Rin To Bo Na Mu No Ra Kin Ji
    Ki Ri Mo Ko Ho Do Sha Mi Sa Bo O To Jo Shu Ben
    O Shu In Sa Bo Sa To No Mo Bo Gya Mo Ha Tei Cho
    To Ji To En O Bo Ryo Ki Ru Gya Chi Kya Rya Chi I
    Kiri Mo Ko Fuji Sa To Sa Bo Sa Bo Mo Ra Mo Ra Mo Ki Mo Ki
    Ri To In Ku Ryo Ku Ryo Ke Mo To Ryo To Ryo
    Ho Ja Ya Chi Mo Ko Ho Ja Ya Chi To Ra To Ra Chiri Ni Shifu Ra Ya
    Sha Ro Sha Ro Mo Mo Ha Mo Ra Ho Chi Ri Yu Ki Yu Ki Shi No Shi No
    Ora San Fura Sha Ri Ha Za Ha Za Fura Sha Ya
    Ku Ryo Ku Ryo Mo Ra Ku Ryo Ku Ryo Ki Ri Sha Ro Sha Ro Shi Ri Shi Ri
    Su Ryo Su Ryo Fuji Ya Fuji Ya Fudo Ya Fudo Ya Mi Chiri Ya Nora Kin Ji
    Chiri Shuni No Hoya Mono Somo Ko Shido Ya Somo Ko
    Moko Shido Ya Somo Ko Shidu Yu Ki Shifu Ra Ya Somo Ko
    Nora Kin Ji Somo Ko Mo Ra No Ra Somo Ko Shira Su Omo Gya Ya
    Somo Ko Sobo Moko Shido Ya Somo Ko Shaki Ra Oshi Do Ya
    Somo Ko Hodo Mogya Shido Ya Somo Ko Nora Kin Ji Ha Gyara Ya
    Somo Ko Mo Hori Shin Gyara Ya Somo Ko Namu Kara Tan No
    Tora Ya Ya Namu Ori Ya Boryo Ki Chi Shifu Ra Ya
    Somo Ko Shite Do Modo Ra Hodo Ya So Mo Ko

    Sho Sai Myo Kichijyo Dharani

    Dharani to Allay Disasters

    No Mo Sam Man Da Moto Nam Oha Ra Chi
    Koto Sha Sono Nan To Ji To En
    Gya Gya Gya Ki Gya Ki
    Un Nun Shifu Ra Shifu Ra
    Hara Shifu Ra Hara Shifu Ra
    Chishu Sa Chishu Sa
    Chishu Ri Chishu Ri
    Soha Ja Soha Ja
    Sen Chi Gya Shiri Ei Somo Ko

    Dharani of Jizo Bodhisattva


    Ka Ka
    Kabi Sam
    Ma E
    Sowa Ka

    Mantra of Bhaisajyaguru


    Na Mo Bha Ga Va Te Bhai Sa Jya Gu Ru
    Vai Du Rya Pra Bha Ra Ja Ya Ta Tha Ga Ta
    Ya Ar Ha Te Sam Yak Sam Bud Dha Ya
    Ta Dya Tha Om Bhai Sa Jye Bhai Sa Jye
    Bhai Sa Jya Sam Mud Ga Te Sva Ha

    Mantra of Shakyamuni Buddha


    Muni muni
    Maha muni
    Shakya muni

    Dharani of the Great Compassionate Avalokitesvara


    Na-mo rat-na tra-ya-ya na-mah ar-ya a-va-lo-ki-tes-va-ra-ya
    bo-dhi-satt-va-ya ma-ha-satt-va-ya ma-ha ka-ru-ni-ka-ya o-om
    sa-ba-la va-ti su-dha-na-tas-ya na-mas kri-va-ni-mam
    ar-ya a-va-lo-ki-tes-va-ra lam-ta-bha na-mo ni-la-kan-tha
    sri-ma-ha-pa-ta-sa-mi sar-va-to-dhu-su-phem
    a-si-yum sar-va-sa-da na-ma bha-ga ma-bha-te-tu
    tad-ya-tha o-om a-va-lo-ki lo-ka-te ka-la-ti e-si-li
    ma-ha bo-dhi-satt-va sa-bho sa-bho ma-ra ma-ra
    ma-si ma-si ri-dha-yum gu-ru gu-ru ga-mam tu-ru tu-ru
    bha-si-ya-ti ma-ha vha-si-ya-ti dha-ra dha-ra dhi-ri-ni sva-ra-ya
    ja-la ja-la ma-ma bha-ma-ra mu-dhi-li e-dhye-hi si-na si-na
    a-la-sim bha-la-sa-ri bha-sa bha-sim bha-ra-sa-ya
    hu-lu hu-lu pra hu-lu hu-lu sri sa-ra sa-ra si-ri si-ri su-ru su-ru
    bu-dhi bu-dhi bu-dha-ya bu-dha-ya mai-tri-ye ni-la-kan-tha
    tri-sa-ra-na bha-ya-ma-na sva-ha si-ta-ya sva-ha ma-ha si-ta-ya sva-ha si-ta-ya-ye sva-ra-ya sva-ha ni la-kan-thi sva-ha pra-ni-la sva-ha
    sri si-dha mu-kha-ya sva-ha sar-va ma-ha as-ta-ya sva-ha
    cak-ra as-ta-ya sva-ha pad-ma ke-sa-ya sva-ha ni-la-kan-the
    pan-ta-la-ya sva-ha mo-bho-li-san-ka-ra-ye sva-ha
    na-mo rat-na tra-ya-ya na-mah ar-ya a-va-lo-ki-ta
    is-var-a-ya sva-ha o-om sidh-yan-tu man-tra pa-ta-ye sva-ha!


    Zen Master Hakuin’s Chant in Praise of Zazen

    Zazen Wasan

    From the 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
    wand’ring 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 the wheel of samsara?
    The gateway to freedom is zazen samadhi—
    beyond exaltation, beyond all our praises,
    the pure Mahayana.

    Observing 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 that
    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 if 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 Way of the Bodhisattva


    Thus by the virtue collected
    Through all that I have done,
    May the pain of every living creature
    Be completely cleared away!

    May I be the doctor and the medicine
    And may I be the nurse
    For the sick beings in the world
    Until everyone is healed!

    May a rain of food and drink descend
    To clear away the pain of thirst and hunger,
    And during the eon of famine
    May I myself change into food and drink!

    May I become an inexhaustible treasure
    For those who are poor and destitute;
    May I turn into all things they need
    And may these be placed close beside them!

    Whether those who encounter me
    Conceive a faithful or an angry thought,
    May that always become the source
    For fulfilling all their wishes!

    May all who say bad things to me
    Or cause me any other harm,
    And those who mock and insult me
    Have the fortune to awaken fully!

    May I be a protector of those without one,
    A guide for all travelers on the way;

    May I be a bridge, a boat, and a ship
    For all who wish to cross the water!

    May I be an island for those who seek one,
    And a lamp for those desiring light!
    May I be a bed for all who wish to rest.

    May I be a wishing jewel, a magic vase,
    Powerful mantras, and great medicine,
    May I be a wish-fulfilling tree,
    And a cow of plenty for the world!

    Just like space
    And the great elements such as earth,
    May I always support the life
    Of all the countless creatures!

    And until they're free from suffering,
    May I also be the source of life
    For all the realms of varied beings
    That reach unto the ends of space!

    Just as the previous Sugatas
    Conceived the Spirit of Enlightenment,
    And just as they successively lived
    In the Bodhisattva practices

    Likewise for the sake of all that lives
    Do I conceive the Spirit of
    And likewise shall I too
    Successively follow the practices

    Meal Chants


    (Chanted with hands in gassho)

    With all that lives
    let us honor the Three Treasures.
    Let us recall the exertions
    of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.


    This meal is the labor of countless beings—
    let us remember their toil.
    Defilements are many and exertions weak—
    do we deserve this offering?
    Gluttony stems from greed—
    let us be moderate.
    Our lives are sustained by this offering—
    let us be grateful.
    We take this food to attain the Buddha Way.

    (Food is served—put a piece of dry food aside for the hungry ghost dish when it is passed around and have some liquid in your cup for the thirsty spirit offering.)


    (clappers—all with raised bowl or plate)

    Our meal is offered—

    —to Buddha, Dharma and Sangha.
    With teachers and family,
    with nations and all life
    let us equally share.
    To beings throughout the six worlds
    we offer this meal.


    (clappers—hands in gassho)

    All hungry ghosts!
    All tortured spirits!
    Now we give you this Dharma-food.
    May it fill the ten directions
    and satisfy hunger in realms of darkness.

    All hungry ghosts!
    All tortured spirits!
    Abandon greed and rouse the desire for

    (clappers—hands in gassho)

    To you spirits tortured by thirst
    we give this liquid offering.
    May your thirst be relieved,
    May your suffering diminish.
    May all beings attain Buddhahood!

    (food is eaten)

      Precepts and Prayers

    The Three Treasures


    and resolve that with all beings
    I will understand the Great Way
    whereby the Buddha seed may forever thrive.

    and resolve that with all beings
    I will enter deeply into the sutra-treasure
    whereby my wisdom may grow as vast as the ocean.

    and in its wisdom, example, and never failing help,
    and resolve to live in harmony with all sentient beings.

    Three General Resolutions


    I resolve to avoid evil.
    I resolve to do good.
    I resolve to liberate all sentient beings.

    The Ten Cardinal Precepts


    • I resolve not to kill, but to cherish all life.

    • I resolve not to take what is not given, but to respect the things of others.

    • I resolve not to engage in improper sexuality, but to be caring and responsible.

    • I resolve not to lie but to speak the truth.

    • I resolve not to cause others to take substances that confuse the mind, nor to do so myself, but to keep the mind clear at all times.

    • I resolve not to speak of the faults of others, but to be understanding and sympathetic.

    • I resolve not to praise myself and disparage others, but to overcome my own shortcomings.

    • I resolve not to withhold spiritual or material aid, but to give them freely where needed.

    • I resolve not to indulge in anger, but to exercise restraint.

    • I resolve not to revile the Three Treasures, Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, but to cherish and uphold them.

    Repentance Gatha


    All evil actions committed by me since time immemorial, stemming from greed, anger, and ignorance, arising from body, speech and mind, I now repent having committed.

    Memorial Prayer


    O Buddhas and Bodhisattvas,
    abiding in all directions,
    endowed with great compassion,
    endowed with fore-knowledge
    endowed with the divine eye,
    endowed with love,
    affording protection to sentient beings,
    consent through the power of your
    great compassion to come forth.
    Consent to accept these offerings concretely laid out and mentally created.

    O Compassionate Ones,
    you who possess the wisdom of understanding,
    the love of compassion, the power of doing divine deeds and of protecting in incomprehensible measure,
    [name of person] is passing from this world to the next.
    He/she is taking a great leap.
    The light of this world has faded for him/her.
    He/she has entered solitude with his/her karmic forces.
    He/she has gone into a vast Silence.
    He/she is borne away by the Great Ocean
    of birth and death.

    O Compassionate Ones,
    protect [name of person], who is defenseless.
    Be to him/her like a father and a mother.

    O Compassionate Ones,
    let not the force of your compassion be weak,
    but aid him/her.
    Forget not your ancient vows.

    (prayer is read three times)

    Metta Bhavana (Lovingkindness) Meditation


    May I be well, happy and peaceful. May no harm come to me. May I be free from hostility, free from affliction, free from distress. May I have the patience, courage, understanding, and determination to meet and overcome the difficulties of life. May I live happily.

    May my mind be filled with the thought of loving-kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity. May I be generous. May I be gentle. May I be relaxed. May I be happy and peaceful. May I be healthy. May my heart become tender. May my words be pleasing to others.

    May all that I see, hear, smell, taste, touch and think help me to cultivate loving-kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity. May they help me cultivate the thought of generosity and gentleness. May they help me be at ease and be friendly. May they be a source of peace and happiness. May they help me be healthy. May they help me be free from fear, tension, anxiety, worry, and restlessness. Throughout body, speech, and mind, [i.e., in all physical, verbal and mental activities] may I be happy, may I be well, may I be at peace, may I be full of love and understanding.

    In like manner cultivate metta, or lovingkindness, toward a benefactor, a dear friend (or family member), a neutral person, a difficult person, all beings.