Main Sutras of Zen Buddhism

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Amaia Lauzurika brings us closer to some of the many sutras that Mahayana Buddhism generated.

Mahayana Buddhism created several sutras

Some are particularly alive because they are recited in the morning in every Zen dojo, after zazen

And they are an integral part of the current Zen practice n Europe

Takkesa Ge, also called the Kesa Sutra, is characterized as a sign of veneration to the kesa, the Buddha's garment

Furthermore before wrapping oneself in the kesa, it should be put on the head, and silently recites the Takkesa Ge three times

During the sessions this sutra is sung by all in chorus, seated, at the end of the morning zazen

Oh garment of the great deliverance, Kesa from the field of boundless happiness, I accept the Buddha's teaching with faith, to help all sentient beings

Called the Heart Sutra because it represents the heart of great wisdom

It was written between the 1st and 6th centuries of our times

Familiar to all the descendants of Buddhism, it is certainly the most recognized sutra

Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara gives Sariputra a teaching about the emptiness of all being and all things, because none of them has a fixed or substantial character

Everything is impermanent and exists in interdependence and not by itself

The Hannya Shingyo is recited in the ceremony that follows zazen

Essence of the Great Wisdom Sutra that allows you to go beyond The bodhisattva of True Freedom, by the profound practice of the Great Wisdom, understand that the body and the five skandha (sensation, perception, thought, activity, awareness) are nothing but emptiness (ku) and through this understanding helps all those who suffer

Oh Sariputra, phenomena are not different from emptiness; emptiness is not different from phenomena

The phenomena become ku; ku becomes a phenomenon

(The form is the void, the void is the form)

The five skandha are also phenomena

Oh Sariputra all existence is ku (void)

There is no birth, no beginning, neither purity, nor stain, nor growth, nor decrease

So in ku, there is neither form nor skandha, neither eye, nor ear, nor nose, no tongue, no body, no awareness

There is no color, no sound, no smell, no taste, no touch, no object of thought

There is no wisdom nor ignorance, neither illusion nor cessation of illusion, neither decadence nor death, nor end of decadence nor cessation of suffering

There is no knowledge, no profit, nor non-profit

For the bodhisattva, there is no fear

thanks to this wisdom that leads beyond

All illusions and all attachments have been cut off and can apprehend the ultimate goal of life, Nirvana

All the Buddhas of the past, of the present and of the future, can attain the understanding of this supreme wisdom that frees from suffering and allows reality to be found

This incomparable mantra goes like this: "Go Go, all together, beyond and beyond, on the shore of satori

" This short sutra represents the ideal of the Bodhisattva constituted by his 4 fundamental vows, whose first vote, which is "save all sentient beings" includes the other 3

This sutra, which is sung every morning, reminds us of the highest mission of the practitioner of Mahayana Buddhism

In this world, as a human being

These vows are renewed each day

Shigu Seigan Mon follows Hannya Shingyo during ceremonies

However numerous sentient beings may be, I vow to save them all

No matter how many passions, I vow to conquer them all

However numerous the dharmas are, I vow to acquire them all

However perfect the Buddha´s way is, I vow to carry it out

Eko, this sutra is a dedication of the ceremony to all the mentioned great masters

All Buddhas or patriarchs are not part of this short recitation

The most important are: Buddha, Bodhidharma Dogen, Keisan, Kodo Sawaki, Taisen Deshimaru, and Niwa Zenji are duly cited and respectfully thanked

The Eko is recited during the ceremony in the morning

We humbly beg your true compassion and awakening

Having chanted the Great Wisdom Sutra, we dedicate this ceremony to each of the next great masters in order to express our gratitude for their compassion: To Shakyamuni Buddha, main teacher and pillar of teaching, which is a great benefit, the great teacher Bodhidharma, former founder, the great teacher Eihei Dogen, old school, to the great master Keizan Jokin, to the great master Mokusho Senku, to each of all the great teachers of past generations, and also: to the great master Somon Kodo, to the great master Mokudo Taisen, to the great master Zuigaku Rempo

we express our appreciation

Fueko, this sutra is a universal invocation who wishes all sentient beings to awaken to the life of Buddha

The Fueko is recited in the afternoon at the time of the brief ceremony that closes the day

May the merits of reciting these sutras enter all beings and all places, so that all of us sentient beings can carry out the Buddha´s way of together

Ji ho san shi, This sutra, which closes the ceremony, is recited in gratitude to all the Buddhas and the patriarchs

The Ji ho San Shi is generally accompanied by sampaï, 3 prostrations

To all Buddhas past, present and future, in the 10 directions, to all Bodhisattvas and patriarchs, the Great Wisdom Sutra that allows us to go further

The Fukanzazengi, written by Dogen, represents the essence of zazen practice

The way is fundamentally perfect

It enters everything

How could it depend on practice and realization? The vehicle of dharma is free and clear of all obstacles

where is it necessary to apply the concentrated effort of man? honestly, the Great Body is beyond the dust of the world

Who could believe that there is a way to dust it off? It's never different from any other, always exactly where it is

What is the use of going here or there to practice? However, if there is a fissure, no matter how narrow is, the way is as far away as heaven from earth

If the least preference or the least antipathy is manifested, the spirit is lost in confusion

Imagine someone who struts to understand and who has illusions of their own awakening, glimpsing the wisdom that enters all things, unite the way and clarify the spirit and gives birth to the desire to climb the sky itself

This person has undertaken unlimited initial exploration of the frontal zones, but he is still insufficiently on the Vital Way of absolute emancipation

Do I need to talk about Buddha, who was in possession of innate knowledge? The influence of the 6 years that he lived is still felt, sitting in lotus in total immobility

And Bodhidharma, the transmission to the present day of the seal, has preserved the memory of his 9 years of meditation in front of a wall

If this happened with the old saints, how can men of today be excused from negotiating the way? You must therefore abandon a practice based on intellectual understanding, running after words and sticking to the literal sense

You must learn the turn that directs your light inwards, to illuminate your true nature

Body and spirit will erase themselves, and your original face will appear

If you want to achieve Awakening, you must practice Awakening without delay

For Zazen, a quiet room is appropriate

Eat and drink soberly

Reject all endeavors and abandon all affairs

Don't think: "This is good, this is bad

" Do not take sides either for or against

Stop all movements of the conscious spirit

Do not judge the thoughts or the perspectives

Have no desire to convert in Buddha

Zazen has absolutely nothing to do with the sitting posture or the lying posture

In the place where you have the habit of sitting, spread a straw mat and put the zafu on top

Sit in lotus or half lotus

In the lotus posture, put your right foot on your left thigh first and the left foot on the right thigh

Take care to loosen your clothes and your belt, arranging them conveniently

Then put the right hand on the left foot and the left hand directed upwards on the right hand; the ends of the thumbs touch each other

Sit up straight in the correct body attitude, neither tilted left, nor tilted right, neither forward nor backward

Take care that the ears are in the same line as the shoulders and that the nose is in the same vertical line as the navel

Put your tongue close to the palate; mouth is closed; touching the teeth

The eyes must always be open, and you must gently breathe through your nose

When you have achieved the correct posture, take one deep breath, breathe in and out

Swing your body from right to left and immobilize yourself in a stable sitting posture

Think of not thinking

How do you think about not thinking? Beyond thought (Hishiryo)

This is the essential art of Zazen

The Zazen, which I´m speaking, is not the learning of meditation, is nothing other than the Dharma of peace and happiness, the practice-realization of perfect Awakening

Zazen is the manifestation of the ultimate reality

The traps and networks can never reach it

Once you have grasped his heart, you are identical to the dragon when it enters the water and identical to the tiger when it enters the mountain

Well you have to know that at this precise moment - when Zazen is practiced - the true Dharma manifests and that from the beginning you have to put aside physical and mental laziness and distraction

When you get up move smoothly and with no haste, calmly and deliberately

Do not get up suddenly or abruptly

When you look back over the past it is perceived that the transcendence of enlightenment or non-enlightenment, that to die sitting or standing, have always depended on the vigor of Zazen

Furthermore, openness to enlightenment on a certain occasion given by a finger, a flag, a needle, a hammer, the fulfillment of the realization thanks to a flycatcher, a fist, a cane, A shout, all that cannot be fully grasped by the dualistic thinking of mankind

Truly, it cannot be better known through the exercise of natural powers either

That is beyond what mankind hear and see Is it not a principle that precedes knowledge and perceptions? Having said that, it matters little whether we are intelligent or not

There is no difference between the dumb and the clever

When one concentrates his effort on a single spirit, that is to negotiate the Way

The practice-realization is pure by nature

Advance is an everyday matter Together this world and the others, both in India and in China, respect the seal of Buddha

The particularity of this school prevails: simply devotion to sitting meditation, sit still in total commitment

Although it is said that there are as many souls as men, everyone negotiates the Way in the same way, practicing zazen

Why leave the seat that is reserved for you in the house to wander in the dusty lands of other realms? A single misstep, and you escape from the Way that is all straight ahead of you

You have been uniquely fortunate to take a human form

Don't waste your time

Bring your contribution to the essential work of the Buddha Way

Who would take a vain pleasure from the flame that rises from the flint? Form and substance are like dew on grass, fate like lightning - which vanishes in an instant -

I beg you, honored Zen disciples, who are used to feeling the elephant in the dark for a long time, do not fear the true dragon

Focus your energy on the Way that indicates the absolute without detour

Respect the accomplished man, that is situated beyond the acts of men

Get in harmony with the enlightenment of the Buddhas; succeed the legitimate dynasty of the Satori of the Patriarchs

Always behave like this and you will be as they are

Your treasure room will open by itself, and you will use it as you see fit

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