Repentance Gatha


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Torei Zenji: Bodhisattva's Vow

Leader:
     I am only a simple disciple,
     but I offer these respectful words:

Assembly:
     When I regard the true nature of the many dharmas,
     I find them all to be sacred forms
     of the Tathagata's never-failing essence.
     Each particle of matter, each moment,
     is no other than the Tathagata's inexpressible radiance.
     With this realization, our virtuous ancestors
     gave tender care to beasts and birds
     with compassionate minds and hearts.
     Among us, in our own daily lives,
     who is not reverently grateful for the protections of life:
     food, drink, and clothing!
     Though they are inanimate things,
     they are nonetheless the warm flesh and blood,
     the merciful incarnations of Buddha.
     All the more, we can be especially sympathetic
     and affectionate with foolish people,
     particularly with someone who becomes a sworn enemy
     and persecutes us with abusive language.
     That very abuse conveys the Buddha's boundless loving-kindness.
     It is a compassionate device to liberate us entirely
     from the mean-spirited delusions we have built up
     with our wrongful conduct from the beginningless past.
     With our open response to such abuse
     we completely relinquish ourselves,
     and the most profound and pure faith arises.
     At the peak of each thought a lotus flower opens,
     and on each flower there is revealed a Buddha.
     Everywhere is the Pure Land in its beauty.
     We see fully the Tathagata's radiant light
     right where we are.
     May we retain this mind
     and extend it throughout the world
     so that we and all beings
     become mature in Buddha's wisdom.

Torei Enji [1721-1792]


sen@zentexts.org / Mar 20, 2014