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Reflections on the Shodoka - The Song of Awakening


Sharing some personal re-translations from the Shodōkā (Song of Awakening) by Zen Master Yokā Daishi, based on my personal experience. May they be helpful...

When one realizes that the mind is no-mind, its comings and goings cease, and pure consciousness arises. This is the beginning of Completeness.

The mind that tries to grasp the truth is like a very child grasping at the moon in the water. It cannot be caught or possessed.

When one's attention is free from distraction and hallucination, our Awareness is like a clear mirror reflecting the world as It Is. There is no distortion or confusion.

How we relate to the past... present... and future is nothing but the mind's way of interpreting our experience. When the mind is purified, the worlds of the past, present, and future are understood for what they are.

Ultimate Reality is not something that can be grasped with words or concepts. It can only be experienced directly through the realization of Original nature.

The self is not separate from the Universe but rather a side-effect. It is like the center of a circle, which is both nowhere and everywhere.

To seek the Buddha (Universal Identity of Loving Presence) outside that the mind thinks of as its so-called "self" is to be lost in a nightmare. True Buddha (Universal Identity of Loving Presence) is You precisely as YOU already are, waiting to be discovered, rather than neglected.

The practice of Zen is not about achieving some special state of mind or attaining enlightenment. States of mind come and go, Universal Loving Presence Nature, neither comes or goes... It simply Is as It Is... and indestructible. To notice and realize This... simply practice being fully present in each moment, without seeking and grabbing, or rejecting anything.

Our body and mind, which localized consciousness temporarily makes use of, are like clouds passing through the sky. They come and go, but the sky-like nature of undifferentiated consciousness remains unchanged, undisturbed, and eternal.

The way of Zen is to awaken to our eternal True nature, living in harmony with the world... spontaneously, dynamically, creatively, and freely. It is not about following rules or adhering to dogma, as they are misaligned with Reality.


一We Share The Same Sky

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