Oxford Soto Zen
The Six Paramitas (Perfections)
> Dana - Giving
> Sila - Virtue
> Kshanti - Endurance or Patience
> Virya - Energy, Perseverance
> Dhyana - Meditation
> Prajna - Wisdom

      Robe Chant
Dai sai geda puku
Mu so fuku den e
Hi bu nyo rai kyo
Ko do sho shu jo
How great the robe of liberation!
A formless field of merit.
Wrapping ourselves in
Buddha's teaching,
We free all living beings.

The Four Noble Truths
1.  The World is Full of Suffering (Dukkha).

2. Suffering Arises from Grasping at or Clinging to Things.

3. There is a Way to End Suffering (by Realizing the Impermanence and Interconnectedness of all Phenomena, Including Ourselves).

4. There is a Path that Can Lead to Such a Realization. (The Noble Eight-Fold Path).

 The Noble 8-Fold Path
1. Right View
2. Right Intention
3. Right Speech
4. Right Action
5. Right Livlihood
6. Right Effort
7. Right Mindfulness
8. Right Concentration

Song of the JEWEL MIRROR Samadhi

The teaching of thusness has been intimately communicated
by buddhas and ancestors.
Now you have it,
so keep it well.
Filling a silver bowl with snow,
Hiding a heron in the moonlight --
Taken as similar they're not the same;
When you mix them, you know where they are.
The meaning is not in the words, yet it responds to the inquiring impulse.
Move and you are trapped
Miss and you fall into doubt and vacillation.
Turning away and touching are both wrong, for it is like a massive fire.
Just to depict it in literary form is to stain it with defilement.
It is bright just at midnight,
It doesn't appear at dawn.
It acts as a guide for beings, its use removes all pains.
Although it is not fabricated, it is not without speech.
It is like facing a jewel mirror;
Form and image behold each other --
You are not it,
In truth it is you.
Like a babe in the world,
in five aspects complete;
It does not go or come, nor rise nor stand.
"Baba wawa" --
Is there anything said or not?
Ultimately it does not apprehend anything because its speech is not yet correct.
It is like the six lines of the illumination hexagram:
Relative and ultimate interact --
Piled up, they make three, The complete transformation makes five.
It is like the taste of the five-flavored herb,
Like a diamond thunderbolt.
Subtly included within the true,
Inquiry and response come up together.
Communing with the source, travel the pathways, embrace the territory and treasure the road.
Respecting this is fortunate; do not neglect it.
Naturally real, yet inconceivable, it is not within the province of delusion or enlightenment.
With causal conditions,
Time and season,
Quiescently it shines bright.
In its fineness it fits into spacelessness,
In its greatness it is utterly beyond location.
A hairsbreadth's deviation will fail to accord with the proper attunement.
Now there are sudden and gradual in which teachings and approaches arise.
Once basic approaches are distinguished, then there are guiding rules.
But even though the basis is reached and the approach comprehended,
True eternity still flows.
Outwardly still while inwardly moving,
Like a tethered colt,
A trapped rat --
The ancient sages pitied them and bestowed upon them the teaching.
According to their delusions, they called black as white;
When erroneous imaginations cease, the
Acquiescent mind realizes itself.
If you want to conform to the ancient way, please observe the sages of former times.

This section includes 23 texts.  Please scroll down to locate each.

The 3 Pure Precepts - The 4 Great Vows of a Bodhisattva - The 4 Noble Truths - The 6 Paramitas - The 10 Grave Precepts - The 10 Names of Buddha - After Lecture (Dharma Closing Verse) - Before Lecture (Dharma Opening Verse) - Bussorai #1 (Male ancestors through Dogen) - Bussorai #2, male ancestors Dogen through Shogaku Shunryu (+ 3 more) - Dogen's Vow - Female Ancestors - Hymn to the Perfection of Wisdom - Kannon Sutra - Maka Hannya Haramita Shingyo - Metta Sutta - The Noble Eightfold Path - Prajna Paramita (The Heart Sutra) - Repentance & Refuges - The Robe Chant - Sandokai - Self-Fulfilling Samadhi - Shosaimyo Kichijo Dharani - Shushogi I - Shushogi  V -  Song of the Jewel Mirror Samadhi - Zazenshin

Bussorai #2

Eihei Dogen Daiosho, Koun Ejo Daiosho, Tettsu Gikai Daiosho, Keizan Jokin Daiosho, Gasan Joseki Daiosho, Taigen Soshin Daiosho, Baizan Mompon Daiosho, Jochu Tengin Daiosho, Shingan Doku Daiosho, Senso Esai Daiosho, Iyoku Choyu Daiosho, Mugai Keigon Daiosho, Nenshitsu Yokaku Daiosho, Sesso Hoseki Daiosho, Taiei Zesho Daiosho, Nampo Gentaku Daiosho, Zoden Yoko Daiosho, Tenyu Soen Daiosho, Ken’an Junsa Daiosho, Chokoku Koen Daiosho, Senshu Donko Daiosho, Fuden Gentotsu Daiosho, Daishun Kan’yu Daiosho, Tenrin Kanshu Daiosho, Sessan Tetsuzen Daiosho, Fuzan Shunki Daiosho, Jissan Mokuin Daiosho, Sengan Bonryu Daiosho, Daiki Kyokan Daiosho, Enjo Gikan Daiosho, Shoun Hozui Daiosho, Shizan Tokuchu Daiosho, Nanso Shinshu Daiosho, Kankai Tokuon Daiosho, Kosen Baido Daiosho, Gyakushitsu Sojun Daiosho, Butsumon Sogaku Daiosho, Gyokujun So-on D, Shogaku Shunryu Daiosho,

Keido Kaye, Sensei, Junfu Shonkwiler, Sensei* [Shinzan Kido, Sensei]*

*Women in this lineage

Maka Hannya Haramita Shingyo
Kan ji zai bo satsu gyo jin

Ji sho ken go on kai ku do
I sai ku yaku sha ri shi
Shiki fu I ku ku fu I
Shiki shiki soku ze ku ku soku ze
Shiki ju so gyo shiki yaku bu nyo
Ze sha ri shi

Ze sho ho ku so fu sho
Fu Metsu fu ku fu jo fu zo fu gen ze ko ku Chu mu shiki mu Jo so gyo
Shiki mu gen ni bi ze shin I mu shiki sho ko mi

Soku ho mu gen kai nai shi mu I
Shiki kai mu mu myo yaku mu mu myo Jin nai shi mu ro shi yaku mu ro shi
Jin mu ku shu

Metsu do mu chi yaku mu toku I
Mu sho toku ko bo dai sat ta E

Ki shi mu ke ge mu ke ge ko
Mu u ku fu on re I sai ten do
Mu so ku gyo ne han san ze sho Butsu E

Ko toku A noku ta ra san myaku san
Bo dai ko chi

Ze dai jin shu ze dai myo shu
Ze mu jo shu ze mu to do shu
No jo I sai ku shin jitsu fu ko ko setsu

Shu soku setsu shu watsu

Gya tei Gya tei Ha ra gya tei
Hara so gya tei
Bo ji so wa ka

Han ya shin gyo

Kannon Sutra

Kanzeon 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 arises with mind
This moment itself is mind

Kanzeon na mu
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

The 10 Names of Buddha

> Vairochana Buddha
  - Pure Dharmakaya
> Lochana Buddha
  - Complete Sambhogakaya
> Shakyamuni Buddha
  - Myriad Nirmanakaya
> Maitreya Buddha
  - Of Future Birth
> Lotus of the Wondrous Dharma
  - Mahayana Sutra
> Manjushri Bodhisattva
  - Great Wisdom
> Samantabhadra Bodhisattva
  - Great Activity
> Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva
  - Great Compassion
> All Honored Ones
  - Bodhisattva(s)
  - Mahasattvas

The Four Great Vows of a Bodhisattva


Beings are numberless;

I vow to free them.

Afflictions are inexhaustible;

I vow to cut through.

Dharma gates are boundless;

I vow to enter them.

The Buddha Way is unsurpassed;

I vow to realize it.


  No mo san man da
  Moto nan
  Oha ra chi koto sha
  Sono nan to ji to
  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 so mo ko

(The Acupuncture Needle of Zazen)

The essential-function of buddhas
And the functioning-essence of ancestors
Being actualized within non-thinking
Being manifested within non-interacting:

Being actualized within non-thinking
The actualization is by nature intimate;
Being manifested within non-interacting
the manifestation is itself verification.

The actualization that is by nature intimate never has defilement.

The manifestation that is by nature verification never has distinction between Absolute and Relative.

The intimacy without defilement is dropping off without relying on anything.

Verification beyond distinction between Absolute and Relative is making effort without aiming at it.

     The water is clear to the earth.
     A fish is swimming like a fish.
     The sky is vast and extends to the heavens.
     A bird is flying like a bird.

BEFORE LECTURE (Dharma Opening Verse)
The unsurpassed profound and
wond'rous Dharma
Is rarely met with
Even in a hundred thousand million kalpas
Now we can see and hear it
Accept and maintain it
May we unfold the meaning of the
Tathagata's truth

AFTER LECTURE (Dharma Closing Verse)
Beings are numberless
I vow to free them
Afflictions are inexhaustible
I vow to cut through
Dharma gates are boundless
I vow to enter them
The Buddha way is unsurpassed
I vow to realize it

Repentance & Refuges
3 Refuges of a Bodhisattva
(SFZC Style)

Repentance (3 X)
   All my ancient, twisted karma,
   From beginningless greed, hate
   and delusion,
   Born through body, speech
   and mind,
   I now fully avow.
I take refuge in Buddha
Before all being
Immersing body and mind
Deeply in the way
Awakening true mind

I take refuge in dharma
Before all being
Entering deeply
The merciful ocean
Of Buddha's way

I take refuge in sangha
Before all being
Bringing harmony
to everyone
Free from hindrance

Metta (Loving Kindness) Sutta

This is what may be accomplished by
     The one who is wise
Who seeks the good
     And has obtained peace

Let one be strenuous upright and sincere
     Without pride
Easily contented and joyous

Let one not be submerged
     By the things of the world
Let one not take upon oneself
     The burden of riches
Let one's senses be controlled
Let one be wise but not puffed up
Let one not desire great possessions
     Even for one's family
Let one do nothing that is mean or
     That the wise would reprove

May all beings be happy
     May they be joyous and live in safety

All living beings whether weak or strong
     In high or middle or low
Realms of existence
     Small or great
Visible or invisible
     Near or far
Born or yet to be born
     May all beings be happy

Let no one deceive another
     Nor despise any being in any state
Let none by anger or hatred
     Wish harm to another
Even as a mother at the risk of her life
     Watches over and protects
Her only child
     So with a boundless mind
Should one cherish all living things,
     Suffusing love over the entire world
Above below and all around without limit

So let one cultivate an infinite good will
     Toward the whole world
Standing or walking
     Sitting or lying down
During all one's waking hours
     Let one practice the way with gratitude
Not holding to fixed views
     Endowed with insight
Freed from sense appetites
     One who achieves the way
Will be freed from the duality
      of birth and death

I vow:
        To renounce all evil;
        To practice all good;
        To free all beings.

1.  No Killing
2.  No Stealing
3.  No Abuse of Sexuality, nor the intimacy of sangha
4.  No Lying
5.  No Use of Mind-Altering Substances
6.  No Discussing the Faults of Others
7.  No Boasting
8.  No Possessiveness Concerning  the
     Dharma Assets
9.  No Expressing Anger against Another
10.  No Defaming the Three Treasures:
       Buddha, Dharma nor Sangha

            (Part V: Practicing Buddhism &
               Repaying Blessings)

Arousing the thought of enlightenment is mainly something that human beings in this world should do. Should we not rejoice that we have had the opportunity to be born in this land of the Buddha Shakyamuni and to have encountered him?

We should calmly consider that if this was a time when the true dharma had not yet spread in the world, we would not be able to encounter it, even if we vowed to sacrifice our very lives for it.  We who have at present encountered the true dharma should make such a vow.

Do we not know that the Buddha said,      " When you meet the teachers who expound supreme enlightenment, do not consider their family background, do not regard their appearance, do not dislike their faults and do not think about their conduct.  Simply out of respect for wisdom bow to them three times daily, honor them and do not cause them any grief."

That we are now able to see the Buddha and hear the dharma is due to the blessings that have come to us through the practice of every one of the buddhas and ancestors. If the buddhas and ancestors had not directly transmitted the dharma how could it have reached us today?

We should be grateful for the blessings of even a single phrase.  We should be grateful for the blessings of even a single dharma.  How much more should we be grateful for the great blessings of the treasury of the eye of the true dharma the Supreme Great Dharma?

The injured bird did not forget its blessings but showed its thanks with the rings of three ministries. The trapped tortoise did not forget its blessings but showed its thanks with the seal of Yubu.  If animals repay their blessings how could humans ignore them?

The true path of our expression of gratitude lies solely in our daily practice of Buddhism.This means that we practice without neglecting our lives day to day and without being absorbed in ourselves.

Time flies faster than an arrow and life is more transient than the dew.  With what skillful means or devices can we retrieve even a single day that has passed? A hundred years lived to no purpose are days and months to be regretted.  We should love and respect our bodies and minds which undertake this practice.

Depending on our practice, the practice of the buddhas is manifested and the great way of the buddhas penetrates everywhere.  Therefore the practice of a single day is the seed of the buddhas, the practice of the buddhas. 

These buddhas are the Buddha Shakyamuni. 

The buddha Shakyamuni is "mind itself is buddha." When buddhas of the past, resent and future together fulfill Buddhahood, they always become the Buddha Shakyamuni. This is [the meaning of] "Mind itself is Buddha."

We should carefully investigate who is meant when we say "Mind itself is buddha."

This is how we repay the blessings of the Buddha.

Dogen’s Vow 

(Eihei Koso Hotsuganmon)

We vow with all beings from this life on throughout countless lives

To hear the true dharma

That upon hearing it we shall renounce worldly affairs

And maintain the Buddha dharma

And that in doing so the great earth and all beings together

Will attain the Buddha way

Although our past harmful karma has greatly accumulated

Indeed being the cause and condition of obstacles in practicing the way

May all buddhas and ancestors who have attained the Buddha way

Be compassionate to us

Allowing us to practice the way without hindrance

May they share with us their compassion which fills the boundless universe

With the virtue of their enlightenment and teachings

Buddhas and ancestors of old were as we

We in the future shall be buddhas and ancestors

Revering buddhas and ancestors

We are one Buddha and one Ancestor

Awakening Bodhimind we are one Bodhimind

Because they extend their compassion to us freely and without limit

We are able to attain Buddhahood and let go of attainment

Therefore the Ch’an master Lung-ya said

“Those who in past lives were not enlightened will now be enlightened.”

In this life save the body it is the fruit of many lives

Before Buddhas were enlightened they were the same as we

Enlightened people of today are exactly as those of old 

Quietly explore the farthest reaches of these causes and conditions

as this practice is the exact transmission of a verified Buddha

Understanding in this way one never fails to receive profound help from all Buddhas and Ancestors

This is the true and simple color of true practice

Of the true mind of faith of the true body of faith

                      HYMN to the

Homage to the Perfection of Wisdom,
The lovely, the holy.
The Perfection of Wisdom gives light.
Unstained, the entire world cannot stain her.
She is a source of light and from everyone in the triple world she removes darkness.
Most excellent are her works.
She brings light so that all fear and distress may be forsaken,
and disperses the gloom and darkness of delusion.
She herself is an organ of vision.
She has a clear knowledge of the own-being of all dharmas,
for she does not stray from it.
The Perfection of Wisdom of the buddhas sets in motion the wheel of dharma.

Practice and Verification

The most important issue of all for Buddhists is the thorough clarification
of the meaning of birth and death
If the buddha is within birth and death
there is no birth and death
Simply understand that
birth and death are themselves nirvana
There is no birth and death to be hated
nor nirvana to be desired
Then for the first time we will be freed
from birth and death
To master this problem
is of supreme importance
It is difficult to be born as a human being
It is rare to encounter the buddha-dharma
Now thanks to our good deeds in the past
not only have we been born as humans
we have also encountered
the buddha-dharma within the realm
of birth and death
This good birth is the best
Let us not waste our precious human lives
irresponsibly abandoning them to the
winds of impermanence
Impermanence is unreliable
We know not on what roadside grasses
the dew of our transient life will fall
Our bodies are not our own
Our lives shift with the passing days
and cannot be stopped for even an instant
Once rosy-cheeked youth has gone
we cannot find even its traces
Careful reflection shows that
most things once gone by
will never be encountered again
In the face of impermanence
there is no help from
kings statesmen relatives
servants spouses children or wealth
We must enter the realm of death alone
accompanied only by our
good or bad karma

Avoid associating with deluded people
in this world
who are ignorant of the truth of
causality and karmic retribution
who are heedless of
past present and future
and cannot distinguish good from evil
The principle of causality is
obvious and impersonal
for inevitably those who do evil fall
and those who do good rise
If there were no causality the buddhas
would not have appeared in this world
nor would Bodhidharma
have come from the west

The karmic consequences
of good and evil
occur at three different times
The first is retribution experienced
in our present life
The second is retribution experienced
in the life following this one
and the third is retribution experienced
in subsequent lives

In practicing the way
of the buddhas and ancestors
from the start we should study and clarify
the principle of retribution in
these three times
Otherwise we will make mistakes and
fall into false views
We will fall into evil births and
undergo long periods of suffering
Understand that in this birth
we have only one life not two or three
How regrettable it is if
falling into false views we are subject
to the consequences of evil deeds
because we think that it is not evil
even as we do evil and
falsely imagine that there will be
no consequences of evil
There is no way for us to
avoid these consequences

   The Prajna Paramita        
(The Heart Sutra)

Avalokiteshvara, Bodhisattva, when deeply practicing Prajna Paramita
Clearly saw that all five aggregates are empty and thus relieved all suffering.

Form does not differ from emptiness; emptiness does not differ from form.
Form itself is emptiness; emptiness itself form.
Sensations, perceptions, formations and consciousness are also like this. 

All dharmas are marked by emptiness.
They neither arise nor cease, are neither defiled nor pure,
Neither increase nor decrease.
Therefore, given emptiness, there is
No form, no sensation, no perception , no formation, no consciousnes;
No eyes, no ears, no nose, no tongue, no body, no mind;
No sight, no sound, no smell, no taste, no touch, no object of mind;
No realm of sight, no realm of mind consciousness.

There is neither ignorance nor extinction of ignorance;
Neither old age and death nor extinction of old age and death;

No suffering, no cause, no cessation, no path;
No knowledge and no attainment.

With nothing to attain a Bodhisattva relies on Prajna Paramita, and thus
               the mind is without hindrance. 
Without hindrance, there is no fear.

Far beyond all inverted views, one realizes nirvana.

All buddhas of past, present and future rely on Prajna Paramita and thereby
Attain unsurpassed, complete, perfect enlightenment.

Therefore know the Prajna Paramita as
The great miraculous mantra, the great bright mantra,
The supreme mantra, the incomparable mantra,
Which removes all suffering and is true not false.

Therefore we proclaim the Prajna Paramita Mantra, the mantra that says:

"Gate, Gate, Paragate, Parasamgate, Bodhi Svaha!"


                 BUSSORAI - The names of our Buddhist Ancestors

         These are the names of our male ancestors, through Eihei Dogen.

         Through face-to-face transmission and through taking on the Bodhisattva’s task of teaching and transmitting the Dharma to disciples, they, with our female ancestors, have made our Buddhist Practice possible today.

         When chanted, “Butsu, Daiosho” follows each name.

Each name in Bold is punctuated with a clank (X) after "Daiosho."

  1. Bibashi Butsu Daiosho  X
  2. Shiki Butsu Daiosho (etc.)
  3. Bishafu
  4. Kuruson
  5. Kunagonmuni
  6. Kasho
  7. Shakyamuni   X
  8. Makakasho
  9. Ananda
  10. Shonawashu
  11. Ubakikuta
  12. Daitaka
  13. Mishaka
  14. Bashumitta  X
  15. Butsudanandai
  16. Fudamitta
  17. Barishiba
  18. Funayasha
  19. Anabotei
  20. Kabimora
  21. Nagyaharajuna  X
  22. Kanadaiba
  23. Ragorata
  24. Sogyanandai
  25. Kayashata
  26. Kumorata
  27. Shayata
  28. Bashubanzu  X
  29. Manura
  30. Kakurokuna
  31. Shishibodai
  32. Funyomitta
  33. Bashishita
  34. Hannyatara
  35. Bodaidaruma  X
  36. Taiso Eka
  37. Kanchi Sosan
  38. Daii Doshin
  39. Daiman Konin
  40. Daikan Eno  X
  41. Seigen Gyoshi
  42. Sekito Kisen
  43. Yakusan Igen
  44. Ungan Donjo
  45. Tozan Ryokai  X
  46. Ungo Doyo
  47. Doan Dohi
  48. Doan Kanshi
  49. Ryozan Enkan
  50. Taiyo Kyogen
  51. Toshi Gisei  X
  52. Fuyo Dokai
  53. Tanka Shijun
  54. Choro Seiryo
  55. Tendo Sokaku
  56. Seicho Chikan
  57. Tendo Nyojo
  58. Eihei Dogen  X
NOTE:  Ths is the first half of the Bussorai.  Male Ancestors from Dogen through the present time will be added later, as we study them.



















































































            Iiu Tiemo














       Kongshi Daoren


            Yu Daopo




























            Mokufu Sonin


            Myosho Enkan












(The Harmony of Difference and Equality)

         The mind of the Great Sage of India is intimately transmitted from West to East. While human faculties are sharp or dull, the Way

has no Northern or Southern ancestors.

         The spiritual source shines clear in the light; the branching

streams flow on in the dark.

         Grasping at things is surely delusion; according with sameness

is still not enlightenment.

         All the objects of the senses transpose and do not transpose. Transposing, they are linked together; not transposing, each keeps its

place. Sights vary in quality and form; sounds differ as pleasing or harsh. Darkness merges refined and common words; brightness

distinguishes clear and murky phrases.

         The four elements return to their natures, just as a child turns to

its mother. Fire heats. Wind moves. Water wets. Earth is solid.

         Eye and sights, ear and sounds, nose and smells tongue and tastes – thus for each and every thing according to the roots, the

leaves spread forth, trunk and branches share the essence.

         Revered and common each has its speech.

         Light and dark oppose one another like the front and back foot

in walking.

         Each of the myriad things has its merit, expressed according to its function and place, existing phenomenally like box and cover

joining, according with principle like arrow points meeting

         Hearing the words, understand the meaning; do not establish

standards of your own. Not understanding the Way before your eyes, how do you know the path you walk?


         Walking forward is not a matter of far or near, but, if you are confused, mountains and rivers block your way.


         I respectfully urge you who study the mystery, do not pass your days and nights in vain.