Hakuin’s Song of Meditation
transl. by Stephen Addiss, from Zen Sourcebook
All living beings are originally Buddhas, just like water and ice:
Without water there is no ice, and outside living beings there is no Buddha.
Not knowing how near it is, people seek it outside themselves – what a pity!
Like someone in the middle of water crying out in thirst,
Or the child of a rich man wandering around like a beggar,
We are bound to the six worlds because we are lost in the darkness of ignorance;
Following dark path after dark path, when shall we escape birth and death?
Boundless as the sky, radiant as the moon is the four-fold wisdom,
At this moment, what do you lack? Nirvana is right in front of you,
This very place is the Lotus Land, this body is the body of Buddha.
And Hakuin’s final words on practice:
“Don’t just stand there watching; get going!”*
Thank you for practising,
*from Cleary, Secrets of the Blue Cliff Record, 27. Quoted in The Sound of One Hand by Addiss & Seo