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Thread: Sandokai Notes

  1. #1

    Sandokai Notes

    While chanting the Sandokai this morning, some of the meaning jumped out, so I decided to make some notes:


    To be attached to things is primordial illusion;
    To encounter the absolute is not yet enlightenment.
    All spheres, every sense and field
    intermingle even as they shine alone,
    Interacting even as they merge,
    Yet keeping their places in expressions of their own.
    Sights differ primarily in shape and character
    And sounds in harsh or soothing tones. (What it says)
    The dark makes all words one; (when we turn off the light, we can't read)
    The brightness distinguishes good and bad phrases. (when we turn on the light, we can read)
    The four elements return to their true nature (Exactly what they are. Perfectly what they are)
    As a child turns to its mother. (A child doesn't usually run away, he/she always comes back to Mom because well, mom feeds him and protects him. He/She doesn't think about it. It's nature.)
    Fire is hot, water is wet,
    Wind moves and the earth is dense. (That's what they are. Ice is not hot)
    Eye and form, ear and sound, nose and smell,
    Tongue and taste, the sweet and sour:
    Each independent of the other ( that's what they do. The tongue doesn't see colors. That's the eye's function)
    Like leaves that come from the same root.
    And though leaves and root must go back to the Source (leaves and root are not separate. Where the roots begin, is where the leaves come from)
    Both root and leaves have their own uses. (Although leaves and roots come from the same place, their function is not the same. The roots absorb water, and the leaves absorb sunlight, but they both contribute to the growth of the tree.)
    Light is also darkness,
    But do not think of it as darkness.
    Darkness is light;
    Do not see it as light. (Light needs darkness and darkness needs light, but don't classify them)
    Light and darkness are not one, not two (light and darkness are perfectly what they are, no need to distinguish "we have eyes for that")
    Like the foot before and the foot behind in walking. (that is how we walk. We don't think about it. It is just the way it happens. If we don't put one foot in front of the other, it is called "jumping" or "Hopping")
    Each thing has its own being
    Which is not different from its place and function.
    The relative fits the absolute ( If everything was absolute, then taste, touch, sight, sound, thought would not exist.)
    As a box and its lid.
    The absolute meets the relative
    Like two arrow points that touch in mid air.(The relative and the absolute exist together simultaneously. Therefore, thoughts, taste, touch, sight, sound are part of it. Those practicing subduing the senses and thoughts miss the point)
    Hearing this, simply perceive what is,
    Make no criterion. (don't discriminate)
    If you do not see the Way,
    You do not see it even as you walk upon it. (it is right here in everything that is presenting itself at this moment)
    Walking forward in the way
    You draw no nearer, progress no farther. (you just walk.)
    One who fails to see this truth
    Is mountains and rivers away. (a different way of looking at this would be, mountain and rivers are "over there", when really they are right here framed by a window, or part of a landscape. When you walk towards a mountain, does it walk towards you?)
    Listen, those who would perceive this subtle matter:
    Live well your time by night and day! (That says it all. Enjoy yourself and this life that presents itself each moment.)
    Gassho

    Will

  2. #2

    Re: Sandokai Notes

    Thanks Will...
    Nice posting :wink:

    GAssho, Shuidi

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