October 22, 2014

Torei Zenji's Bodhisattva's Vow


When we regard the natures of all living creatures and all things, we find them to be the sacred forms of the Tathagatha's never- failing essence. Each particle of matter, each moment, is no other than the Tathagatha's inexpressible radiance.

With this realisation, our noble ancestors, possessed of compassionate minds and hearts, gave tender care to bird and beast. And in our own daily lives we, too, should be reverently grateful for the protections of life: our food, drink and clothing! Though these are inanimate things, they are nonetheless the warm flesh and blood, the merciful incarnations of Buddha.

All the more, we can be especially understanding and affectionate with foolish people, particularly with those who become sworn enemies and persecute us with abusive language. That very abuse conveys the Buddha's boundless loving-kindness. It is a compassionate device to liberate us 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 then 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 is Buddha's wisdom.