Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Sandokai - impressions

Here - the conceptual gift of Sakyamuni,
at once, transported from West to East.
This very day remaining clear and timely,
as a mountain spring from freshly melted snow.
Among people [on this path] are the wise and foolish,
yet neither Northern nor Southern Masters are found.
North or South, wherever you began, by following your desires
you only become attached to the affects of this life.
These attachments form the delusions you will later encounter.
By our senses and our perceptions we form some vision.
Regardless, everything remains in its own unique place.
Although each is bound to everything else, it is independent.
Dependent yet independent.
Visions and emotions create the things which we perceive.
We differentiate sounds from pleasing to disturbing.
In light we perceive good and bad.
In silent darkness differences vanish,
darkness makes everything seem as if one.
The true characteristics of the four elements recede,
as a startled child flees to its mother.
Notice: The heat of the fire, the blowing of the wind,
the fluidity of water, the gravity of the earth.
The reflections we see, the sound we hear, the spices we smell,
the tastes of sweet, salty, bitter, and sour...
All these individual things, like leaflets sprouting at the root,
have beginnings and endings, yet return to their beginning.
Words, like high and low, more and less,
are only useful relative to each other.
As light is to be found in darkness,
so too is darkness found in light.
In darkness is light, but just as with searching in darkness,
this light is not easily found.
Light and darkness have a harmony,
just as your left and your right foot form the harmony of walking.
Almost everything in the universe remains indivisible
and gives us unknown possibilities.
Yet known and unknown sing in harmony.
Notice! The unusual appears in the commonplace,
like a lid that fits a box.
Notice! The unusual appears in the commonplace,
like when the day meets the night in twilight.
By reading this you can participate in the full understanding
which lies hidden in these words.
Notice! Don't rely on your own judgment,
forget who you think you are.
If you can't learn the fundamental truth with your senses,
how will you ever reach the path, regardless of how far you walk?
If you don't see the path immediately beneath your feet,
how will you see it when you are wandering away?
When you walk this path, far and near are dissolved.
If you lose this concept,
mountains and rivers appear as obstacles.
Respectfully I say to one who seeks enlightenment:
walk diligently.

impression: an idea or opinion of what something is like

Translation (1), (2), & (3)