Thirty-Five Essential Texts with Commentary

by Kazuaki Tanahashi

 

The audio tracks presented here are a selection from Part One, “The Daily Chants,” and Part Two, “Chants for Events,” of the book Zen Chants: Thirty-five Essential Texts with Commentary by Kazuaki Tanahashi. These audio files were edited by Kazuaki Tanahashi, produced by Karuna Tanahashi, and mixed and mastered by Alex Platt.

 

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 1. Awakening Together (English) - 0:23

 2. Awakening Together (Japanese) - 0:28

 3. Four All-Embracing Vows (English)  - 0:40

 4. Four All-Embracing Vows (Japanese) - 0:26

 5. Ten-Line Life-Affirming SÇtra Avalokiteshvara (English) - 2:11

 6. Ten-Line Life Affirming SÇtra of Avalokiteshvara's Boundless (Polyphony) - 9:11

 7. Ten-Line Life-Affirming SÇtra of Avalokiteshvara (Japanese) - 0:50

 8. SÇtra on the Heart Realizing Wisdom Beyond Wisdom (English) - 2:42

 9. SÇtra on the Heart Realizing Wisdom Beyond Wisdom (Japanese) 3:01

 10. Meal Chant (English) - 0:34

11. Robe Verse (English) - 2:01

12. Robe Verse (Japanese) - 0:39

13. Three Refuges (Pali) - 0:33

14. Mett€ (Pali/English) - 0:38

 15. Great Compassionate Heart Dh€ran€Ç (Japanese) - 3:19

16. Wonderous Dh€ran€Ç for Averting Calamities (Japanese) - 0:42

 17. Buddha Ancestors, St Lineage (English) - 5:10

18. Buddha Ancestors, Rinzai Lineage (Japanese) - 5:40

19. Female Buddha Ancestors (English) - 4:35

20. Dedication (Japanese) - 0:19

21. Dedication (English) - 0:20

 

All recordings of chants on these audio tracks are in public domain except for Ten Line Sutra of Avalokiteshvara’s Boundless Life © Luc De Winter, Ensemble Polyfoon.

 

Texts and Credits

Note: “The Editor” here means Kazuaki Tanahashi.

1. Awakening Together (English) 

Solo chant by Karuna Tanahashi

Translated by Joan Halifax and the Editor


All awakened ones

throughout space and time,

honored ones, great beings, 

who help all to awaken, 

together may we realize 

wisdom beyond wisdom!

 

2. Awakening Together (Japanese) 

Solo chant by Gengo Akiba

A common version


Ji h san shi i shi fu.

Shi son bu sa mo ko sa.

Mo ko ho ja ho ro mi.


3. Four All-Embracing Vows (English) 

Solo chant by Karuna Tanahashi

A common translation, adapted by Joan Halifax and modified by the Editor


Beings are numberless; I vow to awaken them.

Delusions are inexhaustible; I vow to transform them.

Dharmas are boundless; I vow to comprehend them.

The awakened way is incomparable; I vow to embody it.


4. Four Vows (Shi Kuseigan Mon, Japanese)

Solo chant by Gengo Akiba

A common version

 

Shuj muhen sei gan do.

Bonn mujin sei gan dan.

Hmon mury sei gan gaku.

Butsud muj sei gan j.


5. Ten-Line Life-Affirming SÇtra of Avalokiteshvara (English)

Group chant at Upaya Zen Center, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Translated by Joan Halifax and the Editor


Avalokiteshvara, perceiver of the cries of the world,

takes refuge in Buddha,

will be a buddha,

helps all to be buddhas,

is not separate from Buddha, Dharma, Sangha— 

being eternal, intimate, pure, and joyful.

In the morning, be one with Avalokiteshvara.

In the evening, be one with Avalokiteshvara,

whose heart, moment by moment, arises,

whose heart, moment by moment, remains!


6. Ten-Line SÇtra of Avalokiteshvara’s Boundless Life (polyphony, English)

Composed by Luc De Winter

Sung by Ensemble Polyfoon, Antwerp, Belgium

Directed by Lieven Deroo

Reproduced with permission from Sandokai 


7. Ten-Line Life-Affirming SÇtra of Avalokiteshvara (Emmei Jukku Kannon Gy, Japanese)

Solo chant by Gengo Akiba

A common version


Kanzeon.

Namu butsu.

Yo butsu u in.

Yo butsu u en.

Bupps en

J raku ga j.

Ch nen Kanzeon.

Bo nen Kanzeon.

Nen nen jÇ shin ki.

Nen nen fu ri shin.


8. SÇtra on the Heart of Realizing Wisdom Beyond Wisdom (English)

Group chant at Upaya Zen Center, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Translated by Joan Halifax and the Editor


Avalokiteshvara, who helps all to awaken, 

moves in the deep course of

realizing wisdom beyond wisdom,

sees that all five streams of 

body, heart, and mind are without boundary,

and frees all from anguish.

 

O Shariputra, 

[who listens to the teachings of the Buddha], 

form is not separate from boundlessness;

boundlessness is not separate from form.

Form is boundlessness; boundlessness is form. 

The same is true of feelings, perceptions, inclinations, and discernment.


O Shariputra,

boundlessness is the nature of all things.

Boundlessness neither arises nor perishes,

neither stains nor purifies,

neither increases nor decreases.

Boundlessness is not limited by form,

nor by feelings, perceptions, inclinations, or discernment. 

It is free of the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and mind;

free of sight, sound, smell, taste, touch, and any object of mind;

free of sensory realms, including the realm of mind.

It is free of ignorance and the end of ignorance.

Boundlessness is free of old age and death, 

and free of the end of old age and death.

It is free of suffering, arising, cessation, and path,

and free of wisdom and attainment.


Being free of attainment, those who help all to awaken 

abide in the realization of wisdom beyond wisdom

and live with an unhindered mind.

Without hindrance, the mind has no fear.

Free from confusion, those who lead all to liberation

embody profound serenity.

All those in the past, present, and future, 

who realize wisdom beyond wisdom,

manifest unsurpassable and thorough awakening.

 

Know that realizing wisdom beyond wisdom

is no other than this wondrous mantra, 

luminous, unequaled, and supreme.

It relieves all suffering.

It is genuine and not illusory.

 

So set forth this mantra of realizing wisdom beyond wisdom.

Set forth this mantra that says:

 

Gaté, gaté, paragaté, parasamgaté, bodhi! Svah€!


9. SÇtra on the Heart of Realizing Wisdom Beyond Wisdom (Maka Hannya Haramitta Shingy, Japanese)

Solo chant by Gengo Akiba

A common version


Kan ji zai bo satsu gy jin han nya ha ra mit ta ji 

sh ken go on kai kÇ do is sai ku yaku

sha ri shi shiki fu i kÇ kÇ fu i shiki shiki soku ze kÇ 

kÇ soku ze shiki ju s gy shiki yaku bu nyo ze

sha ri shi ze sho h kÇ s fu sh fu metsu fu ku fu j fu z fu gen 

ze ko kÇ chÇ mu shiki mu ju s gy shiki mu gen ni bi zes shin ni 

mu shiki sh k mi soku h mu gen kai nai shi mu i shiki kai

mu mu my yaku mu mu my jin nai shi mu r shi yaku mu r shi jin 

mu ku shu metsu d mu chi yaku mu toku 

i mu sho tok ko bo dai sat ta e han nya ha ra mit ta ko shin mu kei ge 

mu kei ge ko mu fu ku fu on ri is sai ten do mu so ku kyo ne han 

 

san ze sho butsu e han nya ha ra mit ta ko toku a noku ta ra sam 

myaku sam bo dai ko chi han nya ha ra mit ta ze dai jin shu 

ze dai my shu ze mu j shu ze mu t d shu n jo is sai ku 

shin jitsu fu ko ko setsu han nya ha ra mti ta shu soku setsu shu watsu

gya te gya tei ha ra gya tei hara so gya tei bo ji sowa ka. 

han nya shin gy

 

10. Meal Chant (English)

Group chant at Salt Spring Zen Circle, British Columbia, Canada

A common translation, modified by the Editor


We reflect on the effort that brought us this food and consider how it comes to us.

We reflect on our practice and service and whether we are worthy of this offering.

We regard it as essential to keep the mind free from excess and greed.

We regard this food as good medicine to sustain our life.

For the sake of awakening, we now receive this food.


11. Robe Verse (English) 

Group chant at Upaya Zen Center, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Translated by Blanche Hartman and the Editor

Modified by Joan Halifax and the Editor


Vast is the robe of liberation,

a formless field of benefaction!

I wear the Tath€gata’s teaching

to awaken countless beings.


12. Robe Verse (Japanese) 

Solo chant by Gengo Akiba

A common version


Dai sai gedappuku. 

Mus fuku den’e.

Hi bu nyorai ky. 

Kd shoshuj.


13. Three Refuges (Pali) 

 Group chant at Metta Forest Monastery, Valley Center, California

A common version


Buddham saranam gacch€mi 

Dhammam saranam gacch€mi

Sangham saranam gacch€mi

 

Dutiyam-pi, Buddham saranam gacch€mi

Dutiyam-pi, dhammam saranam gacch€mi

Dutiyam-pi, sangham saranam gacch€mi

 

Tatiyam-pi, Buddham saranam gacch€mi

Tatiyam-pi, dhammam saranam gacch€mi

Tatiyam-pi, sangham saranam gacch€mi


14. Mett€ (Pali/English) 

Group chant at Metta Forest Monastery, Valley Center, California

Translated by Thanissaro Bhikku


Aha‡_ sukhito homi—May I be happy.

Niddukkho homi—May I be free from stress and pain.

Avero homi—May I be free from animosity.

Aby€pajjho homi—May I be free from opression.

An€Çgho homi—May I be free from trouble.

Sukh€Ç att€nam parihar€mi—May I look after myself with ease.

 

Sabbe satt€ sukhit€ hontu—May all living beings be happy.

Sabbe satt€ aver€ hontu—May all living beings be free from animosity.

Sabbe satt€ aby€pajjh€ hontu—May all living beings be free from opression.

Sabbe satt€ an€Çgh€ hontu—May all living beings be free from trouble.

Sabbe satt€ sukh€Ç att€nam pariharantu—May all living beings look after themselves with ease.


15. Great Compassionate Heart Dh€ran€Ç (Daihi Shin Darani, Japanese) 

Solo chant by Gengo Akiba

A common version


namu kara tan n tora y€ y€ namu ori y€ boryo ki chi shifu ra ya fuji sato bo y€ moko 

sato bo y€ mo k kya runi kya y€ en sa hara ha e shu tan n ton sh€ namu shiki r€Ç to i m 

ori y€ boryo ki chi shifu r€ ri to b namu no r€ kin ji ki r€Ç mo ko ho d sha mi sa b 

o to j shu ben o shu in sa bo sa t no mo bo gy€ mo ha te cho to ji t en o bo ryo k€Ç ru 

gya ch€Ç kya ra ch€Ç i kiri mo k fuji sa t sa bo sa b mo ra mo r€ mo ki mo k€Ç ri to in ku ry ku ry ke mo to ry to ry ho ja ya ch€Ç mo ko ho ja ya ch€Ç to ra to r€ chiri n€Ç shifu ra y€ sha r sha r mo mo ha mo r€ ho chi r€Ç i ki i k€Ç shi no shi n ora san fura sha r€Ç ha za ha z€ fura sha y€ ku ry ku ry mo ra ku ry ku ry ki ri sha r sha r shi ri shi r€Ç su ry su ry fuji y€ fuji y€ fudo y€ fudo y€ mi chiri y€ nora kin j€Ç chiri shuni n hoya mono somo k shido y€ somo k moko 

shido y€ somo k shido yu k€Ç shifu ra y€ somo k nora kin j€Ç somo k mo ra no ra somo k 

shira su omo gya y€ somo k sobo moko shido y€ somo k shaki r€ oshi do y€ somo k hodo mogya shido y€ somo k nora kin j€Ç ha gyara y€ somo k mo hor€Ç shin gyara y€ somo k namu kara tan n tora y€ y€ namu ori y€ boryo ki chi shifu ra y€ somo k shite d modor€ hodo y€ somo k


16. Wondrous Auspicious Dh€ran€Ç for Averting Calamities (Japanese, Shsai My Kichij Darani) 

Solo chant by Gengo Akiba

A common version


nomo san manda motonan oha rach€Ç koto sh€ sono nan t