Daily Wisdom / Zen

Heart Translation

book coverA brief verse that has always been recited at the Zen Center goes like this:

Great robe of liberation
Field far beyond form and emptiness
Wearing Buddha’s teaching
Saving all beings.

In the early sixties this was chanted only in Japanese. No one knew what it meant. One day a student went to Suzuki Roshi and asked, “What’s the meaning of that chant we do right after zazen?” Suzuki said, “I don’t know.” Katagiri Sensei, his assistant teacher, started going through the drawers looking for a translation. Suzuki gestured to him to stop. Then he turned to the student, pointed to his heart, and said, “It’s love.”

From Zen Is Right Here: Teaching Stories and Anecdotes of Shunryu Suzuki, page 52.

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