25 November 2010

Thanksgiving: Torei Zenji's Bodhisattva Vow

When I humbly observe the true nature of things, all are the marvelous manifestation of the Tathāgata's truth.  Atom by atom, instant by instant, all are none other than his mysterious radiance.  Because of this our virtuous ancestors extended loving care and reverence toward even such beings as birds and beasts.  How, then, can we be but humbly grateful for the food, drink, and clothing that nourishes and protects us throughout the day, these being in essence the warm skin and flesh of the great masters, the incarnate compassion of the Buddha?

If it is even so with inanimate objects, how much more should we be kind and merciful towards human beings, even those who are foolish.  Though they become our sworn enemies, reviling and persecuting us, we should regard them as bodhisattva manifestations who, in their great compassion, are employing skillful means to help emancipate us from the sinful karma we have produced over countless kalpas through our biased, self-centered views.

If we awaken in ourselves this deep pure faith, offering humble words and taking sincere refuge in the Buddha, then with every thought there will bloom a lotus flower, each with a Buddha.  These Buddhas will establish Pure Lands everywhere and reveal the radiance of the Tathāgata beneath our very feet.  May we extend this mind throughout the universe, so that we and all sentient beings may equally bring to fruition the seeds of wisdom.