Fukan-zazengi The Standard of Sitting-Zen Recommended for Everyone
Tazunuru ni sore, dô moto enzû, ikadeka shushô o karan,
Now, when we research it, the truth originally is all around: why rely upon practice and experience?
Shûjô jizai, nanzo kufû o tsuiyasan.
The vehicle for the fundamental exists naturally: where is the need to expend effort?
Iwan ya zentai harukani jinnai o izu, tareka hosshiki no shudan o shinzen.
Furthermore, the whole body far transcends dust and dirt: who could believe in the means of sweeping and polishing?
Ooyoso tôjo o hanarezu, ani shugyô no kyakutô o mochiuru mono naran ya.
In general, we never depart from the place where we should be: of what use, then, are the tip-toes of training?
Shika aredomo gôri mo sa areba, tenchi harukani hedatari,
However, if there is a thousandth or a hundredth of a gap, heaven and earth are far apart,
ijun wazukani okoreba, funzen to shite shin o shitsu.
and if a trace of disagreement arises, we lose the mind in confusion.
Tatoe e ni hokori go ni yutaka ni shite, becchi no chitsû o e,
Even if, proud of our understanding and richly endowed with realizations, we obtain special states of insight,
dô o e, shin o akirame te, shôten no shiiki o koshi,
attain the truth, clarify the mind, manifest a zeal that pierces the sky,
nyûtô no henryô ni shôyô su to iedomo,
and ramble through those remote spheres that are entered with the head;
hotondo shusshin no katsuro o kiketsu su.
we have almost completely lost the vigorous path of getting the body out.
Iwan ya kano Gion no shôchi taru, tanza rokunen no shôseki mitsu beshi.
Moreover, remembering the natural sage of Jetavana park, we can [still] see the traces of his six years of upright sitting.
Shôrin no shin'in o tsutauru, menpeki kyûsai no seimei nao kikoyu.
We can still hear rumors of the transmitter of the mind-seal at Shaolin, spending nine years facing the wall.
Koshô sudeni shikari, konjin nanzo benzezaru.
The ancient saints were like that already: how could people today fail to practice wholeheartedly?
Yueni subekaraku gon o tazune go o ou no gegyô o kyûsubeshi.
So cease the intellectual work of studying sayings and chasing words.
Subekaraku ekô henshô no taiho o gakusubeshi,
Learn the backward step of turning light and reflecting.
Shinjin jinenni datsuraku shite, honrai no menmoku genzen sen.
Body and mind naturally drop off, and the original face appears.
Inmo no ji o en to hosseba, kyû ni inmo no ji o tsutome yo.
If we want to attain the matter of the ineffable, we should urgently practice the matter of the ineffable.
Sore sanzen wa jôshitsu yoroshiku, onjiki setsu ari.
In general, a quiet room is good for experiencing Zen balance, and food and drink are taken in moderation.
Shoen o hôsha shi, banji o kyûsoku shite,
Abandon all involvements. Give the myriad things a rest.
zen'aku o omawazu, zehi o kansuru koto nakare.
Do not think of good and bad. Do not care about right and wrong.
Shin i shiki no unten o yame,
Stop the driving movement of mind, will, consciousness.
nensôkan no shikiryô o yamete,
Cease intellectual consideration through images, thoughts, and reflections.
sabutsu o hakaru koto nakare,
Do not aim to become a buddha.
ani zaga ni kakawaran ya.
How could it be connected with sitting or lying down?
Yonotsune zasho niwa atsuku zamotsu o shiki, ueni futon o mochiu,
Usually on the place where we sit we spread a thick mat, on top of which we use a round cushion.
aruiwa kekkafuza, aruiwa hankafuza.
Either sit in the full lotus posture or sit in the half lotus posture.
Iwaku, kekkafuza wa, mazu migi no ashi o motte hidari no momo no ueni anji,
To sit in the full lotus posture, first put the right foot on the left thigh,
hidari no ashi o migi no momo no ueni anzu.
then put the left foot on the right thigh.
Hankafuza wa, tada hidari no ashi o motte migi no momo o osu nari.
To sit in the half lotus posture, just press the left foot onto the right thigh.
Yuruku etai o kakete seisei narashimubeshi.
Let clothing hang loosely and make it neat.
Tsugini migi no te o hidari no ashi no ueni anji,
Then place the right hand over the left foot,
hidari no tanagogoro o migi no tanagogoro no ueni anji,
and place the left hand on the right palm.
ryô no daiboshi mukaite ai sasau.
The thumbs meet and support each other.
Sunawachi shôshin tanza shite,
Just sit upright,
hidari ni sobadachi, migi ni katamuki, mae ni kugumari, shirie ni aogu koto o ezare.
not leaning to the left, inclining to the right, slouching forward, or arching backward.
Mimi to kata to taishi, hana to hozo to taise shimen koto o yôsu.
It is vital that the ears vis-a-vis the shoulders, and the nose vis-a-vis the navel, are directed away from each other.
Shita ue no agito ni kakete, shinshi ai tsuke, me wa subekaraku tsuneni hirakubeshi.
Let the tongue spread against the roof of the mouth. Let the lips and teeth come together. The eyes should be kept open.
Bisoku kasukani tsûji,
Let the breath pass imperceptibly through the nose.
shinsô sudeni totonoe te kanki issoku shi, sayû yôshin shite,
Having readied the posture, make one complete exhalation, and sway left and right.
gotsugotsu to shite zajô shite, kono fushiryôtei o shiryô se yo.
Sitting in balance in the mountain-still state, "Think the concrete state of not thinking."
Fushiryôtei ikanga shiryô sen.
"How can the state of not thinking be thought?"
Hishiryô. Kore sunawachi zazen no yôjutsu nari.
"It is different from thinking." This is the secret of sitting-Zen.
Iwayuru zazen wa shuzen ni wa arazu,
What is called sitting-Zen is not learning Zen meditation.
tada kore anraku no hômon nari.
It is just a peaceful and effortless gate to reality.
Bodai o gûjin suru no shushô nari.
It is practice-and-experience which perfectly realizes the Buddha's enlightenment.
Kôan genjô raro imada itarazu.
The Universe is realized, untouched by restrictions or hindrances.
Moshi kono i o eba, ryû no mizu o uru ga gotoku, tora no yama ni yoru ni nitari.
To grasp this meaning is to be like a dragon that has found water, or like a tiger before a mountain stronghold.
Masani shirubeshi, shôbô onozukara genzen shite,
Remember, true reality is naturally manifesting itself before us,
konsan mazu bokuraku suru koto o.
and gloom and distraction vanish at a stroke.
Moshi za yori tataba jojo to shite mi o ugokashi, anshô to shite tatsubeshi,
If we rise from sitting, we should move the body slowly. Rise with calm confidence.
We should not be hurried or violent.
katte miru, chôbon osshô,
We see in the past that those who transcended the ordinary and transcended the sacred,
zadatsu ryûbô mo
and those who died while sitting or died while standing,
kono chikara ni ichinin suru koto o.
relied totally on this power.
Iwan ya mata shi kan shin tsui o nenzuru no tenki,
Moreover, changing of the moment through the action of a finger, a pole, a needle, or a wooden clapper;
hokken bô katsu o kosuru no shôkai mo,
and exact experience of the state through the manifestation of a whisk, a fist, a staff, or a shout,
imada kore shiryô funbetsu no yoku gesuru tokoro ni arazu,
can never be understood by thinking and discrimination.
ani jinzû shushô no yoku shiru tokoro to sen ya.
How could they be known through mystical powers or practice and experience?
Shôshiki no hoka no iigi tarubeshi,
They may be dignified behavior beyond sound and form.
nanzo chiken no saki no kisoku ni arazaru mono naran ya.
How could they be anything other than criteria that precede knowing and seeing?
Shika areba sunawachi jôchi kagu o ronzezu,
Therefore, we do not discuss intelligence as superior and stupidity as inferior.
rijin donsha o erabu koto nakare,
Let us not choose between clever persons and dull ones.
sen'itsu ni kufû seba, masani kore bendô nari.
If we make effort devotedly, that is just wholehearted pursuit of the truth.
Shushô onozukara zenna sezu,
Practice-and-experience is naturally untainted.
shukô sarani kore byôjô naru mono nari.
The direction of effort becomes more balanced and constant.
Ôyoso sore jikai tahô, saiten tôchi,
Broadly then, in this world and in other worlds, in India and in China,
hitoshiku bucchin o jishi,
all similarly maintain the Buddha-posture,
moppara shûfû o hoshiimamanisu,
and solely indulge in the fundamental custom:
tada taza o tsutomete, gocchi ni saeraru.
we simply devote ourselves to sitting, and are caught by the still state.
Banbetsu sensa to iu to iedomo, shikan ni sanzen bendô subeshi,
Although there are myriad distinctions and thousands of differences, we should just pursue the truth through Zen balance.
nanzo jike no zashô o hôkyaku shite,
Why should we abandon our own sitting platform,
midarini takoku no jinkyô ni kyorai sen.
to come and go without purpose through the dusty borders of foreign lands?
Moshi ippo o ayamareba, tômen ni sakasu.
If we misplace one step we pass over the moment of the present.
Sudeni ninshin no kiyô o etari, munashiku kôin o wataru koto nakare.
We have already received the essential pivot which is the human body: let us not pass time in vain.
Butsudô no yôki o honin su. Tareka midarini sekka o tanoshiman.
We are maintaining and relying upon the pivotal essence which is the Buddha's truth: who could wish idly to enjoy sparks [that fly] from flint?
Shika nomi narazu gyôshitsu wa sôro no gotoku,
What is more, the body is like a dewdrop on a blade of grass.
unmei wa denkô ni nitari.
Life passes like a flash of lightning.
Shukkotsu to shite sunawachi munashi,
Suddenly it is gone.
shuyu ni sunawachi shissu.
In an instant it is lost.
Koinegawakuwa sore sangaku no kôru,
I beseech you, noble friends in learning through experience,
hisashiku mozô ni naraute shinryû o ayashimu koto nakare.
do not grow used to images and doubt the real dragon.
Jikishi tanteki no dô ni shôjin shi,
Apply yourself to the path which is directly indicated and straightforward.
zetsugaku mui no hito o sonki shi,
Revere people who are beyond study and free of the intention to achieve.
butsubutsu no bodai ni gattô shi,
Accord with the enlightened state of the buddhas.
soso no zanmai o tekishi se yo.
Be a rightful heir to the balanced state of the ancestors.
Hisashiku inmo naru koto o nasaba, subekaraku kore inmo narubeshi.
If you practice the ineffable for a long time, you will be ineffable.
Hôzô onozukara hirakete, juyô nyoi naran.
The treasure-house will open naturally, and you will receive and use [its contents] as you like.
Master Dogen's Fukan-zazengi rufubon (the popular edition).
Trans. Gudo Nishijima & Chodo Cross, New Year 2003.