Thread: Sandokai

  1. #1
    Forums Member fletcher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    United Kingdom (Great Britain)


    I've only just discovered the poem by the eighth Chinese Zen ancestor Shitou Xiqian i really like it and would be grateful anyone could provide some more info about it i can't find much other than Wikipedia, thank you.


    The mind of the great sage of India was intimately conveyed from West to East. Among human beings are wise ones and fools,
    but in the Way there is no northern or southern ancestor. The subtle source is clear and bright. The tributary streams flow
    through the darkness. To be attached to things is illusion. To encounter the absolute is not yet enlightenment. Each and all, the
    subjective and objective spheres are related and at the same time independent. Related, yet working differently, though each
    keeps its own place. Form makes the character and appearance different. Sounds distinguish comfort and discomfort. The dark
    makes all words one, the brightness distinguishes good and bad phrases. The four elements return to their nature as a child to
    its mother. Fire is hot, wind moves, water is wet, earth hard. Eyes see, ears hear, nose smells, tongue tastes the salt and sour.

    Each is independent of the other. Cause and effect must return to the great reality. The words high and low are used relatively.
    Within light there is darkness, but do not try to understand that darkness. Within darkness there is light, but do not look for that
    light. Light and darkness are a pair, like the foot before and the foot behind in walking.Each thing has its own intrinsic
    value and is related to everything else in function and position. Ordinary life fits the absolute as a box and its lid. The absolute
    works together with the relative like two arrows meeting in midair. Reading words you should grasp the great reality. Do
    not judge by any standards. If you do not see the Way, you do not see it even as you walk on it. When you walk the Way, it is
    not near, it is not far. If you are deluded, you are mountains and rivers away from it. I respectfully say to those who wish
    to be enlightened: Do not waste your time by night or day.

    - Shitou

    You can hear it chanted here

  2. #2
    Forums Member Meffi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Sorry I have never heard about, but its nice - so thank you for sharing

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