Hakuin’s Praise Song for Meditation:
A Four-Part Series with Allison Atwill, Tess Beasley,
Jesse Cardin, & Michelle Riddle
In the PZI Digital Temple
Part 4: January 30, 2022
10:30 am –12 pm Pacific Standard Time
Four Sundays: January 9, 16, 23, & 30, 2022
Join us for any or all of these talks!
You will need to register each Sunday as the links will change.
With the turning of the year comes age-old desire for renewal: the longing for a clean slate and opportunity to start anew with a life free from hindrances, and full of the things we long for.
Trouble is, this can become an endless self-improvement project where we try to substitute one self with another, better one, still holding tight to our beliefs about ourselves and the world. Zen invites us to set aside our ideas of good-and-bad, and bathe in the original silence that has held each part of the universe from the very beginning.
There is a renewal born of resting into our inexhaustible true nature, glimpsing vast forces that are always revealing our path home.
—Allison, Tess, Jesse, & Michelle
Our four-part series dives into Hakuin Ekaku’s Praise Song for Meditation, exploring its verses as lanterns for entering the new year.
Praise Song for Meditation
All beings are Buddha by nature,
just as water and ice are the same.
Without water there’s no ice;
outside of beings, no Buddha.
People miss what’s in front of them
and go searching far from home.
It’s sad, like someone standing in water
and crying out in thirst,
or a child from a rich family
struggling among the poor.
We cycle through heavens and hells
because we keep setting out
on the dark roads of ignorance –
dark road after dark road,
when will we be free from birth and death?
can’t be praised enough.
The good effects of generosity and discipline,
prayer, self reflection, and practice,
have their source in meditation.
With what you gain from just one sitting,
all your crimes are wiped away.
Then where are those heaven and hells?
The Pure Land comes near.
If this way moves you
the first time you hear it,
and you simply follow it,
endless blessings come to you.
Even more, if you turn the light inward
and witness your own nature,
your nature which is empty nature,
you go beyond any doctrine.
The gate opens: cause and effect are one,
there’s no two, no three.
The formless form comes into form;
going or returning, we are in the right place.
Thinking thoughts without thought ,
singing and dancing are the voice of the way.
The vast emptiness of deep meditation,
the brightness of the bright moon of wisdom –
is anything missing from this moment?
Nirvana appears before us.
This very place is paradise,
this very body, the Buddha.
If we do one period of meditation, life becomes more transparent and less tangled. When we turn toward the way, it becomes a practice. Then it stains us all the way through; fear falls away, the images and koans of the old teachers carry us, our minds roam free. It changes your life.
Waking up is something we do together, in the online temple on Sunday. We love it when you join us.
Dana and donations are gratefully accepted.
Once you register, you’ll receive a PZI link for access to:
January Series Meditation & Talk at 10:30 am PST
This event is held in lieu of John Tarrant’s regular Sunday session.
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