曹洞宗でよまれるお経のひとつに修証義があります。 開祖道元禅師の主著「正法眼蔵」を中心に引用し、明治23年に編纂されたものです。 経典は、全5章3704文字から成り立ち、日本語によるわかりやすい経典であります。

Chap5. Constant Practice and Gratitude Real audio sound file


The opportunity to awaken to the Bodhi-mind is, in general, reserved to human beings living in this world.

Now that we have had the good fortune not only to be born in this world but also to come into contact with the Buddha Shakyamuni, how can we be anything but overjoyed!

Quietly consider the fact that if this were a time when the true law had not yet spread throughout the world, it would be impossible for us to come into contact with it, even if we were willing to sacrifice our lives to do so. How fortunate to have been born in the present day, when we are able to make this encounter! Listen to what the Buddha said:

"When you meet a master who expounds the supreme Bodhi-wisdom, do not consider his birth, look at his appearance, dislike his faults, or worry about his behavior. Rather, out of respect for his great wisdom, reverently prostrate yourself before him three times a day - morning, noon, and evening - giving him no cause for worry."

We are now able to come into contact with the Buddha Shakyamuni and hear his teachings due to the compassionate kindness that has resulted from the constant practice of each of the Buddhas and patriarchs. If the Buddhas and patriarchs had not directly transmitted the law, how could it have come down to us today?

We should be grateful for even a single phrase or portion of the law, still more for the great benefit accruing from the highest supreme teaching -

the eye storehouse of the true law. The injured sparrow did not forget the kindness shown to it, rewarding its benefactor with four silver rings.

If even animals show their gratitude for kindness rendered to them, how can human beings fail to do the same?

The true way of expressing this gratitude is not to be found in anything other than our daily Buddhist practice itself. That is to say, we should practice selflessly, esteeming each day of life.

Time flies faster than an arrow; life is more transient than the dew. No matter how skillful you may be, it is impossible to bring back even a single day of the past. To have lived to be hundred years old to no purpose is to eat of the bitter fruit of time, to become a pitiable bag of bones.

Even though you have allowed yourself to be a slave to your senses for a hundred years, if you give yourself over to Buddhist training for even one day, you will gain a hundred years of life in this world as well as in the next.

Each day's life should be esteemed; the body should be respected. It is through our body and mind that we are able to practice the way; this is why they should be loved and respected. It is through our own practice that the practice of the various Buddhas appears and their great way reaches us. Therefore each day of our practice is the same as theirs, the seed of realizing Buddhahood.

All the various Buddhas are none other than the Buddha Shakyamuni himself. The Buddha Shakyamuni is nothing other than the fact that the mind itself is the Buddha. When the Buddhas of the past, present, and future realize enlightenment, they never fail to become the Buddha Shakyamuni. This is the meaning of the mind itself being the Buddha. Study this question carefully, for it is in this way that you can express your gratitude to the Buddhas.

Concerning the English translation. - These translations are not offered as versions, but rather are selections from the by various English.speaking Zen groups.

Chap1. General Introduction
Chap2. Release Through Repentance
Chap3. Ordination and Enlightenment
Chap4. Making the Altruistic Vow
Chap5. Constant Practice and Gratitude

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