Adapted from the Ch'an Retreat Morning Service, Ch'an Center, New York and the Western Zen Retreat Service, Maenllwyd, Wales


Buddham saranam gacharmin
Dharmam saranam gacharmin
Sangham saranam gacharmin


Buddham dittyam saranam gacharmin
Dharmam dittyam saranam gacharmin
Sangham dittyam saranam gacharmin


Buddham trittyam saranam gacharmin
Dharmam trittyam saranam gacharmin
Sangham trittyam saranam gacharmin


To know all the Buddhas
Of past, present and future
Only perceive that all worlds of experience
Are totally created by the mind


THE THREE REFUGES
DZ GWAY I FO, DANG YUAN JUNG SHENG,
We take refuge in Buddha, and we wish all sentient beings,

TI JIEH DA DAO, FA WU SHANG SIN,
Will awaken to the Great Path, and make the Supreme Resolution.

DZ GWAY I FA, DANG YUAN JUNG SHENG,
We take refuge in Dharma, and we wish all sentient beings,

SHEN RU JING DZANG, JIH HWAY RU HAI,
Will penetrate the Sutras, their wisdom as deep as the ocean.

DZ GWAY I SENG DANG YUAN JUNG SHENG,
We take refuge in Sangha, and we wish all sentient beings,

TUNG LI DA JUNG I CHIEH WU AI.
Will be brought together in Great Harmony,
without any obstructions at all.

MP3: listen to how they do it Dharma Drum style


THE PRAJNAPARAMITA HEART SUTRA

When the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara
Was coursing in the deep Prajnaparamita,
He perceived that all five skandas are empty,
Thereby transcending all sufferings.
Sariputra, form is not other than emptiness
And emptiness not other than form.
Form is precisely emptiness
And emptiness precisely form.
So also are sensation, perception, volition and consciousness.
Sariputra, this voidness of all dharmas is not born,
Not destroyed, not impure, not pure, does not increase
Or decrease.
In voidness there is no form,
And no sensation, perception, volition or consciousness;
No eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, mind;
No sight, sound, smell, taste, touch, thought;
There is no realm of the eye
All the way up to no realm of mental cognition.
There is no ignorance
And there is no ending of ignorance
Through to no aging and death
And no ending of aging and death.
There is no suffering, no cause of suffering, no cessation of
Suffering, and no Path.
There is no wisdom or any attainment.
With nothing to attain,
Bodhisattvas relying on Prajnaparamita
Have no obstructions in their minds.
Having no obstructions,
there is no fear
and departing far from confusion and imaginings,
they reach Ultimate Nirvana.
All past, present and future Buddhas,
relying on Prajnaparamita,
attain Anuttara-Samyak-Sambodhi.
Therefore, know that Prajnaparamita is the
great mantra of power,
the great mantra of wisdom,
the supreme mantra,
the unequalled mantra,
which is able to remove all sufferings.
It is real and not false.
Therefore, recite the mantra of Prajnaparamita:

GATE, GATE,
PARAGATE,
PARASAMGATE,
BODHI SVAHA

MAHA PRAJNAPARAMITA
(Chant three times)

MO HO BO RAY PO LO MI DO

MP3


ON PURSUING THAT WHICH LEAVES NO TRACKS

From the beginning
there is nothing to be sought
already within is the complete solution.

There is no sense in travelling
no sense in seeking to get from a learned teacher
the wisdom you already possess.

No sense in austerity
mindlessly sitting sifting and searching
for another's insights.

No sense in adopting ceremonies,
rituals, oblations,
doing good just to feel good
trying to reach a destination hidden in the heart.

No sense in walking
to reach a goal that isn't there.
No sense in thinking
to solve a problem that doesn't exist in thought.

All you have to do
this minute
is to stop -
turn the mind upon itself,
draw your sense within,
turn yourself inside out:
gazing in to the lake of awareness,
let what is there emerge from its lair,
let what is there invade your breathing,
let what is there pulsate in your heart,
let what is there warm your loins,
spin in your skull.

What is this anguish of seeking in the future
that which is already lying in the palms of your hands?

Right now - you have it.
Hold it close - look directly
behind your own face.
Grasping the monster firm,
let him be
or he'll ride you out again
along the paths of time.

And let it all go.
Fall.
Gone, gone, altogether gone.
See within - the Universe ringing in your ears.

Time and space
are simply the ring
through which the Tiger
jumps.

THE FOUR GREAT VOWS

JUNG SHENG WU BIEN SHIH YUAN DU.
We vow to deliver innumerable sentient beings.

(however innumerable beings are,
we vow to meet them kindness and interest) 

FAN NAO WU JIN SHIH YUAN DWAN.
We vow to cut off endless vexations.

(however inexhaustible the states of suffering,
we vow to touch them patience and love)

FA MEN WU LIANG SHIH YUAN SÜ…H.
We vow to master limitless approaches to Dharma.

(however immeasurable the Dharmas are,
we vow to explore them deeply)

FO DAO WU SHANG SHIH YUAN CHENG.
We vow to attain supreme Buddhahood.

(however incomparable the mystery of interbeing,
we vow to surrender to it freely)

MP3

Bell to begin zazen

WARNING TO THE ASSEMBLY
(read by the time keeper alone)

This day has passed,
Our lives, too, are closing.
Like fish with little water,
Joy will not last.
Let us work with pure effort,
Work as we would were our heads aflame.
Be mindful of impermanence.
Be careful of idleness.


TRANSFER OF MERIT
(read together)

We wish all merits,
Deriving now or in the future,
From these our practices,
To be distributed everywhere,
For the good of all.

We pray

For the flourishing of Buddha Dharma,
For peace in the world,
For the joy and contentment of all people,
For the freedom and ease of body and mind.
May sentient beings depart from suffering.
May the vows of the donors be fulfilled.