The Baizhang Zen Monastic Regulations by Shohei Ichimura

By Shohei Ichimura

The Baizhang Zen Monastic rules, translated through Shohei Ichimura, is the 1st English translation of this complete guide which units forth the principles, workplaces, rituals, and practices of Chan/Zen monastic existence. The Taisho version of the textual content depends on a fourteenth-century Yuan-era model, compiled and edited by way of Dongyan Dehui and Xiaowen Dasu, of the unique Chan/Zen monastic laws, the traditional laws, innovated by way of the ninth-century Zen grasp Baizhang Huaihai. Baizhang used to be the 3rd lineage holder below the 6th Patriarch of the Chan culture in China, Huineng (638-714), writer of the well known Platform Sutra (English translation through John R. McRae, The Platform Sutra of the 6th Patriarch, Taisho No. 2008, Numata middle, 1999). The Baizhang Zen Monastic rules offers a whole set of directions detailing each element of way of life in a Chan temple, from the tasks and obligations of a number of the officials and practitioners to the recitation of particular prayers and sacred texts within the annual calendar of occasions. this article o ers a view of the formation of the early Chan/Zen monastic culture, which has been handed down during the centuries.

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The merit accrued thereby is dedicated to the festivity of the birthday of the Crown Prince, divine heir-apparent. Before the Buddha’s shrine we humbly pray: May the wheel of the 18 Chapter I sun be turned many more times and the brightness of the moon be increased manyfold, so that they will be able to illuminate the whole ocean under heaven. May the mountain be like sandstone and the river like a girdle so that the foundation of the nation can be strengthened. Veneration to Adamantine Immeasurable Life Buddha, and so on.

The axis of the north star winds around like lightning, and the dragon’s appearance spreads a banquet on the ground. , prosperous). There is no drop of water wasted, nor is there any idle person morning or evening. May the imperial couple rise, the auspicious star shine, the exalted seat be ever in peace, the unicorn and phoenix bring good fortune, and the wise lead, making myriads appear as they are. Respectfully presented. 2. The Word of Tribute for the Fulfillment of the Rite of the Imperial Birthday The blooming of the lotus flower is an auspicious sign in this world, just as it was auspicious that the Buddha was born into this world.

The abbot descends the rostrum seat and leads the practitioners. Entering the Buddha hall, he offers incense, performs three prostrations with opened sitting cloth, and kneels to burn incense on a portable incense burner. Meanwhile the director of practitioners’ affairs begins to read the word of tribute for the Buddha: The pure Dharma body essentially has neither phenomenal appearance nor disappearance but, through the power of the vow of great compassion, it shows [its traces] as phenomenal appearance or nonappearance.

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