White Wind Zen Community

A Community practising and teaching Dogen’s Zen since 1985

Chanting Breath and Sound

Hakukaze Soto Zen Sutras

Price: 
CAD $5.00

Ebook: PDF 338K

In chanting practice you needn’t be shy, needn’t hold back and whisper. You’re not praying to gods or angels or Buddhas. You are manifesting the power and integrity of breath, sound, and posture as this sound of the moment. Allow the sound to swell from the hara in your lowest natural voice register. Abandon hesitation and self-consciousness and feel the sounds vibrating in belly, throat, and mouth. Feel air as breath being drawn in and released as sound. Penetrate the ten directions with this chanting and wake up all beings by exerting both the dignity of the words and the dignity of your expression of them.

The mind is clear and traceless, it does not ponder the meaning of the words as you chant. An alert posture, pure intention, and moment to moment awareness actualize the meaning of the words.

The words come and go and, within the words, the sounds come and go. Observe this, celebrate this, and polish the nameless and priceless jewel of your Buddha-nature. Chanting, allow this jewel to shine and, in so doing, see that the jewel has no boundaries and is never limited by any single facet or reflection of light. The Four Great Vows are the essence of the Bodhisattva’s energy, the Heart sutra the Bodhisattva’s mind and so on. Express and actualize these in each sound, each moment of chanting, sitting, walking, working, breathing. In so doing, liberate all beings, all times, all directions, all sounds, all breaths.

Open sky
rings the bell.

The bell’s tone echoes
and the sky is blue.

- Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi, 1986