Resources

LINKS

dharmafield.org

Dharma Field Zen Center, Minneapolis is devoted to practice in the Soto Zen tradition, founding teacher, Steve Hagen.  Dharma Field offers some free talks online as well as some Zen texts and opportunities to register for classes which can be taken at Dharma Field or online.

plumvillage.org
Plum Village is the home monastery of Zen teacher Thich Nhat Hanh located in southern France.  The site offers information about mindfulness practice as well as numerous talks to watch, listen to, read and information about events at Plum Village.

TEXTS

The Sixteen Bodhisattva Precepts

This version of the Sixteen Bodhisattva Precepts is the one used at Zen Mountain Monastery by (now deceased) Zen master John Daido Loori.

1. Take refuge in the Buddha.
2. Take refuge in the Dharma.
3. Take refuge in the Sangha.
4. Do not create suffering.
5. Practice good.
6. Actualize good for others.
7. Affirm life; do not kill.
8. Be giving; do not steal.
9. Honor the Body; do not misuse sexuality.
10. Manifest truth; do not lie.
11. Proceed clearly; do not cloud the mind.
12. see the perfection; do not speak of others’ errors and faults.
13. Realize the self and other as one; do not elevate the self and blame others.
14. Give generously; do not be withholding.
15. Actualize harmony; do not be angry.
16. Experience the intimacy of things; do not defile the Three Treasures.

The Five Mindfulness Trainings

Sisters and brothers in the community, this is the moment when we enjoy reciting the Five Mindfulness Trainings together.  The Five Mindfulness Trainings represent the Buddhist vision for a global spirituality and ethic.  They are a concrete expression of the Buddha’s teachings on the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path, the path of right understanding and true love, leading to healing, transformation, and happiness for ourselves and for the world.  To practice the Five Mindfulness Trainings is to cultivate the insight of interbeing, or Right View, which can remove all discrimination, intolerance, anger, fear, and despair.  If we live according to the Five Mindfulness Trainings, we are already on the path of a bodhisattva.  Knowing we are on that path, we are not lost in confusion about our life in the present or in fears about the future.

 Reverence For Life
Aware of the suffering caused by the destruction of life, I am committed to cultivating the insight of interbeing and compassion and learning ways to protect the lives of people, animals, plants, and minerals. I am determined not to kill, not to let others kill, and not to support any act of killing in the world, in my thinking, or in my way of life.  Seeing that harmful actions arise from anger, fear, greed, and intolerance, which in turn come from dualistic and discriminative thinking, I will cultivate openness, non-discrimination, and non-attachment to views in order to transform violence, fanaticism, and dogmatism in myself and in the world.

True Happiness
Aware of the suffering caused by exploitation, social injustice, stealing, and oppression, I am committed to practicing generosity in my thinking, speaking, and acting. I am determined not to steal and not to possess anything that should belong to others; and I will share my time, energy, and material resources with those who are in need.  I will practice looking deeply to see that the happiness and suffering of others are not separate from my own happiness and suffering; that true happiness is not possible without understanding and compassion; and that running after wealth, fame, power and sensual pleasures can bring much suffering and despair.  I am aware that happiness depends on my mental attitude and not on external conditions, and that I can live happily in the present moment simply by remembering that I already have more than enough conditions to be happy.  I am committed to practicing Right Livelihood so that I can help reduce the suffering of living beings on Earth and reverse the process of global warming.

True Love
Aware of the suffering caused by sexual misconduct, I am committed to cultivating responsibility and learning ways to protect the safety and integrity of individuals, couples, families, and society.  Knowing that sexual desire is not love, and that sexual activity motivated by craving always harms myself as well as others, I am determined not to engage in sexual relations without true love and a deep, long-term commitment made known to my family and friends.  I will do everything in my power to protect children from sexual abuse and to prevent couples and families from being broken by sexual misconduct.  Seeing that body and mind are one, I am committed to learning appropriate ways to take care of my sexual energy and cultivating loving kindness, compassion, joy and inclusiveness – which are the four basic elements of true love – for my greater happiness and the greater happiness of others.  Practicing true love, we know that we will continue beautifully into the future.

Loving Speech and Deep Listening
Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful speech and the inability to listen to others, I am committed to cultivating loving speech and compassionate listening in order to relieve suffering and to promote reconciliation and peace in myself and among other people, ethnic and religious groups, and nations.  Knowing that words can create happiness or suffering, I am committed to speaking truthfully using words that inspire confidence, joy, and hope.  When anger is manifesting in me, I am determined not to speak.  I will practice mindful breathing and walking in order to recognize and to look deeply into my anger.  I know that the roots of anger can be found in my wrong perceptions and lack of understanding of the suffering in myself and in the other person.  I will speak and listen in a way that can help myself and the other person to transform suffering and see the way out of difficult situations.  I am determined not to spread news that I do not know to be certain and not to utter words that can cause division or discord.  I will practice Right Diligence to nourish my capacity for understanding, love, joy, and inclusiveness, and gradually transform anger, violence, and fear that lie deep in my consciousness.

Nourishment and Healing
Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful consumption, I am committed to cultivating good health, both physical and mental, for myself, my family, and my society by practicing mindful eating, drinking, and consuming. I will practice looking deeply into how I consume the Four Kinds of Nutriments, namely edible foods, sense impressions, volition, and consciousness.  I am determined not to gamble, or to use alcohol, drugs, or any other products which contain toxins, such as certain websites, electronic games, TV programs, films, magazines, books, and conversations.  I will practice coming back to the present moment to be in touch with the refreshing, healing and nourishing elements in me and around me, not letting regrets and sorrow drag me back into the past nor letting anxieties, fear, or craving pull me out of the present moment.  I am determined not to try to cover up loneliness, anxiety, or other suffering by losing myself in consumption.  I will contemplate interbeing and consume in a way that preserves peace, joy, and well-being in my body and consciousness, and in the collective body and consciousness of my family, my society and the Earth.

 

The Heart Sutra

Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva
When practicing deeply the Perfection of Wisdom
Perceived that all five skandhas are Empty
And was saved from all suff’ring and distress.

“O Shariputra, form does not differ from Emptiness;
Emptiness does not differ from form.
That which is form is Emptiness;
That which is Emptiness, form.
The same is true of sensations, conceptions,
inclinations, perception.

O Shariputra, all dharmas are marked with Emptiness;
They do not appear nor disappear,
Are not tainted nor pure,
Do not increase nor decrease.

Therefore in Emptiness, no form,
No sensations, no conceptions, no inclinations, no
perception;
No eyes, no ears, no nose, no tongue, no body,
no mind;
No color, no sound, no smell, no taste, no touch,
no object of mind;
No realm of eyes and so forth until no realm of
mind-consciousness;

No ignorance and also no extinction of it, and so
forth until no old age and death and also no
extinction of them;
No suff’ring, no origination, no stopping, no path;
No cognition, also no attainment.
With nothing to attain,
The bodhisattva depends on the Perfection of Wisdom
And the mind is no hindrance.
Without any hindrance, no fears exist;
Far apart from every perverted view the bodhisattva
dwells in Nirvana.

All Buddhas, past, present, and future, depend on
the Perfection of Wisdom,
And attain unsurpassed, complete, perfect
Enlightenment.

Therefore know the Perfection of Wisdom
Is the great transcendent mantra,
Is the great bright mantra,
Is the utmost mantra,
Is the supreme mantra,
Which is able to relieve all suff’ring
And is true, not false.
So proclaim the Perfection of Wisdom mantra,
Proclaim the mantra that says:
Gate, gate, paragate, parasamgate! Bodhi! Svaha!”

 

The Insight that Brings Us to the Other Shore
(Thich Nhat Hanh’s translation of The Heart Sutra)

Avalokiteshvara
while practicing deeply with
the Insight that Brings Us to the Other Shore,
suddenly discovered that
all of the five Skandhas are equally empty,
and with this realisation
he overcame all Ill-being.

“Listen Sariputra,
this Body itself is Emptiness
and Emptiness itself is this Body.
This Body is not other than Emptiness
and Emptiness is not other than this Body.
The same is true of Feelings,
Perceptions, Mental Formations,
and Consciousness.

“Listen Sariputra,
all phenomena bear the mark of Emptiness;
their true nature is the nature of
no Birth no Death,
no Being no Non-being,
no Defilement no Purity,
no Increasing no Decreasing.

“That is why in Emptiness,
Body, Feelings, Perceptions,
Mental Formations and Consciousness
are not separate self entities.

The Eighteen Realms of Phenomena
which are the six Sense Organs,
the six Sense Objects,
and the six Consciousnesses
are also not separate self entities.

The Twelve Links of Interdependent Arising
and their Extinction
are also not separate self entities.
Ill-being, the Causes of Ill-being,
the End of Ill-being, the Path,
insight and attainment,
are also not separate self entities.

Whoever can see this
no longer needs anything to attain.

Bodhisattvas who practice
the Insight that Brings Us to the Other Shore
see no more obstacles in their mind,
and because there
are no more obstacles in their mind,
they can overcome all fear,
destroy all wrong perceptions
and realize Perfect Nirvana.

“All Buddhas in the past, present and future
by practicing
the Insight that Brings Us to the Other Shore
are all capable of attaining
Authentic and Perfect Enlightenment.

“Therefore Sariputra,
it should be known that
the Insight that Brings Us to the Other Shore
is a Great Mantra,
the most illuminating mantra,
the highest mantra,
a mantra beyond compare,
the True Wisdom that has the power
to put an end to all kinds of suffering.
Therefore let us proclaim
a mantra to praise
the Insight that Brings Us to the Other Shore.

Gate, Gate, Paragate, Parasamgate, Bodhi Svaha!
Gate, Gate, Paragate, Parasamgate, Bodhi Svaha!
Gate, Gate, Paragate, Parasamgate, Bodhi Svaha!”