4 Waka (Dogen)


Awake or asleep,

What I pray for

In my grass-hut

Is to bring others across

Before myself.


Although this ignorant person

May never become a Buddha,

I vow to take others across

Because I am a monk.


Each moment, awake or asleep,

In my grass-thatched hut,

I offer this prayer:

May Shakyamuni Buddha’s compassion

Envelop the world.


What can I accomplish?

Although not yet a Buddha,

Let my priest’s body

Be a raft to carry

Sentient beings to the yonder shore.


Welcome to the Unsui site. It has been obvious that the site’s purpose has been to make available practice poems, Zen texts and parts of Mahayana Buddhist scriptures in contemporary English. The material is not really for beginners on the path of meditation but is still informative about the practice. These texts have been composed by Zen masters who had themselves practiced for decades; and have been put into English after practice for decades. So it is not surprising that they puzzle those early on the path. Explanations will be following in not too long, orally or in written form. Background information about the authors has been kept short, partially because we do not have much information. Where possible I will find out more and make that available on a biographical page.