Zazenshin – Eihei Dogen’s dialogue with Hong-zhi Zheng-jue


The fundamental activity of all the Buddhas,

The active foundation of all the Ancestors,

Is letting appear – not based on thinking,

And accomplishing – not based on reacting.


The appearance not based on thinking,

Is naturally ‘one’s intimate self ’;

The accomplishing not based on reacting,

Is naturally bearing witness of the Truth.


The appearance which is naturally one’s intimate self,

Has always been free of defilement;

The accomplishing, which naturally bears witness of the Truth,

Has never shown true or false.


One’s intimate self’ which has always been free of defilement,

Is an intimate self without evil cast off;

The bearing witness of the Truth, which has never shown true or false,

Is free of any effort or intent.


The water’s clarity permeates the earth,

Fish swim as fish;

The sky’s vastness reaches beyond heaven,

Birds fly as birds.