Prayer Wheels
citation from Dogen Zenji's BUKKYO 佛經 (Buddhist Scripture)
(Shasta Abbey, trans. by Hubert Nearman)
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 OUR GREAT Twenty-seventh Ancestor, the Venerable Hannyatara,* once said:

"In my humble way, what I breathe out does not conform itself to external conditions and events, and what I breathe in does not take up residence in the realm of my skandhas. The scriptures that I recite are always like this, for they are comprised of hundreds of thousands of millions of billions of scrolls, not just one or two scrolls."

Hearing what our Ancestral Master said in this way, we should explore through our training that she caused the scriptures to revolve with her every exhalation and inhalation. To understand ‘revolving the scriptures’ in this way is to know wherein the scriptures reside. Because she could revolve them and there was something to revolve, which was her revolving the scriptures and the scriptures revolving her, she must have totally understood and recognized what they are.

My [old master, Ju-ching (1163-1228)] was constantly saying:

Here in my temple, you should simply sit in meditation without having recourse to burning incense, making bows, reciting the name of Buddha, confessing your shortcomings, or reciting scriptures. Just do your utmost to practice the Way and drop off body and mind.
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 *Translator's Note: There is a long-standing Indian tradition which holds that Hannyatara was a female monk renowned for her extraordinary spiritual prowess. Dogen has an extensive commentary on Hannyatara’s remarks in his discourse on Reading Scriptures (看經 Kankin).
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(Zen Master) DOGEN ZENJI'S (道元禅師)
(Gender Inclusive) STUDIES OF THE WAY (學道) : INDEX
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