Summary Introduction to Sandokai
We are all students of life; we have our roots in nature. Regardless of where we are on planet earth, we see the same sun and the same moon. Though we may not know the speech of another person, we recognize a fist or a smile.
There are sunny seasons and winter seasons, but they flow into each other as continuous cause and effect, without regards for human sense or sanity—call God what we will, there is truth.
We intimately coexist with God and each other.
Harmony of Difference and Sameness
Sekito Kisen Daiosho
The mind of the great sage of India
is intimately communicated from west to east.
While human faculties are sharp or dull,
The Way has no northern or southern ancestors.
The spiritual source shines clear in the light;
the branching streams flow on in the dark.
Grasping at things is surely delusion;
according with sameness is still not enlightenment.
All the objects of the senses
interact and yet do not.
Interacting brings involvement.
Otherwise, each keeps its place.
Sights vary in quality and form,
sounds differ as pleasing or harsh.
Refined and common speech come together in the dark,
clear and murky phrases are distinguished in the light.
The four elements return to their natures
just as a child turns to its mother.
Fire heats, wind moves,
water wets, earth is solid.
Eye and sights, ear and sounds,
nose and smells, tongue and tastes;
Thus with each and every thing,
depending on these roots, the leaves spread forth.
Trunk and branches share the essence;
revered and common, each has its speech.
In the light there is darkness,
but don't take it as darkness;
In the dark there is light,
but don't see it as light.
Light and darkness oppose one another
like front and back foot in walking.
Each of the myriad things has its merit,
expressed according to function and place.
Phenomena exist; box and lid fit.
Principle responds; arrow points meet.
Hearing the words, understand the meaning;
don't set up standards of your own.
If you don't understand the Way right before you,
how will you know the path as you walk?
Progress is not a matter of far or near,
but if you are confused, mountains and rivers block your way.
I respectfully urge you who study the mystery,
do not pass your days and nights in vain.