Suzuki-roshi in front of San Francisco Zen Center
EKŌ LECTURES, No. 1: THE FIRST MORNING EKŌ
Wednesday, July 8, 1970
Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 70-07-08
[This is the first in a series of six lectures by Suzuki-rōshi
on the four ekōs chanted at the conclusion of morning services
at San Francisco Zen Center and other Sōtō Zen temples and monasteries.
The lectures were delivered from July 8 to July 15, 1970.
The Japanese transliteration and English translation of the ekōs
are based, with minor changes, on David Chadwick’s
“Ekō Study Book: A Tassajara Project,” December 1970
(unpublished manuscript, San Francisco Zen Center).
The First Morning Ekō:
Chōka butsuden fugin
Line 1. Aogi koi negawakuwa shinji, fushite shōkan o taretamae.
Line 2. Jōrai, Maka Hannyaharamita Shingyō, shōsai myō kichijō
darani o fujusu,
Line 3. atsumuru tokoro no shukun wa
Line 4. daion kyōshu honshi Shakamuni Butsu;
Line 5. Shintan Shoso Bodai Daruma-daioshō;
Line 6. Nichi-riki Shoso Eihei Dōgen-daioshō;
Line 7. Daishō Monjushiri Bosatsu no tame ni shi tatematsuri.
Line 8. Kami jion ni mukuin koto o.
Morning Service Buddha Hall Sūtra
Line 1. May Buddha observe [see?] us, and may we receive his true
Line 2. Thus, as we chant the Maha Prajñā Pāramitā Hridaya Sūtra
and the Dharani for Removing Disasters,
Line 3. we offer the collected merit to
Line 4. the great kind founder, the original teacher, Shākyamuni
Line 5. the First Patriarch of China, the great Bodhidharma;
Line 6. the First Patriarch of Japan, the great Eihei Dōgen;
Line 7. and the great sage Mañjushrī Bodhisattva.
Line 8. Let us reflect their compassion and mercy.]
I want to explain ekō. The ekō is—after reciting sūtra, we—[it is] a sort of explanation of why we recite sūtra. And this sūtra is for such-and-such buddha, or next sūtra is for arhats, or third one is for our patriarchs, and fourth one is for disciples and students who is related to this monastery and the ancestors or relative who passed away. Those are ekō.