Chants and Services
At MZMC, we have a short service after morning zazen. (On Tuesday mornings it's a bit longer, and on Saturday mornings we have a longer service that includes the Metta Sutra and the names of all the teachers in our lineage.) The standard weekday morning service is included here, along with some of the other chants we use during longer services or sesshin.
Listen to the Ancestors Chant from the Saturday Morning Service by clicking on the link below.
MZMC Ancestors Chant Saturday Service
Click here to download the MZMC Chantbook.
Weekday Morning Service
These are the chants used during the weekday morning service at MZMC:
Verse of the Robe
How great the robe of liberation
A field far beyond form and emptiness
Wrapping ourselves in Buddha's teaching
Freeing all beings
Heart of Great Perfect Wisdom Sutra
Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva, when deeply practicing prajna paramita, clearly saw that all five aggregates are empty and thus relieved all suffering. Shariputra, form does not differ from emptiness, emptiness does not differ from form. Form itself is emptiness, emptiness itself form. Sensations, perceptions, formations, and consciousness are also like this.
Shariputra, all dharmas are marked by emptiness; they neither arise nor cease, are neither defiled nor pure, neither increase nor decrease. Therefore, given emptiness, there is no form, no sensation, no perception, no formation, no consciousness; no eyes, no ears, no nose, no tongue, no body, no mind; no sight, no sound, no smell, no taste, no touch, no object of mind; no realm of sight... no realm of mind consciousness. There is neither ignorance nor extinction of ignorance... neither old age and death, nor extinction of old age and death; no suffering, no cause, no cessation, no path; no knowledge and no attainment.
With nothing to attain, a bodhisattva relies on prajna paramita, and thus the mind is without hindrance. Without hindrance, there is no fear. Far beyond all inverted views, one realizes nirvana. All buddhas of past, present, and future rely on prajna paramita and thereby attain unsurpassed, complete, perfect enlightenment.
Therefore, know the prajna paramita as the great miraculous mantra, the great bright mantra, the supreme mantra, the incomparable mantra, which removes all suffering and is true, not false. Therefore we proclaim the prajna paramita mantra, the mantra that says: "Gate Gate Paragate Parasamgate Bodhi Svaha."
All Buddhas, ten directions, three times
All beings, Bodhisattva Mahasattvas
Wisdom beyond wisdom, Mahaprajna Paramita
These are chants used at other times at MZMC:
Sunday Chant (Bodhisattva Vows)
Beings are numberless; vowing to free them.
Delusions are inexhaustible; vowing to extinguish them.
Dharma gates are boundless; vowing to enter them.
Buddha's way is unsurpassable; vowing to become it.
Formal Meal Verses (used during meals at traditional sesshins)
After gomashio is served:
Buddha was born in Kapilavastu,
enlightened in Magadha,
taught in Varanasi,
entered nirvana in Kushinagara.
Now we set out Buddha's bowls;
may we, with all beings,
realize the emptiness of the three wheels:
giver, receiver, and gift.
While food is being served:
Vairochana Buddha, pure Dharmakaya;
Lochana Buddha, complete Sambhogakaya;
Shakyamuni Buddha, myriad Nirmanakaya;
Maitreya Buddha, of future birth;
All buddhas throughout space and time;
Lotus of the Wondrous Dharma, Mahayana sutra.
Manjushri Bodhisattva, great wisdom;
Samantabhadra Bodhisattva, great activity;
Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva, great compassion;
All honored ones, bodhisattva mahasattvas;
Wisdom beyond wisdom, maha-prajnaparamita.v
When serving is completed:
We reflect on the effort that brought us this food
and consider how it comes to us.
We reflect on our virtue and practice
and whether we are worthy of this offering.
We regard greed as the obstacle to freedom of mind.
We regard this meal as medicine to sustain our life.
For the sake of enlightenment we now receive this food.
Oh spirits, we now give you an offering;
this food is for all of you in the ten directions.
Gassho and put utensils on bowls:
First, this is for the three treasures;
Next for the four benefactors;
Finally, for the beings in the six realms.
May all be equally nourished.
(Raise the Buddha bowl)
The first portion is to end all evil;
The second is to cultivate all good;
The third is to free all beings.
May we all realize the Buddha way.
As servers enter to collect water:
The water we use to wash our bowls
tastes like ambrosia.
We offer it to the many spirits to satisfy them.
Om Mahakushalaya Svaha!