Yoka Daishi's Realizing the Way
About the Book
In this volume, The Buddhist Society presents Yoka Daishi’s Realizing the Way, a T’ang Dynasty Chinese text known as Zhang Dao Ge, or Shodōka in Japanese. This 12th century Japanese edition has been translated by the Venerable Myokyo-ni and accompanied throughout by her own commentary on the text. The sixty-seven verses of Yoka Daishi’s Song on the Realization of the Way lie at the heart of the Zen approach to Mahayana thought and symbolise the germ of the Buddha-nature inherent in all sentient beings – hidden and dormant, but containing the potential and promise of liberation. The title, which is variously translated, is most commonly known as ‘The Song of Enlightenment’. With vivid imagery and striking turns of phrase, these verses weave in and out of the various Mahayana doctrines. Each section of the Song, which The Venerable Myokyo-ni describes as ‘a very carefully considered and expounded summary that has the whole of the teaching in it’, is accompanied here by her extensive and illuminating commentary.