Composed by Hogen Bays, abbot of the Great Vow Zen Monastery in Oregon, in dedication to Shodo Harada Roshi.

 

In this passing moment karma ripens
and all things come to be.
I vow to choose what is:
If there is cost, I choose to pay.
If there is need, I choose to give.
If there is pain, I choose to feel.
If there is sorrow, I choose to grieve.
When burning — I choose heat.
When calm — I choose peace.
When starving — I choose hunger.
When happy — I choose joy.
Whom I encounter, I choose to meet.
What I shoulder, I choose to bear.
When it is my death, I choose to die.
Where this takes me, I choose to go.
Being with what is — I respond to what is.

This life is as real as a dream;
the one who knows it can not be found;
and, truth is not a thing — Therefore I vow
to choose THIS dharma entrance gate!
May all Buddhas and Wise Ones
help me live this vow.