Sonouta Collection - Page 1

Sonouta are short, two-line verses originally composed in Japanese by Shinjo Ito to help people understand the teachings of the Great Parinirvana Sutra. His intention in putting the sonouta in a set poetic meter (the 2-line, 31 syllable tanka format for Japanese poetry) was to make them easier to remember

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Number 25.
English: When the joy of oneness is found within,
everyday work becomes sacred.

Japanese: Wa ga uchi ni ichinyo no yorokobi midashi naba
hi-bi no shigoto mo seinari to shiru.

Number 26.
English: How precious to know that now
is the chance to polish our Buddha nature.

Japanese: Ima zo ima totoki saga wo migakan wa
ima wo kikai to shiru mo tattoshi.

Number 27.
English: Forget your ego, but not your smile,
and stand in others’ shoes to teach the truth.

Japanese: Ga wo tatezu aite no mi ni zo mazu narite
emi wo wasurezu tokeyo sonobito.

Number 28
English: Take loving admonishment as a finger
pointing to a mountain of treasure.

Japanese: Kashaku to wa takara no yama wo sashi shimesu
yubi to shiru beshi yoyo no hitobito.

Number 29
English: Teaching someone kindly and gently
enhances the mind of both speaker and listener.

Japanese: Okorazu ni koe yawaragete katari naba
toku mo totoku kiku mo niko-niko.

Number 30
English: Through humble meditation, become clear of mind.
This is the way to receive and benefit from the dharma.

Japanese: Namu namu to ono ga kokoro wo mazu sumase
mi-nori itadake kore zo michi nari.

Number 31
English: If a teaching just adorns the mind
and goes un-conveyed, it will turn to rust.

Japanese: Mi-oshie ni furete kokoro wo kazare domo
tokanu wa nori no sabi to shiru beshi.
 

 

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