My dear friend Dosho Port, Rōshi found the following text in his garage -- an unpublished manuscript probably given to him by his first teacher Maezumi Rōshi -- a collection of translations of Hakuin Zenji's Song of Zazen, the first Zen text I fell in love with myself. It's from Nyogen Senzaki (1876-1958) a great Japanese Zen teacher who was one of the pioneers in bringing Zen to the United States in the last century. Dosho Rōshi writes on his blog that it's not really a translation, but more of a paraphrase. I find it inspiring and beautiful. Here it is:
From the very beginning you are a Buddha. As there is no ice apart from water, so there is no Buddha outside our fellow-beings. People fail to perceive the truth, though it is within them, and they search afar for it. They suffer thirst, failing to see the fountain near at hand. They are in poverty, forgetting that they are heirs to boundless wealth.
You say that you are suffering. You only suffer because of your own ignorance. Light your prajna, the inner wisdom, and darkness will instantly vanish. That is what we call zazen, Mahayana Dhyana.
I can not tell you how zazen, Mahayana Dhyana, does its marvelous work for you. No other study, however sublime, surpasses it. It stands beyond comparison. You can experience it by yourself. The errors of the past will no longer harass you. Where is hell? You left it in yesterday's dream. Where is paradise? You are standing in it.
If you praise zazen, Mahayana Dhyana, you are drawing yourself next to the Buddha. If you practice zazen, Mahayana Dhyana, you are actually walking in the path of the Buddhas. When you realize that your true self is not-self then your mind will transcend all thoughts.
Thus the gate of true freedom will be opened, and you will enter the holy path rightfully. Your karma will be the emanations of Buddha's wisdom and grace. You can now come and go when ever and where ever you please, for the truth is yours, and you have nothing to do but to manifest it. Even your singing and dancing will actualize Buddha-Dharma. The whole world will be beautiful to your eyes.
In the infinite sky of Samadhi, the moon of the Tathagata's four wisdoms is shining, yet its rays of silvery light are the reflections of your true self. Now what else do you want in this world? The long sought Nirvana is yours. You live in Buddha's paradise of lotus flowers, and you are a Buddha yourself.