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Hakuin Studies

Summaries of Hakuin’s Writings in Japanese (Kana hōgo)
by Yoshizawa Katsuhiro  

Oradegama #1

『遠羅天釜』巻之上「鍋島接州殿下ノ近侍ニ答ウル書」 (Oradegama, part 1: Letter in reply to Lord Nabeshima, daimyō of Settsu Provine, sent in care of a close retainer)

The title of this work is generally read orategama, but oradegama is correct. The meaning of the word is unknown. This work is, along with the Yasen kanna, the most popular and widely read of Hakuin’s kana hōgo works. The overall text is composed of the following four sections.

Oradegama, part 1 consists of a sermon addressed to Nabeshima Naotsune (1702-1749), the fourth daimyō of the Hizen Hasunoike han, in which Hakuin discusses in practical terms the health-promoting naikan practices and stresses the importance of maintaining the meditative mind not only during seated meditation (zazen) but also during the everyday activities of life. Through the maintenance of mindfulness during action, known as dōchū no kufū 動中の工夫, lay practices carrying out their social responsibilities in secular life can attain as deeply in Zen as ordained home-leavers, Hakuin teaches. With regard to the naikan practices, a deeper understanding can be attained if the present text is read in conjunction with the Yasen kanna.

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  Last Update: 2003/12/19