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Sanshin : The Three Minds    

In Japanese, Sanshin means "three minds." Dogen Zenji recommended that a person working to benefit Buddha's family, or sangha, should maintain three mental attitudes : Magnanimous Mind (daishin), Nurturing Mind (roshin), and Joyful Mind (kishin).

Magnanimous Mind is like an ocean or a mountain : calm and steady, yet accepting and nourishing countless beings and situations without differentiation. The ocean is serene because it accepts the many rivers without resisting.


Joyful Mind is the joy that comes from deep in our hearts even in the midst ofdifficulty. It arises from the insight of zazen, that we live together with all beings and are not separate.

Nurturing Mind, literally "old mind", is akin to the attitude of a kindly grandmother or parent who delights in caring for others. It is the spirit of the bodhisattva, the fully mature person.

  Together, the three minds form the basis of a Buddhist community. When grounded in zazen, these three mental attitudes allow us to live and work in harmony with others at all times.