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The Sandōkai (Chinese: 參同契; pinyin: Cāntóngqì) is a poem by the eighth Chinese Zen ancestor Shitou Xiqian (Sekito Kisen, 700–790) and a fundamental text of the Sōtō school of Zen, chanted daily in temples throughout the world.
The poem's title, "參同契", is pronounced Sandōkai in Japanese or Cāntóngqì in Mandarin Chinese. The characters, in particular the first, 參 (san or cān), can have several quite different meanings, and therefore the poem's title is susceptible to a variety of interpretations and translations.
English translations of the title, some more and some less literal, include "Merging of Difference and Unity", "Merging of Difference and Equality", "Agreement of Difference and Unity", "Harmony of Difference and Sameness", "Harmonious Song of Difference and Sameness", "Identity of Relative and Absolute", "Harmony of Relative and Absolute", "Harmony of Difference and Equality", and "Ode on Identity".
The title of the Sandōkai is the same as that of a 2nd-century Taoist text on alchemy, which is also known as the Zhouyi Cantongqi; in reference to the Taoist work, "參同契" is often translated as "the Kinship of the Three".
Toward the end of his life Shunryu Suzuki Roshi gave a series of lectures on the Sandokai. These have been published as the book Branching Streams Flow in the Darkness.
- Sandokai medieval Japanese and translated into English
- Suzuki's Lectures and commentaries
- Various English translations of the 參同契 – CAN TONG QI (TS’AN-T’UNG-CH’I)