Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Bamboo and Plum Blossom
Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Hakuin (1689-1769)

All beings are from the very beginning Buddhas.
It is like water and ice:
Apart from water, no ice,
Outside living beings, no Buddhas.
Not knowing it is near, they seek it afar.
What a pity!
It is like one in the water who cries out with thirst;
It is like the child of a rich house who has strayed among the poor.
The cause of our circling through the six worlds
Is that we are on the dark paths of ignorance.
Dark path upon dark path treading,
When shall we escape from birth-and-death?

Monday, August 30, 2010

Du Fu (712-770))

At Gong'an, Meditating On Antiquity
Dù Fǔ 712-770

The wilds lie vast upon Lu Meng's camp;
The Jiang deepens above Liu Bei's fort.
Wintry skies hasten short the days;
Windswept waves draw level with clouds.
Gallant & free: bond of ruler and aide;
Soaring aloft: his fame for waging war.
I tether my boat by the reach on ahead--
A long shrill cry, of feelings overfull.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Han Shan (circe 630)

Asking The Way To Cold Mountain

Men ask the way to Cold Mountain
Cold Mountain: there's no through trail.
In summer, ice doesn't melt
The rising sun blurs in swirling fog.
How did I make it?
My heart's not the same as yours.
If your heart was like mine
You'd get it and be right here.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Sun Bu-er, Zen-Taoist Priestess

Tie up the tiger and return it to the true lair;
Bridle the dragon and gradually increase the elixir.
Nature should be as clear as water,
Mind should be as still as a mountain.
Turning the breath, gather it into the gold crucible;
Stabilizing the spirit, guard the jade pass.
If you can increase the grain of rice day by day,
You will be rejuvenated.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


When you are deluded and full of doubt, even
a thousand books of scripture are not enough.
When you have realized understanding,
even one word is too much.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Dù Fǔ 712-770

At Dreadloch Gorge, Meditating On Antiquity
Dù Fǔ 712-770

As the southwest's myriad straths outpour,
Even mighty foes--paired cliffs--divide.
The earth from its mountain roots severed;
The Jiang from its Moon Grottoes arrived.
Pared to a fit, facing White Lord;
Curved in a void, hiding Sun Terrace.
Tho' His Deed of dredging & boring was fair,
The power of the Potter's Wheel is immense!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Homage to Amitabha

His Thirty-two Marks and Unequaled Light and Virtue!
They are beyond all comparison!
The White Curled One Who Pervades the Five Mystical Mountains!
His Violet-eyed Purity Extends to the Four Seas!
His Inner Illumination has transformed Buddhas beyond number and counting,
And also transformed Bodhisattva Assemblies without number!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Dù Fǔ 712-770

Ascending The Tower
Dù Fǔ 712-770

Flowers approaching the high tower
wound a wanderer's heart;
Troubles too many & multilateral
here I ascend to look out.
Brocade River's springtime sights
bring on heaven & earth;
Jade Fortress' drifting clouds
transform present & past

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Bai Juyi 722-846

At Xiangshan Temple, Escaping the Heat
Bai Juyi 722-846

Sound of the sixth-month rapids like a fierce rain;
Xiangshan, upper floor morth, Master Wenchang's room:
late at night I get up, standing leaning on the railing,
the roar of the water filling my ears, coolness full in my face.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Lao Tzu

Tao Te Ching

Empty your mind of all thoughts.
Let your heart be at peace.
Watch the turmoil of beings,
but contemplate their return.

Each separate being in the universe
returns to the common source.
Returning to the source is serenity.

If you don't realize the source,
you stumble in confusion and sorrow.
When you realize where you came from,
you naturally become tolerant,
disinterested, amused,
kindhearted as a grandmother,
dignified as a king.
Immersed in the wonder of the Tao,
you can deal with whatever life brings you,
and when death comes, you are ready.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Ho Chi Minh 1890-1969

Arriving At Guilin

Guilin has no cinnamon tress
and no forest,
Only see high mountains
and deep waters.
A gloomy prison
truely terrible,
White heavens
black black night
dark and dreary.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Li Bo (699-762)

Ancient Air #1
How long since the "Elegantiae" were composed...
And, with my demise, who then shall carry on?
The airs of the kings:
given over to withered creeping vines,
And the Warring States:
overgrown with brambles and thorns,


I am determined to condense and retell,
The brilliance (my writings) emit
will illuminate a thousand springtimes.
Should an aspiring sage establish himself,
I will stop writing
when the "unicorn is caught."

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Tao Te Ching

The valley spirit never dies;
It is called the mysterious female.
The gateway of the mysterious female
Is called the root of heaven and earth.
It is like a veil barely seen,
But if you use it, it never fails."

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Ying An

When you pass through, no one can pin you down, no one
can call you back.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Sun Bu-er, Zen-Taoist Priestess

Tie up the tiger and return it to the true lair;
Bridle the dragon and gradually increase the elixir.
Nature should be as clear as water,
Mind should be as still as a mountain.
Turning the breath, gather it into the gold crucible;
Stabilizing the spirit, guard the jade pass.
If you can increase the grain of rice day by day,
You will be rejuvenated.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Jusammi Chikako

On this summer night
All the household lies asleep,
And in the doorway,
For once open after dark,
Stands the moon, brilliant, cloudless.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


When you hear the splash
Of the water drops that fall
Into the stone bowl,
You will feel that all the dust
Of your mind is washed away.

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Diamond Sutra

Why is it? Because:
All phenomna are like a dream, an illusion,
a bubble, a shadow,
like dew and lightning.
Thus should you meditate on them.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Li Po

Spring Night in Lo-yang Hearing a Flute
In what house, the jade flute that sends these dark notes drifting,
scattering on the spring wind that fills Lo-yang?
Tonight if we should hear the willow-breaking song,
who could help but long for the gardens of home?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Du Fu (712-770))

Ascending High
The wind swift, heavens high
gibbons sadly scream;
The holm clear, sand so white
birds circling soar.
falling leaves tossed rustling down;
the Long Jiang keeps rolling along.
Myriad leagues mourning Fall
forever the wanderer;
My whole life manifold ills
a lone terrace climber.
Hardship, mishap
I bitterly resent my frosty brow:
Depressed, downcast
I just quit my cup of murky brew.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Yoka Genkaku (665-713 CE), Shodoka

When we see truly, there is nothing at all.
There is no person; there is no Buddha.
Innumerable things of the universe
Are just bubbles on the sea.
Wise sages are all like flashes of lightning.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Yung-chia Hsuan-chueh The Sodoka

Transience, emptiness and enlightenment --
These are the ultimate truths of Buddhism;
Keeping and teaching them is true Sangha devotion.
If you don't agree, please ask me about it.
Cut out directly the root of it all;
This is the very point of the Buddha-seal.
I can't respond to any concern about leaves and branches.

Sunday, August 8, 2010


The Great Way has no gate;
there are a thousand paths to it.
If you pass through the barrier,
you walk the universe alone.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Bummei Tsuchiya

The past three mornings,
morning after morning
the water-lily flower—
this morning it has not opened.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Zen Master Dogen Zenji, 1200 - 1253

That the self advances and confirms the ten thousand things
is called delusion;
That the ten thousand things advance and confirm the self
is called enlightenment.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Shodoka

You must neither strive for truth nor seek to lose your illusions.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Kenkichi Nakamura

My eyes watching,
I too become desolate
toward nightfall
from the harvested rice field
seeing stray grains being gathered.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Hsueh-tou (980-1052)

The moon floats above the pines,
And the night veranda is cold
As the ancient, clear sound comes from
your finger tips.
The old melody usually makes the listeners weep,
But Zen music is beyond sentiment.
Do not play unless the Great Sound of Lao-tsu
accompanies you.

Monday, August 2, 2010

The Four Great Vows of Mahayana Buddhism

However innumerable all beings are,
I Vow to save them all.
However inexhaustible delusions are,
I Vow to extinguish them all.
However immeasurable Dharma teachings are,
I Vow to master them all.
However endless the Buddha's Way,
I Vow to follow it.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Tung-Shan (Tozan) -806-869

Long seeking it through others,
I was far from reaching it.
Now I go by myself;
I meet it everywhere.
It is just I myself,
And I am not itself.
Understanding this way,
I can be as I am.