Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Bamboo and Plum Blossom
Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Tantric Buddhist Women's Songs, 8th - 11th c.

Who speaks the sound of an echo?
Who paints the image in a mirror?
Where are the spectacles in a dream?
Nowhere at all -- that's the nature of mind!

- Tantric Buddhist Women's Songs, 8th - 11th c.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Dogen Zenji

Contemplating the clear moon
Reflecting a mind empty as the open sky -
Drawn by its beauty,
I lose myself
In the shadows it casts.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


You cannot describe it or draw it. You cannot
praise it enough or perceive it. No place can
be found in which to put the Original Face;
it will not disappear even when the universe
is destroyed.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Lao Tzu

The sound of the water
says what I think.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


Tea is not but this:
First you make the water boil,
Then infuse the tea.
Then you drink it properly.
That is all you need to know.

- Verses of Sen-No-Rikyu, Tea Master

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Japanese Proverb

koryo kui ari; "Too great ambition brings
failure,(lit. "a high-crawling dragon
repents.")English parallels: Pride goeth
before a fall. He that climbs high falls

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Robert Aitken, Roshi

Completely freed from yes and no;
great emptiness charged within;
no questions, no answers;
like a fish, like a fool.

- Robert Aitken, Roshi, Verse of the Han

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Matsuo Basho

The crescent lights
The misty ground.
Buckwheat flowers.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Dogen Zenji

As all things are Buddha-Dharma,
There are delusion, realization, practice,
birth and death,
buddhas and sentient beings.
As myriad things are without an abiding self,
There is no delusion, no realization,
no buddha, no sentient being,
no birth and death.
The buddha way, in essence,
Is leaping clear of abundance and lack;
thus there are birth and death,
delusion and realization,
sentient beings and buddhas.
Yet in attachment blossoms fall,
And in aversion weeds spread.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Saigyo (1118-1190)

There's not a trace of cloud
Now-and she
Is in my thoughts;
The moon and my heart
Seem to waver.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Lao Tzu

We shape clay into a pot, but it is the
emptiness inside that holds whatever
we want.

Saturday, September 18, 2010


Walking is Zen,
Sitting, too, is Zen.
If I speak or am silent,
Tarry or hasten:
Everything, in its true nature,
Is stillness.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Fu Hsun

A gentle wind fans the calm night;
A bright moon shines on the high tower.
A voice whispers, but no one answers when I call:
A shadow stirs, but no one comes when I beckon.
The kitchen man brings in a dish of lentils:
Wine is there, but I do not fill my cup.
Contentment with poverty is fortune's best gift:
Riches and Honour are the handmaids of Disaster.
Though gold and gems by the world are sought and prized,
To me they seem no more than weeds or chaff.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Wang Wei, 699-761

A man as old as a dragon bell, I walk slowly
to visit a meditation temple,
to ask the mean of a good heart. Remotely,
I feel the sickness of the void is itself void.
Mountains and rivers are in the Buddha's eye,
the universe in dharma's body.
Don't be surprised that meditation controls hot days
and raises wind over the land.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Paul Reps

An instant realization sees endless time.
Endless time is as one moment.
When one comprehends the endless moment
He realizes the person who is seeing it.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Izumi Shikibu

Although I try
to hold the single thought
of Buddha's teaching in my heart,
I cannot help but hear
the many crickets' voices calling as well.

Sunday, September 12, 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.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Liu Han

Autumn at the Gate
Liu Han fl. 1190

The quacking is gone the jade screen is empty
My pillow feels cool fanned by the wind
Autumn sounds wake me but where are their traces
Paulownia leaves cover the steps in the moonlight

Friday, September 10, 2010

Mikiko Nakagawa

When that beam of light
came passing over the sea
I as a whiteness
was revealed in the dark, and then
I saw I was all alone. In the darkened fields
the very faintly burning
lights of the houses—
ah, they are more frail even
than the glowing of fireflies.
How far
will that wild duck still go
through evening waves
swollen in the open sea
where it struggles on alone?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Hakuin Zenki

All beings by nature are Buddha,
as ice by nature is water;
apart from water there is no ice,
apart from beings no Buddha.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Lao Tzu

Thirty spokes join together in the hub.
It is because of what is not there that the cart is useful.
Clay is formed into a vessel.
It is because of its emptiness that the vessel is useful.
Cut doors and windows to make a room.
It is because of its emptiness that the room is useful.
Therefore, what is present is used for profit.

But it is in absence that there is usefulness.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Liu Yung

Pa sheng kan chou
Spattering evening rains sprinkles river and sky
Washes clear autumn
Soon frost with icy winds will close in
On the desolate mountain pass, the deserted river ...
Last rays of sun glance off the tower
Everywhere red fades, green disappears
By turn, what flourished, ends
Only the waters of Yanftze flow on
Wordlessly, east

I can not bear to climb the high tower, look out
Gaze longingly toward home -- dim and distant
But to stop my thoughts from going back is hard
I wonder at my path in recent years --
Why have I lingered, miserable
Aware that in her room she has looked up --
How many times --
and thought she saw my boat on the horizon?
And never known that I lean here
Congealed with sorrow?

Monday, September 6, 2010

Kobayashi Issa 1763-1827

In the lap of a
holy man
a cicada sings

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Keso Shogaku 15th C.

For twenty years I've sought the Other.
Now, letting go, I fly out of the pit.
What use oneness of mind and body?
These days I only sing la-la-la.

Saturday, September 4, 2010


We pray for our life of tomorrow,
Ephemeral life though it be;
This is the habit of our mind
That passed away yesterday.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Saisho (circa 1490)

Earth, mountains, rivers - hidden in this nothingness.
In this nothingness - earth, mountains, rivers revealed.
Spring flowers, winter snows:
There's no being or non-being, nor denial itself.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Tung-Shan (806-869),

Unity attained:
Who dares to equal him
Who falls into neither being nor non-being!
All men want to leave
The current of ordinary life,
But he, after all, comes back
To sit among the coals and ashes.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


In the morning, bowing to all;
In the evening, bowing to all.
Respecting others is my only duty--
Hail to the Never-despising Bodhisattva.

In heaven and earth he stands alone.

A real monk
Only one thing--
a heart like
Never-despising Buddha.