Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Bamboo and Plum Blossom
Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Monday, January 31, 2011

Charlotte Joko Beck

Let us be respectfully reminded:
Life and death are of supreme importance.
Time swiftly passes by, and with it,
our only chance.
Each of us must aspire to awaken.
Be aware.
Do not squander our life.

Saturday, January 29, 2011


The moon's the same old moon,
The flowers exactly as they were,
Yet I've become the thingness
Of all the things I see!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Li Bai

Addressed Humourously to Du Fu
Li Bai 701-762

Here! is this you on the top of Fanke Mountain,
Wearing a huge hat in the noon-day sun?
How thin, how wretchedly thin, you have grown!
You must have been suffering from poetry again.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Heart Sutra

In Sunyata:
No Form, no Feeling, no Thought,
No Volition, no Consciousness.
No Eyes, no Ears, no Nose, no Tongue, no Body, no Mind.
No Seeing, no Hearing, no Smelling, no Tasting,
No Touching, no Thinking;
No world of Sight.
No world of Consciousness;
No Ignorance and no end to Ignorance;
No Old Age and Death and no end to Old Age and Death.
No Suffering, no Craving, no Extinction, no Path;
No Wisdom, no Attainment.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wang Wei

A Study

There's light cloud, and drizzle round the pavilion,
In the dark yard, I wearily open a gate.
I sit and look at the colour of green moss,
Ready for people's clothing to pick up.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Yvonne Hardenbrook

condemned bridge
the icy arches on fire
with sunset
tomorrow soon enough
to pull it down

Sunday, January 23, 2011


When all thoughts
Are exhausted
I slip into the woods
And gather
A pile of shepherd's purse.

Like the little stream
Making its way
Through the mossy crevices
I, too, quietly
Turn clear and transparent.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Book of Balance and Harmony, p. 98

Some babble on about Zen,
Loquaciously showing off their ability to speak;
Pointing to the sky, they talk of voidness,
Making a useless fuss.
Raising a fist, holding up a finger,
The do not know the source;
Bringing up sayings and contemplative methods,
They quip and jabber.
They deal with students by picking up a gavel,
Or by holding up a whisk;
Winking the eyes and raising the eyebrows
They consider awakening.
They consider studying stories
To be pure concentration.
A genuine highly developed Buddhist
Is never like those
Who consider rationalization wisdom,
Who will never clarify the mind
Or see its essence.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Li Bai

Ling Xu Mountain
Leaving the human world
Going toward the path to Heaven;
Upon Consummation through cultivation,
Then follow the clouds to Heaven,
Caves hidden under pine trees,
Deep and unseen among the peach blossoms;

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Chiyo-ni, 1703-1775

The morning glory!
It has taken the well bucket,
I must seek elsewhere for water.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Tao Qian

Drinking Wine

I made my home amidst this human bustle,
Yet I hear no clamour from the carts and horses.
My friend, you ask me how this can be so?
A distant heart will tend towards like places.
From the eastern hedge, I pluck chrysanthemum flowers,
And idly look towards the southern hills.
The mountain air is beautiful day and night,
The birds fly back to roost with one another.
I know that this must have some deeper meaning,
I try to explain, but cannot find the words.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Su Shi

My frosty hair blows loosely in the wind,
In this small pavilion, I lie sick on a rattan bed.
The doctor's reported my beautiful sleep this spring,
The Taoist rings the fifth watch bell with care.

Saturday, January 15, 2011


The Song on Reaching the Mountain Peak
Hearken, my sons! If you want
To climb the mountain peak
You should hold the Self-mind's light,
Tie it with a great "Knot,"
And catch it with a firm "Hook."
If you practice thus
You can climb the mountain peak
To enjoy the view.

Come, you gifted men and women,
Drink the brew of Experience!
Come "inside" to enjoy the scene --
See it and enjoy it to the full!
The Incapable remain outside;
Those who cannot drink pure
Beer may quaff small beer.
He who cannot strive for Bodhi,
Should strive for superior birth

Friday, January 14, 2011

Ouyang Xiu

A Painted Boat Carrying Wine
A painted boat carrying wine- West Lake is good.
Urgent rhythms and pressing tunes,
A jade cup's imperious summons,
Gently floating on tranquil ripples, appointed Sleeping Drunk.

The moving clouds somehow are under the moving boat.
Empty water's clear and fresh,
Look up, look down, I linger on,
I feel as if here on this lake there is another heaven.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Meng Haoran

Parting From Wang Wei

Quietly, I've waited here so long,
Day after day; but now I must return.
Now I go to seek the fragrant grass,
But I grieve to part from my old friend.
Who is there who would help me on the road?
Understanding friends are few in life.
I should just observe my solitude,
And close again the gate of my old home.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Tran Nhan Tong

After The Dance
Tran Nhan Tong 1258-1308

After the dance of 'gia chi'
let us don our robes of spring,
today is Thanh Minh Festival.
Trays are full of spring rolls and rubies,
An ancient custom of Vietnam.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Zi Ye, Collection of Chinese Folk Songs

All night I could not sleep
because of the moonlight on my bed.
I kept on hearing a voice calling:
Out of Nowhere, Nothing answered "yes."

Monday, January 10, 2011

Hsu Yun


The water and my mind have both settled down
Into perfect stillness.
Sun and moon shine bright in it.

At night I see in the surface
The enormous face of my old familiar moon.
I don't think you've ever met the source of this reflection.

All shrillness fades into the sound of silence.
But now and then a puff of mist floats across the mirror.

It confuses me a little
But not enough to make me forget to forget my cares.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Saigo (Awesome Nightfall)

The moon, like you,
is far away from me, but it's our sole memento:
if your look and recall our past through it,
we can be one mind.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Ouyang Xiu

A Light Boat With Short Oars (Picking Mulberries)

A light boat with short oars- West Lake is good.
A gentle curve in the green water,
Fragrant grass along the dyke,
The faint sound of pipes and song follows me everywhere.

Without a wind, the water's surface lies as smooth as glaze.
I don't notice boats passing,
Tiny movements start up ripples,
Startled birds rise from the sand and graze the bank in flight.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Ngo An, Korea (circe1090)

True nature is always elusive,
Only the heart of no-heart
can grasp-it.
Up in the mountain,
the burning jade stays brilliant.
And in the roaring furnace,
lotus blossoms keep their fragrance.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Lu Tung Pin

Sojourning in Ta-yu mountains
by Lu Tung Pin
(755 - 805) Timeline

Sojourning in Ta-yu mountains --
Who converses with the white crane that comes flying?
How many times have the mountain people
Seen the winter plum-flowers blossoming?
Spring comes and goes,
Deep in fallen flowers and streams.
People are not aware
Of the many immortals around them.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Loy Ching-Yuen

To know Tao
by Loy Ching-Yuen
(1873 - 1960) Timeline

To know Tao
and still the mind.
Knowledge comes with perseverance.

The Way is neither full nor empty;
a modest and quiet nature understands this.
The empty vessel, the uncarved block;
nothing is more mysterious.

When enlightenment arrives
don't talk too much about it;
just live it in your own way.
With humility and depth, rewards come naturally.

The fragrance of blossoms soon passes;
the ripeness of fruit is gone in a twinkling.
Our time in this world is so short,
better to avoid regret:
Miss no opportunity to savor the ineffable.

Like a golden beacon signaling on a moonless night,
Tao guides our passage through this transitory realm.
In moments of darkness and pain
remember all is cyclical.
Sit quietly behind your wooden door:
Spring will come again.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Keijo Shurin

The road enters green mountains near evening's dark;
Beneath the white cherry trees, a Buddhist temple
Whose priest doesn't know what regret for spring's passing means-
Each stroke of his bell startles more blossoms into falling.