Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Bamboo and Plum Blossom
Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Du Fu (712-770)

Moonlit Night
The moon shines in Fuzhou tonight,
In her chamber, she watches alone.
I pity my distant boy and girl-
They don't know why she thinks of Chang'an.
Her cloud-like hair is sweet with mist,
Her jade arms cold in the clear moonlight.
When shall we lean in the empty window,
Together in brightness, and tears dried up?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tran Nhan Tong

Ancient Temple
Tran Nhan Tong 1258-1308

The old temple appears gloomy
in the mist of autumn,
A fishing boat is floating lonely
in the first sounds of the evening bell.
Over the clear water and quiet mountains
white seagulls are flying,
The wind subsides
the clouds move lazily
over a few red-leafed trees.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Yuan Mei

Climbing The Mountain
I burned incense, swept the earth, and waited
for a poem to come...

Then I laughed, and climbed the mountain,
leaning on my staff.

How I'd love to be a master
of the blue sky's art:

see how many sprigs of snow-white cloud
he's brushed in so far today.

Saturday, March 26, 2011


Forgetting all knowledge at one stroke,
I do not need cultivation anymore.
Activity expressing the ancient road,
I don't fall into passivity.
Everywhere trackless,
conduct beyond sound and form:
the adepts in all places
call this the supreme state.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


The purpose of a fish trap is to catch fish, and
when the fish are caught, the trap is forgotten.

The purpose of a rabbit snare is to catch rabbits.
When the rabbits are caught, the snare is forgotten.

The purpose of words is to convey ideas.
When the ideas are grasped, the words are forgotten.

Where can I find a person who has forgotten words?
That is the person I would like to talk to.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Liu Manliu


On the fifth floor in the city of Qujing
they were talking about the Pearl River and its source
"We were there two years ago fifty miles away from the city
Nothing to see there
Not a tree no grass no person no road
Only some rocks
Big and small all gray the mud sucked at our shoes
Some crows flew up out of nowhere almost scared us to death
what bad luck
After a long trek in the mud we reached a ditch A drop of water
dripped down from a crack in the rocks This is the source of
the Pearl River
We'll never go again in this life What bad luck"
In the city of Qujing I listened to them talking about the Pearl River
and looked into the distance Far away there were only barren hills.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Meng Hao-jan

A Night On The River
Moored in island mist,
as the sun sets, a traveler's grief arises.

Beyond the great plain, the sky closes on trees.
On this gentle river, the moon arrives.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Yaichai Aizu

only I am existing
in heaven and earth—
at this solitariness
Kannon, you are smiling. Coming stealthily,
who is it hitting the temple bell?
It is late at night
and tor even the Buddha
to go into dreaming.
In the Lord Buddha's
drowsy eyes
the ancient
country fields of Yamato
Have their hazy existence.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Bishop Henjo

Let the wind in the sky

Blow shut the cloudy passage

So that I may keep

The forms of heavenly maidens

Before me a while longer

Thursday, March 17, 2011


The monkey is reaching
For the moon in the water.
Until death overtakes him
He'll never give up.
If he'd let go the branch and
Disappear in the deep pool,
The whole world would shine
With dazzling pureness.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Diamond Sutra

Diamond Sutra
"If one sees me in forms,
If one seeks me in sounds,
He practices a misleading way.
He cannot see the essence of creeds:

All conditioned creeds
are like dreams, illusions, bubbles, shadows,
like dew drops and a lightning flash:
contemplate them thus."

Creeds and doctrines are like a raft
to carry one to the other shore,
and then to relinquish.
Neither cling to the raft forever,
or reject it when drowning.
Even better,
become a strong swimmer.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Han Shan Te'-Ch'ing, 1600

Look upon the body as unreal,
an image in a mirror,
the reflection of the moon in water.
Contemplate the mind as formless,
yet bright and pure.

Not a single thought arising,
empty, yet perceptive;
still, yet illuminating;
complete like the great emptiness,
containing all that is wonderful.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Masahide (1657-1732),

Barn's burnt down--
I can see the moon.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Zen Master Dogen, Verses from the Mountain of Eternal Peace,

The unspoiled colors of a late summer night,
The wind howling through the lofty pines --
The feel of the autumn approaching;
The swaying bamboos keep resonating,
And shedding tears of dew at dawn;
Only those who exert themselves fully
Will attain the Way,
But even if you abandon all for the ancient path of meditation,
You can never forget the meaning of sadness.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


The Monk Saigyo
Should I blame the moon
For bringing forth this sadness,
As if it pictured grief?
Lifting up my troubled face,
I regard it through my tears

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Nagarjuna, Treatise on the Great Perfection of Wisdom

Sitting alone amongst the forest trees,
The sixfold faculties always still and quiet.
It seems as if you've lost a precious jewel,
But have no pain of worry or distress.
In all the World your visage has no peer,
And yet you always sit with your eyes closed.
The thoughts of each of us possess a doubt:
What do you seek by dwelling in this place?

Monday, March 7, 2011


Where beauty is, then there is ugliness;
Where right is, also there is wrong.
Knowledge and ignorance are interdependent;
Delusion and enlightenment condition each other.
Since olden times it has been so.
How could it be otherwise now?
Wanting to get rid of one and grab the other
is merely realizing a scene of stupidity.
Even if you speak of the wonder of it all,
how do you deal with each thing changing?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Zen Words for the Heart; Hakuin's Commentary on the Heart Sutra,

Supernatural power, wondrous activity - just a matter of
carrying fuel or drawing water.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Thich Nhat Hanh

You've got to practice meditation when you walk, stand, lie down, sit, and work,
while washing your hands, washing the dishes, sweeping the floor, drinking tea,
talking to friends, or whatever you are doing. When you are washing the dishes,
washing the dishes must be the most important thing on your life. Just as when
you are drinking tea, drinking tea must be the most important thing in your life.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Gary Snyder

Sound swallowed away,
no waters, no mountains, no
bush, no grass and
because no grass
no shade but your shadow.
Not flatness because no not-flatness.
No loss, no gain. So--
nothing in the way!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Zen Master Dogen Zenji, 1200 - 1253

The whole universe
shatters into a hundred pieces.
In the great death
there is no heaven, no earth.

Once body and mind have turned over
there is only this to say:

Past mind cannot be grasped,
present mind cannot be grasped,
future mind cannot be grasped.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Chang Po-Tuan

Refining the self, and setting up the foundation are not a matter of forced control,
forced effort, or austere practices. What the work requires is first to recognize the
natural, innocent true mind, and then to use this true mind to refine the self. Then
a point of celestial energy emerges within the darkness - this is called
true consciousness.