Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Bamboo and Plum Blossom
Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Bai Juyi

Night Snow
I was surprised my quilt and pillow were cold,
I see that now the window's bright again.
Deep in the night, I know the snow is thick,
I sometimes hear the sound as bamboo snaps.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Du Fu (712-770)

Spring View
The country is broken, though hills and rivers remain,
In the city in spring, grass and trees are thick.
Moved by the moment, a flower's splashed with tears,
Mourning parting, a bird startles the heart.
The beacon fires have joined for three months now,
Family letters are worth ten thousand pieces.
I scratch my head, its white hairs growing thinner,
And barely able now to hold a hairpin.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Fuke, Masunaga Text

Let him come from the bright side,
And I will dispose of him on that side;
Let him come from the dark side,
And I will dispose of him on that side;
Let him come from every possible direction,
And I will dispose of him like a whirlwind;
Let him come from the sky,
And I will dispose of him like a flail.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Cao Cao

Walking from Xiamen and Looking at the Blue Sea
East of Jieshi mountain, I gaze at the blue sea.
The water dances so gently, the mountain island towers.
Trees here grow thick, a hundred grasses are lush.
The autumn wind soughs, great waves rise up.
The path of the sun and moon, seems to come from within.
The splendid Milky Way, seems to come from inside.
Oh, I am so lucky, to be singing my song!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Matsuo Basho

Old battlefield, fresh with spring flowers again
All that is left of the dreams
Of twice ten thousand warriors slain.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Ryoanji Zen Garden

How long had Ryoanji been there? You must have asked --
but there is no remembrance, just the rocks
and the gravel and the wall
and the very great silence,
the rootedness of deep meditation,
the weight of the rocks and the trees of this earth,
as if their roots grew right down through your heart...

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Bai Juyi

The grass is spreading out across the plain,
Each year, it dies, then flourishes again.
It's burnt but not destroyed by prairie fires,
When spring winds blow they bring it back to life.
Afar, its scent invades the ancient road,
Its emerald green overruns the ruined town.
Again I see my noble friend depart,
I find I'm crowded full of parting's feelings.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Du Fu (712-770)

In Abbot Zan's Room at Dayun Temple
My heart is in a world of water and crystal,
My clothes are damp in this time of spring rains.
Through the gates I slowly walk to the end,
The great court the appointed tranquil space.
I reach the doors- they open and shut again,
Now strikes the bell- the meal time has arrived.
This cream will help one's nature strengthen and grow,
The diet gives support in my decline.
We've grasped each other's arms so many days,
And opened our hearts without shame or evasion.
Golden orioles flit across the beams,
Purple doves descend from lattice screens.
Myself, I think I've found a place that suits,
I walk by flowers at my own slow pace.
Tangxiu lifts me from my sickly state,
And smiling, asks me to write a poem.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Ryokan (1758-1831)

Where there is beauty, there is ugliness.
When something is right, something else is wrong.
Knowledge and ignorance depend on each other.
It has been like this since the beginning.
How could it be otherwise now?
Wanting to toss out one and hold onto the other
makes for a ridiculous comedy.
You must still deal with everything ever-changing,
even when you say it’s wonderful.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


A heart subdued,
Yet poignant sadness
Is so deeply felt:
A snipe flies over the marsh.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Hsu Yun


A summer day can seem as long as a year.
Mountain people know this.
I had forgottten it.

Because I'm simple and not very foresighted
I had destroyed my life's half-way house.
This mountain pavilion was not a rest house for strangers.

Yet, a bamboo screen is as good for privacy as a ceramic screen.
I was just getting comfortable and had pulled out my pen
When I suddenly realized I was looking up at stars.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Li-Young Lee

From blossoms comes
this brown paper bag of peaches
we bought from the boy
at the bend in the road where we turned toward
signs painted Peaches.

From laden boughs, from hands,
from sweet fellowship in the bins,
comes nectar at the roadside, succulent
peaches we devour, dusty skin and all,
comes the familiar dust of summer, dust we eat.

O, to take what we love inside,
to carry within us an orchard, to eat
not only the skin, but the shade,
not only the sugar, but the days, to hold
the fruit in our hands, adore it, then bite into
the round jubilance of peach.

There are days we live
as if death were nowhere
in the background; from joy
to joy to joy, from wing to wing,
from blossom to blossom to
impossible blossom, to sweet impossible blossom.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Kobayashi Issa

In the cherry blossom's shade
there's no such thing
as a stranger.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Han Shan

You find a flower half-buried in leaves,
And in your eye its very fate resides.
Loving beauty, you caress the bloom;
Soon enough, you'll sweep petals from the floor.

Terrible to love the lovely so,
To count your own years, to say "I'm old,"
To see a flower half-buried in leaves
And come face to face with what you are.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Thich Nhat Hanh

Walking Meditation
by Thich Nhat Hanh
(1929 - ) Timeline

Original Language
Buddhist : Zen / Chan


Take my hand.
We will walk.
We will only walk.
We will enjoy our walk
without thinking of arriving anywhere.
Walk peacefully.
Walk happily.
Our walk is a peace walk.
Our walk is a happiness walk.

Then we learn
that there is no peace walk;
that peace is the walk;
that there is no happiness walk;
that happiness is the walk.
We walk for ourselves.
We walk for everyone
always hand in hand.

Walk and touch peace every moment.
Walk and touch happiness every moment.
Each step brings a fresh breeze.
Each step makes a flower bloom under our feet.
Kiss the Earth with your feet.
Print on Earth your love and happiness.

Earth will be safe
when we feel in us enough safety.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Loy Ching-Yuen

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.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


This slowly drifting cloud is pitiful:
What dreamwalkers men become.
Awakened, I hear the one true thing-
Black rain on the roof of Fukakusa Temple.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Ho Koji

Daily, nothing particular,
Only nodding to myself,
Nothing to choose, nothing to discard.
No coming, no going,
No person in purple,
Blue mountains without a speck of dust.
I exercise occult and subtle powers,
Carrying water, shouldering firewood.

Monday, April 11, 2011


What is this mind?
Who is hearing these sounds?
Do not mistake any state for Self-realization.
Continue to ask yourself:
What is it that hears?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Chuang Tzu

The perfect man has no self;
the spiritual man has no achievement;
the sage has no name.

Saturday, April 9, 2011


See with your eyes, hear
with your ears.
Nothing is hidden.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Han Shan

Cold Mountain is a house
Without beams or walls.
The six doors left and right are open
The hall is blue sky.
The rooms all vacant and vague
The east wall beats on the west wall
At the center nothing.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Heart Sutra

The Prajnaparamita is a great spiritual mantra,
a great wisdom mantra,
a supreme mantra,
an unequalled mantra.
It destroys all suffering,
because it is the incorruptible truth.
Hereafter, proclaim the great Prajnaparamita mantra:
"Gate, gate, paragate, Parasumgate bodhi, svaha."

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Dhammapada: The Pairs

Though little he recites the Sacred Texts,
But puts the precepts into practice,
Ridding himself of craving, hatred and delusion,
Possessed of right knowledge with mind well-freed,
Cling to nothing here or hereafter,
He has a share in religious life.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Wondrous nirvana-mind
Because the flowers blooming
In our original home
Are everlasting,
Though springtimes may come and go
Their colors do not fade.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Zhang Jiuling


Tender orchid-leaves in spring
And cinnamon- blossoms bright in autumn
Are as self- contained as life is,
Which conforms them to the seasons.
Yet why will you think that a forest-hermit,
Allured by sweet winds and contented with beauty,
Would no more ask to-be transplanted
THan Would any other natural flower?

Sunday, April 3, 2011


A Fisherman

Studying texts and stiff meditation can make you lose your Original Mind.
A solitary tune by a fisherman, though, can be an invaluable treasure.
Dusk rain on the river, the moon peeking in and out of the clouds;
Elegant beyond words, he chants his songs night after night.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Matsuo Basho

Temple bell,
a cloud of cherry flowers --
Ueno? Asakusa?

Friday, April 1, 2011

Han Yu

Snow in Spring
The new year's come, but still the plants don't grow,
First in March I'm startled by grass shoots.
The white snow thinks the colours of spring are late,
So through the pavilion and trees it flies like blossom.