Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Bamboo and Plum Blossom
Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Friday, June 3, 2011

Su Shi (1036-1101)

Dabeige Ji, At Chengdu
Su Shi 1036-1101

I ponder over us mortals with two eyes and two arms,
Who, when objects arise, are unable to respond.
With wild delusions and utter confusion,
We react by becoming filled with desire.
Distraught and beset by anxious thoughts.
Even though anxious thought is inherently unreal,
We might as well have no eyes and no arms!
When objects arise, then the mind also arises.
However, the bodhisattva is never anxious,
But responds to whatever need responding to,
And there is nothing that is not appropiately met.
A taut bow set with a white arrow.
Sword and shield made of maple wood;
Sutra scrolls and incense flowers.
A finger bowl made of maple wood;
A large jeweled censer made of coral;
A white whisk, a vermilion hazelwood staff,
The bodhisattva understands all he meets,
And that which he grasps, he does not doubt.
How has the bodhisattva attained to this no-doubt?
Because his "self" is a self of no-mind,
If the bodhisattva still possessed a mind,
Then a thousand arms would mean a thousand minds.
And a thousand minds inside one single body--
What a terrible struggle that would cause!
How would the bodhisattva have time to respond?
But because these thousand hands have no-mind,
Each arm is able to find its own place.
Bowing my head to the Great Compassionate One,
I vow to help all sentient beings cross over.
That they may all find the Way of no-mind,
And all be of a thousand arms, a thousand eyes.

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