Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Bamboo and Plum Blossom
Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Bodhidharma (5th/6th cent. AD)

Flower Seed Sequence

Originally I brought the soil,
Buddha's infinite compassion.
From this one blossom drop five seeds,
The result, spontaneous combustion.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Ikkyu Sojun (1394-1481)

Many paths lead
from the foot of the mountain,
But at the peak
We all gaze at the
Single bright moon.

If at the end of our journey
There is no final
Resting place,
Then we need not fear
Losing our Way.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Wang Wei (699-759)

Deep in the Mountain Wilderness, by Wang Wei
Deep in the mountain wilderness
Where nobody ever comes
Only once in a great while
Something like the sound of a far off voice,
The low rays of the sun
Slip through the dark forest,
And gleam again on the shadowy moss.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Minamoto no Toru (822-895)

Like Michinoku prints
Of the tangled leaves of ferns,
It is because of you
That I have become confused;
But my love for you remains.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Han Yu (768-824)


Rough were the mountain-stones, and the path very narrow;
And when I reached the temple, bats were in the dusk.
I climbed to the hall, sat on the steps, and drank the rain- washed air
Among the round gardenia-pods and huge bananaleaves.
On the old wall, said the priest, were Buddhas finely painted,
And he brought a light and showed me, and I called them wonderful
He spread the bed, dusted the mats, and made my supper ready,
And, though the food was coarse, it satisfied my hunger.
At midnight, while I lay there not hearing even an insect,
The mountain moon with her pure light entered my door....
At dawn I left the mountain and, alone, lost my way:
In and out, up and down, while a heavy mist
Made brook and mountain green and purple, brightening everything.
I am passing sometimes pines and oaks, which ten men could not girdle,
I am treading pebbles barefoot in swift-running water --
Its ripples purify my ear, while a soft wind blows my garments....
These are the things which, in themselves, make life happy.
Why should we be hemmed about and hampered with people?
O chosen pupils, far behind me in my own country,
What if I spent my old age here and never went back home?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Cui Hao (704-754)

Yellow Crane Tower
Cui Hào

The ancient one
flew off on his yellow crane,
Now this place is empty
only Yellow Crane Tower remains.
The Yellow Crane
once gone never returns,
White clouds for a thousand years
empty and remote.
Boats and Hanyang trees
reflect in clear water,
Lush vegetation thrives
on Parrot Shoal.
At dusk I ask for news of home,
These mist shrouded waters
heavy on my heart.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Hsu Yun (1840-1959)


A stone cave. That's the ultimate in cleanliness and refinement. But live alone. Don't concern yourself with the business of life. Get a round mat made of rushes. Take a meditation pose and sit.

Then, the body will become like just so many bubbles. The wheels of life will roll into timelessness. When you enter deepest meditation Your Inner Being will be wrapped in Being, Itself.

The great material world will vanish. How could those grains of sand remain?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Han Shan Te'-Ch'ing 1600

This Silly Mountain doesn’t go around aping people,
Playing the clown, society’s fool.
It sits here alone, contented in solitude, perfect in peace.
I should be so silly."
- The Autobiography of Han Shan Te'-Ch'ing

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Ikkyu Sojun (1394-1481)

A melancholy autumn wind
Blows through the world;
The pampas grass waves,
As we drift to the moor,
Drift to the sea.

What can be done
With the mind of a man
That should be clear
But though he is dressed up in a monk’s robe,
Just lets life pass him by?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Yozei In 868-949, Emperor

From Tsukuba's peak,
Falling waters have become
Mina's still, full flow:
So my love has grown to be;
Like the river's quiet deeps.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Dai Biaoyuan 1244-1310

Remembering An Old Troubador
Dai Biaoyuan 1244-1310

In better days he sang of peonies, purple and red,
Holding vermillion tasseled sandlewood clappers.
Now, white haired, he sings in Jiangnan for a cup of wine,
No one would know he is another Li Gunian!


Purple and red peonies
in bright sunlight,
Sandalwood castanets
vermillion tasseled
a silver score.
Gray haired
in Jiangnan
singing for a jug of wine,
No one to realize
he's another Li Guinian!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Du Fu (712-770)


I am sad. My thoughts are in Youzhou.
I would hurry there-but I am sick in bed.
...Beauty would be facing me across the autumn waters.
Oh, to wash my feet in Lake Dongting and see at its eight corners
Wildgeese flying high, sun and moon both white,
Green maples changing to red in the frosty sky,
Angels bound for the Capital of Heaven, near the North Star,
Riding, some of them phrenixes, and others unicorns,
With banners of hibiscus and with melodies of mist,
Their shadows dancing upside-down in the southern rivers,
Till the Queen of the Stars, drowsy with her nectar,
Would forget the winged men on either side of her!
...From the Wizard of the Red Pine this word has come for me:
That after his earlier follower he has now a new disciple
Who, formerly at the capital as Emperor Liu's adviser,
In spite of great successes, never could be happy.
...What are a country's rise and fall?
Can flesh-pots be as fragrant as mountain fruit?....
I grieve that he is lost far away in the south.
May the star of long life accord him its blessing!
...O purity, to seize you from beyond the autumn waters
And to place you as an offering in the Court of Imperial Jade.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Dogen Zenji (1200-1253)

Ching-ch'ing's raindrop sound
Because the mind is free --
Listening to the rain
Dripping from the eaves,
The drops become
One with me.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Li Yu (937-978)

How Can a Man Escape Life's Sorrow and Regret? (Midnight Song)
How can a man escape life's sorrow and regret?
What limit is there to my solitary grief?
I returned to my homeland in a dream,
As I awakened, I shed two tears.
Who now will climb up those high towers,
I remember those clear autumn scenes.
Those past events have lost their meaning,
They disappear as in a dream.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Ikkyu Sojun (1394-1481)

No beginning,
No end.
Our mind
is born and dies:
The emptiness of emptiness!

Rain, hail, snow and ice:
All are different,
But when they fall
They become the same water
As the valley stream.

The ways of proclaiming
The Mind vary,
But the same heavenly truth
Can be seen
In each and every one.

Cover your path
With the fallen pine needles
So no one will be able
To locate your
True dwelling place.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Sojo Henjo (Yoshimine no Munesada) 816-890, cousin of Emperor Nimmyo

O ye Winds of Heaven!
In the paths among the clouds
Blow, and close the ways,
That we may these virgin forms
Yet a little while detain.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Chen Sanli (1853-1937)

Crossing Poyang Lake On Way To Wucheng
Chen Sanli 1853-1937

My eyes riveted to Lake Viewing Pavilion,
Willows warmed by the setting sun.
Those who excel at statecraft,
Are only praised by cawing crows.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Saigyo (1118-1190)

Winds Of Autumn
Even in a person
most times indifferent
to things around him
they waken feelings
the first winds of autumn


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Du Fu (712-770)


Beside the Temple of the Great Premier stands an ancient cypress
With a trunk of green bronze and a root of stone.
The girth of its white bark would be the reach of forty men
And its tip of kingfish-blue is two thousand feet in heaven.
Dating from the days of a great ruler's great statesman,
Their very tree is loved now and honoured by the people.
Clouds come to it from far away, from the Wu cliffs,
And the cold moon glistens on its peak of snow.
...East of the Silk Pavilion yesterday I found
The ancient ruler and wise statesman both worshipped in one temple,
Whose tree, with curious branches, ages the whole landscape
In spite of the fresh colours of the windows and the doors.
And so firm is the deep root, so established underground,
That its lone lofty boughs can dare the weight of winds,
Its only protection the Heavenly Power,
Its only endurance the art of its Creator.
Though oxen sway ten thousand heads, they cannot move a mountain.
...When beams are required to restore a great house,
Though a tree writes no memorial, yet people understand
That not unless they fell it can use be made of it....
Its bitter heart may be tenanted now by black and white ants,
But its odorous leaves were once the nest of phoenixes and pheasants.
...Let wise and hopeful men harbour no complaint.
The greater the timber, the tougher it is to use.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Hsu Yun (1840-1959)

... (a mountain in Hunan) which is in central China
and no where near the Indian border ...
That year, the Indian border was opened...
That day, I was able to climb Mount Jun.
The clouds were clear and all the peaks exquisite
The forests, high and nestled in the shadows.
I called out and the echo of my voice startled a bird from its dreams.
The soughing of the pines became a song of Chan.
I came to a cave; and in the water floor of its hall
My heart became clear, reflecting both its heaven
And its earth.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Chen Shidao (1052-1937)

Viewing Qiantang Bore On The 17th
*****Chen Shidao

Great white rainbow races to sleek sands,
Heaven's jade wine cup shakes, overturns.
Blue sky staggers, yaws on green river,
Late sun bobs, bounces in unruly waves.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Ikkyu Sojun (1394-1481)

The vagaries of life,
Though painful
Teach us
Not to cling
To this floating world.

Why do people
Lavish decorations
On this set of bones
Destined to disappear
Without a trace?

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Ono no Takamura (802-853)

Over the wide sea
Towards its many distant isles
My ship sets sail.
Will the fishing boats thronged here
Proclaim my journey to the world?