Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Bamboo and Plum Blossom
Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Monday, February 28, 2011


Just stop your wandering,
Look penetratingly into your inherent nature,
And, concentrating your spiritual energy,
Sit in zazen
And break through.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Ts'ao Shan (840-901), Roaring Stream

In illusion what is true?
Illusion is from the outset true.
In illusion what is manifested?
The very illusion itself is manifestation.
If this is so,
then one can never be apart from illusion?
No matter how you seek illusion,
you won't find it."

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Dogen Zenji, 1200 - 1253

In the third month of spring
the fruit is full on the enlightenment tree;
One night the flower blooms
and the whole world is fragrant.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Vimalakirta Nirdesa Sutra

All these things arise dependently, from causes,
Yet they are neither existent nor nonexistent,
Therein is neither ego, nor experiencer, nor doer,
Yet not action, good or evil, looses its effects.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Hsu Yun


It was just clearing after the rain of the night before
Mossy traces were on the steps.
I didn't climb the building thinking about writing a poem.

This poet's fest doesn't need any wine warming.
Just open the window, the mountain range will come in.
Before the eye, the village, drenched in smoke,
Will materialize.

I write now and see it as I saw it then -
The mountains and the sea -
Viewing it in detail
Like a painted picture.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Li Shangyin

The Pleasure Plain
Towards evening my thoughts became uncomfortable,
I drove my carriage upon the ancient plain.
The setting sun is good without limit,
But only comes when yellow dusk is near.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Ts'ao Shan 840-901

In illusion what is true?
Illusion is from the outset true.
In illusion what is manifested?
The very illusion itself is manifestation.
If this is so,
then one can never be apart from illusion?
No matter how you seek illusion,
you won't find it."

Friday, February 18, 2011

Zen Saying

When I see
Heaven and earth as
My own garden,
I live that moment
Outside the Universe.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Dogen Zenji, 1200 - 1253

Coming, going, the waterbirds
don't leave a trace,
don't follow a path.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Li Bai

Ancient Air
I climb up high and look on the four seas,
Heaven and earth spreading out so far.
Frost blankets all the stuff of autumn,
The wind blows with the great desert's cold.
The eastward-flowing water is immense,
All the ten thousand things billow.
The white sun's passing brightness fades,
Floating clouds seem to have no end.
Swallows and sparrows nest in the wutong tree,
Yuan and luan birds perch among jujube thorns.
Now it's time to head on back again,
I flick my sword and sing Taking the Hard Road.

Tuesday, February 15, 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.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Yoka Genkaku (665-713 CE), Shodoka

Always working alone, always walking alone,
The enlightened one walks the free way of Nirvana
With melody that is old and clear in spirit
And naturally elegant in style,
But with body that is tough and bony,
Passing unnoticed in the world.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Du Mu

Drunken Sleep
The beer's brewed well amid the autumn rain,
The cold house sits amid the falling leaves.
The hermit spends a lot of time asleep,
He pours and drains another cup of beer.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Du Fu (712-770)

In autumn rain, the grasses rot and die,
Below the steps, the jueming's colour is fresh.
Full green leaves cover the stems like feathers,
And countless flowers bloom like golden coins.
The cold wind, moaning, blows against you fiercely,
I fear that soon you'll find it hard to stand.
Upstairs the scholar lets down his white hair,
He faces the wind, breathes the fragrance, and weeps.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Thich Nhat Hanh

Drink Your Tea

Drink your tea slowly and reverently,
as if it is the axis
on which the world earth revolves
- slowly, evenly, without
rushing toward the future;
Live the actual moment.
Only this moment is life.

Thursday, February 10, 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.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Nambo (1306)

I rebuke the wind and revile the rain,
I do not know the Buddhas and patriarchs;
My single activity turns in the twinkling of an eye,
Swifter even than a lightning flash.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Shinkichi Takahashi

Nothing left: thought smoke.
A moment - a billion years.

Dont curl like orange peel, dont ape
a mummified past. Uncage eternity.

When selfs let go, universe is all -
O for speed to get past time.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

T'ao Yuan-ming (365-427 CE)

Mild and moist were the months of spring;
Cool and clear is the white season of autumn.
Now the dew congeals, no longer drifting mists.
The sky is high, the landscape sharp and clear.
Soaring peaks rise from yonder mountain range --
Seen from here, their lofty beauty is unsurpassed.
Fragrant chrysanthemums deck the woods with splendor;
The green pines stand in rows above the cliff.
I admire their beauteous grandeur,
Elegant and lofty under the frost.
Holding my wine cup, I toast to the mystics
Who once roamed along the pines.
Searching for the essence I have not yet acquired,
Reluctantly I await the rising moon.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Hsu Yun


Twenty-one years old and from my village, yet!
So bright and filled with fresh ideas.
No wonder you gained such a high post in Tenchong.
I seemed ancient when I came to Chan.

We simmered tea and talked and talked
Coming up with one great line after another.
We hung up a lamp and read old poems.
I only just met you and yet I knew you all my life.

All night long we talked in an adventure
That continued until dawn. Then we parted.
I'm back on South Dian Road now
With my old companions, the sighing wind and bright moon.

The night sky is as lovely and charming as ever.
The stars are all there, but something's wrong.
Something is missing from the night's beauty.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Yu Ching

Words crystallize the spirit in the place of power.
The sixth month the white snow is suddenly seen to fly.
The third watch the disk of the sun sends out shining rays.
The water blows the wind of gentleness.
Wandering in Heaven, one eats the spirit-power of the receptive.
The deeper secret within the secret:
Land that is nowhere, that is the true home.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


The spiritual light, shining independently,
transcends the senses and objects;
the essence is revealed, real and eternal,
not confined to written words.

The nature of mind has no stain;
it is basically complete in itself.
Just detach from false mental objects
and be enlightened to being-as-is.