Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Bamboo and Plum Blossom
Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Monday, October 31, 2011

Naropa (1016-1100)

The View, Concisely Put
This mind that knows emptiness
Is itself the awakened mind, bodhicitta.
The Buddha potential is just this.
The sugata essence is just this.

Because of tasting what is,
It is also the great bliss.
The understanding of secret mantra is just this.
Means and knowledge is just this.

This self-knowing, while one is still defiled,
Does not depend on other things,
So self-existing wakefulness is just this.
Being aware, it is cognizance.

A natural knowing that is free of thought.
This self-knowing cannot possibly form thoughts.
Without conceptualizing 'a mind,'
Since it is not something to be conceived,
This original wakefulness, cognizant yet thought-free,
Is like the wisdom of the Tathagata.

Therefore, it is taught, "Realize that luminous mind
Is the mind of original wakefulness,
And don't seek an enlightenment separate from that."

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Ikkyu Sojun (1394-1481)

If chunks of rock
Can serve as a memento
To the dead,
A better headstone
Would be a simple tea-mortar.

Humans are indeed frightful beings.
A single moon
Bright and clear
In an unclouded sky;
Yet still we stumble
In the world’s darkness.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Semimaru 10th century, son of Emperor Uda

Truly, this is where
Travelers who go or come
Over parting ways,--
Friends or strangers, all must meet;
'Tis the gate of "Meeting Hill."

Monday, October 24, 2011

Han Yu (768-824)

Light Rain Early in Spring
Han Yu

In light rain, Heaven Street is moist like butter,
The grass is green from afar, but not nearby.
The spring is best this time every year,
The mist of willow blossom fills the capital.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Cen Can (715-770)

Climbing Ciensi Pagoda with Gao She and Xue Du
Cen Shen

Macho pagoda sprouts forth,
Alone, lofting to Heaven's Gate.
In darkness stone steps coil upward,
Emerge jutting above the world.
Towering over the Imperial Capital,
Awesome like a demon's work.
Its four corners block the sun,
Its seventh story grasps the firmament.
Below glimpse soaring birds,
Below again hear soughing wind.
Mountain chain undulates like surf,
Pounding ever straight eastward.
Green locust trees on Emperor's Highway,
Shade carved palace buildings.
Autumn color arrives from the west,
Impressive the bounteous Guanzhong Plain!
Five Tombs on the north slope,
Eternally green in moist mist.
Buddha's words now revealed,
In the name of my ancestors.
I swear in future I will retire,
Comprehend the Dao,
Invest in the inexhaustible.�

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Ikkyu Sojun (1394-1481)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
One night . . . a pitiful -looking skeleton appeared and said these words:

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?
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Toward dawn I dozed off, and in my dream I found myself surrounded by a group of skeletons . . . . One skeleton came over to me and said:

Flee and
Are no more.
All are empty dreams
Devoid of meaning.

Violate the reality of things
And babble about
"God" and "the Buddha"
And you will never find
the true Way.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Lady Ono no Komachi 834-880, famous poet

Color of the flower
Has already passed away
While on trivial things
Vainly I have set my gaze,
In my journey through the world.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Li Bai (699-762)


Since yesterday had to throw me and bolt,
Today has hurt my heart even more.
The autumn wildgeese have a long wind for escort
As I face them from this villa, drinking my wine.
The bones of great writers are your brushes, in the School of Heaven,
And I am a Lesser Xie growing up by your side.
We both are exalted to distant thought,
Aspiring to the sky and the bright moon.
But since water still flows, though we cut it with our swords,
And sorrows return, though we drown them with wine,
Since the world can in no way answer our craving,
I will loosen my hair tomorrow and take to a fishingboat.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Cai Qinrui (1671-1745)

Autumn Butterflies
Cai Qinrui

Expelled from Spring luster
they seek the forest,
Chrysanthemum blossoms
a hermit's abode
is my goal.
Perched of a branch
can this be
their village home?
Wind rises in the oaks
cold dew deep.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Bai Juyi (722-846)

Reading Laozi
Those who speak do not know, those who know are silent,
I heard this saying from the old gentleman.
If the old gentleman was one who knew the way,
Why did he feel able to write five thousand words?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Hsu Yun (1840-1959)


Since there's no such thing as form
There can't be image, either.
How then can obstacles arise?

Safe within this principle
Bodhidharma was secure.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Feng-kan (Big Stick) circe 800

Actually there isn't a thing
much less any dust to wipe away
who can master this
doesn't need to sit there stiff

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Ikkyu Sojun (1394-1481)

Ikkyu Poems
my self of long ago
what will happen to buddha
man of original inactivity
you must travel

no such thing as mind
all are just as they are
to return to the sky of our native place?
who is the buddha?

i would like to offer you something
we have no companion
the real form of buddha
why are people called buddhas
original man must return

Friday, October 14, 2011

Kisen Hoshi, 9th century. Priest, eventually he was the former Emperor Seiwa

Lowly hut is mine
South-east from the capital:--
Thus I choose to dwell;--
And the world in which I live
Men have named a "Mount of Gloom."

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Ryokan Taigu (1758-1831)

Even if you consume as many books
As the sands of the Ganges
It is not as good as really catching
One verse of Zen.
If you want the secret of Buddhism,
Here it is: Everything is in the Heart!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Saicho (767-822)

A Thatched Hermitage My Home

A thatched hermitage my home,
Bamboo leaves my throne.
My life is all practise,
Sacrificed to the precepts,
Guarding the country.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Cen Can (715-770)


Look how swift to the snowy sea races Running-Horse River! --
And sand, up from the desert, flies yellow into heaven.
This Ninth-month night is blowing cold at Wheel Tower,
And valleys, like peck measures, fill with the broken boulders
That downward, headlong, follow the wind.
...In spite of grey grasses, Tartar horses are plump;
West of the Hill of Gold, smoke and dust gather.
O General of the Chinese troops, start your campaign!
Keep your iron armour on all night long,
Send your soldiers forward with a clattering of weapons!
...While the sharp wind's point cuts the face like a knife,
And snowy sweat steams on the horses' backs,
Freezing a pattern of five-flower coins,
Your challenge from camp, from an inkstand of ice,
Has chilled the barbarian chieftain's heart.
You will have no more need of an actual battle! --
We await the news of victory, here at the western pass!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Li Bai (699-762)


A wind, bringing willow-cotton, sweetens the shop,
And a girl from Wu, pouring wine, urges me to share it
With my comrades of the city who are here to see me off;
And as each of them drains his cup, I say to him in parting,
Oh, go and ask this river running to the east
If it can travel farther than a friend's love!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Du Fu (712-770)

Qiang Village
The flock of chickens starts to call wildly,
As guests arrive, the chickens begin to fight.
I drive the chickens up into the tree,
And now I hear the knock on the wicker gate.
Four or five elders from the village,
Ask how long and far I have been travelling.
Each of them brings something in his hands,
We pour the clear and thick wine in together.
They apologise because it tastes so thin,
There's no-one left to tend the millet fields.
Conscription still continues without end,
The children are campaigning in the east.
I ask if I can sing a song for the elders,
The times so hard, I'm ashamed by these deep feelings.
I finish the song, look to heaven and sigh,
Everyone around is freely weeping.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Ikkyu Sojun (1394-1481)

Even now I remember the recluse of Uji.
Empty belly, no wine, colder than ice.
Yet, the song of the angel's shining cloak.
Lost among refugees, the rural priest takes comfort.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Abe no Nakamaro 710-790, poet and envoyee of the Emperor

When I look abroad
O'er the wide-stretched "Plain of Heaven,"
Is the moon the same
That on Mount Mikasa rose,
In the land of Kasuga?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Han Shan Te'-Ch'ing 1600

If you can smash through a single thought,
Then all deluded thinking will suddenly be stripped off.
You will feel
Like a flower in the sky that casts no shadows,
Like a bright sun emitting boundless light,
Like a limpid pond, transparent and clear.
After experiencing this,
There will be immeasurable feelings of light and ease,
And a sense of liberation.
There is nothing marvelous or extraordinary about it.
Do not rejoice and wallow in this ravishing experience.
If you do, then the Mara of Joy will possess you.

- Han Shan Te'-Ch'ing, 1600

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Hsu Yun (1840-1959)

(a place name which means "the stone moved by the clouds")

I like it best when I'm living out in the open,
As in the old days when I'd forget the years were passing,
When I'd follow where fate led me.
I thought nothing could change me.

But the Pearl of the Heart works in such an exquisitely subtle way.
It fills you. .. makes you feel complete with Heaven's Nature.
There's no need to move.

Before the beginning of this senseless world
The clouds moved this fist of a stone right here
To this very place.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Meng Haoran (690-740)


A bell in the mountain-temple sounds the coming of night.
I hear people at the fishing-town stumble aboard the ferry,
While others follow the sand-bank to their homes along the river.
...I also take a boat and am bound for Lumen Mountain --
And soon the Lumen moonlight is piercing misty trees.
I have come, before I know it, upon an ancient hermitage,
The thatch door, the piney path, the solitude, the quiet,
Where a hermit lives and moves, never needing a companion.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Thich Nhat Hanh

My head pillowed on waves--
I drift with the flow--
broad river,
deep sky.
They float, they sink,
like bubbles,
like wings.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Ikkyu Sojun (1394-1481)

Portrait of Ton-Ami with a Shakuhachi
Shakuhachi music stirs up both gods and demons.
Once again the world's number-one rake lacks a friend.
In the teeming universe just that music.
He leaves the painting to enter a bamboo flute.