Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Bamboo and Plum Blossom
Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Monday, April 30, 2012

Thich Nhat Hanh

Fall Moon Festival
What will happen when form collides with emptiness,
and what will happen when perception enters non-perception?
Come here with me, friend.
Let's watch together.
Do you see the two clowns, life and death
setting up a play on a stage?
Here comes Autumn.
The leaves are ripe.
Let the leaves fly.
A festival of colors, yellow, red.
The branches have held on to the leaves
during Spring and Summer.
This morning they let them go.
Flags and lanterns are displayed.
Everyone is here at the Full Moon Festival.

Friend, what are you waiting for?
The bright moon shines above us.
There are no clouds tonight.
Why bother to ask about lamps and fire?
Why talk about cooking dinner?
Who is searching and who is finding?
Let us just enjoy the moon, all night.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Ikkyu Sojun (1374-1481)

not two not one either
and the unpainted breeze in the ink painting feels cool

Ikkyu this body isn't yours I say to myself
wherever I am I'm there

when I was forty-seven everybody came to see me
so I walked out forever

my monk friend has a weird endearing habit
he weaves sandals and leaves them secretly by the roadside

even before trees rocks I was nothing
when I'm dead nowhere I'll be nothing

no nothing only those wintry crows
bright black in the sun

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Han Shan (c. 800)

Beyond Silence
Blue-green spring water,
white moonlit mountain.

Quiet wisdom of the spirit:
empty gaze beyond silence.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Kiyohara no Fukayabu (9th-10th cent.)

In the summer night
The evening still seems present,
But the dawn is here.
To what region of the clouds
Has the wandering moon come home?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Dogen Zenji (1200-1253)

Wondros Nirvana Mind
Because the flowers blooming
In our original home
Are everlasting,
Though springtimes may come and go
Their colors do not fade.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Loy Ching-Yuen (1873-1960)

To know Tao
by Loy Ching-Yuen
(1873 - 1960) Timeline

English version by
Thomas Cleary

Original Language

20th Century

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.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Matsuo Basho (1644-1694)

The temple bell dies away
The scent of flowers in the evening
Is still tolling the bell.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Ki no Tsurayuki (872-945)

The depths of the hearts
Of humankind cannot be known.
But in my birthplace
The plum blossoms smell the same
As in the years gone by.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Li Po (701-762)

About Tu Fu

I met Tu Fu on a mountaintop
in August when the sun was hot.

Under the shade of his big straw hat
his face was sad--

in the years since we last parted,
he'd grown wan, exhausted.

Poor old Tu Fu, I thought then,
he must be agonizing over poetry again.

Li Po

Friday, April 20, 2012

Ryokan (1758-1831)

First days of spring -- the sky
by Ryokan
(1758 - 1831) Timeline

English version by
Stephen Mitchell

Original Language
Buddhist : Zen / Chan

18th Century

First days of spring -- the sky
is bright blue, the sun huge and warm.
Everything's turning green.
Carrying my monk's bowl, I walk to the village
to beg for my daily meal.
The children spot me at the temple gate
and happily crowd around,
dragging to my arms till I stop.
I put my bowl on a white rock,
hang my bag on a branch.
First we braid grasses and play tug-of-war,
then we take turns singing and keeping a kick-ball in the air:
I kick the ball and they sing, they kick and I sing.
Time is forgotten, the hours fly.
People passing by point at me and laugh:
"Why are you acting like such a fool?"
I nod my head and don't answer.
I could say something, but why?
Do you want to know what's in my heart?
From the beginning of time: just this! just this!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Dai Shulun (732-789)

Passing the Shrine to the Master of the Three Gates
Dai Shulun 732-789

The waters of the Yuan and Xiang never cease
Qu Yuan's grief is so deep
The Autumn wind rises at sunset
And blows through a grove of maples

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Buson (1716-1784)

Short nap --
spring was gone.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Cen Shen (715-770)

Iron Gate Pass
Cen Shen (Tang)

Iron Gate Pass at world's edge,
Few travelers to be seen.
One lowly official closes the gate,
All day just see stone walls.
Mountain bridge, a thousand dangerous steps,
Narrow road winds between sharp cliffs.
I climbing west tower to look,
One glance and my head turns white!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Matsuo Basho (1644-1694)

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

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Xue Tao (768-831)

Autumn, Hearing the Headwaters on a Moonlit Night

When that chilly hue strikes clear
the single strand of mist,

a muffled trill slides
far away:
ten silken strings.

It comes, long-drawn, to pillows.
It tugs at hearts and thoughts.

It will not let
at midnight
those who sorrow sleep.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Fugiwara no Okikaze

Who is still alive
When I have grown so old
That I can call my friends?
Even Takasago's pines
No longer offer comfort.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Liu Yu-Hsi (c. 838)

HILLS surround the ancient kingdom; they never change.
The tide beats against the empty city, and silently, silently, returns.
To the East, over the Huai River – the ancient moon.
Through the long, quiet night it moves, crossing the battlemented wall.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Han Shan Te'-Ching 1600

Look upon the body as unreal,
an image in a mirror,
the reflection of the moon in water.
Contemplate the mind as formless,
yet bright and pure.

Not a single thought arising,
empty, yet perceptive;
still, yet illuminating;
complete like the great emptiness,
containing all that is wonderful.

- Han Shan Te'-Ch'ing, 1600

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Hsu Yun (1840-1959)


It seems we just met when we so hurriedly parted!
Throughout the whole morning, I had no words to say.
But from your pointed "direct mind" teaching
I pulled out that precious stalactite.
And then I saw that Empty Space you had cracked open!

I won't embellish. Doesn't need sauce. Doesn't need more flavor.
It doesn't need any effort of eyes, ears, nose or tongue.
It was that tip! That point of your brush!
And there was the disk of the moon and the world, bright and clean!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Ikkyu Sojun (1374-1481)

Natural, reckless, correct skill;
Yesterday's clarity is today's stupidity
The universe has dark and light, entrust oneself to change
One time, shade the eyes and gaze afar at the road of heaven.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Li-qingzhao (1084-1151)

This year with the end of autumn
I find my reflection graying at the temples.
Now that the evening wind is gaining force,
what shall become of the plum blossoms?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Chia Tao (773-849)

Seeing Off Shen Miao, Buddhist Master

Mists of willow catkin
are falling
on the roads
of western Szechwan.

We meet-
then suddenly spring is over;
your teachings imparted,
you go alone,

traveling fast, with rain
in far mountains;
sleeping late, after
a night of storm.

Of the trees
around your cottage-
when you return,
their leaves should be vermilion.

Chia Tao

Monday, April 2, 2012

T'se Ken Tan - vegetable root discourses

There is an old saying:
The bamboo shadow cannot dust off the steps.
The sun penetrates the pond leaving no trace on the water.
Our Scholar says :
Though the stream flows swiftly by, the scene is forever still.
While the flowers are wilting rapidly, my mind is cool.
Treats things this way and how at ease I would be.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Ikkyu Sojun (1394-1481)

Like vanishing dew,
a passing apparition
or the sudden flash
of lightning -- already gone --
thus should one regard one's self.”