Mount Gu Meeting with Master Gu Yue (Master Ancient Moon)
For thirty years I've traveled. At last I return to this
One bamboo walking stick and I'm back to old Spring days spent
As cold smoke encases fine mist
Sparse stands of bamboo
surround this ethereal mystic.
Suddenly things are strange and dreamlike.
deep perceptions, chatting like close relatives,
Talking and talking
throughout the moonlit night,
Confessing those past concerns that
brought us to our meeting here tonight.
Strong Feelings Remembering the Way It
Was When I First Started Out
For more than sixty years I've moved forward with my
It's time for a new direction: up!
I'm heading for the bright
clouds at the mountain top.
The sword of my mind won't leave desires standing.
hack to pieces those Three Mistaken Worlds
And with bare hands plough
up perceptions' worthless weeds.
Life is a bitter ocean,
Yet drink it dry to find the
Pearl of Heaven!
Don't worry about time and space
Smash the moon! It
still comes back!
Cast your net into the sky
Both Phoenix and Dragon
will fall into the web!
But walk alone...
The solitary soul can take
whate'er fate brings.
In Response to Layman MA Guanyuan for a
I don't carry a gentleman's lute
Or own a longevity
I'm as undistinguished as smoke
And casual as sunset
Scattered and low.
Scattered and low.
Sometimes I roam along Bilu Peak
Or lounge around
Who needs seven hundred lifetimes?
Who needs to be the
houseguest of an Immortal?
You can measure what's empty or catch hold of the
But the hardships of an ascetic monk are beyond reckoning.
You can move an entire mountain or shrink a great
But nobody can plumb the depths of spiritual emptiness.
In the space of just a single thought
A thousand years
can be speeded up or stopped.
But the distance light travels in those thousand
Wouldn't reach the limits of a monk's travails.
I could have been a deckhand
And traveled all the
Or else a simple laborer,
A porter with a pole.
What if I had been born noble and wealthy?
but he rejected that
And so would I. Ah. Ah.
So I don't carry a gentleman's lute
Or walk around with
I just go, scattered and low, scattered and low.
obscure as smoke and casual as those sunset clouds.
Years Months Days Hours
One year and then another.
Bone marrow shrivels.
Eyebrows thin away.
This time-limited body is like a mound of slurry.
the Triple World, earth, air, fire and water mingle and change.
all our emotions allow us to notice
And their sight obstructs our view
One month and then another.
The light and dark pass
like melting snow.
No part can be kept for long.
Only the Dharma
does not come or go.
The lacquer bowl suddenly breaks.
You are like the
Dragon of Heaven - born to be lively and free.
A roc can't live in a
A little jiaoliao bird needs to stay near mosquito ponds.
One day and then another.
They never wear themselves
Give up your judgments about everything.
It's all insubstantial
in the end.
All things under the sun come to an end and
Spend what time you have in honest simplicity.
breath of the Eternal
Admits you to the Great Chamber.
One hour and then another.
Inexorably march, step by
Whenever I meet you, we each smile.
But who is it who drags
your corpse around?
Steadfast and unchangeable
Always mindful of this or
You're young and strong. Exert yourself!
Don't wait... oh
please don't wait
Until you're much too old and weak.
Response to a poem by Liao Zhao of Mount
We wander through Illusion, the World of
We're like a man who climbs a tree trying to catch a
We go rolling along with ordinary dust
wherever the wind takes us.
Then, suddenly, a bath is prepared for us!
in the water of Caoxi!
Hui Neng's own clothes are laid out for
How intricate are the ways of the world!
How impossible to
believe. How impossible to doubt!
|An Autumn Night
Sitting with Fine Friends High in|
a Tall Building (the Cen
To look at the colors this time of year is good.
look at them while dining in a penthouse is even better.
We open the window and peak at the new crescent
And let simmered tea wash down our old worries.
The bunch of us linger, undisturbed, singing for our
There are no other customers around.
It's cold and we're all in threadbare robes;
we "pass around the lamp" of witty conversation
And a little too
bravely discuss the coming winter.
For Mr. HE Jingtian, a Layman of Great
Once, he competed for reputation,
And struggled for
advantage in the world
As the Chu and the Han chased each other through
the Gates of Qin.
Yet, in a nap, no longer than it takes to cook
In a brief dream, he entered that peerless realm of emptiness.
This hero who solved the riddle of the world!
who sleeps as well on featherbed or grass!
Who copes with all the
And doesn't calculate priorities.
With empty hand
does he command the yin and yang of time.
It's so hard for the Buddha to save us!
We take a wrong
turn a thousand times.
Those who truly crave liberation
take advantage of their time.
The Buddha's words will shine like the white
Illuminating the path that's otherwise unlit.
The Temple Bell
will awaken the sincere but sleeping...
Dong... Dong... again, again,
Think about the chances! Born as human
Intelligent and strong! But our minds are seared with
And we're desperate for refuge from ourselves.
I've learned the teachings of the Dharma
that knowledge in my heart.
Guarding it keeps me safely here at home.
I know that what seems to exist came out of
And what seems to disappear, never went away.
vanishing - the illusions of coming and going.
Another illusion, a
sadder one, is that we two human beings
Can ever stay together long.
For Mr. Hua Yenjing at Fenglin Temple: An
Admonishment Against Feeling Upset Over A Monk's Broken Porcelain Bowl
I've got a piece of porcelain.
I value it at more than
a hundred billion yen.
When I show it, its brightness fills all space.
put it away, it leaves not a trace.
At night it's the light within
Open or closed, the books contain that shining.
My porcelain can't be burned by raging fire.
greatest flood can't sweep it off or drown it.
The smartest thief can't
steal it and
The cleverest of ghosts can't spirit it away.
My porcelain is the Dragon Maiden's Pearl
than several cities' worth of Jade.
It might be fit to display in
Or on a pedestal in front of Duobao Pagoda.
Inside my porcelain bowl there's dazzling light
there's just the luster of the bright clear moon
No less than the
famous Pearl of Mani
It can shine through a crack and fill the Empty
There are too many details to explain.
If your tray is
too full you can't carry it.
As well as I'm able, I've tried to direct
When you grasp this yourself, you'll know what I mean.
For Madame Reverend Qing: (Declining her
request that he return home for the funerals of his wife and his
I've been fifty years a monk.
My body's bent over
And my pallid face shows my long companionship
With acrid smoke.
Everything changes. People come and go.
do not stay the same.
Mulberry trees used to thrive in these
Now their soft dark green is nowhere found.
If we let them, griefs would pile up in our hearts.
Buddha taught us Chan, the way of Emptiness,
The way to keep things
fresh and clean.
My mind settled and alone in contemplation.
Half a century the affairs of life continued.
away from them!
The ways of this world won't transport you
Land of Peace.
Don't make distinctions - what's mine or yours.
divide things - what you have and what you don't.
Mixed Miscellaneous Song
What good is talking about the future or the past?
can't change the unchangeable.
What's the difference between leaving
Or coming here to live in a monastery?
Where can you go that you can't see the moon?
you go that you won't find flowers?
Where there's sky, there's a
Where there's earth, flowers grow.
Carry a lute. Make up your own songs.
You don't need to
study other people's music.
Guide your feet until they move in
With nothing more glorious than a white ox cart.
Unburden yourself. Empty your hands of
Meditate fiercely! And just when you want to rest
Lotus Flower will open
And you'll be sitting on the Precious Throne.