My legacy —
What will it be?
Flowers in spring,
The cuckoo in summer,
And the crimson maples
Studying texts and stiff meditation can make you lose your Original Mind. A solitary tune by a fisherman, though, can be an invaluable treasure. Dusk rain on the river, the moon peeking in and out of the clouds; Elegant beyond words, he chants his songs night after night.
This treasure was discovered in a bamboo thicket — I washed the bowl in a spring and then mended it. After morning meditation, I take my gruel in it; At night, it serves me soup or rice. Cracked, worn, weather-beaten, and misshapen But still of noble stock!
I watch people in the world
Throw away their lives lusting after things,
Never able to satisfy their desires,
Falling into deeper despair
And torturing themselves.
Even if they get what they want
How long will they be able to enjoy it?
For one heavenly pleasure
They suffer ten torments of hell,
Binding themselves more firmly to the grindstone.
Such people are like monkeys
Frantically grasping for the moon in the water
And then falling into a whirlpool.
How endlessly those caught up in the floating world suffer.
Despite myself, I fret over them all night
And cannot staunch my flow of tears.
The blossomshave fallen
The world before my eyes is wan and wasted, just like me. The earth is decrepit, the sky stormy, all the grass withered. No spring breeze even at this late date, Just winter clouds swallowing up my tiny reed hut.
The wind has settled, the blossoms have fallen; Birds sing, the mountains grow dark — This is the wondrous power of Buddhism.
The tree was barren of leaves but you brought a new spring. Long green sprouts, verdant flowers, fresh promise. Mori, if I ever forget my profound gratitude to you, Let me burn in hell forever.
In a dilapidated three-room hut I've grown old and tired; This winter cold is the Worst I've ever suffered through. I sip thin gruel, waiting for the Freezing night to pass. Can I last until spring finally arrives? Unable to beg for rice, How will I survive the chill? Even meditation helps no longer; Nothing left to do but compose poems In memory of deceased friends.
First blooming in the Western Paradise, The lotus has delighted us for ages. Its white petals are covered with dew, its jade green leaves spread out over the pond, And its pure fragrance perfumes the wind. Cool and majestic, it raises from the murky water. The sun sets behind the mountains But I remain in the darkness, too captivated to leave.
My house is buried in the deepest recess of the forest Every year, ivy vines grow longer than the year before. Undisturbed by the affairs of the world I live at ease, Woodmen’s singing rarely reaching me through the trees. While the sun stays in the sky, I mend my torn clothes And facing the moon, I read holy texts aloud to myself. Let me drop a word of advice for believers of my faith. To enjoy life's immensity, you do not need many things.
An old grave hidden away at the foot of a deserted hill, Overrun with rank weeds growing unchecked year after year; There is no one left to tend the tomb, And only an occasional woodcutter passes by. Once I was his pupil, a youth with shaggy hair, Learning deeply from him by the Narrow River.
Too lazy to be ambitious, I let the world take care of itself. Ten days' worth of rice in my bag; a bundle of twigs by the fireplace. Why chatter about delusion and enlightenment? Listening to the night rain on my roof, I sit comfortably, with both legs stretched out.
Yes, I’m truly a dunce Living among trees and plants. Please don’t question me about illusion and enlightenment -- This old fellow just likes to smile to himself. I wade across streams with bony legs, And carry a bag about in fine spring weather. That’s my life, And the world owes me nothing.
In my youth I put aside my studies And I aspired to be a saint. Living austerely as a mendicant monk, I wandered here and there for many springs. Finally I returned home to settle under a craggy peak. I live peacefully in a grass hut, Listening to the birds for music. Clouds are my best neighbors. Below a pure spring where I refresh body and mind; Above, towering pines and oaks that provide shade and brushwood. Free, so free, day after day -- I never want to leave!
In stubborn stupidity, I live on alone befriended by trees and herbs. Too lazy to learn right from wrong, I laugh at myself, ignoring others. Lifting my bony shanks, I cross the stream, a sack in my hand, blessed by spring weather. Living thus, I want for nothing, at peace with all the world.
Your finger points to the moon, but the finger is blind until the moon appears. What connection has moon and finger? Are they separate objects or bound? This is a question for beginners wrapped in seas of ignorance. Yet one who looks beyond metaphor knows there is no finger; there is no moon.
Returning to my native village after many years’ absence: I put up at a country inn and listen to the rain. One robe, one bowl is all I have. I light incense and strain to sit in meditation; All night a steady drizzle outside the dark window — Inside, poignant memories of these long years of pilgrimage.
The city lights flicker and gleam, But true peace is found in stillness. A leaf falling, a drop of dew, Remind us to let go and find beauty in the moment. The rat race of desire, A never-ending cycle of pain, Why chase after illusions, When true happiness is found within. Like a fish swimming in the depths of a clear pond, We must dive deep within ourselves, To discover the pearl of true contentment. So let us cast aside our wants and needs, And find solace in simplicity.
The universe is a vast and mysterious place, and yet everything is interconnected, everything is energy. Einstein's theory of relativity tells us that matter and energy are interchangeable, that everything is made up of tiny particles of energy vibrating at different frequencies. And this means that every living being, every rock, every star, every molecule is connected by an invisible web of energy.
It is not easy to let go of our attachment to material possessions and desires. It takes discipline, focus and a certain level of detachment from the world around us. But by taking the time to slow down and appreciate the beauty of nature, and by quieting the mind and listening to the inner voice, we can find the path to true fulfillment.