Tag Archives: Buddhist Poetry

Layman P’ang // poem 1


The past is already past.
Don’t try to regain it.
The present does not stay.
Don’t try to touch it.

From moment to moment.
The future has not come;
Don’t think about it
Beforehand.

Whatever comes to the eye,
Leave it be.
There are no commandments
To be kept;
There’s no filth to be cleansed.

With empty mind really
Penetrated, the dharmas
Have no life.

When you can be like this,
You’ve completed
The ultimate attainment.

Layman P’ang (740-808)

Advertisements

For Mr. HE Jingtian, a Layman of Great Compassion By Master Hsu Yun


For Mr. HE Jingtian, a Layman of Great Compassion By Master Hsu Yun

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 millet,
In a brief dream, he entered that peerless realm of emptiness.

This hero who solved the riddle of the world!
This man who sleeps as well on featherbed or grass!
Who copes with all the world’s events
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
Must quickly take advantage of their time.

The Buddha’s words will shine like the white moon,
Illuminating the path that’s otherwise unlit.
The Temple Bell will awaken the sincere but sleeping…
Dong… Dong… again, again, it calls.

Think about the chances! Born as human beings!
Intelligent and strong! But our minds are seared with troubles
And we’re desperate for refuge from ourselves.

I’ve learned the teachings of the Dharma
And store that knowledge in my heart.
Guarding it keeps me safely here at home.

I know that what seems to exist came out of nowhere.
And what seems to disappear, never went away.
Appearing and vanishing – the illusions of coming and going.
Another illusion, a sadder one, is that we two human beings
Can ever stay together long.

Writing a Chant Poem on Fu Guo Dreaming of the Ocean By Grand Master Hsu Yun


Poems express a person’s feelings
And this can cause both profit or loss.
A teacher uses allegory to convey meaning.
And metaphor makes it easier to speak his truth.

So this moldy old man uses pen and ink for his explanations.
All my life I’ve been foolish and dull.

Sometimes I look at something and I think it’s so wonderful.
And then I realize I was pointing out a fact
That was as obvious as the moon.

Master Chinul Poem 1


Do not cling to the letter, just comprehend the meaning, referring each point to your own self, so as to merge with the original source. Then the knowledge that has no teacher will spontaneously appear, the pattern of natural reality will be perfectly clear, and you will attain the body of wisdom, attaining enlightenment without depending on anyone else.
~ Master Chinul (1158-1210)

Full Moon Festival by Thich Nhat Hanh


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.

Verses On the Faith Mind By Third Ch’an Patriarch Chien-chih Seng-ts’an


Verses On the Faith Mind

By Third Ch’an Patriarch Chien-chih Seng-ts’an

Translated by Richard B. Clarke

至道無難  The Great Way is not difficult

唯嫌揀擇  for those who have no preferences.

但莫憎愛  When love and hate are both absent

洞然明白  everything becomes clear and undisguised.

毫釐有差  Make the smallest distinction, however

天地懸隔  and heaven and earth are set infinitely apart.

欲得現前  If you wish to see the truth

莫存順逆  then hold no opinions for or against anything.

違順相爭  To set up what you like against what you dislike

是爲心病   is the disease of the mind.

不識玄旨  When the deep meaning of things is not understood

徒勞念靜  the mind’s essential peace is disturbed to no avail.

圓同太虚  The Way is perfect like vast space

無欠無餘  where nothing is lacking and nothing is in excess.

良由取捨  Indeed, it is due to our choosing to accept or reject

所以不如  that we do not see the true nature of things.

莫逐有縁  Live neither in the entanglements of outer things,

勿住空忍  nor in inner feelings of emptiness.

一種平懷  Be serene in the oneness of things

泯然自盡  and such erroneous views will disappear by themselves.

止動歸止  When you try to stop activity to achieve passivity

止更彌動  your very effort fills you with activity.

唯滯兩邊  As long as you remain in one extreme or the other

寧知一種  you will never know Oneness.

一種不通  Those who do not live in the single Way

兩處失功  fail in both activity and passivity,

遣有沒有  assertion and denial. To deny the reality of things

從空背空  to assert the emptiness of things is to miss their reality.

多言多慮  The more you talk and think about it,

轉不相應  the further astray you wander from the truth.

絶言絶慮  Stop talking and thinking,

無處不通  and there is nothing you will not be able to know.

歸根得旨  To return to the root is to find the meaning,

隨照失宗  but to pursue appearances is to miss the source.

須臾返照  At the moment of inner enlightenment

勝卻前空  there is a going beyond appearance and emptiness.

前空轉變  The changes that appear to occur in the empty world

皆由妄見  we call real only because of our ignorance.

不用求眞  Do not search for the truth;

唯須息見  only cease to cherish opinions.

二見不住  Do not remain in the dualistic state

慎莫追尋  avoid such pursuits carefully.

纔有是非  If there is even a trace of this and that, of right and wrong,

紛然失心  the Mind-essence will be lost in confusion.

二由一有  Although all dualities come from the One,

一亦莫守  do not be attached even to this One.

一心不生  When the mind exists undisturbed in the Way,

萬法無咎  nothing in the world can offend,

無咎無法  and when a thing can no longer offend, it ceases to exist in the old way.

不生不心  When no discriminating thoughts arise, the old mind ceases to exist.

能隨境滅  When thought objects vanish, the thinking-subject vanishes,

境逐能沈  as when the mind vanishes, objects vanish.

境由能境  Things are objects because of the subject (mind);

能由境能  the mind (subject) is such because of things (object).

欲知兩段  Understand the relativity of these two

元是一空  and the basic reality: the unity of emptiness.

一空同兩  In this Emptiness the two are indistinguishable

齊含萬象  and each contains in itself the whole world.

不見精麁  If you do not discriminate between coarse and fine

寧有偏黨  you will not be tempted to prejudice and opinion.

大道體寛  To live in theGreat Way

無易無難  is neither easy nor difficult,

小見狐疑  but those with limited views

轉急轉遲  and fearful and irresolute: the faster they hurry, the slower they go,

執之失度  and clinging (attachment) cannot be limited;

必入邪路  even to be attached to the idea of enlightenment is to go astray.

放之自然  Just let things be in their own way

體無去住  and there will be neither coming nor going.

任性合道  Obey the nature of things (your own nature),

逍遙絶惱  and you will walk freely and undisturbed.

繋念乖眞  When thought is in bondage the truth is hidden,

昏沈不好  for everything is murky and unclear,

不好勞神  and the burdensome practice of judging brings annoyance and weariness.

何用疏親  What benefit can be derived from distinctions and separations?

欲取一乘  If you wish to move in the One Way

勿惡六塵  do not dislike even the world of senses and ideas.

六塵不惡  Indeed, to accept them fully

還同正覺  is identical with true Enlightenment.

智者無爲  The wise man strives to no goals

愚人自縛  but the foolish man fetters himself.

法無異法  This is one Dharma, not many: distinctions arise

妄自愛著   from the clinging needs of the ignorant.

將心用心  To seek Mind with the (discriminating) mind

豈非大錯  is the greatest of all mistakes.

迷生寂亂  Rest and unrest derive from illusion;

悟無好惡  with enlightenment there is no liking and disliking.

一切二邊  All dualities come from

妄自斟酌   ignorant inference.

夢幻虚華  They are like dreams of flowers in the air:

何勞把捉  foolish to try to grasp them.

得失是非  Gain and loss, right and wrong:

一時放卻  such thoughts must finally be abolished at once.

眼若不睡  If the eye never sleeps,

諸夢自除   all dreams will naturally cease.

心若不異  If the mind makes no discriminations,

萬法一如  the ten thousand things are as they are, of single essence.

一如體玄  To understand the mystery of this One-essence

兀爾忘虚  is to be release from all entanglements.

萬法齊觀  When all things are seen equally

歸復自然  the timeless Self-essence is reached.

泯其所以  No comparisons or analogies are possible

不可方比  in this causeless, relationless state.

止動無動  Consider movement stationary and the stationary in motion,

動止無止  both movement and rest disappear.

兩既不成  When such dualities cease to exist

一何有爾  Oneness itself cannot exist.

究竟窮極  To this ultimate finality

不存軌則  no law or description applies.

契心平等  For the unified mind in accord with the Way

所作倶息  all self-centered straining ceases.

狐疑盡淨  Doubts and irresolution’s vanish

正信調直  and life in true faith is possible.

一切不留  With a single stroke we are freed from bondage;

無可記憶  nothing clings to us and we hold to nothing.

虚明自照  All is empty , clear, self-illuminating,

不勞心力  with no exertion of the mind’s power.

非思量處  Here thought, feeling, knowledge, and imagination

識情難測  are of no value.

眞如法界  In this world of Suchness

無他無自  there is neither self nor other-than-self

要急相應  To come directly into harmony with this reality

唯言不二  just simply say when doubt arises, ‘Not two.’

不二皆同  In this ‘no two’ nothing is separate,

無不包容  nothing excluded.

十方智者  No matter when or where,

皆入此宗  enlightenment means entering this truth.

宗非促延  And this truth is beyond extension or diminution in time or space;

一念萬年  in it a single thought is ten thousand years.

無在不在  Emptiness here, Emptiness there,

十方目前  but the infinite universe stands always before your eyes.

極小同大  Infinitely large and infinitely small;

忘絶境界  no difference, for definitions have vanished

極大同小

不見邊表  and no boundaries are seen.

有即是無  So too with Being

無即是有  and non-Being.

若不如此  Don’t waste time in doubts and arguments

必不相守  that have nothing to do with this.

一即一切  One thing, all things:

一切即一  move among and intermingle, without distinction.

但能如是  To live in this realization

何慮不畢  is to be without anxiety about non-perfection.

信心不二  To live in this faith is the road to non-duality,

不二信心  Because the non-dual is one with the trusting mind.

言語道斷  Words! The Way is beyond language,

非去來今  for in it there is

no yesterday

no tomorrow

no today.

Cloud and Water/ Ch’an Poem 1 ‘Forbearance’ by Venerable Master Hsing Yun


When people slander me, what should I do? Forbearance is the path of least harm. Set a good example for my children and grandchildren; Follow the gentle, not the violent.

By Venerable Master Hsing Yun 

We should not get too upset when slandered by others. It does not hurt us too much to get the short end of the stick once in a while for when the clouds clear, the sun will shine through. We need to treat others with sincerity and honesty, thereby setting a good example for the younger gen-erations. Even further, we need to “Follow the gentle, not the violent”. We should be reasonable when someone slanders us. Once slandered it appears we are getting the short end of the stick. This is not true. In reality, if we can be patient and uncalculating, if we refrain from seeking revenge, in time people will know the truth. Then the slander not only will not harm us but will become an opportunity to gain merit. Just as the Sutra of Forty-two Sections says, “To slander others is like blowing dust into the wind; not only will it not harm others, the dust will ulti-mately fall back on ourselves. To slander others is also like spitting up into the sky, when it falls, it will fall flat in our face”. Thus, we should not be bothered by others’ idle talk and slander. Instead, we should be tolerant, patient, and forgiving. The greatest strength in this world comes not from fists nor guns but from tolerance under insult. According to Buddhist teachings, the merit gained from practicing the precepts is not as great as the merit gained from practicing tolerance. So you can see here the strength of tolerance. In our practice the first thing we need to learn is tolerance. We have to be tolerant in our speech and should not yell at others for no apparent reason. We have to be tolerant in our bodies and should not show anger on our face. We have to be tolerant in our minds and be truly forgiving of the bad deeds that others have done to us. If we can do this, we set a good and invaluable example to the younger generations. There is a story in the Sutra of the One Hundred Parables. One day, a father sent his son to the market to buy some food and drinks to serve his guests. When his son did not return for a long time, the father was getting worried and went out to look for him. He found his son standing on the street staring at a stranger. The father was puzzled and asked him why he stared so. The son told his father that since the stranger would not step aside to let him pass, both of them decided to stare at each other to see who would give up first. The father was very mad and told his son to run home with the groceries and he would take his place and see who would win. Does not giving a single step mean victory? Does this make us truly happy? If we want to set a good example to the younger generations, we should be tolerant, patient, and forgiving. Our children will benefit from it tremendously.

 

Source: Cloud and Water

An Interpretation of Ch’an Poems

By Venerable Master Hsing Yun

Translated by

FoGuangShanInternationalTranslationCenter

________________◊_______________

May all beings benefit

Thank you to whoever posted Cloud and Water  ebook and ALLOWED copying, That is how we share the Dharma, keep it free

 

 

Only One Heart -Master Hsu Yun


Only One Heart -Master Hsu Yun

Gaze into the Emptiness, the illusory changings of this world.
Enter the Emptiness. Others have. It’s not so hard.
Is there any place that’s unreachable when you make the effort?
Don’t be left behind because you’ve confused yourself over this.

Here! Let me rap you on the head with my stick!
Shut up, foolish face! Stop talking a minute!
Don’t be so quick to argue!
The mystery is so exquisite! It can’t be discussed!

Yes, I recite the Buddha’s name… or is the Buddha reciting mine?
What’s the recitation for anyway?
There’s only One Heart and It’s in the Pure Land.
The Buddha is my own True Nature.

The Buddha and me! We’re one, not two. So are you!
You’re chanting to this? You are this!
Come, hold on to this reality! Don’t be swept away into illusion.
History is an endless lie.

Let today be the day that the clouds and fog lift.
Don’t let a wisp of them remain.
Let your body live here, but keep your spirit evanescent.
See that when it’s free,
It can’t be bogged down into those old familiar ruts

When I said I was Buddhist…. // Poem


WHEN I SAID I WAS BUDDHIST…

When I said I was Buddhist, I am not stating that I’m wiser than you, but a whisper, “I have a lot of inner darkness that must be eliminated, so I chose Buddhism.”

When I said I was Buddhist, not being exhibited good karma what I store up in the past, but in order that you can see, I’m doing bad karma in the past is very deep and heavy, so I begged on the Buddhas and Bodhisattva to add the power of compassionate light for me to pledge, repent and eliminate all the bad deeds
When I said I was Buddhist, it is not because I run away from worldly life

to pursue something that is empty, but fully realize that in life there is no place that is not the place resentatiom Dharma, practicing self is alive today.
When I said I was Buddhist, does not mean that since then my life will no longersee the drawback of obstacles, but with the Buddha Dharma as an accompanist, obstacle barriers one by one turned into a condition that helped me grow

When I said I was Buddhist, my heart is filled with infinite gratitude, remembering that in this time of life can be reborn as a human being who has the ability to practice themselves, also have the opportunity to meet with the person virtuous and able to listen to the Buddha Dharma, my conscience stirred, it was the law of karma is really amazing!

When I said I was Buddhist, I know, even though the tread Bodhi Road must fall up again and again, but to reach Buddhahood is the thing that I will continue to strive in every life.

(Translated from “Dang Wo Shi Wo Shuo Jiao Tu Shi Fo, author unknown)

Poem 1 by Hung Tzu-ch’eng


” Most people read a book with words but not one without words, and they can play a lyre with strings but not one without strings. How can they derive tranquil pleasure from a book or a lyre, when they exercise their intelligence only on the material, but not the spiritual, aspect of things ? ”

– Hung Tzu-ch’eng

WALKING MEDITATION poetry by Ven.Thich Nhat Hanh


WALKING MEDITATION

Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh and Monastics

Take my hand.
We will walk.
We will only walk.
We will enjoy our walk
without thinking of arriving anywhere.
Walk peacefully.
Walk happily.
Our walk is a peace walk.
Our walk is a happiness walk.

Then we learn
that there is no peace walk;
that peace is the walk;
that there is no happiness walk;
that happiness is the walk.
We walk for ourselves.
We walk for everyone
always hand in hand.

Walk and touch peace every moment.
Walk and touch happiness every moment.
Each step brings a fresh breeze.
Each step makes a flower bloom under our feet.
Kiss the Earth with your feet.
Print on Earth your love and happiness.

Earth will be safe
when we feel in us enough safety.

Thich Nhat Hanh,
Call Me by My True Names: The Collected Poems of Thich Nhat Hanh,Parallax Press, Berkeley, California, 1999, p. 194

Sutra Chanting by Han-shan


I see people chanting a sutra
Who depend on its words for their ability to speak
Their mouths move but their hearts do not
Their hearts and mouths oppose each other
Yet the heart’s true nature is without conflict
So don’t get all tangled up in the words
Learn to know your own bodily self
Don’t look for something else to take its place
Then you’ll become the boss of your mouth
Knowing full well there’s no inside or out.

– Han Shan (730)

You have seen the blossoms among the leaves by Han-shan


You have seen the blossoms among the leaves;
tell me, how long will they stay?
Today they tremble before the hand that picks them;
tomorrow they wait someone’s garden broom.

Wonderful is the bright heart of youth,
but with the years it grows old.
Is the world not like these flowers?
Ruddy faces, how can they last?

Spring Rain by Master Hsu- Yun


Long rains -that’s the real start of spring

Everywhere you look- near or far-

Everything is fresh and new.

The cold grey mountain takes on delicate colors.

The stone steps so washed not a speck of dust remains.

The Willows have decided on their sole purpose:

To sooth your eyes with beauty.

The flowers are still sleeping.

They haven’t opened their lips to reveal anything.

There’s extra grass growing at the edge of the steps.

It’s so eager to please.When you step on it,

It yields gently then springs back.

As if it had merely bowed to you.

 

Spring Rain by Master Hsu- Yun

Translated to Pinyin (from the English translation) by Fa Xian

 

 

Mirror Pond on Mount Taibo in Shanxi -Master Hsu-Yun


Mirror Pond on Mount Taibo in Shanxi

by Master Hsu-Yun

The water and my mind have both settled down
Into perfect stillness.
Sun and moon shine bright in it.
At night I see in the surfaceThe enormous face of my old familiar moon.
I don’t think you’ve ever met the source of this reflection.
All shrillness fades into the sound of silence.
But now and then a puff of mist floats across the mirror.It confuses me a little
But not enough to make me forget to forget my cares.

English version by

Zen Buddhist Order of Hsu Yun

The Song of the Skin Bag – Master Hsu Yun


The Song of the Skin Bag
Written by Master Xu-Yun in his 19th year
From “Empty Cloud: The Autobiography of the Chinese Zen Master”.
Translate by Charles Luk. Rev. and edited by Richard Hunn

The Song of the Skin Bag, (1) the skin bag is sung. Before the empty aeon (2)

it had neither name nor form,

After the Buddha with awe-inspiring voice (3) it became a hindrance.

Three hundred and sixty tendons are linked within the body (4)

Enclosed by four and eighty thousand pores.(5)

Divided it splits into heaven, earth and man,

United it combines the four elements.

It supports heaven, props up earth,

But what of its mettle?

Understand cause and effect, discern the times

Survey the stupidity of past and present.

Because of wrong clinging to illusory forms,

Parents are involved and wife and children loved.

By vain indulgence in delusion karma is left behind,

The Song of the Skin Bag, the skin bag is sung.

Drinking wine and eating meat upset the mind-nature,

Indulgence in pleasure and desire leads to utter ruin

When officialdom is strong to oppress the innocent(6)

And traders artful against their consciences, how long

Will their wealth and power last, the their pride and their extravagance?

The poor and lowly will not so last while there is cruelty and violence.

Discrimination between self and others leads to inequality,

Destroying living beings as worthless things.

Thinking and discerning cause desire, stupidity and hatred,

While becoming lost in heresies invites self-destruction..

Killing, stealing, adultery and lying have no end,

And rude behavior to others increases attachment and aversion.

To scold the wind and curse the ram is disrespectful to the gods,

While depression comes from ignorance of birth and death.

When leaving a cow’s womb to enter a mare’s belly

Who will sing of or lament your change of form?

Many evil acts without a good deed will make

Aimless and toilsome your transmigration.

Entering the three evil realms, falling into hell (7)

Causes suffering to animals and hungry ghosts.

The ancient sages would oft repeat their warning,

Likewise the morning bell and drum at eve are to change your bean.

Good and evil karma bring certain retribution,

Escape then, worldly men, from the five periods of impurity.(8)

The Song of the Skin Bag, the skin bag is sung;

If the owner of form is not entangled by it,

For illusory matter to interdependence owes its name –

He can readily turn his mind within

To contemplate in sovereign case.

With no desire for fame and for wealth no craving,

Cut off all liking and from the world retire.

With no love for wife and no affection for children

Enter a monastery to keep the discipline;

Look for learned teachers, seek out their teaching

On Chan practice and meditation to O’er-leap the three worlds.(9)

Store what you see arid hear, forsake all causal clingings

To escape for ever from the worldly way.

By taming the six senses and stopping all your thoughts,

With neither self nor other, no trouble will remain,

Unlike worldly men who sigh when mist and dew disperse. (10)

With one robe to cover you and food enough

To satisfy your hunger, keep yourself in shape.

Give wealth away, sacrifice your body and life

Without a second thought as when you spit or sneeze.

Keep pure the discipline, be without fault

And correct in your deportment.(11) Be not angry

When insulted, bear no hatred when you are beaten,

Forget all derison by enduring the unendurable.

Without deviation, without interruption

Hold for ever the one thought of Amitabha.

Let there be no dullness, no confusion,

But like the fir and cypress defy the bitter cold.

Doubt no more the Buddha, doubt no more the Dharma;

With innate wisdom look clearly into what you see and hear,

Bore the paper, cut the hide(12) and go back

To the source, for self-liberation means

Returning to the spring and source of reality.

There is neither ‘non-existence’ nor emptiness

Exposed is the potentiality divine, wondrous and inconceivable

When you reach here al lgrievance ends.

Hurrah, for now you realize the goal.

With the ten titles of Buddha (13) you will teach a myriad worlds.

Aha, that same leaking shell (14) is now

The omnipresent Buddha-body. (15)

Clearly good and evil karmas are infallible, so why

Rely on falsehood instead of practicing the truth?

When the absolute is split the two extremes appear,

The spiritual mind turns into heaven and earth.

Kings and ministers are noble owing to their past karmas,

None are rich or noble, poor or humble without previous cause

Where there is birth – there will be death,

Why grumble since this is known to everyone?

For wife, children (and self), for happiness and wealth

All prospects are spoiled by anger and desire.

For what fame or gain did I trifle

Away my last nineteen springs? (16)

Frustrations of a thousand, nay ten thousand kinds

Harass and make your life yet more unbearable.

When you grow old with failing sight and snow-white hair

You will have vainly passed a lifetime ignorant of virtue.

From day to month, from month to year in vain will you

Regret that months and years turn like a wheel.

Who is an immortal in this world of ours?

‘Tis better to revere once more the cloud of compassion (17)

Ánd on a famous mountain or in some renowned place

To live at ease in transcendental bliss

Do not you know how fast the temporary flies?

Respectfully ponder a few expedient sentences,

Recite Amitabha’s name, see clearly into birth and death,

Then enjoy happiness beyond the reach of others.

Practice Chan, seek out its aim; the pure

And the spiritual are only this.

With clear tea and vegetarian food the mind

Errs not enjoying Dharma night and day.

Forsake both self and other, relinquish ‘you’ and ‘I’

Treat friend and foe alike forgetting praise and censure

When the mind is free from hindrance and disgrace

Do Buddhas and Patriarchs regards its Oneness as being without use?

The World-Honoured One renounced his love to climb the snowy mountains(18)

While Avalokitesvara left home to become a son of the Buddha. (19)

In the days of Yao and Shun(20) lived Zhao and Yu,(21)

When the throne was offered to Zhao he washed his ears.(22)

Remember Zhang Zi-fang and Liu Cheng-Yi

Who cast away their glory, retiring from the world.

In this period of termination when troubles lie ahead, (23)

Why do you not awaken to vie with the ancestors?

To indulge in ignorance, commiting the ten evils

Exhaust  your ingenuity and wins the world’s contempt.

Wars, epidemies, droughts and floods are frequent,

Dearth, famine and strife succeed each other and

When weird tales prevail misfortune follows.

‘Midst earthquakes, landslides and tidal waves

What will you do in order to escape?

Evil acts in past transmigrations

Cause present falsehood and frustration

When poor and in trouble virtue should first be cultivated,

Then in a monastery worship with virtuous heart the King of the Law,

Repentance and reform from past wrong deeds improve your lot.

Call on learned teachers, seek your experience to seal,

First learn, then leave both birth and death to realize the Mind-nature,

Impermanence exposed reveals eternity.

Path lies in path within your practice.

the saints and sages left clear sayings to reform the world,

Slight not then the teaching of the Tripitaka.

With earnestness and deep sincerity

I urge all human beings to be righteous

Take not my words as idle nor forget them,

for self-cultivation leads to perception of self-nature.

Hasten your practice, be ever zealous,

For the sowing of Bodhí is the direct cause of awakening.

the nine stages alter rebirth in the lotus are testified by the Buddha,

An Amitabha will take you to the Western Paradise.

Lay down your bag of skin, leap en the Vehicle Supreme.

This is the Song of the Skin Bag, hearken to it friends !

____________________________________________________________________

Notes Source

1. The human body is likened to a skin-bag which obstructs our realization of the truth.

2. The empty aeon is regarded as coming after that of the destruction of the world systems and preceding that of their formation, the latter being followed by that of ‘existence’.

3. Bhimsa-garjita-ghosa-svara-raja (short form Bhímsa-raja) or the King with awe-inspiring voice, the name of countless Buddhas, successively appearing during the aeon free from misery, decay, calamities, epidemics, etc.

4. The digit 3 symbolizes the past, present and future, or time. The digit 6 stands for the six worlds of existence and the six directions north, south, east, west, the zenith and nadir, or space.

5. The digit 8 stands for the eight consciousnesses and the digit 4 for the four elements: earth, water, fire and air which constitute the human body.

6. The Master’s father was an official.

7. The three evil realms: hungry ghosts, animals and hells.

8. The five periods of impurity: (1) the aeon in decay when it suffers deterioration giving rise to form; (2) Deterioration of views, selfishness etc., arising; (3) Passions and delusions arising from desire, anger and stupidity in which pride and doubt prevail; (4) the subsequent increase in human miseries and decrease in happiness and <5) the gradual shortening of human life to ten years.

9. The Triple realms’ of Desire, form and formlessness.

10. All worldly men are grieved about the impermanence of things which are likened to mist and dew.

11. That is, while walking, standing, sitting and reclining.

12. Bore the paper of the sutras to extract the correct meaning and pierce the ox-hide ignorance to realize the truth.

13. The ten titles of a Buddha are: (1) Tathagata, He who comes thus as do all other Buddhas; the absolute ‘coming’; (2) Arhat or one worthy of worship; (3) Samyak-sambuddha, Omniscient; (4) Vidyacarana-sampanna perfect knowledge and conduct; (5) Sugata, the well-departed; (6) Lokavid, knower of the world; (7) Anuttara, the peerless lord; (8) Purusadamya-sarathi, the tamer of passions; (9) Sasta deva-manusyanam, teacher of gods and men; (10) Bhagavat or Lokanatha, the World-Honoured One.

14. The illusory human body.

15. The spiritual body appearing in full.

16. Xu-Yun complained that he had wasted his time until his 19th year before succeeding in escaping from home.

17. The over-spreading, fructifying cloud of compassion, the heart of the Buddha.

18. The Himalayas. According to the Chinese Buddhist tradition, this symbolizes the Buddha’s renunciation ascent on the Bodhi-path.

19. A bodhisattva, son of ‘the Buddha’s family’.

20. The golden age of Chinese history when the country was ruled by the wise Emperors Yao and Shun.

21. Yao knew that Zhao and Yu were two sages and offered to abdicate in their favour but both declined,

22. When Zhao heard of Yao’s offer the throne to him, he went to the river bank to wash his ears from the ‘impurity’ of the offer.

23. The present period of the Dharma-ending age.

24. The nine stages of progression as described in the Sutra of Amitabha.

Hakuin’s Song of Zazen – Hakuin


Hakuin’s Song of Zazen – Hakuin

All beings are primarily Buddhas.

It is like water and ice:
There is no ice apart from water;
There are no Buddhas apart from beings. 

Not knowing how close the truth is to them,
Beings seek for it afar — what a pity!
They are like those who, being in the midst of water,
Cry out for water, feeling thirst.

They are like the son of the rich man,
Who, wandering away from his father,
Goes astray amongst the poor.
It is all due to their ignorance
That beings transmigrate in the darkness
Of the Six Paths of existence.

When they wander from darkness to darkness,
How can they ever be free from birth-and-death?

As for the Dhyana practice as taught in the Mahayana,
No amount of praise can exhaust its merits.
The Six Paramitas–beginning with the Giving, Observing the Precepts,
And other good deeds, variously enumerated,
Such as Nembutsu, Repentance, Moral Training, and so on –
All are finally reducible to the practice of Dhyana.

The merit of Dhyana practice, even during a single sitting,
Erases the countless sins accumulated in the past.
Where then are the Evil Paths to misguide us?
The Pure Land cannot be far away.

Those who, for once, listening to the Dharma
In all humility,
Praise it and faithfully follow it,
Will be endowed with innumerable merits.

But how much more so when you turn your eyes within yourselves
And have a glimpse into your self-nature!
You find that the self-nature is no-nature –
The truth permitting no idle sophistry.
For you, then, open the gate leading to the oneness of cause and effect;
Before you, then, lies a straight road of non-duality and non-trinity.

When you understand that form is the form of the formless,
Your coming-and-going takes place nowhere else but where you are.
When you understand that thought is the thought of the thought-less.
Your singing-and-dancing is no other than the voice of the Dharma.
How boundless is the sky of Samadhi!
How refreshingly bright is the moon of the Fourfold Wisdom!
Being so is there anything you lack?
As the Absolute presents itself before you
The place where you stand is the Land of the Lotus,
And your person – the body of the Buddha.

– Hakuin

CALL ME BY MY TRUE NAMES – THICH NHAT HANH //Poem & Video


This poem by Thich Nhat Hanh embodies the essence of what he calls “interbeing,” the innerconnectedness of all things.


Call Me by My True Names
by Thich Nhat Hanh

From: Peace is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life by Thich Nhat Hanh
In Plum Village, where I live in France, we receive many letters from the refugee camps in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines, hundreds each week. It is very painful to read them, but we have to do it, we have to be in contact. We try our best to help, but the suffering is enormous, and sometimes we are discouraged. It is said that half the boat people die in the ocean. Only half arrive at the shores in Southeast Asia, and even then they may not be safe.

There are many young girls, boat people, who are raped by sea pirates. Even though the United Nations and many countries try to help the government of Thailand prevent that kind of piracy, sea pirates continue to inflict much suffering on the refugees. One day we received a letter telling us about a young girl on a small boat who was raped by a Thai pirate. She was only twelve, and she jumped into the ocean and drowned herself.

When you first learn of something like that, you get angry at the pirate. You naturally take the side of the girl. As you look more deeply you will see it differently. If you take the side of the little girl, then it is easy. You only have to take a gun and shoot the pirate. But we cannot do that. In my meditation I saw that if I had been born in the village of the pirate and raised in the same conditions as he was, there is a great likelihood that I would become a pirate. I saw that many babies are born along the Gulf of Siam, hundreds every day, and if we educators, social workers, politicians, and others do not do something about the situation, in twenty-five years a number of them will become sea pirates. That is certain. If you or I were born today in those fishing villages, we may become sea pirates in twenty-five years. If you take a gun and shoot the pirate, all of us are to some extent responsible for this state of affairs.

After a long meditation, I wrote this poem. In it, there are three people: the twelve-year-old girl, the pirate, and me. Can we look at each other and recognize ourselves in each other? The tide of the poem is “Please Call Me by My True Names,” because I have so many names. When I hear one of the of these names, I have to say, “Yes.”

Call Me by My True Names

Do not say that I’ll depart tomorrow
because even today I still arrive.

Look deeply: I arrive in every second
to be a bud on a spring branch,
to be a tiny bird, with wings still fragile,
learning to sing in my new nest,
to be a caterpillar in the heart of a flower,
to be a jewel hiding itself in a stone.

I still arrive, in order to laugh and to cry,
in order to fear and to hope.
The rhythm of my heart is the birth and
death of all that are alive.

 

I am the mayfly metamorphosing on the surface of the river,
and I am the bird which, when spring comes, arrives in time
to eat the mayfly.

I am the frog swimming happily in the clear pond,
and I am also the grass-snake who, approaching in silence,
feeds itself on the frog.

I am the child in Uganda, all skin and bones,
my legs as thin as bamboo sticks,
and I am the arms merchant, selling deadly weapons to
Uganda.

I am the twelve-year-old girl, refugee on a small boat,
who throws herself into the ocean after being raped by a sea
pirate,
and I am the pirate, my heart not yet capable of seeing and
loving.

I am a member of the politburo, with plenty of power in my
hands,
and I am the man who has to pay his “debt of blood” to, my
people,
dying slowly in a forced labor camp.

My joy is like spring, so warm it makes flowers bloom in all
walks of life.
My pain if like a river of tears, so full it fills the four oceans.

Please call me by my true names,
so I can hear all my cries and laughs at once,
so I can see that my joy and pain are one.

Please call me by my true names,
so I can wake up,
and so the door of my heart can be left open,
the door of compassion.

Thich Nhat Hanh

 

Entrance to the Way -Master Hsu Yun


Entrance to the Way – Master Hsu Yun

So many people enter the hall to practice.
How many of them carry that long sword
The sword of Heavenly Reliance?

Everything has to be hacked to pieces.
Saints, demons, everything!
Blood has to be splattered all over the mansions of heaven.

That’s the Direct Teaching!
Pull down those golden locked gates to the Profound
That guard the Entrance to the Way.

Be fierce when you sit! Make your sitting a blade that hacks through the
wilderness of incomprehension.
Let your eye pierce the Emptiness!
Expose that True Face
The One that was yours before your mother gave birth.