by tendo zenji
Calligraphy by Shodo Harada Roshi. For more from this calligraphy demonstration see here: Shodo Harada Calligraphy Demonstration.
What do worldly people grieve?
Pain and pleasure entwine without end,
birth and death come and go for many eons.
East, west, south, and north–whose house is it?
Zhang, Wang, Li and Zhao are temporary names.
The six paths and the river of hell are crooked as flax–
because the hosts within fail to cut them off,
in the end, they run stray and invite transmigration.
Translated by Kazuaki Tanahashi & Peter Levitt in The Complete Cold Mountain
Your life is a shadow
lived inside a dream,
Once that is realized
self and other vanish.
Pursue fame, the glory
of a prince won’t suffice;
Take a step or two back
a gourd dipper’s all you need.
No matters in the mind
passions quiet of themselves
mind freed from matter
means suchness everywhere.
The moment these truths
are grasped as your own
the mind opens and clears
like the empty void above
— Baisao from The Old Tea Seller: Life and Zen Poetry in 18th Century Kyoto translated by Norman Waddell