I reverently welcome sage teachings
and humbly study the ancient sutras
here in luminous mountain expanses
far from towns full of meat’s stench.
The Great Vow of Limitless Compassion
saving all things from deep confusion–
it’s nothing but feckless chatter in places crowded with people.
It needs the nourishment of Way’s solitude to fulfill its nobility.
We revere the blooming radiance of Buddha’s Deer Park gardens
and admire the summit of his renowned Spirt-Vulture Mountain,
yearn for the pure forests resounding with his voice in Kevaddha
and long for the fragrant gardens where he taught in Amrapali:
but however distant and remote the Buddh’as pure face may seem,
they say the sounds of his lament are always with us everywhere,
so I built a monastery among the quiet mystery of high peaks,
hoping monks would come, walking-sticks in hand, and find repose.
These sitting cushions seem gifts given by Pradipataja Buddha
and our meals perfect kindness offered by Gandhakuta Buddha.
Here, our struggles all fading away, through sees through it all,
and this close to the inner pattern, antiquity continues refreshed.
Hsieh Ling-yun, translated by David Hinton in The Mountain Poems of Hsieh Ling-yun