drafty mountain hut

always at home, forever on the way

Tag: Mountain and Rivers

Green mountains emptiness

by tendo zenji

At Manifold-Devotion Post-Station,
a Second Farewell to the Governor

Ending our distant farewell, separation 
begins here, green mountains emptiness

felt. We'll never again wander together 
sipping wine beneath last night's moon.

The whole country sings praises of you, 
radiant through three reigns. Me, I'll go 

home to my river village, nurture what 
life remains in isolate depths of silence.

-Du Fu
Translated by David Hinton in Selected Poems of Tu Fu

Dwelling in the Mountains 28

by tendo zenji

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

Dwelling in the Mountains 27

by tendo zenji

 

Hook and line are never cast
here, and nets never spread;

no one shoots strung arrows
or sets out traps and snares.

If you look, the Humanity of wolves and tigers is clear,
but there’s no limit to the passion for killing such things.

I devoted myself to Way long ago, when I was still young,
awakening to the love all beings naturally feel for life,

and was led by this to see it throughout the realm of things.
By now, never far from my dwelling place in this love,

I future the easy joy of soaring gulls and darting fish,
no hint of mechanical mind here among forest and lake.

Hsieh Ling-yun, translated by David Hinton in The Mountain Poems of Hsieh Ling-yun