drafty mountain hut

always at home, forever on the way

Tag: winter

Encountering Snow

by tendo zenji

Encountering Snow on the Road to Ch’ang-an

Far into distances on this Ch’ang-an road,
year-end skies spread away all ashen haze,

drifting snow filling rivers and mountains
new moon to old, dark blur beyond blur.

Arriving geese can’t tell rock from water.
Crows cry hunger across abandoned fields.

I’m empty here, a grief-stricken traveler
gazing: no sign of cook-smoke anywhere.

–Meng Hao-Jan
translated by David Hinton in The Mountain Poems of Meng Hao-Jan

winter

by tendo zenji

“The preparation of a monastery for winter may seem unremarkable. Everything that needs to be attended to is done, yet no trace of effort is apparent.  This expresses the spirit of my teacher, Gempo Yamamoto Roshi, who spent most of his time doing zazen, and who was often completely absorbed in studying the Diamond Sutra. He would say that you are not yet mature if you are seen as great or wise by others. It is not good to be absentminded, but you should be unpretentious while being aware of all necessary matters. This is important!”

Sōen Nakagawa, Endless Vow: The Zen Path of Soen Nakagawa, p. 116