zen

Basho – Slender, so slender

Posted on Updated on

2405784305_2c7c00ebff_z
Photo by flickr user Arnoud Boekhoorn. All rights revert to originator.

Slender, so slender
its stalk bends under dew —
little yellow flower.

 

-Matsuo Bashō, 17th c. Japan

Ikkyu – Coming Alone

Posted on

Photo by flickr user Andreas Øverland. Used by cc: All rights revert to the originator.
Photo by flickr user Andreas Øverland. Used by cc: All rights revert to the originator.

Coming alone,
Departing alone,
Both are delusion:
Let me teach you how
Not to come, not to go!

-Ikkyū, 15th c. Japan

Ikkyu – A Fisherman

Posted on Updated on

Photo by flickr user Francesco Paroni Sterbini. Used under cc: All rights revert to originator.
Photo by flickr user Francesco Paroni Sterbini. Used under cc: All rights revert to originator.

A Fisherman

Studying texts and stiff meditation can make you lose your Original Mind.
A solitary tune by a fisherman, though, can be an invaluable treasure.
Dusk rain on the river, the moon peeking in and out of the clouds;
Elegant beyond words, he chants his songs night after night.

-Ikkyū, 15th c. Japan

Ryōkan Taigu – Wild Roses

Posted on

Photo by flickr user Java Tourism. Used by cc: All rights revert to the originator.
Photo by flickr user Java Tourism. Used by cc: All rights revert to the originator.

Wild roses,
Plucked from fields
Full of croaking frogs:
Float them in  your wine
And enjoy every minute!

-Ryōkan Taigu, 18th c. Japan

A single drop of water

Posted on Updated on

Photo by flickr user Christiaan Triebert. Used by cc: All rights revert to the originator
Photo by flickr user Christiaan Triebert. Used by cc: All rights revert to the originator

甚生阿難三十年爲侍者、
祇爲多聞智慧被佛訶。
云、汝千日學慧、不如一日學道。
若不學道、滴水難消。

For thirty years the wise Ananda ministered to the Buddha’s personal needs;
but, because he was too fond of acquiring knowledge, the Buddha admonished him,
saying: ‘If you pursue knowledge for a thousand days that will avail you less than one day’s proper study of the Way.
If you do not study it, you will be unable to digest even a single drop of water!’

-Master Huangbo Xiyun (Hsi Yun), 9th c. China

That which is neither born nor destroyed is the Buddha

Posted on Updated on

Photo by flickr user Iñaki Bolumburu. Used by cc: license. All rights revert to originator.
Photo by flickr user Iñaki Bolumburu. Used by cc: license. All rights revert to originator.

“The universal mind is no mind and is completely detached from form. Only study how to avoid seeking for or clinging to anything. If nothing is sought, the mind will remain in its unborn state. If nothing is clung to, the mind will not go through the process of destruction. That which is neither born nor destroyed is the Buddha.”

-Master Huangbo Xiyun (Hsi Yun), 9th c. China

Dōgen on enlightenment

Posted on Updated on

Photo by flickr user Zach Dischner. All rights revert to originator. Creative Commons.
Photo by flickr user Zach Dischner. All rights revert to originator. Appears via Creative Commons public license.

Enlightenment is like the moon reflected on the water.
The moon does not get wet, nor is the water broken.
Although its light is wide and great,
The moon is reflected even in a puddle an inch wide.
The whole moon and the entire sky
Are reflected in one dewdrop on the grass.

-Dōgen, 12th c. Japan