Dogen - 1

On The Treasury of the True Dharma Eye Midnight, No waves, no wind, the empty boat is flooded with moonlight.

On Non-Dependence of Mind Coming, going, the waterbirds don't leave a trace, don't follow a path.

Dogen - 2
Joyful in this mountain retreat yet still feeling melancholy, Studying the Lotus Sutra every day, Practicing zazen singlemindedly; What do love and hate matter When I'm here alone, Listening to the sound of the rain late in this autumn evening.

Drifting pitifully in the whirlwind of birth and death, As if wandering in a dream, In the midst of illusion I awaken to the true path; There is one more matter I must not neglect, But I need not bother now, As I listen to the sound of the evening rain Falling on the roof of my temple retreat In the deep grass of Fukakusa.

Dogen -3
Mountain Seclusion I won't even stop at the valley's brook for fear that my shadow may flow into the world.

Viewing Peach Blossoms and Realizing the Way In spring wind peach blossoms begin to come apart. Doubts do not grow branches and leaves.

On Nondependence of Mind Water birds going and coming their traces disappear but they never forget their path.

Dogen - 4
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.

Bodidharma Poems

Endless Ages
Through endless ages, the mind has never changed It has not lived or died, come or gone, gained or lost. It isn’t pure or tainted, good or bad, past or future. true or false, male or female. It isn’t reserved for monks or lay people, elders to youths, masters or idiots, the enlightened or unenlightened. It isn’t bound by cause and effect and doesn’t struggle for liberation. Like space, it has no form. You can’t own it and you can’t lose it. Mountains. rivers or walls can’t impede it. But this mind is ineffable and difficult to experience. It is not the mind of the senses. So many are looking for this mind, yet it already animates their bodies. It is theirs, yet they don’t realize it.

A deluded Mind
~ A deluded mind is hell. Without delusions. the mind is the country of the Buddhas. When the mind creates the idea of the mind. people are deluded and in hell. Those established on the path to Buddhahood don’t use the mind to create the idea of the mind and so are always in the country of the Buddhas.

The Greatest Gift
Wordly fools search for exotic masters. not realizing that their own mind is the master.

The greatest gift to others is to freely relinquish yourself.

When the mind is always moving, you travel from one hell to the next hell.

If you use your mind to try and understand reality. you will understand neither your mind nor reality. If you try and understand reality without using your mind. you will understand both your mind and reality.

You may enter
Externally keep yourself away from all relationships, and internally have no pantings in your heart; when your mind is like unto a straight-standing wall, you may enter into the Path.

Ryokan Poem

Ryokan Poems Down in the village the din of flute and drum, here deep in the mountain everywhere the sound of the pines

Too Lazy to be ambitious
Too lazy to be ambitious, I let the world take care of itself. Ten days' worth of rice in my bag; a bundle of twigs by the fireplace. Why chatter about delusion and enlightenment? Listening to the night rain on my roof, I sit comfortably, with both legs stretched out.

Slopes of Mount Kugami
Slopes of Mount Kugami— in the mountain's shade a hut beneath the trees— how many years it's been my home? The time comes to take leave of it— my thoughts wilt like summer grasses, I wander back and forth like the evening star— till that hut of mine

is hidden from sight, till that grove of trees can no longer be seen, at each bend of the long road, at every turning, I turn to look back in the direction of that mountain

Though Frosts come down
Though frosts come down night after night, what does it matter? they melt in the morning sun. Though the snow falls each passing year, what does it matter? with spring days it thaws. Yet once let them settle on a man's head, fall and pile up, go on piling up— then the new year may come and go, but never you'll see them fade away

You do not need many things
My house is buried in the deepest recess of the forest Every year, ivy vines grow longer than the year before. Undisturbed by the affairs of the world I live at ease, Woodmen’s singing rarely reaching me through the trees. While the sun stays in the sky, I mend my torn clothes And facing the moon, I read holy texts aloud to myself. Let me drop a word of advice for believers of my faith. To enjoy life’s immensity, you do not need many things.

Thich Nhat Hahn Poems

Thich Nhat Hahn

View: Thich Nhat Hanh Poems Thich Nhat Hanh (pronounced Tick-Naught-Han) is a Vietnamese Buddhist monk. During the war in Vietnam, he worked tirelessly for reconciliation between North and South Vietnam. His lifelong efforts to generate peace moved Martin Luther King, Jr. to nominate him for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1967. He lives in exile in a small community in France where he teaches, writes, gardens, and works to help refugees worldwide. He has conducted many mindfulness retreats in Europe and North America helping veterans, children, environmentalists, psychotherapists, artists and many thousands of individuals seeking peace in their hearts, and in their world. "Every day we do things, we are things that have to do with peace. If we are aware of our life..., our way of looking at things, we will know how to make peace right in the moment, we are alive." Thich Nhat Hanh Thich Nhat Hanh has been living in exile from his native Vietnam since the age of forty. In that year of 1966, he was banned by both the non-Communist and Communist governments for his role in undermining the violence he saw affecting his people. A Buddhist monk since the age of sixteen, Tha^y ("teacher," as he is commonly known to followers) earned a reputation as a respected writer, scholar, and leader. He championed a movement known as "engaged Buddhism," which intertwined traditional meditative practices with active nonviolent civil disobedience. This movement lay behind the establishment of the most influential center of Buddhist studies in Saigon, the An Quang Pagoda. He also set up relief organizations to rebuild destroyed villages, instituted the School of Youth for Social Service (a Peace Corps of sorts for Buddhist peace workers), founded a peace magazine, and urged world leaders to use nonviolence as a tool. Although his struggle for cooperation meant he had to relinquish a homeland, it won him accolades around the world. When Thich Nhat Hanh left Vietnam, he embarked on a mission to spread Buddhist thought around the globe. In 1966, when Thây came to the United States for the first of many humanitarian visits, the territory was not completely new to him: he had experienced American culture before as a student at Princeton, and more recently as a professor at Columbia. The Fellowship of Reconciliation and Cornell invited Tha^y to speak on behalf of Buddhist monks,

and he offered an enlightened view on ways to end the Vietnam conflict. He spoke on college campuses, met with administration officials, and impressed social dignitaries. The following year, Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., nominated Thich Nhat Hanh for the same honor. Hanh's Buddhist delegation to the Paris peace talks resulted in accords between North Vietnam and the United States, but his pacifist efforts did not end with the war. He also helped organize rescue missions well into the 1970's for Vietnamese trying to escape from political oppression. Even after the political stabilization of Vietnam, Thich Nhat Hanh has not been allowed to return home. The government still sees him as a threat-ironic, when one considers the subjects of his teachings: respect for life, generosity, responsible sexual behavior, loving communication, and cultivation of a healthful life style. Tha^y now lives in southwestern France, where he founded a retreat center twelve years ago. At the center, Plum Village, he continues to teach, write, and garden. Plum Village houses only thirty monks, nuns, and laypeople, but thousands from around the globe call it home. Accommodation is readily available for short-term visitors seeking spiritual relief, for refugees in transit, or for activists in need of inspiration. Thich Nhat Hanh gathers people of diverse nationalities, races, religions, and sexes in order to expose them to mindfulness-taking care in the present moment, being profoundly aware and appreciative of life. Despite the fact that Tha^y is nearing seventy, his strength as a world leader and spiritual guide grows. He has written more than seventy-five books of prose, poetry, and prayers. Most of his works have been geared toward the Buddhist reader, yet his teachings appeal to a wide audience. For at least a decade, Thich Nhat Hanh has visited the United States every other year; he draws more and more people with each tour, Christian, Jewish, atheist, and Zen Buddhist alike. His philosophy is not limited to preexistent religious structures, but speaks to the individual's desire for wholeness and inner calm. In 1993, he drew a crowd of some 1,200 people at the National Cathedral in Washington DC, led a retreat of 500 people in upstate New York, and assembled 300 people in West Virginia. His popularity in the United States inspired the mayor of Berkeley, California, to name a day in his honor and the Mayor of New York City declared a Day of Reconciliation during his 1993 visit. Clearly, Thich Nhat Hanh is a human link with a prophetic past, a soft-spoken advocate of peace, Buddhist community, and the average American citizen

Looking For Each Other
I have been looking for you, World Honored One, since I was a little child. With my first breath, I heard your call, and began to look for you, Blessed One. I've walked so many perilous paths, confronted so many dangers, endured despair, fear, hopes, and memories. I've trekked to the farthest regions, immense and wild, sailed the vast oceans, traversed the highest summits, lost among the clouds. I've lain dead, utterly alone, on the sands of ancient deserts. I've held in my heart so many tears of stone.

Blessed One, I've dreamed of drinking dewdrops that sparkle with the light of far-off galaxies. I've left footprints on celestial mountains and screamed from the depths of Avici Hell, exhausted, crazed with despair because I was so hungry, so thirsty. For millions of lifetimes, I've longed to see you, but didn't know where to look. Yet, I've always felt your presence with a mysterious certainty. I know that for thousands of lifetimes, you and I have been one, and the distance between us is only a flash of though. Just yesterday while walking alone, I saw the old path strewn with Autumn leaves, and the brilliant moon, hanging over the gate, suddenly appeared like the image of an old friend. And all the stars confirmed that you were there! All night, the rain of compassion continued to fall, while lightning flashed through my window and a great storm arose, as if Earth and Sky were in battle. Finally in me the rain stopped, the clouds parted. The moon returned, shining peacefully, calming Earth and Sky. Looking into the mirror of the moon, suddenly I saw myself, and I saw you smiling, Blessed One. How strange! The moon of freedom has returned to me, everything I thought I had lost. From that moment on, and in each moment that followed, I saw that nothing had gone. There is nothing that should be restored. Every flower, every stone, and every leaf recognize me. Wherever I turn, I see you smiling the smile of no-birth and no-death. The smile I received while looking at the mirror of the moon. I see you sitting there, solid as Mount Meru, calm as my own breath, sitting as though no raging fire storm ever occurred, sitting in complete peace and freedom. At last I have found you, Blessed One, and I have found myself. There I sit.

The deep blue sky, the snow-capped mountains painted against the horizon, and the shining red sun sing with joy. You, Blessed One, are my first love. The love that is always present, always pure, and freshly new. And I shall never need a love that will be called “last.” You are the source of well-being flowing through numberless troubled lives, the water from you spiritual stream always pure, as it was in the beginning. You are the source of peace, solidity, and inner freedom. You are the Buddha, the Tathagata. With my one-pointed mind I vow to nourish your solidity and freedom in myself so I can offer solidity and freedom to countless others, now and forever.

Drink Your Tea
~ Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves - slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future; Live the actual moment. Only this moment is life.

Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.

Be A Bud
Be a bud sitting quietly on the hedge. Be a smile, one part of wondrous existence. Stand here. There is no need to depart.

To Meditate
Poem about Meditation by Thich Nhat Hahn To meditate does not mean to fight with a problem. To meditate means to observe. Your smile proves it. It proves that you are being gentle with yourself, that the sun of awareness is shining in you, that you have control of your situation. You are yourself, and you have acquired some peace.

You Are Me
You are me and I am you. It is obvious that we are inter-are. You cultivate the flower in yourself so that I will be beautiful. I transform the garbage in myself so that you do not have to suffer. I support you you support me. I am here to bring you peace you are here to bring me joy.

A Teacher Looking For His Disciple
I have been looking for you, my child, Since the time when rivers and mountains still lay in obscurity. I was looking for you when you were still in a deep sleep Although the conch had many times echoed in the ten directions. Without leaving our ancient mountain I looked at distant lands And recognized your steps on so many different paths. Where are you going, my child? There have been times when the mist has come And enveloped the remote village but you are still Wandering in far away lands. I have called your name with each breath,

Confident that even though you have lost your Way over there you will finally find a way back to me. Sometimes I manifest myself right on the path You are treading but you still look at me as if I were a stranger You cannot see the connection between us in our Former lives you cannot remember the old vow you made. You have not recognized me Because your mind is caught up in images concerning a distant future. In former lifetimes you have often taken my hand and we have enjoyed walking together. We have sat together for a longtime at the foot of old pine trees. We have stood side by side in silence for hours Listening to the sound of the wind softly calling us And looking up at the while clouds floating by. You have picked up and given to me the firstred autumn leaf And I have taken you through forests deep in snow. But wherever we go we always return to our Ancient mountain to be near to the moon and stars To invite the big bell every morning to sound, And help living beings to wake up. We have sat quietly on the An Tu mountain' with the Great Bamboo Forest Master Alongside the frangipani trees in blossom. We have taken boats out to sea to rescue the boat people as they drift. We have helped Master Van Hanh design the Thang Long capital we have built together a thatched hermitage, And stretched out the net to rescue the nun Trac Tuyen When! The sound of The rising tide was deafening On the banks of The Tien Duong river. Together we have opened the way and stepped Into the immense space outside of space. After many years of working to tear asunder the net of time. We have saved up the light of shooting stars And made a torch helping those who want to go home After decades of wandering in distant places. But still there have been times when the Seeds of a vagabond in you have come back to life you have left your teacher, your brothers and sisters Alone you go... I look at you with compassion Although I know that this is not a true separation (Because I am already in each cell of your body) And that you may need once more to play the prodigal son. That is why I promise I shall be there for you Any time you are in danger. Sometimes you have lain unconscious on the hot sands of frontier deserts. I have manifested myself as a cloud to bring you cool shade.

Late at night the cloud became the dew And the compassionate nectar falls drop by drop for you to drink. Sometimes you sit in a deep abyss of darkness Completely alienated from you true home. I have manifested Myself as a long ladder and Lightly thrown myself down So that you can climb up to the area where there is light To discover again the blue of the sky and the Sounds of the brook and the birds. Sometimes I recognised you in Birmingham, In the Do Linh district or New England. I have sometimes met you in Hang Chau, Xiamen, or Shanghai I have sometimes found you in St. Petersburg or East Berlin. Sometimes, though only five years old, I have Seen you and recognized you. Because of the seed of bodhchita, you carry in your tender heart. Wherever I have seen you, I have always raised My hand and made a signal to you, Whether it be in the delta of the North, Saigon or the Thuan An Seaport. Sometimes you were the golden full moon hanging Over the summit of The Kim Son Mountain, Or the little bird flying over the Dai Laoforest during a winter night. Often I have seen you But you have not seen me, Though while walking in the evening mist your clothes have been soaked. But finally you have always come home. You have come home and sat at my feet on our ancient mountain Listening to the birds calling and the monkeys Screeching and the morning chanting echoing from the Buddha Hall. You have come back to me determined not to be a vagabond any longer. This morning the birds of the mountain joyfully welcome the bright sun. Do you know, my child, that the white clouds Are still floating in the vault of the sky? Where are you now? The ancient mountain is still there in this Place of the present moment. Although the white-crested wave still wants to Go in the other direction, Look again, you will see me in you and in every leaf and flower bud. If you call my name, you will see me right away. Where are you going? The old frangipani tree offers its fragrant flowers this morning. You and I have never really been apart. Spring has come. The pines have put out new shining green needles And on the edge of the forest, the wild Plum Trees have burst into flower.

Kiss The Earth
~ Walk and touch peace every moment. Walk and touch happiness every moment. Each step brings a fresh breeze. Each step makes a flower bloom. Kiss the Earth with your feet. Bring the Earth your love and happiness. The Earth will be safe when we feel safe in ourselves.


Hanshan lived in China sometime between 630 and 830 CE. Since many writers refer to Han Shan as a late 8th Century poet, I will assume he flourished from around 750 to 800 CE. Han Shan is one of those Taoist-Chan Sages who are reported to have enjoyed very long lives due in part to their sheer luck, all that fresh air, gruel, pure water, long daily walks, rugged individualism, and all those secret Taoist herbs and unusual exercises. Han Shan was a hermit and poet of the T'ang Dynasty (618 - 906). Red Pine tells us that political intrigue may have led the handicapped young scholar-bureaucrat to flee the aftermath of the An Lu-shan Rebellion in 760 and retreat to the cold mountains of far eastern China - for his life. Han Shan was considered, when an older man, to be an eccentric Taoist, crazy saint, mountain ascetic mystic, and wise fool. He liked to play pranks, tease, joke, and get friends laughing. Most of Han Shan's poems were written when he lived in the rugged southern and far eastern mountains of China in what is currently Fujiian (Fukien) Province. He lived alone in caves and primitive shelters in the rugged mountains in an area referred to as the Heavenly Terrace (T'ien T'ai) Mountains. Han Shan's cave-hut was a long one day's hike from the Kuo-ch'ing monastery in the T'ien T'ai Mountains.

The name Han Shan means: Cold Cliff, Cold Mountain, or Cold Peak. Han Shan is known in Japan as "Kanzan." Little is known about all of Han Shan's life, and he is somewhat of a legendary character. Web Source:
Han Shan Poems The Road To Cold Mountain

People ask for the road to Cold Mountain, but no road reaches Cold Mountain. Summer sky-still ice won't melt. The sun comes out but gets obscured by mist. Imitating me, where does that get you? My mind isn't like yours. When your mind is like mine you can enter here. - Hanshan

Here's A Message for the Faithful

Here's a message for the faithful what is it that you cherish to find the Way to see your nature your nature is naturally so what Heaven bestows is perfect looking for proof leads you astray leaving the trunk to search among the twigs all you get is stupid

Clambering up the Cold Mountain path, The Cold Mountain trail goes on and on: The long gorge choked with scree and boulders, The wide creek, the mist-blurred grass. The moss is slippery, though there's been no rain The pine sings, but there's no wind. Who can leap the world's ties And sit with me among the white clouds?
tr. Gary Snyder Chinese text

Born Thirty Years Ago Thirty years ago I was born into the world. A thousand, ten thousand miles I've roamed. By rivers where the green grass grows thick, Beyond the border where the red sands fly. I brewed potions in a vain search for life everlasting, I read books, I sang songs of history, And today I've come home to Cold Mountain To pillow my head on the stream and wash my ears.
tr. Gary Synder Chinese text

My Dwelling at TianTai I divined and chose a distant place to dwellT'ien-t'ai: what more is there to say? Monkeys cry where valley mists are cold; My grass gate blends with the color of the crags. I pick leaves to thatch a hut among the pines, Scoop out a pond and lead a runnel from the spring. By now I am used to doing without the world. Picking ferns, I pass the years that are left.
tr. Burton Watson

Chinese text


On the HanShan Path

The trail to Cold Mountain is faint the banks of Cold Stream are a jungle birds constantly chatter away I hear no sould of people gusts of wind lash my face flurries of snow bury my body day after day no sun year after year no spring
tr. Red Pine Chinese text


My Heart is Like Autumn Moon

The trail to Cold Mountain is faint the banks of Cold Stream are a jungle birds constantly chatter away I hear no sould of people gusts of wind lash my face flurries of snow bury my body day after day no sun year after year no spring

Buddhist Poets

" as a flower blown out by the wind goes to rest and cannot be defined so the wise man freed from individuality goes to rest and cannot be defined. gone beyond all imagesgone beyond the power of words "


All that we are is the result of what we have thought. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him. If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him.

The Song on Reaching the Mountain Peak
Hearken, my sons! If you want To climb the mountain peak You should hold the Self-mind's light, Tie it with a great "Knot," And catch it with a firm "Hook." If you practice thus You can climb the mountain peak To enjoy the view. Come, you gifted men and women, Drink the brew of Experience! Come "inside" to enjoy the scene -See it and enjoy it to the full! The Incapable remain outside; Those who cannot drink pure Beer may quaff small beer. He who cannot strive for Bodhi, Should strive for superior birth.

Upon this earth
Upon this earth, the land of the Victorious Ones, Once lived a Saint, known as the second Buddha; His fame was heard in all the Ten Directions. To Him, the Jewel a'top the eternal Banner of Dharma I pay homage and give offerings. Is He not the holy Master, the great Midripa? Upon the Lotus-seat of Midripa My Father Guru places his reliance; He drinks heavenly nectar With the supreme view of Mahamudra; He has realized the innate Truth in utter freedom. He is the supreme one, Jetsun Marpa. Undefiled by faults or vices, He is the Transformation Body of Buddha. He says: "Before Enlightenment, All things in the outer world Are deceptive and confusing; Clinging to outer forms, One is ever thus entangled. After Enlightenment, one sees all things and objects As but magic shadow-plays, And all objective things Become his helpful friends. In the uncreated Dharmakaya all are pure; Nothing has ever manifested In the Realm of Ultimate Truth." He says: "Before Enlightenment, The ever-running Mind-consciousness within Is shut in a confusing blindness Which is the source of passions, actions, and desires. After Enlightenment, it becomes the Self-illuminating Wisdom -All merits and virtues spring from it. In Ultimate Truth there is not even Wisdom; Here one enters the Realm where Dharma is exhausted." The coproreal form Is built of the Four Elements; Before one attains Enlightenment,

All illness and all suffering come from it. After Enlightenment, it becomes the two-in-one Body Of Buddha clear as the cloudless firmament! Thus rooted out are the base Samsaric clingings. In Absolute Truth there is no body. The malignant male and femal demons Who create myriad troubles and obstructions, Seem real before one has Enlightenment; But when one realizes their nature truly, They become Protectors of the Dharma, And by their help and freely-given assistance One attains to numerous accomplishments. In Ultimate Truth there are no Buddhas and no demons; One enters here the Realm where Dharma is exhausted. Among all Vehicles, this ultimate teaching Is found only in the Tantras. It says in the Highest Division of the Tantra: "When the various elements gather in the Nadis, One sees the demon-forms appear. If one knows not that they are but mind-created Visions, and deems them to be real, One is indeed most foolish and most stupid." In time past, wrapped up in clinging blindness, I lingered in the den of confusion, Deeming benevolent deities and malignant Demons to be real and subsistent. Now, through the Holy One's grace and blessing I realize that both Samsara and Nirvana Are neither existent nor non-existent; And I see all forms as Mahamudra. Realizing the groundless nature of ignorance, My former awareness, clouded and unstable Like reflections of the moon in rippling water, Becomes transparent, clear as shining crystal. Its sun-like brilliance is free from obscuring clouds, Its light transcends all forms of blindness, Ignorance and confusion thus vanish without trace. This is the truth I have experienced within. Again, the foolish concept "demons" iself Is groundless, void, and yet illuminating! Oh, this indeed is marvelous and wonderful! - Milarepa

I Have forgotten
May I be far removed from contending creeds and dogmas. Ever since my Lord's grace entered my mind, My mind has never strayed to seek such distractions. Accustomed long to contemplating love and compassion, I have forgotten all difference between myself and others. Accustomed long to meditating on my Guru as enhaloed over my head, I have forgotten all those who rule by power and prestige. Accustomed long to meditating on my guardian deities as inseparable from myself, I have forgotten the lowly fleshly form. Accustomed long to meditating on the secret whispered truths, I have forgotten all that is said in written or printed books. Accustomed, as I have been, to the study of the eternal Truth, I've lost all knowledge of ignorance. Accustomed, as I've been, to contemplating both nirvana and samsara as inherent in myself, I have forgotten to think of hope and fear. Accustomed, as I've been, to meditating on this life and the next as one, I have forgotten the dread of birth and death. Accustomed long to studying, by myself, my own experiences, I have forgotten the need to seek the opinions of friends and brethren. Accustomed long to applying each new experience to my own spiritual growth, I have forgotten all creeds and dogmas. Accustomed long to meditating on the Unborn, the Indestructible, the Unchanging, I have forgotten all definitions of this or that particular goal. Accustomed long to meditating on all visible phenomena as the Dharmakaya, I have forgotten all meditations on what is produced by the mind. Accustomed long to keeping my mind in the uncreated state of freedom, I have forgotten all conventions and artificialities. Accustomed long to humbleness, of body and mind, I have forgotten the pride and haughty manner of the mighty. Accustomed long to regarding my fleshly body as my hermitage, I have forgotten the ease and comfort of retreats and monasteries. Accustomed long to knowing the meaning of the Wordless, I have forgotten the way to trace the roots of verbs, and the sources of words and phrases. You, 0 learned one, may trace out these things in your books

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