The lone tip of Wonder Peak is
Beyond any climber's reach.
One can only see white clouds
Drifting this way and that.
Thick pine and cypress forests
How old could they be?
Still, in rare moments birds
Along the steep cliffs sing.
- Daito (1282-1334)
Simmering Tea on Mount Hui
In an earthen jar at break of day
I dip clean cold water,
Shift it to the stone kettle,
Boil it on a broken slab.
Pine winds from ten thousand peaks
I offer in one sip,
Then gather my sleeves together,
Walk by the waterside.
- Chieh-shih Chih-p’eng (13th c)
In quietness I close my firewood gate.
A whitish immensity faces the dropping sun.
In every pine are nesting cranes
yet no one comes by my cottage.
Tender bamboos have new bloom on them.
Red lotuses have shed old clothes.
On the bay, lamps and bonfires shine.
Water chestnut pickers are coming home.
- Wang Wei (699-759)
I explain to you matters
Pertaining to enlightenment,
But don't try to keep
Your mind on them.
Just turn to the ocean
Of your own essence
And develop practical accord with its nature.
You're bound to become a Buddha
If you practice.
If water drips long enough,
Even rocks wear through.
It's not true thick skulls
Can't be pierced;
People just imagine their minds are hard.
- Shih-wu (1272-1352)
For adepts the principle of maintaining concentration and insight is not a matter of effort; it is spontaneous and effortless, with no particular time frame. When seeing and hearing, they are just so; when dressing and eating, they are just so; when conversing with people, they are just so; whatever they are doing, walking, standing, sitting, reclining, speaking, silent, rejoicing, at all times and in everything they are thus.
Like empty boats riding the waves, going along with the high and low, like a river winding through the mountains, curving at curves and straight at straits, without minding any state of mind, buoyantly going along with nature today, going along with nature buoyantly tomorrow, adapting to all circumstances without inhibition or impediment, neither stopping nor fostering good or evil, simple and straightforward, without artificiality, perception normal. Such is the mind of the person who clearly sees the Buddha way.
- Master Chinul (1158-1210)
Those who wear the patched robe of a Zen wayfarer should be completely serious about taking death and birth as their business. You should work to melt away the obstructions caused by conditioned knowledge and views and interpretive understanding, and penetrate through to a realizations of the great causal condition communicated and bequeathed by the buddhas and ancestral teachers. Don't covet name and fame. Step back and turn to reality, until your practical understanding and virtue are fully actualized.
- Yuanwu (1063-1135)
From high above, the river steadily plunges.
Three thousand feet of sparkling water,
The Milky Way pouring down from heaven.
- Li T'ai-po (701-?)
In the ultimate stillness
Light penetrates the whole realm;
In the still illumination,
There pervades pure emptiness.
When I look back on the
Everything is just
Like a dream.
- Han-Shan Te-Ch'ing
To be able to be unhurried when hurried;
To be able not to slack off
When relaxed; to be able not to be
Frightened and at a loss for what to
Do when frightened and at a loss;
This is the learning that returns us
To our natural state and
Transforms our lives.
- Liu Wenmin (early 16th cent)