Ten Stanzas Written on Cloud-Shrouded Terrace (No. 6)

Sitting upright at the foot of clouds, too lazy to lift my head,
I have no more dharma words for the Chan practitioners.
Everything under the sun makes plain the Path—
might as well hang my mouth on the wall and shut up.

—Huaishen (1077–1132)

I’m Happy with My Way of Life

I’m happy with my way of life,
living in mountain caves amid mist and vines.
My wild moods are mostly unrestrained;
I’m carefree as my friends the clouds.
There are paths here, but they don’t lead to the world.
Emptied of illusion, what can the mind cling to?
I sit alone on my stony bed all night long,
while the full moon ascends Cold Mountain.

—Hanshan (766–779)

Coming out of Samadhi

The heavenly realm of meditation is quiet, sealed by clouds;
I sat long on my rush mat, all worries vanished.
Arising from Samadhi, I didn’t realize that evening had come—
astonished to find myself in bright moonlight.

—Jingan (1851–1912)

Moon Over Water

Watching it above the pond night after night,
the meditator sits with the moon beside him.
It is possible to grasp its empty form,
but the idea of its brightness is hard to convey.
If one seeks understanding with a vacant mind,
the moon seems full each and every moment.

—Jiaoran (730–799)

From A Full Load of Moonlight: Chinese Chan Poems, trans. Mary M.Y. Fung and David Lunde © 2014 Mary M.Y. Fung and David Lunde. Reprinted with permission of Musical Stone Culture. 


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