Consider the world light

Consider the world light,
And the spirit is not burdened;
Consider the myriad things slight,
And the mind is not confused.
Consider life and death equal,
And the intellect is not afraid;
Consider change as sameness,
And clarity is not obscured.

~ Lao-tzu

Closed out the old year

Fireworks at Southbank
Fireworks at Southbank
Closed out the old year
And held a dream of spring behind
Eyes shut, till now
This morning I open them to see
It’s really come into the world

~ Saigyo

Don’t covet

Not knowing its strength,
The mosquito sucked too much blood to fly.
Don’t covet what others value.
You’ll pay for it someday.

~ Naong Haegun (1320-1376)

The essential technique of zazen

Go to a quiet place, sit in lotus posture, and place one hand on top of the other.

Without leaning to either side, bring your ears into alignment with your shoulders.

Open your eyes only halfway and fix your attention on the tip of your nose.

Rest your tongue on the roof of your mouth.

Throw away your body and your life.

Looking from the inside, your self has no mind.

Forget also about your connections with others.

Looking from the outside, there is no mind anywhere to be found.

If random thoughts should occur to you unexpectedly, let them go straight away. Do not follow them. This is the essential technique of zazen.

~ Mugai Nyodai (d. 1298)
( Zen Sourcebook Traditional Documents from China, Korea, and Japan )

The valley stream

Rain, hail, snow, and ice:
All are different,
But when they fall
They become the same water
As the valley stream.

– Ikkyu (1394-1481)


IMGP1896 sunset halls road

My treasure is the cloud on the peak
The moon over the valley
Travelling east or west
Light and free on the one road
I don’t know whether I’m on the way
Or at home.

~ Muso Soseki (1275-1351)