Category : koan

Single leaf

“If I pick up a single leaf and go into the city, I move the whole mountain.” ~ Yuan wu (1063-1135)

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

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

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

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)

Dust in the eye

One grain of dust in the eye Will render the Three Worlds Too small to see ~ Muso Soseki (1275-1351)


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)

leave the world behind

I’ve left the world far behind, My robe is covered with moss; A small bundle of firewood burns, Brightening the night. ~ Ryokan (1758-1831)

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