Snow besieges my plank door
— Han-shan Te-ch’ing (1546-1623)
I crowd the stove at night.
Although this form exists
It seems as if it doesn’t.
I have no idea where the
Months have gone
Every time I turn around
Another year on earth is over.
Just as the soft rains fill the streams,
— Traditional Buddhist blessing
Pour into the rivers,
And join together in the oceans,
So the power of every moment
Of your goodness flows forth to awaken
And heal all beings;
Those here now, those gone before, those yet to come.
My duty compels me to attempt the impossible. Even in telling you to look directly into yourself and to be unconcerned about other things, I am already burying the real thing under verbiage.
Clear, fresh Lu-yi sake
— Po Chu-I (772-846)
Warms on my little stove.
This evening sky may bring snow.
Come enjoy a cup with me.
You stop to point at the moon in the sky,
But the finger’s blind unless the moon is shining.
One moon, one careless finger pointing;
Are these two things or one?
The question is a pointer guiding
A novice from ignorance thick as fog.
Look deeper. The mystery calls and calls:
No moon, no finger: nothing there at all.
— Ryokan (1758-1831)