Over the ages
— Kuei-Shan (771-854)
You have followed objects,
Turning back to look within.
Time slips away;
Months and years are wasted.
Do your work with mastery.
Like the moon,
Come out from behind the cloud!
The substance of a sage
— Pai-chang (720–814)
Is nameless and cannot be spoken of;
The empty door of truth as it really is
Cannot be tarried in.
Look at how our heads and feet
— Su Shih (1073)
Are capped and shod
Without a second thought.
It is like the man
Who had a long beard,
But did not anguish at its length
Until one day someone asked him
How he arranged it
When he went to bed.
First he put it inside,
Then outside the coverlet,
The whole night
He spent looking for the best position.
And tossed and turned
Until the dawn of day.
In the end he
Wanted only to chop it off!
Although this fable is light and humorous,
Still it contains a much deeper meaning.
When I asked the dharma master about this,
He gave a smile and nodded his assent.
We are what we think.
All that we are arises with our thoughts.
With our thoughts we make the world.
Speak or act with an impure mind
And trouble will follow you
As the wheel follows the ox that draws the cart.