Neither by words nor by the patriarch;
Neither by colors nor by sound was I enlightened.
But, at midnight, when I blew out
The candle and went to bed,
Suddenly, I reached the dawn.
Profound quietude delivered me
To the transparent moonlight.
After enlightenment one understands
That the Six Classics contain not even a word.
— Wang Yang-ming (1472-1529)
Flowery Mountain is a treasure trove of marvels and esoteric lore as none other. Here fresh flowers bloom and the trees are ever green. Rocks are of all colors and spring waters of various hues. The wine decoctions of its genii clear the mind and the herbs culled by sages procure longevity. At night in the Hall of Shining Stars come whispering sounds from where the wisterias quiver. Unable to sleep I burn incense and read Taoist books.
— Hua-shan chih
Clouds bury the mountains behind the house,
Grass blocks the road to the gate.
Tattered books on the shelf,
A closed door to the outside world.
— Li Yu (10th c.)
The perfect person has many different aspects but at heart he changes not. To understand the world he assumes its appearances but his heart remains centered on the One. Within he is stable, outwardly he bends and straightens like a bow
I gather chrysanthemums
At the eastern hedgerow
And silently gaze
At the southern mountains.
The mountain air
Is beautiful in the sunset,
And the birds
Flocking together return home.
Among all these things
There is a real meaning,
Yet when I try to express it,
I become lost in “no-words.”