23

The everyday mind: that is the way.
Buried in vines and rock-bound caves,
Here it’s wild, here I am free,
Idling with the white clouds, my friends.
Tracks here never reach the world;
No-mind, so what can shift my thought?
I sit the night through on a bed of stone,
While the moon climbs Cold Mountain.

—Hanshan

96

Have I a body or have I none?

Am I who I am or am I not?

Pondering these questions,

I sit leaning against the cliff while the

years go by,

Till the green grass grows between my feet

And the red dust settles on my head,

And the men of the world, thinking me dead,

Come with offerings of wine and fruit

to lay by my corpse.

—Cold Mountain

93

Here is a tree older than the forest itself;

The years of its life defy reckoning.

Its roots have seen the upheavals of hill and valley,

Its leaves have known the changes of wind and frost.

The world laughs at its shoddy exterior

And cares nothing for the fine grain of the wood inside.

Stripped free of flesh and hide,

All that remains is the core of truth.

—Cold Mountain 🏔

97

My mind is like the autumn moon
Shining clean and clear in the green pool.
No, that’s not a good comparison.
Tell me, how shall I explain?

—Cold Mountain

Overgrown Garden

My house is at the foot of the green cliff,

My garden, a jumble of weeds I no longer bother

    to mow.

New vines dangle in twisted strands

Over old rocks rising steep and high.

Monkeys make off with the Mountain fruits,

The white Heron crams his bill with fish

    from the pond,

While I, with a book or two of the Immortals,

Read under the trees–mumble, mumble.

–Cold Mountain

65

Yesterday I saw the trees by the river’s edge,
Wrecked and broken beyond belief,
Only two or three trunks left standing,
Scarred by blades of a thousand axes.
Frost strips the yellowing leaves,
River waves pluck at withered roots.
This is the way the living must fare.
Why curse at Heaven and Earth?

—Hanshan – Cold Mountain

Love the Children Anyway

103

No need to attack the faults of others
no need to flaunt your own virtues
act when you’re acknowledged
retire when you’re ignored
rich rewards mean great trials
deep words meet superficial minds
think about what you hear
children must see for themselves

-Hanshan

34

The rich man feasted in his high hall,
Bright torches shining everywhere,
When a man too poor to own a lamp
Crept to the side to share in the glow.
Who would think they would drive him away,
Back again to his place in the dark?
“Will one more person detract from your light?
Strange, to begrudge me a leftover beam!”

—Cold Mountain

62

“High, high from the summit of the peak,

Whatever way I look, no limit in sight!

No one knows I am sitting here alone.

A solitary moon shines in the cold spring.

Here in the spring—-this is not the moon.

The moon is where it always is—-in the sky above.

And though I sing this one little song,

In the song there is no Zen.”

—Cold Mountain 🏔 aka Hanshan

The Gates Are Open No. 2

In the deepest dark of the Abyss, I sought my escape. 

I heard someone say, “There is no way back unless you find your light.”

No way back unless I find my light?

💡


Hmmmm.

Sounded like some New Age bullshit to me. 

I heard someone say, “If you want to come and see me, you can do so from any and every direction, all the gates are open, there is no concealment. In fact it is ‘All Gate’ and nothing else!”

What a strange thing to say in the middle of the dark. 

When the dark is all around you, what direction should you go?

There is no direction in the dark.

The separation had existed in my mind only. 

I was already that which I had sought.

I was the prison and I was the free bird.

And then I was home again, just like that.

There was a great celebration. 

Everyone came to greet me and we all laughed and laughed until my stomach hurt. Like when you have had too much sweet candy.

And I thought to myself…what a strange dream 😴 😴 😴