Nothing whatever is hidden,
From of old, all is clear as daylight.
The old pine tree speaks divine wisdom,
The secret bird manifests eternal truth.
There is no place to seek the mind,
It is like the footprints of the birds in the sky.
Above, not a piece of tile to cover the head,
Beneath, not an inch of earth to put one’s foot on.
Sitting quietly, doing nothing,
Spring comes, and the grass grows by itself.
The water before, and the water after,
Now and forever flowing, follow each other.
One word determines the whole world:
One sword pacifies heaven and earth.
If you do not get it from yourself,
Where will you go for it?
If you wish to know the way up the mountain,
You must ask the man who goes back and forth on it.
Falling mist flies together with the wild ducks,
The water’s of autumn are of one color with the sky.
If you don’t believe, just look at September, look at October!
The yellow leaves falling, falling, to fill both mountain and river.
The wild geese do not intend to cast their reflection,
The water has no mind to receive their image.
Scoop up the water and the moon is your hands;
Hold the flowers and your clothes are scented with them.
Mountains and rivers, the whole earth,
All manifest forth the essence of being.
The voice of the mountain torrent is from one great tongue;
The lines of the hills, are they not the Pure Body of Buddha?
In the vast inane, there is no back or front;
The path of the bird annihilates East and West.
From of old there were not two paths;
“Those who have arrived” all walked the same road.
Day after day the sun rises in the East;
Day after day it sets in the West.
Ever onwards to where the waters have an end,
Waiting motionless for when the white clouds shall arise.
Wind subsiding, the flowers still fall;
Bird crying, the mountain silence deepens.
A thoughtful and relaxing ambient setting for Zen poetry. The best historical information I have is that Zenrin-kushū (禪林句集, meaning “Anthology of Passages from the Forests of Zen”) is a collection of writings used in the Rinzai school of Zen. Initially it was a compilation of Zen writings by Tōyō Eichō (東陽榮朝, 1428–1504) a disciple of Kanzan Egen of the Myōshin-ji line of Rinzai school in Kyoto, Japan.
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