If you lose yourself in the wild,
without any egoistic bearings,
you might just find yourself,
your true nature.
See the moon’s bright blaze of light,
a guiding lamp, above the world!
Glittering, it hangs against the void,
a blazing jewel, its brightness through the mist.
Some people say it waxes, wanes;
theirs may, but mine remains
as steady as the Mani Pearl…*
This light knows neither day or night.
* Represents Buddha-nature and the Dharma’s wish-fulfilling qualities
Greed, anger, ignorance:*
drink deep these poisoned wines
and lie drunk and in darkness, unknowing…
Make riches your dream:
your dream’s a cage of gold.
Bitterness is cause of bitterness:
give it up, or dwell within that dream.
You better wake up soon,
wake up and go home.
* The three poisons of attachment, aversion and delusion
The Buddhas left their Sutras,*
just because humans are so hard to change.
It’s not just a matter of saintly or stupid,
each and every heart throws up a barricade,
each piles up one’s own mountain of karma.
How could they guess that every single thing
they clutch so close is sorrow?
Unwilling to ponder, day and night,
as they embrace the falsehood that is flesh.
* Though they do manifest in other ways too
– (Master Shih Te)
Cold Mountain Poems
Translated By J.P. Seaton