Tag Archives: zen master

Zen Master – Shitou Xiqian (700-790)

Zen Master Shitou Xiqian is famous for two poems that are classic Zen texts. I recently started reading “Inside the Grass Hut” by Ben Connelly which analyzes each line of “Song of the Grass Roof Hermitage” and discusses the significance in our world today. The author mixes his own experiences and applies the teachings to […]
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Poetry Month – Poems by Ryokan

Selections 4 and 5 for National Poetry Month. These two poems of Zen Master Ryokan are from Dewdrops on a Lotus Leaf, Zen Poems of Ryokan, translated by John Stevens. Untitled If someone asks My abode I reply: “The east edge of The Milky Way.” Like a drifting cloud, Bound by nothing: I just let […]
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Book Review – Cultivating the Empty Field

This is a follow-up to my previous post about the book “Cultivating the Empty Field: The Silent Illumination of Zen Master Hongzhi”. This book is edited and translated by Taigen Dan Leighton and Yi Wu. I would consider this a classic Zen text and one every practitioner, from beginnings to masters should have. Included are […]
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Book – Not answers, but where to look

The one single book that has helped me to focus, let go, and where to find the answers is “Cultivating the Empty Field” by Zen Master Hongzhi. This was recommended years ago by Hanakia Zedek, and along with his friendship, has truly been life changing.

Zen Master – Quote by Dogen

Eihei Dogen (1200-1253) Founder of Japanese Soto Zen “Studying the Buddha Way is studying oneself.  Studying oneself is forgetting oneself.  Forgetting oneself is being enlightened by all things.  Being enlightened by all things is causing the body-mind of oneself and the body-mind of others to be shed.  There is ceasing the traces of enlightenment, which […]
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Masters – Shitou Xiqian – Song of the Grass-Roof Hermitage

Song of the Grass-Roof Hermitage, written by Shitou Xiqian  (700 – 790). I’ve built a grass hut where there’s nothing of value. After eating, I relax and enjoy a nap. When it was completed, fresh weeds appeared. Now it’s been lived in – covered by weeds. The person in the hut lives here calmly, Not stuck […]
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Masters – Shitou Xiqian – Harmony of Difference and Equality

The poem Harmony of Difference and Equlity (or Sameness) is a classic Chan Zen poem known for its concise and high-level insight of Buddhism, written by Shitou Xiqian  (700 – 790). This translation below is courtesy of Sacred-Texts. Harmony of Difference and Sameness 竺土大仙心 The mind of the great sage of India 東西密相付 is intimately transmitted […]
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Poem by Zen Master Ryokan

Another year lingers to an end; Heaven sends a bitter frost. Fallen leaves cover the mountains And there are no travelers to cast shadows on the path. Endless night: dried leaves burn slowly on the hearth. Occasionally, the sound of freezing rain. Dizzy, I try to recall the past – Nothing here but dreams. ~ […]
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2013 Poetry Month #9 – One Robe, One Bowl

Today’s poems are from the collection “One Robe, One Bowl – The Zen Poetry of Ryokan”, published in 1997 by Weatherhill. I have posted and written about Zen Master Ryokan, born around 1758 in Japan, a few times on this blog, and want to continue sharing his writing and wisdom. His work cuts through any […]
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On Writing Poetry

I’ve spent most of the weekend reading a book titled “Sky Above, Great Wind”, the life and poetry of Zen Master Ryokan.  Out of the zen masters I have read, I am finding his teaching to be uncluttered, using only the words that are needed to show the path.  His poetry is sparse, honest, self-depracating, […]
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