Daily Wisdom / Zen

A Walk in Izumosaki with Rev. Tenge on an Autumn Day

book coverHuman life is like a blade of grass
floating downstream.
How can one respond to such a situation?
I live this way not without reason.
Waving my belled staff, I parted from my family;
raising my hands, I bade the town farewell.
I keep repairing my patched robe.
Who knows how many springs this begging bowl has seen?
I happen to love the quietude of a grass hut.
Two of a similar spirit have met;
who can distinguish host from guest?
The wind high, the pine a thousand feet tall,
chrysanthemum blossoms chilly with frost—
with our hands holding what is outside the secular world,
we forget everything on this serene shore.

From Sky Above, Great Wind: The Life and Poetry of Zen Master Ryokan translated by Kazuaki Tanahashi, page 98

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