An Early Morning Reading Buddhist Works With Zhao At His Temple

Liu Zongyuan
(From Classical Chinese)

In a cold well's water I clean my teeth.
I dust my clothes. I purify my mind.
Then, with slow leaves turning in my book,
I head to the eastern shelter. I recite.

This true fount of thought is gone from the world's mind
And mankind falls to trickery and fables.
But I would have words give way to bare meaning,
And my nature bear forth fruit.

Calm in the courtyard, with Dao and priests at peace,
The climbing moss colors bamboo,
The sun descends the mist,
The pines are young, green and bathed afresh.
Here, gone from me are speech, characters and all things
But the joy of sheer, single unison.


Photo: Sean Sprague []


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