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Meditative Buddha Shakyamuni


Bury the Master



A note of explanation:
The title is taken from a poem. I just sort of got attached to it for some unknown reason, perhaps my perverse sense of humor.

 

756. Zen Masters,
Fish cakes,
Both stink,
Bury them in the garden.

 

With Amida's (Buddha Amitabha) help
I pray these poems may bring a bit of peace and happiness to you.

In gassho, Tasogare Shinju

 

61. When I awake in the morning,
I have never been asleep,
When the frog croaks,
He speaks with my tongue.

 

63. The hall is empty,
Yet always lit,
Coming or going,
It's always the same.

 

64. Never stopping, clean,
The breeze through the firs,
Moving without dwelling,
Night or day.

 

65. What is formless form,
Mist across the moon's face,
Nothing to see,
But what is there.

 

67. Even atop the highest mountain,
The lotus blooms,
What excuse do I have,
Living where I live ?

 

69. Sweeping twigs and leaves,
From the temple steps,
My broom,
Is smarter than I am.

 

70. "Namu Amida Butsu,"
A sound to shake the heavens;
Call my name,
And listen to the echoes.

 

73. With folded hands,
I can move the world,
With a clear mind,
Streams flow freely.

 

75. A rare thing in the world,
To truely hear,
The true law,
In the voices of nature.

 

76. In a clean and clear spot,
Fixed and imoveable,
Half a cup of tea;
It's all there.

 

78. Honking geese in the night,
Who carries that memory ?
All of us,
If we admit the truth.

 

80. When the leaves fall,
I shall remember each one,
Golden in the sunlight;
Fullfillment.

 

82. Rice in the bowl,
Is not rice in the stomach,
Eat up,
And crap knowledge.

 

88. Autumn evenning,
That is truth itself,
In an instant,
We master each other.

 

90. My personal harmony,
Scares the birds,
Both go together;
No sound.

 

95. I bow down,
To my simple garden,
It shames me,
In its perfection of innocence.

 

96. As I grow older,
My temper is shorter,
The nights longer,
Sounds and perception much clearer.

 

97. Springtime,
A chorus of crickets, Under the porch,
Blends with the drumming raindrops.

 

101. Being constant,
I watch the moon each night,
Such good friends we are,
True to our nature.

 

103. Sitting in silence,
Awakening to true thought,
Nothing is complicated;
The cat stretches in the window.

 

105. Eating peaches upside down,
Unorthodox,
The peach is still a peach,
The Way approached directly.

 

108. Standing like the pine,
Empty teacup in hand,
With each breath,
I taste perfection.

 

111. With an open hand,
One can think freely,
Of willows by the stream,
And cranes in flight.

 

112. Coming one day,
And going the next,
The laughter of flowers,
Is the best teacher.

 

113. Sitting like the lotus,
It is easier to see,
The diamondlike reflection,
Of dewdrops on grass stems.

 

114. Holding a full teacup,
In just one hand,
Is the same,
As having dung for brains.

 

116. Fooling myself all the time,
I am a most difficult master,
I must be crazy,
To listen to myself.

 

118. My Master and I,
Walked the same path,
And to this day,
I have not caught up to him.
(for Rev. Dokyo Chozen)

 

119. Gentle night winds,
Color the sky,
Leaving me speechless,
Lost in thought.

 

121. Standing knee deep in snow,
One way or another,
It will rain,
Eventually.

 

127. How many visons,
Of brooms and rice cakes,
Before an old fool,
Cooks his own meal ?

 

129. Having finished two cups of tea,
Now all is lost,
As the third wets my lips,
What a perfect moment.

 

130. I cannot answer your question,
Better to question your question;
This old monk has a point,
Where is yours !

 

131. I am from here,
An old rice bag full of wind;
Brilliant little snake,
You'll never catch me.

 

132. Clutching the hem of my robe,
Dust in your face,
Go take a bath,
In the cold stream.

 

140. The willow by the bank,
Cannot be swayed by words,
Don't answer,
Speech cannot convey the spirit.

 

141. No mind, no Dharma,
Better have another radish;
Before it's all over,
Ashes in a black robe.

 

142. Facing East,
Not even the shadow of Bodhidharma;
No shade can teach,
The light of the sun and moon.

 

146. Taking up the stick,
It's already too late,
To scold the Masters;
Let it alone.

 

147. The gnat becomes a dragon,
Supported by deep waters,
Was he nimble,
Or just overgrown ?

 

148. One word on the upward route,
A shout to still the ages,
This old fool,
Still has a voice.

 

149. The quiet and peaceful land,
You cannot pierce the barrier,
Your sword sheathed,
No edge to the warrior.

 

151. The ferry has gone,
To the seamless pagoda,
How shameless,
To have sold myself to gain passage.

 

156. Old Tasogare Shinju,
Listening to no one,
Walks the endless road,
None guessing where he's gone.




157. I am always thus,
How about you ?
Evil old scarecrow,
Always lurking about.

 

158. What am I talking about ?
All a big mistake,
That too is good,
Have some more rice.

 

159. The storm will pass,
No matter what you do,
Start the kettle,
And stop pacing.

 

164. With a blow to shatter worlds,
I gently ruffle the cat's fur,
What is sweet is sweet,
Sometimes beating the drum is too loud.

 

165. Approaching a question,
Step by step,
I really fooled myself,
Almost throwing good rice away.

 

166. The small voice of raindrops,
Break the stillness,
What will you call it,
When the moment is finished ?

 

167. Can you find a use,
For my old black robes,
I don't need them,
To make a point.

 

169. Having ridden out the gale,
On the far shore,
Still as a mountain,
Surprising the snakes.

 

172. When night comes,
And the lake is still,
The waterfowl swim silently,
And my tea is richer.

 

173. Sitting in the shrine,
The passing shadows,
Like my life,
Fade away.

 

179. I have seen nothing,
That I wasn't supposed to,
All things as they are,
No matter my moods.

 

180. I see the Buddha,
When my eyes are shut,
I hear his laughter,
In the million raindrops.

 

181. In limitless ways,
The fatal blow strikes,
The moon burns and the sun freezes,
Dealing with me personally.

 

183. Throwing down my brush,
Words cannot say,
This old stone is living or dead;
Talking with monks.

 

185. Anything could hide,
Beneath my robes ;
Nothing does,
What's the point ?

 

186. With all my years,
How many have I really had,
A place where quiet lasts,
That is really something.

 

187. Wisdom flowers bloom,
So the dust seldom settles,
Sometime's it's all so clear,
Then the clouds spit on me.

 

190. All of my idle thoughts,
Couldn't feed a small fire,
How very sad,
To think of melons.

 

191. Stopping for tea,
How satisfying
Rich brown steam,
Scent of pure earth.

 

192. I brew tea,
When mind and time,
Permit true thought,
And reasonable stillness.

 

193. Right now,
Winds are howling,
Pines rustling,
Tomorrow only a dream.

 

194. One layer after another,
My mind sheds,
Like a garden snake;
Always patching old clothes.

 

197. Who needs to be Buddha,
When the rice is boiling,
The teacup is filled,
And the pickles fresh.

 

198. The north wind raced all night,
While I just sat,
Which do you suppose,
Got farther ?

 

199. When the sun comes up,
I sleep,
When the moon in it's wisdom arrives,
I am nowhere to be found.

 

200. Seeing through one who sees,
Difficult in the extreme,
Yet in the end,
That's all it takes.




201. My task is done,
When I choose to finish it,
Too brighten old age,
I just might try it.

 

203. All of this,
And what do I really have;
Time to sleep,
And food to eat.

 

205. When you leave the mountain,
Don't take me,
I am content to sit,
And croak among the lotus blossoms.

 

208. Chasing snakes,
From the trees,
How hard can that be,
When my rake is long handled ?

 

210. Lanterns are lit,
Ten thousand Buddha smiles;
A lone firefly,
Enlightenment.

 

211. Late at night,
Winter has come,
The geese fly south,
And tea visits my cup.

 

212. Dismissing the darkness,
With a wave of my hand,
What an old fool,
To let the sun set for even one breath.

 

214. Having two hands,
Don't cover your eyes,
It won't work you know,
You still have to wipe your own ass.




215. One fruit was enough,
From the old tree,
No speaking while chewing,
It spoils the moment.

 

217. This flapping scarecrow,
Holder of the flawless gem,
Alarmed by common ills,
Scatters baskets of lotus petals.

 

219. Take me as I am,
Passed beyond sorrow,
Giving what I can,
As I share a pot of tea with you.

 

223. Beauty and harmony,
Mind and body,
The cuckoo in the nest,
What a prize I must be.

 

224. Did you hear what he said?,
The voice of the old fox,
I laughed so loud,
The sky broke wind.
(for Rev. Dokyo Chozen)

 

226. My ghosts have always been,
Faint noises in the thick fog,
They quickly dissipate,
When I belch.

 

227. Nothing separates me from you,
We both drink tea,
We both rise in the morning,
A spiders line between us.

 

228. I see the Buddha,
When the raindrops sweep across the lake,
As they reach the willow,
The Patriarch weep.

 

229. One hand clapping,
What a slap in the face,
Fierce Winter rains,
A full Spring garden.

 

231. I can smell night,
Where does this thought go,
Away on the wind,
Or up in smoke ?

 

232. A visual koan,
The cherry blossoms shuddered,
Oh no,
My own life story.

 

236. Perfect for Autumn,
One cup of tea,
Sipping it slowly,
Who is the teacher ?

 

237. I think I would go,
For life or death,
This old monk,
Cannot be so choosey.

 

238. My mask slipped.
Long ago,
For all I know,
My wits went with it.

 

242. All of this exercise,
Makes me sweat Buddhas;
I guess I'll stink,
For a very long time.

 

243. Look !
The teapot is upside down;
The moon just smiles,
As I savor my last cup.

 

244. The bell plays with my mind,
Sending the four winds to assail my ears,
In its own noisy way,
Breaking the rocks
( after Ju-Ching, after Dogen)

 

246. My Master and I,
Talk every day,
Both dead and buried,
Which is more crazy ?
(for Rev. Dokyo Chozen)

 

247. Reading Dogen's poems,
On a long Winter night,
I am reminded,
Of nothing.

 

248. When my mind is quiet,
The moon devours me,
Bit by bit,
Leaving only my shadow.

 

249. Don't bother me now,
The evenning rain is speaking,
I cannot hear you,
Above the shouting.

 

251. Since I am no one,
And not likely to be,
The Master of anything,
How pure the moonlit air.

 

252. I am never without,
The memory of Spring,
Even though Winter,
Batters at the door.

 

321. Everything in its place,
A fine day!
Breath in Buddha,
But don't sneeze!

 

322. I have missed it,
The moon at the bottom of the pool,
I guess that's why,
I am Tasogare Shinju.

 




323. Heaven, earth, and me,
What a crowd,
How can this be practice,
When it's complete already?

 

324. Every season is a good season,
I can always sit or walk,
The rain falls, sun shines,
Winds blow, and the snow falls.

 

325. I try to be ready,
No matter what happens,
So vast and wide,
My simple ignorance.

 

327. "I throw it in front of you,
And you step backwards on it,
Don't say a word,
Your shadow has two heads."

 

330. My old path is gone,
Melting with the snow,
No matter where I go,
I am always following.

 

331. To know Awakening,
Go look under a rock,
Questions and answers,
Are all the same.

 

335. So far away,
An umbrella passes by,
Stove in by the rain;
Someone wasn't paying attention.

 

336. Who can tell,
Why a small butterfly,
Chooses to sit,
Among the cherry blossoms?

 

337. Muddy feet on the tatami,
Shame Mr. Toad,
Back in the rainy swamp,
To await your fate.

 

338. Don't come back to me,
By the roadside,
Get out of here;
A plum drops off the tree.

 

339. Then I am still,
A frog in the rain barrel.
Splash ! Splash!
Burning leaves scent the air.

 

340. A fallen leaf,
The old tree frog,
Speaks at last,
"Autumn may kill you."

 




342. I must go away,
Stained with mud and ash,
In darkness and moonlight,
To another place.


 

344. Waiting for Miroku.
Ha ! Ha ! Ha !
By the time he gets here,
It will already be too late.

 

345. Dew and the moon,
The wonder of pure reflection,
Devoid of any effort,
Causes me to look inward.

 

347. Such confusion,
In the middle of the day,
Even with pure thought;
Come indoors for tea.

 

348. Like the empty sky,
No I to hold onto,
Only a gathering silence;
A dunce could see it.

 

349. The rain and the pond,
Arguing fiercely,
The winds that blow,
Have nothing to say.

 

351. Staying ahead of myself,
I am behind myself,
So natural a thing,
For an empty headed man.

 

352. What is this,
Dredged from the river bottom?
Some old priest washed his feet,
Leaving his stink in the waters.

 

353. Newly fallen petals,
Where the moon does not reach,
That's it!
You must see for yourself.

 

354. A single plum flower,
The old tree blooms,
I cannot hear it,
In front of my face.

 

357. The broken stepping stone,
Dropped me into the waters;
I must be very dirty,
When even a stone turns on me.




358. It's a difficult thing to live,
Day after day;
Still more difficult,
To hear about it.

 

360. I am just me,
Neither good nor bad,
Another idiot in the road,
Baying at the Buddha.

 

361. I have heard my heart,
And my mind argue incessantly,
It gives me a headache;
For me it's just right.

371. I chose my own lineage,
I sing my own song,
Since I am not really here,
You shouldn't be bothered.

 

372. Have a cup of tea and shut up,
The moon will still be the moon,
Your head eternally empty,
And I will suffer for you.

 

373. Clear mind coming and going,
Can you see the Spring air?
My cats say "meow,"
At least they say something correctly.

 

374. I sit,
And study Buddha,
Studying me;
Two cats singing beneath a full moon.

 

375. The moon never showed its face last night,
Hidden by the cold clouds,
Yet there I sat,
Knowing it winked at me anyhow.

 

376. Cherry blossoms have taught me,
More than a million Buddhas;
Eating the moon with one hand,
Now that's a real trick.

 

377. Cyprus in the courtyard,
Chop it down for firewood,
Joshu should have known,
It would happen eventually.

 

384. The teahouse is always the teahouse,
I am always myself,
One inside the other,
Is nothing short of bliss.

 

385. Two dead crows on a branch,
Watch the sun rise,
How did two old Masters,
Fly through the darkness?

 

386. If you raise one finger,
And I raise two fingers,
What idiot raises up a clenched fist?
Go and have a cup of tea.

 

387. I am not alive,
I am not dead,
No hands to hold clouds,
No feet to step in dung.

 

388. Who wants an old Master's original face,
That's another thing in itself;
When the rice is just right,
Eat it and shut up.

 

389. Since I cannot hear the bell,
I must awaken by myself,
Tea still tastes the same,
And what happens happens.

 

390. Everything teaches something,
Something teaches everything,
I will teach you nothing and all;
What is going on here!

 

391. Very, very wonderful,
Drinking tea behind myself,
What a big mistake,
It all comes to an end.

 

393. Draw a circle around the moon,
And it's all been said,
I admit I did it,
But I don't know how.

 

394. Having seen Buddha,
I would rather feed the cat,
The tree cannot sing,
And I won't try either.

 

395. What size is your mind,
Empty it out,
And maybe you'll know,
Although it's doubtful.

 

396. Hitting the moon with a stick,
It makes no noise,
Rain falls on my head,
Too much noise, blockhead!

 

397. Poured from a not-teacup,
The tea is just perfect,
Not too hot, not too cold;
This is all I can do.

 

398. A pound of pure mind,
Is the same as a pound of dust;
How am I today?
Obviously in-between.

 




401.You can't see it,
You can't hear it,
It's sitting on your head;
Look out, it will fly away.

 

402. Smiling and laughing,
I still have a headache,
That old flower vendor,
Keeps hitting me with a stick.

 

403. Buddha is Tasogare Shinju,
Tasogare Shinju is Buddha,
There is no Buddha,
Tasogare Shinju ran away.

 

404. The room is dark,
Am I here or not,
Who can tell,
If I have another cup of tea.

 

405. Dokyo Chozen killed me,
That old murderer,
Too bad I can't return the favor,
He was dead already.
(for Rev. Dokyo Chozen)

 

406. Moving on ahead,
I paint a line behind me,
Buddha might want to find me,
And kill me.

 

407. I can get no older,
Only more interesting.
New Year! New Year!
Don't ask, ssshhh!

 

408. The moon swallowed my soul,
Thank you;
My first thought,
Heartburn.

 

409. They were never there,
The clouded mountains,
Where was I,
When that happened?

 

411. In the snow,
Cherry blossoms are beautiful,
What is simple,
Is so true.

 

412. Look at the moon,
Ringed by rainbow ice,
Winter came late,
Stunting the weeds.

 

413. Enlightenment, bah!
Lie down and sleep!
When the time comes,
Run away fast.

 

414. The shadow crane never flies,
Yet it moves this way and that,
The sky is still there,
The earth below.
(for Diane and her paper cranes)

 

416. "I" has gone away,
Visiting the graveyard,
Ha! Ha! Ha!,
The baker made three mochi.

 

417. Wake up! Wake up!
A good time to make tea,
We can both start the fire;
Not very complicated.

 

418. Another laugh,
Watch out!
It could be habit forming;
Still hungry I see.

 

419. Having caught a cloud,
Old Tasogare Shinju tweaked its ears,
The moon went West,
Startled by the affair.

 

420. I will die and die again,
No one can stop me,
Watch your step,
You're not far behind.




421. If I am appearing and disappearing,
How can I watch my step;
Tea dust!
At least this old monk is doing something.

 

422. Having been shown a flower,
All I could do was eat it,
Now how can I give it back,
I'll lose my life over this one.

 

423. I don't know,
If I have found it or lost it;
Hit me in the face,
Before I say something.

 

424. The lion's roar,
Shook my rice bowl,
What fun it is,
To see something new.

 

425. Half a Mu,
Is what I put in my tea,
The sharpest flavor,
Has no name.

 

426. Hit with a stick a million times,
Why! Why! Why!
There is only one answer,
And it is silent.

 

428. Close your mouth,
The moon is too big to swallow,
A great dust cloud,
Already churns in your head.

 

429. "Go drink tea,
Go drink tea,"
Is that all the fat headed Master says?
How about, "eat some rice?"

 

430. One big Katsu!
And over the cliff you go,
Others will follow,
And just die laughing.

 

433. Stuff and nonsense,
All this talk of enlightenment;
How bright are you,
When the moon goes down?

 

434. A still mountain,
This must be;
When one moves,
Better go home.

 

437. I shall return,
Along the mountain road,
Accompanied by blue jays,
Angered at my passing.

 

438. Today at twilight,
The bell rang,
Echoing in the moonlight,
Dewdrops on the eaves were undisturbed.

 

439. The moss creeps closer,
Seeking me each day,
Already it smells the Autumn wind,
Knowing I will be waiting.

 

440. I wonder what my name will be,
When I am gone,
Off to the West;
The moon is rising across the river.

 

441. Watching the moon on a frosty night,
A fleeting look at paradise;
Do not disturb my sitting,
A perfect reflection in my teacup.

 

442. He knew it all,
And what did it get him,
Stagnant marsh air,
And enough babble to fertilize everyone's gardens.

 

443. Almost certainly,
I am Tasogare Shinju,
But tomorrow,
Who can tell?

 

444. The voice of silence,
Newly fallen snow,
What a great fool,
Not to see it as such.

 

445. Nothing more,
Take it all away,
It's already tomorrow,
Farewell, it's all complete.

 

446. A hidden spring,
Ho!
If I can find my cup,
I can drink.

 

447. If you think too much,
Or too long,
There it goes, just so,
Inside and out.

 

449. Clouds on the horizon,
Seek me with no eyes,
"Come back later,
When I near one hundred."

 

450. The green mountains,
Kwatz!
Right to the source,
Keep straight and bow.




451. What are you saying,
"All in its place,"
Nonsense,
When you don't know where you are.

 

452. All turns in a moment,
The truth is,
One leaf falls,
And the heavens tremble.

 

454. When I return here,
Don't Katsu me,
Just bring me some tea,
And let me watch the sunset.

 

455. See! See!
You black robed monkey,
I die walking,
And you steal my lantern.

 

456. Forty seven years have passed,
And what have I done,
Chased clouds,
And held the moon in my hands.

 

458. Time passes and this monk does not,
The journey West must wait,
Perhaps in the Spring,
Plum blossoms.

 

459. A long Winter night,
Diamond frost on the grass,
My dream is preserved,
For an old man of the Way.

 

461. Snow on the foothills,
Gray threatening clouds,
How many times,
Has all this been seen before?

 

462. Sitting, in my old robes,
Warm as an old friendship,
And now the world,
Can do as it likes.

 

463. Leaves have no reason to fall,
They just do it,
The temple bell tolls,
Another valued death.

 

464. Migrating cranes and white clouds,
Yet here I stay,
As immoveable as the mountains,
Content to wait for Spring.

 

466. One spot glowing in the dark,
How can you find it,
With your eyes shut?
My head hurts from your stupidity.

 

467. I am still here,
Despite the Winter storms,
I cannot blow away,
Being rooted in the Primal Vow.

 

468. The paulownia tree in the garden,
Dropped a single leaf on my shoulder,
I fade away,
Tea dust in moonbeams, Katsu!

 

469. Buddha Dharma,
Falls like cherry blossoms,
On my place of rest,
A single prayer answered.

 

471. I have my heart intact,
Though my body is worn,
Before the night falls,
Miroku's sandals by the door.

 

472. Moon watching festival,
Never a need to travel,
Autumn breeze,
Why would anyone hesitate?

 

473. Ocean roar,
Moon rising upon me,
A lone lotus leaf,
On the far shore.

 

474. The melting snows;
I set out,
My prayer to bear,
All others on my shoulders.

 

475. Tasogare Shinju,
Nembutsu in the moonlight,
Since he was born,
The brush is always moving.

 

476. The sight of dewdrops,
Born of the morning mist,
For many years,
I never knew.

 

478. At daybreak,
You can hear the frogs croaking,
Such vanity,
From puffed up Masters.

 

479. While I walk slowly,
Willow branches screen the moon,
With such beauty,
The journey may lengthen; Ho!

 




480. My mind is clear,
The scent of Autumn leaves,
Namu Amida Butsu,
A perfect evening.

 

481. A Winter rainstorm,
At night while I slept,
I went nowhere,
Where did it go?

 

482. Old black scarecrow,
You've done things you never imagined,
Blame no one but yourself,
The Buddha's guided you.

 

483. "Buddha, Buddha,"
Whispers the Winter rain,
Leaves scatter,
Unseen by the moon.

 

484. Waking up from deep sleep,
Between life and death,
This night I understood,
The shadows on the shoji.

 

486. That some happiness,
Should happen to me,
An old and stubborn monk,
Truly amazing.

 

487. Sweeping the path;
A perfect moon,
Shinning on a lone monk,
Sitting in the garden.

 

488. Somehow or other,
I have come to this,
A middle aged monk,
Starting a new life.

 

490. Only one small me,
To keep on along the Way,
Little did I know,
This would be my life.

 

491. Where I go to sit,
This Winter night,
No one else ventures;
Taste this if you can.

 

492. Lost in the moonlight,
My teacher's shadow,
A final cup of tea,
My path is my own.

 

493. How do you begin?
Yes! Yes! Yes!
I can be as I am,
Coming into the shrine.

 

495. Having forgotten everything,
My brush is less hasty,
There is no last word,
Only gassho.

 

496. Rain dropping from the eaves,
A curtain of ever changing gems,
Your eyes can hear,
Their nearby voices.

 

497. The plum blossoms,
Do not speak,
Yet Amida is upon their petals;
Delightful.

 

498. Having stolen the moonlight,
I collect flowers by the roadside,
That is the way,
To drink from the clear stream.

 

499. All these things,
Together with myself,
Will fade away,
No final resting place.

 

500. There is no real death,
Though I must depart,
I am not finished,
Though with what I cannot say.




501. My cough,
Has shattered mountains,
This very illness,
Coughs up Buddha.

 

502. Enlightenment,
Is not a steel umbrella,
Let the rain soak you,
So you remain with all of us.

 

505. I practice as I do,
Expecting nothing,
When the Buddha smiles,
It's a shock.

 

506. What a difference,
A light in the shrine makes,
That's all I can say about that;
Too late! Much too late!

 

508. Two dead monks in a coffin,
See what my Master has done,
Might as well drink tea,
I have no legs to chase him.
(for Rev. Dokyo Chozen)

 

510. A soft hearted old fool follows the Way,
Holding his mind in a gem bag,
Seeking nothing in particular,
Ignoring all taunts and praise.

 

511. When I walk I walk,
When I eat I eat,
When I sleep I sleep;
You say I'm not involved enough, hah!

 

513. Eat and you get full,
Listen and you may hear,
Think about it,
Already too late.

 

515. Point to something that is not Buddha,
And an ass can ride an ass past me;
As for myself,
I see nothing.

 

519. Hearing the call,
Of Amida Buddha,
One question is clear,
Why me?

 

520. What I shouldn't do,
Who can say,
People like me,
Are not me.

 

521. If everything is me,
I must be very fat,
Bursting with Buddhas,
Yet to be born.

 

524. Sky and water,
We find each other again,
This pleasant Autumn night,
Wandering about.

 

525. A monk sits,
Life and death,
Chilly night,
Frog echoes.




528. Looking for myself,
Was a long journey,
Now, under this stupid rock,
Katsu!

 

529. Waves crash each day,
Against the Bodhi tree,
Unfurling a rainbow,
My presence unnecessary.

 

530. Inside the moonlit shrine,
Smell of pine,
Share with me,
Another poem.

 

531. All things are hidden in tea,
Until it is consumed,
Still there is more emptiness to fathom,
As the next cup is poured.

 

532. Having nothing,
I treat you to tea,
Sit with me,
On the disc of the moon.

 

533. This is not a dream,
In the dead of Winter,
All things bear fruit;
Thunderous rain in the night.

 

534. Prepared for Winter,
Sun and moon swallow the cold,
Just as I am,
Spitting up words.

 

535. Grave illness;
I can but smile,
My old teacher's Spring,
I understand it now.

 

536. My teacher's footsteps,
Cross the face of the moon,
On my footsteps,
The moon simply shines.

 

539. What I have,
Was often not seen,
Today the screens are pulled aside;
Green tea in the garden.

 

540. Since I am everywhere,
Don't look for me,
I'll ne here anyway,
Sitting backwards and forwards.

 

541. Just right now,
That was then,
What about it?
Stop moving about and sit down.

 

542. I cannot forgive the Buddha,
For walking on my head;
Now it's all my problem,
What could be more fair?

 

543. I no longer worry about my craziness,
Having taken so long to wake up,
After all it's not so hard,
Once your mind is made up.

 

544. Those damn two fingers,
Too many, too few,
Only right for me,
Who cares?

 

545. Face to face,
Could it be old man Shinran,
Returning in a dream;
That's worth another cup of tea.

 

547. Whatever my heart may be,
It is filled with Amida,
Serenely shinning oneness;
Such is my feeling.

 

548. Grass stalk,
Don't speak so loudly,
How tempting to think,
You are of like mind.

 

551. Always on my mind,
The night bell striking;
On one foot,
I reach up and grasp the moon.

 

552. The Way before you,
I am the mountain,
Set in your path,
Don't fall back into the ocean.

 

555. Leaping through the net of stars,
My last word!
Spoken on the wind,
"Fall !"

 

557. This tranquil light,
The final barrier?
A cracked teapot,
Hisses too much steam.

 

558. No Masterly feats,
Day after day, night after night,
I go off alone,
With a crowd of shadows.

 

559. My Master Dokyo Chozen,
Handed down nothing,
Stuffing it into my head.
I walk away well fed.

 

560. As I listened,
How restful the crickets song;
Who's aware I know,
Show yourself!

 

561. Don't be, don't be,
A flesh and blood Buddha,
Walking around;
Better to be an old unseen poet.

 

564. No matter what the state,
Of my meditation,
The sea is always there,
Wave after wave seeking me.

 

565. Shadows appear even in the shrine,
But that is as it should be,
For when we vanish,
They too depart.

 

566. With lights reflecting off the water,
How can I sleep tonight;
Bobbing like lanterns,
Tossed by wind and waves?

 

567. Once I have grown old,
Youth cannot be called back,
And time keeps knocking at my door;
I just won't answer any more.

 

568. Autumn hangs heavy,
On my shoulders,
But I have no answer,
But to shovel snow.

 

569. I just let time pass,
Going on my own way,
Too bad,
It always finds me.

 

570. While sitting or writing,
I make friends with myself,
Just catching sight of,
That other fellow.

 

571. When someone asks,
"Who are you,"
Spring rain beneath a full moon,
A shadow in the whispering bamboo.

 




572. My life goes forward,
As my mind grows more calm and still,
No more monkeys,
Hooting in the shrine.

 

574. Why did I do that,
Tweak the Buddha's nose?
I am here,
Where are you?

 

575. Softly;
Listen to the breath of Amida.
That is good,
Close your eyes and ears.

 

577. I have been here all along,
Living with snow and plum blossoms,
Ice on the lake,
Soft rain on the willows.

 

578. Who brought you here,
To stand in the evening,
Outside my door;
What a joy to see you.

 

579. Your vision is very dim,
Your mind blunted;
Look! Look! Look!
The mayfly's life is short.

 

580. Do not call me Master,
Or even teacher,
Look at yourself,
And you might glimpse my shadow.

 

581. Two fingers can hold the moon,
One word can destroy it;
Be a statue,
Among the snowflakes.

 

582. Why do you think,
Buddha has two feet,
He never went anywhere;
Tree stump!

 

583. I am stupid,
My life an echo;
Closing the door,
I make some more green tea.

 

584. I am wrong, you are wrong,
What were we thinking,
While the wren built his nest,
And sang his song?

 

585. My half full teacup,
Sits before me,
As I sit,
Half full of tea.




586. Buddha has no hair,
Bodhidharma has no hair,
My Master had no hair;
Did they all have the same barber?

 

587. I learn ordinary Dharma,
Making tea, cooking rice,
I was most grateful,
When my efforts were palatable.

 

589. Rain runs from my shaved head,
Into my eyes,
Blind and wet,
It's all in my hands now.

 

590. Living in the Autumn,
Is good living for me,
When the winds blow,
I can taste the falling leaves.

 

591. Enjoying my life,
I like to stir the waters a bit;
A bit of confusion,
Can create new paths among the weeds.

 

592. "Master, where did you come from?"
"Steam from the tea kettle."
"But Master, who put in the Water?"
"A Buddha with an eyedropper!"

 

593. Time will not wait for me,
So I will not wait for the right time;
Sweep! Sweep! Sweep!
And then the dust will flee.

 

596. Don't be so serious,
The cat says "meow,"
Why ask why,
Just pet it and smile.

 

597. What am I doing,
Counting 108 beads,
Sitting on my cushion;
Where was I?

 

598. Learning to live with Amida,
Is not so hard;
Just cook the food,
And eat it yourself.

 

600. When the truth is in front of you,
Time to get up,
The moment is just a moment,
Life is funny that way.




605. My life is not my life,
But your life,
Take good care of it,
Smile and continue living.

 

606. The warmth of the sun,
Has no reason,
The face of the moon,
Has no eyes nor ears.

 

607. Sharing a pot of tea,
Is sharing the Dharma,
Just one taste,
Enough to open a billion worlds.

 

608. Green leaves are changing color,
It' doesn't matter,
How they are changing;
Something special.

 

609. The clear light of Amida,
Becoming pure actions,
The original face,
Eternally smiling.

 

613. What a delightful smile,
As you climb the path to my door,
Nothing but feet moving,
And yet . . .

 

614. This old monk,
Still has a few tricks left,
Whatever I encounter,
All depends on me.

 

615. Having done just one thing,
I am satisfied,
The moon can warm one heart,
Can all the stars?

 

616. I caught the moon after many years,
Resting in my palm,
And so I thank my old Master,
Who first held that light.

 

617. I learned all I know,
Listening to the swallows sing;
Using great patience,
I forgot who I was.

 

619. My Master told me nothing but truth,
Not always easy to swallow,
No finer gift,
Could enter my heart.

 

621. I can never regret,
The intimate arguements,
And the unselfish friendship,
Working beside my Master.
(for Rev. Dokyo Chozen)

 

622. As slow as the seasons,
You cannot percieve time,
Yet age will find you,
You old snake.

 

623. I watch and learn,
As though I may be gone next year.
Perhaps when the cherry blossoms appear,
I will hear them singing.

 

624. To write takes time,
Persistance brings wisdom,
Too much rushing,
Nothing but ink blots.

 

625. Growing older,
I become more eccentric,
An old stick tossed on the fire,
Is drier and burns brighter.

 

626. What I choose to impart,
Is done with peace of mind,
It then becomes the brilliant moon,
Through personal experience.

 

627. I only fool myself,
When the moon is eclipsed,
And the stars hide in the clouds;
Idiot!

 

628. Crowded together,
Each small moment,
A brief glimpse of eternity;
How amazing.


 

629. Raindrop song on the window,
Like a jeweled curtain;
So it appears,
This early Spring afternoon.

 

632. No satori in this place,
Nothing,
Nothing,
Just me on a cushion.

 

633. Mint growing by the roadside,
How many times,
Have you graced,
My teacup?

 




635. Still too cold and wet,
To be myself more often,
Just what this town needs to see,
A black and white old fool.

 

636. Dark sky, hazy visages,
The western clouds in view,
Only I know,
What has passed.

 

637. Bathed in light from the Butsudan,
I take up my pen,
Many moments may pass,
Writing or not, wonderful.

 

638. The Spring rain stayed,
Through the night,
No moon to watch,
But pleasant slumber.

 

639. The sound of the bamboo flute,
Is it's own poetry;
My own writings,
Echo of toad croakings.

 

641. Cherry blossoms in the moonlight,
Like a fleeting dream,
Only I can see you.
How selfish of me.

 

642. Winter still in the wind,
Though Spring has come,
Before the mighty storms,
The cherry blossoms tremble.

 

644. The wild geese,
Are on the lake again,
Just as it should be,
At twilight.

 

645. Passing the final gate,
I turned and came back again,
Not ready to move further West;
Perhaps years from now.

 

647. The first Spring heat,
So many new blooms.
Sleepy caterpiller,
Come out and sing.

 

649. Pausing to view,
The black lake waters this night,
The sleeping ducks,
In the reeds.

 

650. Searching for some shade,
In this Spring heat,
I found it soon enough,
In memories of snow.

 

652. You'll see,
It won't be long,
On some cool Spring night,
You and Buddha will smile.

 

653. So much to see,
Crossing the flower bridge,
At long last,
I've caught up to myself.

 

654. One final dream,
Under the full moon,
I would be a fool,
To let it pass.

 

655. We share one desire,
To see the full moon rising,
Learning to laugh,
At the black clouds overhead.

 

657. There must be someone,
Eating all the rice;
The pot is empty,
The same old thing, "are you full?"

 

660. My own blossoms,
Are no more to be seen;
Glimpsed through the years,
Oh ho, new leaves.




756. Zen Masters,
Fish cakes,
Both stink,
Bury them in the garden.

 

"Bury the Master" is finished....I am
overwhelmed by the positive response you
have all had to my poor efforts at writing
poems. Still, I am pleased that you like
them so much. Even better that they have
helped to lighten your daily grind and bring
a little peace of mind. I know that when
I am writing them I feel like I am
someplace else for a few moments....

Enjoy and take care.
In deep gassho,
Tasogare Shinju

compassion





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January 2001

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