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CHAN POEMS OF WANG WEI
by Wang Wei (699 - 759, Tang Dynasty)
English translation: Miao Guang

PASSING BY XIANGJI TEMPLE

Not knowing Xiangji Temple’s whereabouts,
I am miles into the misty peak.
Across the ancient woods without any footpath,
Where in the deep mountains is the bell toll from?
Springs whimper against lofty rocks,
Rays of the sun chill over the green pines.
At dusk, beside a secluded yet peaceful pond,
I quietly meditate to tame the poisonous dragon.

A POEM WRITTEN WITH LAYMAN HU TO NOTIFY SCHOLARS

Once a thought as subtle as a particle of dust arises,
a body as ephemera as morning dew then becomes.
Having thus witnessed the skandhas and dhatus,
where can the self and other be placed?
Obstruction results from
regarding the substantial as object.
Turning towards emptiness requires
relinquishment of the subject.
How does cleansing the mind remove burdens?
Attaining enlightenment is the way to
guide the stray back to the Path.
Clinging is the cause and illness the effect,
out of greed, poverty is thus sensed.
Neither form or sound are external delusions,
Unsubstantial illusions are what I regard as reality.

SITTING ALONE ON AN AUTUMN NIGHT

Sitting alone with these sorrowful sideburns,
The empty room welcomes
the second watch of the night.
Wild fruits fall amidst the rain,
while beetles chirp beneath the lamp.
White hair will inevitably remain so,
turning into gold would be impossible.
One must know that
the way to rid old age and sickness,
Is only by making sure that you were never born.

── from Quan Tang Shi (Complete Collection of Tang Poems)