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WRAPPED IN A WOOLEN ROBE, LOOKING AT THE FRAGRANT PLANTS
by Fayan Wenyi (885 - 958, Five Dynasties Period)
English translation: Alex Amies

Wrapped in a cui* looking at the fragrant
plants, each one with its own delightfully
unique characteristics;

My hair has become white now, the flowers were red yesteryear.
Changing colors are ephemeral, like the morning dew,
the fragrance of incense is like the evening breeze;
Why should one wait to wither and fall,
only to later understand emptiness?


BLOWING DOWN MANY PEACH BLOSSOMS
by Cishou Huaishen (1077 - 1132, Song Dynasty)
English translation: John Balcom

I only travel to old places I have been,
Carelessly forming attachments. Such is confusion.
A strong wind rises at night,
Blowing down many peach blossoms.

── from Wudeng Huiyuan (Compendium of the Five Lamps)


VERSE ON A HOUSEFLY ENTERING THE WINDOW
by Baiyun Shouduan (1025 - 1072, Song Dynasty)
English translation: John Balcom

I was unable to leave that place–how difficult.
Suddenly, I arrive on the road I came from
And begin to awaken to the past my eyes had cheated from me.

── from Lin Jian Lu (Record of Training in the Forest)


IS THERE ANYTHING IN THE UNIVERSE BUT EMPTINESS?
by Xuedou Chongxian (980 - 1052, Song Dynasty)
English translation: John Balcom

Old Juzhi loved to teach with one finger. Is there anything in the universe but emptiness? Once, he threw a piece of driftwood into the great ocean, In the darkness the waves carried it to a blind seaturtle.

── from Chanzong Songgu Lianzhu Tongji (Comprehensive Collection of the Chan School’s Verses on Ancient Precedents that are a String of Jewels)

* A woolen robe, a name used by monastic for this garment worn by monastics.