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TEMPLE COUPLETS VI
English translation: Zhi Yue

MAITREYA SHRINE

Be not intolerant of others;
Treat all matters with laughter.
Laughing, when will one’s mouth close?
There is not a day that is not to one’s content.

FIVE CONTEMPLATIONS HALL

With meditative calm,
one tastes the fragrance of vegetables;
Regard the matters of the world
with an insipid ordinary mind.
With a scattered mind,
even a drop of water is difficult to digest;
With the Five Contemplations,
even gold is easily digestible.

RECEPTION HALL

Guests, be not disdainful of humble tea and rice;
the monastery is unlike thick worldly passions.
The verdant mountain on monastery premises,
and the still pines converse elegantly with visitors.

WAREHOUSE

Care for monastery property
as if protecting one’s eyes.
Money does not come through idle waiting;
each grain of rice is the result of hard labor.

── from Siyuan Yinglian Jijin (Collection of Temple Couplets)


TEMPLE COUPLETS VII
English translation: John Balcom

QIAN FO CHAN ACADEMY, EMEI

A world is contained in a grain of rice;
The universe can be cooked in half a wok.

BAITA TEMPLE, LANZHOU

Cut a patch of cloud to mend a monastic’s robe;
Invite the bright half moon to read the sutras.

JIECHUANG TEMPLE, SUZHOU

Noble teachings, famous sayings,
Individual joy cannot compare with joy shared.
Buddhism’s objective,
Freeing life is better than taking life.

LONGQUAN TEMPLE, CHANGLE

He is the great king of doctors,
Able to skillfully cure sentient beings of all their afflictions.
He is the wondrous Dharma torch,
Suddenly breaking the six realms of existence and their
shroud of beginningless ignorance.

MONASTERY GATE, FAMEN TEMPLE, XI’AN

Enter this gate and let go of everything:
All people attain great benefits.
Ascend to the Buddha land, and look around as you like:
Each one’s nature is pure and refined.

── from After Many Autumns