Chi Sense

These Eyes

Sixty-six times have these eyes
Beheld the changing scene of autumn.
I have said enough about moonlight,
Ask no more.
Only listen to the voice of
Pines and cedars when no wind stirs.

- Ryonen (1797-1863)

No Self

There’s no self and no person,
How then kinfolk and stranger!
I beg you, cease going
From lecture to lecture;
It’s better to seek truth directly.
The nature of Diamond Wisdom
Excludes even a speck of dust.
From “Thus we have heard,”
To “This I believe,”
All’s but an array
Of unreal names.

- Layman P’ang


Like a bell, we sit as firmly,
we stand as erected as a tree named pine,
like the wind, we move as swiftly,
and in the shape of a bow, we shall recline.

坐如 (zuo ru zhong)
立如松 (li ru song)
行如 (xing ru feng)
卧如弓 (wo ru gong)


By David Waggoner
From Collected Poems 1956-1976

Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you.
If you leave it, you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you