Eight Short Poems of the Zen Master Mu-Nan

1.To the Seekers after the Next Life
Thinking that after death he will become a Buddha,
He does not realize the shortness of this life.

2.The Essence of Meditation
He who knows how to meditate when not in meditation,
How could he ever stray from the path ?

3.To Those Far Astray
Not realizing that we are being fooled by our own selves,
We are afraid of tempters and demons.

4.A Saying of Rinzai
The ear does not hear,
the mind does not hear,
nor the ego ;
The hearer of hearing,
that it is we must know.

Unless it is recited, there is neither Buddha nor myself;
This, this is the meaning of Namu Amida Butsu.

67.To Those Who Say the Mantra
The net of compassion of Amida Buddha is spread wide,
How pitiable the man who of his own accord slips away !

7.The Heart
As the Buddha, as God, as Heaven, as Bodhisattva, as the Redeemer
Under many blessed names they speak of the human heart.

One should not feel
” I must at all costs become Buddha”.
That one who has not become Buddha,
he is already Buddha.

(Translated by T.P.L.)

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