Photo: Painting of Tao Yuanming by Chen Hongshou.
Here's a message for the faithful
what is it that you cherish
to find the Way to see your nature
your nature is naturally so
what Heaven bestows is perfect
looking for proof leads you astray
leaving the trunk to search among the twigs
all you get is stupid.
'Cold Mountain Poems: Zen Poems of Han Shan, Shih Te, and Wang Fan-Chih'
By J. P. Seaton (Author)
Popularized in the West by Beat Generation writers Gary Snyder and Jack Kerouac, T’ang-era rebel poet Han Shan is an icon of Chinese poetry and Zen. He and his sidekick, Shih Te, are known as the laughing, ragged pair who left their poetry on stones, trees, farmhouses, and monastery walls, calling others to “the Cold Mountain way” of simple, honest, joyful living.
J. P. Seaton takes a fresh look at these poets, as well as at Wang Fan-chih, who followed in the outsider tradition a few centuries later. Forceful and wry, all three condemn the excesses of mind and matter that prevent people from attaining true enlightenment. With a comprehensive introduction and commentary throughout, this collection points to where, in a world that’s always moving and so full of suffering, stillness and clarity can be found.