Translated by GJ. BSPG News and Meeting (No.
Shakyamuni Buddha, the World Honored One, left home to tread
the path of cultivation. He practiced asceticism for six years
in the snow-capped mountains. Isn't it true that one can practice
as well at home and in the city? Why is it necessary to go to
the snow-capped mountains?
That is because snow is cold. Snow falls in
the last month of the [lunar] year, when the myriad beings go
into hibernation. The mountains, the rivers and the great earth
all turn into a silvery world, with the thousands of colors
in hiding. The state of nature as such is just like the state
of a cultivator treading the Path.
If moment after moment throughout the day, one's
mind is as cool as ice so that the myriad thoughts turn into
dead ash, and one ceases to be moved by the caprices of the
phenomena, this is called [going to] "the snow-capped mountains";
to surpass the worldly is called "leaving home"; to
disentangle from illusory thoughts is called "shaving one's
head [to become a monastic]".