Two Poems by the Great
Master Hsu Yun
written near the end
of Hsu Yun's life when he was much persecuted
An evil wind blows me to Wu Chang,
my presence here has caused disaster.
For three months, at Sung Fat Monastery,
this sick and ageing body has attracted trouble,
shame and fear for everyone.
Once there was a decapitated general
calling aloud for his head;
"How many heads have you cut off?"
they asked him, at once he was enlightened.
Today, I too lament,
defeated, tortured, I recall unnumbered heads
in other lifetimes I cut off.
Vast is time and I am reconciled.
No more desire for eminence,
simply the wish to find the Buddha,
along with other people.
Why should this crazy guy
seek to make a name in Buddhism
when the whole show's on the wane-
indeed at crisis point?
I try to climb the highest peak,
I plumb the depths to catch the fish,
talk a lot-find no listeners.
Sorry for myself I waste my time.
Unconcerned by dire predicaments
concern for others should be my task.
Moaning without pause;
whatever for - this grumbling?
Why not let everything go-
Life's suffering never ends.
Suddenly, remembering Emptiness, this mind has cleared.
What a laugh it is!