Han Shan, The Hermit of Cold Mountain
The deeper the better is the cave!
No body walks on this narrow wave.
White clouds rest on the highest hill,
Green cliff hides the monkeys who trill,
No relative other than these,
I do like live here at my will!
Let my face and seasons change,
My mind-pearl is always so still!
If you turn in your mind,
Buddha is at home!
I could not change my rule,
I’m not straw mat to roll,
Wander in the forest,
Sit on the stone I cull!
If you do want a good place to live on,
The ice mountain is ideal one, I have found.
Breezes murmur gently between calm pine trees.
It’s elating to hear and one is free,
Under these trees there is a grey haired man,
Reading his Sutra as much as he can,
For ten years he did not return,
He forgot the roads by which he came!
I stay in such obedience!
No body is my audience!
Sitting among the brilliant clouds,
I am always in silence!
“My mind-pearl is always so still” is one verse of a poem that the hermit-sage of Cold Mountain, Han Shan, wrote on a cliff wall hundreds of years ago (during the Tang dynasty, possibly around the year 900). This message is today more relevant than ever as we are being bombarded by myriad stimuli to our mind-body-spirit complex. Only if each of us finds a way to again and again clear our “plate”, so to speak, are we able to take in that which is essential, free of adulteration by past residue. For me it has long been clear that it is essential to continue focusing on knowing and realizing my true primordial nature, the Self. Should this endeavor be yours as well, may Han Shan’s words inspire you!