Han Shan – Cold Mountain’s Poems

Here are two poems of my very favorite poet from Cold Mountain – Han Shan.

He lived in China some 1200 years ago. His terse poems never fail to inspire me:

Cold Mountain is nothing but clouds

secluded and free of dust

a hermit owns a cushion of straw

the moon is his lone lamp

his bed of stone overlooks a pool

his neighbors are tigers and deer

preferring the joys of solitude

he remains a man beyond form


I see people chanting sutras

relying on the words of others

mouths at work without their minds

mouths and minds at odds

the mind in truth contains no tangles

it creates no walls or chains

just examine your own self

don’t look for a stand-in

he who masters his own mouth

knows there’s no inside or out

(by Han Shan – the Hermit from Cold Mountain)

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