tuetrungthuongsy

Translated with notes by Phan Minh Trị: Zen Master Tuệ Trung Thượng Sỹ His Teachings And Literature

ZEN MASTER
TUỆ TRUNG THƯỢNG SỸ
HIS TEACHINGS AND LITERATURE*

Translated by Phan Minh Trị

I. POEMS

  1. 見 解

見 解 呈 見 解

似 捏 目 作 怪

捏 目 作 怪 了

明 明 常 自 在

 

KNOWLEDGE 

Knowing in terms of knowledge

Is likened to seeing odd things while screwing up one’s eyes.

If such a sight comes to an end,

Everything is clearly seen as usual.

  1. 養 真

衰 颯 形 骸 豈 足 云

非 關 老 鶴 避 雞 群

千 青 萬 翠 迷 鄉 國

海 角 天 頭 是 養 真

NURTURING THE TRUE NATURE

It does not matter how feeble my body is

Or whether I am like an old crane away from a flock of cocks.

The whole country is covered with the green;

The most secluded place is where I can nurture my true nature.

  1. 守 一 泥 牛

一 身 獨 守 一 泥 牛

縢 鼻 牽 來 未 肯 休

將 到 曹 溪 都 放 下

茫茫 水 急 打 圓 球

 

LOOKING AFTER A BULL

I am looking after a bull by myself,

Incessantly hauling it home at the nose-rope.

Yet, I may let go of it on arriving at Ts’ao-ch’i,

Just like a ball swept along by the swift stream.

  1. 訪 僧 田 大 師

不 要 朱 門 不 要 林

到 頭 何 處 不 安 心

人 間 盡 見 千 山 曉

誰 聽 孤 猿 啼 處 深

 

VISITING GREAT MASTER TĂNG ĐIỀN  

Everywhere is favorable for pacifying the mind

No matter what it is – a palace or a forest.

Many may see dawn in thousands of mountains;

But few can hear the cry of a gibbon in the remote place.

  1. 問 福 堂 大 師 疾

風 水 到 時 波 忽 動

火 薪 交 處 焰 纔 生

方 知 四 大 元 無 際

一 任 沿 流 劍 閣 行

 

INQUIRING AFTER GREAT MASTER PHƯỚC ĐƯỜNG

Waves arise at the encounter of wind and water;

Flames originate from the contact of wood with fire.

Evidently, the Four Elements in essence are inseparable;

So let yourself accord with their workings whatsoever.

6          悼 先 師

一 曲 無 生 唱 了 時

擔 橫 篳 栗 故 鄉 歸

上 頭 打 過 胡 何 有

一 箇 泥 牛 任 倒 騎

MOURNING FOR THE MASTER 

The tune of Non-arising has already ended.

Letting go of everything, he is on his way back to homeland.

There is truly nothing more to seek for.

It is time for him to ride the bull at will.

7          示 眾

世 間 宜 妄 不 宜 真

真 妄 之 心 亦 是 塵

要 得 一 高 超 佊 岸

好 參 童 子 面 前 人

 

INSTRUCTING DISCIPLES 

The world is orientated towards not truth but falsehood.

Thoughts of truth and falsehood are equally impure.

For the other side to be reached,

Let us go through Sudhana’s interviews with the ancients.[1]In the Buddhāvatamsaka-sūtra: For the purpose of realizing the principle of Dharmadhātu, the youth Sudhana had to make a pilgrimage in which he had fifty-three interviews with the ancients, … Continue reading

8          示 學

學 者 紛 紛 不 奈 何

徒 將 瓴 甋 苦 相 磨

報 君 休 倚 他 門 戶

一 點 春 光 處 處 花

INSTRUCTING STUDENTS

Too puzzled to know what to do,

Students tried in vain to polish a floor-tile for a mirror.

I have warned them all against relying on others.

Only with a ray of the spring sun is everywhere in full bloom.

9          偶 作

堂 中 端 坐 寂 無 言

閑 看 崑 崙 一 縷 烟

自 是 倦 時 心 自 息

不 關 攝 念 不 關 禪

 

CASUAL WRITING 

Sitting silent in the meditation hall,

Taking a peaceful look at the smoke on Mount Côn Lôn.

The mind stops wandering when exhausted,

Neither due to concentration nor to meditation.

10        澗 底 松

最 愛 青 松 種 幾 年

休 嗟 地 勢 所 居 偏

棟 樑 未 用 人 休 怪

野 草 閑 花 滿 目 前

THE PINE BY THE MOUNTAIN STREAM 

How lovely the green young pine is,

In spite of the steep land where it is standing.

That it is not cut down for a beam is not surprising.

Around it is flourishing a variety of grass and flowers.

11        出 塵

曾 為 物 慾 役 勞 軀

擺 落 塵 囂 世 外 遊

撒 手 那 邊 超 佛 祖

一 回 抖 擻 一 回 休

RENOUNCING THE WORLD 

The body has ever been exhausted by desire.

In abandoning defilement, a free life is gained;

And Buddhas and Patriarchs may be encountered on the other side.

Once the mind is purified, everything ceases to arise.

12        至 道 無 難

至 道 無 難 莫 道 難

回 頭 轉 腦 覺 瞞 肝

將 心 卻 向 求 心 魙

大似 鮎 魚 上 竹 竿

THE GREAT WAY IS NOT DIFFICULT 

It should not be said the Great Way is difficult.

By transforming the mind, complete awakening is attained.

If try to work on one’s mind with the mind,

It is just like a fish at the upper end of a fishing-rod.

13        心 王

心 王 無 相 亦 無 形

眼 似 驪 珠 也 不 明

欲 識 這 般 真 面 目

呵 呵 日 午 打 三 更

MIND

Mind has no form, no appearance.

It is not seen even by extremely bright eyes.

For its original face to be known,

Listen to the drum beaten for the midnight just at noon.

14        放 牛

偶 向 潙 山 得 第 隣

荒 蕪 甘 作 牧 牛 人

國 王 德 澤 寬 如 海

隨 分 些 些 水 草 春

GRAZING THE BULL

A hamlet came out on the way toward Mount Kuei.

In the seclusion I was destined to be a herdsman.

The King’s favor was as immense as sea;

Yet, a small amount of grass and water in the spring was enough for me.

15        題 精 舍

踏 著 關 頭 未 剎 那

縱 橫 放 語 札 伽 陀

年 來 筆 嘴 無 端 甚

三 界 如 來 不 奈 何

ABOUT THE TEMPLE

Soon on arriving at the temple gate,

I wrote down a stanza at random.

Though my pen has not been of much excellence so far,

It matters nothing in the view of Tathāgata.

16        偶 作

夢 起 還 須 仔 細 看

投 機 觸 目 莫 瞞 肝

縱 饒 五 眼 通 明 在

未 免 呼 鐘 甕 作 看

CASUAL WRITING 

At the end of dreaming, deep insight should be gained.

Be not confused at whatever you may encounter.

Even though you possess the Five Eyes[2]The five kinds of visions pertaining to the realms of humanity, deities, śrāvakas, bodhisattvas and buddhas respectively.

It does not mean that you would never mistake a bell for a pot.

17        自 在

藤 鼠 無 端 漸 漸 侵

歸 來 终 老 寄 山 林

柴 門 茅 屋 居 瀟 灑

無 是 無 非 自 在 心

A FREE LIFE

My life is naturally eroded by the ‘impermanence.’

Retiring to the mountains, I have settled there for ever.

In the thatched cottage I am leading a peaceful life,

With my mind free from discrimination of any kind.

18        示 修 西 方 輩

心 內 彌 陀 紫 磨 軀

東 西 南 北 法 身 周

長 空 只 見 孤 輪 月

剎海 澄 澄 夜 漫 秋

INSTRUCTION IN RECITING BUDDHA AMITĀBHA’S NAME

The purple body of Amitābha is in our mind.

The Dharma-body exists in all the four directions.

In the vast sky only the moon is seen.

The holy land and sea are permeated with the autumn at night.

19        脫 世

翻 身 一 擲 出 焚 籠

萬 事 都 盧 入 眼 空

三 界 茫 茫 心 了 了

月 華 西 沒 日 升 東

LIBERATION FROM THE WORLD

With a sudden leap I have thrown myself out of the burning cage.

Ten thousand things turn into nonsense in my eyes.

Now that the complexity of the Triple World has been penetrated,

The moon sets in the west and the sun rises in the east.

20        江 湖 自 適

小 艇 長 江 蕩 漾 浮

悠 揚 棹 撥 過 灘 頭

一 聲 何 處 新 來 雁

陟覺 秋 風 徧 十 州

THE JOY OF TRAVELLING

On the ripples of the large river

I gently rowed the boat past the shoals.

The cry of a wild goose was coming from somewhere.

The autumn wind was blowing on the immense land.

21        安 定 時 節

生 死 由 來 罷 問 程

因 緣 時 節 自 然 成

山 雲 也 有 出 山 勢

澗 水 终 無 投 澗 聲

歲 歲 華 隨 三 月 笑

朝 朝 雞 向 五 更 明

阿 誰 會 得 娘 生 面

始信 人 天 總 假 名

SPONTANEITY

No question as to the genesis of birth and death,

Which spontaneously arise from relevant conditions.

The mountain cloud follows its own way out of the mountains;

The stream water has its own sound in flowing into the stream.

All the year round flowers open fully at the end of the spring;

Early in the morning cocks sing at the rising of the sun.

He who can see into his own original face

Surely realizes that humanity and deities are all of names.

(To be continued).

*As to the Zen master’s life, see “The Biography of the Superior Man Tuệ Trung” in Tập San Nghiên Cứu Phật Học -–Pháp Luân 8, pp. 164-170.

References
1 In the Buddhāvatamsaka-sūtra: For the purpose of realizing the principle of Dharmadhātu, the youth Sudhana had to make a pilgrimage in which he had fifty-three interviews with the ancients, monastic and lay alike.
2 The five kinds of visions pertaining to the realms of humanity, deities, śrāvakas, bodhisattvas and buddhas respectively.

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