Chen-ou Liu's Translation Project: First English-Chinese Haiku and Tanka Blog

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Selected Kyoka: Meditation Kyoka

while shoveling my driveway --
snow is just snow
yet sometimes not snow
but in the end snow

Ribbons, 5: 1, Spring 2009

Note: Ls 3-5 allude  to a Buddhist saying originally formulated by Qingyuan Weixin, later translated by D.T. Suzuki in his Essays in Zen Buddhism, one of the first books to popularize Buddhism in Europe and the US. Qingyuan writes:

Before I had studied Chan (Zen) for thirty years, I saw mountains as mountains, and rivers as rivers. When I arrived at a more intimate knowledge, I came to the point where I saw that mountains are not mountains, and rivers are not rivers. But now that I have got its very substance I am at rest. For it's just that I see mountains once again as mountains, and rivers once again as rivers.