Quote Archives: Ryokan

Right to the core ~ Ryokan

The ancient Buddhas taught the Dharma Not for its own sake but to assist us. If we really knew ourselves We would not have to rely on old teachers. The wise go right to the core And leap beyond appearances; The foolish cleave to details And get ensnared by words and letters. Such people envy […]

Know your own mind just as it is ~ Ryokan

Even if you’ve read through countless books You’re better off sticking to a single phrase If anyone asks which one, tell him: “Know your own mind just as it is” Ryokan

I must go there today ~ Ryokan

I must go there today – Tomorrow the plum blossoms Will scatter. Ryokan

Deep in the mountain ~ Ryokan

Time and again You, too, Must long for Your old nest Deep in the mountain. Ryokan

Everything is in the Heart ~ Ryokan

Even if you consume as many books As the sands of the Ganges It is not as good as really catching One verse of Zen. If you want the secret of Buddhism, Here it is: Everything is in the Heart! Ryokan

A few dead leaves ~ Ryokan

To kindle a fire, the autumn winds have piled a few dead leaves. Ryokan

Look deeper ~ Ryokan

You stop to point at the moon in the sky, but the finger’s blind unless the moon is shining. One moon, one careless finger pointing – are these two things or one? The question is a pointer guiding a novice from ignorance thick as fog. Look deeper. The mystery calls and calls: No moon, no […]

Unspoken meaning ~ Ryokan

I sat facing you for hours but you didn’t speak; Then I finally understood the unspoken meaning. Removed from their covers, books lay scattered about; Outside the bamboo screen, rain beats against the plum tree. Ryokan

Thinking ~ Ryokan

Now that all thoughts have subsided off I go, deep into the woods, and pick me a handful of shepherd’s purse. Just like the stream meandering through mossy crevices I, too, hushed become utterly clear. Ryokan

I now surrender ~ Ryokan

The plants and flowers I raised about my hut I now surrender To the will Of the wind. Ryokan

Flowers go on falling ~ Ryokan

The winds have died, but flowers go on falling; birds call, but silence penetrates each song. The Mystery! Unknowable, unlearnable. The virtue of Kannon. Ryokan

This is an old truth ~ Ryokan

If there is beauty, there must be ugliness; If there is right, there must be wrong. Wisdom and ignorance are complementary, And illusion and enlightenment cannot be separated. This is an old truth, don’t think it was discovered recently. “I want this, I want that” Is nothing but foolishness. I’ll tell you a secret – […]

Reflected in a single pear ~ Ryokan

How could we discuss This and that Without knowing The whole world is Reflected in a single pearl? Ryokan

See and realize ~ Ryokan

See and realize that this world is not permanent. Neither late nor early flowers will remain. Ryokan

The moonlight comes and goes ~ Ryokan

The moon appears in every season, it is true, But surely it’s best in fall. In autumn, mountains loom and water runs clear. A brilliant disk floats across the infinite sky, And there is no sense of light and darkness, For everything is permeated with its presence. The boundless sky above, the autumn chill on […]

Too lazy ~ Ryokan

Too lazy to be ambitious, I let the world take care of itself. Ten days’ worth of rice in my bag; a bundle of twigs by the fireplace. Why chatter about delusion and enlightenment? Listening to the night rain on my roof, I sit comfortably, with both legs stretched out. Ryokan

No change ~ Ryokan

Last year, a foolish monk; This year, no change! Ryokan

This world ~ Ryokan

This world A fading Mountain echo Void and Unreal Within A light snow Three Thousand Realms Within those realms Light snow falls As the snow Engulfs my hut At dusk My heart, too Is completely consumed Ryokan

What is the mark of enlightenment ~ Ryokan

My life may appear melancholy, But traveling through this world I have entrusted myself to Heaven. In my sack, three quarts of rice; By the hearth, a bundle of firewood. If someone asks what is the mark of enlightenment or illusion I cannot say – wealth and honor are nothing but dust. As the evening […]

Gathering up all the people ~ Ryokan

Oh that my monk’s robes were wide enough to gather up all the people in this floating world. Ryokan