Guidepost of Silent Illumination, another take
A few years ago, Jundo wrote beautiful and profound jazzy lines inspired by the words of Wanshi Zenji translated by the excellent Taigen Leighton. You will find them clicking on the link below:
As a reminder for my stupid self and a teaching to beat the crap out of my own dullness, I have decided to write my own lines. I have thought that people and my students could benefit from these directions which are pointers to the real practice of Shikantaza, my point is not to compete with Jundo 's remarkable insights , but just to present in my broken English pretty much the same stuff with a slightly different flavor.
Guidepost of Silent Illumination
Silent and serene, forgetting words, bright clarity appears before you.
Before- beyond thinking
casting off all involvements
dropping self and others,
the enlightened universe reveals itself.
When you reflect it you become vast, where you embody it you are spiritually uplifted.
No need to do anything,
Up and forward
in the four directions
and three times
Spiritually solitary and shining, inner illumination restores wonder,
The Backward step
the open itself
the treasure house
Dew in the moonlight, a river of stars, snow-covered pines, clouds enveloping the peak.
Intimate merging of all things
beyond the conventional
and the expected,
Mountain cloaked in thoughts
all things rest
in their original state
In darkness it is most bright, while hidden all the more manifest.
In darkness it shines
Breaking from the dual and non dual
Nothing could trap
Or catch it
The crane dreams in the wintery mists. The autumn waters flow far in the distance.
The dance of emptiness and form,
arising and fading
As-it-isness is then a field
In which space knows itself
Endless kalpas are totally empty, all things completely the same.
Timeless, neither one nor two
Gulp it and spit it out
Where cannot you see it?
When wonder exists in serenity, all achievement is forgotten in illumination.
True illumination has no concept
No color no skin
Awakening no move or traces
Wide and broad circle
What is this wonder? Alertly seeing through confusion
Is the way of silent illumination and the origin of subtle radiance.
To awake to the dream
Seeing through one's delusion
Even this shimmering veil of thoughts
Vision penetrating into subtle radiance is weaving gold on a jade loom.
Eye in eye
Eye weaving this very life- fabric
Radiance into radiance
The impossible is made ordinary
The distant intimate
Upright and inclined yield to each other; light and dark are interdependent.
One cannot pick up a corner of this universe
Without lifting the whole thing
Majesty in modesty
Pair of opposites dancing
Not depending on sense faculty and object, at the right time they interact.
The action is self triggered
Perception, perceived and dance
You cannot manufacture it
In the here- beyond
Drink the medicine of good views. Beat the poison-smeared drum.
Even if virtue is the spontaneous
Discipline this bag of skin
You cannot do any harm
As you enter
When they interact, killing and giving life are up to you.
Life and death
Yet you are here the one
That do or undo
Through the gate the self emerges and the branches bear fruit.
The gateteless gate of here-now-this
Is but you
Path, goal and traveller
Fruits in bloom, flowers sweet
Only silence is the supreme speech, only illumination the universal response.
Words arise there and lead to this
Responding without falling into achievement, speaking without involving listeners,
Traps, nets and snares
Won't catch it
Undoing is the work
Releasing your students the task
The ten thousand forms majestically glisten and expound the dharma.
Not a single thing excluded
Your teacher is the very moment
The very situation
In which you let everything down
And give yourself away
All objects certify it, every one in dialogue.
Nothing to add or take away
Dialoguing and certifying, they respond appropriately to each other;
As you stop interfering, being in the way,
As you stop controlling
As you give up any hope
But if illumination neglects serenity then aggressiveness appears.
Certifying and dialoguing, they respond to each other appropriately;
But if serenity neglects illumination, murkiness leads to wasted dharma.
Wisdom and compassion in intimate embrace
Not drunk with emptiness
Not mesmerized by brightness
When silent illumination is fulfilled, the lotus blossoms, the dreamer awakens,
A hundred streams flow into the ocean, a thousand ranges face the highest peak.
Dreaming within a dream
Is but to awake
From a single moment in space and time
The whole expanse and entire universe
Like geese preferring milk, like bees gathering nectar,
When silent illumination reaches the ultimate, I offer my teaching.
Just follow the universal law
These words and my dharma
Don t even belong to me
The teaching of silent illumination penetrates from the highest down to the foundation.
It knows no bound
Doesn' t give birth to a territory
Beggar and king
A single face
The body being shunyata, the arms in mudra;
Your own body-mind sitting
Mountain in space
Form and formless
As clouds go by
From beginning to end the changing appearances and ten thousand differences share one pattern.
The one in the many
The many returning to the one
Mr. Ho offered jade [to the Emperor; Minister] Xiangru pointed to its flaws.
Facing changes has its principles, the great function is without striving.
The ruler stays in the kingdom, the general goes beyond the frontiers.
Our school's affair hits the mark straight and true.
Transmit it to all directions without desiring to gain credit.
A single intention, and you loose your way
Don't turn the Buddha's teaching into a making
Easy, easy and open
Without merit, and in not knowing
from "Cultivating the Empty Field: The Silent Illumination of Zen Master Hongzhi", translated by Taigen Dan Leighton.