THREE NOTES FROM THE IRON FLUTE

MANJUSHRI ENTERS THE GATE  鐵笛倒吹

 Like Manjushri, stand still

outside the gate

and listen for the call

of Buddha from within.

 

When he calls, answer

but is Buddha inside

and you without?

There is nothing at all

to see, and the gate

has fallen from its hinges

so answer yourself carefully.

 

 

 

OPENING SPEECH OF RAZAN       鐵笛倒吹

 

When you assume Lo-Shan’s seat

think of all the words

you might speak.

Put on your robe and sit

until the hall is full.

 

Open your mouth fully

and speak profoundly

the sole word “farewell.”

Leave yourself in the seat

and retreat to your room

but always with a smile.

 

NANSEN’S STONE BUDDHA         鐵笛倒吹

 

 

Carry a large stone inside

does it lie down

or stand up, and can you

consider carving it into a Buddha

or do not carve it,

if Buddha is inside

will it matter what tools you employ,

have you the strength

to crawl within the stone

and will you stand

or lie down?

 

 

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