I Cherish Green Mountains In The Country

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I Cherish Green Mountains In The Country
        Phap Loa 1284-1330 (Dong Kien Cuong)

Neglected and hard pressed
        the autumn stream,
Precipitous peaks 
        reflected in setting sun.
Lifting my head 
        I see the infinite,
On the road again
        so many paths to chose.

Rù Sú Liàn Qīngshān
Fǎluó 1284-1330

Shū shòu qióng qiūshuǐ,
Chán yán luòzhào zhōng.
Ángtóu kàn bùjìn,
Láilu yòu chóngchóng.

Translator: Dongbo 東波

Phap Loa (Conch Shell Trumpet) was born Dong Kien Cuong in 1284 in Cuu La village, Chi Linh district, Nam Sach county. A prcocious child, he displayed an early interest in Buddhism. When the former king, and now monk, Tran Nhan Tong came to visit the Nam Sach area they met by chance and the founder of the Bamboo Forest Sect accepted Phap Loa as his disciple. To mark this encounter Tran Nhan Tong gave him the dharma name Thien Lai, Auspicious Arrival.

Thien Lai proved an outstanding disciple. Tran Nhan Tong was so impresssed that he changed Kien Cuong's name to Phap Loa and selected him to be his successor. Phap Loa excelled as an organized, compiler of commentaries on the scripture and expounder of the doctrines. Unfortunately most of his works are lost except for a three poems and a few excerpts from his writings.

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