Hearing That Wu Ziye Of Chaoyang Became A Monk


 
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Hearing That Wu Ziye Of Chaoyang Became A Monk
Su Shi 1036-1101

Back in the days when you were young,
You aspired to be an imperial knight-errant.
You yourself said you were like Ju Meng,
Who could tell an emergency by a knock on the door.
Now your thousand gold pieces are all spent,
Your hair is white and your house is bare.
The war hero sighs at the coming of old age,
The old warhorse crouches sadly in the stable.
Wife and children just like a pair of old shoes,
No need to grieve at tossing them away.
If the Four Elements are but an illusion,
How much more so official caps and ropes?
One morning you made a vow to the Supreme Buddha,
To live your last years on sacred Eagle Peak.
But when have you ever cared about worldly affairs?
Your Zen mind has long dwelt in empty tranquility.
Whether one remains in the world or leaves it,
There is only a single Way to be followed.
One must make one''s mind like a withered tree,
And rid oneself of all worldly attachments.
The life of a true disciple is not easy:
And one's resolve must be firm as stone.
You must wake the world with a lion's roar,
For the dharma knows neither north nor south.
 
Wén Cháoyáng Wú Zǐyě Chūjiā
Sū Shī 1036-1101

Yǔ xī shàonián rì,
Qì gài lǐ lǘ xiá.
Zì yán sì Jùmèng,
Kòu mén zhī huǎnjí.
Qiān jīn yǐ sàn jìn,
Báishǒu kōngwwww sì bì.
Lièshì tàn mùnián,
Lǎojì bēi fú lì.
Qīnú zhēn bì lǚ,
Tuō qì hé zú xī.
Sì dà yóu huàn zuò,
Yī guān shěn wài wù.
Yī zhāo fā wú shàng,
Yuàn lǎo língshān zhái
Shìshì zǐ rú hé,
Chán xīn jiǔ kōng jì.
Shì jiān chū shì jiān,
Cǐ dào wú liǎng dé.
Gù yīng rù kūgǎo,
Xíqì yào chú fú.
Zhàngfu shēng qǐ yì,
Qù shě zhì fěishí.
Dāng wéi shīzihǒu,
Fófǎ wú nán běi.
 
Translator: Beata Grant

Notes:
"The poem was written to Su Shi's Daoist friend, Wu Ziye, 吳子野 (d. 1100), whom he had met many years before in the capital. Lin Yutang calls Wu an "eccentric Taoist", but to Su he appears to have represented the life of untrammeled inner freedom that so many talked about but so few achieved. Interestingly enough, the poem Su writes to him makes liberal use of Buddhist terminology, yet another indication of the disregard Su had for such apparent inconsistencies."--Beata Grant

Finding: SSSC 8: 2554-2555

From Beata Grant's Mount Lu Revised, Buddhism in the Life and Writings of Su Shih, University of Hawaii Press/Honolulu.

 
 
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