Untitled by Shunryu Suzuki

Hell is not punishment,
it’s training.

Note: If you know the original in Japanese, please comment.


Untitled by Ryokan

Though I think not
To think about it,
I do think about it
And shed tears
Thinking about it.


Note: If you have this original koan in Japanese and the name of the translator, please send me a note. Thanks.

A Fisherman by Ikkyu

Studying texts and stiff meditation can make you lose your Original Mind.
A solitary tune by a fisherman, though, can be an invaluable treasure.
Dusk rain on the river, the moon peeking in and out of the clouds;
Elegant beyond words, he chants his songs night after night.

Note: English translation by John Stevens. If you have the original version in Japanese, please comment.

Call My Name by Tatsuji Miyoshi

Please call my name
Please call my name from those distant days of childhood
Please have pity upon me and call me by my childhood name once again
Please call me by my name from that distant day when the wind once blew
Please call me by my name from that distant day
When the blooms lingered on the tea plant at the garden’s edge
When the flurries fell so lightly
Please call out to me
Please call my name

Call my name in Japanese by Tatsuji Miyoshi

Note: The translation in English is by Jeffrey Angles.

Untitled by Bassui Tokusho

Who is hearing?
Your physical being doesn’t hear,
Nor does the void.
Then what does?
Strive to find out.
Put aside your rational Intellect,
Give up all techniques.
Just get rid of the notion of self.

Note: If you know the translator, and the original version, please comment.

“Summer grasses” by Basho

Note: Translated by Sam Hamill.

Summer grasses:
all that remains of great soldiers’
imperial dreams

On the white poppy,
a butterfly’s torn wing
is a keepsake

The bee emerging
from deep within the peony
departs reluctantly