The Vast Sky

IMG_0657

If someone asks
about the mind of this monk:
say it is no more than
a passage of wind
in the vast sky.

— Ryokan

The Maples of Autumn

Fall Gold by Lisa Ernst

Fall Gold by Lisa Ernst

My legacy —
What will it be?
Flowers in spring,
The cuckoo in summer,
And the crimson maples
Of autumn…

~Ryokan

Abandon This Fleeting World

The rain has stopped, the clouds have drifted away,
and the weather is clear again.
If your heart is pure, then all things in your world are pure.
Abandon this fleeting world, abandon yourself,
Then the moon and flowers will guide you along the way.

– Ryokan

Reelfoot Lake Lotus photography by Lisa Ernst

Reelfoot Lake Lotus
photography by Lisa Ernst

 

The Moon at The Window

Ryokan, a Zen master, lived the simplest kind of life in a little hut at the foot of a mountain. One evening a thief visited the hut only to discover there was nothing to steal.
Ryokan returned and caught him. “You have come a long way to visit me,” he told the prowler, “and you should not return empty-handed. Please take my clothes as a gift.”

The thief was bewildered. He took the clothes and slunk away.

Ryoken sat naked, watching the moon. “Poor fellow,” he mused, “I wish I could have given him this beautiful moon.”

He wrote this haiku:

 The Thief

left it behind –

The moon at the window                                                   

Moon on Lake photograhy by Lisa Ernst

Moon on Lake
photograhy by Lisa Ernst

 

The Lotus

First blooming in the Western Paradise,
The lotus has delighted us for ages.
Its white petals are covered with dew,
its jade green leaves spread out over the pond,
And its pure fragrance perfumes the wind.
Cool and majestic, it raises from the murky water.
The sun sets behind the mountains
But I remain in the darkness, too captivated to leave.

– Ryokan

Lotus at Reelfoot Lake photography by Lisa Ernst

Lotus at Reelfoot Lake
photography by Lisa Ernst