Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Don't Waste Your Precious Time by Ryokan

The ancient Buddhas taught the Dharma 
Not for its own sake but to assist us. 
If we really knew ourselves 
We would not have to rely on old teachers. 
The wise go right to the core 
And leap beyond appearances; 
The foolish cleave to details 
And get ensnared by words and letters. 
Such people envy the accomplishments of others 
And work feverishly to attain the same things. 
Cling to truth and it becomes falsehood; 
Understand falsehood and it becomes truth. 
Truth and falsehood are two sides of a coin: 
Neither accept nor reject either one. 
Don't waste your precious time fruitlessly 
Trying to gauge the depths of life's ups and downs.

translated by John Stevens