In tasting tea, one person can taste tea’s essence; two people can taste tea’s delight; three people can taste tea’s flavor; but six or seven people together can only be called using (drinking) tea.
When the landscape lies
Without any flower of spring
Any autumn tint
On the shore a straw-thatched hut
Limned against the sunset gold.
On Kiyomi beach,
Where the waves lap listlessly
‘Neath a cloudy sky;
See the flock of sea-birds cast
Their dark shadow on the moon.
The man who does not clean his house
Or plant the gateway pine
Who beats no New Year rice-cake out,
For him too the New Year will come,
Just the same as for anyone else.
The dusk approaches.
We grudge, yet do not grudge it.
Between the tree trunks
The moon now quickly rising
Floods all the sea with silver.
By the river bank
See the weeping willow stand
All its pliant boughs
Quivering in the slightest breeze
Mirror’d in the placid depths.
Quiet courtyard, cool and fresh, with candles and flowers
The wind sighs in the bamboo; while the moonlight effloresces.
I idly come without companions, tending to the cloudy juice.
Among the copper leaves, the purple shoots of tea.
By the banks of the pond, lily magnolia blossoms newly disgorged,
Outside the windows, plantain leaves are not yet complete.
My true desire is to write several gathas,
The aroma of brewing tea passes west of the bamboo forest.
Though you’ve moved to a place all enclosed,
The road in is wild with mulberries and hemp along the way.
Close by it is a chrysanthemum hedge,
But since it’s still not autumn, no blooms can be seen.
When I pounded the gate, not even a dog’s bark answered.
I wanted to leave but asked the house on the west.
They said that you were away in the mountains
And returned each day as the sun sank low in the sky.
Rice harvested, fields as still as Xuanpu of the sages,
From the pond pavilion we gaze in peace at the autumn sky
Surprised by the cries of wild geese on wing.
The last cicadas sing in the growing cold.
Willows on the bank make me long for China’s River of Willows.
I yearn to see the lotuses there.
I regard the scene in tranquility
The sky behind filled with the smoke of roasting tea.
The sun, Lord of the East, grinds the fragrant dust of tea.
Bejeweled nectar on the teeth, revives me.
A pure wind envelopes my body.
The whole world seen in a single cup.
As far as the eye can see
Neither cherry blossom nor maple leaf.
A hut of rushes by the shore.
Dusk in the autumn.
To those who long only for cherry blossoms
How I’d like to point out the grass of spring
In the snow of a mountain village.
I climb to the top of the hill
and pluck some tea leaves;
I let the water in
and irrigate the flower patch.
I turn my head. Today’s sun
already low on the mountain.
Wind-bells echo from
a distant hermitage;
crows roost in an old tree.
Oh joy! Such ease,
such pleasure, such beauty!
I sit here quietly, tea half drunk,
flavor as the first.
The mystery unfolds
waters flow, flowers burst.
Bamboo sounds and pine tree waves together cool me;
clean cold air penetrates my bones, awakens my mind.
I still like a white cloud and the bright moon to be my guests.
Where a Man of the Way sits, those are enough.
I sit alone, deep in the mountains:
Worldly affairs are of no import.
Gate closed, I pass the days
in learning emptiness.
I examine my life.
I have no material goods,
just a bowl of fresh tea and
a book of scriptures.
At Tochon’s place, where he practices Seon and takes his ease,
the mind becomes distant, and days go slowly.
A path leads to stone steps around hidden orchids;
a gate faces rocky peaks beyond a curved pond.
He decocts herb medicine to disperse ennui,
he drinks tea to reduce sleep. A past promise to live with rosy clouds
comes true naturally in the clear autumn.