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True Zen Teachings

Strawroof Hut

"Soan No Gin", by Sekito Kisen

 

I have built a straw-roof hut where nothing is of value.

After eating, I relax and take a nap.

When the hut was finished, shoots appeared.

Now weeds cover everything.

 

The man in the hut lives peacefully, without ties inside or outside.

He doesn't want to live where the ordinary live.

He doesn't like what the ordinary like.

 

Though this hut is small, it contains the universe.

In ten square feet, an old man enlightens forms and their essence.

 

The Mahayana bodhisattva has absolute faith.

The ordinary cannot understand, they never stop doubting.

Will this hut fall or not?

 

Whether it falls or not, the original master is always there.

He doesn't live north, south, east or west.

When well rooted, he cannot be surpassed.

A shining window under the green pines is beyond compare.

 

Sitting, head covered, all things become peaceful.

This mountain monk no longer understands anything.

He lives here and no longer tries to free himself.

Who could proudly offer posts to seduce disciples?

 

Please, shine your light inward and return.

The source is infinite, inconceivable, you cannot face it or turn away.

Meet the ancient masters, become intimate with their teachings.

Weave grass to build the hut and do not abandon it.

Let the centuries pass and relax completely.

Open your hands and walk, innocent.

 

The thousands of words, the infinite conceptions only exist to free you from attachment.

If you want to meet the immortal in the hut,

Please, here and now, do not escape this sack of flesh.

 
After a translation by Étienne Zeisler


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