Meditations on 85: Sing a Hymn Sublime

Sing a hymn sublime flowing to the heavens
where the soul swims in the primordial waters
and flower gardens surround those who do good—
that's why the swan's last song is so joyful!

Not words, not music or rhyme I want
but sun and moon and countless stars above
and grass, waters, mountains and trees below,
enduring dreams, all pure and lovely things.

Graceful things— a letter on fine green paper
attached to a small budding willow branch,
a bright meteor swift and streaking like
a tossed white pebble arcing down the sky.

I can only pray unceasingly
for Land of Violets, Land of Spring
and then Joy is here— now forevermore
those lights innumerable glowing into one.

Over the greens grass, the warm air shimmers,
the sky clears— moon and snow are one color.
I can't paint this, can only sing them here—
Nature would not be nature without spirit

and all its dizzy raptures. Not for this
good south wind still blowing behind me—
the seeds of beauty in space listening
to the notes flowing in the crystal stream

the snow-clad offspring of the bright sun,
the freshness of the space of heaven above.
Nature must be too young to feel or
many years too old— a hundred winters old.

If life was always like that passing stream—
the three streams, three rivers under heaven
go on through the darkness, the waves fly back
into that empty too-much depth of silence,

while one thrush sings on the Tree of Heaven
and watches time like a hawk. It's so clear—
the arrow has not two points. The mind awakes,
the descent follows the ascent— to wisdom.

Six Songs, Song Without Words— but God is words
and Soul is electricity whose name
is Mind— woven over sand, snow, and clouds
bubbling before the sun— the one bright face,

the celestial man with inner peace and joy,
whose mind is a sky emptied of all darkness,
who is content whatever comes his way,
grace illumines him with deeper awareness.

Rain and thunder do not stop his teaching,
by the roaring sea, he chants sacred verses—
Seek not far for Buddha on Spirit Mount
for Mount Spirit lives always in your mind.

While others write good words, think of good thoughts,
when the mind is pure, it shines as a bright lamp—
Attention: the first step to Enlightenment,
poised like a hummingbird over a flower.

Awakened to the Higher Consciousness—
know this Truth— there's nothing to be attained.
Attune yourself to the altruistic life
and all your dearest dreams shall be realized.

Those who knows the Spirit returns to Nature—
the Beginning and End always coincide
as points on a circle drawn by a compass.
To know this, use a scale that's without measure.

Have equinoxious points of view all out
of the true always there beyond belief—
the Original Face is your Empty Mind.
When all treasures are tried, Truth is best.

Yes— by climbing, by singing, you can reach up
and hear time & space whistling together.
When you cease hearing, the Eternal Word speaks—
One single call and a hundred "Yes Yes".

Far, far away the eagles over green hills,
this valley, its trees, birds, fish all dear to me
a full moon shines over the luminous lake
and the small hut— cherry and peach blossoms.

Let joy arise in tranquil forest places—
the dove in spring— summer, unborn flowers
sleep in young seeds, autumn stars frosty
over Jade Springs and winter strawberry.

Time is long and old memories fade,
honeycomb of leaves sing good-bye to rivers,
the soul soars upward like a wing to meet
the tender dark of certain summer nights

when the moon's away and stars invisible.
How good it is, attentive to the darkness,
the beneficent grace of a single night—
nowhere to be happy but where I am.

                — Peter Y. Chou
                     Mountain View, 10-30-2006

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© Peter Y. Chou,
P.O. Box 390707, Mountain View, CA 94039
email: (10-30-2006)