Wang Yang Ming
Harvard Fogg Museum
Homage to Wang Yang Ming
O illustrious sage, Wang Yang Ming
Master of the mind & realized being !
Idealist philosopher that thou art
Teaching wisdom simply from thy heart.
Enlightened at the age of thirty-seven
Knowing the decrees and laws of heaven
With steadfast purpose and a mind at peace
Subduing the bandits with quickness & ease
Countless rebellions you were to suppress
But the court still deprived you of success.
The petty officials with cunning deceits
Denied the glory of your military feats
They challenged you to an archery show
But you hit the bullseye thrice in a row.
Despite the hardships you had to endure
Your mind remained always crystal pure
Flock of students came to your lecture hall
As you taught enlightenment to one and all.
The mind is like a mirror you would say
While dull, no reflection would it display
A polished mirror that's bright & clear
Reflects the true form as they appear.
All selfish desires should be wiped out
If the mind is to be cleared from doubt
Grind the rice till it's refined & white
Pursue the path until one sees the light
A purified mind is like immaculate gold
The infinite wonders which sages behold.
Practice the unity of knowledge and action
Realizing the Tao through daily subtraction
Until the mind embraces all heaven & earth
And the soul is fulfilled with eternal mirth.
Peter Y. Chou
Worcester, MA, 1-9-1979
on the 450th death anniversary
of Wang Yang Ming (1472-1529)