Stonehouese's Poems For Zen Monks Book


In 1312, Stonehouse left Hangchou and moved to the northernmost peak of the Tienmu Mountains. It was only twenty kilometers south of Taochang Temple, where he earlier served as deputy abbot. Its pagoda would have been visible on a clear day--and it still is. Just below the 450-meter summit of Hsiamushan, Stonehouse built a hut and lived there for twenty years. Despite his relative isolation, Stonehouse attracted students, and eventually they convinced him to come down the mountain. In 1331, he was invited to become abbot of Fuyuan Monastery. It was in Tanghu over a hundred kilometers to the east, but he reluctantly agreed. Finally, after eight years, he decided he had had enough of monastic life. He returned to Hsiamushan and lived there until his death in 1352. A few years before he died, he was asked to write down his impressions of mountain life. The result was a collection he called Mountain Poems. Around the same time, his disciple Chih-jou put together a second volume. These were poems Stonehouse wrote for visitors, mostly Zen monks seeking instruction.

 It goes without saying, poems like these aren't for everyone. But even if you're not a Zen monk, why not give them a try? 


64 pages

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