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The Emptiness Poem


"Old P'ang requires nothing in the world:

All is empty with him, even a seat he has not,

For absolute Emptiness reigns in his household;

How empty indeed it is with no treasures!

When the sun is risen, he walks through Emptiness,

When the sun sets, he sleeps in Emptiness;

Sitting in Emptiness he sings his empty songs,

And his empty songs reverberate through Emptiness:

Be not surprised at Emptiness so thoroughly empty,

For Emptiness is the seat of all the Buddhas;

And Emptiness is not understood by the men of the world,

But Emptiness is the real treasure:

If you say there's no Emptiness,

You commit a grave offense against the Buddhas".


P'ang Chu-shih

Zen Master, China, 9th Century