Words from Cold Mountain

Han-shan (c.800), translated by Kline, A. S. (contact-email)

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Han-shan, known as the Master of Cold Mountain, and his companion Shi-te lived during the late eighth to early ninth centuries AD. They dwelt in the T’ien-t’ai range of Chekiang (now Zhejiang) Province, situated to the south of Hangzhou Bay. These jovial companions frequently retreated from the conventions of society, delving into the wilderness with a profound sense of liberation from the constructs of communal life. Their existence, detached from societal norms, was emblematic of their inner certainty and contentment. Han-shan’s verse, while reflective and imbued with the essence of Zen, was merely a vessel; he declared that the true embodiment of Zen resided within the conscious self, not within the confines of written language.

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Kline, A. S.

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