You can almost hear the mandolins playing in the background



People ask the way to Cold Mountain

but roads don’t reach Cold Mountain

in summer the ice doesn’t melt

and the morning fog is too dense

how did someone like me arrive

our minds are not the same

if they were the same

you would be here


Han Shan 9th Century

Translation by Red Pine



Han Shan, the poets name,  means Cold Mountain. Cold Mountain is a place that is both outside and inside. It is the one inside us that Han Shan is speaking of here – and the one we should concern ourselves with.

What does this frozen landscape have to do with our daily life?  How can it help us? Why would we want to join Hanshan’s mind in this barren place?

Cold Mountain is not barren at all. It is open and lustrous. It does not harbor concepts, beliefs or illusions.

Find it, practice it and it reveals the truth to you. It gives you the power of the “Way” – which is inexhaustible and can be used for all of your life.

Do that and you will repay Han Shan’s kind instruction.


Creative Commons License photo credit: mendhak