Buddha’s Birthday Poem 1977

Buddha’s Birthday was celebrated at the Providence Zen Center on April 9th by students and friends from all over New England and New York. At the evening celebration ceremony, Zen Master Seung Sahn delivered the following birthday poem:

2,521st anniversary of Buddha’s Birthday.
Happy Buddha’s Birthday.
Someone said, “Before Buddha left the palace of heaven,
he had already saved all beings.”
This is lightening in the blue sky without clouds.
The wooden dog is surprised, runs into the silver mountain.

Buddha appeared in this world, tidal wave without wind.
Sky and ground, mountain and river, everything loses light of form.
Stone girl holding a flower of wind, fanny dancing everywhere.

Buddha said, “In heaven, in hell, only I am holy.”
Un-mun said, “Hit and kill — give to a hungry dog.”
Head is like rocks, same as a bear.
Mind is like midnight, same as a masked robber.
When will you get out of the cow’s stomach?

Do not be deceived! Do not be deceived!
Open your mouth, already mistake.
You and I cannot defend ourselves. Hit — thirty times.
If you hear this, you become sick.
If you don’t hear this, good medicine for you.
The altar Buddha is smiling. Candle light is shining everywhere.

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