Winter at the City of 10,000 Buddhas
Through whirling snow on icy cliffs, whitening the sky,
Red lotuses burst forth today, in bloom all over the earth.
In infinite layers the Buddha’s light illumines all without end;
In the sound of every recitation, the Dharma-nature is nourished.
In a finger snap the work is done just as you had wished,
And disasters wrought in lives gone by are melted away in a flash.
In the clean and pure light of stillness, find eternal bliss;
When the hero’s deeds are accomplished, there is cause for joy.
It is said, “Dhyana (meditation) in the winter and study in the summer.” Why practice dhyana in the winter? The cold weather makes it difficult to sleep and helps you work hard. You have to turn on your own personal heater and fight the cold. Once you have turned on your own internal heater, not only will you not be cold, you’ll perspire. So don’t be afraid of the cold.
If it weren’t for the chill that strikes to the bone,
How could the plum blossom be so fragrant?
Our resolve should be like the evergreen that endures the winters and summers.
--Venerable Master Hsuan Hua