Cold Mountain

Cold Mountain Lan Tung (2014), lyrics by Hanshan(late 8th to early 9th century AD)
– voice, zheng, percussion

The lyrics are selected from the Chinese monk Hanshan’s poems, which started to gain popularity in Japan in the 16th century, and eventually became world famous in the 20th century. Hanshan (Chinese: 寒山; pinyin: Hánshān; literally: “Cold Mountain”) wrote over 300 poems while living at the Tiantai Mountain for over 70 years. No one knows who Hanshan was, or when exactly he lived and died. His poems express the philosophy of Zen. He often wrote about the clear springs and bright moon in the mountains to reflect his clear mind as a hermit.

杳杳寒山道,     A dark pathway going deep to Cold Mountain
落落冷澗濱。     Without visitors, the only movement was the flowing cold stream
極目兮長望,     Gazing into the distance
白雲四茫茫。     Surrounded by white clouds
天高不可問,     Do not ask how tall the sky is
疊嶂不知重 。    Massive cliffs, who knows how high?
碧澗泉水清,     Green mountain springs are so clear
寒山月華白。     The bright moon hang over the Cold Mountain
更觀塵世外,     Gazing down towards the land of dust,
夢境復何為。     What is that world of dreams to me?.