Impromptu Study

Yutang Lin

A Study is set stationary to dust off worldly thoughts;
Inspirations spring up impromptu along the flow of life.
Catching the sentiments right away put it down with a pen;
Which corner of the world could not cultivate harmony?


Ordinarily a stationary room or house is named as one's study. In fact, there is no definite spot for impromptu writings. When the mind is as open as the Dharmadhatu, then it could not be confined by buildings anywhere. When one's life is dedicated to the cultivation of harmony, then the writings at anytime would be in accordance with this principal theme. I have named my study as Yang He Zhai in Chinese, in English that would be literally "Cultivate Harmony Study" or a "Study for the Cultivation of Harmony." However, when appending the place of writing at the end of an article, instead of the usual Chinese fashion of putting it as, say, "At the Yang He Zhai in El Cerrito," I would put down, say, "Yang He Zhai at Taipei," to indicate the actual place of writing instead of the location of my study at home. The place of impromptu writing becomes my study, the Yang He Zhai which is not limited by directions and locations, nor changes with seasons and tides. Yesterday a Buddhist asked me about this point, presuming that I had studies here and there. Hence I make this explanation with the hope to refresh people's thinking.

Written in Chinese: January 21, 1999
Yang He Zhai at Taipei
Translated: September 5, 1999
Yang He Zhai at El Cerrito, California

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