Deer Leisure Park

Yutang Lin

Green yard infrequently visited by people;
Deep silence there invites deer to frequent.
Doe and fawn enjoy sitting in thick shadow,
While pigeons and sparrows chirp among leaves.


Daily I scatter some rice for birds in our backyard. There I also offer incense to the local mountain god and earth god. Every other day I burn some mantra sheets for deceased beings there. Besides these activities we seldom visit the backyard. Our house is in a quiet neighborhood on the hill. Our city has deer that roam in small groups on the hills. Recently a doe and her fawn frequented our backyard almost daily. Sometimes they stayed from around 9 o'clock in the morning until sunset. Sometimes they came to our front yard at night. However, they did not eat the blooming tulips as what other deer used to do. When they were in our backyard they sat or stood, grazed grass or eat some rice that I scattered for birds. They ate only little bit of rice. Sometimes they cleaned their own fur with the mouth. When they sat resting they usually stayed in the shade. Where Buddha gave the first teaching is called "Deer Park"; now that the green yard of a practitioner is frequented by doe and fawn on their own, perhaps it could be called similarly as "Deer Leisure Park." Whenever I saw them sitting in peaceful rest a sense of peace and harmony naturally permeated. When they saw us or heard the noise of doors and windows they remained calm and relaxed. Therefore, I could take photos of them to share with friends and relatives.

Written in Chinese and translated on April 2, 2000
El Cerrito, California

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