Text of Letter to a Friend
translated by Alexander Berzin, March 2006
through constructive deeds,
Please listen to these (verses) in noble meter,
Which I’ve compiled in short for the sake of (instilling)
An intention for the positive force that comes from (following)
explanations of the Blissfully Gone (Buddha’s) speech.
Even out of wood, regardless of how it’s been made;
Likewise, although this poetry of mine may be deficient,
please do not scorn it,
Since it’s based on expressions of the hallowed Dharma.
of the Great Sage (Buddha)
May already have entered your heart,
Isn’t something made of limestone made even whiter
By the light of a winter’s moon?
for continual mindfulness:
The Buddhas, the Dharma, the Sangha,
Generous giving, ethical discipline, and the gods.
Be continually mindful of the mass of good qualities of these ...