According to Buddhist lore, the Fifth Patriarch proposed a poetry competition to determine his successor. The lowly, illiterate monk Hui-neng shockingly won the patriarchy, having asked another monastic to tran- scribe his poem on a wall beside the other poems. Huineng’s poem is a direct response to the frontrunning submission by the most esteemed scholar-monk of the monastery, Shen-Xiu, which read:
The body is the Bodhi tree,
The mind is like a bright mirror stand. Moment to moment, diligently wipe, To let no dust collect.
Following are audio and video clips of this piece supplied to us by the composer: