‘The Ten Ox-Herding Songs’

10. Entering the City: The boy appears as Hotei, a potbellied, bare-chested wanderer, the reincarnation of Miroku, the Buddha of the Future, whose presence brings Buddhahood to all sentient beings. By merging with Hotei, the herdboy reaches his final destination. Verse: He enters the city barefoot,
with chest exposed.
Covered in dust and ashes,
smiling broadly.
No need for the magic powers
of the gods and immortals.
Just let the dead tree bloom again.
—Trans. Gen Sakamoto

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