Posts Tagged ‘zen poetry’


I couldn’t quite figure out why I was so groggy yesterday, and had a hard time focusing.

As with many questions in life, though, the answer came to me at 3am … this time, in the form of an awful stomach-ache.  I’d been coming down with something.

I wasn’t happy to realize I was sick, as of course I had plans on what to accomplish today. But I quickly remembered that sort of resistance wasn’t helping me get well. So I turned my focus on taking care of myself, and I’m getting ready to rest once more.

When mortals are alive, they worry about death.
When they’re full, they worry about hunger.
Theirs is the Great Uncertainty.

But sages don’t consider the past.
And they don’t worry about the future.
Nor do they cling to the present.
And from moment to moment they follow the Way.

– Bodhidharma


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The trees are dancing
Flinging forth leaves in the wind
Confetti of Life

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Bare little stick tree
Did you have fun this winter?
Seems you have a child!

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Dry and barren ground
Sprouting the fig tree’s first leaf
Miracle of Spring

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Frozen in the moment
As it slips between our fingers
Fluid as melting ice.

Have we been here before,
Or has the Before now become us?

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Chaotic dreamscapes 
Swirling our days with dry leaves
Eye of the Stillness

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I remember hearing that the purpose of the bell in meditation is for the ringing sound to catch the attention. The ears then follow the sound as it fades, leaving only awareness without an object to be aware of.

So when I hear a singing bowl or temple bell or other such sound, I find myself coming to focused attention, taking in the ringing. I allow that attention to follow the sound as it fades away, keeping my awareness open.

Here is a real haiku (not my mimicky ones) that made me think of this:

As the temple bell fades,
The ringing lingers in the blossom scent.


kane kiete hana no ka wa tsuku yuube kana

– Matsuo Bashō

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Trees gently rustle
Sheltering ecstatic birds
Evergreen winter

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Mundane, sacred tree
Not even a short poem
Hides within the leaves

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Dawn broke long ago
Sparrows hopping in the grass
Feast on seeds and grain

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