Posts Tagged ‘zen poetry’

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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Leaves that have fallen 
Molder as mulch on the roots
Twigs are budding green

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Sticks and stones break bones 
While words shape our minds, our souls
Only love is real

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I am very well aware that the surest way to build your goals is to have a clear picture of what it would look like, and feeling what attaining it would feel like. My difficulty is creating that sort of focus. How can I fix a sure sensation of a goal if I can’t quite imagine what that sensation would be?

As a hypersensitive, I am constantly aware of very many conflicting and distracting images and sensations. It can be very difficult to imagine what it would be like to have those calmed, replaced by something tranquil, focused, and solitary. That’s why where, when and how I meditate is so important for my success, which I figure isn’t any different from most anybody else.

By practicing mindfulness, I’m prepared when I do come across something that helps me discover that mental or sensory hook. Just one concept, or even a sound, can help me finally grasp what had been eluding me.

For a great example, here’s a koan I’ve always loved.

No Water, No Moon

There was a Buddhist nun Chiyono, who was studying Zen with master Bukko of Engaku, but not quite getting the hang of it. She was studying, she was meditating, she was sitting in zazen. She knew that life and the world around us is illusion, but she hadn’t gotten her mind to let go of it.

One night, Chiyono was carrying water back from the well. She knew the bucket was old and wearing thin, so she was watching it as she carried it. She was looking at the reflection of the moon in the water, when the strap snapped. The bucket broke apart and fell, spilling the water and losing the reflection of the moon.

In that moment, she had the experience she had been searching for. There was the moon right there before her, as though it was real. Then, the container broke open, dispersing the water and revealing that the moon was an illusion all along.

To honor this experience, she wrote it into a poem:

In this way and that I tried to save the old pail
Since the bamboo strip was weakening and about
to break
Until at last the bottom fell out.
No more water in the pail!
No more moon in the water!

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When someone asks you 
Just who do you think you are
Who is it who asks?

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