waga iho wa
koshi no shirayama
kouri mo yuki mo
kumo kakari keri
cozy winter den
ice and snow
overlaid by clouds
The voice of the valley is endlessly preaching.
The colour of the mountain is nothing but pure body.
During the night, I heard eighty-four thousand verses.
How shall I expound this to others?
Su Dongpo, composed when visiting Mount Lushan overnight (quoted from ‘The Wholehearted Way’ by Koushou Uchiyama Roshi)
within the thin covering snow
Three Thousand Worlds
again inside this world
fragile snow falls
vision of decay in mind, the wind permeates the body
at the month’s end moonless –
a one thousand year old cedar
is hugged by the storm
Contained – Spaciousness
Tranquil – Distorted
Phenomenon – Concept
- 11 March 2015
rocky mountain passes,
transparent clouds –
no up no down,
horizons non continuous
of cerulean blue –
ice holes, pulsating –
falling apart rapidly
Poetry Dogen’s ‘Everyday Life’ [adapted]
On Unseen Mountain
A scarecrow is
Not in vain
The scarecrow standing over a small rice paddy would often be dressed in black, like a monk. He protects that which feeds all beings. So, Dogen is talking about the practitioner and the dharma, and the relationship between them.
Because the scarecrow is fully expressing himself, the rice, the birds, the mountain and all things can fully express themselves. Likewise the bird. Likewise the mountain.
Because the mountain is unseen, the eyes of duality are closed. Because this is so, all being leaps out of a picture and is whole, not fractured.
The scarecrow does not eat yet all things are fed
Since, unlike a Hungry Ghost, the scarecrow is not
smeared across time
More zen articles at Kusen & Notes from John
Response to images by John Fraser:
The eyes are unseen;
All the worlds are visible
Compiled by Zen Master Yuanwu Keqin (Engo Kokugon, 1063-1135)
One, seven, three, five.
The truth you search for cannot be grasped.
As night advances, a bright moon illuminates the whole ocean;
The dragon’s jewels are found in every wave,
Looking for the moon, it is here, in this wave, in the next.
arctic skuas, guillemots and black backs,
probing – swaying –
with low and high motion
retrieving coordinates –
glas mheall liath, coir a’ghiubhsachain
skaill, point of hellia
splitting through eastern sutherland
hovering above caithness,
plunging into clear green depths shining,
from waters to coconut fragrance melting yellows,
beyond into wide moors – back then to orcadia
texture of a rockface perhaps,
all golden, scratched fissures – present and distant
borrowed scenery fading now
movement underfoot –
methods and signals,
spaces and timelines opening wide
deep cobalts and emeralds
rocky textures thrown through shimmering
the movement of experiences
through a pulsating spectrum
up into stratospheres and oceans limitless