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   Poetry
                  krsnavatara

 

 

Instead of striving towards some distant goal
That you will never reach,
I invite you to stop and ask:
How am I avoiding the enlightenment
That is already present in each moment?
How am I seeing separation where it doesn't exist?

Adyashanti

 

Who is hearing?
Your physical being doesn't hear,
Nor does the void.
Then what does?
Strive to find out.
Put aside your rational Intellect,
Give up all techniques.
Just get rid of the notion of self.

Bassui

 

 

What is this mind?
Who is hearing these sounds?
Do not mistake any state for
Self-realization, but continue
To ask yourself even more intensely,
What is it that hears?

Bassui

 


T
he most fundamental aggression to ourselves,
The most fundamental harm we can do to ourselves,
Is to remain ignorant by not having the courage and the respect
To look at ourselves honestly and gently.

Pema Chodron

 

Joyful in this mountain retreat yet still feeling melancholy,
Studying the Lotus Sutra every day,
Practicing zazen singlemindedly;
What do love and hate matter
When I'm here alone,
Listening to the sound of the rain
late in this autumn evening.

Dogen (Kyoto, Japan, 1200-1253. He studied Ch'an Buddhism)

 

Enlightenment is like the moon reflected on the water.
The moon does not get wet, nor is the water broken.
Although its light is wide and great,
The moon is reflected even in a puddle an inch wide.
The whole moon and the entire sky
Are reflected in one dewdrop on the grass.

Dogen

 

 

Those who see worldly life as an obstacle to Dharma
see no Dharma in everyday actions.
They have not yet discovered that
there are no everyday actions outside of Dharma.

Dogen

 

 

Drifting pitifully in the whirlwind of birth and death,
As if wandering in a dream,
In the midst of illusion I awaken to the true path;
There is one more matter I must not neglect,
But I need not bother now,
As I listen to the sound of the evening rain
Falling on the roof of my temple retreat
In the deep grass of Fukakusa.

Dogen
From: The Zen Poetry of Dogen: Verses from the Mountain of Eternal Peace By:  Steven Heine

 

 

Viewing Peach Blossoms and Realizing the Way

In spring wind
peach blossoms
begin to come apart.
Doubts do not grow
branches and leaves.

Dogen

 

If you can't find the truth
right where you are,
where else do you
expect to find it?

Dogen

 

 

Few people believe their
Inherent mind is Buddha.
Most will not take this seriously,
And therefore are cramped.
They are wrapped up in illusions, cravings,
Resentments, and other afflictions,
All because they love the cave of ignorance.

Fenyang

 

 

It is as though you have an eye
That sees all forms
But does not see itself.
This is how your mind is.
Its light penetrates everywhere
And engulfs everything,
So why does it not know itself?

Foyan

 

 

 

My Heart is Like Autumn Moon

The trail to Cold Mountain is faint
the banks of Cold Stream are a jungle
birds constantly chatter away
I hear no sound of people
gusts of wind lash my face
flurries of snow bury my body
day after day, no sun
year after year no spring

Hanshan (China, between 630-830, Taoist)

 

 

My Dwelling at TianTai

I divined and chose a distant place to dwell
T'ien-t'ai; what more is there to say?
Monkeys cry where valley mists are cold,
My grass gate blends with the color of the crags,
I pick leaves to thatch a hut among the pines,
Scoop out a pond and lead a runnel from the spring.
By now I am used to doing without the world,
Picking ferns, I pass the years that are left.

Hanshan

 

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Casually mount the sounds
and straddle the colors
while you transcend listening
and surpass watching.

Hongzhi Zhengjue

 

Experience Chan! It's experiencing your own nature.
Going with the flow everywhere and always.
When you don't fake it and waste time trying to rub and polish it,
Your original self will always shine through brighter than bright.

Hsu Yun

 

 

Like vanishing dew,
a passing apparition
or sudden flash
of lightning - already gone -
thus should one regard one's self.

Ikkyu

 

 

Day and night I cannot keep you out of my thoughts;
In the darkness, on an empty bed, the longing deepens.
I dream of us joining hands, exchanging words
of love,
But then the dawn bell shatters my reverie and rends
my heart.

Ikkyu

 

 

Well versed in the Buddha way,
I go the non-Way
Without abandoning my
Ordinary person's affairs.


The conditioned and
Name-and-form,
All are flowers in the sky.

Nameless and formless,
I leave birth-and-death.

Layman P'ang (740-808)

 

From a round mirror as bright as day,
Wisdom shines out without obstruction.
In Sanskrit, it's paramita;
In the language of Tang, infinite meaning.
Those who speak of it speak of spotlessness;
Those who realize it leave words behind.

Pang Yun

 

What is Love?

Love is the scent with the lotus born.
It is the silent choirs of petals
Singing the winter’s harmony of uniform beauty.
Love is the song of the soul, singing to God.
It is the balanced rhythmic dance of planets -
   sun and moon lit
In the skyey hall festooned with fleecy clouds –
Around the sovereign Silent Will.
It is the thirst of the rose to drink the sunrays
And blush red with life.
‘Tis the promptings of the mother earth
To feed her milk to the tender, thirsty roots,
And to nurse all life.
It is the urge of the sun
To keep all things alive.

Love is the unseen craving of the Mother Divine
That took the protecting father–form,
And that feeds helpless mouths
With milk of mother’s tenderness.
It is the babies’ sweetness,
Coaxing the rain of parental sympathy
To shower upon them.
It is the lover’s unenslaved surrender to the beloved
To serve and solace.
It is the elixir of friendship,
Reviving broken and bruised souls.
It is the martyr’s zeal to shed his blood
For the well-beloved fatherland.
It is the ineffable, silent call of the heart to another
   heart.
It is the God-drunk poet’s heartaches
For every creature’s groans.

Love is to enjoy the family rose of petal-beings,
And thence to move to spacious fields -
Passing by portals of social, national, international
    sympathy,
On to the limitless Cosmic Home –
To gaze with looks of wonderment,
And to serve all that lives, still or moving.
This is to know what love is.
He knows who lives it.

Love is evolution’s ameliorative call
To the far-strayed sons
To return to Perfection’s home.
It is the call of the beauty – robed ones
To worship the great Beauty.
It is the call of God
Through silent intelligences
And starburst of feelings.

Love is the Heaven
Toward which the flowers, rivers, nations, atoms,
       creatures – you and I
Are rushing by the straight path of action right,
Or winding laboriously on error’s path,
All to reach haven there at last.

Paramahansa Yogananda (Gorakhpur, Bengal, 1893. One of the first Spiritual Masters who brought
Yoga to the West)
From: Songs of the Soul

 

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I'll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.

Rumi

 

A cold night - sitting alone in my empty room
Filled only with incense smoke.
Outside, a bamboo grove of a hundred trees;
On the bed several volumes of poetry.
The moon shines from the top of the window,
And the entire neighbourhood is still.
Looking at this scene, limitless emotion,
But not one word.

Ryokan

 

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Once in a while
I just let time wear on
leaning against a
solitary pine
standing speechless,
as does the whole universe.
Ah, who can share
this solitude with me?

Ryokan

 

when all thoughts are exhausted
I slip into the woods
and gather a pile of shepherd's-purse

Ryokan

 

Song Of A Dream

Once in the dream of a night I stood
Lone in the light of a magical wood,
Soul-deep in visions that poppy-like sprang;
And spirits of Truth were the birds that sang,
And spirits of Love were the stars that glowed,
And spirits of Peace were the streams that flowed
In that magical wood in the land of sleep.

Lone in the light of that magical grove,
I felt the stars of the spirits of Love
Gather and gleam round my delicate youth,
And I heard the song of the spirits of Truth;
To quench my longing I bent me low
By the streams of the spirits of Peace that flow
In that magical wood in the land of sleep.

Sarojini Naidu (Hyderabad, India, 1879-1949)

 

 

To The God Of Pain

Unwilling priestess in thy cruel fane,
Long hast thou held me, pitiless god of Pain,
Bound to thy worship by reluctant vows,
My tired breast girt with suffering, and my brows
Anointed with perpetual weariness.
Long have I borne thy service, through the stress
Of rigorous years, sad days and slumberless nights,
Performing thine inexorable rites.

For thy dark altars, balm nor milk nor rice,
But mine own soul thou'st ta'en for sacrifice:
All the rich honey of my youth's desire,
And all the sweet oils from my crushed life drawn,
And all my flower-like dreams and gem-like fire
Of hopes up-leaping like the light of dawn.

I have no more to give, all that was mine
Is laid, a wrested tribute, at thy shrine;
Let me depart, for my whole soul is wrung,
And all my cheerless orisons are sung;
Let me depart, with faint limbs let me creep
To some dim shade and sink me down to sleep.

Sarojini Naidu

 

 

Hell is not punishment,
it's training.

Shunryu Suzuki

 

 

 

The most important thing is to find out
what is the most important thing.

Shunryu Suzuki

 

Stillness soars as a mountain peak,
Seeking its greatness in height.
Movement stops in a silent lake,
Seeking in depth its limit.

Tagore

 

 

Spring comes, and I look at the birds;
Summer comes, and I take a bath in the stream;
Autumn comes, and I climb to the top of the mountain;
Winter comes, and I make the most of the sunlight for warmth.
This is how I savor the passage of the seasons.

Shih T'ao

         

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Life

Mystic Miracle, daughter of Delight,
Life, thou ecstasy,
Let the radius of thy flight
Be eternity.

On thy wings thou bearest high
Glory and disdain,
Godhead and mortality,
Ecstasy and pain.

Take me in thy wild embrace
Without weak reserve
Body dire and unveiled face;
Faint not, Life, nor swerve.

All thy bliss I would explore,
All thy tyranny.
Cruel like the lion's roar,
Sweet like springtide be.

Like a Titan I would take,
Like a God enjoy,
Like a man contend and make,
Revel like a boy.

More I will not ask of thee,
Nor my fate would choose;
King or conquered let me be,
Live or lose.

Even in rags I am a god;
Fallen, I am divine;
High I triumph when down-trod,
Long I live when slain.

Sri Aurobindo (Calcutta, India, 1872-1950, spiritual Guru, poet, philosopher)

 

The Dreamboat (1930, revised 1942)

Who was it that came to me in a boat made of dream-fire,
With his flame brow and his sun-gold body?
Melted was the silence into a sweet secret murmur,
"Do you come now? Is the heart's fire ready?"

Hidden in the recesses of the heart something shuddered,
It recalled all that the life's joy cherished,
Imaged the felicity it must leave lost forever,
And the boat passed and the gold god vanished.

Now within the hollowness of the world's breast inhabits -
For the love died and the old joy ended -
Void of a felicity that has fled, gone for ever,
And the gold god and the dream boat come not.

Sri Aurobindo

 

The supreme good is like water,
which nourishes all things without trying to.
It is content with the low places that people disdain.
Thus it is like the Tao.

Tao Te Ching, verse 8

 

Empty your mind of all thoughts.
Let your heart be at peace.
Watch the turmoil of beings,
but contemplate their return.

Each separate being in the universe
returns to the common source.
Returning to the source is serenity.

Tao Te Ching, verse 16

 

 

Disappearance

The leaf tips bend
under the weight of dew.
Fruits are ripening
in Earth's early morning.
Daffodils light up in the sun.
The curtain of cloud at the gateway
of the garden path begins to shift:
have pity for childhood,
the way of illusion.

Late at night,
the candle gutters.
In some distant desert,
a flower opens.
And somewhere else,
a cold aster
that never knew a cassava patch
or gardens of areca palms,
never knew the joy of life,
at that instant disappears-
man's eternal yearning.

Thich Nhat Hanh (Vietnam, 1925, Zen master)

 

Drink Your Tea

Drink your tea slowly and reverently,
as if it is the axis
on which the world earth revolves
- slowly, evenly, without
rushing toward the future;
Live the actual moment.
Only this moment is life.

Thich Nhat Hanh              

 

Kiss The Earth

Walk and touch peace every moment.
Walk and touch happiness every moment.
Each step brings a fresh breeze.
Each step makes a flower bloom.
Kiss the Earth with your feet.
Bring the Earth your love and happiness.
The Earth will be safe
when we feel safe in ourselves.

Thich Nhat Hanh

 

Do not search for the truth;
only cease to cherish opinions.
do not remain in the dualistic state.
Avoid such pursuits carefully.

Xinxin Ming

 

Live neither in the entanglements of outer things,
nor in inner feelings of emptiness.
Be serene in the oneness of things and such
erroneous views will disappear by themselves.

Xinxin Ming

 



 

One of our primary goals at Cedar Gallery is to provide a public forum for both unknown and established poets to showcase their works. We particularly encourage contributions from unpublished aspiring artists, but are happy to consider all submissions.

Please, send your contributions to: cedars.letters@live.nl

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