Archive | Koans/Poems

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Given to a Zen Person

Mind itself is buddha. Practice is difficult. Explanation is not difficult. Not-mind. Not-buddha. Explanation is difficult. Practice is not difficult. ~ Dogen     From Chinese-style poems, translated by Philip Whalen and Kazuaki Tanahashi   Text from Moon in a Dewdrop, Writings of Zen Master Dogen, edited by Kazuaki Tanahashi,  North Point Press, 1985.  Image: […]

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Dogen: Colors of Mountains

Colors of the mountains, Streams in the valleys; One in all, all in one, The voice and body of Our Sakyamuni Buddha. ~ Dogen   Text from The Zen Poetry of Dogen: Verses from the Mountain of Eternal Peace, by Steve Heine Image: Mountains by Skeeze from Pixabay.com,  CC0 Public Domain

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From Dogen’s Echizen

For so long here without worldly attachments, I have renounced literature and writing; I may be a monk in a mountain temple, Yet still moved in seeing gorgeous blossoms Scattered by the spring breeze, And hearing the warbler’s lovely song— Let others judge my meager efforts. ~ Dogen   This kanshi, one of a series […]

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Dogen: Fleeting Dharma

Everyone admires A graceful horse Galloping past the streaming sunlight, But few realize that this fleeting image Is itself the way of Dharma. ~ Dogen Text from The Zen Poetry of Dogen: Verses from the Mountain of Eternal Peace, by Steve Heine Image: Wild Horses by skeeze,  CC0 Public Domain from Pixabay.com

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Transmitting to the East

Transmitting to the east the way the ancestors brought from the west, My daily activities illuminated by the moon and shadowed by the clouds, Because I revere the ancient way of the patriarchs, The secular dust of worldly customs does not reach Where I remain secluded in my grass-thatched hut, On a snowy evening deep […]

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Whole-Hearted Attention

…without attention we live only on the surface of existence. The secret of beginning a life of deep awareness and sensitivity lies in our willingness to pay attention…. Our growth as conscious, awake human beings is marked not so much by grand gestures and visible renunciations as by extending loving attention to the minutest particulars […]

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Message from Henry: Shadows

The brighter the light the deeper the shadow. It’s easy enough to see the mote in another’s eye. Our Lord is infinitely merciful – and we’ll torture you until you do feel his mercy… We venerate the bond between mother and child (witness our icons), but have a child out of wedlock and we’ll take […]

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Sonnenhof: A retreat to the mountains

Retreat to the Mountains

  A thousand clouds, ten thousand streams, Here I live, an idle man, Roaming green peaks by day, Back to sleep by cliffs at night. One by one, springs and autumns go, Free of heat and dust, my mind. Sweet to know there’s nothing I need, Silent as the autumn river’s flood. Hanshan (literally: “Cold […]

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Dogen: Every Step is Home

Treading along in this dreamlike, illusory realm, Without looking for the traces I may have left; A cuckoo’s song beckons me to return home, Hearing this, I tilt my head to see Who has told me to turn back; But do not ask me where I am going, As I travel in this limitless world, […]

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