Zen Poems Thread

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    Zen Poems Thread

    I thought I would start a thread for Zen/Buddhist poems. Or simply poems that touch you or your practice deeply. Or maybe a poem of your own.
    This has always been one that has stuck with me for many many years:

    Maple leaf
    Falling down
    Showing front
    Showing back
    -Ryokan, Japanese Zen poet

    Gassho
    Bobby
    Last edited by Guest; 05-28-2014, 02:42 AM.
  • Myosha
    Member
    • Mar 2013
    • 2974

    #2
    It is present everywhere.
    There is nothing it does not contain.
    However only those who have
    planted wisdom-seeds will be able
    to continuously see it.”

    - Dogen


    Gassho,
    Myosha
    Last edited by Myosha; 02-04-2014, 09:34 AM.
    "Recognize suffering, remove suffering." - Shakyamuni Buddha when asked, "Uhm . . .what?"

    Comment

    • Tiwala
      Member
      • Oct 2013
      • 201

      #3
      This is one of my favourites. I copied it down in my to do notebook where I log the day's jobs and some random thoughts. I forgot to copy down the author, but I think it's Ryokan Daigu

      How many times since I came to this place
      Have I seen the leaves green and then gold?
      Wrapped by vines, the old trees have turned dark,
      The bamboo have grown tall even in the valley's shade.
      My staff has rotten from the night rain
      My robe frayed from years of wind and frost.

      In the vast silence of the universe,
      For whom do I meditate
      Each day and night?



      Gassho, Ben
      Gassho
      Ben

      Comment

      • Kokuu
        Treeleaf Priest
        • Nov 2012
        • 6737

        #4
        Lovely idea for a thread, Bobby.

        I am currently reading The Selected Poems of Li Po. This is one of his:

        Alone, searching for blue-lotus roofs,
        I set out from city gates. Soon, frost

        clear, Tung-lin temple bells call out,
        Hu Creek's moon bright in pale water.

        Heaven's fragrance everywhere pure
        emptiness, heaven's music endless,

        I sit silent. It's still, the entire Buddha-
        realm in a hair's-breadth, mind-depths

        all bottomless clarity, in which vast
        kalpas begin and end out of nowhere.


        I love that one of Ryokan's too, Ben.


        Gassho
        Kokuu/Andy

        Comment

        • Genshin
          Member
          • Jan 2013
          • 467

          #5
          The sound of maple leaves falling
          in this mountain village
          makes it hard to tell
          a rainy day from one that is not.

          - Ryokan

          Gassho
          Genshin (Matt)

          Comment

          • Nameless
            Member
            • Apr 2013
            • 461

            #6
            Really have to get a book of Ryokan's poems. Great thread idea Bobby. Here's a few I was putting together on the Three Marks of Existence:

            Anicca:
            Dawn breaks, horizon caressed
            The sun sits high over head
            Sinking low birds start to call
            Silence settles and night falls

            Anatta:
            "I am just a tree."
            To view thus just delusion -
            I am the forest

            Dukkha:
            To not cling to the noon day sun
            To not push from the coming night
            As the trees fall, the forest departs
            To view as such brings peace into life

            Gassho, John

            Comment

            • Myozan Kodo
              Friend of Treeleaf
              • May 2010
              • 1901

              #7
              Some lovely stuff.
              Deep bows
              Myozan

              Comment

              • Jishin
                Member
                • Oct 2012
                • 4819

                #8
                I love this quote from the Waters and Mountains Sutra by Dogen:

                "Understand the meaning of gives birth to a child. At the moment of giving birth to a child, is the mother separate from the child? Study not only that you become a mother when your child is born, but also that you become a child. This is to actualize giving birth in practice-realization. Study and investigate this thoroughly."

                Gassho, Jishin

                Comment

                • zdlee
                  Member
                  • Jul 2013
                  • 34

                  #9
                  Not strictly Zen (he was a Jodo Shinshu priest), but this is one of my favorite Issa poems.

                  A new year--
                  the same nonsense
                  piled on nonsense.

                  -Kobayashi Issa

                  Gassho,
                  Zac
                  However much we become enlightened, it is not very much.
                  Rupan shunyata shunyataiva rupan

                  Comment

                  • Guest

                    #10
                    Wonderful everyone.

                    Gassho
                    Bobby

                    Comment

                    • Myosha
                      Member
                      • Mar 2013
                      • 2974

                      #11
                      crossing long fields
                      frozen in its saddle
                      my shadow creeps by
                      - Basho

                      favorite bicycle-ride poem


                      Gassho,
                      Myosha
                      "Recognize suffering, remove suffering." - Shakyamuni Buddha when asked, "Uhm . . .what?"

                      Comment

                      • Myosha
                        Member
                        • Mar 2013
                        • 2974

                        #12
                        Grains of white rice held by a black bowl
                        Soft matter of the brain cradled by the bowl of the skull
                        The open sky fills and flows
                        Over the bowl of branches held
                        Up by leafless trees.

                        Anzan Hoshin
                        "Recognize suffering, remove suffering." - Shakyamuni Buddha when asked, "Uhm . . .what?"

                        Comment

                        • Myosha
                          Member
                          • Mar 2013
                          • 2974

                          #13
                          Ring the bells that still can ring
                          Forget your perfect offering
                          There is a crack in everything
                          That's how the light gets in

                          L. Cohen ('92)
                          "Recognize suffering, remove suffering." - Shakyamuni Buddha when asked, "Uhm . . .what?"

                          Comment

                          • Myosha
                            Member
                            • Mar 2013
                            • 2974

                            #14
                            The moon reflected
                            In a mind clear
                            As still water:
                            Even the waves, breaking,
                            Are reflecting its light. - Dogen (on zazen)


                            Gassho,
                            Myosha
                            "Recognize suffering, remove suffering." - Shakyamuni Buddha when asked, "Uhm . . .what?"

                            Comment

                            • Myosha
                              Member
                              • Mar 2013
                              • 2974

                              #15
                              in blossoming trees
                              suddenly he's hidden...
                              my son
                              - Issa
                              "Recognize suffering, remove suffering." - Shakyamuni Buddha when asked, "Uhm . . .what?"

                              Comment

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