Tag Archives: Zen

Quote

The moment I die,
I will try to come back to you
as quickly as possible.
I promise it will not take long.
Isn’t it true
I am already with you
in every moment?
I come back to you
in every moment.
Just look,
feel my presence.
If you want to cry,

please cry.
And know
that I will cry with you.
The tears you shed
will heal us both.
Your tears are mine.
The earth I tread this morning
transcends history.
Spring and Winter are both present in the moment.
The young leaf and the dead leaf are really one.
My feet touch deathlessness,
and my feet are yours.
Walk with me now.
Let us enter the dimension of oneness
and see the cherry tree blossom in Winter.
Why should we talk about death?
I don’t need to die
to be back with you.

— Thich Nhat Hanh – The Collection of Poems – page 141

Oneness

Quote

Through endless ages, the mind has never changed
It has not lived or died, come or gone, gained or lost.
It isn’t pure or tainted, good or bad, past or future,
true or false, male or female. It isn’t reserved for
monks or lay people, elders to youths, masters or
idiots, the enlightened or unenlightened.
It isn’t bound by cause and effect and doesn’t
struggle for liberation. Like space, it has no form.
You can’t own it and you can’t lose it. Mountains.
rivers or walls can’t impede it. But this mind is
ineffable and difficult to experience. It is not the
mind of the senses. So many are looking for this
mind, yet it already animates their bodies.
It is theirs, yet they don’t realize it.

— Bodhidharma

Endless Ages

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Don’t say that I will depart tomorrow —
even today I am still arriving.

Look deeply: every second I am arriving
to be a bud on a Spring branch,
to be a tiny bird, with still-fragile wings,
learning to sing in my new nest,
to be a caterpillar in the heart of a flower,
to be a jewel hiding itself in a stone.

I still arrive, in order to laugh and to cry,
to fear and to hope.

The rhythm of my heart is the birth and death
of all that is alive.

I am the mayfly metamorphosing
on the surface of the river.
And I am the bird
that swoops down to swallow the mayfly.

I am the frog swimming happily
in the clear water of a pond.
And I am the grass-snake
that silently feeds itself on the frog.

I am the child in Uganda, all skin and bones,
my legs as thin as bamboo sticks.
And I am the arms merchant,
selling deadly weapons to Uganda.

I am the twelve-year-old girl,
refugee on a small boat,
who throws herself into the ocean
after being raped by a sea pirate.
And I am the pirate,
my heart not yet capable
of seeing and loving.

I am a member of the politburo,
with plenty of power in my hands.
And I am the man who has to pay
his “debt of blood” to my people
dying slowly in a forced-labor camp.

My joy is like Spring, so warm
it makes flowers bloom all over the Earth.
My pain is like a river of tears,
so vast it fills the four oceans.

Please call me by my true names,
so I can hear all my cries and my laughter at once,
so I can see that my joy and pain are one.

Please call me by my true names,
so I can wake up,
and so the door of my heart
can be left open,
the door of compassion.

— Thich Nhat Hanh – Please Call Me by My True Names (1978)
The title of the poem is “Please Call Me by My True Names,” because I have so many names. When I hear one of these names, I have to say, “Yes.”

Inter-Being, the true nature of Compassion

Quote

“Cease practice based
On intellectual understanding,
Pursuing words and
Following after speech.
Learn the backward
Step that turns
Your light inward
To illuminate within.
Body and mind of themselves
Will drop away
And your original face will be manifest.”

— Dogen

What is your face before your mother and father were born?

Quote

“Like a sword that cuts, but cannot cut itself;
Like an eye that sees, but cannot see itself.
— Zenrin Poem

In short, we cannot perceive our Self. And yet exactly here is the problem, the Genesis of the Primary Dualism, for we imagine that we do see and know our Self, not realizing that whatever we see and know is a complex of perceived objects and thus could not be our Self — as Huang Po put it, “the perceived cannot perceive”.
(excerpt from ‘The spectrum of consciousness’ from Ken Wilber)

Mind