Extract | Poems of the Japanese Zen Masters
The Zen masters reveal some of the secrets of Zen practice through poetry.
The Western Patriarch's doctrine is transplanted!
I fish by moonlight, till on cloudy days.
Clean, clean! Not a worldly mote falls with the snow
As, cross-legged in this mountain hut, I sit the evening through.
Coming, going, the waterfowl
Leaves not a trace,
Nor does it need a guide.
The all-meaning circle:
No in, no out;
No light, no shade.
Here all saints are born.
Clear in the blue, the moon!
Icy water to the horizon,
Defining high, low. Startled,
The dragon uncoils about the billows.
Invaluable is the Soto Way —
Why be discipline s slave?
Snapping the golden chain,
Step boldly towards the sunset!
(The Penguin Book of Zen Poetry ed. & tr. Lucien Stryk & Takshi Ikemoto pub. 1977)
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