"Yu literally means 'to play,' 'to enjoy oneself in a leisurely fashion,' or 'to go on a journey.' Zen inherits this term from Taoism and suggests free and easy wandering is the way we should experience the world."--William Scott Wilson, The One Taste of Truth: Zen and the Art of Drinking Tea


Go through this world of illusion

in free and easy wandering.

--from the Kannon-kyo, Chapter 25, Lotus Sutra

I used to doubt the astrologers.

 

Accepting an assignment to track for a year

the days this skin has been stretched

over the frame of these times,

I now pay heed.

 

I used to doubt oracles.

 

Having witnessed the coming together of elements;

the free-flowing dance of thunder, earth, sky, mountain, and lake,

The Book of Changes is now a daily companion.

 

I used to keep a strong scaffolding in place.

 

It separated Pure Land from Zen

Zen from Dao

Dharma quarantined from the way of mountain spirits.

 

With a sudden glance

in the middle of a storm,

the bottom dropped out

the scaffolding fell

along with my mind

and all of these nectars poured into the same vat.

 

Human speech falls short on this one; another poem that is not a poem.

 

It is about the moment you realize

you have been a stranger to yourself, 

and, thus, to everyone else.

 

It is about the moment you realize

there is no outside to your inside.

 

It is about the moment you realize

if you let go

your breathing and summer breezes

will become enjoined.

 

I only share it with you

to break the trance of constructed worlds

 

and to inform you

that those shackles you wear

have a lock

whose key

is resting in your left hand.


 

Student: How will it be when Maitreya, the Future Buddha, comes?

Master Taewŏn: Truly, it will be just like this.

--from Garden Chrysanthemums and First Mountain Snow:

Zen Questions and Answers from Korea, trans. Hongjin Park


(c) 2017 / Frank LaRue Owen / purelandpoetry.com

image: "Brocken Spectre," Tanzawa Mountains, Kanagawa Prefecture, Honshu, Japan, Shigeru Rokujuu

To learn more about Kanagawa, Japan-based electronic musician Sugai Ken, visit his On The Quakefish Bandcamp page.

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