from a forthcoming collection, Stirrup of the Sun & Moon
It is possible to reach other worlds
without the use of technology. The
different truths of those worlds are
a great value, and of great personal
comfort. — Trade Minister Tagomi,
The Man in the High Castle
Serpentine trail through rocks and trees.
City far behind.
Shuffling of feet.
Walking staff in hand.
Entering the within.
First taste of mist.
Emptying out into Empty-Silence.
Resting at Inner Radiance Pavilion.
Pushing onward to Blooming Void Precipice.
Bathed in clouds.
Weeping at the sight.
Sitting like a mountain.
Inner merges with outer.
Eyes settle softly on the land.
Heart-Mind becomes the quiet valley.
Heart-Mind becomes the moonlit lake.
Heart-Mind becomes the silent mountain.
could be anyone
in any pristine place.
Students of the East Mountain School recount
a curious monk once asked Master Hongren:
Why do we enter the mountains rather than study
the way of awakening in the city?
One should find refuge for the spirit
in remote mountain valleys, sidestepping
troubles of the dusty world. One should
nourish their true nature in deep mountains, keeping
away from worldly affairs for an extended time.
When not always confronting common affairs,
the mind will naturally become at ease. Studying Zen
in this way is like planting a tree. The end result bears fruit.
— from the Xiu Xin Yao Lun (trans. John R. McRae)
(c) 2018 / Frank LaRue Owen / purelandpoetry.com