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Posts Tagged ‘Poetry’

One, One, One

ONE, ONE, ONE
Rumi

The lamps are different,
But the Light is the same.
So many garish lamps in the dying brain’s lamp shop,
Forget about them.
Concentrate on essence, concentrate on Light.
In lucid bliss, calmly smoking off its own holy fire,
The Light strains toward you from all things,
All people, all possible permutations of good, evil, thought, passion.
The lamps are different,
But the Light is the same.
One matter, one energy, one Light, one Light-mind,
Endlessly emanating all things.
One turning and burning diamond,
One, one, one,
Ground yourself, strip yourself down,
To blind loving silence.
Stay there, until you see
You are gazing at the Light
With its own ageless eyes.

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Tsurune (from the Odyssey)

So without effort did Odysseus string the great bow.
And he held it in his right hand,
and tried the string,
which sang sweetly beneath his touch,
like a swallow in tone.

(“In his quest, Odysseus uses his superior and super human strength to overcome the suitors. In The Odyssey, Penelope holds a contest for all the suitors. She declares that she will marry the one who can string and shoot Odysseus’s bow with arrow piercing all the twelve axes. None of the suitors were able to bend the bow and string it. Odysseus disguised as a beggar then asks if he can try the bow. “Meantime wise Odysseus, when he handled the great bow and scanned it closely, � even as one well-skilled to play the lyre and sing stretches with ease round its new peg a string, securing at each end the twisted sheep-gut; so without effort did Odysseus string the mighty bow. Holding it now with his right hand, he tried its cord; and clear to the touch it sang, voiced like the swallow�.. Then laying the arrow on the arch, he drew the string and arrow notches, and forth from the bench on which he sat let fly the shaft, with careful aim, and did not miss an axe’s ring from first to last, but clean through all sped on the bronze-tipped arrow” (Homer 210-211). “

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On Words

I ran across this excerpt from the Tao Te Ching the other day. It had meaning to me, so I am sharing it here. I hope it will have meaning for you as well.

Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
Translated by James Legge

Chapter 81 (Final Chapter)

Sincere words are not fine
Fine words are not sincere
Tao adepts do not dispute this
The disputatious are not adept
Those who know the Tao are not extensively learned
The extensively learned do not know it

The wise do not gather for themselves
The more one expends for others
The more one has

The Way of Heaven is sharp
But injures not
With all a wise one does
There is no striving

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The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!

– Shoot from the heart!-

Everywhere you go it’s Zen this and Zen that. Just what qualifies something as being Zen? Who is making the rules these days? And who is breaking them?

It’s pretty much common knowledge that Zen is a sect of the Buddhist religion. And common knowledge means that if I know it everyone else should… and probably did long before I.

But, what else is Zen?

I was helping “unload the cans” (unloading freight) the other day and a co-worker asked me, “What is all this Zen stuff you see on everything? What does it mean?”

My mind skipped a beat as I tried to come up with a plausible answer and keep my hands moving packages. “Well, I think… being in the moment.” But, I started thinking, how is a box of cookies or any other inanimate object in the moment? We talked a bit more trying to figure it out together. Finally, I left it at, “I’ll let you know when I figure it out.”

In searching for an answer for Darrell, I checked out the Zen Firefly Lights. Now don’t get me wrong, I like pretty lights and these look fun. But Zen? The ad purports that these artificial lights will recreate the nights of old, when fireflies were abundant and will add positive chi and feng shui to your backyard.

I still don’t get it…

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Kyudo Poetry

A Zen Master of the Kamakura period once described Kyudo as such:

No target’s erected

No bow’s drawn

And the arrow leaves the string:

It may not hit,

But it does not miss.

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