KANNON’S STATUE 鐵笛倒吹 語十八

If you meet the Bodhisattva,
you don’t ask someone
to carve the image from your mind.
To the carver, she weighs but an ounce
and can be carried
on his fingertip
but try to lift her
and you will not be able
to move her from her place.

All Buddhas
are one Buddha
but his Buddha
will never be
your Buddha.


A reflection on case 58 of the Iron Flute (Tetteki Tosui)

THE GIRL COMES OUT 無門關 四十二

She sits undisturbed
Shakyamuni by her side.
You can wave at her, she
will pay you no mind.

You cannot grasp her mind
and maintain a hold
on your own, you will grow
deaf from the chatter
but a child can curl
at her feet and she
will stroke his forehead
in perfect Samadhi.


A reflection on Case 42 of the Mumonkan (Gateless Gate)

TOOTHLESS BODHISATTVA

He will tell you
that the distance
between a tear
and a laugh
is the span
of a mother’s arm.
He knows the duration
of sadness is identical
to a shnork*.
He cannot understand
how you could
have forgotten all this.
He doesn’t know
why you cannot recall
that enlightenment is
no more than a giggle.

*shnork (n.): the sound a grandfather makes as his nose approaches,  then just touches that of his infant grandson.