YAKUSAN’S LAKE 鐵笛倒吹 八十八

When you travel from home
and are asked if the lake
on the shore of which you live
is now full, what
can you say.
Will you speak of the rains
that soaked your fields
and what of the herd
of water buffalo
come to graze
since you have left.

The eye sees only now
the mind sees history
and the wise man
sees nothing.


A reflection on Case 88 of the Iron Flute koans.

UN4SEEN

Next week, somewhere,
something will happen.
Several people will say
they foresaw it,
others will be equally
certain it was
entirely unpredictable.
The truth, of course,
will be elusive
allowing everyone
the certainty of uncertainty.
It would be so much
easier if nothing happened
but things never happen
according to anyone’s
overly simple plans.

PRACTICING NOTHING

We assume our seats, listen for the bell and then do nothing. Doing nothing is far more difficult that doing something. Doing nothing is something that takes great practice. You can practice doing something, but eventually, with sufficient practice, you may master that something. You never master doing nothing, for nothing is infinitely broad, something definably narrow. When the bell next rings we arise slowly, bow one to all of the others, and try and figure out something to do. Nothing usually comes to mind.

I will, or may
see something today
that may surprise me.
It may reveal itself
in aquiet moment,
it may be nothing more
than a fleeting thought
or an image, I am certain.
It won’t be brought by Magi
nor even magic, though
on reflection, it may
seem somehow magical.
I suspect
most will miss
its occurrence.

So I will sit
and stare into the wall,
into my heart,
into the universe,
trying to find
something which
is nothing, which
is the center,
which is everything.