BUDDHIST RELATIVITY

Now then, he says,
and at once he is again
victim of the confusion
that he spreads in his wake.
She takes him to task again,
but he protests that what
was now is clearly then, now,
and this now, too, is now then,
for each now is gone in the time
it takes to recognize it as now.
Now is always then, he says,
as he quickly walks off
in each of the ten directions.

SOZAN’S FOUR DON’TS 鐵笛倒吹 九十二

You may seek to follow
the path of the dove –
a fool knows many roads.
You may wrap yourself
in fine linen – an infant
wears only his skin,
and knows this moment
is already gone.

Think long before you speak
of how to walk
along the path, of where it leads.
The baby says nothing,
will not speak
of where he has been,
where he is going, for him
there is only here,
and silence
is descriptive enough.


A reflection on case 92 of the Iron Flute. 

FINDING A DIAMOND 沙石集 二

There are endless paths
on which to walk,
yet we find one
and remain on it
even when it
becomes rocky and rutted.

We do not see the road,
nor those who cross it,
watching only our feet.
It is only when we step
off of the cliff
that our feet are free
to walk other paths,
perhaps in the footsteps
of old Gudo.


A reflection on Case 2 of the Shaseki-Shu (Sand and Pebbles)