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Zen Poetry Excerpts

Excerpted from Just Use This Mind: Follow the Universal Truth to Oneness of Mind, Body and Spirit

Not die to the lifeless self,
then the immortal nature cannot come alive;
Not quite alive to the immortal,
then one has not quite died to the lifeless;
To live with what is alive and to die to what is dead is only half correct,
To die to the living so the dead come to life,
then the world will be at peace.

Move image, image moving,
image after image arising,
Water waves, waves on water,
ripple after ripple born,
Empty the mind,
the mind of emptiness,
Emptiness just is,
I am aware, aware of “I,”
“I” after “I” follows on.

Grievance must have a culprit, debt its creditor,
Name-calling is quite unnecessary,
The green hills already have many corpses,
Beholding grudge in the Light, then came the Dust.
– Shih, Miao Tsan

Who is seeing, who is listening, who is talking,
Spring flower, spring breeze, the Spirit’s beauty;
Not blind, not deaf, nor speechless,
No eye, no ears, yet wondrous in many ways.

Restless and hurried man pursues in suffering,
cold and warm the seasons passed one by one;
from morning to evening the householder makes a living,
deluded and disoriented the hair turned white;
right and wrong, what day will it all end?
Worried and perplexed, when can it cease?
Clearly and obviously there is a path to cultivate;
no matter what, regardless, people are unwilling to practice.


Humility – Poetry



From The Light of Consciousness Magazine

True humility doesn’t grow from a
Wrinkled seed of
Low self worth, nor under a
Darkened sky of self-repression,
Feeling you deserve to be trampled or displaced,
Or intentionally withering to avoid 
Scrutiny and conflict.

Real humility blossoms from the
Fertile soil of
Flowering blamelessly in
Bright daylight.

Only the brave can behold 
The Truth about themselves
Fearlessly occupying their place
In the garden, fluff of dandelion
Or ancient oak,
Neither ashamed
Nor proud.

Humility isn’t being bent or
Shadowed, un nourished,
It is a willing
With rain and sun
Wind and night
Admiration and

Humility is an expression of
From creation to
Love of existence and experience,
Drunkenly weaving in the perfumed air and
Dancing unabashed under a twinkling chasm
Exhilarated to be one color in a carpet of countless others
As One.

Mindful Poetry

It doesn’t interest me
what you do for a living.
I want to know
what you ache for
and if you dare to dream
of meeting your heart’s longing.
It doesn’t interest me
how old you are.
I want to know
if you will risk
looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.
It doesn’t interest me
what planets are
squaring your moon…
I want to know
if you have touched
the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened
by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.
I want to know
if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.
I want to know
if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you
to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations
of being human. …

More in the PDF at the link.

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