Burdens

Two monks returning to a monastery in the evening

It had rained
Puddles of water had collected on the road

At one place a beautiful woman
Was unable to cross the road because of a puddle

The elder monk lifted and carried her across
Leaving her on the other side; then went his way

Later that evening, the younger monk approached
“Sir, we cannot touch women.”

The elder said, “Yes, brother.”
“Then why did you carry that woman on the road today?”

The elder smiled
“I left her on the road; why are you are still carrying her?”

Zen Lesson ~ Anon
Edited to Poetic form by Rayn Roberts

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Motion

You have only to watch white clouds charging a moonlit sky
To know everything is change
Nothing is the same from moment to moment
Nothing exists as we think or feel but for a moment
And not as we feel or think
There is no stasis in darkness, not an instant, everything is motion
In dark and light, deeper than surface change
Being change itself
A reason we cannot feel nor see the Cosmos moving
We are all, each of us
The Cosmos moving at such speed the slow moving mind
Cannot apprehend its fury
Only guesses at its magnitude and beauty
The brain, a fleck of a speck of its dust
A tiny crab in this immense sea of stars
Is lost in its own shell of self– but what, how is it lost
In that which has no root in reality, who can find
What we call a self, place a finger on the unchanging soul
When all is motion?
The self, a soul-grasping bit of imagination, the self
The whiteness of clouds, a wind-ripped sky under a winter moon.

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A Forest Monk Speaks

If you find yourself in a Buddhist temple
You are not in a Buddhist temple.

Though you pray and chant for yourself
Night and day, you remain in Hell.

Living and dying, are the two not one
Happening at the same time?

A cobra lifts its head in your path.
Teach it to hiss, not bite.  It is you.

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Poem first appeared in “The Fires of Spring” by Rayn Roberts

Forest Monks

The Monk & The Cobra Parable

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Where Does Buddha Sit?

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In truth Buddha nature is everything, so then
Did Buddha nature play a part in
Bombing Nagasaki and Hiroshima and why
Are the histories of the Buddhist east

As bloody and as savage
as the war-torn Christian west?

I have no easy answers
But offer this

Buddha Nature-Nuclear bomb
Nirvana a bomb

To the illusion of self
That’s what nirvana is

No suicide, but still
A gun to the head of self.

Nature says do, survive, assert, intend
Buddha sees the third eye explode
A mushroom cloud in your head–
Buddha sits in every whole and broken atom.

 

The Quantum Buddha

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Poem appeared first in

“Of One and Many Worlds”

Poetic Matrix Press

JUST BREATH

Self Portrait

The left eye looks back at a past
Of regret and joy, wonder and guilt
War, calm, seasons, death and birth.

The right strains to see into the future
Will tomorrow unfold petals of a bomb
Or give into a blossom’s destruction?

I’ve sat a long time looking each way
Trying to make peace in the present
And still I don’t know what to do with

The scorn and wisdom of the third eye

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