From Zen Master Ryokan

A COLD night–sitting alone in my empty room

Filled only with incense smoke.

Outside, a bamboo grove of a hundred trees;

On the bed, several volumes of poetry.

The moon shines through the top of the window,

And the entire neighborhood is still except for

the cry of insects.

Looking at this scene, boundless emotion,

But not one word.



3 Responses to Freedom

  1. Piro papa May 2, 2017 at 10:36 am #

    Awesome state .

  2. Shokai May 2, 2017 at 1:39 pm #

    Sounds like he knows exactly where you live! Thanks for sharing these beautiful words. Hope all is well with you and the boys! In gassho, Shokai

  3. Roger Hawkins May 3, 2017 at 12:58 pm #

    And where you live too! The spirit of the poem is very much the spirit of Lou’s teaching about there sometimes being anti-emotional bias in institutional Zen teaching. Realization isn’t authentic unless there is deep grounding in the freedom to fully experience all emotions. ‘Not one word’ here means emotion isn’t what we think it is, and also emotion is free of all thought of what we think it is, it’s boundless freedom.

Leave a Reply