Best Zen Poems

James Smith
• Tuesday, 27 October, 2020
• 8 min read

When all thoughts Are exhausted I slip into the woods And gather A pile of shepherd’s purse. By the hearth I stretch out my legs, Idling my time away Confined in this hut.

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Like the little stream Making its way Through the mossy crevices I, too, quietly Turn clear and transparent. The earth is decrepit, the sky stormy, all the grass withered.

No spring breeze even at this late date, Just winter clouds swallowing up my tiny reed hut. From Wild Ways: Poems of Kikuyu, translated by John Stevens Published by Shamble in Boston, 1995.

Sitting alone on an Autumn Night I sit alone sad at my whitening hair Waiting for ten o’clock in my empty house In the rain the hill fruits fall Under the lamp grasshoppers sound White hairs will never be transformed That elixir is beyond creation To eliminate decrepitude Study the absolute. Passing the Temple Tonight he walks with his light stick, Stops by the Tiger Stream’s source, Asks us to listen to the mountain sound, Goes home again by clear waters.

SOME CLASSICS Enlightenment is like the moon reflected on the water. The moon does not get wet, nor is the water broken.

The whole moon and the entire sky Are reflected in one dewdrop on the grass. They have not yet discovered that there are no everyday actions outside of Dharma.

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(Source: www.poemsearcher.com)

Its light penetrates everywhere And engulfs everything, So why does it not know itself? Your physical being doesn't hear, Nor does the void.

Few people believe their Inherent mind is Buddha. They are wrapped up in illusions, cravings, Resentments, and other afflictions, All because they love the cave of ignorance.

Fen yang Hell is not punishment, it's training. Well versed in the Buddha way, I go the non-Way Without abandoning my Ordinary person's affairs.

If you want to be free, Get to know your real self. It has no form, no appearance, No root, no basis, no abode, But is lively and buoyant.

It responds with versatile facility, But its function cannot be located. Knowledge and ignorance are interdependent; delusion and enlightenment condition each other.

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Nobly, the great priest deposits his daily stool in bleak winter fields Bison The monkey is reaching For the moon in the water.

If he'd let go the branch and Disappear in the deep pool, The whole world would shine With dazzling pureness. Food and clothes sustain Body and life; I advise you to learn Being as is.

With empty mind really Penetrated, the dharma Have no life. When you can be like this, You've completed The ultimate attainment.

Just stop your wandering, Look penetratingly into your inherent nature, And, concentrating your spiritual energy, Sit in taken And break through. Turn back to the subject That realizes To the root bottom And resolutely Go on.

The Chan which you are hankering to speak about Only talks about turtles turning into fish. When you discover that your proofs are without substance You'll realize that words are nothing but dust.

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When you don't fake it and waste time trying to rub and polish it, Your Original Self will always shine through brighter than bright. Become a follower who when accepted Learns how to give up his life and his death.

Good and evil have no self nature; Holy and unholy are empty names; In front of the door is the land of stillness and quiet; Spring comes, grass grows by itself. However, deep your Knowledge of the scriptures, It is no more than a strand of hair In the vastness of space; However important appears Your worldly experience, It is but a drop of water in a deep ravine.

If you have never taken The principles of the teachings to heart, You have no basis For awakening to the hidden path. Analyze the ten thousand things, dissect them minutely, and when you take this to the limit you will come to the limitless, when you search into it, you come to the end of search, where thinking goes no further and distinctions vanish.

When you smash the citadel of doubt, then the Buddha is simply yourself. When mortals are alive, they worry about death.

Adding father's name to the family tombstone with room for my own. Nicholas Virginia When you hear your inner voice, forget it.

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Hymen San in one gust the last leaf decides: gone Robert Henry Poplin Brown mimosa seed where blossoms once invited hummingbirds to feed.

Robin feathers stuck to the frosty window -- just the cat's tail moves SOME OF MY OWN TENNIS ATTEMPTS A cross-legged monk Silent awareness A battle for peace.

A dinner with friends Love, laughter and trust Gurkha disguised. Grasping attachment, Insisting on trouble: My life as a fool.

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