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The Journey to the West

Though we journey to the West We pray to the East More or less that's the way Each day begins and ends It’s a tale everyone ...

Friday, June 8, 2018

An Inscription on Buddha's Shadow (by Hui Yuan - part 3)

Now we're getting a bit closer to the heart of the matter - entering into the inner recesses of the cave where Hui Yuan sits and contemplates the painting of Buddha's shadow hanging on the wall.  This is part three of the inscription that Hui Yuan composed; you can read the first two parts on the immediately preceding blog posts.   But whatever has come before somehow hasn't quite prepared Hui Yuan (or us for that matter) for the sudden tremor and gust of insight that intrudes upon his quiet contemplation:

In an instant
To lose one’s grip
Devoid of thought
Devoid of knowing
Sun moon and stars
Stripped of their light
All ten thousand things
Become the same color

Entering the courtyard
Of the cosmos
Delving into obscurity
Hidden yet welcoming
Where measure is none
I become aware
Of stillness and quiet
And then feel
A forceful tremor

A gust of insight
Coming from a distance
Compounded of dust
This news from afar
Unable to see into
The mysterious depths
Who or what it is
That stirs me
From this extremity





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