three monks

Poems and Reflections from Opening the Book of Serenity: Case 3

A rajah of an East Indian country invited the twenty-seventh Buddhist patriarch Prajnatara to a feast. The rajah asked him, “Why don’t you read scriptures?” The patriarch said, “This poor wayfarer doesn’t dwell in the realms of the body or mind when breathing in, doesn’t get involved in myriad circumstances when breathing out—I always reiterate such a scripture, hundreds, thousands, millions of scrolls.”

Reading scripture is like counting another person’s treasure when the whole world is open before you.

- Myozen

Oh boy!  Too many references, so much history.
It gives me a head ache. How about this instead:

Brooks babble, children play,
The tides move in and out.
The whole universe breaths.

Can you hear the wind in the trees?
I love the color and sound of aspen in the Fall.
To inhale such joyful moments is a gift.

- Tony

I’d like to
Offer something
To help you
But in the Zen School
We don’t have a single thing!

- Ikkyu poem offered by Terrie

While breathing in, not dwelling in breathing in:
A beating heart totally becomes a beating heart
Alive with walls, fences, twirling flowers, morning stars and faces.
While breathing out, not getting involved in breathing out:
A face breaking into a smile totally becomes a face breaking into a smile
Opening, revealing, expressing faces alive with opening, revealing and expressing.
May we recite such a koan, hundreds, thousands, millions of times.

- Korin